Linked by David Adams on Sat 31st Jul 2010 06:05 UTC, submitted by fran
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless Microsoft had its annual financial analyst meeting on Thursday, and Steve Ballmer answered questions about what the company's answer to the iPad was going to be, and whether Windows Phone 7 was going to be a part of that product strategy. He said, "We're coming . . . We're coming full guns. The operating system is called Windows." Ballmer and Microsoft so don't get it. I can't believe Steve Ballmer is making me feel sorry for Microsoft.
Order by: Score:
thavith_osn
Member since:
2005-07-11

...is it's all about the software.

This article basically spells that out. What Apple did right was to "force" developers (including themselves) to write the applications from scratch to run on the iPhone and iPad. This way they will run faster and be tablet savvy. It's a hard road, but one that has to be taken.

They can use Win7 as a base if they so wish, rip out a lot of the stuff they don't need (including the UI) and layer on top a fast efficient system that is interesting enough to attract buyers.

Microsoft probably does get this too, but the work involved short term is very high. Sadly though, they should have been doing this many years ago. They don't need to wait for other companies to show them the way, they should have been (and should be) doing this themselves, after all, they are basically a software company.

Google managed to get something out the door, but no sign of MS.

What is going to be interesting for MS is the OEM strategy they have relied on didn't help them for the MP3 player market, and isn't going to help them here. Android is a choice for everyone now on anything non-apple (and on older iPhone models too if you so choose). HP will throw PalmOS into the mix too, and I'm sure there are others. They can't come to the party late this time. I think it's over before it begins.....

Reply Score: 4

WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

Android is a choice for everyone now on anything non-apple (and on older iPhone models too if you so choose).


We still need a decent Android tablet to compete with the iPad. And I'm talking about one running Froyo (2.2) that has access to apps on the Android Marketplace. Only problem is, most people that skipped out on the iPad don't seem to want to pay more than $200 for a tablet, which is really a shame, unless you're content with one of those cheap Chinese iPad knockoffs.

I know a lot of people don't see the need/use for tablets, but I had an iPad in my possession for a few days and became a fan of tablets. IMHO, they make much better 'couch computers' than laptops or netbooks, and they could even replace a dedicated ebook reader if you don't mind reading on an LCD screen. I decided to pass on the iPad though, because I can't stand iTunes, so I'm still waiting on that killer Android tablet to come out.

As for MS, those guys don't have a clue. I'm not even sure how they managed to get as big as they are, being as incompetent as they are. If their Windows/Office monopoly ever comes crashing down, it's game over for them, because they can't seem to do much of anything else right.

Edited 2010-07-31 08:29 UTC

Reply Score: 3

viton Member since:
2005-08-09

MS seems only expanded while being ruled by Bill Gates.
Ballmer is only capable of making a fool out of himself.

Edited 2010-07-31 14:22 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Tuishimi Member since:
2005-07-06

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve_Ballmer

Agreed! Even a watered down wikipedia entry for Ballmer indicates that.

Reply Score: 2

Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

I think you are mistaken when it comes to android tablets. There aren't any good ones out there. Its really the quality of the existing ones that is causing people to not buy them. Give the manufacturers a couple months to show you what's possible at a much lower price point that Ipad.

And Froyo? its just now starting to become available on phones. Your Horses, hold them.

Reply Score: 4

Tuishimi Member since:
2005-07-06

...is it's all about the software.

I know, right? And they are supposed to be a software company.

I'm not even sure how they managed to get as big as they are, being as incompetent as they are.

And that is the problem right there. They got too big. Too many mid-level managers trying to hold onto their little fiefdoms. They don't know what they are doing and give the wrong guidance to the developers. It doesn't help that Ballmer seems to have no clue.

I've seen this before.

Reply Score: 3

When will they learn...
by thecwin on Sat 31st Jul 2010 11:02 UTC
thecwin
Member since:
2006-01-04

"We're working with our hardware partners, we're tuning Windows 7 to new slate hardware designs that they're bringing them to market. And, yeah, you're going to get a lot of cacophony. There will be people who do things with other operating systems. But we've got the application base, we've got the user familiarity. We've got everything on our side if we do things really right."

They have no familiarity or application base because normal desktop user interfaces don't work well on touch. They'll need to make a new unfamiliar UI like Apple did with iPhone OS, and apps will need to be ported with quite drastic changes in UI. In contrast, the iPad is familiar because of the iPhone/iPod that practically everyone has used, and there are tonnes of applications available for the Cocoa Touch platform. Microsoft's biggest advantage as always is the big corporate market, but the corporate market is always resistant to change, such as tablet PCs.


"Microsoft's partners would be focusing on delivering devices with detachable keyboards and stylus input."


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Tablet.jpg

Microsoft's partner? HP.. check
Detachable keyboard? check
Stylus input? check
Running a desktop-like familiar OS? check
Extremely popular, took the world by storm? err.... perhaps not.

Edited 2010-07-31 11:04 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE: When will they learn...
by sorpigal on Mon 2nd Aug 2010 17:34 UTC in reply to "When will they learn..."
sorpigal Member since:
2005-11-02

Where Microsoft would have strong leverage with its existing platform on a tablet form factor would be in componentization. Say what you will about quality but there are COM mechanisms for doing a large number of things. If Microsoft could strip down Windows ala their Server 2008 offerings and then layer on a new UI, all while keeping (binary) compatibility at the API layer with third party COM stuff then I imagine it would become a more attractive target: Write your shared back end, do a proper Win32 front end for normal Windows and do a 'tablet' front end for mobile-Windows.

The massive amount of developer mindshare and experience, plus the massive amount of existing components, would give MS an instant base of software. Not quite as much as just re-using the Windows UI wholesale, but as people keep pointing out it doesn't work so well on a touchscreen anyway.

tl;dr same platform, just rewrite the UI. Of course they'll never realize it until too late.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: When will they learn...
by thecwin on Tue 3rd Aug 2010 18:01 UTC in reply to "RE: When will they learn..."
thecwin Member since:
2006-01-04

Of course, Microsoft have their advantages. The .NET platform is a big one - given that it's been a pretty significant hit with developers, and with the right carrot many developers will make a touch version of their UI. But I think Microsoft are falling into the same trap they've fallen into with WinMo, Zune, Search, Media PC, old Tablet PC: they think they can corner the new market without any effort, simply by leveraging their dominance in the desktop space.

But they forget/ignore that with a new market, if people hate it, they'd sooner not have a new device at all. In most cases, people will stick with what they know, rather than buying something new and expensive that they don't like. This is essentially what happened with smart phones. BlackBerry and WinMo had a slow gradual increase in market share because some segment of the population *need* to have access to email on the go. For the majority of people, it's more of a nice to have, so they didn't bother until a device came out that made it bearable (iPhone). Just 5 years ago, no-one I knew had a smart phone, everyone just had a simple Nokia that made calls (I'm in the UK). Now, almost everyone I know has an Android or an iPhone. Same deal with MP3 players.

We've managed half a million years as a species without a Windows 7-based tablet PC. I think we could wait as long as it takes for Microsoft to get it right (...or, more likely, buy an iPad/Android tablet/etc.)

Reply Score: 2

Comment by vivainio
by vivainio on Sat 31st Jul 2010 11:14 UTC
vivainio
Member since:
2008-12-26

From cnet:

He said the task Microsoft faces is similar to the early days of the Netbook, when many of those machines were Linux-based


I can't believe he's seriously saying that.

To compete on netbooks, they had to drop price. On tablets, they don't have anything people would take for free.

Reply Score: 6

RE: Comment by vivainio
by kaiwai on Sat 31st Jul 2010 11:59 UTC in reply to "Comment by vivainio"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

I wonder to what degree will the Windows 7 loaded onto these machines will actually look like Windows 7. As someone pointed out, the Windows GUI just isn't suitable for touch input which begs to question whether we'll see a GUI overlay which will replace the standard GUI - maybe using Silverlight? you get the benefits of the Windows 7 ecosystem in regards to hardware and yet the easy to use touch interface. The problem then comes when one talks about legacy applications not written for touch in mind - which opens a bigger can of worms.

I'd sooner see a Tablet OS based on Windows Phone 7 with a slight customised UI than trying to wedge a desktop operating system into a device whose form factor requires a different approach entirely.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Comment by vivainio
by RIchard James13 on Sat 31st Jul 2010 14:04 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by vivainio"
RIchard James13 Member since:
2007-10-26

The problem with a GUI overlay is that all the applications are still using the old UI. They would need to convert the applications as well.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by vivainio
by kaiwai on Sat 31st Jul 2010 15:46 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by vivainio"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

The problem with a GUI overlay is that all the applications are still using the old UI. They would need to convert the applications as well.


True, which undermines Ballmers 'ecosystem' argument as to why Windows 7 is the bee's knee's when it comes to slate operating systems. I'd sooner Microsoft create a whole new ecosystem off Silverlight than kluge the crappy win32 from platform to platform with all its ugly bugginess. Microsoft needs to realise that Windows 7 isn't the solution to all of life's problems; it is a great operating system but sometimes you need to realise that an existing tool won't solve the problem.

Silverlight is a great framework and what native API they do provide with Windows CE 7 (which sits below Windows Phone 7) should be narrow in scope, robust and simple to use. Force developers to use the higher level frameworks - these are slates, not full blown computers so there is no way one can justify the need for access to low level hardware on such a configuration from an app developers stand point.

Reply Score: 2

Honk! Honk!
by Weeman on Sat 31st Jul 2010 12:35 UTC
Weeman
Member since:
2006-03-20

What Microsoft still doesn't understand is that its operating system still does not scale across various form factors. Linux and OSX/iOS's BSD kernels scale from mobile to big iron server (well Darwin specifically less so). Windows NT is still just a desktop operating system. And unless they're done despaghettifying and subsequently refactoring all (which is something they're not doing), it'll continue to be that way. MinWin still has a 40MB disk footprint from what I remember, and that's unacceptable for mobile devices.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Honk! Honk!
by modmans2ndcoming on Sat 31st Jul 2010 13:37 UTC in reply to "Honk! Honk!"
modmans2ndcoming Member since:
2005-11-09

WTF? You know that little 6 year delay between XP and Vista... what do you think they were doing to the code? They completely refactored it. that is why Windows 7 is way better than any Windows OS previous.

Reply Score: 0

RE[2]: Honk! Honk!
by Weeman on Sat 31st Jul 2010 15:30 UTC in reply to "RE: Honk! Honk!"
Weeman Member since:
2006-03-20

No, during that huge delay, they've restarted the Longhorn/Vista project twice and did that stupid code review. The despaghettifying started during that and they're still not done. Even MinWin still needs a tons of DLL aliasing hacks, because the kernel's still making calls to upper layers, which again depend on a lot of GUI code, shit like USER32, KERNEL32 and such. If you call that a successful refactoring, you're deluded.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Honk! Honk!
by kaiwai on Sat 31st Jul 2010 15:48 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Honk! Honk!"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

No, during that huge delay, they've restarted the Longhorn/Vista project twice and did that stupid code review. The despaghettifying started during that and they're still not done. Even MinWin still needs a tons of DLL aliasing hacks, because the kernel's still making calls to upper layers, which again depend on a lot of GUI code, shit like USER32, KERNEL32 and such. If you call that a successful refactoring, you're deluded.


I don't know what you've been reading but Microsoft has relocated a tonne of code into particular DLL's and the only thing that has been done from there is creating stubs that re-direct calls from third parties and old software to the new DLL's. The changes at the core have already been made - the only reason for the DLL redirects is for backwards compatibility. I can bloody well assure you if they didn't include these DLL redirects there would be hell to pay.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Honk! Honk!
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Sat 31st Jul 2010 15:34 UTC in reply to "RE: Honk! Honk!"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Unfortunately, I do know what they were doing with the code between XP an vista: Totally F**king it up. They had to start over from scratch after xp sp2.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Development_of_Windows_Vista#Mid-2004_...


Windows 7 gave us the birth of minwin. However the GP has a point. Windows does not scale from embedded to server with the same kernel. Windows phone 7 is a different OS than windows 7.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Honk! Honk!
by Laurence on Mon 2nd Aug 2010 09:39 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Honk! Honk!"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

Windows 7 gave us the birth of minwin. However the GP has a point. Windows does not scale from embedded to server with the same kernel. Windows phone 7 is a different OS than windows 7.

People are confusing the terms 'OS' and 'kernel' here.

Kernel is the smallest and lowest level part of the OS. It's usually just a few MB in size.
Where as the OS is the kernel and userspace tools as well.

Windows as an OS does not scale well. It's user space tools are not touch sentric and have a huge memory foot print - so it's out of the question for phones.

However theres little reason why NT as a kernel couldn't run on embedded devices, beyond the fact that Microsoft already have embedded user space tools built for a different kernel.

Another example of my point is how Windows 7 Home and Windows Server 2008 both have an NT kernel despite having a different set of user space tools tayloring the operating systems for entirely different markets (desktop and server).

And going back to the Win7 vs Linux / OS X, the same point is true. Neither Android / WebOS nor iOS use Linux nor OS X's desktop or server user space tools. They're the same kernel but effectively a whole new OS in their own right.



So really, no desktop OS scales well. But the kernels can and often do. And this is true for Linux, BSD / Mach and NT too.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Honk! Honk!
by Laurence on Mon 2nd Aug 2010 13:32 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Honk! Honk!"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

Is there any chance the "hit-and-run" negative moderator can explain what's inaccurate about my comments?

I'd love to know so that I don't keep spouting the same misinformation.

However without a rebuttal, I'm left to assume that the moderation was based on an emotional knee-jerk reaction from an offended fanboy rather than the accuracy of the content itself

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Honk! Honk!
by sorpigal on Mon 2nd Aug 2010 17:38 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Honk! Honk!"
sorpigal Member since:
2005-11-02

To be perfectly fair the Linux kernel found on desktop Linux is at least as different from the Linux kernel found on most mobile devices as the NT kernel found on dekstop windows is different from the NT kernel found on mobile devices.

Where Windows falls down is the cross-stack integration: Pieces are too tightly coupled together and until minwin impossible to pare down. These days it's easier (so I hear) but still nothing like as easy as it is to build a similar-footprint Linux system.

It's really not about the kernel.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Honk! Honk!
by Laurence on Mon 2nd Aug 2010 23:02 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Honk! Honk!"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

To be perfectly fair the Linux kernel found on desktop Linux is at least as different from the Linux kernel found on most mobile devices as the NT kernel found on dekstop windows is different from the NT kernel found on mobile devices.

Where Windows falls down is the cross-stack integration: Pieces are too tightly coupled together and until minwin impossible to pare down. These days it's easier (so I hear) but still nothing like as easy as it is to build a similar-footprint Linux system.

It's really not about the kernel.

Well that was my point. People keep talking about kernels in this thread but the real problem with Windows isn't NT.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Honk! Honk!
by darknexus on Sun 1st Aug 2010 08:17 UTC in reply to "Honk! Honk!"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

MinWin still has a 40MB disk footprint from what I remember, and that's unacceptable for mobile devices.


Really? Have you looked at iOS' disk footprint lately?

Reply Score: 2

RE: Honk! Honk!
by BluenoseJake on Sun 1st Aug 2010 12:23 UTC in reply to "Honk! Honk!"
BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

Windows NT/2k/XP/7 is very portable, when NT 4 came out, it ran on Alpha, PowerPC, MIPS and x86. It was designed that way. The problem with Windows on alternative platforms is that nobody was interested it, because of the lack of apps.

The problem with Windows on tablets, is the UI, as many people have pointed out. It has nothing to do with scaling to different architectures, as that capability is already there.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Honk! Honk!
by Laurence on Mon 2nd Aug 2010 09:46 UTC in reply to "Honk! Honk!"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

What Microsoft still doesn't understand is that its operating system still does not scale across various form factors. Linux and OSX/iOS's BSD kernels scale from mobile to big iron server (well Darwin specifically less so). Windows NT is still just a desktop operating system. And unless they're done despaghettifying and subsequently refactoring all (which is something they're not doing), it'll continue to be that way.


That's not really true though is it:

eg NCSA run a little "desktop" called Abe. A little "desktop" that runs Windows Server and is ranked 83rd in the Top500 list.
http://www.top500.org/system/details/8757

While I agree that Windows has it's faults (I'm really not a fan of Win7 despite it's many improvements over Vista and XP), let's not start manipulating the facts to suit our own bias's.

Edited 2010-08-02 09:48 UTC

Reply Score: 2

It's easy to hate them...
by mlankton on Sat 31st Jul 2010 14:29 UTC
mlankton
Member since:
2009-06-11

...because their product sucks and is pervasive in the work place. This is just one more step in Microsoft's journey into irrelevance. We won't be talking about them at all in another 15 years.

Reply Score: 1

RE: It's easy to hate them...
by vivainio on Sat 31st Jul 2010 15:05 UTC in reply to "It's easy to hate them..."
vivainio Member since:
2008-12-26

We won't be talking about them at all in another 15 years.


My guess is we won't be talking much about Apple either. 15 years is a long time.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: It's easy to hate them...
by Tony Swash on Sat 31st Jul 2010 15:47 UTC in reply to "RE: It's easy to hate them..."
Tony Swash Member since:
2009-08-22

"We won't be talking about them at all in another 15 years.


My guess is we won't be talking much about Apple either. 15 years is a long time.
"

You could be right but if I had to bet one any one big tech still being around, big, exciting and thriving in 15 years it would be Apple.

They have been a major player for over 30 years now and here we find them three decades later not dependent on milking some ancient product line (with the possible exception of the actual Mac) but rather innovating like wild rolling out one product after another that transforms existing markets.

What other 30 year old tech company could be described as exciting?

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: It's easy to hate them...
by leos on Sat 31st Jul 2010 16:49 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: It's easy to hate them..."
leos Member since:
2005-09-21



They have been a major player for over 30 years now and here we find them three decades later not dependent on milking some ancient product line (with the possible exception of the actual Mac) but rather innovating like wild rolling out one product after another that transforms existing markets.


My bet is they will last exactly as long as Steve Jobs lasts. After he's gone it will be a descent into mediocrity just like MS under Ballmer.

Reply Score: 5

RE[4]: It's easy to hate them...
by Kroc on Sat 31st Jul 2010 21:23 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: It's easy to hate them..."
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

Ive doesn’t have the showmanship, but he does have the vision. Apple under Ive would be a better Apple IMO.

Reply Score: 2

No it isnt Member since:
2005-11-14

It doesn't matter, though. Apple under Jobs has more hype than any other business in the world, and still hasn't half caught up to Balmer's "failure", except in the stock market -- which simply means it's twice overrated, compared to MS. Meanwhile, they're doing the exact same mistakes again, locking people into an expensive platform with high TCO and even higher cost of moving to a more sensible platform.

Also, it's now a fashion company. Fashion tends to go out of, you know, fashion. And because their fans tend to be massive wankers who are overselling the product to a ridiculous degree, many people are already fed up. Just a couple of days ago, I read an article in a fucking newspaper claiming Apple's new "revolutionary" trackpad was going to kill the traditional mouse. Fuck Apple and their fans. They're a bit like Brit Pop fans of the 90s, who thought Oasis were the best band since The Beatles. Well, in reality they were nearly entirely irrelevant. And the iPad wasn't the first at anything.

Reply Score: 3

RE[6]: It's easy to hate them...
by tony on Sun 1st Aug 2010 04:58 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: It's easy to hate them..."
tony Member since:
2005-07-06

It doesn't matter, though. Apple under Jobs has more hype than any other business in the world, and still hasn't half caught up to Balmer's "failure", except in the stock market -- which simply means it's twice overrated, compared to MS. Meanwhile, they're doing the exact same mistakes again, locking people into an expensive platform with high TCO and even higher cost of moving to a more sensible platform.

Also, it's now a fashion company. Fashion tends to go out of, you know, fashion. And because their fans tend to be massive wankers who are overselling the product to a ridiculous degree, many people are already fed up. Just a couple of days ago, I read an article in a fucking newspaper claiming Apple's new "revolutionary" trackpad was going to kill the traditional mouse. Fuck Apple and their fans. They're a bit like Brit Pop fans of the 90s, who thought Oasis were the best band since The Beatles. Well, in reality they were nearly entirely irrelevant. And the iPad wasn't the first at anything.


It's easy to say anything wasn't the first at anything, and it's a great (but intellectually lazy) way to dismiss a company or technology. The iPad is the first blockbuster tablet. The iPad revitalized a desperately stagnant tablet market, the way that the iPhone revitalized a desperately stagnant smartphone market. Haters can pick and chose the things that Apple didn't do first, but it just shows how desperate they are to dismiss the huge success Apple has had.

There's a reason Apple is so successful, and as much as you'd like to go tribal and dismiss Apple users as fashion victims and sheep, and Apple as an overhyped company, users of Apple products tend to love Apple products. Apple did radically different approaches to the various markets, and those approaches have resonated with users in a way few tech companies have been able to pull off.

Reply Score: 3

BallmerKnowsBest Member since:
2008-06-02

It's easy to say anything wasn't the first at anything, and it's a great (but intellectually lazy) way to dismiss a company or technology.


Yes, it's almost as facile as praising a company for being "first" regardless of whether that's true or has any significance.

The iPad is the first blockbuster tablet. The iPad revitalized a desperately stagnant tablet market, the way that the iPhone revitalized a desperately stagnant smartphone market.


And...? That will be worth a grand total of Jack-all if Apple repeats the same mistakes they made with the Mac. Which they're on course to do, given that the response to competition from Android et al has been to make their platform even MORE closed and even LESS attractive to developers.

That whole "no cross-platform apps on iOS" restriction is particularly stupid and short-sighted. Doesn't anyone at Apple remember what happened to AOL? Exclusive content is worth nothing when people can get the same thing (or better) elsewhere, especially when "elsewhere" has much better pricing.

Haters can pick and chose the things that Apple didn't do first, but it just shows how desperate they are to dismiss the huge success Apple has had.


Just as trying to give Apple credit for being "first" at everything betrays a desperate need brag about something, even if it's only by proxy. Psychological transference at its most pathetic.

Reply Score: 2

Tony Swash Member since:
2009-08-22

It doesn't matter, though. Apple under Jobs has more hype than any other business in the world, and still hasn't half caught up to Balmer's "failure", except in the stock market -- which simply means it's twice overrated, compared to MS. Meanwhile, they're doing the exact same mistakes again, locking people into an expensive platform with high TCO and even higher cost of moving to a more sensible platform.

Also, it's now a fashion company. Fashion tends to go out of, you know, fashion. And because their fans tend to be massive wankers who are overselling the product to a ridiculous degree, many people are already fed up. Just a couple of days ago, I read an article in a fucking newspaper claiming Apple's new "revolutionary" trackpad was going to kill the traditional mouse. Fuck Apple and their fans. They're a bit like Brit Pop fans of the 90s, who thought Oasis were the best band since The Beatles. Well, in reality they were nearly entirely irrelevant. And the iPad wasn't the first at anything.


Great example of TAC

The Techie Apple Conundrum (TAC)

The TAC arises often on sites such as OS News because the attraction of Apple products, and hence Apple's huge success as a company, is dependent on features and aspects of product design invisible to almost all Techies. Thus Apples success is mysterious, vexing and ultimately challenging.

Techies for example often focus on feature lists and technical specifications and compare one such list to another and look at comparative prices and cannot understand that someone would pay more for an "inferior" spec.

This of course misses a critical aspect of Apple product design, one of the keys to the success of Apple in the consumer market, which is that for many (perhaps most) consumers having fewer technical features is a positive thing. This seems paradoxical to Techies but this is because they fail to comprehend what the actual experience for the vast majority of consumers of hi-tech products actually is - which is bad.

Consumers constantly encounter products that don't work as advertised, products that squeeze so many functions into an item that using it for its main purposes is dreadfully complex, products that even when their function should be simple (i.e. to play music, to play a DVD, to surf the web, to write emails) require a thick user manual (many of which which are often written by engineers and are thus unhelpful).

Most hi-tec products are user-unfriendly for most consumers. But not to Techies because they have technical knowledge and so can cope with poor/arcane design. In fact Techies like such products because they find technical challenges fun and because it makes them useful (they are always helping people solve their technical problems) and thus boosts their self esteem.

Some kit, almost all non-Apple desktop computers for example, are not just difficult and poorly designed but are positively scary for almost all consumers. Many non-Apple desktop computers seem very complex to operate, go wrong for no clearly understood reasons and worst of all seem to be under constant attack. Watching someone move from a non-Apple desktop computer to a Mac you can often see them slowly losing their awful, and most of the times paralysing, fear of infection and attack. As the fear fades the pleasure of using their computer increases dramatically and people start to love their computers rather than secretly hating them. Thus another mac-head is born.

The emblematic product for TAC is the iPad. Here is a product that comes on instantly, looks and feels gorgeous, is fast, is easy to operate and does (in a fantastically convenient form factor) most of what most people do most of the time on their computer (ie browse the web, send emails, watch movies, play music, read stuff and look at and share photos). Plus it has two huge benefits for most consumers. First it doesn't feel like a computer - this is a good thing for most people because most people's experience of using computers has been bad. Secondly it feels very safe because of Apple's curated computing model, and most users of computers have previously felt unsafe most of the time.

The very reasons that make the iPad such a huge success are the very reasons that Techies don't get it. If one product above all induces TAC its the iPad. Techies say "but Apple has an iron grip and is killing our freedoms" (people want safety much more than some obscure technical freedom), "the iPad doesn't have [insert any number of features that consumers don't care about]", "its not a real computer" (exactly).

So the continuing, relentless and accelerating success of Apple seems almost inexplicable to most Techies, "how could such products be so successful?"

The answer Techies come up are fairly predictable:

- Apple's voodoo marketing: Apple is pulling the wool over the consumer eyes (sometimes this is blamed on media hype).

- Apple's evil lock in: Apple has a locked down and closed platform, once sucked in people can't leave.

- Apple consumers and users are idiots: Fooled by marketing and glitzy packaging the sheep can be sold everything.

Because Techies believe that these are the real reason people buy Apple products (other than the more obvious reason which is that consumers actually like them a lot) Techies also believe that this state of affairs cannot possibly last and therefore the final piece of the Techie response to Apple falls into place. Deranged by TAC Techies often come up with the most delusional statement of all - Apple is doomed.

Reply Score: 3

sorpigal Member since:
2005-11-02

I'm not sure whether to say +1 Insightful or -1 Pro-Apple Troll. No question that it's both, it's just hard to say which is dominant.

Either way, bravo.

Reply Score: 2

MissinBeOS Member since:
2006-10-20

Very well-written and thought out. There are always going to be exceptions to any effort at simplifying a large audience's opinions or reactions, but this does a very good job at making the attempt.

I seem to be in a minority, at least from the amount of stuff I've been reading over the past several months. I'm a techie, but I happen to own and love my iPad. It does what I want it to, when & where I want it to, without having to wrestle it into submission. (yes, I can already hear the cries of indignation - "You must be a Machead Sheeple! You don't know how to use computers! You've swallowed the kool-aid!" Sorry to not fit neatly into anyone's cherished conceptions. I've been using computers since the TRS-80 Model I in 1980 (could have been early 81 - my memory's a little hazy that far back) - all the way up through Atari's, Commodores, Amiga's (I consider the Amiga to be its own separate entity,) Macs, PC's, BeOS machines ... I've got a pretty good idea of what I want and how to go about getting it. The iPad, for me, fits nicely into a lot of those tasks.

Is an iPad the end-all, be-all uber-device? Of course not. Is Apple somehow holding a gun to helpless, clueless consumers heads? Nope.

Will Microsoft manage to come up with something competitive to the iPad or Android tablets? Who knows! I don't know, that's for sure. I wouldn't count them out of the running, this early in the game. I'd personally like to see them take the Courier concept and run with it - that thing could rock.

Reply Score: 1

Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26


You could be right but if I had to bet one any one big tech still being around, big, exciting and thriving in 15 years it would be Apple.

They have been a major player for over 30 years now and here we find them three decades later not dependent on milking some ancient product line (with the possible exception of the actual Mac) but rather innovating like wild rolling out one product after another that transforms existing markets.

What other 30 year old tech company could be described as exciting?


Firstly, "innovating" is putting a touch strongly. The vast majorety of their "innovations" have evolutionary ideas with stacks of prior art. What Apple do well is the attention to detail, but that's not innovation either.


As for them being a major playing in 15 years? Possibly. However they're already starting to fall out of favour with many people because of their draconian business practices, resent bad publicity and the fact that there's now other devices out there that can perform just as well as many of Apples devices yet are cheaper and/or are much more open.

This next few years will be essential for Apple: they can no longer ride off the back of their past successes (for reasons stated above). In terms of the iPhone, if they're not careful, history will repeat itself (Microsoft Winning out to Apple because Microsoft offered a choice of hardware running a comparable OS while Apple was more expensive and offered less choice)

Personally, I hope Apple are still around and going strong because as much as I personally hate the OTT PR and the fanboyism attached to the company, they do also know how shake up a stagnant market.

Reply Score: 2

Another "Me Too" From Ballmer
by Clinton on Sat 31st Jul 2010 15:56 UTC
Clinton
Member since:
2005-07-05

I'm not a big fan of Microsoft, and always enjoy seeing them squirm a bit, but this is just embarrassing. I feel really bad for Ballmer as an individual, and wouldn't be surprised to see him ousted in the near future.

Reply Score: 3

The touch revolution
by Tony Swash on Sat 31st Jul 2010 16:14 UTC
Tony Swash
Member since:
2009-08-22

The move from the desktop/mouse interface to the couch/mobile/touch interface is as big as the transformation of PC's by the GUI 25 years ago. That revolution was pioneered by Apple as well.

The touch revolution started by Apple has been rolled out in a pitch perfect development cycle.

First Apple spent a long time developing a very robust and extendible software foundations for their touch products - i.e. MacOSX.

Then they thought a long time about the interface issues which go much deeper than skin deep and are actually about an entirely new computing metaphor and interface. Apple are very good at this.

Then they launched nothing until it was truly market ready, they could have pitched a half finished iPhone into the market two years earlier but chose not too.

iPhone V1 was a crucial step as it demonstrated the viability of the touch interface but even more importantly is began to educate and acclimatise people to the new interface of touch. Later when the iPad came out there were millions of people who knew how to use it immediately.

The iPod Touch added hugely to the touch user baser by bringing it to all all those people who didn't want to commit to a phone. Plus it was a lot cheaper.

Then once they had a self evident success in the iPhone V1 and had thus created a new market for developers they rolled out the App Store and Xcode for touch devices. This created a huge developer community almost over night, and added huge value to their product. Still no one has caught Apple in terms of the size of their developer community or number of Apps.

Rather than rushing out lots of confusing and probably inferior touch products Apple concentrated for two years on honing the iOS version of MacOSX, improving the hardware, and building the now global community of touch users.

Then they launched the affordable iPad. Criticised as being just a big iPod Touch (which was like saying a swimming pool is just a big bath tub) the iPad showed the true potential of the new touch computing quickly became the most successful tech launch of all time. Touch had finally arrived big time.

Apple have learned the bitter lessons of relative failure after they launched the GUI revolution in 1984 when they let competitors catch them and then push them into almost obscurity. This time it is clear that Apple has a very comprehensive and long term strategic road map and that Steve Jobs does not intend to be caught again. By the time that Android or Microsoft match iPad version 1 Apple will be onto iPad V2 or 3

It is also likely that they have have further surprises awaiting us.

Apple are going to be almost impossible to catch during the acceleration phase of the touch revolution.

What exciting times these are. I am old enough to remember the GUI revolution and this feels just as much fun.

Reply Score: 2

RE: The touch revolution
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Sat 31st Jul 2010 17:01 UTC in reply to "The touch revolution"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

The original iphone with out cut/paste, multi tasking, or third party development was half baked. Apple's history of product releases always starts off with a half baked version. OSx 10.0 was maybe even quarter baked. Ipod was half baked (firewire, macs only). Itunes was half baked ( no music store).

Apple is typically given a period of time by the marketplace ( other manufacturers are too slow to react) to polish the products.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: The touch revolution
by jtfolden on Sat 31st Jul 2010 19:30 UTC in reply to "RE: The touch revolution"
jtfolden Member since:
2005-08-12

The original iphone with out cut/paste, multi tasking, or third party development was half baked. Apple's history of product releases always starts off with a half baked version. OSx 10.0 was maybe even quarter baked. Ipod was half baked (firewire, macs only). Itunes was half baked ( no music store).


It's a bit silly to look back in hindsight and see "missing pieces" only due to their importance today.

When iTunes was initially released there were NO online mainstream music stores, nor were record companies pushing for such.

The iPod was originally intended for Mac users only, the fact it didn't work out of the box on Windows was irrelevant.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: The touch revolution
by David on Sun 1st Aug 2010 00:11 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: The touch revolution"
David Member since:
1997-10-01

You have a point, but I think it was pretty clear to users of both OSX 10.0 and iPhoneOS 1.0 that the products were "half baked," that is to say, they were missing key features or functionality, or those features were rough, and we all expected them to be improved in future versions.

The users of these products generally appreciated them for what they were, while waiting expectantly for the future revisions that we knew would come. The fact that every subsequent version of OSX and iOS have been better and faster is one of the reasons why Apple fanboys get so excited about new releases and upgrades. During the Jobs 2.0 era, Apple has a great track record of taking a promising OS and making it better with each revision.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: The touch revolution
by jtfolden on Sun 1st Aug 2010 00:26 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: The touch revolution"
jtfolden Member since:
2005-08-12

You have a point, but I think it was pretty clear to users of both OSX 10.0 and iPhoneOS 1.0 that the products were "half baked," that is to say, they were missing key features or functionality, or those features were rough, and we all expected them to be improved in future versions.


I actually had very little exposure to the original iPhone release so can't comment on that.

Certainly OS X 10.0 had issues, I think just about everyone could agree. Of course, Apple was pretty upfront about this in the case of OS X. They didn't even bundle it as the default OS on their systems until a later version was released. However, I think it was important to have that release out at the time.

Although, from 10.1 onwards it did what I needed it to do. It's improved since then, but this is the natural course of software development (except when it's done wrong, obviously (see Vista).

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: The touch revolution
by Tony Swash on Sun 1st Aug 2010 01:44 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: The touch revolution"
Tony Swash Member since:
2009-08-22

"You have a point, but I think it was pretty clear to users of both OSX 10.0 and iPhoneOS 1.0 that the products were "half baked," that is to say, they were missing key features or functionality, or those features were rough, and we all expected them to be improved in future versions.


I actually had very little exposure to the original iPhone release so can't comment on that.

Certainly OS X 10.0 had issues, I think just about everyone could agree. Of course, Apple was pretty upfront about this in the case of OS X. They didn't even bundle it as the default OS on their systems until a later version was released. However, I think it was important to have that release out at the time.

Although, from 10.1 onwards it did what I needed it to do. It's improved since then, but this is the natural course of software development (except when it's done wrong, obviously (see Vista).
"

What is often missed in discussing MacOSX is that it was built on the foundation of the Next operating system - a system which had been developed over a decade and which many considered to be the most advanced OS around at the time, Next OS always had a tiny user base but in some ways that was an advantage when it came to developing a new OS - no legacy. So when MacOSX was put together it was built on top of a tremendously mature and sophisticated foundation. And this meant that it could be improved by iteration in each release and that those improvements could come at a fairly quick pace (by OS development standards).

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: The touch revolution
by jtfolden on Sun 1st Aug 2010 02:52 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: The touch revolution"
jtfolden Member since:
2005-08-12

...and that's actually something I didn't miss at all as it was the very reason I installed OS X back in Spring of 2001. I'd been waiting quite a while for NeXT's "jump" to mainstream usage. ;-)

Reply Score: 1

Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

It's a bit silly to look back in hindsight and see "missing pieces" only due to their importance today.


I'm not, those were my complaints when they were released. I was looking to buy a mp3 player. Ipod was mac only, so I could not consider buying it.

ITunes was also mac only, and was not as good as music match (IMHO). I was at the time screaming for a legal way to buy digital audio on the net. I did forsee the future of the integration and decried its non-existence. Early versions of Music Match were loosely integrated with mp3.com's free music content.

Os X just sucked. True story: Microsoft audited the api for osx and reported back to Apple that they would be unable to write an office version for it, without substantial improvements. Yes, MS was critical to OSX's succes. 10.0 was as user friendly as the Linux Desktops of the day, while considerably less stable. ( It did rapidly improve at an astonishing rate, but the point stil stands)

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: The touch revolution
by jtfolden on Sun 1st Aug 2010 03:04 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: The touch revolution"
jtfolden Member since:
2005-08-12

I'm not, those were my complaints when they were released. I was looking to buy a mp3 player. Ipod was mac only, so I could not consider buying it.


That's not an example of something being half-baked, though. Apple wasn't in the habit, at that point, of making hardware or software for Windows users. Just because something doesn't fit your personal needs, that doesn't mean it doesn't work as intended.

ITunes was also mac only, and was not as good as music match (IMHO). I was at the time screaming for a legal way to buy digital audio on the net. I did forsee the future of the integration and decried its non-existence. Early versions of Music Match were loosely integrated with mp3.com's free music content.


Yeah, I remember MM. Hated it. lol Though, I seem to recall early iPods working with MM on Windows.

Os X just sucked. True story: Microsoft audited the api for osx and reported back to Apple that they would be unable to write an office version for it, without substantial improvements. Yes, MS was critical to OSX's succes.


I'm not aware of the story, though Office X was released fairly soon after OS X was released, around 6 months, IIRC.

10.0 was as user friendly as the Linux Desktops of the day, while considerably less stable. ( It did rapidly improve at an astonishing rate, but the point stil stands)


Probably some truth on the latter statement, although the first one sounds like hyperbole to me. The UI and ease of use of OS X 10.0 was perfectly sound, if cosmetically questionable.

Edited 2010-08-01 03:06 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: The touch revolution
by sorpigal on Mon 2nd Aug 2010 18:11 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: The touch revolution"
sorpigal Member since:
2005-11-02

"10.0 was as user friendly as the Linux Desktops of the day, while considerably less stable. ( It did rapidly improve at an astonishing rate, but the point stil stands)


Probably some truth on the latter statement, although the first one sounds like hyperbole to me. The UI and ease of use of OS X 10.0 was perfectly sound, if cosmetically questionable.
" [/q]
I'm going to back you up here as a long-time Linux user and an old macintosh hand (beginning circa 1989). OS X was always better than Linux distros in a simplistic point-and-clicky way. This says nothing about the sophistication (or lack thereof) of their system, or its stability (I wont even mention the horrific speed!) but purely speaks to the virtue of having the look and feel of all applications and UI elements under the control of one person with one vision. This is something Linux-land lacks and will probably always lack, so even when you get quite close to usable (e.g. good enough for pretty much everyone, certainly on par with Windows) you won't get to the level OS X had at the start.

In fact OS X's early releases were better than some of the more recent ones due precisely to the simplicity (read: lack of third party software) and the fact that they had not yet begun monkeying with different themes.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: The touch revolution
by Tony Swash on Sun 1st Aug 2010 01:39 UTC in reply to "RE: The touch revolution"
Tony Swash Member since:
2009-08-22

The original iphone with out cut/paste, multi tasking, or third party development was half baked. Apple's history of product releases always starts off with a half baked version. OSx 10.0 was maybe even quarter baked. Ipod was half baked (firewire, macs only). Itunes was half baked ( no music store).

Apple is typically given a period of time by the marketplace ( other manufacturers are too slow to react) to polish the products.


Its only half backed in your opinion, you are almost certainly not the demographic that Apple was interested in attracting. What Apple seem to get just right is judging what is the basic configuration of a device/system which will make is acceptable and popular in the market place.

Apple specialises in stripping away features so as to concentrate on the core functionality - once they have that right (in version 1) they can irritate changes organically with each new release. So, to take one of your examples, the iPod was stripped down so that its core functionality (playing music) was just right - then it could be added to.

By the way lots of us thought that being Mac only in version 1 was a feature not a bug ;)

Reply Score: 1

Touch revolution? Give me a break
by nt_jerkface on Sat 31st Jul 2010 17:05 UTC in reply to "The touch revolution"
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

This time it is clear that Apple has a very comprehensive and long term strategic road map and that Steve Jobs does not intend to be caught again. By the time that Android or Microsoft match iPad version 1 Apple will be onto iPad V2 or 3


Apple's plan is to sell as many as possible, there is no long term strategic roadmap.

The only advantage Apple has is the app store which won't matter much as these devices are primarily used to surf the web. Most people will not pay an additional $200 for a better game selection.

All a Windows or Linux based tablet needs is a browser and Flash. These are web surfing devices, not computer replacements.

Apple will keep themselves priced out of the $200-$300 range which is where these devices should be.

Edited 2010-07-31 17:13 UTC

Reply Score: 5

RE: The touch revolution
by leech on Sat 31st Jul 2010 17:13 UTC in reply to "The touch revolution"
leech Member since:
2006-01-10

The move from the desktop/mouse interface to the couch/mobile/touch interface is as big as the transformation of PC's by the GUI 25 years ago. That revolution was pioneered by Apple as well.


No it wasn't, they copied Xerox.

The touch revolution started by Apple has been rolled out in a pitch perfect development cycle.


Again, they didn't create the revolution, they just evolved it.

First Apple spent a long time developing a very robust and extendible software foundations for their touch products - i.e. MacOSX.

Then they thought a long time about the interface issues which go much deeper than skin deep and are actually about an entirely new computing metaphor and interface. Apple are very good at this.


Again, no new metaphor, they simply polished what was already there. Apple aren't innovators per se, they are just good designers. Give credit where it's due.

Then they launched nothing until it was truly market ready, they could have pitched a half finished iPhone into the market two years earlier but chose not too.


It wasn't truly ready, something as simple as multi-tasking and custom wallpapers were missing.

iPhone V1 was a crucial step as it demonstrated the viability of the touch interface but even more importantly is began to educate and acclimatise people to the new interface of touch. Later when the iPad came out there were millions of people who knew how to use it immediately.


They didn't create the new touch interface, it's just that other companies just didn't think touch interfaces were really the way forward. Most other phone manufacturers had a few different touch phones, but none of them were all that popular. Apple's products became trendy with the iPod, so for a lot of people, it was cool for them to get an iPod that could make phone calls (which really is all the iPhone is, and the iPad is just a giant iPod).

The iPod Touch added hugely to the touch user baser by bringing it to all all those people who didn't want to commit to a phone. Plus it was a lot cheaper.


I'd agree with bringing touch to a large user base, but who would buy an iPod instead of a phone? iPods had a cool user interface, and were small. They became a status symbol. Apple just evolved that philosophy into the iPhone. It's like getting a child hooked on Snickers with the smaller bars, then when the kid gets a bit bigger, he wants the large bars instead.

Then once they had a self evident success in the iPhone V1 and had thus created a new market for developers they rolled out the App Store and Xcode for touch devices. This created a huge developer community almost over night, and added huge value to their product. Still no one has caught Apple in terms of the size of their developer community or number of Apps.


From what I understand, they had an 'app store' for the iPod. Could be wrong about that though. A lot of their developers are becoming rather annoyed with Apple's 'my way or the highway' philosophy.

Rather than rushing out lots of confusing and probably inferior touch products Apple concentrated for two years on honing the iOS version of MacOSX, improving the hardware, and building the now global community of touch users.


I only wish they had actually taken MacOSX and slapped it on a tablet form factor. I would have actually bought my first Apple product if they had only done that. But they didn't. They made a giant iPod. Lame.

Then they launched the affordable iPad. Criticised as being just a big iPod Touch (which was like saying a swimming pool is just a big bath tub) the iPad showed the true potential of the new touch computing quickly became the most successful tech launch of all time. Touch had finally arrived big time.


But it IS just a big iPod Touch. You can fit more than one person in a swimming pool, you can't realistically have more than one person browse the net on the same iPad, can you? It wasn't exactly affordable either, you can get a much fuller netbook, or even a netbook with touchscreen for the same or less.

Apple have learned the bitter lessons of relative failure after they launched the GUI revolution in 1984 when they let competitors catch them and then push them into almost obscurity. This time it is clear that Apple has a very comprehensive and long term strategic road map and that Steve Jobs does not intend to be caught again. By the time that Android or Microsoft match iPad version 1 Apple will be onto iPad V2 or 3


For all intents and purposes you're correct. You're just leaving people out of the game. Don't discount the Intel / Nokia / Linux Foundation. Already there are videos of MeeGo on youtube that people think smash the crap out of the iPad's interface. Next year will definitely be an interesting gadget year.

It is also likely that they have have further surprises awaiting us.

Apple are going to be almost impossible to catch during the acceleration phase of the touch revolution.

What exciting times these are. I am old enough to remember the GUI revolution and this feels just as much fun.


I'll agree with the last part. Though I think more than the 'touch revolution' I would call it more of a 'mobile revolution'. Look where the computers were of the mid to late 80s. We had the Apple Macintosh, Commodore Amiga, Atari ST, IBM Compatibles, etc. This was a great time to be a computer user because we had actual competition between platforms. After Commodore went bankrupt and Atari decided to get out of the computer biz... and then subsequently was sold off more times than anyone can count.. and Apple mostly became an obscure spec on the map and we were left with the IBM compatibles... well the computer industry basically got boring. You no longer had people who would say "Oh yeah, my Amiga costs a 3rd the price of your system, actually has color graphics and stereo sound... yours has... 4 color CGA, a 5.25" floppy and looks like it was built by the military." Fortunately Linux came along and gave people an alternative to the mainstream crap that was / is Windows. Apple finally started a turn around with Mac OS X and became 'trendy' and then feeding off that trendiness they created the iPod.

Really Apple should be congratulated on evolving things a certain way and thinking about the User Interface above all. And on Marketing. They shouldn't be slapped on the back for innovating, because that would require an original idea, and the last original ones they have produced were when Wozniak was with them.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: The touch revolution
by Tony Swash on Sun 1st Aug 2010 02:10 UTC in reply to "RE: The touch revolution"
Tony Swash Member since:
2009-08-22

No it wasn't, they copied Xerox.


A common urban myth amongst techies. Version 1 of the Mac OS was nothing like the Palo Alto system. It had been inspired by the work at Palo Alto but the system that emerged on the first mac had taken another couple of years of refinement. Just as Gauguin inspired Van Gogh - Van Gogh didn't "copy" Gauguin.

In addition the system used at Palo Alto was nowhere near ready for the market let alone capable of being run on the current desktop systems. It took Apple to bring the GUI to the market place and to get the design fundamentals so strong that if you sat down in front of a version 1 Mac today you would know how to use it.

Interestingly what Job's and co didn't notice at Palo Alto was SmallTalk the underlying object based operating system behind the Palo alto desktop. So the first MacOS was written in Pascal (I think). But Jobs sure is a quick learner and when he founded Next after being ejected from Apple he made sure that OS was built use the same concepts of object based programming.

Again, they didn't create the revolution, they just evolved it.


The same Gauguin - Van Gogh metaphor applies. Sure there had been demos of multitouch before, people dragging things around and resizing them ect but there was no practical system available in the market anywhere before the iPhone that used multitouch to actually get complex real world work done. When iPhone OS V1 launched you could use it to manipulate photos, play and manage music, play and manage movies, surf the web, manage your contacts, manage your diary, etec etc. Its was a real working system ready for the masses. Making interesting stuff in labs and putting together demos is kids play to actually making something work and making it ready for the market.


It wasn't truly ready, something as simple as multi-tasking and custom wallpapers were missing.


That mistaken concept of what constitutes market ready is why so many companies fail where Apple often succeed. Apple's design by iteration approach means starting with the pared down core functionality of what needs to be present to make something do its basic work. If the device is intended to play music all the work goes into making damm sure that its easier to play music on it than anything else. Apple avoids bundling extra functions for the sake of it. Get the core basic right and then you can build. and that's why they can then proceed to role out such a steady and solid programme of upgrades and improvements.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: The touch revolution
by leech on Sun 1st Aug 2010 17:50 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: The touch revolution"
leech Member since:
2006-01-10

[q] No it wasn't, they copied Xerox.


A common urban myth amongst techies. Version 1 of the Mac OS was nothing like the Palo Alto system. It had been inspired by the work at Palo Alto but the system that emerged on the first mac had taken another couple of years of refinement. Just as Gauguin inspired Van Gogh - Van Gogh didn't "copy" Gauguin.


Yeah, I just summed it all up. They copied the 'ideas' from them, and improved upon them, like anyone else would have done.

In addition the system used at Palo Alto was nowhere near ready for the market let alone capable of being run on the current desktop systems. It took Apple to bring the GUI to the market place and to get the design fundamentals so strong that if you sat down in front of a version 1 Mac today you would know how to use it.

Interestingly what Job's and co didn't notice at Palo Alto was SmallTalk the underlying object based operating system behind the Palo alto desktop. So the first MacOS was written in Pascal (I think). But Jobs sure is a quick learner and when he founded Next after being ejected from Apple he made sure that OS was built use the same concepts of object based programming.

[q] Again, they didn't create the revolution, they just evolved it.


The same Gauguin - Van Gogh metaphor applies. Sure there had been demos of multitouch before, people dragging things around and resizing them ect but there was no practical system available in the market anywhere before the iPhone that used multitouch to actually get complex real world work done. When iPhone OS V1 launched you could use it to manipulate photos, play and manage music, play and manage movies, surf the web, manage your contacts, manage your diary, etec etc. Its was a real working system ready for the masses. Making interesting stuff in labs and putting together demos is kids play to actually making something work and making it ready for the market.


While I was referring to mostly to touch screens (my post was too long as it was) Multitouch is still just a gimmick on something so small, at least in my opinion. On a larger screen it's much more useful.

It wasn't truly ready, something as simple as multi-tasking and custom wallpapers were missing.


That mistaken concept of what constitutes market ready is why so many companies fail where Apple often succeed. Apple's design by iteration approach means starting with the pared down core functionality of what needs to be present to make something do its basic work. If the device is intended to play music all the work goes into making damm sure that its easier to play music on it than anything else. Apple avoids bundling extra functions for the sake of it. Get the core basic right and then you can build. and that's why they can then proceed to role out such a steady and solid programme of upgrades and improvements.


That logic only applies to Apple fans who 'take what they can get'. So that Apple can say "Hey guys, look at how AWESOME version 4.0 of our OS is! We can (kind of) Multitask! And you can put in custom wall papers! How cool is that! Oh and our Multitasking is so original (oh, we just copied Symbian)."

Apple's technology is about 90% evolutionary and 10% revolutionary.

By the way this has gotten way off topic. We all know (or hope or think) that Microsoft will fail in the tablet arena. Apple's one success comes from being in the hearts and minds of... well most people would use the term "Average Joe" but I'll use the term moron.

Most geeks don't like it 'cause there aren't standard ports, most geeks would prefer a full PC capable tablet, rather than a giant iPod touch. Apple is trendy right now. Microsoft having so many years of bad press has filtered down to most of these morons, with Television News talking about Viruses on Windows and more public knowledge of the different issues.

I've had far too many conversations with "Apple fans" who have the thought that Apple can do no wrong, and they should just goose step and sing "In Jobs we trust".

I'll be honest, at one point I was thinking about buying a Mac, but then I would probably have just put Linux. This was when they were PPC. When they switched to Intel I couldn't see the point. I'm more about the Hardware than the OS anymore, but it could have been fun to play with.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: The touch revolution
by Chicken Blood on Sun 1st Aug 2010 18:24 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: The touch revolution"
Chicken Blood Member since:
2005-12-21

I was thinking about buying a Mac, but then I would probably have just put Linux

Wow, another great example of TAC. That sentence right there sums up exactly why you don't understand Apple products and why they never will appeal to your demographic

As for Apple fans being "morons" there's an equally good case to be made for Apple haters being "irrational fucktards" too.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: The touch revolution
by vivainio on Sun 1st Aug 2010 22:08 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: The touch revolution"
vivainio Member since:
2008-12-26

That sentence right there sums up exactly why you don't understand Apple products and why they never will appeal to your demographic


And I guess this is the part of mass psychosis where Apple fanboys think they are such special snowflakes that other computer users don't "understand" their choice.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: The touch revolution
by sorpigal on Mon 2nd Aug 2010 18:17 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: The touch revolution"
sorpigal Member since:
2005-11-02

I was not the GP but I must say that if I bought a Mac it would be for the hardware and not the OS. This isn't irrational, I just don't like the OS X UI very much, I don't like what I can't do with the system and I am a Free Software partisan.

You don't have to be a irrational to dislike something that doesn't work for you.

Reply Score: 2

RE: The touch revolution
by tupp on Sun 1st Aug 2010 23:00 UTC in reply to "The touch revolution"
tupp Member since:
2006-11-12

Geez Louise!


The move from the desktop/mouse interface to the couch/mobile/touch interface is as big as the transformation of PC's by the GUI 25 years ago. That revolution was pioneered by Apple as well.

Such notions might be true in the Apple RDF, but not in the real world.

Of course, 90% of the GUI that is common today was developed at Xerox years before Apple computer existed. Apple fans can argue that Apple "bought" the technology and hired some Xerox employees. Nevertheless, the fact remains that the modern GUI was not invented by Apple.

Furthermore, the first open sales of computers with a modern GUI began in early 1980, with the Three Rivers Perq: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PERQ

So, the Perq GUI computer was being openly marketed and sold three years before the first Apple GUI computer appeared. In regards, to the time-line of innovation, it really doesn't matter when an invention is marketed and/or sold. I mention these facts merely because a lot of Apple fans somehow equate marketing and sales with innovation, but Apple was not the first in either area.

The Perq had almost all of the features that we see in current common GUIs/computers: mouse and/or trackpad; floating windows; floating menus (drop-down menus are just floating menus stuck to the top of the window/screen); drag-&-drop; GUI animations; etc. It even had the first dock: http://yahozna.dyndns.org/computers/perq/photos/accent-small.jpg

There were other GUI computers/OSs before Apple, including the Xerox Star and Visi On. Incidentally, an early public demo of Visi On is what inspired Bill Gates to create Windows -- not Apple.


The touch revolution started by Apple has been rolled out in a pitch perfect development cycle.

Wow! All of those zillions of touch screens that appeared in the 1980s on ATMs and on slot machines came from Apple? Apple certainly started the "touch" revolution!


First Apple spent a long time developing a very robust and extendible software foundations for their touch products - i.e. MacOSX.

Yes. I remember that it took a very long time for OSX to get to the point that my friends using OS9 weren't scared to use it.


Then they thought a long time about the interface issues which go much deeper than skin deep and are actually about an entirely new computing metaphor and interface.

Does it ever occur to anyone else that Apple fans often make-up fantasies in their heads and, then, proclaim these notions as fact?


Apple are very good at this.

Apple certainly did "good" on their Iphone touch interface with: cut-&-paste; typing ellipsis; typing numbers; and making readable file names: http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?threadID=2470148&tstart=45...

Let's not forget the wonderfully effective Newton touch interface (which was preceded by others, including a Sony touch pda). "Eat up Martha!"


Then they launched nothing until it was truly market ready, they could have pitched a half finished iPhone into the market two years earlier but chose not too.

Oh. That goes without saying! Apple has a long history of never "launching" anything, until it they are sure that "it just works," such as:

- overheating original Mac (tell-tale sign of things to come);
- the round mouse;
- overheating laptops;
- ipod batteries dying;
- lack of connectivity;
- non-standard, proprietary connectors;
- glass laptop touchpads cracking;
- Imac 27" yellow screens;
- Imac graphics issues (black screens on boot-up);
- MacBook plastics cracking;
- MacBook fan "mooing" (fixed with firmware);
- Time Capsule PSU death;
- iPhone 3G/3GS case cracking;
- G5 cooling issues;
- Magsafe connector/cable shorting and burning;
- Mighty Mouse ball susceptible to constant malfunction from dirt;
- Machined laptop enclosures that bent (caused them to go back to plastic);
- Iphone 4 back glass suceptible to shattering;
- and, last but not least, the Iphone 4 antenna fiasco!

This is just off the top of my head -- this list is not exhaustive -- and, probably, the number of serious engineering/design problems in this list is greater than the total number of similar problems for the last decade from all of the major, non-Apple, electronics manufacturers combined!

[Part 2 of this response is posted below]

Edited 2010-08-01 23:17 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: The touch revolution
by sorpigal on Mon 2nd Aug 2010 18:23 UTC in reply to "RE: The touch revolution"
sorpigal Member since:
2005-11-02


"The move from the desktop/mouse interface to the couch/mobile/touch interface is as big as the transformation of PC's by the GUI 25 years ago. That revolution was pioneered by Apple as well.

Such notions might be true in the Apple RDF, but not in the real world.

Of course, 90% of the GUI that is common today was developed at Xerox years before Apple computer existed. Apple fans can argue that Apple "bought" the technology and hired some Xerox employees. Nevertheless, the fact remains that the modern GUI was not invented by Apple.
"

While I share your dismay at the somewhat breezy was the GP declared Apple the god of computer UIs, you must be perfectly correct and say that Xerox pioneered the GUI *concepts* that are common today. The actual UI they developed influenced many, but Apple is responsible for the, shall we say, application of it that became popular.

What PARC gave us was a metaphor and an approach, Apple created one implementation of the vision and most people followed Apple's lead from there. If you examine the GUIs that are Xeroxy that came out prior to the Mac, and up to shortly after, you'll find many things which are just a bit odd by today's standards. GUIs where development began after 1984 are mostly quite Mac-like.

There is certainly a strong Apple influence going in here.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: The touch revolution
by tupp on Mon 2nd Aug 2010 21:49 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: The touch revolution"
tupp Member since:
2006-11-12

... Xerox pioneered the GUI *concepts* that are common today.... but Apple is responsible for the, shall we say, application of it that became popular.

Xerox is responsible for most of the GUI features and for the application of those features.

Also, the general arrangement/look of today's common GUI first appeared in Xerox machines, although this arrangement is somewhat obvious, and, probably, would have appeared somewhere, eventually.


What PARC gave us was a metaphor and an approach, Apple created one implementation of the vision and most people followed Apple's lead from there.

Can you be a little more specific? What exactly in terms of "implementation of the Xerox vision" did Apple "create?"

Again, there were several other versions of the GUI being sold to the public years prior to Apple's GUI, and there were others who were releasing their GUIs having more refined "looks" almost simultaneously with Apple's first release, so it is difficult to imagine how anyone can claim that most followed Apple's lead.


If you examine the GUIs that are Xeroxy that came out prior to the Mac, and up to shortly after, you'll find many things which are just a bit odd by today's standards. GUIs where development began after 1984 are mostly quite Mac-like.

I have to strenuously disagree.

Here is a 1982 video about the Xerox Star: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ODZBL80JPqw

The first screenshot appears at 00:32. The presenter demonstrates icons, scrollbars, window headers, and window header commands. At 04:10, we see a contextual window (called a "property sheet"), with menu buttons (menu contents appear below in the window). The video also shows floating/overlapping windows, and the Star also had drag-&-drop. The features and configuration are almost identical to what we have today, but with a more primative styling.

By the way, at 06:36, note the font on the window header and on the keys of the keyboard. Remind you of a default font from another, later OS?

Other GUI features that we commonly use today appeared in other pre-apple GUIs, such as the dock (from the Perq), and drop-down menus (from Visi On, which had its first demo at the 1982 COMDEX).

Furthermore, the meaning of the term "Mac-like" is highly subjective. Fanboys with no sense of design history tend to see everything that has a decent aesthetic as "Mac-like," derived from Steve Jobs and Jon Ive. Every so often, a fanboy will apply the term to something that he/she doesn't realize existed prior to Apple:
TOURIST: "Wow! Look at the the Giza pyramids. They have such an elegant design.
CLUELESS FANBOY: "Yeah. Good thing that the pyramid builders decided to make them 'Mac-like!'"

People have been creating items with simple, superb design since the beginning of time. Even computer companies were hiring industrial designers, long before Apple existed. Apple wasn't, isn't and will not be the only company with decent design.

To me, BP's gulf oil well is very "Mac-like" (a catastrophic engineering failure from company that uses marketing to hide the true issues).

And if anything is "like" something else, surely, Apple products are "Braun-like": http://gizmodo.com/343641/1960s-braun-products-hold-the-secrets-to-...

Edited 2010-08-02 22:04 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: The touch revolution
by tupp on Sun 1st Aug 2010 23:11 UTC in reply to "The touch revolution"
tupp Member since:
2006-11-12

[Part 1 of this response is posted above]

iPhone V1 was a crucial step as it demonstrated the viability of the touch interface but even more importantly is began to educate and acclimatise people to the new interface of touch. Later when the iPad came out there were millions of people who knew how to use it immediately.

The viability of the touch interface was demonstrated long before Apple. People have been commonly using touch interfaces for decades via ATMs, slot machines, touch cash registers, etc, and those everyday interfaces are designed so that anyone can use them easily, on the first encounter, even though they may differ dramatically from one to the other.

It's not that difficult to make icons/buttons bigger and put more spacing between menu items, like they have had since the beginning of time on ATMs, slot machines, etc. It is no great mental leap to incorporate multi-touch and to use multi-touch gestures that were developed by non-Apple organizations back in the 1980s (Nintendo did so on a handheld device, before Apple did). Also, it is not an incredible feat to add a couple of animations (which might have also come from another source).


The iPod Touch added hugely to the touch user baser by bringing it to all all those people who didn't want to commit to a phone. Plus it was a lot cheaper.

Not really. Again, more people use ATMs, slot machines, touch kiosks, etc. than use Iphones.


Then once they had a self evident success in the iPhone V1 and had thus created a new market for developers they rolled out the App Store and Xcode for touch devices.

Keep in mind, the App Store is just a direct rip-off of a *nix repository, except the user has to pay.


This created a huge developer community almost over night, and added huge value to their product. Still no one has caught Apple in terms of the size of their developer community or number of Apps.

It certainly did attract a lot of people trying to "make it rich" off of their dips**t apps.


Rather than rushing out lots of confusing and probably inferior touch products Apple concentrated for two years on honing the iOS version of MacOSX, improving the hardware, and building the now global community of touch users.

Apple never rushes anything to market. Again, how does one cut-&-paste in iOS?


Then they launched the affordable iPad. Criticised as being just a big iPod Touch (which was like saying a swimming pool is just a big bath tub) the iPad showed the true potential of the new touch computing quickly became the most successful tech launch of all time. Touch had finally arrived big time.

I see. We're talking about the new touch computing.

In regards to the popularity of the Ipad launch, I wonder how Ipad sales figures compare to those of the latest Justin Beiber album or Miley Cyrus album. No doubt, more units sold means better quality -- just look at the Windows sales figures!


Apple have learned the bitter lessons of relative failure...

Well, they certainly have a lot of failed designs and usability problems, but I am not sure that they have learned much from their mistakes, as they seem to be endlessly having the same form-over-function mishaps.


...after they launched the GUI revolution in 1984 when they let competitors catch them and then push them into almost obscurity.

From the fanboys, it seems that Apple has had more than it's share of "launches" and "revolutions." However, as explained above, Apple did not "launch" the first GUI computer -- not by a long shot.


This time it is clear that Apple has a very comprehensive and long term strategic road map and that Steve Jobs does not intend to be caught again. By the time that Android or Microsoft match iPad version 1 Apple will be onto iPad V2 or 3

I doubt it. I think that Apple will always put Steve Jobs' ego (and that of the designer) over proper, reliable functionality in their products.


It is also likely that they have have further surprises awaiting us.

What?! They are going to actually innovate and make a product that is powerful, inexpensive, reliable and open?


Apple are going to be almost impossible to catch during the acceleration phase of the touch revolution.

Perhaps, but I wouldn't put my money on it now.


What exciting times these are. I am old enough to remember the GUI revolution and this feels just as much fun.

I'm giddy with anticipation about the next I-thing!

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: The touch revolution
by BallmerKnowsBest on Mon 2nd Aug 2010 02:46 UTC in reply to "RE: The touch revolution"
BallmerKnowsBest Member since:
2008-06-02

Apple never rushes anything to market. Again, how does one cut-&-paste in iOS?


Imagine the process you would use to do that using a touchpad, and then imagine doing it wearing oven mitts.

In 3 years, Apple hasn't managed to implement basic text manipulation on par with even a first-gen Palm Pilot from 1997. If that doesn't demonstrate a commitment to form over function, then nothing does.

"It is also likely that they have have further surprises awaiting us.


What?! They are going to actually innovate and make a product that is powerful, inexpensive, reliable and open?
"

That, or iPad 2.0 will feature "wings" and "extra absorbency".

Reply Score: 2

STILL miffed about the courier project.
by Tuishimi on Sat 31st Jul 2010 16:45 UTC
Tuishimi
Member since:
2005-07-06

But I think I know what happened. Someone came up with a neat idea, pushed it out with some nice, internal marketing and materials, the developers got a hold of the idea and tried to make it happen but soon realized that it would take a lot of time and some serious work...

They balked. It's that simple. MS wants quick and easy solutions plugging in existing software. They realized that whenever they want to do something new in the OS realm (longhorn years) they waffle, choke, have too many hands in the pot and the developers just can't get their work done.

They really need some reorganization and some leadership that is not interested the past but really has a vision of the future and the gumption to make it happen.

Reply Score: 3

They are part way there
by shotsman on Sat 31st Jul 2010 17:19 UTC
shotsman
Member since:
2005-07-22

A colleague of mine has a Thinkpad with a touchscreen that runs Windows 7.

On the plus side, it does a few things that other tablet don't. For example handwriting recognition.

On the otherhand, it is heavy, has limited battery life and runs Windows 7 so you have to have lots of crapware like AV, firewalls etc.

It is not a Tablet but it shows what is possible. OR rather what you can do with an existing Laptop when you add a touchscreen.

On the train home on Friday, a guy sat next to me with his 'corporate' HP laptop. He tried for 20 minutes to get onto the internet using 3g.
First there was the Bios Password.
Then came the Full disk encryption. Two passwords. One synced to a remote dongle. Then there was the XP (arrgghhh) login.
After two hardware resets he finally got online. What mega important website did he visit? none other than the UK' Daily Mail (or Daily Wail).

I sat there rather smug with my iPad surfing the net via the builtin 3g.

If Windows tablets (or slates as Balmer calls them) take off running Windows 7 I forsee corporate IT Departmens loading them up with crapware just like the guy on the train's PC.
Then they will truly be a mega fail. For all its failings, the iPad is simplcity personnified. Going online takes seconds. Not half an hour of swearing & frustration.

Reply Score: 2

RE: They are part way there
by vivainio on Sat 31st Jul 2010 19:41 UTC in reply to "They are part way there"
vivainio Member since:
2008-12-26


If Windows tablets (or slates as Balmer calls them) take off running Windows 7 I forsee corporate IT Departmens loading them up with crapware just like the guy on the train's PC.


I expect this to happen as well.

However, I believe the "corporate" tablets should have a hyperspace/splashtop like "lite" version on unencrypted partition, for use on situations as you describe.

OTOH, it's possible to make a locked down windows tablet secure by using the same mechanisms as phones use these days - restricted boot loaders and DRM in the kernel (that could, for example, only allow running signed software).

Reply Score: 2

Windows 7 on a touch screen.
by leech on Sat 31st Jul 2010 17:24 UTC
leech
Member since:
2006-01-10

I have an HP Touchsmart tx2z with Windows 7 on it.

While it works, it doesn't truly support multitouch.

Now while some will say "Oh, but yeah it does, you can do.... blah blah." They are wrong.

I will explain. You see, MSPaint, does support multitouch, you can paint with multiple finger points at once, and the tablet supports up to four.

But, the window manager itself does not support it. For example, in the videos of Linux that have the git version of Mutter (that's Metacity with the clutter library) and GTK+ 3.x they have out there, it shows the ability to touch one corner of a window, and another corner of the window and resize by moving either corner in any direction. Very cool, and could be quite handy, especially on a large screen.

Windows 7 does not support this. It also doesn't support multitouch on the rubber band selection box, nor on anything, really. The only multitouch things it does have are mspaint, firefox, IE, and their multitouch test sweet (which basically sucks, because it's choppy even on a laptop with a AMD X2 with 4GB of RAM.) The basic UI isn't really the problem on a touch screen, it's the fact that window management itself isn't supported.

Of course if they release just a single touch tablet, I don't see there being any real problems with just slapping Windows 7 on it. One thing you learn about touch tablets, big buttons are a plus.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Windows 7 on a touch screen.
by vivainio on Sat 31st Jul 2010 19:51 UTC in reply to "Windows 7 on a touch screen."
vivainio Member since:
2008-12-26

The basic UI isn't really the problem on a touch screen, it's the fact that window management itself isn't supported.


You shouldn't really do any window management on touch screens.

Reply Score: 2

leech Member since:
2006-01-10

Yeah, if you are an Apple user that doesn't know what Multitasking is. Though I do really like how Maemo 5 does it. Basically you have a button in the upper left that shows differently if you have an application open or none. If you don't have any application open, then you can click on it and it'll open up the application launcher. If you do have one open, then it'll do an 'expose' style display, showing a realtime display of all the windows of which programs you have running. You can even click the X to close them from this screeen. Otherwise if you click on the thumbnail, then it changes focus to it.

If it doesn't have a "Window Manager" they can't really call it Windows now can they?

Of course Windows was probably the dumbest name anyhow.

Let's break down the other operating system names at the time Windows was released. Amiga Workbench, Atari ST TOS (funny story about that, some guy was telling a friend of mine how much he loved ST TOS, and my friend said "Yeah, Atari's are pretty cool, a friend (me) has one." and the guy said "What are you talking about, I'm referring to Star Trek, The Original Series..." (By the way Atari ST TOS stood for ST (Sixteen/Thirty-two The Operating System). And Mac OS. At least these all have something that sort of tells you what it is. Microsoft Windows... not so much.

All ranting aside, I'd agree with you, except for the above. Personally I love Linux on my touch screen. It's much more amusing to have wobbly windows and being able to flop them around your screen with your finger than a mouse pointer. Same goes for the cube.

Reply Score: 2

Microsoft behind the ball again...
by Dano on Sat 31st Jul 2010 21:13 UTC
Dano
Member since:
2006-01-22

I love a lot of Microsoft products, Visual Studio being my favorite, but after reading this article I can't help but notice three distinct things...1) How "uncool" Microsoft marketing is...the marketing department at Microsoft seems solely interested in selling Office, SQL Server, Windows 7 (probably because that is where the money is)...they are missing trends in the computing industry that could sell a lot of units of hardware/software whatever. They are not setting trends, just coming out with slightly improved versions of trends that missed the initial wave (i.e. Zune vs iPod). 2) Another interesting point...Windows tablets have been around for YEARS, it's not like a tablet computer is something new. Doctors offices, salespeople and manufacturing people have been using Windows XP and CE on tablets for many years, many tablets with wireless networking to some database or another...Apple comes out with a tablet and their marketing and pre-hype is so successful the iPad (what is with that name anyway?) just takes off like a rocket. You have to hand it to Jobs on the marketing. and lastly 3) Microsoft has had to wade into the hardware business on a few occasions just to answer these waves...and they really are not a hardware company. They dabble in re-packaged webcams, computer accessories, but outside of the XBox and Zune HD (I think Samsung makes the Zunes for them) they really still don't make any hardware of significance and they have to rely on other hardware vendor's designs (HP, Samsung etc) to do the heavy lifting in the hardware department to get it done. I can see many areas where Microsoft could attack effectively if they started designing hardware directly and marketing the devices ahead of the wave instead of behind. I mean Windows is still a huge lever that can move mountains...if only they had a CEO with some vision perhaps they could be innovative for once. They really have not played their cards right with mobile Windows based devices. Maybe a new CEO would at least raise the stock price and bring some value back to the company...get a new marketing department while you are at it.

Edited 2010-07-31 21:17 UTC

Reply Score: 2

nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

They certainly dropped the ball on mobile devices but as a company they are highly profitable and just had another record breaking quarter.

The current price of MSFT certainly isn't tied to company performance.

Their main cash cows are plenty healthy and their server division is doing far better than anyone expected but their stock stays flat. It really seems like Wall Street rates them based on how many cool gadgets they have compared to Apple instead of boring stuff like PE ratios. Though Microsoft's balance sheets are excellent I still wouldn't buy their stock thanks to Wall Street's seemingly irrational rejection of it. MS can report an extra billion in profit from increased demand and no one cares but Apple's stock will jump on rumors of a new idevice. Well I guess no one ever said that Wall Street was rational.

Reply Score: 2

Dano Member since:
2006-01-22

Makes sense to me in that light. The company is doing well financially. I got tired and just sold my MSFT a short while ago because I am tired of waiting for some gains or at least a dividend increase. Your are definitely right about the stock price hype and I wouldn't buy AAPL because it seems like hype is all it is.

Reply Score: 1

webOS tablet
by adamctemple on Sat 31st Jul 2010 23:07 UTC
adamctemple
Member since:
2010-07-15

I am most excited about the potential of a webOS based tablet from HP. If you have used webOS for any extensive period of time you can see how great the UI model is for tablet style computing.

My only two concerns for this being the perfect solution for me personally are:

1. Price. Being an HP product and being that HP just spent a truckload of money on palm i have a feeling they are going to price this "HPalm Pad" device pretty high. My hopes are for a $399 price point. Anything else and they are going head to head vs the iPad on every front.

2 Apps. There are just barely enough apps to keep me interested in the palm app catalog for a smart phone. Let alone enough to create a full on tablet experience.
Can they get enough developers interested to remedy this ?

Sorry if this is a bit OT but im realy looking forward to this product from HP!

Reply Score: 1

Win7: DirectX power-glutton
by dsuse on Sun 1st Aug 2010 05:22 UTC
dsuse
Member since:
2007-09-04

I think that the implementation and product hierarchy re: UI graphics is one way that Ballmer and Co. have painted themselves into a corner:

- They have made DirectX 9 the minimum requirement for graphics processors to use their "Aero" desktop effects, and have written all of their fancy desktop effects UI code using DirectX.

- They have disabled Aero on all but the most expensive versions of Windows, and even disabled customizing desktop wallpaper in Win7 starter.

- People expect fancy, pretty, user-customizable, fast-updating effects on tablets, thanks to Android and IOS.

- Aero was designed to be the "touch-friendly" UI for Windows 7.

So Microsoft now seems to be stuck with depending on their proprietary DirectX to power the "new Win7 tablet", and must find a way to power a DirectX chipset which draws more power than chipsets used by Android and IOS systems, while also having to "give" away its previously high-priced "deluxe" graphics-capable OS for almost nothing to compete in the $499 tablet market. Bad luck, Mr. Ballmer.

Reply Score: 2

Put Down the Shovel Steve.
by kaelodest on Sun 1st Aug 2010 18:23 UTC
kaelodest
Member since:
2006-02-12

At first I thought it was an issue of content creators and developers. People who actually sit down at a keyboard and make stuff versus media consumers, that the issue of a new interface was somehow linked with what we use a computer or a media device for. But then I see that there is a huge part of the market that I do not see that I wasn't looking at, and that is whatever those users in accounting and sales are doing, what human resources is doing. From a mile high point of view we are all sitting in cubicles and pushing a mouse around and making a product weather it is a document or a spreadsheet or some information in a database.
The Opinion that Microsoft doesn't get it is clear and well founded. When the PC tablet was pitched there was the belief that I would want to be touring a factory with a spreadsheet open, and the market is clearly not about that. They do want fast, clean and cheap and they want all three all the time.
The real genius of the iPad is not that it does what I want it to, because I would feel like a complete tool using vi for an extended period of time and not being able to compile what I wrote, but that is not what it is there for I can keep my old Macbook and be a greybeard. The brains of this whole effort is that the iPad is the barebones lowest common denominator of the other side of computing. This is the side that is important to the user. That email to my mother, a quick book or a movie on the train, the things that we would normally do at work in between other job related tasks. And weather corporate or whoever likes it or not I can be off of my work network while I do something personal, or even mildly romantic.
Microsoft does not get it because for them a computer is where you run Office and Exchange and whatever profits that come from the server market. It is not where you really feel safe or integrated with the other 90% of what matters to you. If you lose a page of typing or an hour of edits because your PC or Mac had issues or overheated or just flat out bricked is trivial as opposed to if your batteries run down when you are trying to show your aunt Jeannette those amazing pictures from the beach, or that video of your daughter painting the kitchen with spaghetti. Even if the files are 100% safe, on the dead box it is a time eater and a life waster.
We are fortunately or unfortunately moving into a post desktop age. I am not as concerned with what is on the CPU under my desk, hell I am barely engaged with what OS that desktop is running as long as I have a USB drive full of clean file types. (rtf instead of .Doc, jpeg v. psd) Additionally I will have a growing amount of my 'real life' on the web. It might be on fb or fliker, or on Dot Mac/Mobile Me and gmail. And as we move toward a more mobile and more networked society we move further away from what Microsoft controls.
The funny thing is Redmond can have the Office and the Desktop. They can keep it. It has been profitable for them. Apple and Google or whoever seem to have won the home interface. And maybe when you have built a resource sucking hole like WIndows then you can put down that shovel and try to think a new way out of the hole.

Reply Score: 1