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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Odds and Ends

First, OtherWorld Computing has a new version of the MiniStack external harddrive. It nicely complements the Mac Mini. OWC has it for various price points, starting with you just want the chassis and bring your own hard drive (presumably an SATA) for $85.00. It tops out at $479 for a 4.0 Gb drive.


Second, in news from the dark side, Microsoft has announced aggressive pricing for the forthcoming Windows 8. For $39.95, you can upgrade to Windows 8 Pro if you have at least Windows XP as your operating system and have sufficient hardware.

From what I can determine, you can’t download a separate Upgrade Advisor Program. Windows 8 will determine if your system is good enough during the upgrade process.

This aggressive pricing on Microsoft’s part (for a direct download, packaged Windows 8 to cost $69.95) fits in with a recent article in Vanity Fair magazine about Microsoft’s management. You’ll have to get it on the newsstand next to the OK! magazine in the supermarket. But it details how Microsoft management got stuck on Windows and Office. If the software didn’t fit in with those two, it didn’t get attention from top management.

The tablet interface did not fit in with the mouse and keyboard input metaphor. That’s why MS fell so far behind on tablets.

I’ll get the article and give you a review later in the week. It is not flattering to Microsoft management.

A commenter on the Vanity Fair web site pointed out that MS still enjoys overwhelming supremacy on the operating system and office suite markets. That is true. I can’t see myself using my finger to manipulate the VT-420 terminal emulator I use at work. And considering how pissed IT was when I dripped strawberry jam on the keyboard, thus borking it; they would freak out major-league if people started touching their screens.

But MS needs to catch up with Apple and the iPad if it intends to compete for the next 10 years.

Third, the rumors continue to swirlabout a 7.85” iPad mini coming out this fall. We’ll wait and see. (Mockup of mini iPad from


Fourth, Apple will announce earnings on Tuesday, July 24th. If they follow past behavior, they will announce that the next iteration of OS X will be available the next day, Wednesday, July 25th.

Finally, Apple settled with Proview for $60 million. Now Apple can sell the iPad as the iPad in the PRC. On the heels of that settlement, another Chinese firm announced that it held the rights to the name “Snow Leopard” and wanted $80,000 from Apple.

Happy 4th of July to everyone!

Tom Briant

Editor and Media Manager, MacValley User Group

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