By Carl HoweAPC magazine reports that Windows Vista won't support the Extended Firmware Interface (EFI) used in Apple's MacBook Pros. One might assume that this is simply Microsoft doing triage to get Vista out of its five year development and testing cycle.
But one might also argue that it is a fit of pique to try to ensure that Apple doesn't get too firm a foothold in selling MacBooks that can run both Mac OS X and Windows. It also removes most incentives for PC makers to change to EFI on 32-bit machines, leaving ordinary PCs with the 20-year-old, creaky BIOS to boot their machines.
This is going to play out exactly like USB, WiFi wireless Internet, and Bluetooth. Microsoft will duck it, Apple will drive it into the market, the feature will become a differentiating standard for Apple, and Microsoft will have to issue new patch releases in the future to catch up, all the while claiming it invented it. But worse for consumers, Microsoft will spend more and more of its development energy doing maintenance on 20-year-old features, and less on doing innovation.
And worst of all, Microsoft marketers are going to have to dig deep to find consumer benefits in Windows Vista to sell. For at the moment, after five years of development, Windows is looking more and more like "Windows Catch-Up 2006."