Linked by umad on Thu 25th Aug 2011 22:51 UTC
Apple I thought OSNews would be a good forum to talk about a matter that has been weighing on my mind lately primarily because the site has been so focused on Apple's patents and litigation as of late. The news that HP, the largest PC manufacturer in the world is spinning off or getting out of this business is what really prompted me to write this article.
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This is just mystification
by Tractor on Fri 26th Aug 2011 10:48 UTC
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Your article couldn't be farther from reality. In fact, you are merely perpetuating a dangerous Apple-minded fallacy, them becoming master of the world but their destiny being only robbed by the "evil" Bill Gates.

Unfortunately, it doesn't stand to scrutiny, but one has to look into the 80's with a bit of unpassionnate look, something quite rare these days.

What you seem to forget is that, at the beginning of this story, Microsoft is nothing, just a software developper with a good reference in Basic. And that's it. A big lie and great deal of luck later made it also the provider of DOS for IBM, which, by the time, is just considered a worthless simple "by-product".

The Real Power of this time is IBM. And it tells. Just look at figures : from the day IBM starts selling the first PC, it makes terrible inroads into corporate, sold units far outnumbering any other computer manufacturer, ***including Apple***. Far outnumbering, this is something in the 10x range.
And this is just with DOS 1.
And this is just with IBM, and just the first years. No PC clone maker yet, which will make the balance tilt even more.

The success is so immense that it becomes pretty clear in less than 2 years that PC is going to become the "de facto" standard in corporate computing. The arrival of PC into the Home only comes years later, when prices are pushed down enough by corporate volumes.

Then comes the US Federal Investigation into IBM for monopolist pratices (oh?), which forces it to let the clone market grows, eventually overtaking IBM itself. At this stage, the only common element between all these computers becomes Microsoft's DOS, hence its "lucky" monopolist situation, which it will then successfully defend as much as it can.

Years later, while the PC is already well entrenched and de-facto standard in corporate computing, Microsoft creates Windows 1 (which is a failure), then Windows 2 (which is also a failure), and then Windows 3 (which becomes a great success). That's where the "robbing" fallacy comes into play : Microsoft robbed Apple of the GUI idea.

What ?????
But you know what ? Apple never invented the Graphical User Interface ! How come this could be even slightly mentioned ? No way, Xerox was first decades earlier, and by the time the Mac is out, there are already countless other GUI on the market, none reaching mass-market fame, but nonetheless technical innovative precedends, from which Apple eagerly borrowed, without ever paying a cent.

Microsoft borrowed from all these previous inventors, shamelessly but not more than Apple did itself. Apple did not "owned" the GUI invention, not even the drag&drop, the folder, the menu, or whatever obvious component you can try to patent these days. All these where already "invented" previously, most notably by Xerox.

Last irony : do you know for which reason the Mac has been successfull on the corporate market (but never ever reaching the number of units sold by the PC) ?
Well, a major one : thanks to Excel, an excellent and (time-limited) exclusive product for the Mac, made by ... Microsoft. Yes, by this time, you bought a Mac to play Excel with. Obviously, the offer was less compelling when the exclusive agreement reached its end. Mac had to try to get other "exclusive" software to keep a niche for itself, which it did thanks to Adobe (oh, another ennemy now...). You see ? Mac is not about overtaking the world, PC has already won. Apple is just trying to find a good niche for itself, it cannot expect more.

Last pin, don't forget that Apple would have been just simply dead without the considerable financial support of Microsoft in 1996/1997.

So who's the robber here ?
And more importantly who's the liar ?

It always amazes me to witness Apple zealots constantly trying to rewrite History. It just makes a sparkle when i see that the tactics just works, since non-Apple zealots are just blindly repeating the same fallacies, without ever checking anything by themselves.

Edited 2011-08-26 10:52 UTC

Reply Score: 3