The PC is now the Personal Conduit

Those who say that desktop operating systems are irrelevant because the Internet is the center of the computing universe are too reductive (Using Ubuntu much, Mike?). Microsoft’s bid for Yahoo is, for the foreseeable future, more of a tactical move within the fast-growing and high-stakes online advertising battle vs. Google rather than some panacea.

That said, the other day I noticed that, of the 20 applications in my Start menu, I use 14 to interact with content over a local network or the Internet. The 14 are Internet Explorer and Outlook, Firefox, TiVo Desktop, Trillian, SlingPlayer, iTunes (where I regularly browse the store), Windows Live Writer, Slacker, Twhirl, XDrive Desktop, and VPN, wireless broadband and Wi-Fi utilities, Almost all of them are either available for the Mac or have quality Mac equivalents.

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