I noticed the PC World editorial proclaiming that Apple was the new Microsoft (via this blog), and I swear the mainstream press will print anything these days.
gone on record time and time again about how much I care about, and
love using, Microsoft's development products. I can indirectly credit
everything .NET with owning a hot tub, and ironically enough, at least
$7k in Macs, iPods, software and an iPhone.
Aside from the Xbox
division, which is unfortunately too focused in its reach, Microsoft
has little to offer me. They become more irrelevant every day. It's
unfortunate I think, because while they're doing great things for
developers and hardcore gamers, they aren't doing much of anything
useful for consumers at large. Having a guy at the top who dismisses
everything that doesn't have a Microsoft logo on it doesn't help with
the perception either.
The editorial is very nearly a steaming
pile of link bait. It's barely worth linking to because it so
fundamentally misses the reality of what the two companies do, or what
they have in common. So, for giggles, here's why the piece is just
First off, there's no secret about the link between
iTunes and iPods. It's not some unknown gotcha. Certainly Apple had to
make some concessions to the record companies to sell music at all. But
you know what? Their system works where every other one has mostly
failed. If they were hell bent on keeping this "monopoly," as Elgan
puts it, do you think they'd be pressuring the record companies to go
DRM free? I'll refrain from citing the number of iPods sold to the
number of iTunes songs sold, and how it results in a handful of songs
average per iPod, but it's still a valid stat. And if consumers weren't
OK with it, they wouldn't keep buying music.
And what kind of
comment is this? "At least with Windows, you could reformat your PC and
install Linux or any number of other PC-compatible operating systems."
Who does that? And who would want to do that with an iPod? That's the
most asinine "proof" of Apple being a monopolist I've ever seen. I'll
say it again: Consumers just want stuff that works. Don't be a geeky
There's a rant about FM tuners or something, but there's
nothing to respond to there. FM was killed by Clear Channel years ago.
Listen to the music you want, and download some podcasts.
on to rant about pricing on all kinds of fronts, but yet he freely
admits being an Apple addict. Is Apple scoring killer margins on its
hardware? You bet. Of course, the analysts leave out the R&D costs
for the products, but I'm sure they're still doing well. That's what I
love about Apple as an investment, in that they're not trying to
compete with commodity crap. Their "low end" is still a premium product
for similar business lines (see MacBooks versus mid-level Dell laptops,
More to the point, Apple charges what the market
will bear. People pay it if they can, even when there are less
expensive alternatives. Why do you suppose that is? Because Steve Jobs
is charming? Perhaps, but I'm willing to bet it's more because people
like the experience of using these products better than the cheaper
The "copycat" nonsense is laughable. Great,
Microsoft has Surface. My ATM has a touch screen too. What does that
have to do with the iPhone? A million phones sold, and Surface is,
what, not even available, and not going to sell in any meaningful
numbers? I especially love his mention of the Zune having Wi-Fi. Yeah,
what is it good for again? That's what I thought.
thankful that Jobs is bullying people in Hollywood. That's the way it
should be. Hollywood has been bullying tech with a fraction of tech's
revenue for decades. That's entirely backward. Bullying the media
companies to price their stuff at points consumers will stomach, that's
a good thing for consumers. God knows they've been incapable of doing
Now, the part where it all stinks like link
bait: "You see, my point isn't that Apple's growing bad reputation is
deserved, but that Microsoft's wasn't." So now he loves Apple.
Whatever. Microsoft's reputation was well deserved for pushing years
worth of crap on us. Even us developers, with years of COM+ and DLL
hell and, the biggest atrocity, Visual Basic. We can overlook all of
this now because in developer circles we have .NET, consumers have OS
X, and geeks have Linux. Microsoft's sins are irrelevant.
don't for a moment tell me that Apple is getting a free pass when
Microsoft was criticized. That's not comparing the same things.