Macintosh users won't be crying

Microsoft has released a beta of World Wide Telescope, the application that made Scoble cry. They claim to support the Mac, but if you look at the system requirements, to run it on a Mac, you need an Intel Mac with Windows XP or Vista installed in Boot Camp.

WWT System Requirements
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Unfortunately it doesn’t seem to work with VMware. Here’s the result of attempting to run it in VMware 2.0 beta with DirectX 9.0 accelleration enabled.

WorldWide Telescope 2014 WindowsXP
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It looks like Microsoft’s idea of Mac support now is simply telling people to install the Windows version and run it in Parallels or Boot Camp. Instead of making a real Mac version of Expression Pro, Microsoft has licensed Parallels Desktop to sell with their Windows product as a Mac version. I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if they do that with the next version of Office, despite the talk of bringing back VBA.

In fact I haven’t installed Office 2008 for the Mac, since the combination of iWork and Office 2003 running under VMware is better. Instead of something sort-of compatible with Windows Office files, I have 100% compatibility plus a nice Mac application when I don’t need full compatibility.

Steve Ballmer gives Jerry Yang a Bear Hug

Steve Ballmer lays it on thick in a letter sent to Jerry Yang of Yahoo before going public with the offer:

“Together we can unleash new levels of innovation, delivering enhanced user experiences, breakthroughs in search, and new advertising platform capabilities. We hope that you and your board share our enthusiasm.â€?

This was no love letter. Mr. Ballmer was following a storied tradition on Wall Street: the bear hug letter. Before mounting a hostile bid and going in for the kill, suitors send a bear hug — named for a popular wrestling maneuver — to their targets.

One part Emily Post and two parts Machiavelli, these oh-so-cordial notes are sent by unwanted suitors in an attempt to broker a peaceful deal. But they always carry an implicit threat: Rebuff this advance and you’re in for a fight.

Of course, less than 24 hours after sending the letter to Yahoo, Microsoft made it public, just in case there was any confusion that it was a private correspondence among old friends. (At least Mr. Ballmer was kind enough to give Mr. Yang a courtesy call before going public with his $44.6 billion bid.)

Some bear hug letters are kept from public view and are sent in confidence, in hopes of bringing a company to the negotiating table. Those are known as teddy bear hugs. But others, like Mr. Ballmer’s, are written for public consumption. Those are known — less politely — as grizzly bear hugs.

Please get the nauseating image of the big sweaty ape of a man giving Jerry Yang an actual bear hug out of my head!

Nothing lasts forever

I’m sure everyone has heard about Microsoft offering to buy Yahoo.

Yahoo owns two sites I use regularly, Flickr and It isn’t clear how they’d be affected if Microsoft does buy Yahoo.

When we trust our data to a site like Flickr, we trust that it will always be there. I’m not predicting that they’ll disappear, but if they do, our data will also be gone.

As an alternative to Flickr, I may switch to either Zooomr or Picassa. I’ve had Picassa for a while, but I never really used it until I got my Eye-Fi card and set it up as the default upload site.

For, the alternative seems to be be ma.gnolia, which I signed up for a long time ago but pretty much forgot about.