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Vista and iPhone: high-fives, hype and hot air

Desirable it may well be, but as a 'revolution' the iPhone is more poster campaign than Bastille

This article appears as part of the April 07 issue of PC Advisor, available now in all good newsagents

The year may be young, but already, dear reader, much has happened since last we met. Barely had 2007 peeled back its bleary eyes than those two titans of technology, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, donned their party finest (jeans and jumper/sober suit; specs) and set alight the world, presenting 'revolutionary' products before our very eyes. First up was Stevie J, whipping up a storm at Macworld, dodging high-fives to give to one and all the iPhone.

This was momentous – how else could you explain the whooping and hollering from the floor? How else, indeed, could you explain the way the word 'iPhone' was instantly plastered all over every media outlet in the galaxy?

After spending a little time supine in a darkened room, I find it possible to pick gaping holes in Apple's case. The iPhone is nowhere near release, and it remains to be seen how many punters are willing to shell out a fortune for a single-carrier phone with neither 3G nor smartphone capabilities. Desirable it may well be, but as a 'revolution' it's more poster campaign than Bastille.

And what are we to make of Bill's big announcement? Windows Vista finally lurks among us, sprinkling 3D virtual glass effects left right and centre. At its launch Mr Gates said it would be as revolutionary 'as Windows 95'. (Now that OS was a hefty leap forward. But it was also a royal pain in the ass.)

Vista is beautiful, more secure and it sports a satisfyingly steep price tag. But where 95 changed personal computing forever, the newbie's 'revolutionary multimedia capability' is a mere collection of current technologies.

Two 'major' announcements, a couple of 'revolutionary' products from the big two of 20th century computing… and a lot of hot air. I'm feeling distinctly whelmed. (As I suspect, are the, er, 21 people who queued up overnight to be the first to buy Vista in the UK.) Which might tell us something about the way computing is going in these crazy Web 2.0 times. Wonder what Google's up to?

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