Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 3rd Nov 2012 01:11 UTC, submitted by Panajev
Apple "Earlier this week Apple fired Scott Forstall, the architect of its iOS platform, and handed his duties over to the company's chief industrial designer, Jonathan Ive. Ive and Forstall had an infamously chilly working relationship, and one of their biggest disagreements was over the role of so-called 'skeuomorphic' design in Apple's products. Forstall, like his mentor Steve Jobs, favored it; Ive disliked it. To many observers, Forstall's forced exit looks like a vindication of Ive's stance. But if he wants to continue Apple's enviable trend of innovation, he'd be a fool to throw the baby of skeuomorphism out with Forstall's bathwater." Hoped for a thorough article on the benefits of skeuomorphism - got the age-old and intrinsically invalid excuse 'because it sells'. Windows isn't he best desktop operating system because it sells so well. Lady Gaga isn't the best artist because she sells a lot of records. This argument is never valid, has zero value, and adds nothing to what should be an interesting discussion.
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sergio
Member since:
2005-07-06

Windows is, indeed, the best operating system for all the people that are happily paying for it. If Windows wasn't the best for them, They wouldn't pay for it. But certainly Windows isn't the best for me.

My point here is "best" is a 100% subjective matter. So It's an invalid argument. Discussing about the beauty/ugliness of skeumorphism is a total waste of time. Sales are not. Sales are hard data.
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That's why I think "because it sells" is one of the most accurate measure that We have. It's not perfect, but at least, It's objective and measurable.

"Because it sells" is a _much_ more powerful reason that "best" or "not best" non-sense discussions.

If skeumorphism sells... let's use it!

Reply Score: 2

tidux Member since:
2011-08-13

> If Windows wasn't the best for them, They wouldn't pay for it.

Did you sleep through the 1990s? Did you miss the news about mandatory Secure Boot for Windows 8 badging? For over a decade, Windows has been the ONLY CHOICE on most preinstalled computers unless you want to pay four figures for a Mac, or you already know what you're looking for and hit up a niche Linux retailer like System76 or ZaReason. Some company around the turn of the millenium wound up in the absurd situation of installing Win98 and BeOS in a dual boot but not configuring BeOS to fucking BOOT by default because that would have violated their license agreement with Microsoft.

Reply Parent Score: 7

zima Member since:
2005-07-06

MS certainly played dirty (OTOH I wonder how many companies wouldn't, in such position?) - but even without that, Windows would quite possibly still get the market position it enjoys ...simply because it was the best choice - or rather the least bad out of all more or less meh options, at the time when it really mattered.

When Windows got big, with 3.x & 95, there was hardly any alternative - Macs were too limited and expensive, RISC OS machines similar, Amigas even more limited & from a failing company & their "productive" side never really grabbed people's attention, Atari TOS, GEOS, or GEM even more so, OS/2 too demanding on hardware and with the underlying goal of returning to IBM the control over the PC (so of course the clone makers didn't go along, rebelled Gang of Nine style, chose MS), NeXT self-exiled into the "premium" market & ported too late to PCs, as BeOS will do half a decade later (way too late), Linux in its cradle and DEs for X not yet viable for general consumption.

For better or worse, picking up Windows was sensible - network effects and economies of scale did the rest.
That was the case also in places where people rarely paid for Windows, when they chose to pirate it, when they still choose that... (or grab a MSDNAA license, at best)

Edited 2012-11-03 05:00 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1

moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

Now with 75% of the sales done world wide, I wonder when people will start saying the same about Android.

Reply Parent Score: 3

BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

Did you sleep through the 1990s? Did you miss the news about mandatory Secure Boot for Windows 8 badging?


Only WinRT devices have mandatory secure boot, any devices based on x86 can be unlocked, and I think the default is unlocked.

Reply Parent Score: 1

bassbeast Member since:
2007-11-11

Win 8 looks to be a Vista bomb, since they've spent 2 BILLION on ads and sold 4 million copies, that $500 spent for every $40 sale...I'd say Vista and 8 prove you're incorrect.

And as for the "other OSes in the 90s? As someone who was actually in retail then, let me fill you in on a few facts you may or may not have known..

1.- IBM tried to make the PC proprietary when they lost control of the platform by trying to force the MCA bus on us, thank goodness the gang of nine got together and came up with EISA or your desktop would be as proprietary...as well your average laptop or tablet, so naturally NONE of the OEMs was gonna touch an IBM backed OS with a 100 foot pole. Oh and the fact that IBM stuck with the 286 while everyone else went 386 and 486 because they had second source rights to the 286 which Intel wouldn't sell for later chips? Its was DOA, no matter if it was a good OS or not.

2.- BeOS was first designed for an AT&T chip...which flopped, then to the PPC...too high per unit, so by the time they finally got hit with the cluebat that "Hey, there are millions of X86 chips out there, we should make our OS for that!" it was already midway into Win98 so the moment was past, no different than how WordPerfect could have ruled the Office market but they kept putting out badly done DOS ports until VERY late into the 90s.

3.- Finally as for Linux? Sorry but then as now its just too niche, has too many problems, why you can't even get Nvidia Optimus tech working right because the "FOSSie" faction demanded that the DMA be GPL ONLY, thus insuring that Nvidia couldn't hook their driver into...the thing required to make major hardware Nvidia uses work...great job guys..

http://linux.slashdot.org/story/12/10/11/1918251/alan-cox-to-nvidia...

So I'm sorry but it wasn't required for MSFT to bribe anybody, they had a competition made up of fools. in fact we haven't had ANY real competition to speak of until Apple got Steve Jobs back in the driver seat so he could keep the company from going over the cliff, and last I heard they are making insane amounts of profit. of course they'll never crack above 10% because they don't want to as part of what makes them crazy money is their "product for the rich and elite" branding, no different than how if Air Jordans were $50 a pair they'd have warehouses full of the things, but at $300 a pair they have lines around the block.

Finally as for SecureBoot? That is ONLY locked in WinRT, that's because they don't want people hacking them and putting Android on them because...well it'd look like an even bigger fail, that's why. On the desktop front it helps the BSAA spot the "Win 8 all versions pre-activated" if they ever actually come across a corp using it in the wild (doubtful) but the main reason is the same one that has driven Steve "ZOMG I want an iPad too!" Ballmer for the last 5 years...ripping off Apple. You name it, whatever Apple does MSFT will make a half baked copy. Apple locks their devices so by God MSFT will too, even though all it means is that Woot! will have an even harder time moving them at $99 a pop in 6 months.

Reply Parent Score: 5

Tuishimi Member since:
2005-07-06

True enough... but I just bought Windows 8 for my not-newly-purchased computer because it IS the best choice for me right now. And I think all the attention Apple has gotten has spurred Microsoft on to actually make some interesting improvements and changes to Windows.

But I sure do miss BeOS, and OS/2... I haven't really enjoyed the latest releases of Mac OS X. I prefer earlier versions. But maybe that is because I really liked NeXT/OpenStep... I don't know.

Reply Parent Score: 2

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

sergio,

"My point here is 'best' is a 100% subjective matter. So It's an invalid argument. Discussing about the beauty/ugliness of skeumorphism is a total waste of time. Sales are not. Sales are hard data."


"That's why I think 'because it sells' is one of the most accurate measure that We have. It's not perfect, but at least, It's objective and measurable."


Your jumping to the conclusion that because IOS sells, then users want skeuomorphic interfaces. But you haven't shown any evidence that the two are connected (like data showing that people would stop buying IOS without skeuomorphic interfaces). You might say that IOS sells in spite of skeumorphic interfaces, I honestly don't know...

I just finished talking about the fallacy of using sales numbers to make assertions over singled out variables like this. I don't feel like repeating too much so I'll just cross link my earlier post (sorry):

http://www.osnews.com/thread?540827
(edit: fixed link!)

Edited 2012-11-03 04:27 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 6

phoudoin Member since:
2006-06-09

Your jumping to the conclusion that because IOS sells, then users want skeuomorphic interfaces. But you haven't shown any evidence that the two are connected (like data showing that people would stop buying IOS without skeuomorphic interfaces). You might say that IOS sells in spite of skeumorphic interfaces, I honestly don't know...


The skeumorphic-free Android platform current marketshare rate is already provided such evidence: skeumorphic may have sold, but isn't the best seller feature anymore.

Reply Parent Score: 2

Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

If Windows wasn't the best for them, They wouldn't pay for it.


This is a fallacy. The fact that someone pays for something does not mean it's necessarily the best for them.
It's like saying McDonalds is healthy food because people eat there a lot or that smoking is good for you because a lot of people buy cigarettes.

Reply Parent Score: 9

BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

Did you honestly just compare using an OS to eating crappy food or smoking cigarettes? Does that mean that using OS X is equivalent to eating organic? Is using Linux the same as eating hot dogs and sausages? That analogy is broken in 19 different ways.

Reply Parent Score: 1

cade Member since:
2009-02-28

I agree.

Many people use Microsoft's operating systems because at some level these operating systems work for them and they implicitly accept Microsoft's monopoly of the desktop space due to having no interest in who dominates this space and most probably being forced to use a Windows operating system itself; e.g. workplace only providing a Windows option and no flexibility for access to a Unix-related operating system. Obviously no person in that situation would be able to logically claim that one of these Windows operating systems is the "best" for them if they decided to adopt the "sheeple" attitude of blindly accepting a monopolist's product just because the monopolist's product exists in the market place (just in case the person made such a claim).

Reply Parent Score: 1

modmans2ndcoming Member since:
2005-11-09

Actually,

AmigaOS is the best OS every (BeOS is the second best). Yes, they failed miserably but that should not be the measure of success. If it is then we may as well end society as we think we know it!

Reply Parent Score: 3

StephenBeDoper Member since:
2005-07-06

If skeumorphism sells... let's use it!


Problem is, there's no real reason to believe that skeumorphism does sell. At most, it's an aspect of the product that Apple sells; it not the product itself or even the primary feature of that product. At best, it could be concluded that skeumorphism doesn't appear to substantially impede sales of Apple's products... without specific evidence, anything beyond that is a stretch.

Of course, it could be the case that Apple's products would be selling even better if it weren't for the skeumorphism. Not that I think that's particularly likely, but it's just as likely as your interpretation of how skeumorphism relates to sales figures - in that there's no definitive evidence for either possibility.

Reply Parent Score: 2