WinInfo Short Takes: Week of April 10

I'M TOLD THIS is interesting, though I can't profess to understand it fully: Apple Computer released Darwin 1.0, it's open source subset of Mac OS X this week, including a streaming media server based on QuickTime. So far, so good. But here's the confusing part: Darwin will apparently run on Intel as well as the PowerPC. So someone, please, explain to me what I can do with this right here, right now. Why would I want to run the core of Mac OS X on my PC?

I NEVER REALLY liked these guys, but I have to say I'm surprised to find out that MetaCreations is quietly dumping all of its desktop software--and we're talking well respected heavyweights like Painter, Bryce, and Kai's Power Tools--to focus on an "e-commerce visualization solution" called MetaStream. In other words, the company wants to be an Internet startup. Is this the industry equivalent of a mid-life crisis or what?

MICROSOFT HAS DECIDED to take its case to the court of public opinion, and what a fine idea that is: The company has launched a TV ad campaign featuring the loveable geek Bill Gates discussing innovation. "The best is yet to come," he says ironically, because there hasn't been a documented case of Microsoft innovation yet as far as I can tell.

SUN MICROSYSTEMS HAS provided what I consider to be the best remedy for Microsoft Corporation, which would essentially scatter the company to the winds while opening its proprietary monopoly software to competitors and partners alike. It's a great plan, but they should have stopped while they were ahead: Now the company is considering its own antitrust lawsuit against Microsoft, accusing the software giant of illegally maintaining its Windows monopoly by attacking Java. Sorry, Sun, but that's a ridiculous waste of time and money. Besides, it's not cool kicking someone when they're down: Who's the bully?

THE DOJ IS suddenly finding itself in the hot seat, speaking of the Microsoft antitrust trial: Next week, assistant attorney general Joel Klein will testify before a congressional committee and defend the DOJ's prosecution of the Microsoft, which some feel was a bit rabid. Still, I'm hearing that this meeting was setup long ago and doesn't represent a new feeling that Microsoft is somehow a victim. Stay tuned.

THERE'S A NEW version of Sun StarOffice available today, a preview release of version 5.2. If you're interested in anything, everything that doesn't come from Microsoft, head on over to the Sun Web site for a look at the new competition

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