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Microsoft Businesses Apple

Apple, the New Microsoft? 703

Posted by Zonk
from the rolling-stone-obviously-an-authority-on-this dept.
VE3OGG writes "Apple, the ultimate source of cool. The marketers of slick. The next 'evil empire'? While it might sound goofy at first, Rolling Stone magazine is running an article that summarizes some very interesting points that detail how Apple could become the next technology bad guy. Among the reasons given: Apple's call to be rid of DRM (while continuing to use it in iTunes); Apple's perceived arrogance when they warned consumers not to upgrade to Vista, while not rushing to fix the problem themselves; and Apple's seemingly unstoppable market dominance in the form of the iPod. The iPhone featured heavily as well, a product that is months from release but steals the press from more competitive products. What do you think, could Apple eventually take the place of Microsoft?"
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Apple, the New Microsoft?

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  • by betelgeuse68 (230611) on Friday February 09, 2007 @03:58PM (#17953688)
    But competition is good... since Lord knows, MS needs it.

    -M
    • by Lobais (743851) on Friday February 09, 2007 @05:20PM (#17955542)
      "Instead of a Dark Lord, you would have a queen, not dark but beautiful and terrible as the dawn! Tempestuous as the sea, and stronger than the foundations of the earth! All shall love me and despair!" - Steve Jobs
  • by jurt1235 (834677) on Friday February 09, 2007 @03:58PM (#17953708) Homepage
    Someone had to say it
    • Yeah, I gotta go with that sentiment too. A 20-year Apple monopoly can't get much worse than the 20-year MS monopoly.
  • Sure, why not? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by the_humeister (922869) on Friday February 09, 2007 @03:59PM (#17953736)
    AT&T used to be the big evil empire. Then it was IBM. Microsoft took over for IBM. Sure why not have Apple take over for Microsoft as most hated company? So who came before AT&T? Standard Oil?
    • Re:Sure, why not? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by SatanicPuppy (611928) * <[Satanicpuppy] [at] [gmail.com]> on Friday February 09, 2007 @04:30PM (#17954394) Journal
      You didn't notice the common thread in all the past evil empires that you listed.

      AT&T (The Bells): Phone/Telecom monopoly. Is there a phone/telecom monopoly today? No.
      IBM: Hardware monopoly. Is there a hardware monopoly today? No.
      Microsoft: Software monopoly. Is there a software monopoly today? Yes. Is it shrinking? Yes.

      There is always that guy who jumps in and grabs the whole market when it's brand new. The thing is, it never lasts, and then the market gets filled up with a lot of small savvy competitors, and fragments. This happens over and over throughout history. Microsoft seems eternal to us, but they're still pretty new, I mean, they're younger than I am. In forty years, they'll be completely different, and will not have the same level of dominance.

      Apple may become an evil empire, if they work out a way to do real digital convergence so well that all other attempts fall hilariously flat. But the iPod is not an empire in itself...It's just a nice product.
      • Re:Sure, why not? (Score:4, Informative)

        by eln (21727) on Friday February 09, 2007 @04:40PM (#17954566) Homepage
        AT&T (The Bells): Phone/Telecom monopoly. Is there a phone/telecom monopoly today? No.

        Yes there is, and it's called AT&T. For local telephone service, AT&T it almost to where they were when they got broken up in the first place.
        • Phone monopoly? (Score:3, Insightful)

          by jbengt (874751)
          Almost,

          But now you have the option to forgo the land line and choose from several cell phone providers (available from several providers other than AT&T).
          Or maybe even VOIP through your cable modem. (though in some places, you could be stuck with AT&T for cable too)

          Still, the trend of re-combining is not good.
    • by pjbaldes (635377) on Friday February 09, 2007 @05:06PM (#17955206) Homepage
      They are the next monopoly....
  • Duh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TomorrowPlusX (571956) on Friday February 09, 2007 @04:01PM (#17953762)

    If it weren't for Microsoft, Apple would be Microsoft.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Bryansix (761547)
      Exactly! Apple is only hindered in it's evil nature by the amount of market share it has. Look at their lame "I'm better then you" campaign they launched on the PC. Every single argument was a straw man. It was complete and utter bullshit. Then you have the lip service to non-DRM music while their own product locks you into their own service. It's totally hypocritical how Apple acts.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Tronster (25566)

      If it weren't for Microsoft, Apple would be Microsoft.

      I believe your statement. I remember in high school hearing about the Apple vs Microsoft case regarding Windows. I thought (and still do think) it was lame for Apple trying to maintain a monopoly on the GUI; they had been using it for so many years why not let others now innovate with it. (This was also before I learned how Apple ganked it from Xerox.) It was political moves like this which helped fuel the decision for me to upgrade from my Apple ][ to a 386dx-40 instead of an Apple Macintosh.

      Now here

      • by falconwolf (725481)

        This was also before I learned how Apple ganked it from Xerox

        Apple didn't steal the GUI from Xerox PARC. In return for an investment in Apple Xerox invited Steve Jobs to Palo Alto Research Center, PARC [fortunecity.com], in 1979. There he saw some of the technology Xerox was working on there. Seeing the gui Xerox came up with he took the idea back to Apple where the Woz, Steve Wozniak [woz.org], had a team work on the Lisa which became the Macintosh.

        Now here I am 12 years later, typing on an AMD based computer running Windows

  • Office and Visual Studio are actually allright. The very problem is that MS dominates the market and doesn't have to compete in technology, customer service or public image. It would be great if Apple also gets some decent competition in music arena.
  • anyone can be MS (Score:2, Insightful)

    Um...any company that gains an overwhelmingly dominant market position can be Microsoft in that area. Once a company has totally squashed the competition, there's nothing left to do but play defense against potential rivals. That is a disincentive for innovation, good customer service, good value for money, etc.

    Competition is good, all else being equal.
  • "Apple, the penultimate source of cool"

    So Apple is second to last in coolness?
  • by Geek_3.3 (768699) on Friday February 09, 2007 @04:07PM (#17953888)
    ...NOT a freakin non-profit agency. (although a few of those suck too)

    Apple's sole purpose, if you boiled everything down, is to make money. Never forget that. And to address the question at hand, sure, apple can be the next M$. Google can be the next M$. M$ can be deregulated, broken-up, then reformed into the NEW M$ and be the "next M$."

    Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely. It's only a matter of time (and regulation).

    (although apple's stuff is purdy, i suppose ;-)
    • by catbutt (469582) on Friday February 09, 2007 @04:36PM (#17954490)

      Apple's sole purpose, if you boiled everything down, is to make money.
      I disagree. As an Apple stockholder (basically my life savings, for the last 6 years), I know that there was plenty more than making money that went into my decision to buy apple stock. I like what they do. Their "sole purpose" might be to serve the interests of their stock holders. But stockholders are human beings, but I know at least one of them has interests beyond making money.

      Secondly, I think its clear that Steve Jobs is fundamentally different than Bill Gates, and really is driven by a desire to change the world for the better. Yes he is a shrewd businessman as well, but I think he thinks that if they create great products and make people happy, the money will follow. Bill Gates and Microsoft seem to have the opposite priorities...make money, and create a great product only if you have to to acheive the former goal. If you can do it other ways (such as leveraging the monopoly, etc), just as good.

      You also seem to be ignoring the fact that companies can decide that doing good things (or being perceived as doing so) is their preferred route to making money. Google, whether or not you agree with their definition of "evil", presumably thinks that it is a good business strategy to try to maintain an image of being a good guy. They think it is a good long term strategy.

      Microsoft hasn't really worried too much about that, while other companies have. Now that the internet is what it is, it becomes a much more important priority, as a bad reputation hurts a lot more these days.
    • by SanityInAnarchy (655584) <ninja@slaphack.com> on Friday February 09, 2007 @05:26PM (#17955674) Journal

      Apple's sole purpose, if you boiled everything down, is to make money.

      A person's sole purpose, if you boiled everything down, is to reproduce. So I take it you support rape? What about prostitution? Hell, why are you even on Slashdot? Go breed!

      The fact that a form of natural selection means we're left with the companies best able to make money does NOT mean that is or should be every company's sole purpose in life. It is NOT a justification for Apple behaving the way it does, or for M$ behaving the way it does.

      Whether or not Google lives up to it, stating "Don't be evil" as a company motto is a good idea.

      And ultimately, I'd hope that evil companies lose in the long run anyway. Don't you? Don't you hope that a combination of regulation, customer dissatisfaction, employee moral crisis, and honest competition will one day unseat the Microsofts and Sonys of the world?

      Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely. It's only a matter of time (and regulation).

      And regulation removes power.

      For that matter, I don't know about Apple, but I really see no way that Canonical could become corrupt. If they did, we'd fork and move on. Or take IBM -- yes, I can buy an IBM server to put Linux on. And if IBM becomes corrupt, I'll buy Dell servers, or build my own.

      It is possible to be a profit-driven company and not seek or maintain absolute power.

      Oh, and by the way, are you religious? Are you aware that this statement applies to God? Just thought I'd mention that. If you believe in a God with any shred of compassion, then you must reject the "absolute power" statement.

  • penultimate? (Score:2, Interesting)

    Apple, the penultimate source of cool.

    So who will the last source of cool be? I'm confused.
    Or is someone trying too hard to use big words again?
  • by GBC (981160) * on Friday February 09, 2007 @04:09PM (#17953922)
    Apple's products are generally of a much higher quality than those of Microsoft which gives them a pass from most geeks. However, they have shown, both through their actions and the actions of Steve Jobs, that they are no better than Microsoft the company in how they behave.

    Some examples off the top of my head - legal action against bloggers, iPhone trade mark, stock options, treatment of Woz.

    If anything, they are able to get away with actions which would be considered unforgivable were they committed by Microsoft. The only reason they are not considered as evil is due to their size - except in the case of music downloads, they are not in a monopoly position.

    Apple are a very big company (albeit smaller than Microsoft) and have been for many years. To pretend they are otherwise is naive to say the least.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by nine-times (778537)

      On the other hand, Apple has one distinction that makes them different from Microsoft: they're currently making good products. However much I might like or hate a business emotionally or philosophically, I feel like we should all give some credit to those who are putting out a product worth buying.

      Microsoft hasn't released anything worthwhile since their 2000 line, excepting perhaps the XBox. Pretty much their entire product line is reliant on bullying OEMs and leveraging product lock-in. Otherwise, the

    • by catbutt (469582) on Friday February 09, 2007 @04:50PM (#17954780)
      I have a hard time seeing how your examples compares with what microsoft has done.

      I mean "iPhone trademark"? Huh? What have they done evil? I'm sure the courts can help decide that fairly. Apple has no particular advantage over Cisco in that. I'm sure they will pay Cisco whatever they deserve, probably a lot more than I'd think they deserve.

      Stock options? Who exactly is harmed by that? The stockholders? I'm a stockholder, and sure am not complaining. It's a rule violation, sure, but how is that so evil?

      Legal actions against bloggers....ok I'll grant you Apple can be a bit of a control freak. I happen to enjoy Apples big dramatic announcements, and not having them spoiled, so I can't blame them from trying to protect stuff like that. Other things...well, ok, they can be a bit heavy handed.

      Treatment of Woz....Hmmm. He seemed to make out ok on the deal. That just seems a little bit of a personal thing on Steve Jobs part, not really Apple. Woz doesn't seem overly bitter. In any case, consumers aren't harmed by it.

      Microsoft, meanwhile, well almost everything they have done to leverage their monopoly to prevent competition is in a whole different ballpark. It directly hurts consumers by preventing competitors from staying in business and making new stuff, and by raising prices. That's evil.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Microsoft, meanwhile, well almost everything they have done to leverage their monopoly to prevent competition is in a whole different ballpark. It directly hurts consumers by preventing competitors from staying in business and making new stuff, and by raising prices. That's evil.

        You must have missed the Apple clone era where Apple licensed, and then shut down all the cloners because they turned out to be competitors.

        You must have missed Apple's long standing abuse of independent dealers, culminating
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by daviddennis (10926)
      I'm not going to defend Steve for suing the bloggers. That was wrong, and dumb. At the same time, though, it did wind up boosting the bloggers' image. They are journalists now, by honorable precedent, which is a ruling many are quite deservedly proud of.

      The iPhone trademark was essentially dead and buried by Cisco, whose laughable efforts to ressurect it were pretty transparent. Come on, sticking a label on a box and sending it to the Trademark office? Lame.

      I don't see Steve trying to get John Lassater
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        I don't see Steve trying to get John Lassater a few million more bucks through monkeying around with stock option timing worrying a lot of people. Anyone familiar with the history of Pixar knows John deserves every penny and then some.

        What the hell has deserves got to do with anything? If done, it was illegal and to the detriment of each and every stockholder and potential stockholder. In that place, I don't give a flying fuck if he deserves it. Plenty of people deserve things, illegal actions are not the

  • What about DVDs? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by sluke (26350)
    I noticed that they called Apple the largest purveyor of DRM technology. I thought that far more DVD's had been sold than songs from iTunes. Is there something I'm missing that makes DVD's free of DRM or is this just a case of Apple having DRM that's not broken too badly? I know that here in the USA it's just as illegal (thanks DMCA) to get around one as the other.
  • Among the reasons given: Apple's call to be rid of DRM (while continuing to use it in iTunes);

    My understanding is that they are still using it because their deal with the record companies, who actually own the rights to the music, won't let them sell it without DRM. If some of the labels don't require DRM, then Apple should definitely not require it either, though.

    Apple's perceived arrogance when they warned consumers not to upgrade to Vista, while not rushing to fix the problem themselves;

    This is unf

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by stratjakt (596332)
      My understanding is that they are still using it because their deal with the record companies, who actually own the rights to the music, won't let them sell it without DRM. If some of the labels don't require DRM, then Apple should definitely not require it either, though.

      As DVD Jon pointed out in a /. article yesterday, there are an assload of indie artists who would love to sell their music DRM-less on iTunes right now. Apple could allow this right now, and have it be completely transparent. Right now i
    • by chill (34294) on Friday February 09, 2007 @04:23PM (#17954202) Journal
      My understanding is that they are still using it because their deal with the record companies, who actually own the rights to the music, won't let them sell it without DRM. If some of the labels don't require DRM, then Apple should definitely not require it either, though.

      Only the Big 4, and EMI is wavering. Apple sells other music from publishers who not only don't require DRM, but actually sell plain MP3s on other sites.

      For example, Loreena McKennitt is available thru iTunes, in FairPlay wrapped evilness. However, head on over to her website and you can purchase her music direct, in MP3, AAC and even FLAC.

      From the site [quinlanroad.com]: "What is the difference between these Loreena McKennitt downloads and those offered by other digital download companies such as iTunes?
      A: Our files are Digital Rights Management free and are therefore compatible with most digital devices, playable on most audio programs and can be burned to CD."
  • But once Ballmer is out and the OS division and Application division become two separate public software companies, then we will find out what the engineers can deliver for an OS.
  • Apple has always been super proprietary in everything they do. These guys are the ultimate control freaks and always have been. They could have beat Microsoft the first time around if they weren't locking hardware and sofware developers out of their platform. Want to tweak your os/x gui? Apple keeps breaking the interface with each update _on purpose_ in order to freeze out customization apps. Backward compatibility through the Apple line is less than stellar, and explains some of their past troubles wi
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by necro2607 (771790)
      "Backward compatibility through the Apple line is less than stellar, and explains some of their past troubles with regard to market share. MS on the other hand have had some rational people in their midst who have always seen to it that backwards compatability rules. They almost never break backward compatability for any reason, and when they do it is because it is nearly technically impossible to keep. I can still run my DOS apps in XP."

      Take a look at this long list of applications people are running that
  • Apple can't be (Score:2, Interesting)

    by stratjakt (596332)
    As long as they follow their business model they've always had - tying software to hardware - they'll never achieve enough market penetration to be Microsoft. For consumer level stuff, if iTunes becomes too cumbersome, people will move on. It's yet to face any serious competition, when it does, it won't seem like such an unstoppable force.

    They could have very microsoft-ish market share if they'd sell OS/X for commodity hardware. I'd install it tomorrow if I could (i mean could in a supported way, not a h
    • Re:Apple can't be (Score:5, Insightful)

      by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) on Friday February 09, 2007 @04:39PM (#17954544)

      As long as they follow their business model they've always had - tying software to hardware - they'll never achieve enough market penetration to be Microsoft.

      Actually, in our current non-free market, that is the only way they can have significant growth.

      For consumer level stuff, if iTunes becomes too cumbersome, people will move on. It's yet to face any serious competition, when it does, it won't seem like such an unstoppable force.

      iTunes is a music jukebox application with about 1/10 the penetration of MS's Windows Media Player. Your comments don't make a lot of sense in that light.

      They could have very microsoft-ish market share if they'd sell OS/X for commodity hardware.

      They could go out of business if they'd sell OS X for commodity software. They already tried that once when they were ahead in the OS wars, and almost died. Several companies brought superior OS's to the market, but dies because of MS's monopoly power. Having a better OS is not enough to win in a monopolized market. It isn't even enough to survive unless you have a complete, separate chain of supply the monopoly cannot undermine.

      I'd install it tomorrow if I could

      Great. With you and all the other people that can afford to pay for a copy and who know how to install an OS, or even what an OS is, and who aren't locked into Windows for some applications or purposes that should boost Apple's market share about 3%, while completely killing the 50% of their revenue they get from hardware sales.

      People don't install OS's. If Apple can't reach the pre-install market with OS X they are missing the largest chunk. If they are missing that chunk and are missing the business market who is still locked in with ActiveX, .doc, VB, exchange, etc then they are missing all but a tiny portion of the legal market, a good chunk of which Apple already has.

      I'm sure some businesses love Macs and are all Apple this and Apple that, but that's the exception that proves the rule.

      Apple does not target business for a number of pretty good reasons I'm not going into right now. Apple can slowly grow market share (as they have been) so long as they maintain their hardware/software chain. The minute they break that, MS can kill them.

      You're right that the only way Apple will gain a large share of the market is by unbundling the two, but what you're failing to realize is that action is only possible if MS's monopoly is already broken or severely weakened. If Linux takes the business market, for example, then Apple could unbundle these two items. Or, if the government actually prosecuted MS effectively and broke them up into companies that were in competition with one another, then Apple would be forced to unbundle their products to survive as all the value of bundling would be gone, while the market would be highly competitive. Both are very unlikely in the near future.

  • Thanks to the nifty Apple/PC personified commercials I now know that all Apples come with an integrated video camera right in the monitor.

    Well thats just fucking nifty. Maybe I am just paranoid, but having a video camera trained on me whenever I use the computer is disquieting.

    I definitely don't need some snazzy Appl-ey hacker writing some code that lets remote useres watch me get all pissed off when I PK'ed playing WoW. And in my more intimate moments I already have to contend with ceiling cat.

    Thanks, bu
  • DRM (Score:3, Insightful)

    by KFW (3689) * on Friday February 09, 2007 @04:16PM (#17954074)
    I'm not sure how the statement "Apple's call to be rid of DRM (while continuing to use it in iTunes)..." fits in with this theme. Sure, the motives for Steve suddenly deciding that DRM is bad may be suspect, but at least Apple is moving in the right direction. Right now, they couldn't drop DRM if they wanted to for the vast majority of their catalog - they are bound by their contracts with the record labels. It would be nice to see them drop DRM from bands who would like to release DRM free music (e.g. BNL).

    /K
  • by gstoddart (321705) on Friday February 09, 2007 @04:16PM (#17954084) Homepage
    So, Apple is bad because they continue to use DRM on the iTunes store. Brilliant. It can't be because, oh, I don't know, that the media companies would absolutely freak out if Apple unilaterally dropped DRM. They can't -- they would end up in court I suspect.

    Warning their customers that their software doesn't run on Vista is a nice thing to do for their customers. As we've seen in other stories, lots of other software won't run on Vista either. Heck, some of Micosoft's own software won't run on Vista from what I've heard.

    And, from the last point in the summary, it is entirely possible that people like the iPod because it's a good product, and the iTunes software makes it easy to use. The iTunes music store is also nice, because it was quite literally, the first legal place to buy digital music. DRM or not.

    It is possible that at some point in the future Apple could become a big evil company. But, none of the things to suggest that in the article summary are anything more than FUD and sensationalism.

    Cheers
    • The Logic Patrol! (Score:3, Informative)

      by The Bungi (221687)
      Let's think about this, OK? Stay with me here. If Apple "unilaterally" dropped DRM then... what would happen? I'll tell you: they would have no music to sell at all. None. At least no music of the type that "matters" to the people who have paid for billions of downloads on iTMS. I.e., Britney Spears and 50 Cent or whatever. The recording and distribution companies (*AA) would drop their license with uncommon alacrity, assuming Apple actually wanted to expose themselves to copyright infringement to begin wit
    • So, Apple is bad because they continue to use DRM on the iTunes store. Brilliant. It can't be because, oh, I don't know, that the media companies would absolutely freak out if Apple unilaterally dropped DRM. They can't -- they would end up in court I suspect.

      According to Fred von Lohmann of the EFF, Apple would not drop iTunes Music Store DRM even if they could [eff.org]. As I understand it (I don't recall exactly where, but I think it was from one of DVD Jon's recent blog posts on the topic), Apple employs DR

  • by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) on Friday February 09, 2007 @04:19PM (#17954130)

    Lets look at these one at a time:

    Apple's call to be rid of DRM (while continuing to use it in iTunes);

    Apple is selling music players and needs a way to get music to users easily so they will buy said music players. The providers of said music are a cartel convicted of abuse multiple times. The cartel required DRM and Apple pushed back on how restrictive it is and prices. Does anyone think it would be better if Apple refused to do business with them and let Microsoft dominate the DRM market? Apple needed to be there to stop MS from using the incompatibility of DRM'd songs against their OS offering. There is nothing hypocritical about saying it would be better for everyone (except the RIAA) if DRM was no more, either voluntarily or by law. Does anyone complain that OpenOffice reads and writes .doc files, all while they talk about how bad it is people are locked in that format?

    Apple's perceived arrogance when they warned consumers not to upgrade to Vista, while not rushing to fix the problem themselves;

    Perceived arrogance? Some people think Apple was arrogant when they apologized for their software not working and recommended people hold off upgrades? Can you tell me the name of a software vendor that isn't cautioning customers to wait until things stabilize, because I'll happily stop doing business with the irresponsible twits.

    ...and Apple's seemingly unstoppable market dominance in the form of the iPod.

    They have about 70% which is the minimum share where some governments start investigating possible antitrust issues due to dominance. Compare this to MS's 90% and multiple convictions for abuse. Some of Apple's actions are antitrust abuse if they have enough market share, but all in markets where MS already is abusing their monopoly and the governments have declined to stop them. Two wrongs don't make a right, but two monopolies battling one another is a lot better than one screwing consumers as hard as possible.

    The iPhone featured heavily as well, aproduct[sic] that is months from release but steals the press from more competitive products.

    Ummm... umm... what? Apple released pictures and discussed a cool upcoming new device and people paid attention and this is somehow indicative of Apple becoming an evil empire? I like it when companies come out with cool toys. I hate it when they come out with crap that no one likes but everyone has to use anyway.

    Could Apple suddenly gain a dominant position in the market and then abuse that position? Well, it is vaguely possible, but the items listed are no reason to think it might be likely. If they do that, and we all suffer as a result I'll complain my head off, but one nice thing Apple has done to date is avoided any lock-in that keeps me from migrating all my hardware and files to another platform like Linux. Until they do that, I'm not about to lose any sleep over the danger of Apple, when the danger of MS has never been stopped and shows no signs of slowing.

  • by prpghandi (770424) on Friday February 09, 2007 @04:38PM (#17954536)
    Rolling Stone doesn't know music. Why do they know the technology industry?
  • by UnknowingFool (672806) on Friday February 09, 2007 @05:20PM (#17955552)

    Talk about spin:

    The announcement of the impending iPhone at last month's MacWorld conference set off shockwaves that rippled beyond the assembled geek alliance. It won't even be out until this summer, and it's already the most buzzed-about tech innovation since, well, the iPod, stealing the thunder of every gadget unveiled at Las Vegas' Consumer Electronics Show.

    Forgetting that Steve Jobs explained the decision to announce now rather than later. His explanation was that Apple was about to file applications with the FCC. Jobs wanted to quell any rumors and address everything up front once Apple did that.

    I guess this is compared to Cairo and Longhorn where some features promised have not been released in Vista even though they were promised 10 years ago. These announcements by MS had the effect of stifling adoption of other OS like OS/2, NextOS, etc. Maybe Apple will do the same thing, but I would wait til summer before I would accuse Apple of MS tricks.

    Steve Jobs announced Tuesday that he has asked the record labels to scrap their proprietary DRM software that prevents music from being shared, as he feels it's ineffective and merely hampers consumers from being able to listen to music how they please. Sounds good, right? Well, it's propaganda. Lost in his release is that that the largest source of proprietary DRM software is Apple, which prevents songs purchased from iTunes to be played on any competing player (and prevents the iPod from playing songs purchased from competing online music stores).

    Did he happen to read the rest of the article where Jobs explains that Apple has to include DRM or the content providers would not license the content to Apple. Also Apple is not alone in this situation. Sony, MS, Best Buy, hmmm. It seems that most online music distributors use DRM.

    When problems cropped up between iPods and the new Microsoft Vista operating system -- songs purchased through iTunes wouldn't play, and some users found their iPods corrupted after connecting to their PC -- Microsoft engineers hurriedly worked to try to solve the problem and make their system compatible. Apple, on the other hand, officially warned PC users to avoid installing Microsoft Vista -- at least until Apple gets around to updating the iTunes software in the next couple weeks or so.

    I don't know where this information comes from, but Apple's statement [apple.com] is thus:

    iTunes 7.0.2 may work with Windows Vista on many typical PCs. Apple recommends, however, that customers wait to upgrade Windows until after the next release of iTunes which will be available in the next few weeks. This document will be updated as more information becomes available.

    If you are upgrading to Windows Vista or have purchased a new computer with Windows Vista pre-installed, here is some information you may find helpful:

    Considering that some MS applications don't work with Vista, most companies are waiting until SP1 to install Vista, and other third party vendors like McAfee, Intuit, etc, are also having issues with Vista, I don't see how Apple's stance is unique.

  • by JoeCommodore (567479) <larry@portcommodore.com> on Saturday February 10, 2007 @02:37AM (#17960578) Homepage

    I see it going both ways

    A lot of us already know MS has been trying to be more like Apple for quite a while (as eveidenced by articles stating them trying to match Mac/iPod feature by feature.)

    But Apple has taken a thing or two from MS's strategies

    • Puting out unfinished software on the market and patching it after the fact - 10.1 was not good till 10.1.5, 10.2, didn't get good till around 10.2.7 or so, etc. (what happened tro just two numbers like 8.6 or 7.1??)
    • Sometimes charging more for some sigificant bug fixes. Case in point - Mac OS 10.1 (near useless) and 10,2 (usable but with some big probs with networking and such which wasn't resolved till 10.3, which also didn't get good till asbout 10.3.6) and there still are some bad Finder issues related to network shares. This also includes the AppleWorks replacement - iWork (wheres the spreadsheet? how about a Database?). (though the OS price is thankfully a half to a third of what MS tries to foist on their customers.)
    • Abandoning human interface standards in the sake of development speed. Some of the stuff apple puts out pales in comparison to the OS9 stuff in how they worked, many controls have clear buttons to add records, but none to delete (use the DEL key on keyboard) -such as Address Book and I bleieve Mail as well (the way apple implemented the addressbook/mail interation is pretty wierd too). Printer management is still pretty well hidden, you would think Apple of all people would have the foresight to put in in preferences.
    • What happened to the Mac?? or the OSX? last MACworld (I stress Mac as it is a show for the Macintosh computer) Apple showed the loyal computer fans it is changing from Apple Computer to Apple Inc. debuted a phone and a device for your TV. Those people who paid up to a thousand dollars to see Apple's latest computer advancements were told to wait till spring. (kind of Like MS heavily marketing the XBox, Zune, MS Live, Windows Mobile, etc. but not really working as hard on retaining the OS they have the market share on.)

    We use Macs at work and compared to Windows they are a breeze to work with, nary a problem, and I would not want to switch to Windows. But as much as I like them I've seen Apple streching themselves out sacrificing a bit of the business computer market for the consumer electronics market.

    The only group that is serious about business needs now seems to be Linux (and those that have adopted it Oracle, Novell, etc.).

  • by ibi (61235) on Saturday February 10, 2007 @12:36PM (#17963746)
    Apple's dominance of the iPod isn't nearly as threatening as MS's dominance over the desktop. There isn't as interesting a set of apps that someone could build on top of an iPod-like device as there are on the desktop. The iPhone is being rolled out into an existing market with very strong competitors. In Apple's wildest dreams they might end up with a similar share in phones to the one they have in computers. That'd be good for competition, not a threat to it.

The sooner all the animals are extinct, the sooner we'll find their money. - Ed Bluestone

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