Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 13th Apr 2013 20:14 UTC
In the News Martin Hedberg has interviewed Jean-Louis Gassee - founder of Be, Inc. and former Apple executive. We're looking at 45 minutes (part 1, 2, 3, and 4) of talk about operating systems an their future, so sit down, relaxe, and enjoy.
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Martin Hedberg
by mhcreativeforum on Sun 14th Apr 2013 03:08 UTC
mhcreativeforum
Member since:
2013-04-14

Hello there

I see there is some upset comments here about my interview so I thought I would pop in to clarify my view a bit. First of all, yes the open vs close question was handled a bit sloppy of me. Mainly because my first language isn't English. Quick definition-questions have a smoke screen effect on me.

I disagree however with garyd's statement that my doubt about Apples strategy have it's foundation in a GNU-cult mentality. What is really bothering me about Apple is that they are dictating what people shall use their platform to. If Microsoft would have done this everyone would have been upset, but not when Apple does it. The examples I mentioned is not the only examples of their destructive closed strategy. Remember when you couldn't replace the battery in the iPod? It took a lawsuit to get them change their minds. What happened to their "Think Different" motto?

If a vendor treated me like that I would feel humiliated and angry.

When it comes to strategy and execution that Mr Gassée mentioned, I would like to say that there are times when they can't be separated from each other.

"Closed Platform" + "Success" + "Company Politics" = "Abuse of locked in customers". Just the same way as a government can't go unchecked. This applies even if the company is reasonably ethical. Read the history of IBM, DEC and Microsoft.

This nearly unavoidable cycle of abuse in closed platforms is something people in general and companies remember. As Mr Gassée himself said: You can't fool everyone in the long run.

Maybe you don't agree with me on this but let's have a less tempered discussion about this topic.

Best regards

Martin Hedberg

Reply Score: 6

RE: Martin Hedberg
by tomchr on Sun 14th Apr 2013 12:27 in reply to "Martin Hedberg"
tomchr Member since:
2009-02-01

I agree wholeheartedly with your views on the negative effects on lock-in, and as an OS enthusiast I am saddened by the current state development from companies such as Microsoft (and Apple for that matter).

In my opinion Apple has been extremely successful in providing aesthetically pleasing physical and technical improvements, whereas companies such as Microsoft continues to release subpar products - Windows 8 and Surface to name their latest flops.

Aesthetics and usability goes a long way and Apple has set the bar - not in innovation - but from an execution standpoint. Sadly, the competitors - if any - are embarrasingly slow in just keeping pace and plain incompetent when it comes to delivering competitive aesthetics.

Sadly, I see no significant improvements coming from the competition in the forseeable future, because of the obvious flaws in the traditional decision making process. Too many chefs spoil the soup.

Edited 2013-04-14 12:46 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Martin Hedberg
by kaiwai on Mon 15th Apr 2013 02:10 in reply to "RE: Martin Hedberg"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

But in fairness though there are vendors that release 'nice looking hardware' (subjective at that) but at hamstrung by the fact that all they have to offer is Windows. As I've said in the past, for vendors to restore margins and stand out as something different they need to have an operating system of their own and actually be willing to spend the money to bring it up to speed. The problem is that far too many vendors such as Dell focus only from quarter to quarter sales and thus ignore the bigger picture are their own peril.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: Martin Hedberg
by jared_wilkes on Sun 14th Apr 2013 12:32 in reply to "Martin Hedberg"
jared_wilkes Member since:
2011-04-25

I disagree however with garyd's statement that my doubt about Apples strategy have it's foundation in a GNU-cult mentality.


Maybe garyd is incorrect about the source of your feelings, but you certainly seem to be coming from one point of view, think that point of view is correct, and are unable to see the value of another point of view and because of this, you provide little valuable supporting evidence and end up stymied by the more thoughtful Gassée time and time again. So it seems very much appropriate to call your perspective and interview dogmatic.

What is really bothering me about Apple is that they are dictating what people shall use their platform to.


Many people do not feel this is so. They understand that Apple may have a preferred way that they think is simpler and easier that you should use (and they value this), or you can find a third party solution that isn't as simple and easy but provides more flexibility or you can choose another platform.

If Microsoft would have done this everyone would have been upset, but not when Apple does it. The examples I mentioned is not the only examples of their destructive closed strategy.


I didn't hear a single example that I felt held up whatsoever. What examples are you referring to?

Remember when you couldn't replace the battery in the iPod? It took a lawsuit to get them change their minds.


No, I do not. I remember a class action regarding defective batteries. I do not recall a lawsuit about being able to replace batteries yourself. I know for a fact that the situation remains unchanged: batteries are not user replaceable but can be by Apple or unsupported third parties or by individuals. This situation arose shortly after the original release of the iPod and remains so a decade later with all of their i-devices.

What happened to their "Think Different" motto?


It remains very much alive, with Apple doing things differently from how you'd like them to be and competitors copying Apple more than vice versa (centralized/curated app stores, agency models for selling content and apps, greater hardware/software integration, hardware having non-user replaceable batteries, full touchscreen, etc). What about "Think Different" to you means: open source and open hardware, the way Martin Hedberg would like it.

If a vendor treated me like that I would feel humiliated and angry.


This is what garyd is talking about. Can you get outside your own feelings to appreciate that a hundred million people feel diffferently than you?

When it comes to strategy and execution that Mr Gassée mentioned, I would like to say that there are times when they can't be separated from each other.


That's a theory. A theory that is unsubstantiated. Apple's history defies this theory again and again and again.

"Closed Platform" + "Success" + "Company Politics" = "Abuse of locked in customers". Just the same way as a government can't go unchecked. This applies even if the company is reasonably ethical.


If you want a temperant discussion, maybe you should use another word besides abuse. You come off as dogmatic, uncompromising, and peevish.

Read the history of IBM, DEC and Microsoft.


The strategies and histories of these 3 companies themselves are so divergent — not to mention how divergent each of these 3 are from Apple — I have no idea what point you want to make. Not to mention that, I presume, 2 of these examples occurred 30 years ago.

This nearly unavoidable cycle of abuse in closed platforms is something people in general and companies remember. As Mr Gassée himself said: You can't fool everyone in the long run.


There you go again... You also seem to only be looking at history through your biased lens again.

Maybe you don't agree with me on this but let's have a less tempered discussion about this topic.


You mean more tempered, less tempers — but that's just language. I think the discussion is occurring, but people are pointing out that you are losing because of dogma, lack of evidence, or a completely and utterly biased view of the evidence that contradicts your claims.

Reply Parent Score: 3

Martin Hedberg
by mhcreativeforum on Sun 14th Apr 2013 17:06 in reply to "RE: Martin Hedberg"
mhcreativeforum Member since:
2013-04-14

Well... Every opinion is a statement pro something or against something. I understand the "everything gets simple when one decide argument". However you can't use that argument on some of Apples "strategic" decisions. The ban of YouTube is an example of that. They limit the freedom of their customers, not because of adding value ,by making things simple, but of pure greed.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Martin Hedberg
by kovacm on Wed 17th Apr 2013 08:34 in reply to "Martin Hedberg"
kovacm Member since:
2010-12-16

"Closed Platform" + "Success" + "Company Politics" = "Abuse of locked in customers". Just the same way as a government can't go unchecked. This applies even if the company is reasonably ethical. Read the history of IBM, DEC and Microsoft.

This nearly unavoidable cycle of abuse in closed platforms is something people in general and companies remember. As Mr Gassée himself said: You can't fool everyone in the long run.


I am not sure what is problem if Apple sell CLOSED SYSTEMs. It is their own system. They can do whatever they like. They do NOT impose limitation to OTHER companies or other products but to their own.

people seems to forget this, and always compare Apple and Microsoft. main difference is that Apple sell complete PRODUCT and that is _software_ AND _hardware_!


Long time ago all computer companies was like Apple: everybody produce software AND hardware and sell COMPLETE product (Commodore, Atari, Sun...)


than come Microsoft that impose their agenda to 95% of all computers in the world.

In old days was: if you do not like Apple, buy Amiga. than dark age come.
Microsoft influence to entire industry was so strong that if they refuse to make (again) Office for Mac back in 1997., Mac would probably follow path of Atari, Commodore, Sun...

happily for rest of us, dark days are over ;) you can chose again. so: IF YOU DO NOT LIKE Apple products, do not buy it! ;) end of story.

Reply Parent Score: 2