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Last week was looking relatively uneventful until I got a copy of the Darl McBride SCO "Open Letter" in which he argues that the Linux GPL is unconstitutional. Now, for some of you, you red-lined the letter and spent your next several hours posting your pronounced disagreement with this position to online bulletin boards. I have to admit that my first response to the letter was that McBride's brain had taken a trip and left his body behind. But if you throw out the assumption that McBride has completely lost his mind and read between the letter's lines, another story comes out.
> On moving the music, only Apple supports their DRM scheme
> so if you buy a music player that requires it or a PC that
> isnít a Mac you have to re-buy your music
It is true that if you already have purchased WMA files from a competing service, you cannot currently play these on an iPod and conversely you cannot currently play Apple ACC DRM files on competing music players. However it is not true that if you buy a PC that isn't a Mac, you cannot play your Apple ACC DRM files on the PC.
According to the iTunes Terms of Sale:
"You shall be authorized to use the product on three Apple authorized computers."
Since the release of iTunes for Windows, these three authorized computers may include any mix of Macintoshes and Windows PC's. Therefore the iTunes Music Store lock-in is with the iPod music player and not with the computer platform.
> In short as long as you are never going to use any
> of the automotive or home products that are coming
> from folks other then Apple or the coming personal
> players or ever use a Windows PC iTunes is great.
Ditto above. iTunes works great on Windows PC's!
Iíve been traveling this week so will do one response to see if I can address all of the issues.
First I agree Steve is the best CEO that Apple has ever had and he is charismatic without being nuts which says a lot when you think of some of the other valley CEOs. On the other hand he has a reputation for making mistakes and not correcting them Lisa, NEXT, not licensing the UI, and I think now with not licensing the AAC DRM scheme. The market is moving to Open Standards, Apple isnít, and strangely enough, right now Microsoft supports or owns more of them then any other single vendor.
On moving the music, only Apple supports their DRM scheme so if you buy a music player that requires it or a PC that isnít a Mac you have to re-buy your music (you can burn it on to CDs and listen to the Analog CDs but if you try to rip those CDs you are technically in violation of the DMCA and might as well have just downloaded the music from one of the free sites at that point). The DMCA is a real pill in this regard and the RIAA is hardly being easy to work with either.
In short as long as you are never going to use any of the automotive or home products that are coming from folks other then Apple or the coming personal players or ever use a Windows PC iTunes is great. I understand that Microsoft will be providing an alternative for the MAC (like you Iím dying to see how many actually use this) but if you are on a PC why in the world would you want to be so limited? Iím as surprised as most that the WMA stuff became a standard, I would have bet hard money against this, but it did and if Apple wants to compete they need to license out their AAC DRM otherwise it is a closed system and, to quote some of the Linux folks, closed systems arenít doing particularly well right now.
I actually think Apple products have some of the best industrial designs and, were you to look at the customer satisfaction numbers in publications like Consumer Reports they have the best numbers. However, if you were to look at the overall competitive systems ratings in the same publication Apple ranks last (or ties for last). The eMac is way behind the pack.
The IT group that was fired for buying Apple couldnít justify their decision and Apple didnít back them up. (Apple is really bad at this). It was an Apple shop so it wasnít as if they were migrating from Windows either. Honestly, I think it was more a problem with the CIO and Apple not knowing how to help him then a platform decision. My intended message wasnít that Apple was bad only that there are clear risks to being different that need to be factored in. I did my own research, actually met with the new CIO to hear the story.
The iPod as a PDA was a bad judgment call on my part. It isnít a PDA, it does some PDA things and I was kind of poking fun at the parent of the Newton, but it didnít work as Iíd intended.
I sit on the advisory councils of most of the major OEMs, the Tablets and the Media Center products are considered to be successful offerings and the lines will be expanded next year. Dell does not enter an unprofitable segment.
A piece of data, the Motorola phone based on Windows CE is the hottest phone currently on the market. Try to buy one. It defines seamless. In fact Apple doesnít play in any of the embedded products. Were you to look you would see that Microsoft is the only cross vendor automotive, POS, or PDA technology provider gaining traction. (Linux isnít a vendor otherwise this wouldnít be accurate, Linux is gaining traction as well).
On the SCO stuff I was just commenting on what Darl was doing I wasnít agreeing with it. I do still think it could play well with mom and pop America though.
On the comments about Microsoft not releasing code, those are about 2 years out of date and Iíll update this in another column. For instance RIM Blackberryís read word fine and both Corel and Sun Office offerings do as well.
I got a kick out of the comments back on the failed switcher campaign. A campaign that tries to get people to switch and then doesnít to me is failed, but I love the switch to turn it into an ďimageĒ thing. The guy that said this should be in marketing.
What is funny, at least to me, is the post directly above. Which says it is about integration and not flashing lights. Microsoftís .Net and IBMís Websphere are both about full integration, to everything even each otherís offerings. Apple only plays with Apple, they have great looking hardware and a nice lighted logo on the screen of their laptops but, as this writer said, it is more then flashing lights.
Thank you all for your responses!
Thanks for your response (especially for correcting the iPod as a PDA statement), but I disagree with you on several of your new points.
> [Jobs] has a reputation for making mistakes and not correcting them
> Lisa, NEXT, not licensing the UI, and I think now with not licensing
> the AAC DRM scheme
The main problem with Lisa was it's price/performance ratio. Next was technically successful (NextStep was a fantastic software development environment) but sales never took off. Lisa and Next were reincarnated and both have been very successful:
Lisa -> Macintosh
Next -> OS X
Therefore both of these "mistakes" have been corrected! According to your logic, the tablet PC has not sold very well and therefore is a mistake.
It is debatable whether not licensing the UI was a mistake. It may have worked or it may have killed Apple. The jury is still out on AAC DRM. If Apple remains a dominate player in the digital music player and legal music download market, it will not have been a mistake.
> The market is moving to Open Standards, Apple isnít,
> and strangely enough, right now Microsoft supports
> or owns more of them then any other single vendor.
This is completely backwards. The truth is that Apple does a much better job of supporting open standards than Microsoft. OS X is based on BSD Unix and Apple's implementation of Unix, Darwin is open source. Granted, only the non-GUI part of OS X is open source, but contrast this to Microsoft which is only now reluctantly starting to release part of their source code to developers and governments as a result of intense pressure by the US Department of Justice and several foreign governments. Furthermore, Microsoft is famous for introducing new "standards", which are often no better (and sometimes worse) than existing standards, for the sole purpose of dominating the market.
A slight correction to my previous post:
I equated open source with open standards which was a mistake. Sorry. Microsoft is vehemently opposed to open source software. In contrast, Microsoft insists it supports open standards.
However, I still maintain that Apple does a much better job of supporting open standards than does Microsoft. Examples:
1) Java, Microsoft promoted their own incompatible version of Java and it took a court order for them to stop it. In contrast, Apple distributes a fully compatible version of Java with OS X.
2) PNG files:
Not fully supported in MS Internet Explorer:
Fully supported in Safari, QuickTime, and OS X:
see for example http://www.apple.com/quicktime/products/qt/specifications.html
3) Music files
Microsoft's WMA is based on it's own proprietary Windows Media format which because use requires a royality fee, it cannot be considered a open standard
Apple's audio DRM is added to ACC which in turn is based on open standards
Both companies DRM's are proprietary
You can be more wrong about Apple.
When you buy music from iTMS, you can share it with 2 or 3 other Mac's, put the music into the iPod or burn as many CD's you want, and listen to it in your car, stereo in the livingroom, or whatever you want with it.
Please no more stupid comments on Apple's company. Steve Jobs is the best CEO ever. After Steve came back to Apple in the mid 90's and intruduced the first iMac, the stocks skyrocked.
I'm thinking that maybe it's time, given the failed Trustworthy computing campaign and the mass operating disruptions for Windows owners, and billions of dollars spent on reparing Windows computers, that Microsoft stopped sitting around milking their installed base and started thinking outside the box
Dear Windows customers - it's Me again
The time is 03:27 and everything is as it should be (at least here in our HQ, but we also have a lot of money in the Bank)
o There have been discovered new fatal security failures in Microsoft Internet Explorer
o No new security updates for Microsoft Windows have been released since 16:00 yesterday
o Update your MS Windows with the updates from 16:00 yesterday
o There have only been found 9 new MS Windows security failures the last 22 days
o There are only discovered 22 new viruses for Microsoft Windows the last 18 days
-o-01 - WMS VULNERABILITY - Aug. 21
-o-02 - WORM_SLANPER.A - Aug. 21
-o-03 - WORM_AGOBOT.P - Aug. 20
-o-04 - PE_DUMARU.A - Aug. 19
-o-05 - WORM_SOBIG.F - Aug. 19
-o-06 - WORM_MSBLAST.E - Aug. 18
-o-07 - WORM_MSBLAST.D- Aug. 18
-o-08 - WORM_MSBLAST.B - Aug. 16
-o-09 - WORM_MSBLAST.A - Aug. 16
-o-10 - WORM_MSBLAST.GEN - Aug. 15
-o-11 - WORM_MSBLAST.C - Aug. 15
-o-12 - WORM_THRAX.A - Aug. 15
-o-14 - HKTL_DCOM.Y - Aug. 14
-o-15 - BKDR_LITH.103.A - Aug. 13
-o-16 - TROJ_MSBLAST.DRP - Aug. 13
-o-17 - WORM_WUKILL.A - Aug. 12
-o-18 - WORM_RPCSDBOT.A - Aug. 11
-o-19 - WORM_FRANRIV.A - Aug. 8
-o-20 - BKDR_CIREBOT.B - Aug. 6
-o-21 - BKDR_CIREBOT.A - Aug. 5
o Update your virus-definitions
o There have not been discovered new viruses for MS Windows since yesterday
o There are no new worms for Microsoft Windows the last 36 hours
o Delete your viruses from the InBox
o Set your Firewall to the highest possible alertness
o There are found over-flooded mail boxes with over 1gb of virus mails
Thank you for choosing a Microworm Product
Sorry to interrupt you again
The time is 16:43 and everything is still as it should be (at least here in our HQ, but we also have even more money in the Bank)
There has just arrived this new virus alert
o - O97M_TORAJA3.C - Aug. 21
This is then virus no. 22 since 5. august (still 2003)
This is a destructive, multi-platform macro virus that works on Microsoft Office 97 and Office 2000 applications, specifically Word and Excel. It uses Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) codes to infect Word documents, Excel sheets ands templates. It also has the ability to infect across these documents.
The virus deletes 11250 characters from the start of the infected document and all data found in Excel sheet cell A1 to J17. It also disables macro virus protection on Word and Excel 97.
When the Tools->Macro->Security menu is clicked in MS Word 2000 the following message is displayed:
Thank you for choosing a Microworm Product
Nothing to report
The time is 11:30 and everything is well (at least here in our HQ, but we also have even more money in the Bank)
o - Regrettably there is nothing to report this time. We are closed, due to counting our inventory. A part of the Windows source code seems to be missing. The code is reported as MISSING, and our systems run therefore on level: eRUN - with status: AIR. We are searching in customers InBoxes around the Internet as there are found over-flooded mail boxes with over 1gb of virus mails. Do not expect more.
Thank you for choosing a Microworm Product
60.345 records in this file
Ref# - Most people are already comfortable with an IBM compatible PC with Windows OS - according to this: http://www.oreillynet.com/pub/wlg/3532#thread
I was refered to this site by the fine folks at appleturns. What is wrong with people like you?
1. Drugs are bad mmm'kay?
Your musings should be labeled filed under humor. All of the points have been made by other posters so all I can add to this is that people like you are just bound and determined to find fault with anything that is not part of the Microsoft hegenomy as a result of a phobia against all things that do not conform to your view of what is the "majority" consensus and that apparently means it has to be Microsoft. I suppose this also means McDonald's makes the best hamburgers.
While your work is terribly funny, it is also an indicator of an underlying problem related to mental health. Unfortunately, the "cure" is more often than not the "cause" of the problem.
I've worked with Microsoft, Apple, Linux, Irix and Sun products and so far, Apple is my favorite and while I don't consider them perfect, your assertions are laughable.
Maybe you should lay off the happy pills.
As far as the Apple comments, I found a funny, appropriate response at http://www.appleturns.com/ on 12-10. It's the piece entitled "And They Pay Him for This". Check it out.
Just a couple things about Apple.
1) Apple killed the Newton because it was a non-performing segmet for Apple. Either kill the Newton or let the company die. Sometimes sacrifices have to be made at one point in time to better the whole. Note: Newton itself is dead, BUT Newton's technologies have continued to be refined
2) Fire and IT department for buying Apple? Did the company NOT have any internal controls or SLA's or something to control this? Were there not standards in place? What was the reason for this?
3) Media Center PC's. Completely worthless machinery. Ooo... Volume controls on the tower, a remote control, "Volume" appearing on the screen as your raise/lower the volume, making it look like a TV screen. It's worthless. The Media Center PC's came about because the Windows world needed something to compete with Apple's Digital Hub. If you work with Media Center PC's, you realize how thin the facade is.
4) The iPod. It's was NEVER designed to be a PDA. It's designed to play music. The PDA features came about because it was one of the most requested features for the iPod. These features are a matter of convenience for the user. i have my complete addressbook and calendar sync'd to my iPod. But I NEVER once use my iPod to search for a phone number. That's what my Tungsten is for. But as many people know... it's ALWAYS good to have a backup.
5) Tablet PC. It is a niche market. Caught somewhere between a PDA and a laptop. Computer manufacturers haven't sold many, but Windows is updating the Tablet OS. But no one is buying it.
A few interesting arguments made here, but generall the author is very weak and flawed in his arguments. Why would Apple want to create a tablet, if the ENTIRE industry barely sells what is produced? It is a waste of resources.
Why would Apple want a smartphone, if Nokia, and Motorola and SonyEriccson make great ones? Apple spends their resources to make sure that these phones SEAMLESSLY work with the Macintosh. Ever see someone try to hook up a phone to a Windows PC?? It can take hours or days to finally get things working. On a Mac... it was.. Plug in cord to USB port, plug in phone... Open iSync... DONE.
Gateway stores are more cool?? How many people -- GenX or GenY -- would even say "Gateway is Cool?" 'Nuff said.
"More and more seem to realize that iTunes only works with the iPod, making it likely they might have to, at some future point, repurchase all of the music they have already purchased online through iTunes should they ever want to use that music on something else."
What's being repurchased again? An emphatic nothing is the answer. Every other music service bought into by the general public affords no ownership rights to the music you have so-called "purchased". These companies have successfully snowed music "renters" if you think that you ever owned any of the songs you downloaded from buymusic.com, or pressplay. Read it in the fineprint.
More accurately you could say that you have to pay again for you were expecting the first time, only to have it stolen from you when your subscription ran out. Proving once again that you should've done it right the first time. It's the consumers poor retail descision on trial not the companies providing the services.
Also the iPod is not a PDA.
"The term 'financial gain' includes receipt, or expectation of receipt, of anything of value, including the receipt of other copyrighted works."
This is from U.S. Code Collection, Title 17 (copyrights), Chapter 1, Section 101: "Definitions." In short, this is from the very first section in copyright law -- the section that defines terms even before those terms are used. This is some pretty fundamental stuff when it comes to copyrights in the U.S.
Pertinent, if you will.
And note how copyright law expressly includes "the expectation of receipt" of anything of value, and expressly mentions "receipt of other copyrighted works" as such a thing of value. And that's the very definition of "financial gain," as far as U.S. copyright law is concerned.
Now guess what the GPL is all about?
Maybe someone can explain to Darl that the GPL is designed so that people receive the value of other peoples copyrighted works in return for having made their own contributions. That is the fundamental idea of the whole license -- everything else is just legal fluff.
So not only is Darl wrong when he attacks the GPL as being somehow against "financial gain;" the notion that the GPL has, of "exchange of receipt of copyrighted works," is actually explicitly encoded in U.S. copyright law.
So if Darl calls that notion unconstitutional, he is actually attacking the U.S. code as it stands today.
The legal code itself:
Absolutely AMAZING rebuttals to what has to be the most heinous raping of journalistic integrity I've seen this year. But, maybe I overstate the skill of the readers replying, as Rob made it too damned easy!
The only person who should be fired is not the guys who went Apple IT, but Rob himself.
Do you even read over your article before you send it off? You are so full of misinformation and straight out falsehoods it comical. A little research, and a less biased agenda would go a long way. I can't believe you had the nerve to accuse the company that is the epitome of "Think Different" of not thinking outside the box. I don't know what you would call the flat panel iMac if not innovative. As for having to pay for upgrades to the OS, so Microsoft gives theirs away do they?
I'm sorry to say that you embarrassed yourself with this article.
"...The only IT department I've ever seen fired was fired as a result of choosing Apple. I've been getting a lot of feedback from Apple supporters, and many seem to agree with my position that you can love the products but hate the company. This attitude seems to permeate experienced IT buyers, who seem to have a good memory of how they were abandoned by Apple a few short years ago without so much as an apology,"
The only IT Department to ever be fired was using Macs, and no one else has ever been fired in the industry? Did you do your own research and did you check your facts? Does your performance make you a Journalist or a Story Teller?
C'mon Rob, let's be honest here.
Media Center PC is a joke. Regardless of what M$ would like the world to believe, devices such as TiVO, separate, standalone DVD-Recorders, and Digital On-Demand cable systems provide a much more appropriate solution to the digital needs of the masses than complicated, crash-prone, office-centric devices like a traditional computer. M$ seems to think that throwing Freestyle/MCXP on top of the traditional PC with a big HD makes it the best thing to happen to digital media since the VCR. Yet the only thing that they have in common is that they are both devices which no one (other than the tech-geeks) can figure out!
The MC PC is nice CONCEPT but if fails b/c it does not begin from the place where people experience digital media NOW - in the living room. Using the MC concept to watch my videos/pictures/audio/etc I am forced to either a) sit in front of my computer's 15" LCD in my office chair b) plop an ugly PC box next to by 52" projection TV in the living room, or c) run a jungle of S-Video and audio cables from my office upstairs down to my living room 1/2 house away.
How does this make any sense for the average consumer?
And why should I dedicate a $2500 PC just to the purpose of recording/storing my digital media when I could be using that for other purposes OR buy a $200 TiVO Series 2 that automatically detects and plays back any of my media files from any of my existing PC's in my house AUTOMATICALLY?
You're mistaken about Apple.
Apple's Media Center PC is the TiVO.
Why? Because TiVO understands that to create the best product for the market you cater you need only ENHANCE the existing way that consumers interact, not completely turn it on it's head. $200 for a TiVO series 2 that pulls my digital media from anywhere versus $2500 for a HP MCPC.
PS: TabletPC is clearly still in it's infancy as a market. Jobs stating that it is a niche market is absolutely accurate. It does not mean they will not compete, perhaps it just means that they want to wait till the market matures before attempting to provide a mature product for it, yes? Handwriting recognition is already built into the OS last I checked.
PPS: PDA's. Yet another market that Apple is missing out on? So let's see, Palm's stock is where? M$ has gone through how many different incarnations of "the OS formerly known as WinCE?"
The only thing saving the PDA market at all is the integration of cell phones and PDA's. Yet even these are only just starting to mature into decent products. Yet another market in its infancy. And why reinvent the wheel? Macs (and Windows) sync just fine with Palm-based devices. Current models of Macs with Bluetooth support amazing integration between BT-equipped PDA's. Why create a new "Apple PDA" with another proprietary "Apple OS" that looks great and lures all the AppleHeads and costs 2x as much as the competition and whose functionality is 70% covered by your existing iPod and ultimately nobody develops for anyway?
Apple has created some great products.
M$ may just have a winnner with the TPC concept.
And Palm may just be in for a revival now that they've got back Handspring and Hawkins. But there's one lesson I think Apple's learned:
Innovation does not always have to = reinventing the wheel.
I stumbled upon Enderle's article and thought it was an interesting if not coherent perspective. Then I read speedracerx's response and found speedracerx to be far more coherent and persuasive. Makes you wonder what it takes to be a "tech writer" if you are outdone by somebody called speedracerx.
PLEASE MR. ENDERLE! Get a brain will you! I am the IT Manager for the Bend Bulletin, a local newspaper that reaches over 35,000 subscribers. Our paper is layed out using QuarkXPress 6.0 for OS X, and until recently, all our servers were Dell Xeon 1U's, running 30 of them. We bought them brand new, and 6 came faulty out of the box! We returned them all to Dell, and bought an equal amount of Apple xServe's with a 1.42 Dual G4 Processor. These machines worked without a hitch, and management was even more pleased at my recent year-end budget reporting, it being $7829.59 less with the Apple servers rather than Dell's. I have yet to be fired, and my life is SO much easier now that I can depend on OS X's ultimate stablility.
talk about shooting for the moon! In one piece Rob shows the old saying that those that can, do. those that can't, teach (or opine).
Not only does Rob misrepresent what Apple's products do (or can't do) he has the audacity to "read between the lines" and laud McBride's claim of being a Patriot, looking out for the common man, god, country and apple pie?
As an opinion writer he is obviously not bound by any of the journalistic tenets (like doing the leg work to research first hand or at least verify facts), but he should at least pick up a paper now and then.
IBM just won a major ruling and the following Monday he puts Mcbride out front as a shining example of thinking outside the box. The judge ruled that Mcbride must show the disputed code -- something that he would not or more likely can not do -- within 30 days. We will see very shortly whether he is a Patriot or another Carpetbagger, trying to take from others rewards that he could not win for himself in the marketplace.
As far as his hack attempts with Apple, he simply shows that he is working with dated stereotypes and regurgitating the FUD that MS, Dell and others are espousing regarding iTunes and the iPod.
All Apple has done this year is erase the distance between the Mac and the PC, introduce the first 64 bit mass produced systems, deploy a significant new OS, introduce the first 17" laptop (and still the only one that isn't a "brick"), introduce the first Media Software Suite that encompasses and integrates all of ones digital media (songs, pictures, movies, documents, etc). Had their systems used to create the 3rd fastest supercomputer (ahead of the supposed supperior Wintel boxes and processors). Oh yeah and they did a little thing like revolutionize the Music Industry (Rolling Stone's quote not mine). Not a bad year and one deserving of the significant bump in market share, revenue and stock price that they have had in 2003 -- especially when one considers the economic conditions of the past year.
Jobs has always been an innovator (not just in the tech field, see Pixar). In Business thats like being told you have potential. Potential hasn't done anything and innovators generally lose the market place once others ape and mass manufacture their innovation. For the first time Apple/Jobs seems to be using their innovation to drive the direction of the market and win market share. We'll see how successful they will be but i would wager it will be far more successful than Rob hopes they will be.
There's a reason Rob that you are writing about and not running a major IT shop. Regardless of what you tell yourself in the mirror it has nothing to do with your chosen direction.
Tablet PC? Junk. Both the OS (WinXP Tablet) and the hardware (My corporation has top of the line Toshiba's) are beta quality at best. In fact, we are attempting to get our money back as we have clearly been made the subjects of some beta testing program. Apple waits until a product is high quality and mature before releasing it, unlike these other companies. Paying for too many upgrades? All of the OS X upgrades (education discount) combined cost less than XP. Brilliant tech guru you are. PDA's? Umm I can only think of one person I know, in either my work or personal life, who uses a PDA. And they only bought it because it integrated so well with their Mac. Windows Media Center? Why do you think this aberration was invented? To compete with macs that can almost ALL do virtually everything a Windows Media Center PC can do. They just don't have to slap a big "Media Center Edition" lable on their machines because Mac users have become quite accustomed to having a useful, smoothly functioning, digital hub for all of their media needs. You are so out of touch with reality you should be a politician. You should switch to badmouthing Windows because: 1) You won't have to lie anymore 2) Its much easier as they provide you with years of material with their 3rd rate products. I must say I am surprised you have a column of your own that is supposedly "tech" as you seem to know as much about tech as you do about journalism. (hint, that was not a compliment). Keep up the good work.
The parts about Apple are just flame bait. A great way to get eyeballs. Very Morton Downey Jr. of you.
NPR recently mentioned a study where the authors qualified 70-80% of employees as 'incompetent'. That is, they just weren't good at their jobs. More frightening was the 20% who went even further and were classified as 'confident incompetents'. Those are the people the ones who are incompetent but either believe they know what they are talking about, or they at least pull it off well enough that other people believe them.
I think the vast number of people who have responded so far know where to place you.
A technical writer who is so out of touch with technology that he refuses to accept that the Tablet isn't a run-away success. Someone who thinks that everyone is still using their palms (I've got two in MY office.. want one? we don't use either).. It's a wonder you have a job.
And as for your Apple recommending IT shop, maybe you should do an article on the reasoning behind CIOs that DON'T fire MS IT shops who bring their corporation to its knees during every major virus/trojan outbreak?... How about the MS using shops that are forced to submit to MS audits?,.. or the ones that have their entire infrastructures brought down by the latest global MS security exploit?
So Apple has not been thinking outside the box? Just read that to yourself a few times.
Operating system upgrades. Windows users need to do that too. Also note there are no annoying registration codes that lock you out of your computer when you upgrade your video card.
Jobs won't admit he's wrong? Yes he will, after Apple got horribly behind in CD burning he admitted the mistake and made sure Apple didn't get behind -- thus Apple puts DVD burners now in most of their products, way ahead of the adoption rate on PCs.
Apple's closed nature? iTunes, due to DRM issues can't share music with other devices -- aside from the fact that they don't support AAC in most cases anyway. It's not like people will need to repurchase music though -- just burn and import.
And your beloved Microsoft is not closed too? Where is the access to the core OS source code? Here's Apple's:
MS doesn't even release the format of Word docs publically since they don't want other apps reading them. Am I "locked into MS" and I'll have to retype them if I want them back? No, but this is the same type of argument you made about the iTMS.
As both a Mac and PC owner I'm appalled at your seeming vendetta against Apple. How about you try some fair and balanced articles. Thinking outside the box is one of Apple's hallmarks.
Also... face it, the tablet PC has been flopping -- it sucks.
"Apple's closed nature isn't being missed by many: More and more seem to realize that iTunes only works with the iPod, making it likely they might have to, at some future point, repurchase all of the music they have already purchased online through iTunes should they ever want to use that music on something else."
First of all, iTunes works fine with my pre-iPod MP3 player.
It is true that the older, pre-AAC player won't play the AAC files I purchase via the iTunes music store, but there is a migration path back to MP3 or other formats if the need ever arises; I am not locked in to anything.
OK, so maybe we can fault Apple for moving to AAC ahead of anyone else in the space, just as they were criticized for depending on USB before the rest of the world. Well, those of us who adopted USB early via Apple have had our investment validated, and AAC is available and a viable option for manufacturers of current and future music players.
Don't confuse innovation and value leadership for artificial vendor lock-in.
I've found The Breville Muffin Magic MFM50XL to also be a terrible PDA
I think Rob is all over the map here.
"EXPERIENCED IT BUYERS"
Having read Apple's web-based positioning statements it's apparent they aren't looking to cozy up to Fortune 500 IT departments. Not sure of the relevance of his comment here. Apple seems to be targeting home users, graphical and artistic professionals, video and photo professionals and education/universities. Perhaps some day they will focus on corporations but from what I read that's not on their short list today.
"UPGRADE TO LATERST VERSION OF OS"
All said, over the past several years I've paid a fair and reasonable price for OS X and its upgrades. Compare that to the Windows space where home users need to have decided between 3.11, 95, 98, ME, NT, 2000 and XP many of which have different drive format and, worse, peripheral incompatibility. Let's see, I've paid for 3.11, 95, 98, NT, 2000 before switching (back) to Mac and the price of Windows OS's are not cheap when you buy them stand alone. If you buy PC (Mac or Wintel), the OS comes with it and the price is reasonable. If you wish to run the latest and greatest OS, you pay. Simple.
"REPURCHASE MUSIC IF IPOD CUSTOMER BUYS NON-IPOD DEVICE LATER"
This is flat out false. Rob obviously had a deadline to hit on this article and didn't research his facts clearly. iTunes (windows or mac) allows you to BURN to MP3, AAC or AIFF. There is absolutely NO NEED to repurchase music.
"STEVE JOBS: TABLET IS A NICHE PRODUCT"
It is. Industry sales prove this statement. Less than 100,000 units have shipped to date. Moreover, Rob seems to equate Palm computing with Tablet computing. BIG difference. Sure Apple "lost" the market in the PDA space, however partnering with Palm is a wise move and I'm not convinced this segment needs another competitor today.
"FAILED SWITCHER CAMPAIGN"
On what grounds has this "failed"? These adds are more market awareness based than trying to drive direct sales. Why does Coke and McDonald's advertise so much? They're already number one? Because they never want you to forget who they are or that they are there. Market Awareness. Given the infrequency with which home users (a large apple target market) update their hardware, isn't it reasonable to see these advertisements as market awareness? Apple are building their prospect base today to ensure future sales. Add to that the hot iPod market, hot iTunes market, the fact Apple's laptop market is nearly doubling and the fact that 14% of respondents when asked said they'd consider Apple hardware, Apple is on track with this advertising campaign.
"ipod makes a teriible PDA" and the iMac makes a terrible notebook. Problem is, that ia not what they were intended to be. Looks like you're scrapping the bottom of the barrel...
In regards to Apple - basically, you could not be more wrong. I'll bet you don't use a tablet PC, why should anyone else? Until you use one 24/7 and tell us it's much faster, better and makes more sense than typing - why are you telling us to? Sure, there are occupations and situations where it is better and more useful but it's exactly the same size market as people who need ruggedized PC's - a couple hundred thousand people - hence the word NICHE. Tablet PC's will sell exactly the same number of sofware copies of BOB - just because MS sells it doesn't make it worthwhile.
As for "missing" out on the PDA market - a) Apple invented the PDA but their time has already come and gone already so after you minus the massive R&D and the cost of materials & distribution, it's now a ZERO SUM game. MS only jumped in the market because Palm was in it - unlike other coampnies that have to factor in costs to jump into a market, for MS, as long as it doesn't cost $40 billion, they'll do it just to see if there's anything there - just like MS Auto OS and their Phone OS. We have pretty much seen the last of any major PC CE OS for the PDA market. It's the digital watch market. There's still play in it but only if it's $9.99 to $39.99 - the PDA market is at a slightly higher price point but other than gadget freaks, it's being replaced as we speak by multi-function phones and 12" ibooks & powerbooks. You might want to wake up and look around a little more.
As for Apple products, you really need to meet a few more people - I can find 5 people who think we should move the Earth further away from the Sun also but that doesn't mean they're not idiots. Sure, there are disgruntled customers - I defy you to find one company where there aren't disgruntled customers who don't want to buy their products ... for whatever reason - real or imagined.
As for having to pay for an OS, again, you can find cheapskates for anything - if they don't want or can't afford it - don't buy it - unlike MS OS', you don't need to upgrade because they'll stop functioning. (In fact, I know someone who upgraded to XP and it wiped their drive clean but again, you can't really use 2 people as your divining rod).
In regards to the itunes thing, your friends and people you rely for info (as you apparently cannot figure out to test it out yourself) are idiots. read carefully, you can convert the songs to the CD format by highlighting and selected and selecting CONVERT TO ... Now, I know that's pretty difficult because unlike most PC software, you don't need to download plug-ins or call up MS for verification. Now, after that - if you lose it on your hard drive, that's just because XP's filing system is still bad and frankly, your friends are idiots (perhaps they should go back to PDA's and leave computers to the semi-literate).
And the ipod is not a PDA. It's an Mp3 player that has additional functions. Hell, you can even boot off of it - does a PDA let you do that or a Pocket PC PDA - no - but you obviously only judge harshly one way.
As for the media center, sure - that's nice but unlike PC users, on the mac. you can assemble one in 2 minutes (add eyeTv & remote - $250) - unlike a stock Pc where it may or may not work.
And if your idea of "cool stuff" is at the Gateway - dude, you gotta get out of South Dakota - hell, even Gateway is out of South Dakota. Their big thing is a plasma screen but it's not even HD - you might be impressed by that but those who don't rely on press releases or our idiot friends to tell us all our info know that.
Is Apple perfect - no. But for an analyst, your points are all factually incorrect info and based on information from a few people. Have you even used a Mac for more than 3 minutes? - your itunes/ipod info is just plainly wrong - it's embarassing. You make several other points in your column but I'm not going to comment on those but I don't go around epousing opinions on things I'm clearly not familiar with.
You might hate Steve Jobs or Apple - hey, that's your choice but you should have the courtesy to actually try out the products before declaring judgment - you shouldn't just rely on a few other opinions and use that as your judgement - how about actually using some of the "tech" FOR YOURSELF and forming factual-based opinions?
As for the the other matters related to the marketplace, you're just wrong - but hey, congrats on hanging on to a 21st century column using facts from the mid to late 20th century - good for you!
Sorry to blow your cover.
Why are you so obsessed with dissing Apple? Hardly an article of yours goes by without you taking a bunch of cheap potshots at a company that is doing it's best to stay in business and allow Apple employees to keep their jobs in this difficult environment.
You also seem to have some kind of lunatic obsession with the whole SCO case. Do you ever write an article without mentioning this lawsuit? I honestly don't think so.
TabletPC? Ooo, that's a winner. MediaCenter, please. M$ XBox has more appeal. Once writers understand itís all about integration, not flashing lights, will the tech sector move forward.