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.
Thread beginning with comment 486974
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
Comment by phoudoin
by phoudoin on Fri 26th Aug 2011 06:48 UTC
phoudoin
Member since:
2006-06-09

Nothing forbid Apple to port their operating system to the PC open architecture, which was NOT made opened by Microsoft contrary to what the article try to imply but by IBM.

If their operating system was available too on PC open architecture at time Microsoft released their Windows 1.0, there is no doubt that, indeed, Apple will have then get 95% market share.

But they reject the idea of open platform: the Not Invented There syndrome. Since start Apple sell you an integrated product, where hard and soft can't be mixed or tuned at will. That's their choice.

The fact that a very inferior operating system on an initially inferior hardware BUT open and standardized PC platform took over the well integrated Macintosh is very much telling: high integration is not the ultimate selling point for everybody. In fact, too tight integration is not that well selling.

Otherwise, beside Apple being the top leader in personal computer field instead of PCs, we will also NOT have internet but a tight, closed and centraly controlled and opaque network, like eWorld, CompuServe or MSN. But, against all prevision, it's an open community build network architecture which succeed.

Another forgotten point is that personal computing didn't grown in people home at start. It grew in offices all over the world first. Where depending on one SINGLE provider for both hardware and software don't make buying department happy.


The article jump totally over the "standardized components" aspect. It also jump totally over the contribution from the major PC components manufacturers. The Video cards manufacturers introduced quicker bus technology (VBUS, then VESA). Intel itself have improved year after year PC architectures. A lot of PC today hardware architecture points were (re)designed by Intel, and it's now far from the one released into the (then) void by IBM.
There is a reason why Apple switched their in-house hardware platform to a PC-based one: they know it was a better one (even if up to a year before they were trying to say with pathetic Photoshop plugins benchmark the contrary...).

If someone was stolen a whole business model regarding personal computing, it's IBM. But as they didn't knew then that their PC platform had actual value, they failed to see it having any potential.
When you put something in the dust bin, do you call people finding it there, saying "wow that's great" and taking it away a thief?

Integration can be great.
But in an interconnected world, interoperability comes first. Which means being able to team with other's solutions.

Mac OS classic was written in Pascal for the upper layers and 68000 assembly at the bottom. May they have ported the bottom to x86 and done a good graphic card PC extension, Apple's MacOS will have ruined Microsoft.

They think a computing system can only be an integrated object.

Internet today, with cloud and web services, is the new computing system. And it's the exact opposite of an integrated object. It's a interoperable web of heterogeneous computing devices.

Aka, diversity.
Aka, life's rule #1: nobody can control everything long.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Comment by phoudoin
by unclefester on Fri 26th Aug 2011 07:30 in reply to "Comment by phoudoin"
unclefester Member since:
2007-01-13

Nothing forbid Apple to port their operating system to the PC open architecture, which was NOT made opened by Microsoft contrary to what the article try to imply but by IBM.

Wrong. The BIOS was reverse engineered by Compaq. This allowed 100% IBM compatible clones.

If their operating system was available too on PC open architecture at time Microsoft released their Windows 1.0, there is no doubt that, indeed, Apple will have then get 95% market share.

Very unlikely. The Mac was an unloved orphan was almost no useful software when it was first released.

The fact that a very inferior operating system on an initially inferior hardware BUT open and standardized PC platform took over the well integrated Macintosh is very much telling: high integration is not the ultimate selling point for everybody. In fact, too tight integration is not that well selling.

Ever used DOS? I think not.

DOS was lightning fast on very low powered hardware and remarkably stable. However it needed some skill to use.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by phoudoin
by phoudoin on Fri 26th Aug 2011 09:03 in reply to "RE: Comment by phoudoin"
phoudoin Member since:
2006-06-09

Yes, BIOS was not opened by IBM. But they did nothing when Compaq reverse engineered it. IBM let the PC platform be *cloned*. The let it become the open platform.
While Compaq technically allowed 100% IBM compatibles clones, IBM legally allowed it by doing nothing against it.

The Mac was an unloved orphan was almost no useful software when it was first released.

So was Windows 1.0 software ecosystem at start too.

At this time, the simple fact to feature a GUI API was a selling point.
But, true, it's not certain that the Mac API will have bring developers to this operating software more than the Windows 1.0 API.

Maybe just selling a very pro (for this time, that would be a 512x342 monochrome screen!) graphics card only supported by MacOS on a PC clone will have done alone the radical switch too.

What drove Macs sales in the early years were the DTP software that MacOS made possible on a personal computer. What made this impossible on a PC at this time was the lack of a good graphic card and a good GUI, both technology that Apple could have made available on PC if they wanted to. And that would have drove their card and software the same way it did for their Macintosh.

But they didn't want that.
They want a well designed integrated computer.
They got it.
They also got a niche market with it: the niche of well designed integrated computers, while the not-well designed not integrated computers market made Microsoft and PC clones makers rich.

That's a choice which did it, not a fatality, or a trick by competitors.

Ever used DOS? I think not.

DOS was lightning fast on very low powered hardware and remarkably stable. However it needed some skill to use.


Sadly, I must confess I'm old enough to have used DOS.
But the point is that at DOS time circa 86, the Macintosh was offering both a better hardware platform and a better, graphical, operating system.
And still, it lost its market share to an inferior hardware and a inferior software.

Which can't mean anything but that people find something in an inferior hardware and software PC platform that they didn't find in the Mac one.
Which mean that integrated product is not a win solution for everything.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Comment by phoudoin
by Soulbender on Fri 26th Aug 2011 15:29 in reply to "Comment by phoudoin"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Another forgotten point is that personal computing didn't grown in people home at start.


I agree with most of what you say except this. Home computing was quite popular in the 80's. Remember names like Commodore, Atari, TI, Dragon, BBC, Oric, Microbee, Sinclair and many many others. In fact, in terms of competition and consumer choice it was probably the heyday of home computing.
The business success of IBM "only" helped the PC to become dominant.

Edited 2011-08-26 15:35 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by phoudoin
by phoudoin on Fri 26th Aug 2011 21:01 in reply to "RE: Comment by phoudoin"
phoudoin Member since:
2006-06-09

You right, indeed.
The pioneer personal computers weren't PC, yes.
But it's when companies switched to personal computers instead of mainframe terminals (or typewriters, or well paper and pen :-) ) that the personal computers grew, and they goes by IBM's PC first to replace IBM terminals, and then PC clones, which in turn made people switched at home to the same kind of computers.

I was an Sinclair Spectrum owner and an Atari ST at this time. These early pioneers didn't survived it. Apple is the only survivor of this period in fact.

Mainstream people, them, began with either a PC at office or, for a few of them, a Mac.

Reply Parent Score: 2