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Tuesday, April 11, 2006, 06:45 am PT (09:45 am ET)

Briefly: Vista on Macs; iTunes in-flight; MS iLife?

At least one Mac User has succeeded in installing Microsoft's Vista operating system on an Intel Mac, while other reports tout the possibility of iTunes access on airliners and a push by Microsoft to offer an alternative to Apple's iLife digital lifestyle suite.

Vista running on Intel Macs

A seasoned Mac user has managed to install and boot a pre-release copy of Microsoft's next-generation Windows Vista operating system on an Intel Mac, though the process was not trivial.

According to a report on the OSx86 Project website, installing Vista has proved to be a challenge even with Apple's recent release of Boot Camp. Although several users have been able to get the installer to work, this users is believed to be one of the first to get Vista up and running.

The user has taken screenshots of Vista finally running on his Intel iMac, but says he was forced to delete the Mac OS X partition of his hard drive in order to get the OS to launch.

iTunes on airline seat-backs?

This one is interesting. Aircraft in-flight entertainment (IFE) system providers are reported to have held talks with Apple on the possibility of licensing its iTunes media download software for airlines' own systems.

As part of the overall initiative, passengers would be able to use frequent-flyer miles to download music and videos on to iPod MP3 players in-flight, according to a report on Flight Global.

"We’ve had lots of discussions with Apple,” said Thales vice-president and in-flight systems general manager Brad Foreman last week at Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg. "The key is to get them to see the value of hosting iTunes on an aircraft. Is it a big enough market for them to be interested in? I’d try to do it tomorrow if they said yes."

Apple is reportedly aware of the potential in-flight market, but in order to license an onboard system offering would need to re-engineer the its iTunes FairPlay digital rights management (DRM) software to allow songs downloaded mid-flight to be transferred back on the user's hard disk when they arrive back home.

Meanwhile, the report also notes that "several airlines" have requested iPod docks (or USB ports) be built into the seat-backs future aircrafts, which would allowing passengers to browse iTunes through the airline's IFE system before transferring music directly to the MP3 player.

Microsoft developing its own iLife suite?

Microsoft is said to be developing a competing product to Apple's GarageBand, code-named "Monaco". According to Microsoft Watch, the software is "very similar" to Apple's entry-level music creation application, and will be optimised for Vista and its OS X-like "Aero" user interface.

In fact, the Redmond, Wash.-based software giant may plan a full onslaught against Apple's iLife with a digital lifestyle package of its own, the report hints. This news is bolstered by rumors that the company is also developing its own image-sharing application under the code-named "Max".