Things Are Different Now

by Derrick Story

My boss, Tim O'Reilly said an interesting thing today. "A while back, our company paid a lot of bills by writing about the X Window System. But today, that subject is a small percentage of our income. Things are different now. And to survive, we have to be different with them."



Tim wasn't talking about Apple, digital music, or the announcements on Sept. 7 at Moscone West in San Francisco. Yet it all applies.



Regardless of what Steve Jobs announces, we'll hear comments that Apple is relying too much on the digital music phenomenon. It is courting eventual disaster. When the whole house of downloads collapses, so will Apple. The implication being that unless Cupertino bolsters its computer market share and "gets back to basics," the party is doomed.



Personally, I disagree. I think things are different now. And the news revealed on Sept. 7 is another indicator that Apple isn't just thinking different, it's being different. And what that really is... is being smart.


5 Comments

umijin
2005-09-07 01:02:58
Not so different...
Well, from my perspective if Apple doesn't get off it's collective BUTT and put out some decent computing hardware - I could care less about the music/entertainment fluff.


I've been using Macs as my sole computing platform since 1988 and I've had it with the misguided focus.


Yeah - Apple can use the iPod and related stuff to attract new customers to its platform. I don't mind that. But if they can't get their hardware up to par with the rest of the world (specifically portables), they may find their orginal base has left. Linux is looking pretty good at times.


I also think most consumers will figure out that fluff doesn't get real work completed in the long run.

msporleder
2005-09-07 06:05:05
Not so different...
I've found that most of my friends (and myself) who previously ditched windows for a *nix on our laptops moved very quickly to the mac. I recently starting using a *nix desktop again and was sorely missing my mac.


It takes quite a pc to properly power kde, and safari is better than konqueror or firefox (especially on linux, where it's especially slow, in my opinion).


And, by the way, you don't know software woes until you've tried to rely exclusively on red hat to provide for you. :)


But anyway, good luck. Try running *nix on your powerbook and see how you like it. Good luck.

StevenHatfield
2005-09-07 06:07:00
umijin: Linux
I took pride in building his own machines from the hardware stack up through the software stack right to the desktop. Linux was the weapon of choice, because no other platform allowed you to have so much control over your machine.


The problem is, I was never done. There was always some kernel tweak that needed to be compiled, or I couldn't get the UI to look just like I wanted it to look. So I was on this never ending treadmill of tweak/compile, tweak/compile, tweak some more. This may sound OC, but it's really not -- I know many Linux users who do this same thing... and it seems that it's just "because you can".


Then I bought a Macintosh and I haven't needed to look back since. My days of tweak/compile are over, and my days of actually getting some work done and enjoying the user experience are thriving.


So Apple doesn't build the biggest/baddest machine on the planet... so what? If it's bragging rights you are looking for, you ought not be in the computing world -- because every other guy you meet has a bigger/badder machine than yours, because yours happens to be more than 3 weeks old!


I use a Dell (both high end laptop and workstation) at my job, and a G5(2x2) at home. I'll take the G5 any day, even if it doesn't top my workstation at work. The OS X UI and workflow top Windows or Linux any day.

DanCoulter
2005-09-07 08:21:41
Wait a second...
The author of this post said that "the news revealed on Sept. 7 is another indicator that Apple isn't just thinking different, it's being different." That strikes me as a bit odd, seeing as this post was written on September 6th. Even as I write this comment, there isn't anything but speculation and rumor about the announcement. Unless Derrick knows something that I don't, I think this is an example of how blindly loyal Mac users can be. Now, I'm not saying that there's nothing good or cool about Apple's products, I'm just saying that you don't know what they're going to do next and they certainly are not infallible. Steve Jobs isn't the Pope, after all...well, not yet.
umijin
2005-09-08 09:48:30
Not so different...
*nix on my G4 PB? Didn't say that.


I'd just like a laptop that has a smaller form factor and better screeen (like we see in the PC world) and a chip that keeps up with the consumer desktop line. Maybe the intel shift will do that, but this is two years late.


BTW, I still can't understand how Tiger CRAWLS on my 1.33Ghz G4 PB w/512MB RAM and causes apps to crash and spinning beachballs galore. That's not OS evolution in my opinion.


My old TiBook running Panther at 400Mhz runs circles around my new machine. And I'm not the only person reporting such problems.