Cybernaut 

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While this column tends to focus on one aspect or another of technology each week, a lot of neat little snippets pass by. This is catch-up week…

Apple sells 100 million iPods — Apple passed the 100 million iPods sold mark in the past five years, although no word on how many are still in operation. By way of comparison, it took Sony 14 years to sell an equal number of Walkman devices. Apple now owns about 74 per cent of the worldwide digital music market, including half the market in tech savvy Japan. As the big dog, Apple now has the power to work with record labels to grow its catalog, and with EMI recently announced plans to sell music stripped of all Digital Rights Management encoding, allowing users to copy their music as many times as they want. Other labels, at Apple CEO Steve Jobs’s urging, are considering the same.

Apple iPhone? Not yet — Speaking of Apple, it may be a long time before the touch-screen iPhone is available in the Great White North. Some projections say the fourth quarter of 2007, while others believe it could be as late as the second quarter of 2008. Meanwhile, it should be available in the U.S. as soon as June. What gives? Rogers is signed as Canada’s supplier, and everything else seems to be in place. Is it a manufacturing issue? If so Apple isn’t saying anything.

Last word on Apple — Apple’s long awaited Leopard upgrade to the OSX line of operating systems has been delayed from late spring to the fall, with Apple citing the need to pull programmers from the Leopard department to work on the iPhone. Some critics were not as kind, suggesting that the delay is attributable to glitches, while Apple fans suggested it may have something to do with the addition of some new, top-secret features.

Vista taking the long view — While Apple Leopard will be delayed four months, Microsoft’s Vista operating system was delayed four years as the company decided to revamp the software rather than just develop an upgrade. By all accounts it was worth it, although there have been some complaints about price. Recently Microsoft announced that 20 million versions of Vista have been sold, but were criticized widely when it was discovered that they were counting licenses sold to computer companies for computers that have not yet been sold to consumers, and the free Vista upgrades offered to some recent XP purchasers.

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