off the Press - News & Commentary
05/04/05 by the Mercury News
touts Xbox and takes jabs at Apple
SEATTLE - An uncharacteristically relaxed, witty Microsoft
Chairman Bill Gates gave a wide-ranging talk Monday about the future
of technological innovation, while dropping hints about the company's
coming Xbox game system and taking mild shots at Apple Computer's rival
Gates offered his predictions of coming technology trends and addressed
a variety of other topics Monday in Seattle at the annual gathering
of the Society of American Business Editors and Writers.
During the prepared portion of his remarks, Gates said a number of
factors -- both highly visible and ``under the covers'' -- would spur
the next wave of technological innovation. He predicted that the widespread
use of extensible markup language, or XML, would allow for easier exchange
of documents on the Web and a greater level of interoperability between
The advent of 64-bit microprocessors -- which have greater
memory and twice the computational power of the previous generation
of chips -- will accelerate the use of video over the Internet, 3-D
games and computer performance that will feel ``limitless.''
Gates said these ``plumbing'' improvements will be accompanied by
advances that are more obvious to everyday consumers. He predicted
the advent this year of high-definition computer screens for computers,
which offer more vivid, color-rich images. And he foresaw a greater
range of portable devices, like Microsoft's slow-selling tablet PC,
that allow data to travel seamlessly from computer desktop to device.
All these technical advances will lead to increasing realism in the
coming generation of console games, such as the new Xbox 360 to be
unveiled later this month at the Electronic Entertainment Expo video
game trade show in Los Angeles.
Gates predicted telecommunications would continue to evolve -- with
instant messaging services supporting video conferencing (ala Apple's
iChat) or cellular phones that indicate what technologists refer to
as ``presence.'' That means callers will know, in advance, whether
you're available to talk.
In response to
questions, Gates couldn't resist the temptation to respond to Apple
Computer Chief Executive Steve Jobs' persistent jabs at Microsoft's
Windows operating system with its launch of the latest version of
Apple's OS X upgrade, dubbed ``Tiger.''
``We saw a lot of
excitement about the Apple OS,'' said Gates. ``They're the super small-market
guy. They get all these statements about them.
I thought this
was great. Here it is the general press writing about operating systems.''
Gates said that Microsoft's successor to the Windows XP operating system, code-named
``Longhorn,'' will have similar state-of-the-art advances also found in Apple's
OS X Tiger update, such as desktop search and support for high-definition video
``You can always tell whether you're on a Mac or on a PC,'' said Gates, his voice
taking a mischievous tone. ``Just stick your applications in there and see whether
obvioulsy referring to the many reports of bugs in recently released
OS X 10.4 "Tiger" as reported on sites like macfixit.com where problems
like this were flodding in. -
OS X 10.4 (Tiger) #8: Wake-from-sleep issues, solutions; More on Spotlight
limitations; Mail.app 2.0 solutions; more:"
"Wake-from-sleep issues continued We continue to receive reports from
readers whose Mac OS X 10.4-upgraded systems will not wake properly from
sleep, either refusing to wake completely or freezing upon wake-up."
for device removal As noted yesterday, errant devices (or devices, one
way or another, in conflict with a Mac OS X 10.4 installation)
can cause problems with waking from sleep."
"Spotlight: Invisible files functionality lacking, alternatives As noted yesterday,
Spotlight, in its current form, refuses to find invisible files. Although
the user can set a criterion to search for both visible and invisible
files, or invisible files only (through the Finder-based method of
accessing Spotlight), no files are found.
While we haven't yet found a solution to this issue, you can still view
invisible files with the aid of an file browser like Kilometre or Invisible
"Mail.app 2.0 We continue to cover a number of issues with Mail.app 2.0,
included with Mac OS X 10.4, including sluggish performance, problems
importing old mail, and issues with IMAP servers."
coyly predicted that Microsoft's new Xbox 360 video game console, code-named
Xenon, would put greater pressure on Sony Computer Entertainment,
maker of the
market-leading PlayStationt 2. He said the first-generation Xbox was intended
simply to gain credibility and the right to ``play again'' in the battle
for over living room entertainment. Indeed, it replaced venerable
Nintendo to claim the No. 2 spot in the video game market.