*Settles back with the popcorn*
This is going to be one hell of a ride. Familiar and often repeated, but fun nonetheless
Cutlasses at dawn and all that...
Bashing Microsoft for being closed and proprietary has been a popular pastime in the media and the IT industry for many years, and there is no doubt that much of this has been well deserved. After having its wings clipped on several occasions by regulators, however, the Microsoft of today, while not totally reformed, is a lot …
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From a business PoV Apple has several major failings.
1] They refuse to release credible product roadmaps for either software or hardware. You can't sell rumours of future Apple product-releases to a company's finance officer.
2] They discontinue support on what they view as 'old' versions of products far too soon.
3] No business-strength on-site maintenance/support cover is offered. "Take it to a genius bar" doesn't fly - we expect a field-circus rep on-site to fix the problem within three hours of placing a call.
4] Apple don't understand business: they need resellers that have sales teams who can talk leasing/financing options and tax-efficiency rather than just showing flashy software.
5] Apple won't customise OS installs for you. Dell/IBM/HP will. This makes a big difference when you're rolling out 250 machines over a weekend.
For the most Part I Have always been a M$ fan
Mainly due to the fact that I was introduced to mas in 1999 on a network that ran UNIX and windows on various machines. Detested the way Mac did things and haven’t bothered going back!
I detest the fact that people don’t even realize that you can very easily add songs to ipods from just for example Winamp,
I refuse to let anybody install Itunes on my machine at home (sorry darling sister) As it will fill my computer with junk that I do not and will not need.
Now I understand the entire comments thread will be M$ and A$ bashing, but I want to take my hat off to M$ for making an os that is unbelievably flexible, albeit with the occasional hiccup.
The real problem in comparing MS to Apple is that Apple just haven't done enough wrong to see that storm of disquiet flood over the IT media.
MS blunders range from stifling costs, prohibitive anti-competitive practices, lousy buggy code, ineffectual responses to serious, significant problems, to blatant lies through their humourous PR department. Plus more besides.
Apples blunders, while significant (I'm not a big fan of the company, but a few of their products are great) just don't weigh the same on the scales of shame & disgust - yet.
Apples day will come....
"Meanwhile, those of us making a more objective assessment of what’s going on..."
No, you can spend a lot of time slating Microsoft *because they deserve it*. This doesn't mean you aren't making a less objective assessment. Take my case. You KNOW how often I call MS to shit over their criminal acts.
I have also slated Apple for
a) Patenting their Look and Feel
b) Killing the clone market (though the market did a good job of that too)
c) Breaking their agreement with Apple records
d) Most recently, Pystar
And on Groklaw, PJ is defending Apple like there's no tomorrow. But she uses Apple Macs and likes them and, just like her blindness with the parlous state of the US court system (because she knows people and therefore cannot see any justification for pointing out the systemic problems), she doesn't see anything wrong with what Apple are doing.
But I have, do and will continue to slate Apple on their idiocies.
Yet you seem to think that only you, who withheld bad comments about MS, can see objectively that Apple are being arseholes.
Stop bigging yourself up. Anyone can. Not slating MS isn't the only way.
It's marketing on the verge of brain-washng. For example, smartphones have been around for years. They were a bit tricky to use but pretty flexible and very powerful and a few of us have been making great use of them.
Apple releases a (at first) not particularly smart smartphone and suddenly it's like the iPod all over again. Yesterday I trained two non-IT people. One in the morning, one in the afternoon. During the course of both training sessions I had cause to take out my Windows Mobile smartphone. Both asked if that was "one of those iPhone thingies".
I don't know how they do it but they seem to be able to occupy a consumer market, wrap it up completely to the point where their brand-name becomes generic (MP3 player = iPod, touch-screen smartphone = iPhone, online music store = iTunes etc.) and the general public don't care.
Even more frustrating are comments like "oh, I tried <other MP3 player> but it was crap. I couldn't get my music onto it from iTunes". In other words, lack of interoperability with other products and services is perceived by the public to be a problem with everyone else, NOT a problem caused by Apple.
I have this weird mix of wilting admiration, trembling fear and barely suppressed rage for them.
Apple understands the Enterprise perfectly well. Do anything for the Enterprise and you will suffer from having to cripplle your software for decades to come. In other words they don't give a shit about the Enterprise market because all it would mean is having to hobble themselves and constantly stall improving their software. Just like MS is still stuck with a 1990s OS with Vista and XP when Apple is already moving into the 2010s.
Back in the late 80's/early 90's I predicted that it would not be long before everyone had a Mac on their desk rather than a PC. How wrong I was!
I still believe that if Apple had been more 'open' back then probably the percentage of PC's and Mac's would now be reversed. I even loved my Newton but where did that go?
Now the world is dominated by the PC with Windows and I somehow doubt that will change. Apple computers will, unfortunately I think, remain a relatively niche market, no matter how good their kit is. I believe they shot themselves in the foot all those years ago and rather than learn from it they have continued to blast away at their feet, slowly taking out their toes one at a time!
Just imagine the sales of the iPhone if it had been available on ANY network from day one! Just imagine the sales of the iPhone if developers could sell, or even give away, their applications free from the strict rules that Apple see fit to impose.
And don't even get me started on iTunes.......
Some great kit but some seriously dumb management decisions over the years!
I own several legal copies of Windows XP. They've been installed on machines before, but those machines have been wiped. However, I can no longer use these installers as MS claims they have been used before. Unbelievable. I can't even fathom how MS's "register in 30 days or else" OS lock down is legal.
Apple on the other hand, doesn't even use a serial number or CD key for OS installs. I don't have to worry about finding a new key every time I update or reformat a system.
That's a pretty amazing difference when you think about it.
I'm soooo going to enjoy reading the comments to this one. Especially in the week when we saw Intego hype up an 'Apple says buy AV' and then once the band waggon had started rolling - "OOoops, sorry, turns out it, err, no, actually..."
Apple is closed and proprietary. Always has been. It's their model. That's how they do what they do - tight integration between hardware and software means everyone pays an 'proprietary tax'. But to say that Apple are less 'open' than Microsoft...
As someone who's developed on them since OS 4.2 I've found that the changes since the second coming, i.e. OS X, have been very refreshing. E.g. Darwin. And shipping free developers tools with every OS. And running X, Java, apache, mysql, sqlite, php, python and the entire BSD toolset out of the box. Feels quite open to me. What's the complaint really? OS X's not Unix? OS X's not Vista?
Is this about the iPhone API? Do end users really want an open system? Do they care? We can easily check - see if Android takes off. Are developers really suffering because of the 'closed' nature of iPhone APIs? Not judging by the App store take up, and earning. Yes, there's the % Apple take, but it's a damn site cheaper than self-marketing, and nothing like the markup that say digital river take.
What's more interesting, is that the breakdown in your responses doesn't match the market-share of Win vs Mac. We're not all fanboys, but even so I would have expected, despite the nature of El Reg's readership, there to be far fewer people au fait enough with the Mac OS development environment(s) to comment. Perhaps that a question worth an interpretation.
So apart from the admittedly (i.e. you admitted it) loaded question, was there any other useful tidbits in the survey? OR are we just stuck with this "who's coolaid is the best" competition? :-)
The reason Apple don't get to so much stick is because they haven't yet obtained any kind of meaningful monopoly that allows their more closed nature to stifle competition. I have no doubt that they would try if they attained the kind of monopoly position Microsoft had. Corporations are anti-democratic authoritarian dictatorships by nature.
That they are adding some competition to the market is a good thing, regardless of whether they are 'more closed' or not.
Of course, I will continue to mostly use Linux for anything other than film editing...
Microsoft got savaged under antitrust laws on both sides of the Atlantic for daring to integrate a browser with the OS, which was seen as anti-competitive.
Apple, however, has a partly vertically-integrated sales structure, refuses to let its OS be used on other hardware, and makes it hellishly hard to write software for its hardware and OS in every way it can - yet somehow that's not anticompetitive?
I just don't understand how giving the consumer something for nothing abuses a monopoly position, whereas effectively preventing anyone else from getting into a market doesn't...
I was a big fan of the clean and easy way doing work on OS X, being a Solaris/Linux person which was always annoyed by working thirteen years on DOS, then Windows. But the last iterations of Apple products make me sad, there are pop-ups popping in my view, hardware (especially laptops) failed on me, it seriously seems to loose quality for a release early, release often product strategy. I would love to have at lease lenovo and hp offer high quality workstations and laptops bundled with OS X. This would seriously bring Apple under pressure, to bring a laptop which isn't total crap in quality. Things as better keyboard feel, better display resolution, rugged laptop design would start to appear.
But by violating the own interface guidelines, disappearing functionality to make the iPhone look better e.g. bluetooth modem support partly broken in 10.5, they make me seriously considering going back to a horror named X11. At least there I can stop complaining and burn time in improving things that should be done ten years ago.
The documentation of Apples Software is good when the software was done in the years of 10.2, because there was a competition to Windows and Linux. Now, in the iPhone and Vista World, Mac OS X just have to be slightly better than the competition because everybody has become used to "upgrade" phones or OS every three years. But people can switch back, and my 2nd laptop (IBM Thinkpad T40) already runs opensuse 11 with a minimal XFCE interface. I don't mind doing things in the command line, when it would be 15 clicks away anyway. And the most used stuff is a shell script in the "Dock". So it looks tempting.
If I switch to Linux, I probably would switch the company I work also in the long run. For now, it is a Mac-Desktop-only company.
Please Apple Inc, do something for the "Power User", and a minimum of documentation, where can I set the bluetooth connection parameters in 10.5 would be a start.
There's no point commenting on this sort of diatribe. If you object against it then you are obviously a fan boy and taken in by the Cult of Jobs.
I have Macs and would recommend them because as a tool they do what they say they do with minimal headaches for the user. Now I'm sure that The Register can come up with an heap of anecdotal quotes that try to disprove that but I really don't care.
"I detest the fact that people don’t even realize that you can very easily add songs to ipods from just for example Winamp,"
Not with new ipods and iphones you cant. Apple changed itunes db format (again). New firmware broke iphone, new itouch has it built in. Apple have then started legal action against anyone who tries to reverse engineer.
I've been using Macs since there was exactly one kind to choose from. In the meanwhile I've used just about every flavour of Windows as well as Linux, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, Solaris and AIX.
My machine right now? A Mac Mini, with a Samsung 24" LCD, a Logitech gaming mouse and Altec Lansing speakers, generic network and an HP LaserJet. (My only Apple hardware besides the CPU is the keyboard, since my reflexes expect the splat key at the THIRD from the left.) I do almost everything using open source and free software: Firefox, MacMegaPOV, XCode, TextWrangler, MAMP, MacPython with Numpy and Scipy, QCAD, Qucs........... The only exception is my occasional use of Illustrator and Photoshop (I used to be a graphic designer; they're familiar, and no software has a better Bézier curve tool.)
Who says Apple's closed? You're a power user? Go ahead and power-use. (Boffin because, well, RTFM.)
Now I won't hesitate to lambaste Apple's business practices. Since I agree the appreviation A$ is MFG, why not A$$?
"Apple on the other hand, doesn't even use a serial number or CD key for OS installs. I don't have to worry about finding a new key every time I update or reformat a system."
-er- perhaps that's because no one would bother trying to pirate it? I'm not trying to apple bash here but since the discussion relates to how locked in it is, surely you're just helping the case against apple?
The difference here is that Apple's package is so good and so reliable. I have never had a reason to read any technical documentation, for example. I like the way it all just works 'out of the box'. Then again, I'm not a nerd, just a user. I would also point out that you can run Windows on a Mac, but NOT vice versa. Is that monopolistic practice?
Apple have far less power in enforcing their oh so great products on everyone, that's why people are more relaxed about them being closed. And that lack of a monopoly position also makes it distinctly harder to enforce any openness with the might of the law. It's a simple take it or leave it. I quite like that and choose not to have any kind of inedible Apple (in fact I currently and temporarily do just to see what I'm missing).
Choosing not to have Microsoft Windows on a ready-made laptop with my fave hardware spec when shopping around proves to be much, much harder. Even today, despite improvements. Yes, I can purchase that Dell Mini Netbook with Ubuntu, but only if I'm happy with half the storage and no webcam. If I do want it with the webcam and the full storage, I've got to pay the M$ tax. Similar issues with other netbooks.
Honi soit qui mal y pense.
The term "open" has been co-opted by the open-source community, but having access to source code is often fairly useless. Most serious software is too complex for businesses and customers to spend time trying to understand it, and nobody wants to actually modify the code and begin maintaining their own private variant.
The most important form of openness is the ability for me (as a programmer) to write a program and distribute it or sell it on that platform. In that sense, Windows and Apple are open, and in fact encourage me to add to the diversity of software that runs on their platforms. Playstations and Xboxes are closed. Server-based applications and systems, owned by google or IBM and such folks are closed.
Licensing is an issue, and there I fault Linux/GNU more than Microsoft. Most fans of OSS seem to be professors, students, journalists. They are not in the position of making a living by programming, and for those who do, the GNU Public License is like a sexually transmitted disease. This is why many people do not port their games and applications ot Linux, because unless you are very careful, you can lose ownership of your code. People get sued because they didn't notice a license on a perl script somewhere. It's such a mess that companies have to buy software to analyze the licenses on the scripts and libraries.
And not feed the trolls.. Well not much anyway. Because in reality this article is nothing more than an open invitation for a flame war and frankly I'm tired of them. Wintards will never admit to or realize how fundamentally flawed windows is and will conveniently ignore just how despicable MS is as a whole. Extreme Apple fanbois will never admit to Apple's gaffes or short comings, so really the whole thing is pointless. As I've said before I've got one computer with the top three on 'em and each serves a different purpose and shortly my aging linux server will get replaced with a used G5 running OS X server. So if that makes me an Apple fanboi then so be it cos frankly I don't give a fuck anymore.
I have been in several all OS X houses and we never had any issues getting support or help from Apple with any of our kit. One small example, one place we had two X serve's come in DOA and the Apple rep bent over backwards getting us replacements ASAP. Our devs never had issues getting their hands on APIs when needed or information on what may be at issue when certain software would collide and cause issues. So where this Apple is more closed tripe comes from, I have no idea. And before any of you smart asses pop off, these were not mom and pop operations, these were large multinational advertising/marketing agencies (read multiple thousands of users). So yes some of us DO have a clue and first hand experience using Apple kit in an enterprise environment and YES is does work just fine. Is it ideal for every enterprise solution? Of course not and anyone that would suggest otherwise is blind to corporate and computing realities. But this nonsense especially here in the comments just proves that such blindness and OS bigotry is rampant across the whole of the computing world.
And with that I return you to your normally scheduled flame fest.
With the Mac's market share just under 10% and climbing, I'm not sure how objective a poll like this can be considering 90% of the respondents don't own or use a Mac.
"The food is terrible... and the portions are too small." - Woody Allen?
> iPod tied to the iTunes store?
I've had one for years and I've never been to the iTunes store. Put a CD in your computer and it get's ripped into iTunes where you can put it on your iPod if you want or don't.
> Apple's secretive product plans?
You'd be secretive too if you spent big bucks on design and development and the moment your products hit the streets, the Asian copying machine goes into overdrive getting crap knockoffs to try and steal your market.
I've personally never understood why most PC users can't seem to fathom that there could be a better alternative to what they're using. Why is it that you've closed yourselves off from learning anything new? Sure the knowledge you've gained was hard fought but what... you're done learning? Nothing new for you then? We might as well just pour dirt over you right now.
I'm a Mac user, a Linux user and occasionally a Windows user but the Mac is what I use to earn my daily keep. I write software everyday.
As a former Mac user (Mac Plus, 1986) I just weep when I see the monster which Apple has been turned into. Of course, it might be because of blunders during the early 90's; but I'd say that it was the Return of Steve Jobs that brought upon this evil incarnation of Apple.
Apple had been opening up, in fact our Performa was actually as user-serviceable as a PC, and there were Mac clones out there already. Yes, they may have been late in the show, but at least they were there! With a good enough price drop, Macs might've won the war, especially during the Win9x days when Macs still fared better than PCs. In fact, I think that if Clone Macs had come before Win95, Windows wouldn't dominate the personal computer market. But no, they didn't, they acted too late; then Jobs came, and *closed up everything*, so Apple lost the small openness it had got.
Jobs should really tone down his ego, and open up Apple. Otherwise, they'll end up being the next "M$". Oh wait, they already are, but they're able to brainwash their consumer market into believing they *aren't*.
And isn't tying an OS to specific hardware the same thing IBM's fighting? In fact, I do remember that software/hardware lock-in was already shot down in court with IBM; so that's enough legal precedent to give both PSI and Psystar the upper hand against IBM and Apple, respectively.
After more than 25 years in the DOS/Wintel business I changed to Mac and it really does just work - no hassle, few reboots and very elegant - I still use Windows when I have to, but I prefer the Mac. Simple, we all use what we prefer! Get over it!
P.S. Can we have a gay equivalent to Paris Hilton (Keanu Reeves, maybe?) ;-)
My only raised point to the perceived message of Apple of being 'more' closed is the apparent better way to go about it by Apple. I have 'Apple' friends and I have (slightly more.... base?) PC friends. This will never change and it is a great things, but to remain to point, let us look look at an example of open (and it needs to be, Safari) and closed (IE).
IE 8 is at our door and it is going to course a stink, as IE has always done at some level, except this time it is not with the W3C purists, but rather with the commoners who loaded up Studio Express and composed their pages in the eternal mantra of "follow the mass". This was a load that had to be relived sooner or later, alas it is coming at the MS crew (I am shedding buckets).
My point is yes, Apple are a LOT more proprietary than MS have ever been, but they do it with a certain intelligence and forethought that MS have seemed to lack. Am I a fool for 'branding' myself an Apple follower? Possibly, but having looked at the situation from a consumer perspective (and admittedly not so much a developer one) I am happy to invest a few years worth of computer usage capital in a platform that, if evil, is better at being evil than the rest.
Like most comment-a-reg pages this one also descends into extreme jihadist fanboism!
Now, we who visit El Reg tend to be the more technical members of society, but I unfortunately find that the people who I know that get Macs are the ones who are not so into IT, not all of them, but most... I also think a major reason in the attitude change to devoted zealot is that they also experience Windows XP in corporate images which are the ultimate example of bloat and slowness, and compare that with a nice new shiny home laptop that "Just Works"(tm)... and then they proceed to tell me all about it too!
That is what drives a lot of the "STFU-ness" I have with Mac users. They seem to want to point out how superior their choice of machine is to any of mine running whatever OS's because the marketing told them how superior their hard earned cash siphon is! I especially like it when they try to get technical about it knowing that my career is in IT and I know a lot more about it than they do... I really wouldn't like to tell a heart surgeon he is doing his job wrong because Dr Sloan never did it like that, so why do they feel the need to lecture me in _my_ chosen field?!?
Rant over... back to SQL scripts for me. My work really is very OS independent... all I need is a database client!
Apple makes good looking hardware. But, there is an always "yes but"
iphone is very good interface-wise and hardware. it made the winmob snobs to emulate it, however broken their attempts were/are. i'd go so far as saying it's as good as it gets so far, interface-wise.
but no, it doesn't cut it. It does have a unix-like system running, and it does have wifi, but I can't copy a single file. it does have bluetooth, but I can't transfer a single ringtone, or even a brace of phone numbers - i thought BT was for what?. I can't even watch a simple mpeg that hasn't been transmorgified through itunes to whatever, and this is supposed to be a multimedia oriented device. wtf?!!?
Similar story pervades more or less to the personal computer offerings. OSX is wonderful. Good friendly and very slick interface (albeit with minor nagging shortcomings). Good interaction among apps too. But why can't I have a decent tablet computer to run Photoshop/Painter/whatever on OSX? Make one, or at least deputize somebody (Lenovo? Acer?) to do it for you.. I side with Psystar or whatever on this issue, sharks out for a quick buck that they may turn out to be..
Rant rant rant, I know..
Apple is an old-style company that sells vertically integrated systems (like old IBM, DEC, etc.).
Every company wants to "farm" its customers like a bunch of cattle, taking them for milking twice a day. Companies that sell a hardware-software system usually link everything to the hardware.
And it used to be that companies made or lost their reputation on the hardware.
Microsoft has no effective control over PC hardware, so it's important for their business model that there are no effective competitors in the software space... which is why they are so forceful in seeking a monopoly position.
With Xbox you can see that Microsoft employs a vertically integration model when it can - and it would be a lot more representative to compare Mac vs XBox in terms of openness.
The big difference between the two is that while Apple makes overpriced toys, Microsoft makes over-hyped buggy bloatware AND over the years has employed an astonishing number of illegal or at least highly unethical stunts to exclude competitors from the marketplace.
Microsoft tries to prevent other firms from making a business from selling the same kind of thing that they do... Apple tries to prevent others from entering their ecosystem. There's a world of difference.
No, I don't have a Mac (and probably never will) but I regularly recommend them to people who are incapable of being their own system administrator.
>> After more than 25 years in the DOS/Wintel business I changed to Mac and it really does just >> work - no hassle, few reboots and very elegant
Really? I have Vista on an HP laptop and a custom-built PC, both running games, MS Visual Studio, SQL server and Oracle server, without antivirus or anti-spyware.
No reboots - EVER. It really REALLY does just work.
But the gay Keanu icon is a good idea.
Who cares about open? Macs are something you choose to buy, Windows PCs are something you are forced to use. At least from what I've seen as I'am not a MAC user, Apple tries to make their closed ecosystem something different and better, where as Microsoft are quite open about screwing over any competition and delivering third rate product following on from second rate product.
There is no doubt that Apple has enter a new era of its life and it has to come to terms with the fact that customer power cannot never be ignored. Apple has had it hands burned more than once due to rough riding over customer complaints and yet they don't seem to learn.
Apple needs to be abit more open cos if they dont then there could be trouble ahead and then it will be too late.
Yes, Apple is a closed system, and for a huge raft of reasons. The Mac is now just a nicely specced PC, a little bit ahead of the curve maybe, but an Intel powered PC all the same. The first time that Windows was booted on an Intel Mac was when Apple lost its otherness, and all it had to compete in the PC market was its operating system. This was, until recently a very good reason to buy one. Apple resolved all the problems of Linux on the desktop, wrapped them in Aqua and sold OS X to anyone who wanted to be able to do all the things that could done with open source software yet still have some gloss and a consistent operating environment. The iPod brought the company further into the mainstream, applying the principle that it applied to the personal computer to the MP3 player, and merging it with the desktop and a nice management system that went from a ripping tool to becoming a shop. The shop needed to sell things, music at first, but then as domestic bandwidth expanded, it could deliver TV and movies - and that's where Hollywood comes in. Even as the iTunes store is able to deliver last night's Lost in a way that would have been unthinkable when Steve unveiled the first Mac running OS X, Apple has had to kowtow to the software providers, the big four media companies, to get the right to sell their product digitally, and that has meant that the operating system has been compromised to recognise media files that will only play in specific software and to be sealed against tampering. Apple has done this because it doesn't just want to sell computers or media players, but wants to be the seller of media. Jobs' 'wilderness years' weren't spent in the wilderness at all, but in other parts of the same industry that he now wants to dominate not as a maker, but as the distribution mechanism. When Steve Jobs is not showing us how to order pizza on the iPhone, he is, let's not forget, the CEO of Pixar, who are the largest shareholder in Disney. That's where Apple is going, and while talking about shaking up the media delivery industry, it has had to compromise because the rest of that industry still can't see where it's going. I don't like it. OS X was simply the best operating system going for quite a while and I was happy to be a fanboi, but there are parts of it, and Apple, that might claim to be open and revolutionary, but in reality are anything but.
To those who say "who cares", you should care.
It is simple matter that we should do the right thing. It's not like we have to choose which one is less evil. What we should do is get rid of all evils.
I can catch bus to work, or I can drive. I can say who cares, drive myself is slightly more convenience. But I either catch bus or share car with some else, because that's the right thing to do.
Human is deemed to be doomed, the general public is always stupid, selfish, greedy.
"All these hippies on their macs have simply no fucking clue or need to do business like real men."
Have the christmas holidays started already? Grow up! Why do you Wintards feel the need to slag Apple off ALL the time? Have you got nothing better to do? It's success isn't it. Your all like broken records...
Kudos to the individuals that give reasoned and honest opinions as to why the don't like Apple, more so to those who don't make it out to be FACT. Those who don't like Apple cause they can't be bought/brain-washed et c. - get over yourselves. Read what you say about Windows, the devotion you all exhibit is almost religious! The very things that you accuse Apple users of doing are committed by yourselves on a much larger scale. Most of the 'insight' comes from hearsay (y'know, my friends sister has an iMac...), or just good ol' fashioned ignorance. The bile and vitriol is delivered with rabid exuberance. Most of you really need psycological help.
The most difficult aspect of migrating off Microsoft products is the artificial barrier to exit that M$ has created through the use of proprietary data formats. Nothing that Microsoft produces creates a industry standard file format, or even a published file format, and they are always changing formats to keep non-M$ products from being able to interoperate. Once you buy into one, leveraging that data requires buying into other M$ products, or lose interoperability. You are artificially and covertly captive to their offerings.
Contrast this to Apple, where every computer application they create either uses industry standard data formats, or has a provided export/import function, or, at the very least, is documented. OS X is POSIX compliant, so application porting of the wealth of UNIX software available is eased. No, you do not get to much with internals of the OS - a good thing. Automatically granting any installer root level access to the core OS is one of the main security flaws of Windows (duh! - operating system 101, for those that were asleep in that class).
Yes, Apple tightly controls their hardware and the development environment access. This creates the tremendously robust and stable platform that provides the legendary reliability of the Mac desktop. No, it is not perfect, but it is a far sight better than what Windows provides. Having led a few IT shops - the largest with 262,000 desktops - I can empirically state that the cost of supporting an OS X desktop is between 10 and 25% of the cost of a Windows desktop, with the variability based on how much of the back end infrastructure is M$ proprietary. It is not about acquisition cost - that is a nit in the overall life cycle cost structure; it is the cost of managing and support.
1) Apple platforms are less expensive than similarly configured, quality brand Windows machines. Except for the cheaply built consumer junk, Apple competes - nay, beats Dell, Sony, and IBM in every category, and absolutely destroys the cost comparison in servers (in a large part, due to licensing costs)
2) Apple platforms are far more data interoperable / open than Microsoft products, unless you commit to a 100% Microsoft approach. You are seldom if ever, locked into a particular application because of proprietary data.
3) Apple platforms are far more stable, and architecturally, less prone to virus attacks.
4) Apple server environments are less expensive than Windows. There are no user license costs on an OS X server, it interoperates extremely well with Windows desktops, and it provides a rich set of server applications, with a very low cost of administration.
5) Apple server environments scale far better than Windows. Some of the world's top 10 fastest supercomputers are Apple based - none are Windows. UNIX, by design, is a server OS, ported to the desktop, not a personal computer OS, bolted together to make a server. Although Windows Server is getting better, it still suffers from the above deficiencies.
6) Hundreds of thousands of OS X applications exist, affording virtually every capability available to the Windows world, and typically, in a higher quality, better ease-of-use delivery.
Developers may whine about openness, but that control is the very thing that makes OS X so attractive to cost conscious IT operations environments and companies that are concerned about stability, security and cost effective production capability. It is not a religious war, nor is that a fanboy diatribe; it is pure and simple economics. The Mac platform is more productive and less costly - and not by a little bit, but by a lot. Adoption is hindered by the ignorant, and more importantly, the high cost of dealing with all the proprietary data roadblocks in Microsoft software infrastructure.
The correct word is "Mactards". It has been used for a long time, before "iTard" and "appletard" were out, which just don't sound right. Don't even bother using those words.
Mactards. Repeat it to yourself a few times, and you'll get used to it.
Also, I have a distinct feeling that kirkrr has stolen his response from an anti-apple email somewhere and switched all the company/brand names around, because now it's completely untrue. It's so untrue that I stabbed my thigh with a pen to make sure that I was reading it right.
It has been said before, but I feel it needs to be said more often, as people here have a different view on how IT should work:
Apple doesn't do "open". Apple does Apple, the Apple way. This is why Apple is still there. Now if the Apple way is in conflicts with your perception of how IT should be run among Faceless Corp X, Y & Z that might be because a large part of Apple's core clientele is not from the enterprise lot, but Consumer, Pro-Sumer & Creative Pro. A clientele that buys a tool to solve a problem. All they need is a tool that works in the most reliable and productive way possible. They could not care less if their tool is "closed" in nature or plays well along with whatever the needs and wishes of big IT departments are. They just need to get shit done.
It sure means Apple misses a lot of business because their attitude of not sucking corporate cock pisses a lot of people off. But guess what, sucking corporate cock is not their business and it doesn't really matter, as they are profitable, very.
As long as certain other companies keep churning out ever more bigger batches of bug-ridden bull it should pretty much stay that way.
It would also be helpful if people could learn to different segments when it comes to the Fruit. "Bwaaa bwaa, developing for OS X is such a bitch", "Bwaaa bwaaa, iTunes for Windows sucks", "Bwaaa, bwaaa, I'm an IT pro and cannot get over having to deal with others who are not". Get real.
Nevertheless, I very much second the notion that Apple's notebooks used to be better. Much better.
/sidenote: I'm sorry for all the profanity but most of what comes on the table here is the eversame litany of folks who bemoan "a my way or the highway" attitude in a company they fail to understand, as they think that all that is relevant is their OWN way. Hybris and double standards, pathetic. If you don't like what the Fruit does: Buy elsewhere.
Most of the pro-Mac responses hark on about the technical merits. True, it's very good, but like anything, you can find dozens of opinions on which is best and why. Vista, properly patched, is a very good (if not somewhat bloated, with an annoying GUI) OS - especially in the Win2008 flavour. Linux is flexible, powerful and cheap (but a sod for amateurs). A user will buy waht they like/feel comfortable with. So all in all, this is irrelevent.....
The discussion on business practices: Apple probably is more closed than Microsoft - largely because M$ has been (right or wrong) slapped down enough times to make something stick. Apple used to be small enough to stay beneath the radar. That will change as market share grows and the blip on the radar grows. Eventually even the more liberal media Mac lovin' types will ask questions. But in the end, most end-users don't care, so in many ways, this too is irrelevent.....
The proprietary lock-in of OS to tin is technically great, but lacks flexibility (I'd love to buy a quad core Core 2 desktop with a big graphics board with OSX but can't - only iMac or Mac Pro, no middle ground) and stifles competition in the harware sector. iPods may not be tied to iTunes store, but they are tied to the app for most regular users. Generic MP3/MP4 devices can be used on pretty much any OS with most apps as they are often 'seen' as storage devices.
From a software perspective, the best example of lack of openness is iPhone versus Windows Mobile. Besides being able to pick up WinMo in many form factors from many vendors at different price points, you can install any software, including turn-by-turn satnav software from a dozen manufacturers. Apple's lock in means a limited product set and limited software choices - satnav being the prize example. However, the trade off is stability, so again, a buyer needs to consider what do they want. Don't start me on the camera and copy'n'paste....
Both these last points veer towards the fact that Apple is less open than MS in many ways, but while it can be both good and bad, in the final analysis, most buyers won't care, so renderiing the whole discussion irrelevent.
So why did I write all this. Dunno. Friday afternoon and I'm bored. Mines the one with the iPhone in one pocket and a PocketPC in the other, next to the iMac running Vista.
Yes, the Macintosh is a more closed, proprietary, system than Windows. But the mere fact that it exists as an alternative to Windows is still a good thing, which is part of why Apple isn't normally criticized as much; the problem is seen as the dominance of Microsoft, and whatever limitations one has to accept to use Windows.
The fact that in some respects it might be worse for those other people who chose the Mac doesn't affect the fact that their 'sacrifice' made things better for Windows users.
And the Macintosh is indeed a bigger alternative to Windows on the desktop than Linux is. That's just not saying much.
What people want is either a highly competitive market, where there is no dominant player - you could use a Mac, you could use Windows, you could use BeOS, you could use GEM Desktop... and so on - OR where the dominant player is Linux, BSD, or something like that.
Early on, in vigorously defending a lot of aspects of its desktop interface - but licensing to Windows instead of getting into a legal fight with them - Apple made the decisions that led to Windows becoming dominant, because the other competitors Windows faced in the early days were swept off the board. Apple even sued Xerox - and won.
So there's blame to go around to Apple - and yet the world would be a poorer place without them as one alternative to Windows. It's just that it would be nice if there were many alternatives to Windows.
Its funny how these flame wars always go the same way these days. But everyone forgets... or chooses to ignore.... The dollar is the one that chooses.
Mac sales are increasing each quarter and increasing as a total percent of things sold. Once you go Mac, you do not go back, is funny but basically true.
That says it all. Of people that try both systems (and are not MS developers :-) ) the Mac side grows. Why is not so important as the fact that the number GROWS. Period.
Year after year, product after product, Apple is growing.
Just a thought.
I'd say Adobe is actually the least open software company out there. Sure, they give away readers and do a decent job of giving lip-service ti the FOSS community, but try and find a single piece of actual open source that they've put out. Not API's - they do a decent job of that, but actual open source app code. None. Zip. Etc.
Now *that's* closed.
I'm a Mac user now. I used to use Windows and "tried" Linux for 3 years until I just couldn't take it anymore. Most Windows users just have no where else to go. Seriously, what percentage of Windows "switchers" go to Apple versus Linux. Is there serious marketing for Linux? No. How many times over the past 5 years have we seen articles entitled, "Is Linux finally ready for the desktop? Try distro X now!" Give me a break. I am concerned about Apple's closed policies, but I would rather put up with "Father Jobs" than "Uncle Steve."
"I would also point out that you can run Windows on a Mac, but NOT vice versa. Is that monopolistic practice?"
You can run a windows on a Mac, but only on newer Macs. (and its not running windows on the mac OS, just running it on the hardware, almost like using dual boot on pc's)
Regarding running Mac on Windows, dont you mean running Mac on a non apple pc?
Which by the way, thats not M$ fault. Thats Apples fault. The OS specifically checks to see if its running on apple hardware.
The one company that was putting out Mac OS on non apple PC's is being sued by apple.
Currently using a Mac now, and have been doing so for the past few weeks. I find that it's generally a mixed bag.
I have found, however, that it locks up a lot more than my computer at home which runs Vista, and all I really do on this thing is surf the Internet.
Also, I was trying to access a shared folder on the network that i'm connected to right now, and didn't have any luck. It worked before, but now it doesn't.
So what i'm saying is that Macs are nice, but they certainly don't "just work", and certainly not good enough to justify the premium that Apple charge for one.
Also, these MacBooks get pretty bloody hot after a while.
Mine's the flameproof jacket.
"The difference here is that Apple's package is so good and so reliable. [...] I would also point out that you can run Windows on a Mac, but NOT vice versa. Is that monopolistic practice?"
Yes, it is a monopolistic practise. However you seem to be arguing FOR Apple using that fact.
Do your research, and next time you might not destroy your own argument: The only reason that Mac can't be run on non-Mac hardware (and also not as a VM) is because Apple refuse to let you do it, and will sue the crap out of anyone who tries to make it work. Not because it makes their software better, but to protect their profit margins.
Don't get me wrong, I know MS are equally ££-minded in their own ways, and in both OSes it means their release schedules and product content have stopped being about quality and security, and more about quick, easy money printing.
As such, Apple v MS arguments will never truly get resolved. Like a Newton's Cradle, they will keep bouncing back and forth with equal and opposite force, ad infinitum...
Dare I wish for a third alternative where money wasn't an issue and security, openness and quality were the top priority? ;)
Ok so I am a long time M$ fan (open minded enough to also use Linux and Mac). Problems with Apple:-
They sell an onsite warranty then refuse to deal with problems onsite, sending out a courier to collect the Mac!!!!
Have you ever used OSX? If M$ put all the default OSX stuff in windows they would be sued for billions! Why has no one thought of this yet?
Apple do not 'allow' developers to write drivers for hardware, this is a plus and a minus as main problem with windows is very sloppy drivers, YES I MEAN YOU NVIDIA!!!!!!!
Having just got a Mac I refused to pay £150 for a 4GB ram upgrade and purchased the same memory from crucial for £40! That's a nice mark-up Apple!
£50 for a wireless keyboard!
£50 for a wireless mouse!
Ok so for the price I paid for the Mac I could have got at least three quad core AMD machines, but the Mac really really looks nice :) (And I wasn't paying)
Regarding the results of your survey. Given that Apple has (very roughly) 5% market share and Windows has over 90%, the fact that only 55% of your readers think Apple should be more open means that even a considerable number of people in the Windows camp see nothing wrong with Apple's practices.
Of course, the only really interesting number, "How many Mac users think Apple should be more open?", isn't being asked.
If I stated that I think "Cobol is language for dorks", it might provoke controversy. If I add the fact that I have never even spent as much as 5 minutes looking at how Cobol works, it will turn that statement into admitance of ignorance, nothing more.
Author Jonathan Zittrain talked earlier this year about how Apple is worse than Microsoft in many respects. It's disturbing to see that the most important computer today, the iPhone, is also the most closed and locked down.
Q: But Bill Gates has total control, doesn't he?
A: No he doesn't. That's the ironic thing. Bill Gates is Mr. Proprietary. But for my purposes, even under the standard Windows operating system from 1990, 1991, you write the code, you can hand it to somebody else and they can run it. Bill Gates has nothing to say about it. So it's funny to think that by moving in Steve Jobs's direction it actually ends up far more proprietary.
Jobs is notorious for creating a very closed ecosystem of products that include the iPod and iPhone.
Yeah, it's amazing to me how much the progress of Apple has tracked the trajectory that I'm concerned about. It was Steve Jobs who brought us the first PC in '77--totally reprogrammable, totally generative. It was Steve Jobs who then came out with the Mac that made it so much easier to use while retaining the generative quality and allowing everyone to write code for it. Now Steve Jobs is bringing us the iPhone, which in version one is completely locked down. And then in the most recent announcement Steve Jobs says, "OK, we're going to allow third-party apps, but you can't just hand an app to someone, you have to put it through the iPhone store, and we reserve the right to take a cut for every app. And if we don't like the app, we can kill it."
I am going to begin this comment by totally ignoring all of the comments by other people and addressing the article written by Dale Vile, after my brilliant commentary on his article I will allow myself to descend into the mosh pits of the Apple vs. Windows geeks and give the most thoughtful and intelligent opinion ever bestowed on mankind.
Dear Mr Vile,
in your article you state, "Meanwhile, those of us making a more objective assessment of what’s going on look at how Apple’s business is evolving and see a lot of similar traits to those that were apparent as Microsoft was gaining power."
After you make this statement you proceed with as slimy a hack-job of an anti-Apple attack piece as I have seen for many a day. Please, if you are going to write an anti-Apple add, be honest about your affiliations.
You seem to think that you are justified in your diatribe because, "21% said Microsoft was more closed, and 24% said there wasn’t anything to choose between the two, the majority, 55%, gave the prize for lack of openness to Apple." This poll is a amateurishly biased (which you even admit!) attempt at leading the public into giving you ammunition to attack apple. Why did you not give us the results of the obvious next question: "Is it a bad for a company to be closed?" Did you even think to ask the question?
Now, in your article you make several feeble attempts to explain why being closed is a bad thing. For example you make the shocking revelation that Apple is, "...trying to exploit its brand strength and the dependencies between its offerings as much as it can to extract money from us. "
Really?!?!? Apple is trying to earn money?! How evil!
Mr. Vile, I have a shocking bit of information for you, companies are almost ALWAYS set up for the sole purpose of earning money. The fact that Apple is successfully trying to earn as much money as it can, does not make it a bad company, it only makes it a successful company.
But I digress, your premiss that Apple is bad because it is a "closed company" (and be honest, that was the point of your whole article) simply does not stand up to any type of scrutiny. Being a closed company is not a bad thing. Let me draw you an analogy that, though not perfect, will explain what I mean.
Let us say that a computer's operating system = A high rise building.
and that computer programs = businesses inside the high rise.
In the Microsoft tower if a business comes in and wants to set up shop it just knocks down a few walls, and makes room for itself without regard to whether it is affecting all of the buildings around it. And, if the Microsoft tower does not have the right space configuration, the company just knocks down a few support columns and makes room. This means that the businesses (which remember represent programs) do not work well together, and that the overall structure of the tower is weak.
Now, across the street we have the Apple tower. In this building businesses must conform to building codes, and must configure their requirements to fit the structure of the tower. If the business is not willing to meet these obviously necessary requirements than it is not allowed to even enter. The result is a stable building, with businesses that work well together.
The analogy is not perfect, but it does get my point across. A closed system of business makes sense. It allows Apple to ensure that its users have a stable machine that just works. And, while it does give bad programmers headaches (or good programers who make a bad program) it is actually one of the single biggest factors in Apple's success.
Well, that is all the time I have for this topic. I must now return to my blissfully closed Apple life.
- - -
Dear Mosh-Pit Members,
Get a life!
P.S. Since my comments complete the discussion on this article, I will not be responding to your petty arguments and insults. :P
*Ah, the bliss that the anonymity of the internet brings!*
AC- I think you are missing the point, closed/proprietary is not bad in and of itself. But we are in a situation where we have 3 main choices for home computer OS:
A) a proprietary company that enjoys a overwhelming marketshare, and has tried to use that marketshare to force its customers to buy a new OS that is bloated by cutting off access to the previous OS that people liked.
B)a proprietary comany that forces its customers to buy its hardware due to a very unusual situation where the CEO of this company is an "irreplaceable" talent behind the design of company products and also happens to be an ego-maniac, so normal market driven economics is thrown out the window and the customer is forced into the company's product lock-in at every possible instance, style and status being the motivators behind doing this, which of course attracts a certain kind of customer (what the Brits would refer to as an "upperclass twit").
C)an open sourced OS that gives anyone the freedom to change anything and adapt to anything they want
gee, now which one do I want to choose? hmmm, I know a lot of people think that they feel some sort of responsibility to A and B to be loyal customers, but somehow, C seems like its a good alternative out of the mess A and B have put us in.
now Im not a free software/open source fanatic, and I dont think most people who use Linux or BSD are using it to get free (non-paying) software. But the fact that Linux and BSD are open is a major factor in breaking the monopolistic practices that proprietary software companys A and B are playing.
As someone who is using neither Appl€ nor M$ products (Linux only here), I think I can be fairly objective here -- both suck, but M$ is worse.
Apple has done a lot of good things, their work on WebKit has benefited everyone, and libmDNSResponder and the likes being open source helps too.
Microsoft, on the other hand, never releases source to anything useful, and actively tries to prevent people from writing open source software.
The criticism of Appl€ for tying OSX to Mac hardware is justified, but then, anyone who has worked on an operating system will understand the reasons -- one of the top things holding Linux, FreeBSD and the likes back is that people expect them to run on every piece of "Designed for Windows Vista" hardware, and people get angry at the OS if it doesn't support their latest toy - when instead they should be getting angry at the manufacturer of that toy for not providing drivers or documentation needed to write a driver.
Apple gets around that sort of criticism for OSX by making sure it runs only on hardware they've tested and where they know the hardware makers will support them.
"You can run a windows on a Mac, but only on newer Macs."
I refer you to SoftPC and OrangePC. The Mac OS has had software (and hardware) capable of running DOS *and* Windows since the late 80's. In fact, Mac's jump to Intel effectively killed both SoftPC and OrangePC, as they were no longer needed.
Im not buying the argument that Apple forces their customers to use their hardware to avoid driver problems, lets look at the choices they give:
a) iMac- I dont want my computer inside the monitor casing, I want to be able to choose/replace the monitor that I want.
b) Macbook and Macbook Pro- This is as close as Apple gets to selling something affordable/useful, but still too much money to spend for a laptop with a one button touchpad.
c) Mac mini- absolutely worthless, quite a lot of money for a weakling that you cant even put a graphics card in to soup up, an insult to anyones intelligence, not even a cheap monitor thrown in
d)Mac Pro- dual Xeons?? what the hell am I going to use this for? good for gaming? no, but if you need to run a server or render farm out of your house, youre set to go
There is no excuse for a line of computers like this, its simply trying to be 'different' in order to justify price mark-up. What kind of idiot will tolerate buying overpriced mis-matched hardware they dont need and accept driver compatibility as an excuse for doing so?
In the US the education environment tends to swim with mac fanboys. Despite the fact that like 5 students have them at home and the majority of businesses and even colleges run Microsoft software. (do you see where I am going with this?) I am forced to support macs on a windows based network because people just buy the crap because it's pretty.
Tell me, why on earth does it take DUAL QUADCORE XEONS to run Photoshop FOR A HIGHSCHOOL STUDENT?!!?!?
I find it uttlerly insane to pay $2500 for something that a $1000 PC could do just as well, is easier to support and doesn't do stupid things half the time.
-does anyone else find that using a mac is the most inconsistant expierience ever? you do something one way, oh gee, that doesn't work over on this one, despite being the exact same.
(only paris is stupid enough to use the damned things)