Sunday, March 6, 2011

Apple = Evil

The link to a "comment" at The Guardian, Forget Google – it's Apple that is turning into the evil empire by John Naughton, is trending at Slashdot (/.) under the headline Is Apple Turning Into the Next "Evil Empire"?. Time to kick back with the Macbook on the lap for some entertaining geek commentary!

Begins with an anecdote I never heard before...
"Very nice, Steve, I guess you'll sell it in 'boutiques'."
 - Jack Tramiel, the boss of Commodore, when Steve Jobs first showed him the Macintosh computer.
Funny because where is Commodore now? Dead and gone. But Mac freaks, some of whom I believe like to boast Apples had windows before Microsoft Windows, should get reminded that Commodore Amiga had windows before Apple existed. But in a way Jack was right - Apple sells in the App(le) Store. Hardly in average "stores".

John Naughton's opinion article ends with a great Umberto Eco observation:
The Apple Mac [is] a Catholic device, while the IBM PC [is] a Protestant one. [...] like the Roman church, Apple offer[s] a guaranteed route to salvation – the Apple Way – provided one stuck to it. PC users [have] to take personal responsibility for working out their own routes to heaven.
Eco hadn't heard of Linux, I assume. Anyway, the comment lists how Apple is now financially bigger by both Microsoft and Google, frequent competitors for the "evil" scapegoat status, and lay their hands on more and more sources of revenue much to the disgruntlement of many other businesses.

Most of the reader's comments at The Guardian are - predictably - either pro-Apple, pro-Microsoft or silly. At least two comments hint at conspiracies mentioning there is an apple in the bible too and at least one is lashing out at everyone else arguing any discussion about computers is irrelevant because gender equality and poverty is more important. But not all comments are stupid:
[Apple's censorship of 3rd party applications] constitutes abuse of market position using a dominant proprietary system and far worse than Microsoft's 'bundling' of software with its OS which at least did not block its competitors products, but was enough to provoke game-changing anti-trust suits against it.
 - ColonelCallan
Record companies failed time and time again to grasp the importance of satisfying the increasingly connected market and Apple saved them at the last minute.  The record company attitude always was (and still is), "How do we stop customers doing what they want?". They failed time and time again to ask the question, "How do we make money giving people what they want?" iTunes [...] answered it well enough to satisfy a lot of people. [...] Now we may be seeing something similar happening with magazine and possibly aspects of newspaper publishing.
 - RichardGE
/.'ers begin with stating the obvious:
Present continuous tense is unnecessary. It is not an ongoing process. You should use past perfect tense.
 - unity100
A sentiment that is repeated by many but also opposed by a handful. Personally, I'm a bit in between. They are not nearly as "evil" as Microsoft were trying to be about a decade ago. Anyway, let's finish with Hognoxious' joke:
Q: What's the difference between the Pope and Steve Jobs?
A: One of them has a load of sexually deviant followers who obey his every word without question. The other wears a funny hat and lives in Rome.