2009.10.14 prev next
STEVE Jobs, Apple, and Apple’s fans and consumers have long had a reputation for being rigid, purist, and irrationally anti-Microsoft, while Microsoft and its proponents have enjoyed an opposite reputation; one of being pragmatic and reasonable.
But walk into any Apple store in the country today — the most pro-Apple place you could possibly be — and buy anything in the store, anything at all. And the person who takes your payment will, in all likelihood, swipe your card on a handheld device that runs some version of Microsoft Windows. Why would Apple use Windows to check out customers in their own stores? Simple — it’s the best solution for that particular problem, and so there’s no good reason not to use it.
Compare that kind of out-in-the-open pragmatism to the behavior described in this article at RoughlyDrafted, which tells the tale of how Microsoft, at great expense and with limited success, has pointlessly tried to rip out non-Microsoft technologies from several major acquisitions, and that this mindless hatred may well have been the cause of the Sidekick user-data loss disaster.
Back in the mid-’80s, Apple was the purist, and Microsoft was relatively pragmatic. Microsoft prospered, and Apple was deeply frustrated.
Today, it seems to have reversed.
There’s a lot to be said for pragmatism. And not much to say for stubborn purism.
See also: Zealots
Update 2009.11.04 — No sooner do I write this, but I find out that Apple’s about to replace their WinCE devices with a new checkout system based on the iPod Touch. OK, I guess that was bound to happen someday. But still, they used WinCE in this capacity for four years, and always frankly admitted it when I asked them.
Apple could have stuck with at-the-iMac-register checkout for the past four years, which would have worked reasonably well and kept WinCE out of their operation. They didn’t.
Update 2009.11.05 — Remember the pro-Microsoft manipulation of Bing search results? And the decision to put mandatory, 30-second, video commercials at the launch of Zune HD apps? I think these things are symptomatic of a couple of the mindset issues at Microsoft: A. They’re so sure that they’re going to win every battle and rule every market, that they don’t see any reason why they shouldn’t start leveraging that victory right away, and B. Their whole market plan is to sell to big companies (e.g. advertisers) and expect that the end-users will just have to suck it up whether they want to or not.
Update 2010.07.01 — More about Microsoft wasting tremendous time and resources ripping out an acquired OS to install their own, and how it likely caused the “Pink” (Kin) project’s ruination.
Update 2010.10.13 — Windows Phone 7 phones haven’t hit the market yet, nobody knows (for sure) how well they’ll do — but we already know that every one will have a dedicated (hardware) search button that always takes the user to Bing.
Update 2011.09.04 — Apple’s iCloud reportedly using Microsoft’s Azure platform and Amazon services.
Features (Regularly Updated)
A Memory of Gateway — news chronology of Apple’s ascendancy to the top of the technology mountain.
iPhone Party-Poopers Redux and Silly iPad Spoilsports— amusing litanies of industry pundits desperately hoping the iPhone and iPad will go away and die.
Embittered Anti-Apple Belligerents — general anger at Apple’s gi-normous success.
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Pinball Arcade: Unbelievably accurate simulation of classic pinball machines from the late ’70s through the ’90s, with new ones added periodically. Like MAME for pinball — maybe better.
Best 9/11 documentaries: Inside 9/11: Zero Hour; Inside the Twin Towers; 102 Minutes That Changed America
Favorite local pad thai: Pho Asian Noodle on Lane Ave. Yes, that place; blame Taco Bell for the amenities. Use the lime, chopsticks, and sriracha. Yummm.
Um, could there something wrong with me if I like this?
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