Microsoft denies that iPod users are turning towards the Mac platform in what Apple is calling the halo effect, but the software giant's hardware partners are getting jumpy.

Regarding the halo effect, head of Windows client at Microsoft UK Cynthia Crossley told "We haven't seen it yet," adding: "We're not happy about losing any market share. We worry less about 'losing share' and more about what else we can get into... we want to do it all."

But Microsoft's hardware partners seem more concerned about possible market share losses; especially as Apple is likely to launch its next version of the Mac operating system very soon. Crossley told that the company's hardware partners are "cracking the whip" and demanding the OS be ready for the consumer spending that accompanies the September start of term and Christmas.

Tiger burning bright

Mac OS X Tiger is due to launch around a year before the next iteration of Microsoft's operating system, the long awaited Longhorn, which isn't due until the first half of 2006.

Apple has already insinuated that there will be similarities between the two operating systems. Even boasting that Microsoft should "start it's photocopiers" back when the initial plans for Tiger were revealed.


Crossley admitted that there would likely be technological crossovers but denied they would be deliberate, according to the Silicon report. She said: "We do a load of research into what people want and funnily enough so does Apple - it's not hard to work it out... Will I be surprised if there are similarities? No."

She also defended a recent delay to the development process – when Longhorn developers were taken of the project to work on XP SP2 – telling "It's the internal culture – anything to do with security, we get it out the door as soon as possible. The more pain the customer feels, the worse it is for us."