back to article Pay Jobs due respect - by crushing the empire he created

In all the eulogies dedicated to the remarkable Steve Jobs, people seem to be overlooking his legacy: the push to "think different". Rather than buying into his declaration that we should not "waste [our lives] living someone else's life" – namely, his – we see far too many products that seek to ape Apple, not beat it. In his …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    Matt Assay is Mac user?

    "was formerly chief operating officer of Ubuntu commercial operation Canonical."

    Not quite sure what to make of that.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      the key word

      is "formerly"

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: the key word

        The key word is "reading" the article:

        "being a longtime Mac user"

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Mac user

          not OSX user, necessarily?

          No doubt their hardware makes a sharp looking Ubuntu box.

        2. mccp

          Who made up the rule about only using one OS or computer manufacturer your whole life?

          Surely the whole point of the article is that you should avoid believing anyone's dogma and instead use your own brains to be flexible.

          1. Paul RND*1000

            "Who made up the rule about only using one OS or computer manufacturer your whole life?"

            The same idiots who would rather argue endlessly online that "my <insert consumer electronics brand> is better than your <insert other brand>" rather than going out and proving their point by using the damn things to get shit done.

            Too blinded by dogma to see that one size does *not* fit all (what a boring world *that* would be).

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            "... avoid believing anyone's dogma and instead use your own brains to be flexible."

            Precisely! The problem is...if one is an Apple Lemming...this is not possible.

            Example? The company that makes the sweaters that Boy Wonder wore had its business DOUBLE after his demise. How utterly pathetic.


        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Ever heard of Bootcamp?

          I know a few people who primarily use OSs other than OSX on their Mac hardware.

          One friend of mine swears up and down that his MacBook running graphics programs in Windows runs them better/faster/more-responsive than a much beefier workstation that he had put together. Could be a placebo effect... who knows - but if what you need to run doesn't run on OSX you don't have to throw out your nifty Mac hardware.

    2. hillsy

      Canonical use systems other than Ubuntu

      Their design people, for example, have been fairly open about it in the past. Some other areas less so, such as the brochure I got sent that extolled the maturity of Linux on the desktop but was made in InDesign ;-b Maybe it was their design team who did it.

      More on topic, this is the first Matt Asay article in some time that didn't make me want to pull my hair out. Kudos.

      1. rciafardone
        Thumb Up

        Exactly. Canonical embraces open in its true sense. Dogmatically enforcing a style (even your own) is not "open".

    3. alwarming

      So Ubuntu is a religion now ? (And apparently an intolerant, mutually exclusive one).

      Waiting for some fanatical downvotes.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        In reply to all the above comments

        You seem to think or imply that Matt Assay uses Ubuntu on Mac hardware. The article said:

        "I'm not a fan of Windows as a technology, being a longtime Mac user"

        The clear implication there is that he's talking about Microsoft vs Apple operating systems. He's not comparing hardware. This should be obvious enough for anyone that has mastered basic English.

        Let the fanboism and downvoting continue. I am indeed the Spawn of Satan (language comprehension department).

        1. alwarming

          Re: In reply to all the above comments

          You missed a few.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            I agree

            I agree with all the comments below.

        2. Yaro

          You know, Apple fans tend to compare OS X and Windows as if they were the actual hardware people use. The "Mac" vs. "PC" ads have always been OS X vs. Windows Vista/7 and barely ever even touched on the actual Mac hardware vs. PC hardware, largely because by the time Apple launched those stupid ads Macs and PCs had virtually identical hardware.

        3. JEDIDIAH

          More nonsense from this guy...

          I find the notion that Windows has had some sort of positive impact on the industry highly laughable. It sounds like the rantings of some Lemming that was always blindly followed the rest of the MS-DOS using pack and largely ignored every other vendor that was using GUIs in the 80s.

          When it come to GUIs and Microsoft, I think of them as last to the party. They are sandbaggers. Windows represents the monopoly power of Microsoft and their unwillingess to adopt new technologies and their apparent immunity from market pressures.

          For a long time it was effectively MacOS vs MS-DOS.

          Then once Windows came in force it was a mis-begotten DOS shell.

          If anything, I would call NeXT a better example of what happens when you allow inventors to copy from each other and build off of each other's work. So are various attempts to clone all or parts of OpenStep.

          So was GEM even. Ironically that was mired in litigation from Apple (things really don't change do they).

          1. rciafardone

            "Do the evolution Baby"

            I am a Ubuntu user. I tried other linux distros but after a couple of days i was installing WIndowse back, because well... i was young and i wanted to play games, dual buttting was anoying. I wanted a system to do all. Nowadays games are way below my scale, and ubuntu has all the tools i need for my daily work so...

            Anyway Windows and MS impact cant be denied, is a simple system that made computers easy for most people at a good price. Does it act as a predator devouring anything that puts itself in its way? Yes. But as any biologist will tell you predators are good for the prey (as a species of course, not the sucker who got served as dinner).

            The sick, the old, the stupid and the "unfit" feed the beast and push evolution forward Mac barely survived until it brake away and created (literally) their own ecosystem. Linux is stronger than ever, fragmentation is not bad, is good, is the fucking core element of open systems. People don't use it more ether because they don't know it or don't need it (because the apps they use are not in Linux). I use Ubuntu cause i like it, and it works for me, other use Debian, Mint, freaking ratPoison, cause it is what is works for them.

            If tomorrow Ubuntu fails to deliver (as 11.04 is hinting at, I am still on 10.10 thank you very much). I will go back to Windows or try other distro, Mac is out of the question, it simply not my stile... for now.

        4. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Mahatma

          I was the one who mentioned bootcamp.

          I have no idea what OS Matt ran (runs?) on his Mac hardware and didn't intend to imply (perhaps unsuccessfully) that he definitely did run Ubuntu on it - all I was trying to get at was that I have seen people exhibit that type of behavior before running, at least, Windows as the primary OS on their Mac hardware.

          I do think it would be somewhat odd for someone who works for Dell, for example, to be carting around an HP laptop just the same as I would think it is odd for someone who works for Ubuntu to do his work on Windows or OSX - that's all.


          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Re: Mahatma

            "I do think it would be somewhat odd for someone who works for Dell, for example, to be carting around an HP laptop just the same as I would think it is odd for someone who works for Ubuntu to do his work on Windows or OSX - that's all."

            Upon reflection it's not that odd. Back in the early 80s I recall talking to a senior Rank Xerox exec who told me he had a tiny Canon personal photocopier in his office to remind him of how good the competition is. Having said that, he did only have one. Mr Assay has six Macs so my original post stating my puzzlement still stands :-)

      2. Yaro

        I dunno. I have seen how a lot of "hardcore" Ubuntu users behave, and yes, a lot of Ubuntu users seem to think that not only are they the only Linux in town, but that *all* open source and Linux development seems to center around "improving" Ubuntu. This is one of many reasons why a lot of straight up Debian users despise Ubuntu, since arguably the Debian developers do most of the work actually doing the compatibility work and most of what Ubuntu does is rebranding and picking and configuring very specific packages "good" for the desktop.

        Though I'm saying this as a somewhat bitter current Gentoo and former Arch user.

        1. A J Stiles

          Ubuntu is good for one thing

          This here Debian user (also tried Mandriva, Slackware and Gentoo, but keep coming back to Debian) thinks Ubuntu is good for something:

          If something has been made to work with Ubuntu, chances are it will work fine on Debian.

          Also, people are more likely to have heard of Ubuntu. So I can ask "Will this new, shiny widget work with Ubuntu?" and sometimes even get an answer.

          On the downside, the Ubuntu folks don't seem so concerned with Keeping It Free.

        2. alwarming

          You heard it here first.

          Ubuntu is iOS of the Linux Distros.

    4. Archimedes_Circle

      Must have been an interesting night.

      scene: Mark Shuttleworth comes to the office late one night. Knocks on Assay's door and enters.

      S: Mark! I've got some gre.........................MATT, WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING WITH ONE OF THOSE.

      A: Oh, ummm.

      S: You're not USING IT, are you?

      scene fades, while it takes Richard Stallman time to travel to Canonical to take part in The Shunning Ritual.

      On a side note: Has there been a single article written about Steve Jobs that did not directly quote, or at least reference, his Stanford speach?

  2. Marty

    far too many products that seek to ape Apple, not beat it.

    "far too many products that seek to ape Apple, not beat it."

    Thats a matter of opinion....

    I see many products that in my opinion out shine apple products... The problem is apple try to litigate it off the shelves....

    ..and that's the problem these days. Who the hell would want to move into a market where the company lawyers need a bigger budget than R&D and Sales departments combined !

    how is someone supposed to come up with a better smartphone design when the current companies have patents on everything from "facility to accept input from one or more fingers" to "method of transfer audio output of a mobile device to the auditory canal of the user, via contraction of the biceps muscle"... ffs, you cant even make a app store and charge for services from within an app these days.... why bother?

    beer please, I wanna drown my sorrows

  3. jake Silver badge

    Someone's confused.

    "but the personal computer industry (and later servers) is founded upon the strength of Windows"

    Uh ... no.

    Most of the computing power that runs the world never saw the inside of Redmond. Or Cupertino, for that matter.

    That toy on your desk? Or in your pocket/on your belt? Immaterial. Really.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "but the personal computer industry is founded upon the strength of Windows"

      Neither "most of the computing power that runs the world is founded upon the strength of Windows" nor "the strength of the current personal computer industry is because of the strength of windows".

      I believe you are the only one who is confused...

      1. jake Silver badge

        @AC 12:58; I'm not certain here ...

        Are you commenting on mine (where I was quoting the original author, thus the `"` marks), or the OA's? Someone's certainly confused ...

    2. John 104

      Joke Alert

      haha, thats a funny one.

      Have a look here:

      Based on front end, linux looks to have the majority. But that doesn't tell the whole story. Based on sales, its hands down a Windows Server world.

      We run both here at work. At the end of the day, I'd prefer Server 2008 over any of the distros we have running portions of our back end infrastructure. Easier to admin, and uptime is fantastic. It's not without problems, but neither is nix...

      1. Andy 68

        Seriously..?? "Based on sales"???

        Are you being deliberately obtuse? In two sentences you've managed to say exactly the opposite of what you're trying to say : that Linux is both more used and is significantly cheaper.

        (and no, I haven't even looked at your 'evidence')

        1. Stuart Castle

          How many large scale enterprise server deployment are based on software that is totally free? I'd suspect you'll find it's very few.

          The reason? Simple. When you download copies of Ubuntu, Debian etc, or any of the free OSes, you have no contract with the supplier. If you are deploying potentially hundreds of machines all with the same OS, and something goes wrong, you want something that will compel the supplier to fix it. A contract does that. Even if you don't have a specific contract, the fact you have paid for it brings you extra protection in law.

          So, yes, Sales can be a good indicator. Just not necessarily sales of the OS itself. For them to be a good indicator, you may need to take into account the number of support contracts bought.

          I am no fan of one particular OS over any other. They all have strengths, and weaknesses. I like (and use) Windows, OSX and Ubuntu Linux.

      2. jake Silver badge

        @John 104

        Oh-kay ...

        And how many of your toys run COBOL and/or Fortran code 24/7/365.25?

        Sales numbers of Windows Server don't equal "awesome", rather they equal "idiots in charge of purchasing decisions" ...

        Uptime of "fantastic"? What's that? A couple months? My personal email system has been up and running since Flag Day ...

        1. Marty

          not sure

          "Uptime of "fantastic"? What's that? A couple months? My personal email system has been up and running since Flag Day ..."

          I can beat that......

          My email server has been up so long that I forgot where I put it....

          I found it in a old wardrobe in at the back of the basement along with a FTP/samba server !!

          I believe it has an uptime of over 2 years.... although it is bitching about an out of date clamAV...

          1. jake Silver badge


            Flag Day, in this context, refers to the NCP to TCP/IP switchover date.

            That was January 1, 1983.

            My email system had already been running for a number of years, and probably would have survived the change, but I chose to reboot everything, just to come up from scratch.

            Note I said "system" ... it's multi-homed, multi-OS, multi-hardware, multi MTA, and etc. ... redundancy is fitted in everywhere I can fit it. It started as a Thesis platform when I was at Uni (three locations: at SAIL, under Bryant Street in Palo Alto, and at MAEWest), and now is spread out on six continents.

            Over-kill for a home system? Absolutely. But as a research platform, she's mostly tax deductible :-)

            1. rciafardone

              I call BS in your definition of UPTIME

              IF you are not talking about a single machine that has been up and running the same system sis 1983 then that date is irrelevant.


              1. jake Silver badge


                I clearly said "system uptime" ... Single point of failure is not an option in enterprise systems. At least not the systems designed by me.

                Hint: Quoting Wiki isn't valid at any accredited university that I'm aware of ...

                ::sighs:: Kids these days ... They think it all should fit in a pocket.

                1. Tom 13

                  Then by your own definition,

                  MS systems can attain the same uptime even if individual servers themselves need to be rebooted once a week to clear memory leakages. That they haven't is merely an accident.

                  Not that I think *nixes aren't better systems, just pointing out the idiocy of your argument.

                  1. jake Silver badge

                    @Tom 13

                    Show me a corporate Windows system that has been up since 1983.

                    Or even 2003.

      3. foo_bar_baz

        Based on sales

        Sales is the most ridiculous way to compare server OS usage. How many Debian, Ubuntu and CentOS server licenses are sold each year? Oh yeah, none. How does that fit in with their wide usage as evidenced in web server surveys etc.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward


          Most servers aren't supplied with an OS. MS can use sales to indicate installation, although this doesn't cover enterprise licence agreements, and Linux vendors can include support, but this doesn't include random servers which aren't required to be supported.

          1. Dr Insanity


            There seems to be a lot of discussion about servers which is missing the point of the original statement "but the personal computer industry (and later servers) is founded upon the strength of Windows and Microsoft's inclusive partner vision. "

            Yes servers came along later, but primarilty what Matt appears to be saying is that the PERSONAL computer industry is founded on windows, and truely, if it weren't for the partnership of MS-DOS and IBM in the early years, the PC wouldn't be the ubiquotous home electronic device it is today.

            From the server perspective, they might not necessarily be the most reliable, or market leaders, or anything... fact remains that MS Operating systems are a massive influence on the servers running today, whether it be that they are running Windows Server themselves, or that they contain features inspired by MS AD server arcitecture, or even if they meerly have to interface with other systems running MS... your web server can be running any OS it likes, it would be pretty useless if if didn't cater for MS Internet explorer alongside all the other browsers!

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        @John - You'll notice that the figures you quoted are for publicly visible servers, an area Linux does particularly well in, and MS particularly poorly. Then by OSes supplied with servers, as most servers I've ever purchased don't come with an OS, again this is a rather poor metric.

      5. JEDIDIAH

        Joke alert...

        Sales versus usage...

        You know how the saying from Disraeli goes.

        You can twist the numbers to suit any bias you want to present. Linux is big in server rooms but it isn't necessarily the most expensive option. Commercial Unix oddly enough might not seem to be the most expensive option. Either will tend to require fewer machines for a given task or be able to support more tasks with a single machine.

        The fact that you need to multiply your NT boxes is not necessarily something to brag about.

        Serious operating systems still dominate "real work".

        Linux is just the tip of the iceberg there.

  4. LPF

    Well it only applies to those countries in which those patents are valid....

    I'm no fan of software patents, but in an industry plauged with people who do jack all but wait for someone to come up with a good idea and then copy it, without ever doing any RnD I can see the need.

    The majority of sucessfully touch screen phones I see are ones that have decided to give up and trey to get as close to a copy of the iPhone without getting sued.

    In the case of samsung, you have the tocco models which look nothing like the iPhone and were also rans an then you have the Galaxy series , which are just blant ripoffs, you see the like Ebay all the time from small chinese Manufacturers!

    Of course you will have the apple haters come in and say one tinytiny difference proves they are not alike, when you look at the TV advert its only right at the end that they mention is a samsung, They are hoping to ride on iPhone marketing and everyone knows it!!

    1. RightPaddock

      If patent lawyers had been as abundant a century ago as they are now, then Ford could have sued Chrysler for making cars with four doors, a trunk/boot and a bonnet/hood.

    2. Derek Currie Bronze badge

      Samsung is soooo screwed!

      "They are hoping to ride on iPhone marketing and everyone knows it!!"

      Well, almost everybody: Sorry naysayers, but Samsung have very little innovation to offer in the also-ran market versus Apple. Samsung have been and will continue to lose the lawsuits with Apple. Their countersuits against Apple have proven to be merely childish. IMHO Samsung are incredibly screwed and they deserve it.

      1. JEDIDIAH

        Premature eulogies...

        Samsung is in no great danger from Apple.

        Unlike Apple, they are not some one trick pony.

        Samsung also has their own home market that they are very strong in.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    by the same token

    if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

    disruptive technologies and change agents work best when they change broken things for the better

    the last thing we all need is a load of clueless imbeciles with levels of self-esteem that far outweigh their intellect and capabilities, charging around, spuriously rejecting everything and proposing vacuous and ill-conceived solutions to non-problems.

    1. Ru

      You've got that already

      All you have to do is to wait a little while for them to plummet into financial oblivion. Truly awful products can't succeed; they'll always lose out to less awful alternatives.

      Note: the fact that you don't personally like something does not make it truly awful.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Every respectable (and most unrespectable) consumer reporting publications agreed the iPhone for was truly awful, but it succeeded just fine.

        Anon because of the fanbois.

    2. ian 22

      In the end we are all but followers

      Have you attempted to reinvent the wheel? No? Don't delay! Invent a better wheel and the world + dog will beat a path to your door. Otherwise you are simply standing on the shoulders of giants.

      My point being that there are some things that ARE perfect and cannot be improved upon. There are also definitions of creativity that do not define minor changes to existing solutions as creative. A tablet with a larger/smaller screen than the iPad is an example.

      1. sisk Silver badge

        @ian 22

        Wait, are you actually saying the iPad is perfect? You can't be that deluded, could you? There's no product in any sector of the IT market (or, really, any other market for that matter) that can realistically be called perfect.

        A better wheel? That's been done several times over the centuries. The most recent improvement involved inflatable vulcanized rubber. I'm sure that someone will eventually improve upon that.

        Here, hold this anchor. It'll keep you in the real world.

  6. Voland's right hand Silver badge

    Apple usually does not hit the button on first go

    It takes apple 2-3 iterations of a product devel cycle to get to a "coveted" form including a form factor. So in fact Apple does not nail anything on the head straight away.

    I can give plenty of examples starting with the iPod, Air, iPhone, etc and going as far back as the different MacPro lines.

    The difference between Apple and others however is that Apple _IMPROVES_ from release to release even when it is the undisputed market leader in that particular segment.

    This is what allows it to remain the leader once it has captured a particular segment.

    So in fact Apple has so far been very true to the Jobs' speach at Stanford.

    That is something the rest of the industry has repeatedly failed to learn. If something is good enough the development money for a next generation which will cannibalize the current generation market will not be given. This is once again across the industry starting from computers and ending with telecoms.

    If you have captured the market the BI "analytics" driving and MBA wielding crowd will tell you to preserve and will shoot you if you even think about deploying an improved product without having an obvious market challenge to respond to.

    Just look at what it took to make telcos stop polishing copper and invest in some fiber as an example.

    1. Mick Sheppard

      So true

      The fall from grace of Digital Equipment (DEC to you newcomers) was because the VAX was so successful. The higher management at DEC wouldn't entertain work on a VAX replacement until too late, partly because it might have cannibalized VAX sales.

      At the time Unix was for workstations, VMS was the driving force in the SMB datacentres, we all know how that ended.

      You can improve on, what you believe is, perfection. It just takes the right attitude.

    2. Derek Currie Bronze badge

      Apple's Version 1.0 Syndrome

      "It takes apple 2-3 iterations of a product devel cycle to get to a "coveted" form including a form factor."

      NO. That's a generally worthless blanket statement. I can think of only one example when Apple required 3 iterations to get it right and that was Mac OS X, whereby version 10.2 (the third version) was the first 'usable' version.

      Meanwhile, face it: The iPad v1 was a MASSIVE hit and they got it right the first time. No also-ran has come close to iPad v1 sales or overall quality, despite the camera issue. Note, however, that even here it is silly to use a blanket statement. Apple already had the iOS and the iPad Touch/iPhone as templates for the larger sized iPad.

      Apple, like every other hardware and software developer, consistently suffers from Version 1.0 Syndrome. But it is rare for them to not hit their stride on version 2.0 onward. Compare that to Microsoft's record where they consistently have Version 2.0 syndrome as well. The more correct blanket statement would be that Microsoft requires 3 iterations before they get it right. Then there's the Zune where they could never get it right and gave up. Microsoft's now 11 year old 'slate' version of Windows continues to be a huge FAIL. Microsoft's purchased 'Metro' interface has yet to prove its viability despite new iterations.

  7. LDS Silver badge

    Physical constraints are different from software ones...

    Asay can be right under some aspects, but it used the wrong arguments. As a software guy, he don't understand constraints in the physical world. I am not an Apple fan and never bought any Apple device, but there's little you can do it a company gets a physical constraint right at its first attempt - you can do little more than follow.

    Some designs became ageless because they are the simplest and the most useful ones. A knife design can't change much without becoming unusable (but in some fantasy movie or game... outside the physical realm). That's also true for phones and tablets. Maybe they can be refined somewhat, but I can't really see any different form factors.

    What other companies could do is to fire the bad designers who designed their products, fire the ones who requested and approved those products, and fire the ones who hired both.

    IMHO Jobs was not what many thinks today, but surely he had nose for the right products and the the right people to build them.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "...if a company gets a physical constraint right at its first attempt..."

      interesting blog by Charlie Stross on this very subject:

      1. LDS Silver badge

        This is a blog post from a very particular perspective. A world of devices designed for the elderly would be pretty fun... anyway size matters also when the device is not in use. I have a Galaxy II here at the office for testing, and it is really large to carry around. Nice device, but I would not buy it due to its size.

        I still use a plain, small mobile phone when I don't need my smartphone and need something easily pocketable. Also most men forget women have smaller hands. What fits a male hand could be too large for a female hand.

        And frankly, most of the times when I use a phone I need something that is designed to be used with one hand only, my thumb should be able to reach everything.

    2. Mark 65

      I think one thing that Jobs got right, that has been alluded to in other posts and recent articles, is the fact that your average consumer gives more weight to ease of use than outright functionality or brilliance of architecture. If said user can just start iTunes, connect their device and have everything taken care of then that is good enough. Drag-drop loading? Most couldn't give a shit. iPhones etc may be popular as a fashion statement but I also think that techies underestimate the total ease of use angle (start this app, connect device, done) by being blinded by their own use-case.

      If this (,2817,2361278,00.asp) is what Android has to offer then sorry but it sucks. If you think of phones and tablets as essentially one business, as Apple seems to, then Android or Windows Mobile/whatever needs to come up with a unified iTunes alternative.

      Despite being a techie myself I really can't be arsed fannying around with devices/appliances outside of work - take two bottles into the shower? I just want to wash and go. Ease of use sells and Jobs knew it.

      1. LDS Silver badge

        IMHO iTunes is one of the iPhone/iPad flaws. I see no reason why I should install and run an application called iTunes to sync my device with data that are not "tunes", especially in a corporate environment. Nor I can understand why it doesn't use a damned standard USB cable I can ask someone if mine is not available.

        IMHO MS made one of its worst miskates apeiing iTunes with its Zune software. I by far prefer the way Windows Mobile support was added to the operating system - plug in your phone, drivers are downloaded from it or Windows Update, and an integrated sync center opens (it could be better designed, ok). Another mistake has been forcing to use Outlook to sync contacts and the like - it is too expensive and broad for the consumer user.

        But overall Apple has always been very careful about ease of use (but they too missed the usefulness of cut&paste even in a mobile device), while others products often lack the "finishing" touch. Working on one device at a time of course helps a lot to finish it wholly.

  8. John G Imrie

    To quote Monty Python

    Yes we are all different.

    Er I'm not.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      ...remember Jobs wasn't the messiah, he was just a very naughty boy. Let that be an inspiration to all of us!

  9. Eugene Crosser

    Either Or

    Some observers suggest that the "true motif" for Jobs/Apple was control over others (perhaps for perfectly valid business reason), i.e. making them "think in unison", while the "think different" slogan was simply hypocritical PR.

    The author of this article suggests to take "think different" at the face value. If so, one has to figure how comes that the company's practice went counter to that slogan.

    So, hypocrisy or betrayal?

    In any case, I fully agree with the "do not try to outapple Apple" argument.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    At a price close to the iPad, there is no other choice than the iPad

    because the other players don't tend to charge quite as much.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears;

    I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.

    The evil that men do lives after them;

    The good is oft interred with their bones;

    So let it be with Caesar.

    1. Derek Currie Bronze badge

      Apple iPad Clout: Competitive Pricing On Day 1

      "because the other players don't tend to charge quite as much."

      This is pure BS with zero support from pricing stats. I'd go so far as to say this ignorance consists of trolling, its that stupid.

      One of the fundamental reasons that none of the also-ran tablet makers can make significant gains, and why many of them continue to fall by the wayside, is that Apple got the price right on day one. The only players to charge less are those with smaller screens, cheaper CPUs and no camera, IOW the Amazon Fire. And note how Amazon are NOT calling the Fire even a competitor with the iPad. That 'iPad Killer' idea was the creation of TechTard journalists who should know better.

  12. Absent

    Backward rationalisation

    That's how sites like Gizmodo "prove" every Apple decision is the right one.

  13. Paul Bruneau

    Gates never settled?

    Oh Gates never settled? Windows 1, 2, 3? Vista? Zune? Windows Mobile? I'm not an expert but from where I sit, I can see a lot of settling...settling for a crappy copy of better things.

    Please correct me if I'm thinking incorrectly about it.

    1. Nick Galloway

      Billy Gates

      He didn't settle, the buying public did by accepting the product he turned out. Don't blame the seller if the buyer is fool enough to part with his money. There are a lot of Microsoft 'fools' in the world if your observation is correct!?

    2. P Zero

      Come on

      Vista got people oohing and ahhing before people got to know it. The bloat wasn't even that big a deal if your machine was fairly decent for its time. My experience with Windows Mobile was limited to a Palm and a HTC Touch, but it seemed no more complicated than a current Nokia which has floundered me even though I sell the stupid things. (Hoping to have a play with one of the N9's we received yesterday to see if it's gotten better...)

      I'm not saying each generation was necessarily a massive improvement, but Microsoft have at least made moves to reinvent their product and aren't afraid to risk failure.

    3. Ru

      Better by what metric?

      In the early days, MS were neither rich, nor powerful, nor a monopoly. How did they end up being such a massive force in the computer world when everyone could have bought "better" products? If Apple or IBM or whoever had a credible alternative, what stopped it selling, depite somehow being "better"?

      Leaving the notion of magical monopolies bamfing into existence... Zune and Vista came out long after BG stepped down as microsoftie in chief. Hell, even Windows Mobile postdated him, though WinCE started life during his watch.

      1. Goat Jam


        "How did they end up being such a massive force in the computer world"

        They did it by forcing OEMs into paying them for every PC sold (as opposed to every copy of DOS or Windows sold) which meant that the manufacturers decided that they may as well give you a copy of the MS OS de jour with your PC anyway since they already paid for it.

        Once every PC came bundled with MS OS the ignorant masses began to incorrectly conclude that MS OS came with their PC for "free".

        This had the effect of turning the PC into a commodity item and caused profit margins for every hardware maker to be cut to the bone (apart from apple of course) leaving MS in position where they could charge what they like for the OS and the cost would be invisible to the preson paying it.

        Other OS makers of course tried to compete but it is hard to compete with "free".

        That along with MS changing their OEM license to forbid the bundling (or dual booting) of another OS alongside DOS/Windows* made it pretty much inevitable that MS would end up being a monopoly provider enabling them to act like the malignant tumor that they clearly are on the twitching corpse of the IT industry.

        * See BeOS vs Microsoft. BeOS won their court case but were out of business by then

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @Goat Jam

          Yet again on the anti-MS tip, or is it still on the same anti MS tip?

          The way MS got their monopoly wasn't by forcing suppliers to include DOS on their machines, rather it was by IBM coming to them and asking to bundle DOS on their machines. IBM then paid MS for the software that they bundled. This resulted in the manufacturers of clones (not all, mind - my Amstrad PC1512 didn't come with MSDOS, rather DR DOS+GEM) to request to bundle DOS with their machines, for which they also paid. This lead to an expectation by the PC buying public/businesses that a license for MS DOS would be included with all machines bought, because it had become the de-facto standard.

          As for forbidding bundling of competing OSes with hardware they supplied discounted, volume purchased OSes for, that's just common sense isn't it? It runs along the lines of: If you want a discount on my software you aren't going to bundle a competitors software with ours. What's wrong with that?

          Whether or not this perceived requirement was abused down the line by MS is another matter, but the initial requirement came from the industry beating a bee line to MS.

        2. chr0m4t1c

          @Goat Jam

          You missed a bit.

          MS also worked out that selling to the CEO and company board on the golf course was easier than selling to the technical people who knew what they were doing - especially in the 80s when almost no-one had an IT Director and the techies reported to the senior accountant or equivalent.

          As a result, it was usually far too late for the technical staff to protest when all the MS boxes started being delivered and they were informed that they would be implementing the new software.

          Everyone else was still trying to sell to the technical people, so you would get a situation where the tech teams would do PoC and user testing on several systems that were in the running for something and then the chap with the money would buy whatever MS were selling because they "showed me a demo, told me it was as easy to use as it looks and really simple to look after" - it would never occur to him that these nice sales people who'd paid for a lovely jolly and some delicious food might not be telling the truth.

          Made my life hell, but it kept me in gainful employment trying to sort out the mess of this sort of thing for a number of years and kudos to them for getting their tactics right (bastards).

        3. LDS Silver badge

          "They did it by forcing OEMs into paying them for every PC sold (as opposed to every copy of DOS or Windows sold".

          Please, could you explain how MS did that? I would like to force my customers also.

          MS became dominant after Wordperfect, Borland, Lotus/IBM and a few others fired in their feet with crappy products that couldn't match Word/Excel/Access/Outlook in Offfice. I tried for a while not to buy MS and tried both Wordperfect suite and Lotus SmartSuite. Both were full of bugs and worked barely. Eventually, I bough Office.

          I tried to use OS/2. IBM bought Lotus and instead of making it writing much needed OS/2 software wasted time to update its Windows software which was already being taken over by Office. Eventually, I bought Windows NT4

          That's what made MS the massive force in the computer world. Delivering products that actually worked, maybe not the best but enough to work without too many issues - while competitors made the best to kill their own products.

          1. JEDIDIAH

            Lemming nonsense...

            > MS became dominant after Wordperfect,

            > Borland, Lotus/IBM and a few others fired

            > in their feet with crappy products that couldn't

            > match Word/Excel/Access/Outlook in Offfice.

            No. It was just fashionable at that time to put all of your eggs in one basket. It was a diseased meme of the management classes that they should buy everything from a single vendor.

            Trashing non-Microsoft products is just the usual mindless screech of the Lemming.

            It was annoying back in the day and it's annoying now. It pretty much destroys the main advantage of using the monopoly vendor. There is no point in using the platform that "has everything" if you can't actually "use anything".

            You might as well be putting up with Apple users.

            I happily used alternatives in those days. They worked quite well. They certainly worked well enough for your average Lemming or office worker.

            1. The Fuzzy Wotnot

              You obviously never had the privilege of listening to PoC users moaning their sears off about trying to use Wordperfect for Windows v1, lotus 123 windows v1, DataEase for Win v1, Quattro pro for window!

              Seriously shit pieces of code that were an embarrasment to their DOS versions.

              MS apps were good because they wrote the O/S, they wrote the api specs of course they knew how to write the windows apps! Everyone else had to play catchup to MS. Compare how slick the office interfaces were compared to Lotus' crap efforts!

      2. Derek Currie Bronze badge

        Zune and Vista FAILs = Gates FAILs

        "Zune and Vista came out long after BG stepped down"

        NO. Check your history! Gates oversaw BOTH projects before he left.

  14. Just a random academic
    Thumb Up

    For once...

    For once, Matt Asay gets it right. With the iPad and the iPhone, Apple got things right *for them*. i.e. they did what was best for their walled-garden model of doing business. There are a huge number of ways that tablet manufacturers could differentiate.

    For me, a tablet is a pointless device *unless* I can do something with it that I can't do with a laptop. Where are the outsize (say 13") tablets that have graphics tablet capabilities built-in? Why can't I open, in a split-screen view, a reference (say mathematical formulae) and a whiteboard-type app so I can (for example) derive mathematical models while looking up relevant stuff on the other half of the screen?

    The tablet form-factor has tremendous potential, but everyone is busy aping Apple.

    1. Piro

      But, my friend

      Microsoft Tablet PCs that do just that have been around for who knows how many years.

      I have a Pentium III tablet PC from 2002 that has an active digitizer, thus only responds to the pen, and is pressure sensitive.

      It's just they were always CRAZY expensive, we're talking £2k+, and therefore never really pushed to the average man.

      Your other problem, of course, is poking all the little UI elements in Windows, but this wasn't such a problem with a proper digitizer and stylus. Resting your hand on the screen naturally as you would write on paper is no problem.

    2. badger31
      Thumb Up

      You could write an app for that.

  15. Nick Galloway

    To think different(ly) must first think!

    Harley Davidson are still using the same technology the automotive industry developed in the early part of the last century. Morgan has changed little, Stanley knives are little changed, Swiss army knives are much as they have been, Aga stoves are almost as they were from the outset. They all sell in massive numbers as some products are 'lifestyle' products and I would not hesitate to group many Apple products into that category.

    You buy a Big Mac and you know what you are going to get. Apple is very much in that category of a consistency at a price point that the market will bear.

    It is the buying public who have been sold the idea that they are being 'different' by buying an Apple product, when in fact they are moving with the crowd of others who are also different in the same way.

    I am still using DOS so what the hell do I know!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Nick Galloway

      Now, to be fair, what about the unbridled success that was New Coke?

  16. Giles Jones Gold badge

    You give Microsoft too much credit. They were lucky as IBM could have blown them out. Apple's comeback was not luck but the result of making good products, you can't tell me that DOS was a good product?

    Microsoft built what exactly? Microsoft were BASIC interpreter experts. Sure, it was all written very cleverly in assembler (on the Altair originally) but their success is largely due to luck.

    They pitched a fictitious DOS OS to IBM and then bought one from someone else when the deal went ahead. So if anything their expertise was in selling vapourware.

    There's no doubt Microsoft and its backers would have had some success, but they wouldn't have been so big without their skill at locking in the OEMs and business.

    If Gary Kildall hadn't been so arrogant and gone flying his plane then DOS wouldn't have been on the IBM PC.

    Also, the success of DOS and Windows is attributable to Compaq and their reverse engineering of the PC BIOS. Without this move the PC would have remained a very expensive tool.

  17. LoopyChew

    You're talking to the wrong people

    If Apple consumers were never supposed to be satisfied with Apple products, Apple would never be as successful as it is today.

    No, you should be telling this to the companies manufacturing the devices. As consumers, our end of the deal is to purchase products and enjoy them. It's up to the companies to innovate and not be happy with their current lineup.

  18. Andrew Moore

    The way I see it...

    Apple never invented computers, smart phones or mp3 players. What they did was they simplified them so people, who where not technically competent, could understand and use them and believe themselves to be on par with the technically competent people who did not use Apple products.

    The downside of this is that the average Apple user is unable to innovate mainly because they remain technically incompetent. And it's for this reason that they would slavishly buy anything Apple would have to offer rather than coming up with something better. It also explains that why, when they seen non-Apple companies making better products, they start chanting the mantra 'don't try- Apple have already perfected it'.

  19. Robert E A Harvey

    I want to disagree

    But I read the article twice and I am still not sure what point is being made.

    So I sort of basically feel in disagreement with something or other.

  20. Smallbrainfield

    Six Macs in the front room?

    Do you live in a shop?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Paris Hilton

      "...the average Apple user is unable to innovate..."

      Andrew, is this conclusion based on research? What does an 'average' Apple user look like? What kind of things do they get up to? What exactly is 'technical incompetence'? Your argument does not seem very solid. This '...chanting the mantra...' business: is this based on real world observations or simply your opinion?

      On the matter of innovation; remember a computer is but a tool to use as you see fit and, while using the computer, many of us are able to innovate in our respective fields —often without knowing much about the inner workings of the devices we are typing, drawing and calculating on.

      1. jake Silver badge


        "What does an 'average' Apple user look like?"

        I'll bite ... From my perspective, the `average Apple user` looks like a MallRat.

    2. DZ-Jay

      Good one!

      Did you know that the World Wide Web was invented on a NeXT workstation? The same OS designed and implemented by e people that run Aplenty now, and which made it's way into being OS X.

      What about all the Macintosh and iOS developers, are they not "Apple users"?

      1. jake Silver badge


        You do know that iOS is BSD, right?

    3. allo-allo

      I want to disagree # Me 2!

      I also read the article lots and I am still not sure what point is being made.

      So I sort of basically feel in disagreement with something or other.

      I've been using Mac since OS6, PC since about the same time. Don't have a Jesus-Phone, don't want one. Have an iPad but dunno why, maybe just to see what all the fuss is about. I make my own decisions -- use Win when required - as using Mac - now easier with Parallels on an Intel iMac - 'Fit-for-purpose?' Thought I 'Thought Different' when the Intel iMac arrived - better than a grey-box? Even better when this 27 incher arrived. Hated being forced to go OSX but like it now. (Suppose Assay means this, 'forcing?') Don't like Lion, no Rosetta, so all Apps people grabbing the market leaving part-PPC code bugger-up some of my favourites -- O, another 'forcing,' maybe getting to see now? Lion seems to be forcing me (O, again) to have a 27 inch heavy iPad? O -- now I get it! Assay wants Mac OSX to go open-source? Who gives a flap?? I'm happy now!

    4. Derek Currie Bronze badge

      Propagandist Mud In Your Eyes

      I can deal with your first paragraph.

      But your second paragraph is BS:

      - I've never met a 'slavish' Apple buyer. Instead I have found them to be not just discerning consumers but the most demanding of computer users. They don't let Apple get away with any BS and rant like hell when Apple screw up. The effect is further improvement of Apple products.

      - The single most technically competent gang of computer users I've worked with have been Apple users. Here is a great example I often site:

      Fortune Magazine 11-29-05: 'What's your computer setup today?'

      Frederick Brooks: 'I happily use a Macintosh. It's not been equaled for ease of use, and I want my computer to be a tool, not a challenge.'

      [Frederick Brooks is the author of 'The Mythical Man Month'.

      He spearheaded the movement to modernize computer software

      engineering in 1975.]

      - From what orifice did you pull the concept that Apple users ever chant 'don't try- Apple have already perfected it.' If anyone said that they would be profoundly stupid. The fact is that I have never heard any Apple user say that at any time anywhere. You made it up. It consists of trolling. Bad try. Apple users, being the most demanding in the computer community, say the exact opposite.

      The way you see it is with anti-Apple user propagandist mud in your eyes. :-P


      6 Macs in the front room...

      I had 3 Macs before one of them prematurely died.

      They were bought as low profile HTPCs.

      The ones that aren't dead now are obsolete though. (Weak GPU)

  21. someone up north



  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "It is the buying public who have been sold the idea that they are being 'different' by buying an Apple product, when in fact they are moving with the crowd of others who are also different in the same way."

    Most of the buying public that chooses Apple simply wants a computer than isn't built out of newspaper. Short of a mil spec toughbook there are no other options.

    1. Hardcastle the ancient

      And you can add a small but significant number who are sick to the back teeth of anti-virus, anti-malware, botnet attacks, incompatible this-and-that, and being taken for a mug year after year.

      Sometimes being taken for a mug just once is the better option.

      1. melts


        so buy a device that requires you to set up windows via bootcamp with all that extra cost to run all those apps that are simply incompatible with OSX, win!

        just as for Linux the virus's and so such are making an appearance on OSX too, soon enough they'll be just as annoying unfortunately

    2. melts

      err what

      what computers have that poor of a build quality? price based i can't think of any shoddy laptop in the same price range as a macbook, maybe thats simply 'coz i don't buy my laptops from the fisho?

      most of the folk I've seen buying apple are buying based on either recommendation or the 5 minute shiny experience, and using the price as a backstop in an argument (literally 'its not a cheap laptop so it must be good')

      personally I wouldn't recommend a mac to anyone on the F&F SLA (thats the Family and Friends SLA) since they might not break often but generally do break big. The sealed units aren't DR friendly. Saying that I know people who get the recommendation from others who like their mac and don't care about support issues, or quite possibly have never experienced any particular problems. good for them.

      I don't know anyone after a general purpose laptop that doesn't buy a HP/Acer/Dell/etc laptop because its not mechanically as resistant to hazards as a toughbook (and i'll assume you're thinking of something like a cf-19 for ratings). I also can't think of anyone in the market for a mil-spec resistance device thinking a macbook is fit for purpose. Happy to prove it by beating your macbook to pieces with my cf-19 and then using said cf-19 to post about it :)

      and also, my hp dv6 feels as nicely built as a cf-52, and is better in every aspect bar the lack of a serial port and the glossy screen. my wife's little hp netbook has been vomited on and is still fine after taking out the keyboard and giving it a rinse, like to see a macbook do that. i could keep going but you get the point :)

  23. Andrew Heffron

    Where's the perfection?

    I'm still waiting for somebody to explain how iTunes fits into the Apple/Jobs canon. It's an obtuse pile of crap that was deliberately designed to prevent people doing basic things with their devices, and it makes Windows Media Player look like the philosopher's stone by comparison.

    1. ThomH Silver badge

      Not entirely accurate

      Sure, it's an obtuse pile of crap but — even if we ignore the pedantic point that it predates even the iPod — it was written to simply people doing basic things with their devices. Put the CD in and the music is ripped and stored somewhere appropriate automatically. Connect your device and the music is copied over automatically. Those are the actual basic things: getting hold of the music, getting the music onto the device. iTunes not only doesn't prevent either, it completely automates them.

      iOS 5 and iCloud are probably the real answer to how iTunes fits into the canon though: it doesn't. iTunes needn't be part of the loop at all unless you want it to be. Which is good news.

    2. Sean Baggaley 1

      I think Apple are aware of this, but...

      ... it's hard to see how they could handle the present synchronisation mess with multiple applications and still keep it simple and logical.

      However, when Apple announced iCloud, and their new "PC-free" philosophy, it became clear that the iDevices are no longer going to be as closely coupled to iTunes—or, indeed, any desktop or laptop PC. From the recent presentation, the implication is that _everything_ will sync wirelessly, including music, photos, TV shows, and books.

      Eventually, this will include documents too, but, until the Lion release of OS X, there's been no solid API backend or infrastructure to support this robustly.

      There's a new API in OS X Lion and iOS 5 which will allow apps to handle their own document filing and synchronisation, effectively acting as plugins into the filesystem (sort-of; I'm still reading the docs). This should make for some interesting GUI changes in future releases of OS X as it's clear Apple's designers want to euthanise the extremely dated desktop metaphor everyone's been saddled with for decades now. (They appear to be taking steps towards a "CUI"—a Conversational User Interface—given the emphasis they placed on the Siri beta bundled with the iPhone 4S. That'll be great if they can make it work, but it's early days yet.)

      All this relies on iOS 5 and iCloud working rather better together than iOS 4 and MobileMe did though. Even Steve Jobs publicly admitted that MobileMe was "not [Apple's] finest hour", and that iCloud is their next attempt at nailing that technology. It's going to have to be rock solid before users will entrust it with their precious data.

      The upshot of all this is that iTunes is very likely to lose its role as a device-driver-cum-kitchen-sink application as wireless syncing becomes the norm. Expect to see a leaner iTunes release once they've ironed out the glitches. Syncing could be handled as a background process, with iTunes reduced to just a local media manager and storefront.

      My wildly uneducated guess is that Apple will probably wait until proper 4G infrastructure is more widespread globally before formally stripping the USB sync features out of iTunes. I'm guessing iTunes 12 at the earliest.

      (Incidentally, to Italians, Portuguese, Kuwaiti or Chinese, the "tunes" part is just a sound and doesn't imply music. This means the "iTunes" name is a major global brand now; it's unlikely Apple will rename it, although stranger things have happened.)

  24. Paul Bruneau

    Giles Jones has it right

    Gates got his insane monopoly because IBM was stupid and shortsighted and thought their PC was a toy and so didn't take the OS seriously and agreed to license it rather than buy one outright or make it themselves.

    Once IBM decided on an OS, who was going to be able to make a different one? Gates was good at writing illegal, uncompetitive contracts, though, I'll give him that.

    1. an_engineer


      Gates learned how to write those contracts the hard way; he was the other party in a Jack Tramiel contract. The terms of the contract for Commodore BASIC were pretty terrible.

  25. ScissorHands

    I'm not settling

    I do not believe that iPhone, Android or <whatever> have defined what a mobile phone must be, look like, or how to interact with it.

    Watch me blowing by with my Nokia N9.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  26. Andy Watt

    Oh come on... aren't there some crucial flaws in this article?

    Apart from the fact that it rests on circular logic in an effort to find yet another angle on the passing of SJ, the argument that Apple needs to be smashed doesn't make any sense at *all*.

    If any of the other tech companies could pull themselves out of the nosedive of either cheap-cheap-cheap or features-features-features and properly devote themselves to design instead of those populous or geek whims, they'd be competition. But they're not, are they? And they can't be, because they're NOT IN THE SAME MARKET.

    Suggestions that Apple's kit is "perfect" are not the point: suggestions that other manufacturers' kit is not as easy to use *BY A HUMAN BEING* _are_.

    Apple's design is their strength: people shouldn't think it's utterly perfect, but frankly the basket of half-designed, buggy, jerky, infrequently-updated competition just shows the lack of attention to detail which marks those other manufacturers: if you're concentrating on producnig something which will last a couple of years tops, who cares if it doesn't work too well? And you're only sticking windows/android in it anyway... and oo, look, we can put our own UI on top of android's front end!....

    Ultimately, the weakness of this article shows through the scattergun approach to the arguments contained within it. Also use of the word "fanboi".

  27. Justin Clements

    Matt's Back!

    >>Had the industry hit the pause button the first time around, we never would have seen Microsoft Windows, and the overwhelmingly positive influence it has had on the industry.


    Last few articles by Matt have been quite good really, almost well written. Knew it was an impostor - and I was right! The old Mad Matt is back. Box of frogs :thumbsup:

  28. Watashi

    It's a phone!

    A phone's a phone's a phone. There's very little difference between any modern smartphone and anyone who really thinks they're buying something that stands out heads-and-shoulders above the competition is an idiot. My 3 1/2 year old Nokia running Symbian is not particularly different from an iPhone 4GS.

    I can make calls, text, make video calls and send-receive push email.

    I can take pictures and video.

    I can play music, which I can download direct to the phone.

    I have GPS.

    I can surf the net.

    I can check all my social websites.

    I have bluetooth.

    I have a USB connection.

    I can update software / firmware over the air.

    I can play games.

    OK, so it's slow and I don't have access to a gajillion apps. But so what? Look at it this way. If someone said that you had to pay £100 a year just to access your iPhone-specific apps (i.e. apps you can't get on other platforms) would you do it? 'Cause that's essentially what you're doing when you buy a new iPhone.

    If people with lots of spare money want to believe they're buying into something special with Apple, let 'em. They're not, of course!

    1. jake Silver badge


      I feel so sorry for you, Watashi. You have succumbed to the marketards.

      I have a telephone. It makes and receives telephone calls, and that's about it. Which is the whole point of having a telephone. Thus the name.

      My telephone works in all the so-called "dead zones" in the Sonoma Valley. I can carry on a conversation from Calistoga on Hwy29, up the Oakville Grade, down Trinity to Cavedale, and onto Hwy 12, without dropping the call.

      Can your so-called "smart phone" make that claim? How "smart" does it seem now?

      I have other tools for the rest of your bells & whistles. All of which work wherever I am, kinda like my telephone ... a close to 11 year old Nokia 5185.

      Sometimes "cutting edge" only exists to bleed money from the clueless ...

  29. All names Taken

    Uh-huh baby? Or: how not to over analyse?

    Ahem <clears throat> sometimes analysis turns into overanalysis.

    Clearly what is happening is that Apple is riding the crest of a wave.

    Whatever it creates captures the public interest and we may even try to analyse what these are and how they work. But treating observables like they were a science does not automatically confer scientific status on the observables.

    Marketing after all is an art and not a science.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Why can't we all live In peace without wanting to crush each other.

  31. Goat Jam


    "Microsoft Windows, and the overwhelmingly positive influence it has had on the industry"

    If turning users into mindless corporate drones and using its monopoly status to stifle any and every alternative is "overwhelmingly positive influence" then I have to ask;

    Can I have some of what you are smoking Matt?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      By industry

      He means media and journalism, as it's well known Microsoft has been stuffing quite a few pockets.

      There wouldn't be as many publications without them, that's for sure.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Goat Jam

      If you are so blinded by your hatred for MS that you can't see that Windows (for all its faults) has been a positive influence on IT, you really need to get out of the industry and stop pretending to know about it.

      Yes: Windows has been crap at some, or more points in its existence.

      Yes: We wouldn't have cheap readily available computers running on standardised commodity hardware, if it weren't for a widely adopted standard OS. ie: Windows. I would go so far as to say that Windows has actually facilitated the development of Linux, because if it weren't for cheap hardware we'd all be using big iron unix and x-terms costing thousands.

      1. JEDIDIAH

        Seeing is believing (Goat Jam)

        People don't just hate on Microsoft for no reason. This hate is usually borne out of frustration and being forced to deal with their crap. It is usually borne out of ACTUAL EXPERIENCE. Now after 15 or 20 years later, things might have settled down a bit. Someone that "just fell off the turnip truck" is bound to have a far different opinion of Microsoft than those of us that actually used it in the days when all of these "positive influences" have been alleged.

        The industry succeeds in spite of Microsoft, not because of it.

        That is apparent by their current floundering. They have lost their leverage and they suddenly seem old and toothless.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward


          I certainly haven't just fallen off the turnip truck, as you so charmingly put it. I would say that for whatever reason, you don't remember when the Big Iron unix companies ruled the datacentre and were milking their customers for every penny they were worth, with little or no innovation. MS came along and started producing a cheap alternative to big iron unix and associated unix workstations, this brought prices tumbling. It's also not too far of a stretch to say that MS are pretty much responsible for Linux, because they consolidated the fractured PC market onto IBM/Intel standard hardware. Linux wouldn't have been possible without standardised commodity hardware affordable by individuals at home.

          1. Microphage

            MS made the PC market?

            "MS came along and started producing a cheap alternative to big iron unix .. consolidated the fractured PC market onto IBM/Intel standard hardware", anonymous coward

            You are confusing cause-and-effect. It was the cheap IBM/Intel hardware that made Microsoft. It was only when Compaq stole IBMs lunch that the cheap PC clone market took of and Microsoft was there to take advantage of this.

          2. JEDIDIAH

            The turnip truck...

            Your view on Microsoft's contribution to serious computing would charitably be described as "creative".

            Linux was created to fill the void left in technology left by Microsoft the monopoly vendor.

            That's hardly anything to brag about.

  32. itzman


    Now free from Jobs morality, we announce the I-porn - a fully interactive sexual aid that will transmit your throbbing action across the internet to a complementary device attached to your sexual partner.

    Full audio and video links will be featured, as well as an app that allows you to connect to the virtual digital porn star of your choice.

    Handy covers in various flavours and colours will complete this must have

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    SJ was Samsung's biggest customer

    I have to respect anyone who buys almost $8billion worth of parts from Samsung a year.

    Thanks Steve!

  34. Derek Currie Bronze badge

    Overthrow The Moribund Buffoonery Abominations

    "Bill Gates didn't "settle". Thankfully."

    "Microsoft Windows, and the overwhelmingly positive influence it has had on the industry."

    Thank goodness I have never settled for that lame POV. I must be on the 'Think Different' path already.

    If there are people out there capable of 'crushing' the Apple 'empire' with superior products, PLEASE get to it! Competition is the father of innovation.

    The sad fact at the moment is that MBA (Moribund Buffoonery Abomination) driven contemporary bad BIZNIZZ has 'crushed' creativity in the computer community such that the only 'competition' with Apple has been wannabe crap-on-toast.

    Destroy the Corporate Oligarchy! Rape all customer-hating Marketing Morons until they're dead! Value the Marketing Mavens! Put entrepreneurs in charge! Never fall for Marketing-As-Management self-destruction! Compete in the market for real and change the world for the better. It's been done before!

    Your turn.

  35. Robert E

    Gates DID "settle".

    "We can correctly argue that Jobs helped to shape the technology industry, but it was Microsoft that actually built it.... Bill Gates didnt settle..."

    Nice article - but you are wrong here.

    The whole point you are trying to make is that its wrong to "Ape" Apple. But thats exactly what Microsoft did with windows.

    Windows was - and is - an "Ape" of Apple. Windows was conceived when Bill Gates first saw a Mac - which he then copied extensively. Exactly as the rest of the world now copy apple with phones and tablets.

    But, to be fair - Steve jobs first saw a mouse/gui at Xerox - which he then copied with the Mac.

  36. JCCIII

    eulogising Jobs ..

    Before we let journalists and psuedo-journalists re-write history for us (particularly about Windows 'contribution' to the small computer industry) .. I suggest we all go get a copy (still available in paperback on Amazon) of "Accidental Empires" by Robert Cringely. For those of us who lived through that era? It's a pretty accurate description of Jobs, Wozniak, and their camp-follower, Bill Gates. It's a short read so even a Journalist could deal with it. We're talking about people who sold dope and little blue boxes to rip off the phone companies for long distance charges to raise their capital.

    And don't -even- get me started on MicroSloth. jccampb

    1. jake Silver badge

      @JCCIII, Re: Cringely ...

      "Robert X. Cringely" was a pen name used by a series of authors writing for IDG's "InfoWorld" that was stolen by the current user of the name.

      Pretty much everything ever written by "Bob" can be taken with a grain of salt.

      Anyone citing "Bob" seriously can be safely ignored.

      Personally, I think the name was a play on "Robert `one trick pony` Metcalfe" from his commentary on the editor's page of the same publication ... Truly cringe worthy stuff.

  37. Gil Grissum

    The problem as I see it, is the marriage between hardware, software, and user experience, which Apple gets but no one else in the industry seems to. What Apple did right was combine hardware that works with software that works and produce a user experience that works for the user. No, there isn't Flash. Yes, the CPU is slower, there's less memory, and the battery is not replaceable by the user, but there are also advantages to the platform that outweigh the technologies that are not present in the devices. From one view, that is settling for less than bleeding edge hardware. From another perspective, that is a compromise that produces devices that just get things done.

    Google is trying to out Apple, Apple, by introducing superior hardware in combination with a buggy operating system that isn't designed based on what most people will DO with it. Android is clearly designed for tech junkies, propeller heads, and nerd geeks, not the average person who just wants to get things done. Android supporters will argue that the platform allows customizations and choices not available on the iPhone (and iPads) and that this is "freedom" versus "the walled garden" of Apple. What the engineer wannabees will not tell you is that, with Gingerbread updates on existing phones (and some newer phones that came installed with it), that the bugs and lag introduced thanks to OEM customizations and buggy UI overlays) are unstable, buggy, and will require root, a hard reset, and in some cases, a custom ROM installation, in order to get that customization that hopefully brings with it, stability. Since most smart phone customers are not computer programmers or engineers, but just people who'd like to get things done with technology that works, Android is only a choice for those who aren't on 3 of the big four carriers who carry the iPhone. If you're on T-Mobile or a smaller regional or pre-paid carrier and you want a Smart phone, your only real choice is Android, so a hefty bit of that 50% Android market share claim is from people have little choice, if they want a Smart phone and aren't on Sprint, AT&T, or Verizon.

    So much for that freedom the Android nerds are touting.

    The EVO with Gingerbread is the worst offender with bugs. The memory leak problem wasn't solved by a hard reset. It still eats memory, with no logical explanation for what is eating it, accept perhaps, Android's memory management characteristics perhaps have a flaw that no one is addressing. Let's hope that ICS doesn't have the same memory management flaw. It would be a shame for Android customers to have to continue to "settle" for a buggy, laggy, memory munching OS on bleeding edge hardware. Don't be too shocked if the Nexus and Motorola phones don't have these problems, but the others do.


    Fanboy nonsense

    > Android is clearly designed for tech junkies,

    Ah... no.

    As a basic phone doing phone things, Android is actually much better than iPhone. It actually appears that the thing was designed with being a phone in mind. The basic features are somewhat thought out and the basic boundary use cases are dealt with.

    Apple simply ignores these.

    Apple may have a better "pocket computer". However, that is a SECONDARY concern.

    So in truth it is really Apple that is targeting the "mindless geek" market segment despite the typical tendency of certain types to denigrate geeks in general and try to marginalize them and their significance in the market place.

    I dumped my iPhone because as a phone it's functionally inferior to a Nokia from 1999.

    If you want to "geek out" with a pocket computer, that's another matter...

  39. Gil Grissum


    And yet, Android is still a buggy, laggy mess, fragmented in multiple versions of the same buggy, laggy, mess, with a prettier UI in each iteration. Works as a phone? Sure, but if you are trying to do more than just make phone calls, that is where the bugs and lag comes in. If you want to just make phone calls, get a feature phone, if those still exist. If you want to actually get things done without having to root, rom, and hard reset your phone and if you enjoy a storage munching mess, get yourself an Android.


      Fanboy nonense

      > Android is still a buggy, laggy mess

      No it isn't. That's just fanboy nonsense. Perhaps telling yourself that gives you some perverse comfort.

      First and foremost a phone should be good at being a phone. "Just go get a feature phone" is hardly a proper retort to criticisms of Apple. All it does is just confirm my claim that the emperor really has no clothes.

      Apple products are fine only so long as you don't really use them and/or you're not terribly creative. Then you being to see that the shiny is only skin deep.

  40. Alan Denman

    Love is blind

    History will dictate that there was a major love affair with flawed, faulty, illogical and seriously restrictive designs.

    However we will forever marvel at how he got away with it. Yes indeed, love is blind.

  41. binhthienha

    My thought

    Excellent thinking, not sure about Gates though, I say 'Asay'.

  42. Microphage

    Matt Assay is a big a fan of Apple

    You remind me of the `atheists' that lurk on Atheist sites, for ever bemoaning the defects of the non-belief lifestyle. Brings to mind the expression, please don't be my friend. In your case it would be, please stop being an `open source' advocate.

  43. Andy Watt
    Thumb Up


    Well said, sir. In addition, android IS the mobile "windows" for malware. Why else would it need anti virus, with it's performance sapping battery draining annoyance?

    Sorry, but unless google pull the manufacturers into check android will descent into an extension of the god awful manufacturer output in feature phones of the 90s. I know, I worked for one.

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bill Gates didn't "settle"?

    Of *course* he settled.

    He settled for buying in DOS, knowing he could sell it on.

    He settled for copying the ideas of (eg) the Xerox PARC guys on user interfaces, although he didn't do such a good job of making it pretty, like Apple did.

    He settled for marketing might and business bullying over software innovation and stability.

    He settled for Windows versions that were always so buggy that people wanted the next one. He settled for the marketing initiative of /selling/ those bug fixes under the guise of a few cosmetic changes, as something new and wonderful.

    He suffered from WinXP --- because it turned out, actually, to be not at all bad, but even Gates couldn't get everything right all the time.

    Apple... Not my department; never used their products... but /innovate?/ Hardly. The basis of their interface came from the same place. People tell me that the early Macs *were* more reliable and easy to use than the clunky old early versions of Windows. Where has the Mac operating system ended up now? based on an OS that is older than MS and older than Apple. I'm not saying that is not sensible, it is probably very sensible --- but it ain't innovation.

    If the innovators were truly rewarded by their names falling into every-day use, it would be a /walkman/ we put in our pockets today, regardless of manufacture, not an ipod. Companies like Sony, and even Philips, have been the true innovators of consumer electronics.

    Sony lost its way.

    Jobs saw stuff that he could do prettier, better in some ways, and, most importantly, immensely marketable. He barged through to the front, making a huge success of his brand of marketing, to the extent that people flocked to sign up for his closed system.

    Yes, he had flair, and yes, he was able to charm the world. That's what great salesmen do.

    He settled ... for being a great salesman.

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How is settling for what?

    You are pushing me to settle. You are pushing me to settle for the second best. Offer me something that is so much better than my iPad and my iPhone that is worth switching and I will switch happily, but to switch to a knockoff just to be able to say I did not settle is kind of pushing me to settle for a knockoff.

    Do you wear Levi’s 501 or do you wear Lewi’s 602? Android offerings in current incarnations are nothing else but expensive knockoffs. Well, the rule of a knockoff is “must be cheaper, a lot cheaper than the real deal”. Amazon’s Fire had a good chance to get me to Android, but it did not. They decided that it is much cheaper and as profitable to hurt Android companies, than to try and hurt Apple. It might be smart business plan, let’s not argue with the biggest of them all, let’s hurt Samsung, Motorola, and the rest of Android tablet producers, but it will not make me switch to Amazon Fire any time soon. Galaxy and Xoom owners however are stupid if they do not switch. If they do not switch to Fire, they are settling.

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