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Microsoft Businesses Apple

Apple, the New Microsoft? 703

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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  • Re:No, because... (Score:4, Informative)

    by sBox ( 512691 ) on Friday February 09, 2007 @05:00PM (#17953752)
    No. Apple lost in the 80s out of arrogance, cost and lack of a critical app (Lotus 1-2-3?). Why do people think they won't do it again?
  • by X43B ( 577258 ) on Friday February 09, 2007 @05:07PM (#17953876) Journal
    "Apple, the penultimate source of cool"

    So Apple is second to last in coolness?
  • by abefij ( 921027 ) on Friday February 09, 2007 @05:13PM (#17954018)
    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 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.
  • by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Friday February 09, 2007 @05:22PM (#17954192) Homepage

    "Apple, the penultimate source of cool"

    So Apple is second to last in coolness?

    No, they are the closest thing to the ultimate in coolness as you can get.

    It doesn't mean what you think it does either. :-P

  • by chill ( 34294 ) on Friday February 09, 2007 @05:23PM (#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."
  • Re:No, because... (Score:3, Informative)

    by HappySqurriel ( 1010623 ) on Friday February 09, 2007 @05:28PM (#17954334)
    You also forgot to mention that Nintendo is the largest videogame publisher in the World, and has remained in the #1 spot for handheld videogame market for over 15 years (Gameboy, Gameboy Color, GBA, Nintendo DS).
  • Re:Sure, why not? (Score:4, Informative)

    by eln ( 21727 ) on Friday February 09, 2007 @05:40PM (#17954566)
    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.
  • by daviddennis ( 10926 ) <david@amazing.com> on Friday February 09, 2007 @05:53PM (#17954868) Homepage
    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 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.

    Microsoft ran into a similar stock options situation earlier and everyone yawned.

    Enron's founders deserved jail because they destroyed a lot of people's investments in their company by concealing material facts. Nobody looking at the fate of Apple or Pixar would think the same of Steve jobs et al.


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

    by The Bungi ( 221687 ) <thebungi@gmail.com> on Friday February 09, 2007 @05:58PM (#17955008) Homepage
    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 with.

    Does that make sense?

    And who modded you up anyway?

  • by ScriptedReplay ( 908196 ) on Friday February 09, 2007 @05:58PM (#17955022)

    No, they are the closest thing to the ultimate in coolness as you can get.

    It doesn't mean what you think it does either. :-P


    Quoth Webster:

    Main Entry: penultimate
    Pronunciation: pi-'n&l-t&-m&t
    Function: adjective
    1 : next to the last (the penultimate chapter of a book)
    2 : of or relating to a penult (a penultimate accent)
    - penultimately adverb

    It comes from Latin (as expected) ulter, ulterior, ultimus - the last meaning 'the most distant' or 'the most extreme.' Hence the meaning for penultimate is 'next to the last/most distant' and his 'second-to-last source of coolness' is perfectly appropriate. It can mean 'second-to-best' as you would like, but 'extreme' is neutral so 'second-to-worst' can also be assumed if the context does not provide specificity (as was the case here)
  • Re:Sure, why not? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Kelson ( 129150 ) * on Friday February 09, 2007 @06:14PM (#17955386) Homepage Journal

    Standard Oil for sure. But they've been replaced by Exxon-Mobil.

    Well, considering that Exxon was once known as Esso, a name derived from the initials SO (having been one of the companies resulting from the breakup of Standard Oil)...

  • Re:Sure, why not? (Score:5, Informative)

    by cultrhetor ( 961872 ) on Friday February 09, 2007 @06:42PM (#17955958) Journal
    Exxon-Mobil IS Standard Oil: they were the two largest arms of SO when it was broken up during the 1919 antitrust case [wikipedia.org]. The Rockefellers are still major shareholders (through the family trust).
  • by MoneyT ( 548795 ) on Friday February 09, 2007 @06:55PM (#17956172) Journal
    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.

    Imagine that, a company shuts down what turns out to be a money sink hole rather than a profit generator. I hardly see that as evil, and in fact were I a share holder, I would see that as a very good decision.

    You must have missed Apple's long standing abuse of independent dealers, culminating with Apple retail stores that killed off the independents for the most part.

    Which independents were killed off? The only one seems to be MacAdam or whatever the fuck it was called and anyone who shopped there agreed it was a shitty place to shop.
  • by durnurd ( 967847 ) on Friday February 09, 2007 @07:25PM (#17956662) Homepage
    The nice thing about the English language is that words can be used in context to mean what we want them to, as long as others understand it. If the phrase were "the ultimate source of cool", we would understand it to mean the best source of cool. Not the last. In the same sense, penultimate, in context, would mean second to best source of cool. Not the second to last.
  • Re:No, because... (Score:3, Informative)

    by lhbtubajon ( 469284 ) on Friday February 09, 2007 @07:29PM (#17956726)
    The people who bought a playstation 2 this holiday season are a completely different market than people who bought any of the new consoles. You cannot reasonably compare them.

    All the new consoles are over $250. What is they playstation? $120?

    I agree that the winner has yet to be decided, but the notion that PS2 sales somehow says something about how Sony is doing doesn't hold up.
  • Re:No, because... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Yaztromo ( 655250 ) on Friday February 09, 2007 @07:30PM (#17956752) Homepage Journal

    Microsoft didn't always suck ...

    Sorry, but Microsoft has always sucked. It's just that at one time a) they were too small to have a significant impact, and later b) there were compatible alternatives (PC-DOS, DR-DOS, etc.) they had to compete against.

    Evidence? Maybe you're too young to remember Bill Gates' 1976 open letter to computer hobbiests [blinkenlights.com], where he stated, and I quote:

    "As the majority of hobbyists must be aware, most of you steal your software."

    Of course, I think the Open Source Software movement, and products like Linux and Firefox in particular, have caused him to have to eat these words from the letter:

    Who can afford to do professional work for nothing? What hobbyist can put 3-man years into programming, finding all bugs, documenting his product and distribute for free?

    Microsoft has long had a sucky mentality. It's a cancer that breeds from the top on down. At one time the effect of this was more minimal (and admittedly I think it was way worse in the early 1990's than it is today), but the suckiness was always there.


  • I'm not sure what your point is. Why not dig up what the Microsoft terms of license are. OS X isn't Linux and they don't give it away for free, but the fact of the matter is that they still don't assume that you're a criminal out to steal everything in sight, and ask politely that you follow the rules of their unenforceable agreement. Nothing prevents me from installing that software on 25 machines instead of 1 other than my conscience. All things considered these days, that's pretty nice of them.
  • Nobody except Apple is allowed to make any money from anything Apple related: you can only buy Apple stuff at the Apple Store or at Apple.com, businesses can only purchase hardware or software for Apples through Apple, and Apple makes sure it's stuff only works with Apple stuff:

    I call BS! I know of a number of places, stores, I can legally buy Apple merchandize from. I know of two stores that legally sell Apple stuff, computers and iPods, peripherals, software for Macs, and accessories for iPod exclusively. They not only sell these but also offer Apple authorized repairs and services, one is not more than 10 minutes walk for me. Though I wouldn't buy one there, peolle can even buy Macbooks [bestbuy.com]; iMacs, Mac Minis, and Mac Pros [bestbuy.com]; Apple Cinema displays [bestbuy.com]; or iPods [bestbuy.com] from Best Buy. I can think of other national retailers that also sell Apple stuff. Simply, saying users can only buy Macs, iPods, and other Apple stuff from Apple is pure BS!

  • Re:Duh (Score:4, Informative)

    by Darby ( 84953 ) on Saturday February 10, 2007 @01:33AM (#17959842)
    If you would point me to your source of information, I will consider as well on this matter.

    Well, it's mostly right there in the paragraph you quoted. Xerox invited Apple in and showed them what they had. Their lawsuit was intended to get them something in the event Apple won. Nothing about Apple stealing anything.

    Here's one link. [mackido.com] looks to have a fairly high degree of Apple zealotry, but the facts are correct to the best of my knowledge.

    Here's another [wikipedia.org] which hopefully won't be replaced with goatse before you get a chance to look at it ;-)

    Relevant quote: "Xerox granted Apple engineers 3 days of access to the PARC facilities in return for selling them one million dollars in pre-IPO Apple stock (approximately $18 million net)."

    So, my point was just that giving MS a pass while claiming Apple was ganking things doesn't make any sense.
    If those were "stealable" things, then MS absolutely stole them. Apple paid *and* developed something very different. MS didn't pay and directly copied Apple's work. That's why the "Windows 95=Mac 88 (or whatever the year)" phrase got so much play. MS went out of their way to make it look as much like a Mac as they could and it was still an abysmal piece of crap.

    Personally I'm not a fan of the whole patenting/copyrighting "look and feel" or any related crap, so I think it was stupid all around. If you feel the need to place blame though, at least do it in a way that it's possible to argue for.

  • Re:No, because... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Splunge ( 88538 ) on Saturday February 10, 2007 @02:31AM (#17960266)
    Long before Apple existed? Apple was incorporated on 1 April 1976. Microsoft was incorporated (just) less than a year prior.
  • by Oswald ( 235719 ) on Saturday February 10, 2007 @02:58AM (#17960414)
    I don't usually say this any more unless I'm tired of carrying around so much karma, but you got me started, so here I go.

    It's not popular to point out that Steve Jobs is quite possibly a bigger asshole than Bill Gates, and that the company he runs is quite possibly even more arrogant than Microsoft. Jobs has admitted in videotaped interviews that he went to PARC in the '70s and was shown more things than he could even absorb at the time. He understood (and copied for his own benefit) the GUI and the mouse. He didn't quite get the networking and the object-oriented programming techniques. Fine. Everybody "borrows" ideas--to admit it out loud is just a more cynical way of mouthing the old "standing on the shoulders of giants" cliche. But why now the endless smug self-congratulations? Why all the putting down of a company that has crushed you in market share and profitability for two decades? Because they used marketing and bullying to overcome the shortcomings of their products? Please. This is pretty rich coming from an outfit that used another company's ideas for their breakthrough product, then failed to advance that product for almost 20 years before they hit on the idea of building their next generation of software on a somebody else's freely-available OS.

    I don't defend Microsoft's business practices (or their business acumen for that matter; they've had a lot of good luck along the way). I do on occassion defend their software, because most Slashdotters have no idea how useful and stable it is these days. I laugh like everybody else when they start talking about innovation. But none of that makes me like Apple any better, any more than hating the Republicans makes me want to shill for the Dems.

  • No duh... (Score:2, Informative)

    by djfake ( 977121 ) on Saturday February 10, 2007 @08:02AM (#17961720) Homepage
    It's almost not worth reply to, but if any one has dealt with Apple extensively, they'll know this already. It's a big corporate Microsoft hidden behind some slick marketing.

God help those who do not help themselves. -- Wilson Mizner