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.
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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 Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: The touch revolution
by Tony Swash on Sun 1st Aug 2010 02:10 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 Parent Score: 1

RE[3]: The touch revolution
by leech on Sun 1st Aug 2010 17:50 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 Parent Score: 1