Widgets… Gadgets…. a tisket a tasket…
No, seriously I love the
revisionist history tact Apple is taking in their “PC Guy” video from the WorldWide Developer Conference. Yep, I’ll link to it too. At the beginning of the “wink wink” comments about Vista, they mention Vista’s Gadget feature vs. Apple Widgets. Funny – Apple was inspired by Konfabulator Yahoo Widgets enough to what… dare say you… copy it? Name for name? Years after Konfabulator’s release? The concept isn’t new- Microsoft Research did a paper on it in 2000, well pre-dating either product. Then they make a statement about Windows Gadgets (which in full disclosure, I helped to name for Vista prior to Google shipping their dashboard) :).
A few days ago, I called up the guy in charge of Windows Sidebar to congratulate him on the Apple video. Apparently the competition thinks enough of the feature to slam it. Like it or not, a good idea is a good idea, and I won’t get bent out of shape when OSX
SP3 Leopard is made available for download for purchase and includes some features inspired by Vista. Windows XP has the feature Apple calls Spaces too, but it’s a powertoy. It’s been available since 2005, mentioned in Wikipedia for some time and it’s a free download for Windows customers.
Others took shots at OSX when it was late to arrive, and didn’t include features like DVD playback. Vista will ship when it’s ready and include advanced features such as digital cable HDTV PVR and enhanced home networking that makes it super-simple to set up and even diagnose when a WiFi router or other component goes on the fritz (happening a lot since I upgraded my WiFi- another story). Yet my Powerbook consistently decides to drop connection after ~5 minutes of access (WEP is enabled and authenticated). My wife on her Tablet PC right next to me? She’s still online.
For me, I welcome Apple’s ads. The prevailing sentiment outside Microsoft circles? Go to the “Nascar Nation” and I hear “That Bill Gates guy gives billions to help poor people”. What do they say about the Apple ads? You be the judge This is one PR battle I actually look forward to seeing more of.
Update: Paul Thurrott has his own thoughts here. As does Engadget’s Ross Rubin. And in the Apple camp, Daniel Eran. All in all, I think it’s fun and not worth getting bent out of shape over. Satire is satire. Apple’s just trying to pull a Colbert/Wikigate (Video on YouTube).