In the old days, there was an evil company called Microsoft. Everyone was mad at them because they owned an operating system and set of applications that absoutely dominated the market. Microsoft was a bad, bad, evil company but many people continued to use some number of their products.
Through the years, other tech companies have mustered the strength to rise to the level of Microsoft fame. The definitive Internet company derived its unofficial slogan, almost as a below-the-belt punch to the PC giant, “Don’t be evil.” But even Google faltered and failed at upholding this value…according to the digerati.
The target’s now been shifted again. This time to a company that seemed off limits even though it has, in many ways, had a much stronger grip and reign than the big bad Google and Microsoft. Apple has, after all, been the company that continually produces consumer electronics with the highest prices, with the least amount of ways to diagnose or repair its devices (i.e., Apple parts for Apple devices), and a penchant for locking consumers in to the proprietary Apple way (e.g., iTunes).
Consumers have been fine with that. They willfully submitted to this closed world because they wanted simpler, more beautiful products. For years, they’ve traded away their rights to have shiny Apple hardware and polished Mac software.
So, why, oh why, have they suddenly had an epiphany that their beloved Apple is, dare I write, the most evil of them all (at least, in their opinion)?
Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who’s the evilest of them all?
Maybe it’s their lovefest with the iPhone and anger towards not getting a couple of apps (but really one) they wanted. Maybe because Bing has made Microsoft cool again (“Do you Bing?”). Maybe they just need someone new to be mad at for awhile.
What’s just silly though, is to think that after the digerati has essentially helped build the Apple empire – on very clearly known closed, proprietary policies – that some ranting and raving is somehow going to shift Apple’s approach to the market. Would Apple be impacted if it lost all of its early adopters? Sure. Is Apple going to lose all of its early adopters? No. Is Apple going to lose some of its early adopters? Probably…or rather, possibly.
To those who are doing more than complaining and actually going to put their money where their mouth is, I’d like to wish you luck on Windows.
First of all, be honest, you are going to use Windows and not Ubuntu or another Linux platform. Secondly, you probably will wait for Windows 7, which in many ways is a service pack for Vista.
OK, that might not be fair. But having just left Windows and the PC world in the last several months, Vista was not only one of the most frustrating operating systems in terms of usability, it also was one of the worst performing. Everyday I’d deal with slower than molasses performance, hanging apps, or sluggish startups when moving from location to location. In fact, the main reason I left Windows, after not caring about Macs for the entirety of my adult life, was because I was tired of all the time I wasted rebooting my machine or waiting for it to start or restart.
I’m obsessive about keeping my system tuned, so I’ve seen much worse Vista situations than mine. For those PC friends that now call me a Mac fanboy, I also see them eyeing me when I roll in, pop up my MacBook and quickly go to work. Meanwhile, 15-20 minutes later, they are still trying to get connected to the network.
The hardware and OS performance is nice but Mac software is what “Apple was so yesterday, back to Microsoft” converts are really going to miss. I do believe that Mac software actually makes you more productive. For example, there’s just nothing as well designed or as useful as Things, 1Password, or Tweetie on Windows. Believe me, I’ve tried everything. Even cross platform apps like Evernote are better on the Mac.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not a Windows or Microsoft hater. In fact, I think Windows Live and technologies like Live Mesh are going to be big for them. And I’ve heard good things about Windows 7, in terms of stability improvements. But will Windows 7 suddenly compete with Mac OS X on performance and stability? Will it suddenly usher in a new era of cleanly designed, easy to use, shiny software, like on the Mac? I think you know the answer.
Who knows how long the digerati will be down on Apple. They make some good points about what they consider unfair…but they should have been making those points years ago.
Good luck on Windows.
Join thousands reading my insights on remote strategy, leadership, & operations.