So, a friend (who will remain nameless, to protect the oh-so-innocent) called over earlier this weekend to show off his newly-installed copy of Windows Vista, which of course is due for release in … well, quite a while ago, actually. The new official dates are November 2005 for some editions and January 2006 for others. Anyway, various versions have been circulating, and this was a reasonably recent limited release.

So, he fired it up and showed off some features. Like switching between applications at the touch of a key, with an ability to see all the applications in minature versions. And a full, powerful, speedy search of the hard disk. And floating little applications. And an application for sorting and managing photos. And…

Of course, the Mac users out among you will be wondering why this sounds so familiar. It turns out that virtually every feature of note is something that’s already implemented on OS X. Now this isn’t a case where Apple are going to go off and sue Microsoft, as they unsuccessfully did in the 80s over the concept of using ‘windows’ etc – some of the features are already available in third-party apps anyway – but there is a certain amusement in seeing features that are taken for granted on one platform being part of the Great Leap Forward on another.

Anyway, I return to my computer and network connection after a short absence, and find this useful heads up from John Naughten‘s blog. By odd coincidence, I was browsing some of his past Observer columns on a current topic of side interest, Chinese web censorship (one of his useful and very prescient articles is at the end of the preceding link; do click on it). And so, I came across his link to this video spoof. Basically, it’s the audio from a Microsoft presentation on Vista, with all the various ‘upcoming features’ acted out on an existing Mac system. It’s long, but still a useful illustration.