It seems pretty clear from the coverage of the World Wide Developer Conference that Apple is suffering from "Vista envy"? Why? Because Apple couldn't stop making comparisons between OS X 10.4 (Tiger) and Windows Vista.
It's hard to make a name for your product without having something else to push against, but Apple took this to new heights. Let's take a look at some of the banner taglines:
"Hasta la vista, Vista."
"Redmond has a cat, too. A copycat."
"Introducing Vista 2.0"
Bit of fun or taking things too far? The main selling point of OS X is that it's not made by MicrosoftI don't know, to me it comes across as unprofessional. I've never seen anyone at a Microsoft conference bash an Apple product, ever. But my guess is that how companies are judged depends a lot on their market share, and when Apple has an install base of some 14 million systems compared to Windows which is installed on about 700 million, people will cut them some slack. If Microsoft were to do a similar thing, I'd be slamming them hard for it too.
Another point that's worth making is that the next version of Windows will be called "Windows Vista", not "Vista", which is a trademark that doesn't belong to Microsoft. I wonder if they see this as a joke (given that they considered legal action against Microsoft when they trademarked "Windows Vista", maybe they won't). In their desperation to lash out, it seems that no one was bothering to check facts (unless Apple felt on safer legal ground choosing not to attack "Windows Vista" outright).
There were also a lot of factually incorrect statements made at the conference. For example, the claim that Microsoft copied Apple's desktop search technology is a real long shot. After all, Microsoft demonstrated desktop search technology back in 2003, and on top of that Google had a working product out well before Apple did. Bertrand Serlot also displayed the wrong Windows logo at the conference and added this factually incorrect commentary:
"This is their logo. You may think I took a Windows logo and added a nice Aqua bubble on top, but no, that's the logo, but underneath it's still Windows"
Nope. That's not the Windows logo. It looks nothing like it.
And if copying features is so bad, what about Apple's latest inclusion Time Machine. This feature is almost identical to Previous Versions, a feature that shipped with Windows 2003 Server?
I'm drawing my own conclusions from the conference, which is that the main selling point of OS X is that it's not made by Microsoft. Apple is in an uncomfortable position of being squeezed by Microsoft on one side and Linux on the other. Their attack on Windows Vista shows that they are worried they are going to be squeezed even harder during the coming year.