The Macalope Weekly: Welcome, Larry!

Microsoft announced Windows Phone 7 Series this week (still haven’t lost your signature touch, Microsoft!) and the Macalope’s reaction may shock Macworld’s more sensitive readers! Viewer discretion is advised! And did you know that Steve Jobs doesn’t like Flash?! Oh, the Macalope’s stars and garters!

Who are you and what have you done with the Macalope?

Microsoft finally answered the “SHUTDOWN OR REBOOT?” question on its phone strategy and the Macalope was really fairly impressed by the interface for Windows Phone Series 7 (let’s just call it “Larry”). It’s great that someone is thinking outside the box that Apple put everyone into three years ago, so kudos to Microsoft. Whether or not it works out remains to be seen. If Larry-based devices ship by the end of the year and the OS isn’t so buggy that it kills several hundred customers in a murderous rampage, they could be strong competitors to the iPhone.

Of course, Apple—unless precedent is shattered beyond all recognition—will ship an iPhone update this summer, one that we don’t even know the details of yet. If it brings multitasking for third-party applications, it’ll already be ahead of Larry.

Despite the outside-the-box thinking in interface design, Larry is not all jet packs and hovercars. He reportedly won’t have copy/paste (tip o’ the antlers to Daring Fireball) but will have some awesome technology from 1969.

There’s a strict set of minimum hardware requirements: a capacitive, multitouchable screen with at least four points of touch; accelerometer; 5-megapixel camera; FM radio…

What—no AM, Microsoft? Have you no love for the Greatest Generation?

How, exactly, did Microsoft, Stella-like, get its groove back? (BAD INFOWORLD COLUMNIST! BAD!) Turns out it’s simple:

“It’s all about the phone and how consumers react to the device,” said Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer…

No. Way.

What was it, exactly, you thought it was about before, genius?

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Let’s have another one just like the other one

Microsoft is all about kickin’ ass and takin’ names now, beeotch. And it’s got no love for that little Apple doohickey everyone’s been talking about.

Quoth Bill Gates:

“You know, I’m a big believer in touch and digital reading, but I still think that some mixture of voice, the pen, and a real keyboard—in other words, a Netbook—will be the mainstream on that,” Gates said, according to Schlender’s Wednesday account.

So, we’re going to put you down as a “no” for a pre-order, then?

But wait, did the richest man in the Alpha Quadrant just recommend a netbook for digital reading? C’mon, Bill. Now you’re just being bitter. And laughable.

Seriously, no joke, Microsoft, consider this: Windows Pad Series 7 Tablet Device for Mobile… Systems… Well, the Macalope will leave the clumsy and overly-long name up to you—that’s your core competency, not his. But that’s a way better solution than just slapping Windows 7 on some HP hardware and calling it a day.

The truth hurts

The tech community was waving its hankie in its flushed face again this week when that awful Steve Jobs (reportedly!) said some simply dreadful things about that lovely technology we’ve known for so long.

Jobs was brazen in his dismissal of Flash, people familiar with the meeting tell us. He repeated what he said at an Apple Town Hall recently, that Flash crashes Macs and is buggy.

But he also called Flash a “CPU hog,” a source of “security holes” and, in perhaps the most grievous insult a famous innovator can utter, a dying technology.

In other words, he accurately described Flash. So what’s the fuss all about? CrunchGear’s Devin Coldewey comes to the defense of the lazy developer’s best friend.

And why, we might reasonably ask, is Flash such a dog on OS X? Well, decoding 720p YouTube video can be either GPU-intensive or CPU-intensive. On Windows, Flash has tunnels to your video card to let its hugely parallel processors burst-decode a ton of information at a time. It can’t do that on OS X, from what I understand — mainly because Apple doesn’t want them to.

Gosh, can’t imagine why that would be! You know, Apple, it’s really hard for Flash to eat your chips with you sitting in front of them. So inconsiderate!

Coldewey says repeatedly that it’s all because Apple “doesn’t like Flash” but never says why that might be. It’s because Adobe wants to be the middleman for content Apple already provides the technology to deliver. The Web is there to provide cross-platform content and the advent of HTML 5 means there’s less and less reason to code in Flash. Apple’s just trying to accelerate the process. That’s a good thing. Not to hear Coldewey talk about it, though.

It’s not good for users, but really, that’s not always Apple’s first priority.

The link is to another CrunchGear piece that links to a piece on Cracked that trots out a tired laundry list of complaints, including the Jason O’Grady saga (eye roll) and another piece on CNN that lists Steve Jobs’s “six sneakiest statements” (yawn).

To say that's weak tea is an overstatement. That water's not even hot. It may not even be water at all. Which is why the Macalope's not drinking it. He's not falling for that one again.

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