OSWeekly takes a look at how Microsoft and Apple each handles the blogging phenomemon. They conclude: “With all of this going on, it’s easy to wonder what efforts Apple is making and I wish I could tell you, but I don’t see anything worth mentioning. Instead of accepting blogging for what it is, Apple would rather sue bloggers for talking about what they’re doing. Microsoft is only one of the big companies that has embraced blogging, and we can see similar efforts by Google and Yahoo!, just to name a few.”
Microsoft vs. Apple: Embracing The Online Community
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2006-09-12 5:42 pmStephenBeDoper
Microsoft does allow their employees to write blogs, but the tone of them has always felt a bit artificial to me – as if each post has to be vetted and edited by their legal department.
For example if some blogger told us what was gonna be anounced at todays ‘event’ noone would bother tuning into the actual event thereby reducing coverage
I think that in the past, the trend has been that more people tune in because of the buzz created by the rumours / out of curiosity over whether or not the rumours are true.
Apple go to extreme lengths to maintain secrecy over upcoming products, to the degree of having different code names for the same product in different departments.
What does the user perceive? Apple announces products that always seem to deliver. There’s no way to blog about that.
They don’t talk about how incredible MacOSX will be 5 years from now with amazing superfeatures and then gradually have to strip it of said features until the public is disappointed with it, do they?
They don’t display upcoming iPod prototypes so the competitors can quickly copy its features, do they?
Microsoft are beginning to become synonymous with “failing to deliver”. This is as much due to openness as it is to bad leadership. I think it’s fun to read about Vista, but with all these failures, they are targets for many laughs even more than ever.
2006-09-13 2:42 amewright
The plain reason Microsoft revealed Vista so early is because they wanted feedback on it from their enormous developer community. Rather than pulling a big ‘surprise!’ out of their hat – a Vista based on technologies that, without XP support, developers couldn’t realistically utilize – they gave out CTPs in 2003, engaged in an enormous peer-review process, and changed their plans in response (the result: .NET 3.0 for XP). The result will be a better Windows, developed in plain sight and with deep community interaction.
This development strategy should sound familiar; it’s the open-source model. Microsoft has essentially co-opted the open-source model for closed-source products. Blogging is obviously a big part of that strategy too. It’s a genius move which distances them from conventional, closed companies like Apple and Google.
“apple have always been secretive! its part of their appeal and alure. For example if some blogger told us what was gonna be anounced at todays ‘event’ noone would bother tuning into the actual event thereby reducing coverage”
Blogging doesn’t have to be about simply announcing products – no company employee would do that if it was against their employer’s corporate policy. Lots of bloggers talk about a much broader variety of topics.
Apple’s secrecy is certainly not alluring to me – it’s simply their way of heightening the anticipation of their product announcements – a very old-fashioned (but effective) marketing technique (ok, it’s probably also a way of keeping their competitors in the dark about their products too).
“Microsoft does allow their employees to write blogs, but the tone of them has always felt a bit artificial to me – as if each post has to be vetted and edited by their legal department.”
I think Microsoft have benefited a lot from letting their employees blog quite openly – the ones I have read certainly don’t seem artificial to me, and they have an awful lot of bloggers. What’s more, it’s been an excellent way for many developers to gain an insight into some of Microsoft’s working practices as well as actually get to talk to the developers.
If Apple’s developer’s or designers talked about some of their design decisions or product development (after a product had been released), I think they’d gain an eager and very receptive audience. And talking about such matters doesn’t mean giving away trade secrets.
Talking of artificial or phoney-sounding blogs (“marketing-style” blogs)- well two come to mind. One is the official Google blog and the other is Apple’s student blog (which seems to have been abandoned). Not surprisingly, neither blog allows users to post any comments.
Edited 2006-09-12 21:10
Hard to tell blogger from blaggard.
to summarize the article,
Microsoft allow employes to write blogs, apple do not
apple have always been secretive! its part of their appeal and alure. For example if some blogger told us what was gonna be anounced at todays ‘event’ noone would bother tuning into the actual event thereby reducing coverage