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Wozniak Calls For Open Apple 330

aesoteric writes "Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has voiced a renewed desire to see the company open its architecture to the masses, allowing savvy users to expand and add to their products at will. However, Wozniak qualified his desire for a more open Apple by arguing that openness should not impinge on the quality of the products themselves. He also sees any change of heart on openness as a challenge when Apple continues to rake in huge cash with its current model."
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Wozniak Calls For Open Apple

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  • by crazyjj ( 2598719 ) * on Monday May 14, 2012 @11:05AM (#39994887)

    Unfortunately, part of the effect of the Steve Jobs reality distortion field was to basically write Woz out of Apple history almost completely. If you listen to many
    Apple employees and fans, you would think that Jobs created Apple single-handedly, perhaps with divine powers. There is very little respect (or even acknowledgement) at Apple for Woz or his contributions in the early days. In fact, very little respect is afforded there to the engineering of Apple products in general, versus their design and marketing. So, though it would be nice to think that Woz's voice might have some impact on Apple, he's probably even less likely to be listened to at Apple HQ than some random man-on-the-street.

    Woz's story makes a lot of Apple die-hards very uncomfortable (particularly the bits about Jobs screwing him over). And the standard response seems to be just pretending that he doesn't exist, and ignoring him. It's sad and unfair. But that's the way it is.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 14, 2012 @11:14AM (#39995025)

    And without Woz Jobs wouldn't have had anything either. No Woz = No Apple 1

  • by Aggrav8d ( 683620 ) on Monday May 14, 2012 @11:14AM (#39995027) Homepage
    "However, Wozniak qualified his desire for a more open Apple by arguing that openness should not impinge on the quality of the products themselves"

    The moment it is opened to others it will turn into the same mess that Windows has. Keeping the hardware closed makes development & support manageable. There's a reason nobody listens. This idea is dumb.
  • by rigelglen ( 2562525 ) on Monday May 14, 2012 @11:18AM (#39995083)
    Without Woz, Jobs would have been nothing and Apple would have been a failure. Jobs isn't a god, of course he was an innovator, maybe a genius, but everyone makes you believe that Jobs came up with EVERYTHING, the User Interface, Design, EVERYTHING. This isn't the case, even Jobs admitted it, he said "It's the talented people at Apple that make the difference" or something like that.
  • by Bigby ( 659157 ) on Monday May 14, 2012 @11:19AM (#39995105)

    There are far fewer people like Steve Woz out there than there are Steve Jobs. Therefore Woz > Jobs.

  • by iluvcapra ( 782887 ) on Monday May 14, 2012 @11:23AM (#39995173)

    Wow, I've read many accounts of Apple's founding and Woz is always prominent, we've all read fanboys but I've never seen one claim Woz didn't contribute, I've never seen anyone minimize his contribution and I've never read any equivocation on his treatment at the hands of Jobs. You sir have erected a straw man; I think you'd be challenged to find a single link or quote from Jobs himself along these lines.

    There is the simple fact that he left, and that he, by his own admission, had no idea how to make money off his inventions, and would have been happy working the day shift at HP and make a little money running Apple as a mail-order schematic business. To say that he was an engineers genius and critical to Apple's first success is true, but it's also true he had no idea of the potential for the business, he was by all accounts an awful salesman, and at the time he really didn't have any ambition beyond building a slightly cooler IMSAI clone.

  • Re:Apple clones? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by phillymjs ( 234426 ) <slashdot AT stango DOT org> on Monday May 14, 2012 @11:30AM (#39995275) Homepage Journal

    It didn't work out well then because the Mac was Apple's primary source of revenue. Not so anymore.

    Specifically, what happened back then was that the cloners were supposed to take the low end of the market that Apple didn't want. Instead, at least one of them went balls-to-the-wall and made some machines that were faster than Apple's fastest. They began to hit Apple right in the bottom line, which is why almost immediately upon his return Jobs used a contract loophole to kill the clone program.

    Personally, I would love to see Apple open up for at least some things. I can understand to a degree that they don't want consumers running OS X on non-Apple hardware, but since they don't sell enterprise-class servers anymore I think they should officially allow, certify, and fully support installation and virtualization of OS X Server on at least a limited selection of non-Apple hardware.

  • by tripleevenfall ( 1990004 ) on Monday May 14, 2012 @11:31AM (#39995291)

    Jobs created first, a market segment, and that was "A PC for the rest of us". (Not to mention really swallowing up the mp3 player market with their device, and now pretty much owning music distribution.)

    I don't think Apple meant to take over the PC/mobile computing industries. It just turned out that most people were ready for something that will get out of their way and "just work". They were more successful than they ever would have imagined, by producing devices that just work and let people use computers/tablets for what they want without having to spend so much time on it.

    There's nothing wrong with this. If you don't like Apple's ecosystem, you can go the Windows our Linux route. They just found a niche that didn't turn out to be a niche.

  • Re:Apple clones? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by betterunixthanunix ( 980855 ) on Monday May 14, 2012 @11:34AM (#39995317)
    They do not need to go that far. They can just drop the "only software we approved" system, end the censorship, and let people control their computers.
  • Indeed. Job's contribution to Apple was a corporate mindset, marketing, and ultimately the selfish controlling "closed" nature of every product it brought to market. The difference between the two men can be distilled down to one crucial personality trait: respect. Wozniak has respect for Apple's customers that Jobs never did. Jobs treated Apple customers like cattle, to be guided through narrow constricting chutes and confined in little cages, all while milking them of every last ounce.

  • by spire3661 ( 1038968 ) on Monday May 14, 2012 @11:44AM (#39995465) Journal
    Steve Jobs ACTIVELY screwed him on a business deal in the VERY early days of Apple. Jobs said they got paid X for a job they were to split the fee on, but really they got X + Y. Steve kept his half of X and all of Y.
  • by dkleinsc ( 563838 ) on Monday May 14, 2012 @11:46AM (#39995491) Homepage

    I could imagine an Apple under Woz turning out much the same way as the Bell Labs story: Lots of world-changing technology, very little profit.

    Jobs and Woz needed each other to make Apple a reality. Jobs needed Woz to have really cool products to sell early on - without Woz, he either would have ended up yet another commune-dwelling hippie, or maybe yet another marketing jerk in a suit (like That Guy [] in Futurama). Woz needed Jobs to go independent and sell his stuff on a mass scale - without Jobs, he'd probably be happily designing stuff for HP or some other big firm and playing with hardware tinkering and open-source software in his spare time.

  • by spire3661 ( 1038968 ) on Monday May 14, 2012 @11:46AM (#39995499) Journal
    Jobs' innovation was trying to keep things as simple as possible. Go read up on the dev meetings regarding the Itunes Burn Cd functionality and how Steve came in and simplified the whole thing. Steve was a master at KISS.
  • by hal2814 ( 725639 ) on Monday May 14, 2012 @11:49AM (#39995523)
    There are far fewer people like Jeffery Dahmer out there than there are Steve Wozniak. Therefore, Dahmer > Woz.
  • by khipu ( 2511498 ) on Monday May 14, 2012 @11:50AM (#39995525)

    The moment it is opened to others it will turn into the same mess that Windows has.

    The Windows mess has little to do with hardware variability, and everything with poor design and poor implementation. And that's a result of how Microsoft is a bunch of competing internal fiefdoms, all of which are looking out for their own best interest, rather than a great user experience (a Microsoft breakup would have been the best thing that could have happened to them).

    Technically, Apple could easily release OS X for PCs, and simply require PC makers to make compatible hardware with no (or only approved) drivers. PC makers would fall all over themselves to comply. The reason Apple doesn't do that is because it would destroy the mystique that they have and erode the obscene profit margins on their hardware.

  • by ByOhTek ( 1181381 ) on Monday May 14, 2012 @12:45PM (#39996207) Journal

    The chances of Jobs finding someone else of Woz's caliber, who would also put up with him, are probably not very good. Could he have found someone else to fill the roll of Woz? Definitely. I doubt the person would have been nearly as good.

  • by sjbe ( 173966 ) on Monday May 14, 2012 @12:49PM (#39996261)

    Jobs treated Apple customers like cattle, to be guided through narrow constricting chutes and confined in little cages, all while milking them of every last ounce.

    I think it's hysterical that you think no one who uses Apple products is bright enough to make an informed decision about them. Do you really think there are no Apple users who aren't acutely aware of the alternative products available to them? Seriously? You think no one has heard of Windows or Linux or Kindle or Android? No one is trapped by Apple.

    People use Apple products because they want to, not because they have to. Almost no one actually requires a Mac and the majority of computers sold are made by other vendors. You can do virtually all the same tasks perfectly well on a Windows and/or Linux machine. There are respectable quality competing products for the iPod, iPhone and iPad, widely available to anyone who wants them, often at lower price points and sometimes with features missing from Apple products or with compelling design features of their own. And yet millions still buy Apple products and have for many years now. This does not happen by accident or by marketing and Apple certainly does not (even today) have the market power to force people into buying their products.

    (And before anyone starts, Apple customers are not mostly status seeking hipsters either. Nobody sells that many units over that many years on image alone. If the products sucked they wouldn't sell for long no matter how good a salesman Steve Jobs was.)

  • by Lisias ( 447563 ) on Monday May 14, 2012 @12:49PM (#39996273) Homepage Journal

    You are misguided.

    Without Jobs, Woz would not had chance to show his invention to the money guys, and Apple would not had ever existed.

    Without Woz, Jobs would not had chance to show a invention to the money guys, and Apple would not had ever existed.

    Make no mistake - Jobs owns Woz as Woz own Jobs.

    Jobs was not a rich guy looking for a clever inventor. He was lucky to be friends with Woz, as probably no other guy would risk his life this way with him, as Woz did.

    We can argue forever about who is the father and who is the mother of Apple Computer.

    But it's just silly trying go argue if Apple would exist without one of them: the answer is a sound "NO".

  • by idontgno ( 624372 ) on Monday May 14, 2012 @12:50PM (#39996279) Journal

    That begs the question that "balance sheets are the best scorecards".

    I understand that is the conventional wisdom; anyone who questions that is generally viewed as some kind of heretic, hippy, or anarchist.

    Question the premise and you allow points of view like Woz's, or Stallman's, or anyone who argues for more social responsibility and ecological awareness. But demand that every answer results in "MAKE MOAR MONEYS" and we wind up with shiny traps, tragically-abused commons, and proprietary ownership of almost anything that was once public domain.

    So, yeah, society definitely needs to outgrow the "Wealth is proof of correctness" mindset.

  • by clay_shooter ( 1680300 ) on Monday May 14, 2012 @01:11PM (#39996539) Homepage
    The company was rebuilt after Jobs returned. The new team and focus pretty much made the company what it is today.
  • by clay_shooter ( 1680300 ) on Monday May 14, 2012 @01:12PM (#39996557) Homepage
    A company like apple is bigger than one person. You don't create a company by yourself. You recruit and motivate the right people. Jobs was able to do that.
  • by Quila ( 201335 ) on Monday May 14, 2012 @01:59PM (#39997159)

    The logistics (fuel) guys say "Without us, your tanks wouldn't run."

    The tankers say "Without us, you would have no reason for existing."

    Woz supporters say "Without Woz, Apple would have nothing worth selling."

    Jobs supporters say "Without Jobs, you wouldn't have been able to sell it."

    Everybody needs to remember it takes a team where the members complement each other. Woz and Jobs would have sucked individually, but together they made Apple great. Jobs and Raskin made Apple great in the Mac. In modern days it was Jobs, Ive and Cook. And through most of the early history there was Tog, setting the standard for usability. If you want to talk about an Apple hero most people don't know about, look at the Tog.

  • by HermMunster ( 972336 ) on Monday May 14, 2012 @04:01PM (#39998523)

    There were obvious issues with the company before Jobs came back. The lack of a decent OS (which Apple bought from Jobs), a bad series of high level executives that didn't know how to focus the company (not that another would not have done so and to say otherwise is to preach Apple's future doom) hurt Apple's future potential. Job's simply refocused on specific efforts, he got Gates to loan some money and continue to commit software development efforts, and brought his OS with him. This didn't happen overnight. It took years while building the right management team. Chrysler had the same resurgence with Lee Iacocca. And if it hadn't been for the rest of the industry turning down the developer of the iPod Apple would not be where they are today. So, hard work, a refocus, a new OS, a loan from Gates, and the serendipity of matching the iPod with a new 1.5" drive gave Apple it's resurgence. Jobs played a big part as a leader and was tremendously successful at redirecting the company focusing on products that were bound to benefit Apple (I'm sure there were many projects that were also of great potential that were killed). He was not a guru and through his ill temper and manipulation did he get people to serve him.

    So, give him credit, but realize that there's a bit of distorted reality in how some here present what Job's did.

"My sense of purpose is gone! I have no idea who I AM!" "Oh, my God... You've.. You've turned him into a DEMOCRAT!" -- Doonesbury