So in the midst of Apple's iminent release of Tiger Microsoft is trying to trumpet Longhorn a bit. Good Lord, I'm glad I got off that train. I have to wonder what is wrong with Microsoft. Take a look at this screenshot of the Start Menu. Nice Control Panel icon guys. I think I remember that from somewhere . . . what was it, Windows 95? It's not even the '98 hicolor icon. I just have to wonder who thought it would be a good PR move to release a screenshot with Window 95 icons on the Longhorn desktop. Equally confusing is this bastardized Start Menu. The web browser was the killer app of the 90's, I admit. But does everything need back/forward buttons? Now, it is obvious that Jobs is right about Microsoft shamelessly copying everything Apple does. As you can see, the My Documents window seems vaguely reminiscent of the brushed metal look popularized in Panther, and they are certainly trying to spiff up the system with good looking icons, but wait . . . what is that hideous looking abomination in the lower left corner? It appears to be some sort of miniaturized icon blown up in size. Aqua is PDF vector based, that's why the icons look beautiful whether they are rendered at 16x16 pixels or 128x128 pixels. Luna, or Avalon, or whatever the hell they call their uglified UI these days is still just a bitmapped image. Here's a nickels worth of free advice guys, bitmaps don't scale well. And here's another one, that CD sticking out of the My Music folder looks an awful lot like iTunes. You might want to change that before anybody else notices.

Oh, and one more thing. I want my nickels back.