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Wozniak: I Would Consider Returning To Apple

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  • by toQDuj (806112) on Saturday April 09, 2011 @11:10AM (#35767578) Homepage Journal

    Sorry to be obtuse, but has he done anything of note recently? I only know him from his achievements in the distant past...

    • by rolfwind (528248) on Saturday April 09, 2011 @11:23AM (#35767656)

      Yes, he's a member of a Segway Polo team.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 09, 2011 @11:23AM (#35767658)

      From tfa:

      "There's just an awful lot I know about Apple products and competing products that has some relevance, some meaning. They're my own feelings, though," said Wozniak, who is currently chief scientist of storage start-up Fusion-io.

      Post Apple Career [wikipedia.org].

      Stop being obtuse.

      • by jdpars (1480913)
        Looks like all he's done is use his old Apple connections to "start up" several companies that all later closed.
    • by mwvdlee (775178) on Saturday April 09, 2011 @01:57PM (#35768692) Homepage

      The last thing Apple needs is somebody that actually cares about their customers' freedom.

    • He was a cofounder of Danger, Inc., I will put it has a one of his recent, post Apple note worthy achievements. Also, he has put a strong commitment toward education; I'm sure that the kids that he helped will remember him for the rest of their life.

      Woz is more like a modern day Nikola Tesla. Steve Jobs is a strange mix of Jules Verne and Thomas Alva Edison. For Woz is more important to have fun doing what he does than being rich and famous. For Jobs, is quality and perfection. To each his own.

    • by neoform (551705)

      >Sorry to be obtuse

      5 weeks in the hole Dufresne.

    • Hes' been teaching kids and giving speech since forever. He's actually a pretty good guy. Not so interested into making more money than he already has, or conquer markets. More into the human side of things, and into "doing the right thing" kind of stuff.

  • Right on Woz! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MoldySpore (1280634) on Saturday April 09, 2011 @11:16AM (#35767614)
    See? Not everyone associated with Apple has the same mantra as Steve Job's closed off bricks of user inaccessibility and locked down interfaces that tell the user they can't modify their own hardware or software without voiding a warranty. It took the judicial system to rule that it was legal to jail break an iPhone. I have a feeling that if Woz was still a major player in Apple's development and ways of thinking, this would have never been necessary. I say kick that turtle-neck wearing skeleton outta there and reinstate Woz as new Apple overlord! ;)
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by metaomni (667105)
      Yeah! Apple totally should entirely change its business model. I mean, it's not like they've gone from almost-dead to the second-largest market cap company in the United States under Steve Jobs.
      • Re:Right on Woz! (Score:4, Insightful)

        by hedwards (940851) on Saturday April 09, 2011 @12:26PM (#35768102)

        You do realize that if they hadn't chosen an inept business model in the first place that we'd likely be complaining about Apple's monopoly over the desktop market, right? There were a lot of inept decisions which led to the near demise of Apple, but being too open wasn't really one of them. (Depending upon how you count allowing other manufacturers to make hardware that could run their OS

        One of the reasons that Apple lost out was the lack of openness to the platform, there were other problems, but that wasn't helping them any.

        • Apple lost share when they began licensing Mac OS. Sure, they had made a lot of mistakes before that. But there is a good argument one of the best strengths of Mac OS was hardware lockdown which enabled more stable computing.

          As soon as Apple stopped licensing Mac OS they started becoming profitable again.

    • See? Not everyone associated with Apple has the same mantra as Steve Job's closed off bricks of user inaccessibility and locked down interfaces that tell the user they can't modify their own hardware or software without voiding a warranty.

      I agree with you that jailbreaking should be legal but are you stating that Apple or any manufacturer should honor their warranties regardless of what modifications you made? Doesn't that set an unreasonable expectation of support? By logic, does Ford have to service your engine even if you've replaced it with a Chevy engine?

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      No.

      Woz is an engineer, not a manager.

      Besides, the closed off mentality only came about during iOS. OSX is still very much open. Hell, the kernel is open sourced!

  • 1. Steve jobs retires or dies from his poor health.

    2. The woz takes over at apple, rebuilds the OS licensed as GNU/FOSS.

    2. ???

    3. Profit!!!
    • by tokul (682258)

      1. Steve jobs retires or dies from his poor health.

      Or he dies in car accident when his car accelerates uncontrollably for some unknown reason.

    • by AHuxley (892839)
      3. Apple gets real TRIM for all supported SSD. (based on his past interest in the disc/storage areas)
  • by Joe The Dragon (967727) on Saturday April 09, 2011 @11:26AM (#35767680)

    apple needs to be open to more hardware choice.

    What is so bad about makeing it easier to swap the HDD in the imac / mini?
    What is so bad about desktop a system with imac power levels without a build in screen?

    If apple does not want mini towers then lower the price of the base mac pro to $1500-$2000 or have a bigger mini system with a 7200RPM HDD at least (320GB-500GB) or SDD. Better video then on board video / intel video. AMD new on board video system in the cpu may be ok and desktop ram with 4gb at the base. Also have at least a desktop i5. NO i3 or i3 on board video.

    But if apple where to have a mini tower have it with desktop i5 or i7, 2-4 HDD slots / bays, 4-6 ram slots (based on what chip set is used), pci-e X16 video slot + pci-e X16 slot (X4 speed) or TB port. Maybe have a higher system with room for dual video cards or just X16 + X16 (does not need to full X16 speed) + TB port.
    and 1-2 ODD bays.

    or just open OSX to non apple hardware.

    • The last time they licensed the operating system to non-Apple hardware it nearly killed the company.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macintosh_clone

      I'd expect them to license the OS again approximately when hell freezes over.

      As a tech support professional who supported a mixed environment of Mac clone desktops, Windows 95 desktops, and Sun Solaris servers in the mid-90s, however, I hope I'm wrong about this. That environment was a tech support full-employment act! We had four full time staffers doing tech suppo

      • I should add, we assembled many of the desktop systems ourselves to save money. Woo-ee! What a tech support full-employment act!

      • The last time they licensed the operating system to non-Apple hardware it nearly killed the company.

        It probably would be worse this time around since Apple now essentially uses industry standard hardware. Clone makers could take advantage of the economies of scale to introduce less expensive, and possibly higher perfuming, machines. They probably would not have quit the build quality of Apple but could get close enough that Apple would find it hard to maintain any significant price premium. OS sales probably wouldn't make up for the lost revenue to maintain development of OSX at its current level; so li

        • well apple can $100-$500 from there system price and still have nice systems.
          The mac pro should be $1500-$2000.

          • well apple can $100-$500 from there system price and still have nice systems. The mac pro should be $1500-$2000.

            Why? They clearly sell well at the current prices, and if you assume all the price cuts came from margin Apple would need to increase sells dramatically (2x, 3x, 5x?) just to make the same profit at the reduced margin.

        • What economy of scale? Your dim little mind is aware that Apple is currently one of the largest if not the largest PC maker in the world right? They have even beaten Dell once (haven't checked if Dell or HP has taken the lead again).

          So what economy of scale? Someone going to sell Mac clones so successfully they outperform the largest makers by such a magnitude they can demand even sharper prices then Apple already can?

          • Re:Economy of scale? (Score:4, Informative)

            by Registered Coward v2 (447531) on Saturday April 09, 2011 @04:45PM (#35769732)

            What economy of scale? Your dim little mind is aware that Apple is currently one of the largest if not the largest PC maker in the world right? They have even beaten Dell once (haven't checked if Dell or HP has taken the lead again).

            So what economy of scale? Someone going to sell Mac clones so successfully they outperform the largest makers by such a magnitude they can demand even sharper prices then Apple already can?

            Actually, in your haste to comeback with a witty put down (I'll grant you managed to be half way there) you failed to consider the PC market is much vaster than Apple alone. That's where the economies of scale come to play. Adding the ability to run OSX as well as Windows merely increases the number of units to amortize the HW development costs and increases the buy quantity.

            While Apple is certainly large enough to command good prices, there are plenty of PC OEMS who build enough machines to get good prices as well; and they can spread engineering and developmental costs over a number of units beyond just those for one manufacturer. If Apple were to license their OS they'd have to make it work on generic MBs or provide the tools needed to adapt them to OSX (much as independent hackers did to create the Hackintosh). Imagine if Dell could load OSX on a $500 Insperion - the $900 Macbook looks real expensive; especially since Apple really sells the OS experience. If you can get that on a cheaper clone, even with a lower build quality, it becomes harder to justify buying Apple hardware. Once OSX is running on may cheap laptops and desktops Apple will come under significant pricing pressure (and have fewer units to amortize their costs as clones cut into their sales); as well as support issues as hardware combinations proliferate. Neither is in Apple's best interest; especially since they have managed to maintain premium pricing by avoiding becoming a commodity like PCs.

    • by UnknowingFool (672806) on Saturday April 09, 2011 @12:40PM (#35768228)

      apple needs to be open to more hardware choice.

      There is an ongoing debate about the paradox of choice [wikipedia.org]. Apple has chosen less choice. It simplifies their product line for them. Remember Apple is selling to consumers in general and not specifically to geeks like you.

      What is so bad about makeing it easier to swap the HDD in the imac / mini?
      What is so bad about desktop a system with imac power levels without a build in screen?

      The problem is you are only seeing from you, you, you. From Apple's perspective they have to compete in a very competitive market with Lenovo, Dell, HP, and others. They have distinguished themselves by picking which products and subsets of the market that will ensure they have customers. It's probably the reason they stopped making Xserves; they just wasn't enough market for them. Remember they have to employ engineers, support engineers, etc for every product. As a business they make product lines where they can have success and not ones where a small percentage like slashdot geeks care about.

      If apple does not want mini towers then lower the price of the base mac pro to $1500-$2000 or have a bigger mini system with a 7200RPM HDD at least (320GB-500GB) or SDD. Better video then on board video / intel video. AMD new on board video system in the cpu may be ok and desktop ram with 4gb at the base. Also have at least a desktop i5. NO i3 or i3 on board video.

      A Mac Pro is not a mini-tower desktop. It is a professional workstation. There's quite a difference between the two. A Mac Pro is designed for professionals to author photos, video, sound, graphics, etc. While you can write book reports in Word on them, that's not their intent. It's like asking why a heavy duty truck isn't good for transporting 6 people around. Different purposes, different designs.

      But if apple where to have a mini tower have it with desktop i5 or i7, 2-4 HDD slots / bays, 4-6 ram slots (based on what chip set is used), pci-e X16 video slot + pci-e X16 slot (X4 speed) or TB port. Maybe have a higher system with room for dual video cards or just X16 + X16 (does not need to full X16 speed) + TB port. and 1-2 ODD bays.

      Basically you've described a system that every computer manufacturer makes. Why should Apple compete in a crowded market where the margins are pretty thin just to make you happy.

    • by WCguru42 (1268530)

      What is so bad about makeing it easier to swap the HDD in the imac / mini?

      Get a NAS box [newegg.com] and call it a day.

    • by Shadowmist (57488)
      What's so bad about those choices is that they all involve design compromises. which make the machine larger, cost more, and don't exactly help with core markets. Thing is all these things you want... are not relevant in Apple's marketing strategy. There is no benefit to apple to compromise it's prime market just to make a dozen tech geeks who probably still won't buy the product happy.
  • 1. Wozniak is a damn smart guy and knows what Jobs is about;

    2. Wozniak also knew this when he worked for Jobs;

    3. Wozniak continued and continues knowing this as his Apple wages/shares provide him a tidy sum.

    It's easy to play the respected but impotent preacher. Especially useful when you are gain from what you preach against. Sorta like reading one of the tabloids go on a rant about exploitation of young girls and foreigners while the owner of the newspaper group publishes porn and employs lots of low wage

    • by macs4all (973270)

      3. Wozniak continued and continues knowing this as his Apple wages/shares provide him a tidy sum.

      I agree with your first two statements; but the one about the money is absurd.

      Even when he worked full-time at Apple, he INSISTED that his salary be no more than one of their typical engineers.

      His millions has come primarily from Apple stock, and some shrewd investments he has done over the years.

      Too bad he didn't get that Gulfstream deal like Jobs, though; he would've gone for that one!

  • by Trip6 (1184883) on Saturday April 09, 2011 @11:32AM (#35767706)

    Woz is a technical guy and is no longer needed there. Jobs only ever cared about the user experience and that's why Apple dominates.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by macs4all (973270)

      Woz is a technical guy and is no longer needed there.

      Your statement makes it sound like all he can do is design circuitry and code.

      Although he is a brilliant designer/developer, his return would also breathe new life into the company's other engineers, and would, quite frankly, make the stock market a little less jittery about "what will happen to Apple" in Jobs' absence.

      I think he should return in his prior role as "Apple Fellow", and do what he does best at this point: Spread good will, and provide a "You can't fire me!" foil to some of Jobs' more "form

      • by Trip6 (1184883)

        Woz has even personally bitched about the BT lack-of-stereo support thing to me a couple of years ago in an email.

        Woz bitched to you over email about the lack of a specific feature? Brush with greatness!!!!!!

    • by Kjella (173770) on Saturday April 09, 2011 @12:41PM (#35768236) Homepage

      That is why Apple dominates now, but it's not why it dominated then. I remember watching a documentary about the early Apples and Woz was a genius at reducing hardware cost to bring them down to budgets people could afford. He took what would normally cost thousands and cut chips and optimized software to make it cost hundreds. He was by far more essential to Apple then than Jobs' ideas of the user experience.

      Today, that's simply not one of Apple's strengths - it probably hasn't been one since sometime in the 80s. There's plenty companies that can match Apple on producing an equivalent hardware platform. In fact, many have been technologically superior to Apple, they just haven't been nice to use. It's not the CPU or GPU or touchscreen or whatever that makes the iPhone/iPad a success and the Macs have gone native with the same Intel processors as most PCs. There's nothing on the technical side that will make or break Apple. I'm sure Woz could do a good job there at something, but he'd never be a very important man.

  • He's a lot cooler than Woz.

    • by Shadowmist (57488)

      He's a lot cooler than Woz.

      If he hadn't asked for such an unreasonable amount for his BeOS, he would have been back instead of Jobs. But then again considering how things turned out, it probably turned out for the best.

  • Granted... it would have to be seriously updated to be a viable computing platform in today's market... to the point that it would effectively be an entirely new machine... but I dunno... there's something about the idea of Woz going back to Apple that makes me wax nostalgic... there was a time back when Wozniak was last working with Apple where they were saying "Apple 2 forever". I can't help but think it'd be kinda neat to see that name come back.
  • I'd rather see him get hired by Google, given some resources, staff, and autonomy, and see what he makes of it.
  • [

    Steve Wozniak told Reuters he would consider returning to an active role at Apple, the company he co-founded

    I'm sure he would. And I'm sure he'd have a positive effect on them too if he could.

    and believes the consumer electronics giant could afford to be more open than it is.

    And this is why he never will.

  • by macs4all (973270) on Saturday April 09, 2011 @01:18PM (#35768486)
    First, some background from me (macs4all) :

    I just emailed Woz with an email I entitled "Storm a-brewin' over at Slashdot."

    His instantaneous reply follows. When I asked him if I could Re-post it here, his reply was "PLEASE do that for me!"

    So, here it is, straight from the Woz's Mouth, so to speak:

    When I first saw the headlines it was just another totally wrong one. I did an interview in Brighton the other day with this female Reuters journalist. The entire interview was about Fusion-io, at the SQLbits European conference, with myself and David Flynn, our CEO. At the end she asked about whether I'd return to Apple and I thought and said "no" and told her some reasons it was impossible. So she sits there and asks "with all the exciting things going on at Apple, would you consider going back?"...I said "yes" but explained that it could not happen. What you read is based on the one "yes". So I didn't read a single article about it. I was on planes and am writing a speech now for a humanist award I'm receiving tonight in Boston and don't have time to get into this one. Too bad.

    This reporter took notes by hand but I think the Fusion-io publicist Shannon might have recorded it.
  • Back in the day Woz's crucial role in creating Apple was as a creative and accomplished electronics designer. Creating things like the Apple ][ color display or floppy controller with minimal chip counts, and thereby making the product more functional/compitetive than most of the competition.

    However, the market niche that Apple has nowadays carved for itself isn't based on low cost or unique functionality (even if a wizard designer could nowadays make much difference), but rather based on design and user ex

  • Woz was the Yin to Jobs' Yang. Woz made the tech and Jobs made the deals.

    Bringing back Woz would do alot to dispel the cloud of douchery that's been hanging over Apple for the past decade.

    LK

  • Wozniak is a master of technology and probably computer education. But he's no replacement for the single-minded obsession to detail that is Steve Jobs. However he would be a much nicer person to work for, and maybe he could be the unifing force behind the various heirs that Jobs would leave behind. Only caveat though.... he's no spring chicken himself.
  • Stephen Elop should go, Woz in. No more bone-headed decisions at Nokia. Yeah, I can dream.

  • NOT a businessman.

    As much as i respect him for who he is and what he has done, if he thinks hes going to come in when Jobs dies and "rescue" the company, hes misguided.

    Much as Jobs isn't an engineer, both of them have their place in the world.

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