back to article Woz: Microsoft's innovation lead 'worries me greatly'

Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak worries that Microsoft may now be more innovative than the product developers at his former company. He also has a few harsh words for the management style of his fellow Cupertinian cofounder, Steve Jobs. Asked about Microsoft's innovation after he spoke at this week's TedX Brussels conference, …


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  1. This post has been deleted by its author

  2. Bob Vistakin

    The Market agrees

    Apple stock plunges again

    1. toadwarrior

      Re: The Market agrees

      And it was up on Friday. The stock market doesn't mean much.

    2. Karirunc

      Re: The Market agrees

      Halve current share price and still overvalued. Worlds largest company measured by market cap - ridiculous.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The Market agrees

        They ought to get on and buy Microsoft while they have the chance.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The Market agrees

      As you get older you slow down, think less and get more stupid.

      Yet people think as you get older you get wiser.

      Make your own mind up.

  3. albaleo

    "citing the years between Steve Jobs' exit and return, when the company focused on simply improving products rather that creating anything new"

    OK, I'm getting old and my memory is fuzzy, but in that period I recall things such as Open Doc, the Newton, Cyberdog, publish and subscribe (wasn't that cool?), taligent (whatever that was), and perhaps even a cure for cancer. I don't think there was a problem with creating. There was certainly a problem with delivering.

  4. Anonymous Coward

    In response to a leading question ..

    In response to a leading question Woz, as always, answered honestly.

    "Do you think that Microsoft now is more innovative than Apple"

    “I’ve seen more of the type of innovation where you see something and, woah, they really changed things drastically. Woah, they really aren’t going in the same direction as everyone else, meaning the iPhone and Android operating systems.

    A couple days ago I read an article where Microsoft has a machine, you speak into it in English and it comes out in Mandarin. If they’re making strides in this valuable voice-recognition area, I fear that Microsoft might have been sitting in their labs, trying to innovate, with a formula — how do we come up with new ideas, let’s not just keep doing the same things as before, just the newer versions of them.

    They might have been doing that for three years, while Apple was just used to cranking out the newest iPhone, and falling a little behind, and that worries me greatly. It worries me because I love Apple so much.”

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Apple is certainly in a rut

    That is easy to tell because every new iDevice for quite a long time has looked exactly like an iDevice. Even a good streak in industrial design eventually gets boring. Apple's iDentity strength could be its downfall.

    Microsoft, on the other hand, would have done much better to produce something that did look like a bit more of the same.

    1. Giles Jones Gold badge

      Re: Apple is certainly in a rut

      The problem seems to be an obsession with engineering and design challenges instead of thinking how they can make the end users life easier or make a given task more efficient.

      Few people really care if a phone is 8mm or 11mm thick.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Apple is certainly in a rut

        Smaller, thinner, lighter ...It is a common design obsession. Look at TVs: at least a phone is something we put in our pockets, and yes, I think people do care about 3mm, all other things being equal. It does have practical considerations, whereas 3mm of a 40" TV is irrelevant.

        I don't use Apple products, so I can't argue their efficiency. I know my iFriends are perfectly happy with their devices. Very happy, in most cases. The question is, how many generations of the same thing will they buy?

        1. Pen-y-gors

          "all other things being equal"

          - that's the key point...most sensible people put certain other features higher up the list of priorities, like, does it work? is it insanely over-priced?

        2. Lallabalalla
          Thumb Down

          Re: Apple is certainly in a rut

          3mm really isn't an issue on the thickness of an iMac, either, but they've ditched the optical drive for precisely that reason and forced the purchase of a $100 outboard peripheral without which you can no longer make a burn to HDD or make a CD or a DVD - and guess what I use my iMac for *a lot* -? - which is why I won't be getting another one when this one is due for replacement. Which is a shame, I quite like it. Hopefully it'll last a good few years yet - it's 2 years old already, I am shocked to realise - but as a longtime Windows user with microsoft at work, I think win7 is awesomely productive (no opinion on win8) and would *never* choose a mac over windows for work.

          Apple are boringly obsessed with thinner/lighter and haven't given us anything new since the iPad1.

          1. Mullerrad

            Re: Apple is certainly in a rut

            Why do you have to use apples external DVD. I bought a Phillips one for 1/3 of that a few years ago when my internal one went tits up. It works brilliantly and although almost a big as a mac mini it works flawlessly.

      2. Nuke

        @ Giles Jones - Re: Apple is certainly in a rut

        Wrote :- "Few people really care if a phone is 8mm or 11mm thick."

        They do because it is the fashion. Like you, I don't give a toss - as long as I can get in my anorak pocket.

        It gets crazier than that. I bought a large TV for home recently and half the sales shit was about how thin it was. WTF does it matter how thick a fixed LCD TV is, within reason? OK, if it is 20mm thick instead of 30mm I could view from 10mm further away - in 4 meters!

        When I was about to buy my first PC in the 1990's I first read some magazine reviews. Every started off about something called the "footprint". I read several reviews baffled what this term meant, although they liked it to be small. I thought it must be something technical. Then it dawned on me that they meant the area that the system unit took on the desk. Never mind that the monitor overhung it anyway (and they liked those big), and that the keyboard also stuck out further. But if a "footprint" was "pizza box size", the reviewers were in heaven.

        Then after a further 6 months of magazines (I continued to read them), mentions of "footprint" suddenly dissappeared, and the journos started banging on about something else, like mult-media. "Footprint" phobia had gone out of fashion.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Apple is certainly in a rut@Thad

      "Microsoft, on the other hand, would have done much better to produce something that did look like a bit more of the same."

      Well, to be fair, the bulk of Windows 8, 7 and Vista appears to me to be common code. Since the three household machines run this vile mix, I think I've done enough prowling around to know. There's some tuning to 7 to make it run more fluidly than Vista, otherwise they are near enough identical, and 8 looks like 7 with a sticking plaster application launcher (TIFKAM). Again, 8 has some performance tuning over 7, but start getting into the administrative bits and it all looks familiar (and ancient). At a guess most of the code is still Windows Server 1802, or something similar.

      Same with Office. Other than performance tuning between editions, and the ribbon (Office's TIFKAM, but a year or two premature) there's stuff all to commend upgrading. Xbox - yadda yadda.

      There's certainly a few bits they've tinkered with, but (as an Apple hater myself) I really can't see how anybody would believe that MS are doing more innovating than Apple. Admittedly Apple is beginning to look like the same old same old, and MS have temporarily gone into branded hardware (with a few problems now, dare I say, surfacing?).

      So my take: MS are not innovative, they are a mature franchise milking the cash cow. Apple, unfortunately appear to be reaching the same stage, and what Woz is seeing is simply the corporate middle age spread.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    For once Woz is right.

  7. This post has been deleted by its author

  8. Anons anon


    Ah, Woz the ultimate one hit wonder of computing.

    Why do people act as if his opinion still matters, considering the last time he did anything was 30 years ago, and he's been milking that ever since, in between posing for pictures, riding Segways and delivering any quote a journalist kind enough to remember him, is looking for...


      Re: Why?!?

      Why? Because he's actually built something. He has demonstrated an understanding of technology. He's shown that he has a clue.

      Plus he wasn't a jerk about it. He didn't engage in artistic megalomania.

      1. toadwarrior

        Re: Why?!?

        The guy that built my house not only managed to build something once but many things through out his career. Building one computer doesn't make you a genius or mean you should be listened to ages after you've done nothing with your life.

        1. h4rm0ny


          I don't know which is worse: your ignorance or your need to attack people more successful than you.

          Just go and read a bit more and learn about someone before you tell them they've "done nothing with [their] life".

          1. Nuke

            @h4rm0ny - Re: @toadwarrior

            Wrote :- "I don't know which is worse: your ignorance or your need to attack people more successful than you."

            Wow, careful h4rm0ny, you are attacking toadwarrior - but how do you know he is not more successful than you?

            So we are not allowed to criticise Obama, Cameron, Gates, Torvalds, Jimmy Saville, Hugh Heffner, Ghenghis Khan, Stalin .....?

            I think toadwarrier has a point. There are many people who succeed in doing great things but who never generate any interest, and there are others (like Woz) who become media heros and who's every utterance is made into headlines.

            1. h4rm0ny

              Re: @h4rm0ny - @toadwarrior

              "Wow, careful h4rm0ny, you are attacking toadwarrior - but how do you know he is not more successful than you?"

              Your ability to parse logic is weak. My statement assumes not that toadwarrior is more successful than me, but whether they are more successful than Woz. As Woz has founded companies, can buy his own aeroplane, contributed enormously to the development of the modern PC, gets interviewed frequently by the technical media, statistically it is extremely likely that Woz is more successful than toadwarrior.

              My own criticism of toadwarrior is not based on a need to attack those more successful than me (which you correctly point out, I don't is the case or not), but a dislike of both talking with authority about something they exhibit ignorance on and a spiteful dislike of someone who is successful.

              "So we are not allowed to criticise Obama, Cameron, Gates, Torvalds, Jimmy Saville, Hugh Heffner, Ghenghis Khan, Stalin .....?"

              Go ahead - the question is whether you are criticizing them because of your need to attack and whether you show ignorance about them at the time.

              "I think toadwarrier has a point. There are many people who succeed in doing great things but who never generate any interest, and there are others (like Woz) who become media heros and who's every utterance is made into headlines."

              toadwarrior said that "the guy who build their house" not only built one house, but then went on to build other houses. That's a rather flawed analogy for someone who, in these terms, would be rather someone who significantly developed the concept of houses and influenced how everyone else built houses. It also presumes that after "building the house", Woz then stopped work and did nothing. Rather than starting companies, doing other consulting work and teaching.

              You seem to be lambasting Woz for being the headlines and yet you think toadwarrior "has a point" when they damn him for not being in the headlines. When people created damned if you do, damned if you don't criteria for judging someone, I usually smell a need to damn that person that exists prior to actually weighing evidence.

              "and who's every utterance is made into headlines."

              That's rubbish. How many times a day do you read an interview with Woz? Or how many times a week, or month or year? I'd be surprised if you personally read more than one interview with him a year. How is that "every utterance made into headlines".

              If you personally are not interested in his opinion, that's no big deal. Plainly journalists run interviews with him because other people are. That's no cause for personal attacks by you and toadwarrior that damn him for not being Jesus. It's just the usual double-standard for when someone becomes successful. What would be a cool achievement for anyone you knew or worked with that you praised them for, becomes a damning failure for not being revolutionary in someone successful.

              Woz is just a smart and generally honest person with a lot of specialist knowledge built up over decades of experience in our field. If you resent that he gets called up and asked for opinions by younger journalists, just don't read them. Don't make really, really stupid personal attacks on them for "doing nothing with their life." If you do that to Woz, then I can only imagine you spend your entire day going out and shouting at every colleague and person on the street for "doing nothing with their life" as well.

        2. sueme2

          Re: Why?!?

          The fact is, most of the population NEVER have a good idea, ever. This is followed by the fact that there is only ONE good idea in most of the people who are capable of having a good idea. Another fact is, most good ideas come before the 25th birthday. You, dear toad, miss one salient point, the first Apple was like moving out of a cave into a cabin. Woz was not replicating some commodity hardware, he was creating the very first home computer that you could buy from a retailer, power on, and use. Nothing but a pile of dollar bills was required on your part. Being FIRST is the hard part. After that it just looks easy.

          1. Lallabalalla

            Re: Why?!?

            Correction - most of the population do have a good idea now and then. Ideas are like arseholes, everybody has one. It takes soemthing really exceptional to develop that idea, to make it work in the real world and to actually create something that works and get it out there.

          2. Vic

            Re: Why?!?

            > the first Apple was like moving out of a cave into a cabin

            "I learnt to play Stairway to Heaven when I was twleve years old. Jimmy Page didn't actually write it until he was 22. I think that says quote a lot"


            [With apologies to Vim Fuego :-) ]

          3. Nosher

            Re: Why?!?

            Shame that Apple wasn't actually the first at anything, when it came to "home computers". The Apple 1 /was/ vaguely innovative in having TV out and support for a keyboard, but it internally it was probably much like other 6502 machines around at the time (like the MOS KIM-1 - the development board). And it was still a kit - you had to provide a monitor, a keyboard, a case and a PSU yourself. The Apple II wasn't the first home computer either, being announced several months after the Commodore PET. Its other contemporary in the "1977 Trinity" - the Tandy/RadioShack TRS-80 - sold 5 times as many computers in the first four years after the Apple was released and it wasn't until Visicalc came along that the Apple started shifting units (even then being released on the Apple was more coincidence than anything).

            So enough with the Apple revisionism, please!

          4. Tom 13

            Re: he was creating the very first home computer that you could buy from a retailer

            Minor nit: not the first, maybe not even the first successful, but certainly inspirational, early, and long term successful. Apple (Woz and Job in their pre-incorporated garage) and Radio Shack-Tandy (French and Leininger) were inspired by Altair. And for all that Gates & company churned out dull boxes, I believe they were also inspired by the Altair. Interestingly, initially they were all also primarily promoters of their own versions of BASIC.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Why?!?

      "Ah, Woz the ultimate one hit wonder of computing."

      A put-me-down eh? So what does that generally make us hereabouts? The ultimate zero-hit wonders of computing who just like to knock others.

      "Why do people act as if his opinion still matters"

      I am assuming here, but would not the fact that he has achieved these heights, when we haven't, mark his opinion as more valuable than ours?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Why?!?

      Because he's not evil.

      I suppose that's also why he's on the sidelines of the industry, not in a CEO's office.


  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    All great points by Wozniak and I agree that at least recently MS are more innovative. Looking to the future though, Apple is led by an ops guy plus Sir johnny so they will probably do pretty well, although their kit is far too pricey in a failing economy. MS are more innovative, but also pricey, but their biggest failing is that they are led by a baboon called Balmer. Android although spurned on by the Evil Google, is just simply simple to use, and cheap as chips and relatively open and flexible. Over the next 5 years of austerity Android will therefore wipe the floor with the other two.

  10. sundypsx

    Woz is just a boring hardware engineer

    He did nothing significant at apple there were more smarter people designing the amigas and the nintendos at that time!!

    However he's right about microsoft and its ways!

    1. Lars Silver badge

      Re: Woz is just a boring hardware engineer

      He did most of the programming for Apple I and Apple II, machine code in those days. but this "when he "invented the personal computer," is a bit too much for me.

    2. Ramazan

      Re: smarter people designing the amigas

      Amigas didn't happen until almost 10 years after Apple I, and Nintendo still made hanafuda cards in 1976 (Nintendo began to produce electronics in 1977).

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Microsoft doesn't have a history of great innovation...

    But this time, I think Woz is right.

    Of course, the design innovation in Surface, Win 8 RT, and TIFKAM may sink them. It's certainly not my cup of tea. But continuing on with their usual incremental changes to adequate but unexciting software was just going to leave them in the slow, but inevitable death spiral they've been in for the past half-decade.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Microsoft doesn't have a history of great innovation...

      Does innovation mean they need to fuck up the desktop just to push out a mobile and a tablet operating system?

      Apple recognised they didn't need to, although the last two iterations have way too much creeping iOSisation for my taste.

      1. h4rm0ny

        Re: Microsoft doesn't have a history of great innovation...

        "Does innovation mean they need to fuck up the desktop just to push out a mobile and a tablet operating system?"

        I would ask if you've used it, but I would inevitably get the reply back "yes I have". But have you actually used it properly? Have you run it as your main OS for a few weeks? I use it with a dual monitor set up (neither are a touch screen), keyboard and a trackball and I can do everything on it as easily as I can on Win7. Sometimes more easily. Go ahead - try and objectively show me what takes more mouse movement and clicks to accomplish on Win8 than on Win7. If you manage to come up with anything that can't be rectified with 60 seconds of customization and isn't a specialist case, I'll be surprised.

        And if you repeat something about "context switching", then all I can say is that I personally don't get confused at all by having a Start Screen instead of a Start menu and I don't believe I'm especially smarter than the average person.

        1. Wade Burchette

          Re: Microsoft doesn't have a history of great innovation...

          "Go ahead - try and objectively show me what takes more mouse movement and clicks to accomplish on Win8 than on Win7."

          Try this on Windows 8: type "system restore" and tell me if "System Restore" appears in the search results. Type "uninstall" and tell me if you get "Uninstall a program" in the search results. I also tried typing "programs and features". That is two right there.

          However, I will admit this, my copy of Windows 8 is the TechNet copy which is actually a crippled version of Windows 8. Try it for yourself and let me know if your version brings up these things. I'm willing to admit that my TechNet crippled Windows 8 might be souring my opinion of it.

          1. h4rm0ny

            Re: Microsoft doesn't have a history of great innovation...

            "Try this on Windows 8: type "system restore" and tell me if "System Restore" appears in the search results. Type "uninstall" and tell me if you get "Uninstall a program" in the search results. I also tried typing "programs and features". That is two right there."

            If you want to uninstall a program (Desktop or Metro), you can just right-click on the program in the Start Screen and select Uninstall. It's basically a two-click operation. Alternately, you can still access this under control panel which is where it was in Windows 7.

            System Restore is a new one on me - it certainly fails my criteria for common use and if you use this so often that you mind about the number of clicks it takes is a factor, I'd suggest a different OS such as a Spectrum with a ROM chip. But on Win8, you just click on the Charms bar and go to Settings->Change PC Settings. Under "General" there are two options offered: "Refresh Your PC Without Affecting Your Files" and "Reinstall Windows". There's a little explanation under each stating the effect of what they do. E.g. the second one states this returns it to a factory state if you want to recycle your PC or start over from scratch.

            So including opening the Charms menu and clicking on the final choice, (everything other than "Ok / Confirm" basically, it's four mouse clicks. How is it done on Win7 (I've never done it).

            How is a System Restore

            1. h4rm0ny

              Re: Microsoft doesn't have a history of great innovation...

              Wow! Two down votes already from people who dislike being told how to uninstall a program on Windows 8 or how to do a system restore on it. People who down voted that should ask themselves if they think it's okay to vote down actual facts just because it makes someone or something they don't like sound easy. Apparently some people think bias is okay, so long as it's bias toward the thing that you like.

          2. El Andy

            Re: Microsoft doesn't have a history of great innovation...

            Control panel settings like those appear under Settings in search as opposed to Programs (which the Start search defaults to). Note the Win 7 Start Menu also separated those, but due to space constraints meant you never got more than the top 3 results in any category, in that respect the Start Screen makes finding things a lot easier.

          3. David Linsley

            Re: Microsoft doesn't have a history of great innovation...

            On the Start screen type "uninstall" or "system restore" and on the right hand side next to "Settings" you'll see a non-zero number. Click Settings and it'll show you all the matches. Basically it only shows you apps by default, but all matches can be seen on the right.

        2. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Re: Microsoft doesn't have a history of great innovation...

          Take this or this as average people. That to me is a fucked up desktop.

          Now multiply training costs across enterprises. Windows 8 is the version to miss.

          1. h4rm0ny

            Re: Microsoft doesn't have a history of great innovation...

            I notice that the first link has 17th March on the Lock Screen. That means she is using the Developer Preview. That Lock Screen that she was having trouble with at the start is different now. The moment she had clicked on it, it would have rolled up to show the option for entering your password the moment she clicked anywhere, which is what she did right away.

            She is also able to get into email immediately on being asked. She's only flummoxed in two places that I can see - it takes her a minute to work out how to close the email program and it takes her a while to work out how to get onto the Internet because - and I quote from the video poster's comment, she didn't recognize the Internet Explorer icon because she has never used Internet Explorer before, only Firefox and Chrome.

            Actually, she seemed pretty intelligent to me. I also quote that her first comment on reaching the Start Screen is "I like how they done all this." And the other link is that same old one of someone's father that's been doing the rounds. In both cases, the user would have been able to manage fine if someone had just told them about clicking on corners and the sides of the screen. Something that is pretty easy to communicate.

            Maybe you also shouldn't be assessing usability based on people trying out the early developer preview where things that were giving them problems no longer apply.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Microsoft doesn't have a history of great innovation...

        "Apple recognised they didn't need to, although the last two iterations have way too much creeping iOSisation for my taste."

        What we're witnessing here is the rise of the appliance - it's unstoppable. At the risk of doing same old same old, another car analogy works.

        We're now in the position where the home grown brands (Windows) that frustrate are still supreme but more and more people are taking about how their japanese cars (OSX-IOS) don't stuggle starting in the morning and aren't forever breaking down. Away from this mass market there's a really health tuning/custom/kit car market (Linux) for those petrol heads who want to tinker and enjoy their vehicle for it's own sake rather than to ferry the kids around safely and quickly.

        If it plays out we'll see Microsoft respond like GM and Ford did (and Rover didn't) and we'll all be happier in the end, but also we'll see fewer opportunities to tinker in those two marketplaces, which will then naturally retrench in to the Linux sphere.

        Android? Probably Kia/Proton - Cheap/cheerful/does the job ;-)

    2. M Gale

      Re: adequate but unexciting software

      Adequate but unexciting is what I want. I do not want to turn my computer on and go "woah, holy shit! What have they done THIS time?"

      It doesn't matter if WIndows 8 is faster, leaner or meaner under the hood. My desktop is not a phone. They've given birth to a supermodel, then taken it out back and smashed its face in with a brick. If I want TIFKAM, I'll buy an Xbox. You know, a toy.

      Until then, that abomination sits in a VM jail where it belongs and gets used so that I can say I've used it. Everything else uses a halfway-sane desktop interface.

  12. Old Handle

    It's true that Windows 8 was "unexpected", but I'm not so sure it follows that Apple needs to worry yet.

  13. Earl Jones Of Potatoes

    without apple

    Although Woz has my respect, i think no one would know who he is today if Steve Jobs wasn't in the picture.

    Where was Woz when apple was nearly bankrupt in 1997 ? He was probably still happy to collect his monthly apple cheque but has he really contributed to the rebirth of apple? The answer is no. Everyone is talking today mr Woz and most talking like the one you're making has a cheap after taste.

    1. h4rm0ny

      Re: without apple

      "Where was Woz when apple was nearly bankrupt in 1997 ? He was probably still happy to collect his monthly apple cheque but has he really contributed to the rebirth of apple? The answer is no."

      Woz had basically left Apple as a full employee by that point. According to Wikipedia, in 1997 Woz seems to have been running his own company whilst getting a degree and teaching fifth-grade students. I mean yes, you may condemn him for not meeting the goals of helping restore Apple to glory, but would Woz agree with you that those were his goals at the time?

  14. Dana W

    Flash! Fat guy who hasn't worked in thirty years declares Microsoft "innovative"

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Roger Irrelevant Writes...

    Yesterday morning on Radio 4 they ran a feature on how the Polish economy has benefitted from EU money, since the fall of Communism. They visited a factory which exports apples [the fruit kind] all over Europe and spoke to the CEO... a Mr. Wozniak.

    I remember thinking at the time what a shame it was that I couldn't share the joy of this amazing coincidence with anyone else sad enough to appreciate it. So thank you [the real] Woz and El Reg for providing the tenuous excuse I needed.

    In other irrelevant news: also yesterday I had my first sighting of WinPho 8 in the wild. Some woman on the bus was moving garish coloured tiles about on the screen of her phone. Of course, she might have been playing Tetris but the look of "how the hell do I...?" on her face suggested she was wrestling with a GUI.

    1. Mike H.

      Re: Roger Irrelevant Writes...

      However, it may have been her very first Smartphone?

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: Roger Irrelevant Writes...

        No, it was her nth featurephone.

      2. hplasm

        Re: Roger Irrelevant Writes...

        You mean "My Very First Smartphone"

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Woz is stupid

    The guy hasn't done anything for decades and now he thinks people care about his opinion? Get a job fatty.

    That or fuck off to Australia like you wanted to. Then you can get lost in the outback and we can live without the little nuggets of stupid.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Woz is stupid

      Ironic that an obvious, stroppy schoolboy tells someone to get a job...

  17. 0_Flybert_0

    one must admire woz

    for his bravery in doing Dancing With The Stars

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    One had drive, the other didn't

    I respect Woz, but it's clear Jobs had the vision and drive - and probably would've succeeded without Woz.

    As for Microsoft and innovation, I guess it's all about nurture - clearly the big tech titans hire the best talent and it is from this talent where innovation arises. The important trick is to nurture that talent and take a gamble, rather than playing it safe.

    That's what Apple did - they took risks. They hired the brightest talent, but more importantly, nurtured it.

    Jobs was also ruthless in his pursuit of his vision - if you didn't make the grade, you went.

    Lets not be naive about this - the same happens with all tech companies - it's the way Jobs did the hiring and firing that's gone down in legend.

    Make no mistake, Microsoft have the talent and have had the talent to produce wonders, they just need to take more risks and nurture that talent. Both Apple and Microsoft had been working away developing touch tech long before Apple took the plunge with the iPhone - and that's where the difference lay. Risk - and spotting a gap in the market.

  19. John Savard

    Windows 8

    Windows 8 is really innovative and different. An acquaintance of mine who had troubles with Android phones really liked it on his Nokia. But, of course, on the PC, it hasn't been quite so well received.

    Perhaps this is what's making Microsoft look more innovative? If so, Apple has little to fear; innovations need to be actually useful to someone to be worthwhile.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Cognitive dissonance

    "Microsoft"... "innovative"..."Microsoft"... "innovative"...

    No, it just doesn't work for me. Other similar conjunctions:

    "Whale"... "needlework"...

    "Alastair Campbell"... "sensitivity"

    "New York"... "caring"

    "Man Versus Food"... "vegetarian"

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Cognitive dissonance

      You forgot...

      "Tom Welsh"... "constructive argument"

  21. RonWheeler




    SQL server


    Xbox / Kinect

    Windows Live / Skydrive



    Desktop Windows

    Server operating system )file / print, AD etc etc etc)

    HyperV virtualisation





    iPhone plus slightly bigger iphone

    Apple TV

    To me, MS invent and update way more stuff then Apple, at least in terms of sheer breadth of scope. Apple simply need a slight shift in the waves of consumer fashion for their empire to evaporate, MS have a much more diverse portfolio, even if it isn't as trendy.

    1. 0_Flybert_0

      Re: Compare

      that would be .NET << innovation by using CAPS to distinguish from the TLD .net

    2. Ramazan

      Re: Compare

      That was supposed to be a list of innovations, not products (well, Kinect is innovative, but others weren't invented or first implemented by Microsoft).

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Compare

      Thing is pretty much everything in the windows list is following markets while the main things in the apple side are creating entire markets.

      Some of these they became emergant in the market (becouse the predecessor was expensive / rubbish / not fit for purpose) , if you look at it Microsoft hasn't really ever innovated simply looked at what was there and make something similar.

      Exchange - was chasing Domino and traditional linux systems

      Sharepoint - chasing the cms crowd.

      SQL Server - chasing Oracle and IBM

      XBox - Chasing PS2

      Kinect - Chasing the Wii

      Windows live - Chasing AIM and yahoo messenger

      Skydrive - Chasing google and dropbox

      Bing - chasing google

      .net - chasing Java

      - I'll give it windows Desktop, Server space.

      HyperV - chasing Vmware

      Only a very small number of people wanted smart phones until the iphone.

      Until ipad almost nobody wanted a tablet.

      By extension touch OS - these had no purpose until Apple created the markets.

      Until iTunes came along nobody had managed to make a lot of money legally out of digital distribution of music.

      Changing itself into a consumer electronic company that happened to have a software department.

      You also failed to put in ios which runs a number of other devices and the os that runs things like the nano.

      The problem for apple now is where can it go next, it'll never control market share of the user base (but will normally control the market share of users willing to spend money.) I doubt TV will bring anything new and interesting unless they can do with film and TV companies what they did with music and book companies.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The word is Innovation, look it up

    It doesn't mean making crapware and trying to convince people to buy and use your crapware, it means developing useful products and services that people want, will use and will pay for. Microsucks wouldn't know innovation if you bought them a dictionary with the word "innovation" highlighted in gold leaf.

    As far as Tim Cook is concerned I think he should donate his $700 million in annual compensation to the million slaves at Foxconn. Seven hundred million USD doesn't go as far as it use to, but I'll bet it could improve the lives of the million slaves at Foxconn, many of whom actually produce Bad Apple products. Tim would only need to skimp by for one year on his current $700 million vs. the slaves who have been dirt poor since forever.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The word is Innovation, look it up

      Nor does it mean taking something and making it look different. Or pretty.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The word is Innovation, look it up

        The clueless buy "pretty". Have you seen the pretty boxes that consumer PC power supplies, mobos, HSFs, etc. come in these days? The 13 year old hormone crazed little boys can't get enough T&A pictures on their GPU cards so now they are included on the hardware packages along with plastic carrying handles. Evidently these 13 year old boys carry their mobos to school to show their friends what Mummy just bought them? The real question is where do they store their PC toys in school and does Mummy know about their Laro Croft T&A poster, aka Angelina Jolie?

  23. Unicornpiss


    Is the most innovative thing to come down the pike from any technology company lately. The only things that have made Apple stand out from MS in the past IMHO are their innovative marketing, sleek design, and painstakingly debugged user interface, iTunes not withstanding. Now, I truly believe they're slipping and have lost sight of why the average Joe bought Apple products in the past--the "it just works" phenomenon. Dropping Google Maps for their in-house created turd of an application out of spite is a good example.

    I am not an Apple fanboi, quite the opposite. I will give up my Android phone when it's pried out of my cold dead hand. (well, unless the new Windows phones prove worthy at least) The iStuff phenomenon "ooh shiny!" has managed to infect the brass at the company where I do IT. Our Blackberry devices were phased out this year in favor of iPhones and (pointless) iPads. While Blackberry let the world pass them by, and their horrid OS and crippled browser used to make me want to skip the device across the nearest pond, I will grudgingly admit that they did a few things really well: email, telephone, and texting. Great battery life too. Or what you use a business device for 90% of the time. With our new iWonders, we have to reset the phones often, reload the software for email integration, and deal with a litany of other complaints. Personally Apple's awful (compared to Blackberry and Android) on-screen keyboard makes me want to cry in frustration when setting these up. I will say the hardware has at least been more reliable than RIM's.

    As far as Woz goes, while he didn't "invent the personal computer", his comments seem to be to the point, even if not solicited by most. Woz likely would have been a brilliant but forgotten engineer at some tech company without Steve Jobs, and Jobs would have likely been a douchebag exec at some lackluster, soul-killing finance company without Woz.

    1. Ramazan

      Re: Kinect

      Well, several years ago a friend of mine was astonished when he tried two-fingers-swipe-to-scroll on a MacBook. This is one very small innovation but it's incredibly useful, when compared to old Asus/Acer/Samsung/worl&dog approach (right side of touchpad as scroll area).

      1. M Gale

        Re: Kinect

        Speak for yourself. I found myself more confused than impressed by two-finger scrolling, especially when it goes off when you don't want it to.

        That said I like to turn most of the "clever" off in software anyway. Mouse taps are what mouse buttons are for, FFS. The whole pad does not need to be a button!

  24. Boris S.

    What a joke

    I think they hire Woz to speak now days for the entertainment factor and to show how removed he is from reality.

  25. Dana W

    Seriously, the whole OS as religion thing has got to go. It makes more forum fun admittedly. But now its just slams and insults to anyone who won't tow the majority line no matter which party the majority is.

    I enjoy a good argument and a spirited troll as much as anyone else, but there is no "one true faith" in tech. Its just getting silly, and as futile as arguing with baptists.

  26. Nanners


    is the WOZ smoking these days? I think what he must really mean to say is that ... Windows 8, windows phone, and the surface are such bombs; microsoft MUST be doing any really interesting stuff behind closed doors ... as vaporware. By the way, I waited as long as I could for anybody to put out something worth my money and useful to me, I just bought a spanking new macbookpro.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: WTF

      He's the Freak Factor used to appear intellectual.

  27. Charles Manning


    "Until Steve Jobs came back, that's what we were doing. We just had a formula for making money, and we kept running it, making the same machines."

    Woz had left Apple in 1987 - 9 years before Steve's return in 1996. He was hardly part of "we".

    While I fully respect what Woz achieved, his more recent soapboxing is not really that useful. Se seems to have got caught up in his own self importance and now belongs with , Eric Raymond, Steven Fry and Dotcom as noises best ignored.

  28. Matthew 17

    Innovation is overrated

    New technology, ideas and interfaces are all well and good if they're an improvement over what was there before. The iPhone for example was a game changer as nothing was really comparable to it before, now everything looks like an iPhone. Sure there are alternatives that have flashy graphics and a bagillion features but so what, I like the Mac/OSX interface on the desktop and the iOS interface on the iPhone, it's easy to use, sober and works. I never feel like these interfaces are getting in the way of what I'm trying to do. If Apple decide to be 'innovative' and replace the whole interface for something new then I've got to learn how to use it, try and get my apps and data to work with it and then suffer the transition period where bugs are fixed and software is adapted and updated to work, only to get me to the point I was before. The transition from OS9 to OSX was long, the transition from OSX-PPC to OSX-Intel was smoother but there were plenty of apps that got lost along the way. If Apple decide that OSX is old and need to 'innovate' again with OSXI then the whole upheaval starts again, but for what benefit?

    Yes Microsoft have been 'bold' and 'innovative' to scrap the interface they've used since NT3, that everyone knows how to use, has software that works and isn't a bottleneck. So now I have to learn how to do what I could do before, learn how to get on with the new OS and have the upheaval of trying to get everything to work and as well as before. It's new, but why is it better?

    If every time a new car came out it had a completely new interface it wouldn't be regarded as innovative or forward thinking, so why is it so for a computer device?

    Software developers are under pressure to invent new n shiny, Apple have had a more than its fair share of innovative products that changed the way people use computers, hats off to them, but to be essentially forced to continually abandon what works, and works well, just to be new and different for me is just counter intuitive.

  29. Wil Palen


    Instead of innovating, they're actively stifling innovation.

    As long as Apple 'innovates' by patenting stuff like this

    .. and claiming they came up with it, they'll be on my sh!tlist

  30. envmod

    Woz for CEO

    With no Jobs, Woz is the next best thing.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Woz for CEO

      He'd trash the company in a year. The guys got no business sense.

  31. attoman

    Woz is a real mensch, and sweet person....but neither Steve nor Apple invented the Personal Computer

    Of course that has not stopped the Apple history rewriters from trying to assert this unacceptable lie.

    It's too bad since the truth is actually even better then the lie. The truth is that the Steve's made a product that for it's day was focused on the everyday person rather then a computer literate clientele.

    And the biggest, most important truth that the combination of Apple II and Visicalc MADE A TURN KEY SOLUTION< AND IT MADE APPLE"S FORTUNE. Too bad Visicalc got screwed but then no one said Jobs wasn't greedy.

    What I find amazing is that no one wants to give credit for the first desk top graphics PC which was being shipped before Apple was formed as a company. This million point display complete computer with integrated display, keyboard, digital tape drive, and ROM packs included a RS232C or high speed GPIB bus also was combined with one of if not the first PC board, and Mechanical design software applications years before autocad existed. The magic turnkey solution included a 48 inch digital roll plotter and small flatbed plotter (to prototype PCBs up to 8 inches). Could not sell enough of them in 1978 so the plotter company bought out the little Berkeley start-up and history was then written by autocad.

    The Graphics computer Tektronix, the software company iCorp. iCorp also had a touch screen, touch pad pointing product it called the joypad or ipad which it tried to sell to the major pointing device user of the day Atari and all the small little start-ups, kentucky fried computers, and many others including a LATE comer named Apple. The guy in the front part of the little store front Steve Jobs said that he and his partner could not see any real use for such a pointing device or why anyone would need more then the character graphics offered by Apple that very day. Anyway, said Steve, their customers could always buy a real joystick.

    So let's get it straight there was a visionary at Apple his name is Alan Kay and he left a long time ago.

    Jobs could drive a mean team to completion in a mean way.

    Woz is a great guy not a visionary then or now. However in no way am I saying he could not prove me wrong tomorrow and I really hope he does.

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