Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 19th Jan 2010 23:31 UTC, submitted by jebb
Apple Now this is material that piques my interest more than anything: insights from one of the bigger names in the industry. Jean-Louis Gassee debunks the "Apple-must-license-its-software-or-die" myth by looking back upon the past - and if you don't know who JLG is, then please take that dunce hat and stand in the corner for three hours, contemplating your existence. Note: OSNews has a bug with using diacritic marks on the front page, so JLG's name is misspelled. It is correctly spelled in the article body.
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Comment by graigsmith
by graigsmith on Wed 20th Jan 2010 00:20 UTC
graigsmith
Member since:
2006-04-05

the once ceo of BEOS!!

Reply Score: 1

Comment by Laurence
by Laurence on Wed 20th Jan 2010 00:34 UTC
Laurence
Member since:
2007-03-26

Thom, I don't know if it was intentional or not, but that read more like a homage to JLG than a brief recap of Apples history hehehe.

Still, it's always interesting to hear other peoples take on events so thank you for the news item.

Reply Score: 4

BlueofRainbow
Member since:
2009-01-06

This is the kind of pointers which keeps me coming back regularly on OSNews.

It is always great to read how some key decisions during the early days of personal computing were derived from then facts and hypotheses about the future. Even more interesting when told by one who many good and some bad decisions.

What I would love for OSNews to do is more than just provide a link to the post and summarize it but also to provide a counter-point; another side to the same story.

Anyways, I've bookmarked the original blog entry so that I could go back regularly and see if ever there will be a similar post about how Be put all its limited resources towards BeIA and eventually lost market traction.

Reply Score: 1

License or die?
by Stratoukos on Wed 20th Jan 2010 00:39 UTC
Stratoukos
Member since:
2009-02-11

Who in their right mind says that Apple has to license its software, be it OS X or iPhone OS? And that they somehow face death if they don't. I would have understood these comments in the late 90s, but in the last decade Apple is using the integrated model in all their product lines and it's been nothing but a success story. Of course they'll never going to have a market share lead, but that's not what they're shooting for and I think that by now everybody knows it.

Reply Score: 3

RE: License or die?
by Macrat on Wed 20th Jan 2010 00:58 UTC in reply to "License or die?"
Macrat Member since:
2006-03-27

Who in their right mind says that Apple has to license its software, be it OS X or iPhone OS? And that they somehow face death if they don't.


They could have the market share of BeOS if they don't!

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: License or die?
by tyrione on Wed 20th Jan 2010 02:44 UTC in reply to "RE: License or die?"
tyrione Member since:
2005-11-21

"Who in their right mind says that Apple has to license its software, be it OS X or iPhone OS? And that they somehow face death if they don't.


They could have the market share of BeOS if they don't!
"

Their market share was headed towards BeOS when they had licensed it.

Now they've reversed the trend considerably.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: License or die?
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Wed 20th Jan 2010 18:51 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: License or die?"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

True, but JLG's point is that the superior hardware and software triumph rather than licensing it or not. So the fact that the company is doing better cannot be attributed to the lack of licensing options for third party companies, but rather due to an improvement in the quality of their software and hardware.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: License or die?
by nt_jerkface on Wed 20th Jan 2010 19:14 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: License or die?"
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

So the fact that the company is doing better cannot be attributed to the lack of licensing options for third party companies, but rather due to an improvement in the quality of their software and hardware.


I'd add in marketing and image perception in there somewhere. They certainly improved their offerings from the days when their products were mostly bought by Mac club loyalists. XP stomped all over OS 9 and I'm still impressed by how they were able to recover. Everyone thought they would lose their #2 spot to Linux.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: License or die?
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Wed 20th Jan 2010 20:29 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: License or die?"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

I'm not sure how much the marketing and image perception helped. As you said there was a time only lunatics bought Apple.

Despite their "Think Different" campaign and the colorful Imacs, most people at that time wouldn't touch apple's for free. My University at the time invested in a new Apple computer lab. 60 new Apple iMacs just sitting there, waiting for someone, anyone to use one. The PC side of the lab was always packed, but those apple's stayed pretty empty for my remaining two years at University.

It took them time to overcome the negative perceptions people had about their products, even when there products. But now, yeah no question Apple has a leg up on competition simply because of the Apple name. But if their products start sucking agian, then they'll stop being purchased. They wouldn't still be as popular if every produced was as unsuccessful as the Apple Tv.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: License or die?
by nt_jerkface on Wed 20th Jan 2010 22:27 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: License or die?"
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

I'm not sure how much the marketing and image perception helped. As you said there was a time only lunatics bought Apple.

Despite their "Think Different" campaign and the colorful Imacs, most people at that time wouldn't touch apple's for free.


I was talking about later growth from the ipod and mac vs pc marketing campaigns. If you recall the original ipod was a lousy piece of hardware that came with a lot of software restrictions but Apple still convinced everyone to buy one. The mac vs pc commercials have been good at convincing people that all their computing frustrations can be solved by buying a mac.

Edited 2010-01-20 22:32 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: License or die?
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Thu 21st Jan 2010 15:56 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: License or die?"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

At some point it turns into a matter of opinion, but safe to say I disagree. The original Ipods didn't start selling until they and itunes were available for windows. Mac vs PC commercials wouldn't have been effective if there weren't already early OSX adopters ( unix geeks) there to tell their friends they were ok.

So maybe its not all product quality and not all advertisement, but maybe a mixture of the two.

Reply Score: 2

Good OS bad OS
by shashank_hi on Wed 20th Jan 2010 01:29 UTC
shashank_hi
Member since:
2009-08-27

I guess in the long run a good OS is what people use. iPhone OS is tied to iPhone but it has a fairly sizable market share. Android is nowhere close to it, although it must be noted that Android was released later. If I had to buy a phone today, I'd go for an iPhone, because the package is awesome (except the AT&T angle, of course).

Another example is Mac OS X. Its a good OS that's why people use it, and its market share is improving (despite the netbook boom).

Reply Score: 2

RE: Good OS bad OS - I see the two seporately
by jabbotts on Wed 20th Jan 2010 15:24 UTC in reply to "Good OS bad OS"
jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

Market Share measures the effectiveness of one's business including marketing, sales and supply chain teams. As a measure of the business, it works well. Popularity is the consumer side of that same coin; it's a measure of how popular the company is not how applicable it's products are to a given job or quality.

As such, I see the product and it's quality separate from market share. Rarely has a product's market share been gained purely based on that product and it's physical attributes. In IT, rarely has the better product won out over the better marketing team sadly. That does not change what a product is well suited for and the quality specifications the product is built against.

Apple's phone does rank high in both categories. They are excelent at marketing both subtle and obvious. One can't argue that the iPhone has a big chunk of the mobile phone market showing Apples success as a business. The phone's latest hardware version also seems pretty solid and for what it's designed to do, it does very well through it's software (what it's designed not to do takes me off the list of target customers).

I wouldn't suggest that the device is the best build quality delivering the most functions to the user because it's popular though. In this market, one can't even say it's popular because it delivers the best build quality and function set for the user.

Reply Score: 2

Can't License Mindshare
by kaelodest on Wed 20th Jan 2010 01:30 UTC
kaelodest
Member since:
2006-02-12

And you shouldn't even try. It is not that Apple *does* anything better. What Apple does have is an ease of use and feel good synergy that seems optimized to get out of your way. -=- It has never been about MHz or who has a glassier tastier gui. Graphics are only the top third of the user experience. I like consistency and responsiveness and an explicit and dependable trust (that I will not lose my Data or Sources)

What is unfortunate imho is that there is the mistaken belief that we will ┬┐need? a faster richer environment. I was coding some with my son and our conversation hit a very clear point in that I do not want a machine to think for me. I do not need a Wizard or a Help Page. I want it to anticipate my effort not to interfere \intercede.

It is all up to what you value NOT what someone, some editor, some magazine or Ex Apple veep says.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Can't License Mindshare
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Wed 20th Jan 2010 19:01 UTC in reply to "Can't License Mindshare"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

It is all up to what you value NOT what someone, some editor, some magazine or Ex Apple veep says.


And what exactly is "it"? The secret to a successful computer company? Or just the personal reason for someone to purchase a computer? JLG was attempting to distill all of those individual decisions and see what they had in common. He concluded that Apple failed due the lack of quality of Apples. In other words: what people valued led them to decide against Apple.


What is unfortunate imho is that there is the mistaken belief that we will ┬┐need? a faster richer environment


I think you are hung up on terminology. I would call a system that anticipated my needs a "faster richer environment" .

Reply Score: 2

Ahh.... BeOS
by BeOSJim on Wed 20th Jan 2010 01:41 UTC
BeOSJim
Member since:
2010-01-20

BeOS was great Thom. I remember fondly checking BeNews for info... Those were the days.

I still have my BeOS 3.0, 3.2, 4.0, 4.5 and 5.0 media...

I can't argue with JLG about the licensing policies at Apple. I have thought that for a while now.

Reply Score: 1

JLG missed one point
by malxau on Wed 20th Jan 2010 03:48 UTC
malxau
Member since:
2005-12-04

The Mac had nice technology, but was overpriced. The initial $2499 was far too high for a machine with a tiny monitor aiming for a mass market of non-technical users. After this, with JLG at the helm, prices continued to rise (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macintosh_Classic#Development ). It's hard to compete if your competitor has better applications at half the price.

Which is the case for licensing. Yes, it would lower Apple's margins, but hopefully increase Apple's market share. Whether this makes sense today is debatable - Apple's share seems pretty solid and growing. But in the late 1980s, it could easily have changed history.

Reply Score: 4

Comment by merkoth
by merkoth on Wed 20th Jan 2010 04:13 UTC
merkoth
Member since:
2006-09-22

To me, Apple licensing OSX or iPhoneOS makes no sense whatsoever. A Mac isn't just OSX nor a bunch of off-the-shelf computer components, it's the sum of all those parts that make the final user experience. Granted, it isn't my cup of tea (I tend to have a fairly rough time whenever I'm in front of a Mac), but the fact that they're able to deliver a solid and smooth computing experience is undeniable. At least for their target audience, of course.

Let's take the iPod Classic as an example: Why did it become the most successful PMP? Was it because it was powered by impressive hardware? No. Was it because it used a top notch OS? Nope. It was successful because Apple figured out how to offer a great experience. They had the music, the proper app to get access to it and the media player had the hardware and software it needed to power the features people wanted in such a device. Nothing more, nothing less.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by merkoth
by Howie S on Wed 20th Jan 2010 05:04 UTC in reply to "Comment by merkoth"
Howie S Member since:
2005-07-14

Yes, I agree. When you license, you open the door to poor re-implementations and poor (and inconsistent) end user experiences. Apple is king of it's domain precisely because of it's totalitarian way of controlling every aspect of it's product's experience cycle. Android, for all it's openness, will have a difficult (if not impossible) time trying to reach similar heights of user satisfaction, IMHO.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by merkoth
by Colonel Panic on Wed 20th Jan 2010 12:42 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by merkoth"
Colonel Panic Member since:
2005-07-28

Are you trying to say a company say like Falcon-Northwest couldn't do a better job of hardware choice than Apple? I call bullshit on that. You can't pull everything down to the lowest common denominator by statements like that.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Comment by merkoth
by Howie S on Wed 20th Jan 2010 16:38 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by merkoth"
Howie S Member since:
2005-07-14

Falcon-Northwest might have nice hardware, but that's not the point. Apple has carefully cultivated a certain aesthetic for their entire line of products. This aesthetic is consistently present in their hardware, software, websites, web stores, retail stores, and advertisements. Falcon-Northwest (or anyone else for that matter) could create a piece of hardware which might be technically superior to what Apple is currently offering, yet that same piece of hardware would probably break the Apple aesthetic. Sure, they could create something that might be seen as 'cool' to some, but certainly not the sleek, minimalistic elegance that Apple users have come to know, love and obsess about. Yes, there are many companies that may be able to better Apple in certain areas, but for the entire end-user experience cycle, Apple can't be beat - at least not yet.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by merkoth
by BallmerKnowsBest on Wed 20th Jan 2010 16:58 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by merkoth"
BallmerKnowsBest Member since:
2008-06-02

When you license, you open the door to poor re-implementations and poor (and inconsistent) end user experiences.


The flipside is that you also open the door for better re-implementations that out-compete/embarrass your own products - which is the problem that Apple ran into when they authorized clones in the 90s.

You'll hear lots of revisionist history from Apple fanboys about how the clone makers somehow "betrayed" Apple by daring to compete for the same customers. But the purse and simple reality is that Apple couldn't even compete with their own licensees (or they just lacked the testicular fortitude).

Reply Score: 2

Partly Agree
by deadmeat on Wed 20th Jan 2010 04:41 UTC
deadmeat
Member since:
2006-08-04

I sort of agree with his points. The innovations that let PC dominate Mac was mostly hardware based. PC hardware started off fairly limited, but the innovative energy of the entire industry soon overpowered vertically integrated systems.

Most of the leading edge phones are basically the same hardware. SoC ARM systems. Essentially ARM is IBM of the phone industry, it's licensed it's hardware to whoever wants it. Some companies are making big money from that hardware.

Currently it's the mid 80s. Lots of hardware systems complete with custom software competing in a free for all.

If this were to shake out like the computing industry did, someone important will develop a standard hardware spec. This will attract a large number of new entrants into the hardware market. They'll struggle for a while for competitive software but eventually the size of the ecosystem will produce good software and ever improving hardware. This generic juggernaut will crush the competition through continuous hardware improvements and software standardization, which is relatively open.

Closed systems: Apple, Palm, RIM, Nokia and everyone else would be left behind. (again)

It could happen. There are powerful hardware forces gathering steam. I'm skeptical only because I foresee consolidation in the mobile OS market as driving this technological cycle. There will be killer applications that drive the market one way or the other.

Intel's muscle could shake up the market in an unexpected way. I expect they will sell rather than license processors and chipsets.

Edited 2010-01-20 04:42 UTC

Reply Score: 5

RE: Partly Agree - doesn't ARM sell?
by jabbotts on Wed 20th Jan 2010 15:42 UTC in reply to "Partly Agree"
jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

I thought ARM produced the processor chips they sell. Are they really just a licensing office that manages the ARM brand without any physical production?

Reply Score: 2

renox Member since:
2005-07-06

I thought ARM produced the processor chips they sell.


Well you are mistaken. They don't own any fab.

Are they really just a licensing office that manages the ARM brand without any physical production?


Still incorrect! It's true that they don't produce any physical thing but they don't license only the brand.. They design CPU implementations compatible with leading fab process and sell the right to use those HDL designs (and the corresponding programming / debugging tools).

Reply Score: 2

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

I hadn't realized they where licensing out the designed process. I'd have thought they'd simply contract the fabrication time from capable factories similar to how many other retail products are done.

Reply Score: 2

bousozoku
Member since:
2006-01-23

JLG recalls, "The then reigning Apple ][ has the 8-bit 6502 processor, a dead-end architecture, as the supplier, MOS Technology, can't provide a credible transition to a 16 or 32-bit world, markitecture BS notwithstanding."


While MOS Technologies didn't provide an upgrade path, the processor was essentially faster at 4 MHz than a 4.77 MHz 8088, which was a hobbled 8086. Adding the 8087 math co-processor made quite a difference, of course.

Western Design Centre's 65802 and 65816 helped continue the 650x line in a relatively smooth way but bits were still precious in those days and Apple overcharged for less sophisticated technology than their 6502-using competitors (specifically Atari) were selling. I wondered for years when they would provide a base machine below US$2499.

Reply Score: 3

What myth?
by Soulbender on Wed 20th Jan 2010 07:01 UTC
Soulbender
Member since:
2005-08-18

One guy blogging about something does not a myth make.

Reply Score: 4

LOL Gasse..
by tylerdurden on Wed 20th Jan 2010 08:33 UTC
tylerdurden
Member since:
2009-03-17

I assume that Mr. Gasse also included a quick comparison of the current market cap of Be Inc vs. Apple Inc.

Did he also talk about the great success that his licensing of BeOS has been by any chance?

Reply Score: 5

RE: LOL Gasse..
by dragossh on Wed 20th Jan 2010 11:05 UTC in reply to "LOL Gasse.."
dragossh Member since:
2008-12-16

I assume that Mr. Gasse also included a quick comparison of the current market cap of Be Inc vs. Apple Inc.

Did he also talk about the great success that his licensing of BeOS has been by any chance?


It was almost there. Of course, Microsoft shit their pants and started threatening OEMs. Users "needing" Windows at the time, and OEMs not wanting to lose customers, they did as they were told. *rant* Then the dreaded BeIA came, and Palm had to buy Be and lock BeOS in a drawer somewhere. *end rant*

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: LOL Gasse..
by smashIt on Wed 20th Jan 2010 14:20 UTC in reply to "RE: LOL Gasse.."
smashIt Member since:
2005-07-06

It was almost there. Of course, Microsoft shit their pants and started threatening OEMs


lets get this straight:
be entered the x86 market with R3.0 that did run on as good as no hardware
with R4 they broadned their possible audience
with R4.5 they started to gain momentum amoung geeks
and with an underdelivering R5 they killed off all their revenue, switched to BeAI and later complained that they ran out of money (and don't get me started on the crappy distribution here in austria and germany)

be killed themselves, they didn't need ms for it

Edited 2010-01-20 14:20 UTC

Reply Score: 0

v RE[3]: LOL Gasse..
by tylerdurden on Wed 20th Jan 2010 18:24 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: LOL Gasse.."
RE[4]: LOL Gasse..
by Thom_Holwerda on Wed 20th Jan 2010 18:41 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: LOL Gasse.."
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

I doubt that MS even knew what BeOS was, I am fascinated by the level of detachment with reality by some of the BeOS fans.


I guess you don't know your history. Be sued Microsoft for anticompetitive practices, and got a successful settlement out of it. Both Hitachi and Compaq were pressured (Compaq even by Bill Gates himself) NOT to sign deals with Be.

It was an OS with no OEM support


See above. Several Mac clone makers and companies like Compaq and Hitachi shipped or wanted to ship the BeOS. Linux only recently has gotten somewhat of the same level of support.

no user base to speak of, and almost no apps (never mind any resemblance of an actual killer app)...


How old are you? You never experienced the heydays of the BeOS, did you? BeBits used to be filled to the brim with applications


it even had an awful TCP stack right when the internet was taking off and they were trying to position the OS as a web appliance. LOL


The R5 stack was indeed a mess, but they had a new stack ready, which can be seen at work in dan0 and Zeta. It's miles better than the R5 one.

But I guess you have started many more successful businesses than JLG, and have a decade worth of executive experience at one of the biggest electronics/computer companies in the world.

Edited 2010-01-20 18:41 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: LOL Gasse..
by Soulbender on Thu 21st Jan 2010 05:47 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: LOL Gasse.."
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

But I guess you have started many more successful businesses than JLG, and have a decade worth of executive experience at one of the biggest electronics/computer companies in the world.


Well, Thom, you better stop criticizing Ballmer, Jobs, Torvalds, Siego, de Icaza and pretty much any OSS or commercial software effort because, you know, how many hugely successful software projects have you started and how many companies have you had executive management in?

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: LOL Gasse..
by StephenBeDoper on Thu 21st Jan 2010 18:41 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: LOL Gasse.."
StephenBeDoper Member since:
2005-07-06

Well, Thom, you better stop criticizing Ballmer, Jobs, Torvalds, Siego, de Icaza and pretty much any OSS or commercial software effort because, you know, how many hugely successful software projects have you started and how many companies have you had executive management in?


Or, instead of erring to the opposite extreme, he could try to limit himself to *reasoned* criticism of those figures (as opposed to armchair-CEO pontification peppered with "LOL"s).

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: LOL Gasse..
by memson on Thu 21st Jan 2010 12:26 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: LOL Gasse.."
memson Member since:
2006-01-01

"it even had an awful TCP stack right when the internet was taking off and they were trying to position the OS as a web appliance. LOL


The R5 stack was indeed a mess, but they had a new stack ready, which can be seen at work in dan0 and Zeta. It's miles better than the R5 one.
"

<rant>
Okay.. firstly.. my BIGGEST BeOS related pet hate: there was never a release of BeOS, neither public or leaked, called "Dan0". The "R5.1" release name was "Dano0" which if you look at R5 release numbers matches the R5.0 release, "maui0". The only reference I have ever seen to Dan0 in BeOS related stuff, was that one of the PRIVATE beta updates to R5 (OpenGL I beleive) changes the release name string to "Dan0". However, this was a service pack, NOT an OS release. </rant>

The net_server wasn't all bad. The issue with it lay more in the assumption by many that it should be Kernel mode (and the fact that anything that needed access kernel level services as well as the GUI had a nasty hack stub app to work and this often proved flaky as heck - e.g. WON.)

Most flack came from the fact that it wasn't a perfect clone of the BSD Sockets style interface, which made porting apps that relied on more UNIX/POSIX/BSD Sockets type functionality almost a Herculean task. The PowerPC never saw a public release of a working BONE, so we still have net_server, and it works just fine, thanks ;-) Also, all of the BeIA R1.0 (and pre-release) images I have seen still use the net_server.. I think it was a 2.0 image that I saw that was the first to have BONE.

BONE was good, but it still contained a whole heap of bugs. I saw it get better in Dano0/R5.1 release and Zeta seemed to use it pretty successfully, but it was still not perfect.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: LOL Gasse..
by StephenBeDoper on Thu 21st Jan 2010 19:10 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: LOL Gasse.."
StephenBeDoper Member since:
2005-07-06

The net_server wasn't all bad. The issue with it lay more in the assumption by many that it should be Kernel mode (and the fact that anything that needed access kernel level services as well as the GUI had a nasty hack stub app to work and this often proved flaky as heck - e.g. WON.)


Agreed. I think the "R5 networking sucked" argument is more of a meme than anything else. Not that net_server was perfect, but most of those who repeat the criticisms of it are unable to provide even a single, specific example of a problem resulting from the net_server (because they've most likely never used it).

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: LOL Gasse..
by rockwell on Wed 20th Jan 2010 15:24 UTC in reply to "RE: LOL Gasse.."
rockwell Member since:
2005-09-13

//It was almost there. //

"Almost" counts in horseshoes and hand-grenades. Period.

Reply Score: 0

RE: LOL Gasse..
by Soulbender on Wed 20th Jan 2010 12:54 UTC in reply to "LOL Gasse.."
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Oh come on, don't you know? It was Microsoft's fault. All of it. Not at all bad management decisions. No Sireeee, not at Be Inc.

Edited 2010-01-20 12:54 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: LOL Gasse..
by dragossh on Wed 20th Jan 2010 21:21 UTC in reply to "RE: LOL Gasse.."
dragossh Member since:
2008-12-16

I didn't say it was all Microsoft's fault. I mentioned their switch to BeIA right when big media software was about to be ported to BeOS, and there is a mention above about JLG asking for a lot of money to give BeOS to Apple.

Edited 2010-01-20 21:23 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: LOL Gasse..
by Soulbender on Thu 21st Jan 2010 05:41 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: LOL Gasse.."
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Why are you taking personally something that wasn't directed at you? Hmmm?

Reply Score: 2

RE: LOL Gasse..
by StephenBeDoper on Thu 21st Jan 2010 18:30 UTC in reply to "LOL Gasse.."
StephenBeDoper Member since:
2005-07-06

I assume that Mr. Gasse also included a quick comparison of the current market cap of Be Inc vs. Apple Inc.

Did he also talk about the great success that his licensing of BeOS has been by any chance?


Eh, I'm guessing that you didn't RTFA - or even Thom's summary of it. JLG wasn't arguing FOR the notion that Apple needs to license its software - he was arguing AGAINST it.

Reply Score: 2

The 6502
by Drunkula on Wed 20th Jan 2010 14:01 UTC
Drunkula
Member since:
2009-09-03

I could be mistaken wasn't Bender (robot in Futurama) powered by a 6502? It must have potential, or will have in the future anyhow!

Reply Score: 3

Salutations
by BiPolar on Wed 20th Jan 2010 14:17 UTC
BiPolar
Member since:
2007-07-06

> the most annoying type of fanboy (the obnoxiously confident BeOS one - hi!).

Uhm? Oh... Hello there, Thom!

Reply Score: 1

Also a matter of cost
by CaptainN- on Wed 20th Jan 2010 15:34 UTC
CaptainN-
Member since:
2005-07-07

In the consumer market price matters - right now a Droid and an iPhone cost exactly the same, with the same service contract terms. IMHO that'll be the deciding factor. If Apple keeps their products pristine, and falls behind in software - and keeps their prices where they are now, while the Android prices fall, more features are added (even if they are not as slick or sexy as the iPhone) - that'll definitely work in Androids favor (in terms of market share).

So far, Apple has kept up, but when cheaper Android phones that are sexy enough start showing up en mas they'll start losing ground - a Droid Eris, with Adroid 2.1 and a GPU could be that phone.

Ultimately, Apple has been a company about profit margins and not about market share, but the app store does change that equation a little bit. The piece to watch will be this - will they forgo some of their margin to maintain the dominance in the market? If they do that, then market share has become their more important concern (and licensing their OS makes more sense), to continue to make money in their app store - if they don't, then they are content to make their margins on the hardware, and the app store is simply gravy.

I bet they keep their margins.

Edited 2010-01-20 15:35 UTC

Reply Score: 2

The point in licensing
by dquadros on Wed 20th Jan 2010 17:38 UTC
dquadros
Member since:
2010-01-20

Is (potentially) to broaden the offer. As different makers offer different machines, more markets are addressed. At its high Palm tried that with PalmOS. For a moment it worked, with Palm, Handspring and Sony offering products with good differentiations.

Apple had a hard time in the 80's and 90's due to a lot of bad decisions. Apple III was the first one. Developing the Mac at the expense of the Apple II was another. Having underpowered hardware with high prices made Windows machines look really good.

At this moment it makes no sense for Apple to license its OSes. They have sexy machines and people are lining up just to hear product announcements!

Reply Score: 1

RE: The point in licensing
by nt_jerkface on Wed 20th Jan 2010 19:00 UTC in reply to "The point in licensing"
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

At this moment it makes no sense for Apple to license its OSes. They have sexy machines and people are lining up just to hear product announcements!


Not only that but people actually like having the glowing Apple ad on the back of the Macbooks. Go to a University coffee shop at night and you'll see a collective advertisement for Apple.

I don't care if people buy Apple products but I could do without the conspicuous advertising. You're paying a premium for their product, you shouldn't be advertising for them as well.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: The point in licensing
by boldingd on Wed 20th Jan 2010 21:05 UTC in reply to "RE: The point in licensing"
boldingd Member since:
2009-02-19

Not only that but people actually like having the glowing Apple ad on the back of the Macbooks. Go to a University coffee shop at night and you'll see a collective advertisement for Apple.


Indeed. This phenomenon annoys me greatly, because many of these people are humanities majors, and have no particular understanding of the pros and cons of the OS, and basically have no rational reason for selecting the platform. I suspect rich college kids buy Macs because they're viewed as high-end, more expensive, and better (in a very unquantifiable, unmeasurable, but highly valuable way). And as status-symbols ("I'm both computer-savy enough to realize that Macs are better than PCs, and I'm affluent enough to get one!") Certainly not for any tangible, well-defined quality the machines have.

Edited 2010-01-20 21:06 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: The point in licensing
by skingers6894 on Thu 21st Jan 2010 01:08 UTC in reply to "RE: The point in licensing"
skingers6894 Member since:
2005-08-10


I don't care if people buy Apple products but I could do without the conspicuous advertising. You're paying a premium for their product, you shouldn't be advertising for them as well.


I'm pretty sure Dell, HP and especially the likes of Sony place conspicuous branding on their laptops too. If you are being bombarded with Apple logos it might have something to do with their just being so many more of them these days.

At least on Macbooks you only get an Apple logo, not the supplementary advertising for every bloody thing that's in the box. "Intel inside" "Soundblaster Rocks!" "Powered by Nvidia!" "Norton Safe" and so on. Some laptops are only surpassed by flat panel TVs for this type of additional sticker presence.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: The point in licensing
by Soulbender on Thu 21st Jan 2010 05:56 UTC in reply to "RE: The point in licensing"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Good thing PC makers like Dell and HP does not have big logos on their laptop lids right? It's also a good thing the PC laptops does not come with advertising stickers for MS Windows.
Oh wait....

Reply Score: 3

Familiar structural problem
by alcibiades on Wed 20th Jan 2010 18:21 UTC
alcibiades
Member since:
2005-10-12

The problem is familiar in business strategy. Another example of it was the question whether content and access in online services should be offered together and only together. The wreckage of AOL and Compuserve and e-World, and the success of Internet and content on a mix and match basis, gave an answer in that case. Which may not be the same in all cases.

In the case of Apple, it seems likely that were they to split the OS and the hardware businesses and turn them loose to maximize returns, the shareholders would do better long term.

The hardware business is currently selling far fewer designer boxes than it could, because it does not sell them with Windows prepackaged. The OS business is currently selling fewer copies than it could, because it insists on restricting them to the rather limited Mac hardware range.

Cut them both loose, and of course, continue to sell packaged combinations of OSX and Macs to anyone who wants them, and probably shareholders would do better long term.

I really do mean by this, sell Macs with Windows preinstalled, if that is what buyers want, and also sell OSX for free installation on the machines of your choice, or through OEMs, to the extent that buyers want that. You'd have a better hardware and a better software business than now, when each side impairs the other's sales.

Of course, you would have a religious war on your hands to make the Reformation seem a cordial discussion over tea and cucumber sandwiches. You'd have to get through that. But as strategy, its probably the correct one, and it needs to be done from strength, before it seems to be necessary. Like, pretty soon now.

Edited 2010-01-20 18:23 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Familiar structural problem
by Piot on Thu 21st Jan 2010 02:48 UTC in reply to "Familiar structural problem"
Piot Member since:
2009-09-17

@alcibiades

"The hardware business is currently selling far fewer designer boxes than it could, because it does not sell them with Windows prepackaged. The OS business is currently selling fewer copies than it could, because it insists on restricting them to the rather limited Mac hardware range."

Poppycock!

Apple doesn't appear to need someone else's OS for their computer hardware business.... and, essentially, Apple doesn't have an "OS business".

Reply Score: 1

Debunking myths from 2004?
by nt_jerkface on Wed 20th Jan 2010 18:55 UTC
nt_jerkface
Member since:
2009-08-26

Wall street used to complain about Apple keeping OS X to themselves and not licensing it out like Windows.

With Apple swimming in cash these days they don't complain anymore.

Reply Score: 2

Skeptical
by strcpy on Wed 20th Jan 2010 19:13 UTC
strcpy
Member since:
2009-05-20

I don't own any Apple's products, but just a small note about the tone evident in:


Earlier this month, Henry Blodget argued that Apple should license its iPhone OS out to third parties, or else it will be beaten by Android - just like what happened in the 1980s.



Of course, Apple eventually did license out the Mac OS, but this was a practice quickly killed off when Steve Jobs returned. "You can't be in both the hardware and the licensing businesses at the same time," JLG states.


Both sound kind of odd to my ears, given that Apple is doing extremely well business-wise and Jobs is the golden boy, "the CEO of the decade" by Fortune, and whatnot.

Otherwise a nice little peak into the history.

Edited 2010-01-20 19:17 UTC

Reply Score: 2

IBM licensed PC
by cycoj on Thu 21st Jan 2010 12:55 UTC
cycoj
Member since:
2007-11-04

I don't get the point he's making about IBM licensing core PC technology. Does he mean the fact that IBM licensed MS-DOS from Microsoft? Because IBM did not license core PC technology to anybody else. And nowhere in the wikipedia article he cites does it say so. IBM used an open architecture so others could build periphery without a license. They also used off-the-shelf hardware. Not any different to Apple today (I would also venture to say that apple products would by far not be as popular if it wasn't possible to build use standard periphery).

The reason IBM lost control over the PC was because Compaq reverse-engineered the BIOS. Now other companies could take the same hardware components and build a PC themselves. Nothing to do with licensing.

Reply Score: 1

Context
by StephenBeDoper on Thu 21st Jan 2010 16:16 UTC
StephenBeDoper
Member since:
2005-07-06

As much respect & admiration I have for JLG, there's one detail that should be taken into account (and that I haven't seen mentioned so far): during his time as an Apple exec., JLG was one of the people who was most-vehemently opposed to the idea of licensing MacOS to third-parties.

So his words probably shouldn't be taken as entirely-objective on the subject.

Reply Score: 3

Diacritical Marks
by erostratus on Thu 21st Jan 2010 16:33 UTC
erostratus
Member since:
2006-11-09

Hello,

I appreciate that the editors at OSNews recognize that Jean-Louis Gassee's name in French has diacritical marks in it. When you write an article in English, words are not misspelled when you omit diacritical marks, if the purpose of the mark is to provide an accent on the letter. If the purpose of the mark is to change the letter, then it is necessary for a proper spelling.

Obviously, we all have our opinions on proper grammar.

Edited 2010-01-21 16:35 UTC

Reply Score: 1

funny_irony
Member since:
2007-03-07

The bottom line of every successful business is "PROFIT" and not market share.

Licensing will increase market share and competitors. When competitors increase, profit will decrease. The profits from licensing will not be able to recover the losses. You don't need a MBA to understand such a simple concept.

The problem with Apple at that point of time is that they not only want to be monopoly in hardware, they also want to be monopoly in OS and applications.
Therefore, they are not actively encouraging developers to create more applications for the Mac. This result in shortage of applications for Mac and further reduce market share. They also have behind the door deal with MS and this close off other brand of office applications to Mac.

PC plaforms have many development tools and many of them are free or very low cost. There are also miliions of books on software developement on the PC but there are hardly any title on Mac.

I use to own a Mac ( with Mac OS 8 ) and I have tried to become a Mac developer. But I can only find one book on Mac software development and it is Java development.

Apple's problem is lack of respect for software developers. However, they seem to realize their errors and have open up the apps market for iPhone. The number of apps is the reason why iPhone is successful. Without apps, iPhone is just a good looking phone.

Reply Score: 1