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Someday You'll Hate Apple (And Google Too) 734

Posted by Zonk
from the if-that-day-hasn't-arrived-already dept.
jfruhlinger writes "Think today's world, where Apple is the innovative underdog, Google is the company that does no evil, and Microsoft sits atop its throne as ruler of an evil empire. Will this state of affairs last forever? You must not remember the days when everybody loved that scrappy upstart Bill Gates. Don Reisinger muses on the fickleness of consumer loves and hates. 'It's that same [level of] success and its own questionable privacy practices that will lead to Google's PR downfall and propel it into a position of disdain going forward. Trust me, the future of Apple and Google may look bright from an economic standpoint, but these companies will be hated one day too. Sad, but true.'"
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Someday You'll Hate Apple (And Google Too)

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  • One day? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Pope (17780) on Tuesday March 25, 2008 @09:25AM (#22856100)
    Even without the internet, people have been hating Apple for decades. Usenet and forums just made it easier for them to spew their opinions about.

    Blind devotion to *anything* is questionable.
  • Not quite the same (Score:1, Insightful)

    by scubamage (727538) on Tuesday March 25, 2008 @09:25AM (#22856104)
    See, Apple and Google wrote their own software from the ground up. Bill Gates bought DOS from another programmer, and for BASIC took a large amount of publically accessible code from the homebrew club, and decided he would put a copyright on it since no one else had bothered. He basically stole the work from other poeple and made his fortune. For that reason alone I will never have respect for microsoft.
  • by Shados (741919) on Tuesday March 25, 2008 @09:25AM (#22856112)
    I mean, Google is easier to see, since it already has a majority marketshare in its main market, but is anyone dreaming enough to think that once (if) Apple gets a large marketshare, it will just be the next Microsoft?

    I mean, looking at all their marketing tactics and dirty moves... its fine now, because its mostly aimed at Microsoft, and its with a small market...but if Apple was to NOT change tactics once it reaches 30%+ marketshare? OUCH! Bundling, false advertising, FUD, price jacking, bullying their partners around, etc? That would be fairly bad.

    Now to hope that the only reason they do that now is because they have no choice (have to sink to the competition's level), but I somehow have my doubts.
  • by Reality Master 201 (578873) on Tuesday March 25, 2008 @09:26AM (#22856122) Journal
    They're not religions, political parties, families, etc. They're businesses.

    They don't need an adoring cult around them. They need to provide what the market demands. If people want to impute a personality or culture to a company, that's fine as far as that goes. But it's still pretty much bullshit.

  • by the_humeister (922869) on Tuesday March 25, 2008 @09:27AM (#22856130)
    Just look at IBM. People seem to love them now. Of course, then there're the likes of, say, Standard Oil/ExxonMobil/Chevron who have always been hated...
  • Re:One day? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by leicaman (1260836) on Tuesday March 25, 2008 @09:27AM (#22856132) Homepage
    Yeah, just read the above post and you can see irrational hatred is everywhere, has always been there and regardless of whether it's deserved or not, people with axes to grind will always tilt at windmills.
  • Why we love them. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by kabz (770151) on Tuesday March 25, 2008 @09:27AM (#22856136) Homepage Journal
    People love companies that give them what they want. Simple as that.

    Back in the 90's, MS gave us great development tools, opportunity, a series of great Office suites and other excellent software.

    Sadly however, software seemed to stagnate somewhat, and Microsoft have become increasingly dependent on their core set of products / cash cows, of Office and Windows.

    In contrast, Apple in the 90's had a cruddy product line, stagnating software, and people were migrating away from Mac OS in droves, so the shiny new Windows 95.

    However, now, the boot is on the other foot,as Apple is giving people what they want in both software and hardware terms. iPods, great Macs (thanks to Intel, and great industrial design), and great software.

  • by Shados (741919) on Tuesday March 25, 2008 @09:27AM (#22856150)
    Apple and Google's current offerings being made from the ground up? Riiiiiiiiiiiiiight.
  • by mh1997 (1065630) on Tuesday March 25, 2008 @09:30AM (#22856178)

    I think people feel more invested in a smaller company, as though they personally had some hand in its success.
    And everyone wants to root for the underdog. When they become the top dog, time to root for a competitor.

    I posted a response to someone else's MS hating/Apple loving post that basically stated this article's points and was modded -1 Troll. I went back to my mom's basement and cried.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 25, 2008 @09:30AM (#22856180)
    The only reason they're not in the same boat as Microsoft is because they're "cool". Their software is bloated and forces you to install items you don't want (Quicktime and iTunes) and now their hardware is really no different than a PC. I'll admit their iPod is a great piece of work however.
  • I don't get it. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Armakuni (1091299) on Tuesday March 25, 2008 @09:33AM (#22856220) Homepage
    "Trust me, the future of Apple and Google may look bright from an economic standpoint, but these companies will be hated one day too. Sad, but true."

    Why is this sad? Surely being suspicious of powerful entities is one of the better human qualities.
  • by OrochimaruVoldemort (1248060) on Tuesday March 25, 2008 @09:37AM (#22856260) Journal
    is the day they decide to overprice their products and make them "for business". The reason microsoft is hated is because they are business for business, not business for consumer. If google manages to dominate the market (mainly the online part), the seeds of corruption will have been sowed.
  • by 91degrees (207121) on Tuesday March 25, 2008 @09:37AM (#22856268) Journal
    Their "don't be evil" policy is admirable, but "evil" is subjective. Google really don't seem to be quite in step with most geeks I know when it comes to data protection and privacy.
  • by masdog (794316) <masdog@@@gmail...com> on Tuesday March 25, 2008 @09:37AM (#22856272)

    Bundling, false advertising, FUD...


    What? You think they don't do this already? Have you seen what in-house programs Apple includes with the Mac? Have you seen one of those "I'm a Mac" commercials lately? They're nothing but false advertising and FUD.

  • Innovation (Score:2, Insightful)

    by heffrey (229704) on Tuesday March 25, 2008 @09:39AM (#22856294)
    I really don't understand why people think that Apple are innovative. Would someone like to highlight which products are truly original Apple innovations?
  • by Wowsers (1151731) on Tuesday March 25, 2008 @09:40AM (#22856304) Journal

    Despite the crashes and bugs and problems, a lot of "regular" people believe that they invented "the cumputa".

    Surely they "invented" vendor lock-in with Windows.

    However, Linux was too geeky way back when, so a non-starter. OS/2 would have been nice, but IBM messed up the install routine (why did it flash up saying my CD-ROM drive was not recognised - how did it read the file from the CD to write that on screen message then???), and BeOS 5 was really good but by then Windows was too dominant. Apple was seen as a niche as it sold on specific hardware and at premium prices, so not many touched it.

    I think many people don't begrudge success, but it's HOW Microsoft managed to get it is what gets at people.

  • by scubamage (727538) on Tuesday March 25, 2008 @09:41AM (#22856316)
    A few hundred thousand BSOD's dissagree with your idea about microsoft giving excellent software, especially in the 90's. Though I won't deny that I still fire up visual studio 6 just because it kicks major ass. Some of their software was amazing, but for the most part it was absolute shite compared to the *NIX offerings that were out there stability and security wise. Microsoft just had better marketing, and before linux and BSD really became more well known outside the dedicated CS scene, it had the price tag.
  • No. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by stinky wizzleteats (552063) on Tuesday March 25, 2008 @09:42AM (#22856328) Homepage Journal
    You must not remember the days when everybody loved that scrappy upstate Bill Gates.

    That is because there were no such days. From the very beginning, having stolen CP/M and computer time at a university to get their business running, Microsoft has always been regarded as a band of criminals largely devoid of real know-how. The fact that Google and Apple are not targets of widespread hatred in the tech community is evidence that there is more to the anti-Microsoft sentiment than simply rooting for the underdog.

    Microsoft hasn't mattered in 10 years. Google is on top of the tech game now and everyone knows it. Apple is expensive and pretentious, but remains, for the most part, respected. The best Microsoft can hope for with regard to public sentiment is to transition from outright, boiling hatred to pity. If anti-Microsoft sentiment were the fickle leftist hatred of success that it is cast to be, then why would we also hate SCO, which is anything but successful?

    The hatred of Microsoft is well earned, and its reasons go back to the very beginning of the company. If the SCO experience is any indication, it will long outlast the company's success.
  • Re:One day? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 91degrees (207121) on Tuesday March 25, 2008 @09:44AM (#22856372) Journal
    This is indeed true.

    Everyone can find someone to hate them. The important point is that Microsoft are hated by their own customers, and it's probably true that Google and Apple will be too.
  • by BeanThere (28381) on Tuesday March 25, 2008 @09:47AM (#22856410)

    Utter nonsense. Apart from the obvious massive differences in approach to quality between MS and Apple, it's actually primarily about competition; companies generally stay in line when there are true competitive pressures. If the industry manages to become competitive (we're not there yet but it's certainly improved over five years ago) then there'll be fewer reasons to 'hate' any particular company, market forces will help make sure they behave. The current trend towards improved support for Web standards is just one example. If we end up with say 15% Linux, 30% Apple, 30% MS, 10% Androi, 15% 'other', that would be a good balance - things like interoparability will be literally forced by the market, and they'll also be forced to actually improve and debloat their respective products.

    We don't hate MS "because they're big", that's what marketers want you to think. We hate them because of their unethical abuse of their dominant market position to push inferior products which we've had to suffer with for years.

    The day they change their attitude and start producing quality standards-based products, is the day we start liking them, no matter their size - it's really as simple as that.

  • by Framboise (521772) on Tuesday March 25, 2008 @09:47AM (#22856412)
    It is not success that push people like me to hate a company, it's factual commercial decisions and practices. For example I have been an Apple fan because of its open hardware Apple ][. The Mac was a big disapointment in this regard so I stopped to purchased Apple computers and to admire Apple. I switched to PC's loaded first with the cheap Microsoft Dos and W95 until I saw that Linux was providing better what I was expecting from a computer. Up to now Google is behaving fine in the sense that Google services are very useful and the privacy concerns are still moderate. Obviously if Google would become unbearable I would also hate it.
  • by Moraelin (679338) on Tuesday March 25, 2008 @09:48AM (#22856418) Journal
    It's pretty simple, really. As I keep reminding people:

    - when companies are at the top of their niche, and have their nice walled garden and penned sheep to shear at will, they want to keep their garden walled and their sheep penned. Then they want proprietary protocols, incompatible tweaks to the "standard", and they want those sheep scared shitless of even thinking about the world outside their pen. They want you to think "oh shit, if we switch from IBM mainframes to cheap Unix workstations, we'll have to retrain everyone, rewrite our software, rip out and change the whole infrastructure, etc. Naah, let's buy another workstation, it's cheaper." In fact, they don't even want you doing that kind of maths, they want you scared of what might pop up later that you haven't foreseen, and unsure if you even know the right sum it will cost you, and whether you'll get ass raped without lubricant by your clients _and_ accounting department if you changed anything.

    The term FUD, now almost synonimous with MS tactics, was coined about IBM tactics. That's not even the tip of the iceberg of FUD there, but the very phrase "nobody got fired for buying IBM" carried the thinly veiled threat that you _might_ lose your job if you go with something else.

    - when they're at the bottom and scraping a living off the niches outside the pens, then they want access to those rich guys gardens and sheeps. Then they start screaming that such fences and walls are an abhomination and evil. Then they want open protocols, and ISO standards, and generally everything that will make it easy for them to get to those penned sheep.

    And a company's attitude can change at the drop of a hat, if their position on the food chain changes enough. IBM was the big bad monopolist, as long as it was the king of the hill. IBM became the champion of open source and open standards when it got enough of their lunch money stolen by the likes of MS.

    And occasionally you even get to see the schizophrenic fits of a company that just slowly slides somewhere around the middle point. So they're starting to covet the neighbour's penned sheep, but aren't quite ready to free their own penned sheep too. Sun was for a couple of years at that point, but now it seems to have mostly resigned to being in the latter camp.

    So what I'm saying is that, yes, things can change with MS too. If one day it finds itself at the bottom of the food chain, then MS _will_ become the champion of open standards. And then a bunch of nerds will love them.
  • Re:First Trout! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by BoomerSooner (308737) on Tuesday March 25, 2008 @09:50AM (#22856444) Homepage Journal
    Well hundreds of billions of dollars in revenue later, I'd say Gates was spot on.

    I like Gates. I wouldn't necessarily think him to be the most ethical of business men but in business you win or you die. He plays to win.
  • Re:First Trout! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Brian Gordon (987471) on Tuesday March 25, 2008 @09:53AM (#22856482)
    He was spot-on in what would make him obscene rich, not what's right..
  • by electrictroy (912290) on Tuesday March 25, 2008 @09:54AM (#22856498)
    I find it difficult to believe Gates stole Microsoft BASIC from his local user group.

    HE was the one who wrote the famous CUG letter about not stealing software. For him to lecture his fellow club members about not stealing, and then do it himself, would be hypocritical.

    Oh wait.

  • by jedidiah (1196) on Tuesday March 25, 2008 @09:58AM (#22856560) Homepage
    Geeks never bought into the Microsoft hype as much. When there were multiple
    competiting offerings to choose from, the Microsoft one was quite often the
    one considered least sophisticated. This even applies to visual studio.
  • by Kohath (38547) on Tuesday March 25, 2008 @10:00AM (#22856574)
    How about if you guys just give up on the groupthink instead?

    The socially-reinforced need to pick out people or organizations to hate seems like something you might want to grow out of at some point.

    If Apple or Google actually send assassins to kill your wife and children, go ahead and hate them. If some opinionated Internet comment-posters and the folks you chit-chat with at the office decide to hate Apple and Google, why not just encourage them to worry about reality, live their own lives, and stop the schoolgirl clique nonsense?

    Don't you have anything better to do? Can't you find something before the "hate-Google" and "hate-Apple" memes get started? You have time. Now is your chance.
  • Skully (Score:3, Insightful)

    by number6x (626555) on Tuesday March 25, 2008 @10:03AM (#22856614)

    Many Apple fans hated Apple under Skully's leadership.

    He killed their most profitable platform the (Apple II) and almost destroyed their second most profitable platform (the Mac) with crap like the Performa boxes.

    Those Performas made Packard Bell PC's look good!

    Hate Apple? Been there, done that.

  • by morgan_greywolf (835522) * on Tuesday March 25, 2008 @10:03AM (#22856618) Homepage Journal

    One key difference is that Apple and Google's products have always been best-of-breed, while Microsoft has always been the lowest-common-denominator.
    That's just not true. I hate Microsoft as much as the next Linux-using geek, but ... Excel was always well ahead of its closest competitors. So far ahead that for a few years it was considered by many to be one of the best reasons to get a Mac, ironically enough. Microsoft's development tools were considered second to none in the DOS days and are still the easily amongst the best tools to use on Windows -- so much so that other, competing development tools have done a great job of imitating them (think Eclipse).

    Apple's corporate goals don't appear to include even TRYING to gain a majority of the market share.
    Sure they are. And they might just succeed, as long as Microsoft keeps making the same stupid mistakes.

    Their phone only competes in the "smart" market which is 1% of the total market; their computers have no low-end offerings whatsoever; the iPods, despite having some of the best margins in the industry, are consistently undercut on price-per-feature.
    Their phone seeks to pull cell phone users from the 'standard' cellphone market into the smart phone fold by being the easiest to use; Apple has the iMac and the Mac Mini, both of which are low-end offerings; iPods might be consistently undercut on price-per-feature, but they still sell more than all of their closest competitors.
  • by linumax (910946) on Tuesday March 25, 2008 @10:04AM (#22856622)
    Be careful now! If you start tracking things back to the old times, you might find out that Apple stole some basic ideas crucial to its success on desktop from one company and the sued another company for doing exactly the same thing.

    What matters today is that MacOSX and iTunes are 'defining characteristics' of Apple and as long as they do the job right, I as a consumer don't really care where they came from, same goes for any other company.
  • by rkcallaghan (858110) on Tuesday March 25, 2008 @10:10AM (#22856704)
    eldavojohn wrote:

    [President Bush's] religion encourages him to love his neighbor and to treat him as he would want to be treated. Yet a fence between his country and Mexico says otherwise.
    Um, I'm no Bush supporter (and it's sad that I have to run a disclaimer for even being fair to the man), but in the interest of fairness, are you saying you want to be able to just walk in no questions asked and stay as long as you want in any nation?

    Sorry but no, I expect and want to be permitted to enter through legally established means, so that I may be an upstanding guest of the place I am visiting.

    My difficulty in affording Apple products make me think they are discriminating against the poor.
    What? Discriminating against the poor? Has discrimination become this catch-all now? Everyone hates discrimination, therefore, anything I don't like, down to the price someone asks for their wares is discrimination? You think someone at Apple is going "You know, we could produce these things for virtually free and give them away, but forget all that profit and paying our employees shit, what we really have to avoid is all those poor schmoes sullying our good name by using our product with a low disposable income!"

    Discrimination is when you use an irrelevant attribute to make decisions. The ability to afford the product at a profitable price(*) is hardly irrelevant, and distracts from real discrimination -- and Apple is one the top 10 companies to work for if you're a minority. I'm not a fanboi, I'm just homosexual and love my wife just the same, and wish her capacity for pregnancy did not prevent her from receiving health care (I don't work for Apple, sadly).

    ~Rebecca

    (*) Someone will invariably make a comment of gasoline or food or some such. Please understand that we're talking about Apple computer, which to my knowledge does not produce or sell anything in the "necessary for sustainable life" category. If iPods become as important as the automobile, groceries, or healthcare, we'll reconsider.
  • by ehrichweiss (706417) on Tuesday March 25, 2008 @10:19AM (#22856824)
    Have you ever stopped to consider that IE might be a part of your problem as well?
  • by Culture20 (968837) on Tuesday March 25, 2008 @10:19AM (#22856826)

    AN OPEN LETTER TO HOBBYISTS By William Henry Gates III ... but there is very little incentive to make this software available to hobbyists. Most directly, the thing you do is theft.

    Wow. I've never read that. This explains why he thinks linux (the currently prominent hobbyist OS) is rife with copyrighted code. "It *must* be, hobbyists are thieves!"
  • Re:One day? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sancho (17056) on Tuesday March 25, 2008 @10:27AM (#22856918) Homepage
    The people buying the stuff probably aren't the same people complaining about the prices.

    Look, once you've figured out the price-point that maximizes your profits, you sell at it. Businesses aren't charities. They could be making profits of 1000% and it would be reasonable to sell at that price if it was the maximum on the curve.

    Figuring out that point, though--that's the tricky part.
  • by JustinOpinion (1246824) on Tuesday March 25, 2008 @10:27AM (#22856920)
    Just to speculate a bit here... It seems to me that people naturally, inherently try to ascribe 'personality' and 'morality' to entities like corporations. I guess it's an extension of the natural human desire to assess people's character, and use this assessment to determine trust relationships. In a normal human-to-human interaction, you can determine a person's character (whether they will treat you well or not) and use this to decide whether to trust them. It works because other people tend to be relatively consistent and constant over time.

    The problem is that people then unconsciously port this methodology into the domain of assessing a corporation. In this case it doesn't work: you can have a positive experience with one part of the company, but that actually says little about how other parts of the company will treat you (e.g. a nice salesman versus a rude phone support person a week later). This confusion is very much intentional on the part of the company: the marketing departments are very good at creating the image of friendlieness, or trustworthyness, or hipness, or whatever... but this bears no correlation to the actual engineering or sales departments.

    It's been said before that if corporations are persons then they are surely insane persons. Indeed. The problem is that corporations 'behave' in inconsistent ways. It's like they have mental disorders (bipolar? multiple personalities?), and hence violate the normal rules we would like to use for consistency and trust.

    All of that to say that we should be very careful about assigning personality to corporations. A statistical analysis of a company is meaningful (e.g. "I use this company because 80% of customers who call the support line get a satisfactory solution within 5 minutes"), but we should not fall into the (natural) trap of treating the company as a single personality (e.g. "I use this company because it's always been nice to me").
  • by dens (98172) on Tuesday March 25, 2008 @10:27AM (#22856924) Homepage

    OS/2 would have been nice, but IBM messed up the install routine (why did it flash up saying my CD-ROM drive was not recognised - how did it read the file from the CD to write that on screen message then???),
    IBM messed up a lot more than the install routine. I ran OS/2 for 2 years prior to the release of Windows 95. There were a lot of innovative and nice things in OS/2. However, I remember the amount of tedium and time wasted on having to configure a million ridiculous little settings to get every single program to run halfway decent and not crash constantly.

    Then, Windows 95 came out. I installed it and every one of those programs just worked! I was a true believer in OS/2 and I wanted it to succeed and improve, but after that experience, it was Windows all the way for me.

    The funny thing is, I am typing this while wearing my OS/2 Warp launch T-shirt, which has outlasted the software by many years. So did the really nice quality cardboard boxes the huge stack of 3 1/2" floppies the product came on. lol
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 25, 2008 @10:31AM (#22856960)
    That's a common misconception about Christianity. The "neighbour" spoken of in the buy-bull meant members of the "in" group, i.e., fellow Jews. Nonmembers of the in-group were fair game.

    I hate to dump on your rant, but Leviticus 19:34 universalizes the neighbour-loving directive: "But the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God"

    I think that's pretty clear. Apply the ethic of reciprocity to all, even those from another tribe.
  • by sorak (246725) on Tuesday March 25, 2008 @10:31AM (#22856968)

    The unstated premise here is that people are being unfair for disliking the monopolistic corporation. After all, if Google and Apple become uber-rich monopolistic corporations, we'll hate them too. I can't speak for anybody else, but I like competition, and any organization that becomes successful enough to deprive the market of a healthy competition will attract my animosity.

    I do not dislike Microsoft because they're "evil". I dislike the situation they are in.

  • Re:One day? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sancho (17056) on Tuesday March 25, 2008 @10:32AM (#22856986) Homepage
    There are decent enough reasons to hate Apple. The arbitrary lock-in of the OS is a good place to start. The hypocrisy of wanting to strip DRM from the media they sell while keeping DRM on their own OS is another. iPod lock-in is yet another. And if you hold a grudge, the lawsuits they filed in the 80s over their look-and-feel is another (I only mention this because I hold a grudge against Microsoft for all of their anticompetitive practices of the past 20 years.)
  • by Urza9814 (883915) on Tuesday March 25, 2008 @10:38AM (#22857058)
    Did you ever think that maybe it didn't 'sneak in there'? I've never had google's toolbar on any of my machines. But you should hear people bitch every times I get rid of it. Hell, even the obviously spyware toolbars people seem to love. I recently switched someone from IE to Firefox, and they kept complaining that they lost their 6 toolbars (Yes, 6!). Google's one that I've never seen 'sneak in' anywhere, but either way people seem to love 'em from what I've seen.
  • by walterbyrd (182728) on Tuesday March 25, 2008 @10:41AM (#22857108)
    The article reads like a msft sponsored PR piece. The point is that people don't hate msft for any good reason, it's all just the public being fickle.

    Like hell.

    Have you followed the OOXML scam? The SCO-scam? The Acacia scam? How about msft lying to the US-DoJ in video taped testomony? What about the letters from dead people campaign? How about microsoft stealing Stacker technology? Then there are: fake TCO studies, fake benchmark studies, fake think tanks, Bestbuy rackteering, msft customers sued because of msft patent violation. How about msft saying computers where "Vista Ready" when they weren't. How about the Peter Quinn scam? And, right now, msft is lying to congress about a "tech worker shortage" in order to have congress double the number of H1-Bs, and even further hurt US tech workers.

    Have Apple or Google done that sort of thing?

    People don't hate msft because msft is big, people hate msft because msft really is evil.
  • Re:One day? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by asilentthing (786630) on Tuesday March 25, 2008 @10:47AM (#22857174) Homepage

    An iPhone sells for twice the cost to make it, that's highway robbery (and really points out who the sucker in the room is).

    Almost EVERYTHING you buy from electronics to food to clothing is marked up at least 200%. That's the nature of retail. It's not exclusive to Apple products and never has been.

  • by postbigbang (761081) on Tuesday March 25, 2008 @10:48AM (#22857196)
    It's nice that they've worked this long, but their capacity, chemistry, and power expense has been long exceeded by many others. If you're still using them, your cost per impression (toner+power) is about 4x what it should be. This is not to put down a long asset life, but they're truly expensive to run when you consider capex+opex-depreciation.
  • by stuporglue (1167677) on Tuesday March 25, 2008 @10:50AM (#22857240) Homepage

    I dislike Windows and most other Microsoft software, but I actually agree with most of this letter. Taking other people's programs when you don't have permission isn't right, and if someone wants to make their code closed source, that's their choice too.


    The two things Bill was wrong about were a) that no one would distribute software for free and b) that he would be able to deluge the hobby market with good software.

  • by Quattro Vezina (714892) on Tuesday March 25, 2008 @10:53AM (#22857294) Journal
    Wow, you display a fundamental misunderstanding of what genocide means.

    Genocide against Muslims in Vietraq is okay.
    You want to see a genocide against Muslims? Maybe you should read up on the Srebrenica massacre [wikipedia.org], where people killed nearly every male Muslim in an entire region. Calling anything the US has done in Iraq a genocide is a grave insult to the victims of real genocides.

    And comparing Iraq to Viet Nam just shows your vast ignorance. There's no draft in Iraq. We never toppled the North Vietnamese government. We never captured and killed Ho Chi Minh, his children, and every important official in his government. The number of soldiers who have died in Iraq are more than an order of magnitude less than the number of soldiers who died in Viet Nam (4000 in Iraq, 58000 in Viet Nam).

    So is genocide against those in the path of Hurricane Katrina. Economic genocide against those Americans outside Bush's "in" group
    WTF? Nothing you describe has anything to do with genocide. Oh, I get it, you're one of those radical leftist psuedo-intellectuals who think it's cool to throw out scary-sounding words when you're bashing Bush, even if the actual meanings of those words don't apply.

    And people wonder why leftists are persona non grata in American society.
  • by starglider29a (719559) on Tuesday March 25, 2008 @10:55AM (#22857324)
    I remember the day I saw the first Halo trailer... with Steve Jobs introducing it... WOW! If that had gone to Mac first, as planned, we'd all be playing the iBox and the XBox would have been collecting dust next to the used Jaguars. Oh, and Vista never would have happened.

    But to his credit, Bill saw that coming... and squashed it.
  • by sdpuppy (898535) on Tuesday March 25, 2008 @11:01AM (#22857430)
    OK I'll bite.

    Crappy, closed-technology machines A bit subjective, but most of Apple's Macs were pretty solid. They last far past their technology (and their tech is goo enough to outlast many PCs.

    The cult of the single-button mouse. (turns red). Yeah. But...those who prefer 2 or 3 button mouse could buy one from 3rd parties. Right mouse click does work on a Mac. Multi button mouse just didn't come with Macs.

    Reseller programs from hell. I'll bet :-)

    laser printers that became ultimately useless Huh? Most of Apple's model were pretty good - I had most of them at work and can only think of one lemon model (one of the last of their laser printers)

    Two wire AppleTalk networks with all of the speed of ISDN ha ha. And what did PC have during that time period? The Macs came with networking standard and it was pretty simple to setup and get working. A bit later you could get ethernet.

    Cute little useless Newtons Can you say a bit advanced for its time? And for its time the technology was not there to make it great. Only so much you can do in so little RAM, etc.

    Servers that could never rise above simple workgroup needs. I suppose that was not its market?

    I'm tired. The PPC? It was waaaay ahead of whatever Intel offered and had potential to stay that way. But Motorola and IBM totally dropped the ball on that one. Sorry if Intel stock made you $$, but it was true. Many of the Apple koolaid drinkers kept claiming that the PPC was more advanced than Intel's offerings long after Intel left PPC in the dust - they were hopeful and it was possible for a while for PPC to catch up and surpass. But it did not. Thanks goodness for Apple's sake that Steve Jobs made that controversial move to Intel.

  • by the_B0fh (208483) on Tuesday March 25, 2008 @11:09AM (#22857552) Homepage
    And somehow, you forget the Alt key. Funny person.

    I've always thought that if one is good, two is better.
  • by BeerCat (685972) on Tuesday March 25, 2008 @11:17AM (#22857692) Homepage
    Wrong on both counts.

    Steve Jobs visited Xerox PARC (Palo Alto Research Center), and was shown around. Having paid (in stock), he was allowed to "pick one of three", and went for the GUI. Apple developers then did significant extra items on top of Xerox's work (partly because they mis-remembered what they saw; some things like overlapping windows hadn't been worked out by Xerox, although the devs thought they had seen them)

    http://inventors.about.com/od/cstartinventions/a/Apple_Computers.htm [about.com]
    http://folklore.org/StoryView.py?project=Macintosh&story=On_Xerox,_Apple_and_Progress.txt [folklore.org]
    http://folklore.org/StoryView.py?project=Macintosh&story=Busy_Being_Born.txt [folklore.org]
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AIM_alliance [slashdot.org]>The AIM Alliance was an alliance formed in September 1991 between Apple Computer, IBM and Motorola to create a new computing standard based on the PowerPC architecture.. In other words, there was never any Atari "exclusivity"
  • Re:First Trout! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Gerzel (240421) <<brollyferret> <at> <gmail.com>> on Tuesday March 25, 2008 @11:19AM (#22857736) Journal
    Win or die?

    I call upon the excrement of the male bovine!

    Many businessmen and women have lost business opportunities and not lost their business. If your business goes bankrupt you are not strapped into the electric chair.

    Business is NOT win or die, it isn't even win or lose. Yes there is some competition in business, quite a bit of it actually, but being second best in business does NOT mean that you are going to go under or lose your shirt.

    Ethics matters in terms of gaining and keeping a reputation with customers and employees.

    It isn't a race, it isn't a game, there is no one winner and the end is the same for everyone.
  • by MrHanky (141717) on Tuesday March 25, 2008 @11:24AM (#22857822) Homepage Journal

    A bit subjective, but most of Apple's Macs were pretty solid. They last far past their technology (and their tech is goo enough to outlast many PCs.
    Sorry, but that's just not true. Maybe it was, back in the days, but not now. A 10 year old Mac is useless today, not because it's too slow to run a browser, word processor and email client, but because you can't run modern software on it. You can't update OS X, and new OS X apps almost always need one of the latest versions of OS X, even when there's no technical reason for it. Example [hogbaysoftware.com]. Why? Because Apple wants it that way. Many of the computers that were locked out from upgrading to Panther were far faster with it than with Jaguar, but Apple want people to buy new computers. 10.5 demands a whopping 867 MHz CPU despite the fact that it's obviously not needed for the OS itself.

    Meanwhile, any old PC that can make use of more than 256 MB RAM can be very useful with Windows XP for several years to come (XP can actually be made very lean, if you know how to remove stuff). No, it won't run the latest and greatest games, but neither will a brand new MacBook.
  • by ukemike (956477) on Tuesday March 25, 2008 @11:37AM (#22858026) Homepage

    By rights IBM/Microsoft PCs should have died while the innovators at Atari, Commodore, Amiga rose to the top with their multimedia machines.
    Yeh we all know. Beta was better than VHS. The Tucker was a vastly superior automobile than its American competition, yadda yadda. But they were ahead of their time. The PC with its sort-of open architecture, and more importantly the killer app Lotus 123, was just right for widespread business adoption. The general public had no interest in running 12 programs at the same time, and had no idea what multimedia was. I recall that the big question at the time was, "What would I do with a computer at home? Store my recipes?"

    First to market with a revolutionary new product guarantees you an entry in wikipedia, nothing more.
  • Re:First Trout! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by AllergicToMilk (653529) on Tuesday March 25, 2008 @11:43AM (#22858132)
    What about a company's reputation with its shareholders. You know, like, you, if you have a retirement account. The first ethical and moral responsibility the executives and the board of directors have is to the shareholders who have entrusted them with their treasure in anticipation of an increase in value. Only legal requirements supercede that responsibility. The ethical and moral responsibility to the public, customers and employees should be in concert with the responsibility to the shareholders, but the thing about ethics and morals is that occasionally they can contradict.

    What do you do when you are faced with a moral dilemma? I.E. break a promise or break a heart. The contractual duty of the board and the executives makes this somewhat easier. It always should be to protect the shareholders.
  • Re:First Trout! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Pojut (1027544) on Tuesday March 25, 2008 @11:52AM (#22858266) Homepage
    And? What's your point?

    It's not like Bill Gates is the only shifty business guy out there. He was just the most successful one, and as such he is the one that people cry about the most.

    I don't agree with his practices or ethics, but from a business standpoint, the man is a genius and one of the most successful in the world. There is no denying that he has accomplished the near impossible. Whether you agree with it or not is irrelevant: business is business, and in this case, Bill Gates smashed one out of the park.

    The fact that he earns more money while trimming his nose hair than most of us will ever see in our entire lives is proof enough of that. Recognizing someone's business success while acknowledging their shortcomings as a person doesn't make you a pussy, you know...it's ok to admire someone while hating them.

  • Re:First Trout! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by colmore (56499) on Tuesday March 25, 2008 @11:52AM (#22858268) Journal
    Many of Apple's lock-in strategies and their complete disregard for forward compatibility would be unacceptable if they had a larger deployed base.

    But since Amiga isn't coming back any time soon, I'm glad there's a presence in the commercial computing world that tries to be innovative outside of office productivity (blech).
  • by ardent99 (1087547) on Tuesday March 25, 2008 @12:06PM (#22858520)
    Corporations, as all organizations, do have personalities. Corporations are comprised of people, and are run by people. Without people, a corporation is a set of books on a shelf. The people who run a corporation give it it's personality because they decide how it acts, and it will act according to those people's preferences.

    They act inconsistently because they are a group, and no group of people is completely consistent. And individual people also act inconsistently! But that doesn't mean they don't have personality; that is part of what defines their personality.
  • by jotaeleemeese (303437) on Tuesday March 25, 2008 @12:09PM (#22858570) Homepage Journal
    I thought that "I was just following orders" stopped to be a dilemma some time ago.

    I you allow greedy, immoral shareholders to dictate dubious business practices, you, as a CEO or any other higher official in a company, will be held responsible also for the consequences (either in the marketplace or the court of law).

    A shareholder that does not understand that the only way to make money honestly is by offering a good service or product is a scumbag, no self respectable CEO should accept to work for them.
  • by mgblst (80109) on Tuesday March 25, 2008 @12:10PM (#22858592) Homepage
    Well, maybe you don't have that much to do with computers. If there is a company out there that has caused you months of gried, constantly added to your workload, caused large amounts of stress, while you have seen competent companies and systems fall to the wayside due to their dominance, then maybe you would have strong feelings about them as well.
  • Re:One day? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Austerity Empowers (669817) on Tuesday March 25, 2008 @12:15PM (#22858676)
    Apple is not a loveable company. They're closed and proprietary. At times you had to pay money to develop for them. At times they've been very slow to respond to new technologies they did not invent (prior to OS X, their OS was a dinosaur only the dedicated could love). If we drop Microsoft and flock to Apple, we have stopped worshipping one devil just for another. Google's current direction is really a better answer. Will we hate Google one day? Certainly, when they become obsolete and more trouble than they're worth. But for right now they're fixing broken telecom problems, they're providing OS/Hardware agnostic applications and providing very useful services for free...and are profitable to boot. All of which are so vastly more important to the industry and our economy that we're willing to overlook them spying on our email and hard drives to shove ads down our throat. Gradually, the industry will get a clue and compete with Google and they'll have to start pinching pennys and shove just a few more ads down our throat than we really want just to show enough profit to keep investors happy...but for now, they're an answer to our problems while Apple is just an alternative problem.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 25, 2008 @12:17PM (#22858704)

    Then he got rich and decided that he should keep all the money to himself.

    This is the worst, most incorrect description of Bill Gates I have ever read. Bill Gates is perhaps the world's leading humanitarian today. He gives incredible amounts of money away for helping people in Africa, etc.

  • by Pojut (1027544) on Tuesday March 25, 2008 @12:19PM (#22858742) Homepage
    See, that's the thing though. Microsoft didn't become a monopoly (by legal definition) by force. People bought their products en masse. Microsoft didn't hold a gun to their heads...it happend because the consumers CHOSE to buy their products. Consumers have no one to blame but themselves.
  • by Trepidity (597) <delirium-slashdot&hackish,org> on Tuesday March 25, 2008 @01:05PM (#22859564)
    Apple has been an enemy of openness in general for decades now, so it's not that surprising they'd be opposed here. Back when Wozniak had say in how things were run it wasn't quite the same, but since the mid-80s at the latest they've been an all-proprietary shop, with aggressive efforts to prevent third-party anything from even interoperating with their products. Back when the IBM PC was de facto open, the Mac was the proprietary, locked-in platform, and not that much has changed since then.
  • by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Tuesday March 25, 2008 @01:37PM (#22860028)
    Apple has not always been "best of breed." Mac OS 1-9 were cooperative multitasking systems, which was out of date when Mac OS 1 was released. AmigaOS and BeOS were far superior, technologically speaking, to what Apple was offering at the same time. OS/2 remains one of the most robust systems ever developed, and guess what? It predates Mac OS X by a decade. From a security standpoint, Mac OS X falls short of BSD, which it is based on, and Red Hat Enterprise Linux, in terms of unpatched vulnerabilities, at least according to Secunia.

    Google's web apps are still unreliable, insecure, and utterly useless for people who need to use their computers in places where there is limited or no Internet access. Google's IM software frequently disconnects, and worse, fails to send messages without even disconnecting. Last I checked, GMail's web interface had no support for cryptographically signed emails, with either S/MIME or OpenPGP (firegpg is not feature complete).

    So where is this best-of-breed software you are talking about? I think what you meant to say was, "It is better than Microsoft," in which case I will say, "So is Fedora 8."

  • Burn karma burn (Score:3, Insightful)

    by edwardpickman (965122) on Tuesday March 25, 2008 @02:53PM (#22861066)
    Hi there all this is the happy troll pointing out Slashdot already hates Apple. Don't believe me? Scan back over a few months of headlines and posts and you'll see the truth. It's like watching CNN moan about how the press is down on Hillary while they are running endless stories about Obama's dog groomer may be antisemetic. Slashdot defends Microsoft and attacks Apple. In other news the sun comes up even on cloudy days. Guess it's time to change my screen name to troll just so it matches the mod. Killing the messenger is another tradition at Slashdot.
  • by civilizedINTENSITY (45686) on Tuesday March 25, 2008 @02:57PM (#22861124)
    "no one else to blame but themselves" sounds as bad when referring to victims of illegal monopolistic behavior as it does when referring to rape victims. Oh sure, if they hadn't worn makeup, or put on a dress, and if they'd just stayed home and cleaned the kitchen then they wouldn't have gotten raped. The fact that MS "won" doesn't make it "right" from an MBA perspective. Winning by cheating isn't really winning.
  • by PReDiToR (687141) on Tuesday March 25, 2008 @02:59PM (#22861166) Homepage Journal
    I thought everyone on Slashdot went for the "custom" or "advanced" installation routine as a matter of course?

    We learned a long time ago that 9 times out of 10 you can avoid the sub-radar injection of spyware that way and this was a contributory factor in our machines working whilst others fell over all the time.
  • by JohnSearle (923936) on Tuesday March 25, 2008 @03:02PM (#22861208)

    Then why do they still have the market majority?
    This is probably not the only answer, and it is most definitely simplified, but I might suggest that they are the product that everyone is familiar with, and they have a dominant hold on the software / hardware industry still.

    Even though I love Linux, I still have to carry around a Windows partition simply because most proprietary software only runs on Windows. Why does most proprietary software run only on Windows? Because that's what the dominant market share is using. (circular, yes)

    If my parents, or pretty well anyone I know of, heads to a common franchise computer store to buy a PC, they will be presented with pretty well only one option - a windows machine. Windows is bundled with the PC, they don't know of any other options, and it's probably a hassle to get the store to take it off and refund the money.

    As for familiarity, I'm sure it can be agreed the drive for consumers (individual and business) to purchase things they are familiar with is quite strong. That's what branding is all about. How did Windows become a brand name? Their corrupt business practices lead them there...

    I'm not saying that consumers are not responsible for continuing to support a business known for corrupt practices, but their choice is influenced by a number of factors you are completely overlooking. Things will hopefully change, but I guarantee it won't happen over night...

    - John
  • Reliability, duh. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Scrameustache (459504) on Tuesday March 25, 2008 @03:55PM (#22861874) Homepage Journal

    There's no technical reason for disallowing OS X to run on any x86-based platform.
    If the software can only run on known hardware configurations, you get to design and debug for a more reliable OS than if it has to run on an infinite permutation of unknown hardware.

    Not to mention that Apple sells hardware, the OS is what makes it run. They have no reason to offer the OS they make to run hardware they aren't selling.

    And the third reason is that if the OS is seen as unreliable on non-supported hardware, it will lead people to think that the OS, and the company that made it, is at fault, rather than the inferior hardware it was forced upon. And is bad fr the company, and its shareholders.
  • by Scrameustache (459504) on Tuesday March 25, 2008 @04:00PM (#22861948) Homepage Journal

    The cult of the single-button mouse.
    A single-button default configuration forces the software designers to make better interfaces.
    It's not a cult, you can use a multi-button mouse on Macs, their OS supports it.
  • by postbigbang (761081) on Tuesday March 25, 2008 @04:14PM (#22862128)
    I would generally concur, but rather say that it makes for more monolithic and inflexible interfaces. IMHO. And I have a PowerBook G4 with the sloppy one button one, and a Microsoft grafted rollerball with three button scroll mouse for an Apple Tower. There is bliss in simplicity, but there's also a weakness, too. Linux: three buttons traditionally from SVR4 and Solaris and X/Motif; two buttons on Windows derivatives, one button must be coupled with keys to offer more choices (with no guaranteed, only implied consistency).
  • by Scrameustache (459504) on Tuesday March 25, 2008 @04:28PM (#22862330) Homepage Journal

    I would generally concur, but rather say that it makes for more monolithic and inflexible interfaces. IMHO.
    You say "monolithic and inflexible", I say "uniform and intuitive": What works in one program will most likely work the same way in another.
    And that's a good thing. It's reliable, predictable... which are things I want from an interface.
  • by SuperKendall (25149) on Tuesday March 25, 2008 @05:13PM (#22862956)
    Apple has been an enemy of openness in general for decades now

    You mean openness like:

    Webkit (open source, core of Safari)
    Darwin (open source, base for )
    GCC (used for Apple development tools, significant updates added by Apple for Objective C support)
    All sorts of BSD tools
    LaunchD framework
    Rendezvous
    Apache (OS X ships with Apache built in)
    PHP, Perl, Ruby, etc (same deal).

    Those are all open and strongly supported by Apple. Apple has been one of the most open source friendly companies to come along, of all the ones that also do more proprietary work as well.

    I am a huge fan of open source, and also happily use a number of Apple products.

  • Re:One day? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by elrous0 (869638) * on Wednesday March 26, 2008 @09:50AM (#22868680)
    No corporation is ever cool. Some just convince you they are.

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