For most of the aughts, the various Linux desktop projects tried to catch up to Windows by copying features wholesale, while Mac OS X innovated like crazy and blew past both by building an amazing desktop experience.
The omission of Chrome & Safari from Paul Rouget‘s pro-Firefox Is IE9 a modern browser? reminds me of that misguided attempt. I hope Firefox doesn’t make the same mistake as desktop Linux; it would be a shame if they focused all their energy trying to catch Explorer, while missing the rapiduser-interface innovation going on elsewhere.
Update: Here’s an example of a great idea from 2007, from Alex Faaborg, out of the user experience team at Mozilla, that didn’t make it into Firefox 3.
I think the reason is even simpler: Windows computers are far more likely than Macs to belong to people who just don’t want or need computers, and to sit largely disused in a corner. (And pretty much everyone running Linux is a power user to begin with.)
You’ve probably already read the news about Microsoft’s broken anti-piracy system breaking down completely over the last weekend. This caused an unknown, but presumably large, number of legitimate copies of Windows to be marked as pirated.
This video, however, shows an Ubuntu Linux computer running Wine, a Windows emulator, and IE 6 from ies4linux, running the same anti-piracy validation software. And the punchline? The validation succeeded; Microsoft’s program marked the computer as legitimate.
Of course, everything happening in this video is legitimate; Wine is a totally legal reverse-engineering of the Windows system libraries, and ies4linux works by downloading all the necessary, freely available parts of IE 6 from Microsoft and installing them. All legal, assuming you own a copy of Windows. But wouldn’t you expect that the anti-piracy tool from one of the biggest software companies in the world would notice that it was being run on what is effectively a different operating system?