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Spotlight: readers on Apple and Microsoft

Apple's switch to Intel chips provokes a range of reactions from readers. Others weigh in on Ballmer and browsers.

June is supposed to be a slow month for news, but things definitely heated up this week when Apple Computer confirmed that it would switch to Intel processors, while Microsoft unveiled a slew of initiatives at its annual TechEd conference.

The Apple-Intel deal brought the most reactions from readers, but other issues also prompted spirited responses. Here's a sampling of more interesting opinions for the week. (Note: Readers' names could be pseudonyms.)

• "Your loyal customers are worried right now. Can you keep the same high standards for design, stability, security and ease of use?
Is this going to hurt the developers? What about the price?" -- Andrew Harden

• "No really, this is not good. Undoubted long-term, core strategic error. God, he could at least have gone with the Opteron... Demmit, Jobs, what were you thinking of?" -- Andy Asdasda

• "I'm a bit relieved that this news came before I could buy a PowerBook." -- Onizuka

• "Just because Apple switched to Intel doesn't mean that our choices are relegated to AMD and Intel. Amiga is almost complete in its transition to PowerPC." -- Dennis Catt

• "Well, it looks like this will be my last Apple computer. I have been buying Apple Macintosh Computers since the Mac Plus came out, but I won't buy a computer with an Intel processor ever." -- Roy Clarke

• "It's just a processor. Intel wasn't the one who lost the antitrust lawsuit. That was Microsoft, not Intel. What's your beef with Intel?" --Miket

A few readers also theorized that Apple could become a customer for the long-suffering Itanium processor.

• "Itanium is a far superior CPU architecture and Apple's OS X running on Itanium makes much more sense and Apple gets the added benefit of kicking sand in IBM's face. I would buy an Itanium workstation running OS X." -- Charles Nelson

Click here to read more responses about Apple's Intel maneuver.

Banter about Ballmer
Readers also responded to an interview with Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, who sounded off on a perceived pickup on IT spending, why students should choose IT careers, and competing with Red Hat. Readers said:

• "The IT world is getting worse and worse due to the total ignorance of IT management and their lack of common sense and reality. Just like all the BS Ballmer was putting out. Hell, these people can't stop a Blue Screen on their own operating system." -- CR Black, Orlando, Fla.

• "I predict that Longhorn, when it is released, will be the end-all, be-all of computer operating systems. Longhorn will deliver dynamic convergence and optimize cutting-edge networks while incubating next-generation action-items...In case you are totally clueless, I am being sarcastic." -- Anonymous

• "Look, Ballmer is just doing his job, his responsibility is to the stockholders and the company, love him or despise him or laugh at him, you have to admit, he does his company good... Eventually, it will learn how to play nice with everyone else. Then everyone will go on continuing to be annoyed at Michael Robertson." -- Kevin Kunreuther

Click here to read more responses to the Ballmer interview.

In other Microsoft news, one reader actually complimented Microsoft for acting to shore up :

•  "(H)ats-off to MS for being vulnerable enough to let the truth be known. At least when we know the truth we have the opportunity to address the issue--no matter how ugly." -- Dennis Smith

Keeping tabs on IE
Some changes that Microsoft made to Internet Explorer--specifically, the addition of tabbed browsing--also fired up the Firefox faithful, as well as those genuinely interested in seeing Redmond improve its ubiquitous browser.

• "I recently installed the toolbar.
1. It doesn't let me choose if I want to install the indexing service (I already have google desktop running)
2. The tab feature seems unstable. Each time you open a new tab my screen goes blank for a second, and the taskbar menu reference suddenly changes (apparently the folks at MS are still opening up new IE windows when you create a tab, they're just hiding them now)
I opted to uninstall. I'll continue to use Firefox for the time being." -- Amhed Herrera

• "I've just tried the MSN Searchbar for the tabs in IE and was dissapointed. There are no options to setup how and when new tabs are opened. It is nowhere near as good as Firefox's tab interface. Nice try MSN but it still needs work." -- David Langdon

• "No where near as nice as the tabs in Firefox. If you right click a link, it don't even offer you the option of opening it in a new tab, only a new window. I don't even think this is even truely 'Tabbed browing'. When you switch between tabs, the window and startbar flashes and then changes. I think all it does is opens them in new windows, but hides them and the tabs are nothing but links to the new windows. So what's the point in that?" -- Gregory Miller

Click here to read more responses to Microsoft's browser work.

Patent pros and cons
Patents also took heat, though not from everyone:

• "The patent system is screwed up just like everything else ours any one else's government sticks their fingers in to. The greed and stupidity runs too deep for anything done by such governments to be anything other than screwed up." --Robert Barnett, following an $8.9 million patent verdict against Microsoft

• "Patents are the brakes of innovation. And the lawyers are in the driver's seat." --Gerald Ter Beke, regarding a Congressional patent reform proposal

• "Seeing the right-wing, corporate lapdog who wrote the bill and the cast of characters who are raving about it, I can bet that this bill will be an utter disaster for small inventors." --Mac fan Dave