It’s been anticipated since Apple first announced Safari, but it’s still a minor shock to see it actually happen. Daring Fireball reports that Internet Explorer is no longer included with Mac OS X Tiger.

You can still download it from Microsoft, but given that they dissolved the development team a few years ago, there’s not much point except for site testing.

(The one I can’t figure out is why they’ve apparently left out StuffIt Expander as well.)

Mac OS X Tiger will be released on April 29. Not suprisingly, you have to hunt around a bit to find the version number. Only once on the main page does it mention it’s really Mac OS X 10.4. Yep, those numbers are going to get harder and harder to see, folks. But what happens when they run out of cats?

Interesting cost comparison: the 5-system “Family Pack,” which can be used for both upgrades and fresh installs, costs $199. That’s only $70 more than a one-system package. It’s also the same as a one-system full install of Windows XP Home or two copies of the Windows XP Home Upgrade. And while Microsoft does offer additional licenses, the only pricing references I can find are three years old and only a $10 discount per extra system.

Of course, you also have to take into account Apple’s faster release cycle (IIRC this is the third version of Mac OS released since Windows XP shipped), though that’s slowing down.

Holy crap, ThinkSecret was right about pretty much everything. Apple has just announced a $499 miniature Macintosh. Daring Fireball had suggested the price might be unrealistic, given what happened with the iPod Mini announcement last year (ThinkSecret predicted $100, it turned out to be $250, and the audience was underwhelmed because their expectations were set too high… or low, depending on your point of view.)

The Mac MiniCheck out the photos. I’ve been looking from time to time at what’s available in the small form factor market, but for the most part PCs are still clunkers compared to the G4 Cube (remember that?), and the Mini makes the Cube look gigantic. The specs for the Mac Mini look virtually identical to this generation’s PowerBooks.

I keep having to remind myself I’m specifically looking for a new PC—we’ve got a PowerBook and a G4 tower, and the machine that needs to be replaced is a (non-upgradable) Celeron that dual-boots Fedora Core and Windows Me. Otherwise I’d be seriously tempted.

The iPod Shuffle, on the other hand, is just silly. I think its main effect will be to remind people why they went with the regular iPods in the first place.