CUPERTINO, CA: It's not usually a good thing when the giant player in your industry decides to release a product incredibly similar to your own.
However, Arlo Rose and Perry Clarke, creators of a third-party software program for Apple computers called Konfabulator, reaped unexpected publicity benefits when Apple said it would include a similar product in its forthcoming operating system.
Konfabulator allows Mac OS X users to run little programs, called "Widgets," such as alarm clocks and calculators. Apple's new OS, Tiger, will have a similar program called Dashboard.
"As you can tell from our home page, we are definitely trying to make lemonade out of lemons," Clark said in an e-mail interview.
Visitors to Konfabulator's website find the message "Cupertino, start your photocopiers. Why wait 'till 'first half of 2005' when you can get the original Dashboard now?" The message is a play on an Apple slogan that mocked Microsoft.
Konfabulator has subsequently been featured in publications such as The Inquirer (UK), The Philadelphia Inquirer, Wired News, and MacWorld.
"The more we think about it the more we realize that we could not have possibly bought the publicity we've gotten," Clark said. "The whole David vs. Goliath thing has been great (since we are "David)."
Apple could not be reached for comment. "The goal isn't to be like anything else," Apple SVP Phil Schiller told CNet. "It's not his stuff. What we've done is ours."