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Paul Thurrott calls Apple “the Bad Guys” of Microsoft’s $300 Million Ads

Daniel Eran Dilger
While praising Microsoft’s new $300 million ad campaign, Paul Thurrott, a Windows Enthusiast who regularly complains about any criticism of Microsoft’s questionable business practices and its shoddy product quality and who portrays himself as an unbiased user of Apple products to court the favor of his readers, has called Apple “the bad guys” in exposing Vista’s flaws.

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Thurrott was commenting on an email from Microsoft’s senior vice president Bill Veghte to the company’s employees, introducing its new $300 million ad campaign to “reintroduce Microsoft to viewers.”

“I’m glad Microsoft is finally telling its own story,” Thurrott wrote. “The bad guys have owned this conversation for too long.”

Who Are The Bad Guys?

Was Thurrott addressing the US Department of Justice, who convinced the US District Court to convict Microsoft as a monopolist obstructing competition? Was he defending Microsoft from “bad guy” complaints raised by a number of US states which successfully presented a case that the company was cheating customers? Were the “bad guys” European Union regulators who insisted Microsoft not use Windows as a way to force PC makers to bundle Windows Media Player? Or how about Iowa, which sued Microsoft for falsely advertising that PCs that could not really not run Vista were “Vista capable”?

No, the “bad guys” were Apple and its users, which Thurrott also referred to as the “iCabal.” A cabal is a sinister secret society. Wikipedia says the word’s usage “carries strong connotations of shadowy corners, back rooms and insidious influence; a cabal is more evil and selective than, say, a faction, which is simply selfish. Because of this negative connotation, few organizations use the term to refer to themselves or their internal subdivisions.”

Wikipedia also noted that Lawrence Wilkerson, US Secretary of State Colin Powell’s chief of staff, “claimed the Bush administration’s foreign policy is run by a ”Cheney-Rumsfeld cabal,“ implying a sinister intent.” Why is Thurrott portraying Apple and Mac users an evil shadowy group using intrigue to assert an insidious influence over the rest of the world?

WWDC Secrets Paul Thurrott Hopes You Miss
Paul Thurrott’s Merciless Attack on Artie MacStrawman

Good Guys vs Bad Guys.

Thurrott is attacking Apple and Mac users (“They’re bad people,” he wrote, “They’re people who lie and lie and lie, and the fanatics just suck it up.”) because Apple’s “Get a Mac” ads have played on the fact that Windows Vista is plagued with problems from being slow to not working with a lot of users’ existing hardware and software to not delivering the same level of real world security for users as Mac OS X Leopard.

However, Apple’s ads reference problems that users and even many Microsoft-supporting reviewers have regularly noted. Does it make one a “bad person” to point out the truth, even when the truth isn’t flattering?

Is Steve Ballmer a “bad person” for saying Apple’s market share is less than Microsoft’s, or is it only really bad when he lies about Zune market share or misrepresents Windows Mobile’s market share as being far higher than it ever was or will be?

 Wp-Content Uploads 2007 12 200712131928-3

Market Share Myth 2007: iPod vs Zune and Mac vs PC
Canalys, Symbian: Apple iPhone Already Leads Windows Mobile in US Market Share, Q3 2007

Thuggery Skulduggery Crock.
The real secret behind-the-scenes maneuvering in the tech world comes from Microsoft, which has ghost written a blizzard of white papers and surveys that attempt to point out that users are simply wrong and that Vista’s problems are the fault of those pointing them out, and that free software costs more than expensive software, and that Vista PCs with a reduced security crisis are less vulnerable than Macs with no security crisis.

Microsoft sure played up the idea that some security outfits have counted “more vulnerabilities” in Leopard than Vista, without noting that Leopard’s counts include large libraries of open source software while Vista’s counts not only exclude a tally of vulnerabilities related to Microsoft’s equivalent code, but that vulnerability discovery in Windows is also constrained by Microsoft’s closed development model. Researchers have greater access to discover flaws the iPhone’s OS software than to Windows’ code. Don’t “bad guys” present false facts that contradict reality in an effort to hide the truth?

Mac Shot First: 10 Reasons Why CanSecWest Targets Apple

The Mojave Experiment similarly denied the Vista holocaust by presenting that users who had heard of Vista’s problems could be hoodwinked into thinking that Vista was actually great just by being given a brief, controlled demonstration that carefully avoided any performance comparisons with other operating systems and any exposure to the wide variety of PC hardware and software that Vista can’t properly support. Does Microsoft’s capacity to temporarily fool users into thinking that there’s not any problems with its products mean there are no problems, or does it just make the company look bad?

Microsoft’s Mojave Attempts to Wet Vista’s Desert
Microsoft’s Mojave Experiment Exposes Serious Vista Problems

If Mojave’s false pretense sounds like “bad guy” behavior, it’s nothing in comparison to the astroturf (fake grassroots populist efforts) Microsoft paid Ralph Reed to orchestrate during the monopoly trial, where supposedly upset citizens, some of whom were actually dead, filed complaints with the DoJ on Microsoft’s behalf.

And what about the professional looking woman that Microsoft presented as a real life “Mac to PC convert,” only to later admit that the “person” had been constructed by professionally written ad copy paired with stock photography?

Zune Astroturf

iPod vs Zune: Microsoft’s Slippery Astroturf

Microsoft is also tasked with ensuring that all of the Wikipedia articles related to its products are stripped of significant criticism and any pestilent, unflattering facts. While Apple product pages are dominated by a discussion of petty or imagined criticisms, Microsoft’s have frequently spun serious criticism off into separate articles that Microsoft’s Wikipedians do their best to hide.

The judge presiding over the monopoly trial wrote that Microsoft’s executives “proved, time and time again, to be inaccurate, misleading, evasive, and transparently false. […] Microsoft is a company with an institutional disdain for both the truth and for rules of law that lesser entities must respect. It is also a company whose senior management is not averse to offering specious testimony to support spurious defenses to claims of its wrongdoing.”

Minnesota Attorney General Mike Hatch called Microsoft’s astroturf campaign “sleazy,” saying, “This is not a company that appears to be bothered by ethical boundaries.”

Thurrott’s Fiery Campaign Against Apple.

Clearly, Thurrott’s task of portraying Microsoft as good and Apple as evil is not an easy one. A lot of desperate reaching is required, as is a lot of selective omission of facts.

Thurrott has recently complained mightily that Apple’s MobileMe does not support syncing with Vista’s Windows Calendar (which also unsupported by Microsoft’s own Windows Mobile devices), demanded that Apple somehow fix problems in Outlook and Exchange Server that affect iPhone users (issues only Microsoft can fix), and at one point said that Apple’s share of the market with the iPod was only 14% while talking about the Zune having around 10% (of different markets of course; the iPod was thrown in with every phone on Earth that could play MP3s, while the Zune was only compared against US models of identical capacity).

However, I could find no comment from Thurrott discussing the fact that Microsoft deceptively changed its RAM reporting starting with Windows XP SP2 (and including Vista) to only show the amount of RAM installed, rather than the amount of usable RAM (colluding with PC makers to hide their fraudulent efforts to sell PC users RAM that Windows can’t even use). I also failed to find any mention of Thurrott calling Microsoft to task for its refusal to support most of its products on the Mac or Linux platforms.

64-bit PC swindle

Road to Mac OS X Snow Leopard: 64-bits, Santa Rosa, and the great PC swindle

Why all the hypocrisy, false comparisons, scapegoating, statistical fallacy, incomplete stories, emotionalist rhetoric, and the overall unhealthy preoccupation with Apple that makes “Apple” and “iPhone” the same size in his Windows blog tag cloud as “Vista” and “Xbox 360” and far larger than more embarrassing topics such as “Zune,” “Windows Media,” “Windows Mobile,” and “x64”?

If Thurrott has so much indignation about “people who lie and lie and lie,” why is he so dishonest and false in his own efforts to advocate Windows, efforts which regularly drip with clearly intentional misinformation and are frequently presented online without any comment mechanism for readers to dispute them?

Thurrott certainly has the right to dislike and criticize Apple, but why does he also present himself as a satisfied Apple customer, a long time subscriber to .Mac/MobileMe, and someone who switched from WMP to iTunes and from Windows Mobile to the iPhone if Apple is supposedly so Evil?

This kind of jaw dropping hypocrisy is like Sarah Palin talking about ‘standing up against earmarks’ after claiming $27 million for her town of 7,000 people and then presiding over $197.8 million of earmarks in two years as Alaska’s governor. If you like earmarks, be proud of it, but don’t lie and say you don’t when the record makes it clear you do.

Thurrott portrays a critical need to stop Apple’s supposedly nefarious plot to encourage users to upgrade to a modern operating system running on higher quality hardware. Why? Can’t the market properly decide what to vote for with its dollars without Thurrott’s desperate attempts the spin attention away from the truth?

Next: Gates, Seinfeld and the $300 Million Ad to Nowhere.
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  • shadash

    You have me convinced that Thurrott and his ilk misrepresent the truth. But you can’t use terms like “Holocaust” to compare Vista to the systematic destruction of 11 million people. Nowhere on wikipedia’s disambiguation site for “holocaust” is Vista on there, but there is plenty on genocides throughout history. Don’t criticize Windows Enthusiasts for using silly terms and then turn around and do the same thing.

  • http://www.roughlydrafted.com danieleran

    It would be a bit over the top to call Vista “The Holocaust,” but the article refers to “denial of the Vista Holocaust.” It’s not representing Vista as a disaster on the order of killing millions, but rather the absurdity of insisting that significant disastrous events did not take place and that there was nothing to learn from them.

  • PerGrenerfors

    I agree with shadash. The holocaust part isn’t very classy. You should replace it with “revisionism” or similar.

    BTW, I the picture of Thurrot as a Fox newsreader made my day. Very funny!

  • Wolfgang

    I also have to agree with shadash and PerGrenerfors. Your explanation for using this word is not obvious at all while reading the article. My first thought was indeed “now he’s at the same level as Thurrot”.

  • Jon T

    What. There’s a Microsoft Mafia?


    Actually, I think the Windows Mafia like Thurrott are feeling more isolated. Some have moderated their tone. This latest smacks of desperation. We know the rats fight harder when the backs are against the world.

    But, like the rats on the proverbial sinking ship, they will be overcome by the tide…

    I’d also prefer not to see the Holocaust reference.

  • Pingback: Paul Thurrott calls Apple “the Bad Guys” of Microsoft’s $300 Million Ads « Recycleosphere()

  • dicklacara


    An interesting read, but why diminish it with presidential politics?

  • blacktalonz

    Daniel has permanently ruined his blog with these incessant political attacks. It is absolutely driving readers away. Don’t believe me? Go through his archives and see for yourself. He used to get many many responses and comments for his articles. You can physically see the comments, inferring a lower readership, after his political bashing.

    Now the only people commenting positively are the same 10-12 people who happen to agree with his liberal idiotology. It is a shame, but how can you trust Daniel’s reasoning when he resorts to even baser tactics and motives than even the very people he is lambasting?

    RoughlyDrafted used to be an excellent technical blog, but I would rather read Paul Thurrott (and he can quote me) than any more of Daniel Eran Dilger’s RoughlyShafted crap. It seems that ever since Daniel’s European vacation his writing has fallen into the National Lampoon category. It’s not even funny anymore.

  • serpicolugnut

    I usually like reading RDM, but come on Daniel. You could have easily discounted Thurrott without interjecting politics. Not all Mac afficianados are leftist Democrats. I just dumped reading Gruber because of his siccophantic Democratic diatribes, I’d hate to drop you as well.

    And the holocaust comment was extremely insulting. It was something I’d expect of Thurrott, not you.

    Watch it – you’re one step away from joining Gruber in being de-bookmarked.

  • LuisDias

    I’d have to agree with serpi, Daniel. Although I’m a foreigner and I even like the democrats more than the reps, I can recognize the cheap shots. Not that you don’t have a point though, that Palin is scary and deceitful, but that’s beyond’s RD’s point, I guess. The problem is that you are importing a different kind of emotional responses that I don’t think you’d want to mess with your main points…

    Having said this, it’s clear that blacktalonz is a troll and just should be spanked. To even hint at the hypothesis that Thurrot is somehow worthy of being read is the most stupid thing I’ve read in here for a long time.

  • http://www.adviespraktijk.info Berend Schotanus

    Too bad you didn’t start the story with a link to http://www.winsupersite.com. It was quite interesting to read the original source of what you were commenting on.

    It is obvious Apple is currently taking an enormous speed in innovation and technological sophistication. It is also obvious that Apple, in doing so, is outperforming Microsoft. This rapid innovation is a feast for those who can follow: we benefit from the increased efficiency in our daily work that the new technology allows for and receive the appreciation for the good design of our gadgets as a bonus on top of that. But inevitably the advancement of some implies others are left behind and for them the innovation hurts. When innovation goes fast those left behind are numerous and the pain can become unbearable…
    When you are not able to keep up and falling behind is a humiliation, what options have you left? Sure, reality distortion is the only way out. Yes, this happened before, it happens all the time (why would you long for a hockey mom ,with a normal family and the courage to shoot bears, for president?). And yes, it can be dangerous.
    So when you read Paul Thurrott as a fact based external analysis of current state in computer business you missed the point. He is crying out he doesn’t want to be humiliated. And from that perspective of course the Apple guys really ARE the bad guys.
    (If you really want to make that holocaust comparison: the Germans in the 1930’s were in a very painful left-behind position, which raised sentiments where some of them were searching for bad guys as well…)

    Sure we can make it a dirty fight but I don’t think anyone will benefit in the end. I have said before I don’t think it is in Apple’s interest to have too much market share. There needs to be a way out for both producers and consumers who are experiencing trouble with keeping up with the pace of Apple but desperately don’t want to be left behind either.

    On top of that I think it is time for Apple to end the Apple-switch-campaign and come with something new.

  • cyran


    You have been a must read.

    However, I have other sources for political commentary.

  • Scott

    @ Daniel
    Thurrot is a joke.
    The Holocaust thing does not offend me, but it might offend some Jewish folks. I guess it will be alright to take it out.

    @ The Rest

    Come on people, this is Daniel’s blog. Surely he can post whatever he wants including political rants. You are of course free to disagree with him. Leaving a blog you like because of occasional biased political rants is childish. Post your own rants if you must. By the look of things almost every Mac site is flooded with political takes from everyone including readers.

  • http://appleseed-as.blogspot.com/ appleseed.as

    So, let me get this right… You prefer to read someone who covers himself and his true beliefs than one who is transparent as transparent can get on the online world? Political comments and beliefs from Daniel? So, what? What is it that you are afraid of?

    Ah, I get it… You want another person to shut up and speak only what you prefer and only how you prefer it and when you prefer it.

    What the heck. Leave this place if you can figure that much… Daniel is a human being for all I care and a good read anyway. Even if today he will switch to Microsoft or whatever, he will still be a good read.

    He is food for thought no matter where he is coming from and/or where he wants to go. Get over it. He is better than most of us in what he does.

    Keep up the great work!

  • dscottbuch


    You are correct in that Daniel can post whatever he wants in his blog. Absolutely no one here disagrees BUT @Rest are correct also and, like me, are reading RD less and less because of the political digressions which add absolutely nothing to the technical presentations. He can post and we’re free to NOT read. Daniel should create another alias and start another political blog and put this writing there.

  • Silver_Surfer1931

    @ Daniel,

    I really don’t mind you injecting your political point of views. However, I do mind it when they are not balanced. You took swipes at Gov. Palin’s views on earmarks. But that’s only one side of the story. You never mentioned about Obama’s lack of executive exerience. Obama has never been a mayor of any town. He has never been a governor of any state. He has never balanced a $9 billion budget. He has at most, approximately over 2500 people working for him in his campaign which he touts as executive experience. Yet, it does not even pale in comparison to the over 8000 people that Gov. Palin must ultimately answer to. And, let’s not even get to the fact of him being a community organizer. It just does not wash. Why? Ask yourself this: when was the last time you heard of a community organizer balanced a $9 billion dollar budget?

    I love your articles because I felt they gave the viewers a balanced view, pointing out both sides of the story. This helps the individual in making decision(s) on what is right for them. Your political views, however, only presented one side. Which makes it a biased move. This is atypical of you.

    I hope in the future you would present a more balanced political interjection.

  • chuckb

    Good summary of the actions of the real bad guys….Microsoft.

    I do think that using the word holocaust and the presidential election comparison muddies the waters and adds no value to the discussion.

    Thurrott has jumped the shark on Apple. He can’t seem to think clearly on the subject and frankly seemed to be obsessed with Apple while simultaneously ranting about the low Apple marketshare in desktop computers. Somehow, Apple is simultaneously an irrelevant niche player and a looming monopolist threat. It’s a strange mind that can hold both of those views at once.

  • qka

    From the Oxford American English Dictionary:

    holocaust |ˈhäləˌkôst; ˈhōlə-|
    1 destruction or slaughter on a mass scale, esp. caused by fire or nuclear war : a nuclear holocaust | the threat of imminent holocaust.
    • ( the Holocaust) the mass murder of Jews under the German Nazi regime during the period 1941–45. More than 6 million European Jews, as well as members of other persecuted groups, such as gypsies and homosexuals, were murdered at concentration camps such as Auschwitz.
    2 historical a Jewish sacrificial offering that is burned completely on an altar.
    ORIGIN Middle English : from Old French holocauste, via late Latin from Greek holokauston, from holos ‘whole’ + kaustos ‘burned’ (from kaiein ‘burn’ ).
    So note the capitalization:
    Dresden, Hiroshima, Nagasaki – those were holocausts
    Hitler’s “Final Solution” – that was the Holocaust

    Having said that, the use of “holocaust” in this article was a bit hyperbolic; not that Vista isn’t a flaming disaster.

  • nat

    It’s such a strange notion, the desire to seperation and categorize different, but related topics.

    Do you guys curse the weatherman when he talks about the wind speed and notes how it knocked down trees and destroyed people’s houses, or took lives?

    Do you write angry letters to your local sportscaster, complaining about how he talked of a player’s inability to play thanks to his fractured hip and whiplash from a drunk driving acident?

    What about when the media talks about Huckabee’s social conservatism and out of nowhere, brings up his sense of humor or bass playing!? The nerve!

  • gus2000

    Very nice commentary Daniel. Too bad you had to ruin it with all the technology analysis and Thurrott ranting.

  • Blad_Rnr

    I’m still waiting for someone to tell me what Obama has accomplished in his two years as an Illinois Senator.

    Maybe Daniel knows. He seems to know a lot about Governor Palin.

    Care to enlighten us, Daniel?

  • Aldebaran

    Here’s a litle fuel for the fire:
    Jesus was a community organizer. Pontius Pilate was a governor.

  • stefn

    * Holocaust: Technically Daniel’s use is fine. Notice that he didn’t capitalize the term; his critics did. Personally I would avoid the usage.
    * Palin: Again, Daniel has every right to go political, assuming he wants to dilute his focus and fine efforts on technology.

    It’s all about what battles and how many you wish to fight, Daniel.

  • limey

    By your calculations then, Palin has more “executive” experience than Obama, Biden AND McCain combined!

  • Phildikian

    HI Daniel,

    Great article. You do a great job of revealing the truth behind the masks that these Microsoft shills hide behind. I knew that the moment I read “holocaust” you were going to have several offended readers unable to put what you said into perspective. I wasn’t offended – and I think it would do people well to relax a bit before they post a comment and actually try and understand what was said instead of immediately taking offense.

    @everyone offended by differing political views:

    It’s Daniel’s blog – don’t like it – don’t read it. That is your choice. Daniel’s use of “politics” in this particular article were used as a comparison – learn how to extract the message instead of being upset that someone feels differently than you. Daniel is not a political journalist – so he does not have to present both sides as the news should (which ironically never does – you have to surf two different channels here in America for that).

  • sparks

    You clearly have something against Thurrot, but at least don’t misquote him. Paul doesn’t call all Apple users the iCabal. Here’s what he actually said from the comments, “shark, I *was* talking about Apple [refering to the “bad guys” comment]. And their most mindless fans, the iCabal”.

    I listed to the Windows Weekly podcast on twit and Paul has always seemed pretty unbiased. He constantly criticizes Microsoft for responding slowly to security bugs, being completely out of touch with users in it’s marketing attempts (taking so long to respond to Get a Mac ads, “welcome to the social”?!?, etc), and generally just not performing as well as they should.

    Here’s the last part of that Thurrot comment,
    “That said, good products often come out of this kind of genius. But so does hubris and arrogance. It’s a bit much sometimes. More than a bit, really. But it’s the mixed bag you get with Apple.

    With Microsoft, it’s conservative, slow and often boring. Apple is never boring. I’ll give them that.”

  • CandTsmac

    Hi Dan. Being a Canadian I must say although I don’t mind the political nature of some of your comments but their usefullness in description is totally lost on someone like me. We in The Great White North also have an election coming up and sorry to say I don’t give two sh**ts about USA politics and as such I don’t understand some of the references you use so their descriptive power to convey your meaning is lost.

    Love the site and your writing, please don’t ever stop.

  • liveformusic

    The statements by some of you are hilarious. If Dan was taking political swipes at the Democrats instead of Republicans, you would be offended as well. It’s a shame that Dan has to use political bias in an otherwise amazing tech blog. Both parties are deceitful and corrupt if you just take a look around. Feel free to bash both and have a little balance. Otherwise leave out the comparisons. No one is here to read your political slant (least not most people I hope). Until such a time arises when you can control yourself I will have to pass on the otherwise articulate analysis.

  • HCE

    Phildikian { 09.08.08 at 11:25 am }

    It’s Daniel’s blog – don’t like it – don’t read it. That is your choice. Daniel’s use of “politics” in this particular article were used as a comparison – learn how to extract the message instead of being upset that someone feels differently than you.

    Here’s the thing. I agree with nearly all of Dan’s political views and would still rather not have them on this website. Arguments about politics are basically pointless – because views are so deeply held that it will take more than an article or an internet forum discussion to convince anyone. Mixing political viewpoints inside a tech article undermines the article – for some people, it makes the article less convincing.

    Yes, it’s Dan’s website but he does want readers so IMHO it’s perfectly appropriate to point out that what he’s doing is turning people off.

    – HCE

  • earth2kelly


    Why should Dan have to mention Obama’s supposed lack of executive experience? Barack didn’t come on the scene saying he had tons of executive experience. That would be lying. He said he was an outsider bringing change.

    Palin on the other hand said she was an reformer that was against earmarks and said she was against the bridge to nowhere, which is a complete lie. The to balance it out between the two Dan would have to find an example where Barack outride lied about his record.

    I actually like the example Dan used because M$ and the Republicans use the same tactics. Find your own weakness and just lie about it. Lie so much that eventually it becomes the truth.

  • http://murrquan.livejournal.com Murrquan

    Vista is an unmitigated disaster, and Windows in all its forms has cost the worldwide economy billions of dollars. Lives have been ruined, jobs lost, and people aliened from technology thanks to Microsoft. Even keeping that in mind, however, I agree that the Holocaust comment was out of line, and that the political commentary is distracting — if only because it completely derails the comment threads.

    Personally, I don’t read Roughly Drafted because Daniel is an angry Microsoft hater (which in many ways he is) — I read it because despite the obvious bias, he presents the most laborious analysis of historical trends, with abundant links to help you decide for yourself. He’s not blinded or bigoted, he just strongly dislikes Microsoft for a number of very good reasons. I read his work because he’s the best tech analyst I’ve ever seen, and he pretty much always makes sense.

    This piece was no exception. It really helped to put the “badness” of Microsoft into perspective. Unfortunately, that’s not what any of us are discussing right now. I’m not averse to discussing politics, but it sounds like as soon as people read the parts about Gov. Palin and the Holocaust they immediately stopped listening to Daniel, and started forming rebuttals in their heads. I’m not sure if he considers this to be a good thing or a bad thing.

  • Shunnabunich


    I think everyone here knows they’re free to avoid reading RD if they dislike its content; what they’re suggesting to Daniel is how he could prevent his readership from declining. Whether or not he takes such suggestions into consideration is entirely his choice. While I’m not a US citizen, making the political elements of his articles somewhat less relevant in my eyes, I do agree that his writings on technology would be much improved by keeping the focus on just that — the world of technology and the culture that’s developed around it. It’s undoubtedly his best stuff, and seems diluted when political jabs, no matter how analogous, are introduced.

    Anyway, I’m looking forward to the article on Microsoft’s “advertisement”, if you can even call it that. It ought to be pretty hilarious just to try to figure out if there was anything resembling a rationale behind it. “Let’s do a mini-episode of Seinfeld, but with Bill Gates instead of George Costanza! That’ll have ’em flying into the stores! Haw!”

  • ericdano

    Actually, Thurrott sounds like an angry Democrat with his “they lied about this and that” nonsense.

    And while we are injecting political comments in articles, Obama, for change? And then he taps Joe Biden for VP? What? That would be like Red Hat Linux tapping Microsoft to develop open source software.

    Great article, but the Sarah Palin thing is just cheap. You probably couldn’t figure out which of the many ear marks and other shady things Biden has done to quote. I know, it was easier to go for the Palin one.

  • http://johnsessays.blogspot.com John Muir


    Same here. I don’t mind sitting back and watching a political fistfight – being a moderate myself – and RDM is Daniel’s personal site. But slinging these things in as tangents doesn’t really add anything, rhetorically. It piques otherwise sympathetic people a lot more than it pleases the supporting side.

    That said however: no way is RDM losing readers. I’ve been on the RSS feed for over two years and it’s definitely busier than ever around here. Daniel’s writing has improved throughout too. Dan Knight at Low End Mac recently published an Alexa ranking table which put RoughlyDrafted above Daring Fireball…

    Speaking of John Gruber: who here honestly thinks Daniel’s mix of political lambaste and tech journalism is MORE political than at Daring Fireball? Just check out @gruber on Twitter if you really want the DNC talking points for the night. Both DF and RDM are one-man blogs of course so there’s nothing wrong with what either choose to do. I just agree with the sentiment that both would be better without the split focus. There are a whole lot of conservative (and downright apolitical) Mac users out there, not to mention lefties who swing for Microsoft.

    Re: denying the Vista Holocaust, I get it, but Holocaust is even more loaded a word than the one which starts with N which is frankly best kept well out of politics. Even in grammatical conjunctions … as if rage ever cared for syntax!

  • Blad_Rnr


    Jesus was Savior, Lamb of God, King of Kings, Lord of Lords, Chosen One, Light of the World, Rose of Sharon, Chief Cornerstone, Mighty Counselor, Prince of Peace, The Word, Lilly of the Valley, Son of God, Lion of Judah, etc.

    Community organizer? Not so much. The “community” nailed Him to a cross.

  • jasonjoyn

    dan, I’m a long time reader and just registered today so I could post this comment:

    If I have to read another article with political spin i’m gone. It’s your blog, but I’m not alone in saying I read your blog for tech not politics, please separate the two and you’ll have a happy reader!

  • kimball

    Holocaust denial is insane, and irrational. Denying Vista’s problems and chalking those problems up to “not telling the Window’s story” is also irrational, not to mention insulting to consumers. Comparing Thurrot’s desperate Vista pundintry to the blatant fact dismissal of Holocaust deniers is rather apt, if a bit insensitive.

    @Daniel –
    I do not mind the politically charged comparisons, when I can decipher them. I do, however, think it is a mistake to assume that people who find your analysis of the technology markets to be dead on, will feel the same way about your political leanings. While so far I have found them to be somewhat clever, using highly debatable political issues as support for a tech piece does not lend more strength to an otherwise sound argument, rather it detracts from reasonable consideration of the issue at hand.

    I still agree with this one though! :)

  • http://www.jphotog.com ewelch

    I see the right wing thought police are using their thuggery tactics to silence voices for which they don’t approve. Too bad.

    As for the holocaust reference, if people choose to take offense after hearing the context of what he mean, well, they’re just people with chips on their shoulders. Get over it. It was a simile to idiots who deny the holocaust. And for them to object after hearing the explanation, it’s apparent they either don’t understand a clear explanation, or they didn’t bother to think about it.

    Maybe it isn’t going to make some people happy to inject politics into a blog, but if people don’t like it, leave. You can’t handle hearing opinion’s different than yours? Lots of people are afraid to hear opposing views. It’s no big surprise folks. It’s been that way for millennia.

  • http://www.roughlydrafted.com danieleran

    @ ericdano: “You probably couldn’t figure out which of the many ear marks and other shady things Biden has done to quote”

    Biden isn’t campaigning on and prominently advertising the idea that he is against earmarks. Neither is Obama. But when you stand up to say “I said thanks but no thanks on the Bridge to Nowhere!” and get cheers, then clearly you have become a great example of gross hypocrisy, particularly after having supported the Bridge to Nowhere and after having taken money to build the approach. I don’t have to inject a studious commentary on all facets of the election in order to use a well known example of hypocrisy.

    Can you possibly conceive of a better and more shocking recent example of hypocrisy from any other major figure, political or not?

    I realize that many of my readers have differing opinions in politics, as well as in marketing, technology, design, and many other issues. I am not trying to court anyone’s favor in telling them only what they want to hear. If you can’t intellectually process an simple idea because of a kneejerk reaction to it due to its general sphere of relationship to a subject you feel passionately about, this site will be a dangerous place for your ego/fragile world view.

    And don’t fret/threat about my readership. It has been steadily climbing: 3.8 million visits and 8.5 M page views last year vs 4.8 M visits and 9.2 M page views this year. I do not miss the long rambling comments from Union Bard denying reality.

    I keep noticing that extremist right wingers like to post threats about withholding money and their readership, but I have yet to see any contributions from those seeking to control what I can write about, nor any evidence that they have done anything to promote my site.

    I’d also like to point out once again that I’m from Montana, which as the current governor recently said, “we’re not a red state or a blue state.” And that nobody has been reading my stuff from before Bush took office in 2001. In our current decade, the political climate has great relevance.

    The disastrous effect of W’s politics have had a profound impact on technology, the economy, and related issues, so much that the RNC and the McCain/Palin ticket are distancing themselves from Bush/Cheney.

    Also, the NeoCons are not classic conservatives; they exercise no fiscal responsibility, do not control spending or waste; they do not support limited government; they do not avoid unnecessary world engagement; they are not socially liberal as the Nixon era conservatives were but instead seek to spread unconstitutional ideas such as the mingling of State and religion and a big Federal nanny police state that enforces moral code on the States.

    I have a lot of respect for conservative principles, but I have little regard for the NeoCons and their hypocrisy and hatred for everything that is America. While there is a lot to dislike about the Democrats in general and in specific to some individuals, they are less likely to kill us all and leave the US a fundamentalist fascist theocracy.

    If I reference well known events from the world outside of developers and tech industry CEOs, there’s nothing inappropriate about it. Readers (and particularly right-leaning ones) regularly do the same. Everyone’s perspective is going to be expressed in their viewpoints.

  • Silver_Surfer1931

    You said: “Barack didn’t come on the scene saying he had tons of executive experience.”

    He did exactly say that he had executive experience by counting his community organizer as one. He was interviewed by fox news. That was his response. He used community organizer as executive experience.

    Additionally, my comment to Dan was about the one-sidedness of his political views. I was comparing this to his well balanced articles and noted that his political views were not. I understand that this is his site. It is just atypical of him to write something unbalanced.

    Let me add a couple of things to what Blad_Rnr has said:
    1. Obama did not part the Red Sea.
    2. Obama does not walk on water.
    3. Obama did not feed the masses with one loaf of bread.
    4. Obama did not lead the opressed to freedom.
    5. Obama did not ask the Pharaoh to let his people go.
    …what else did Obama not do? Apparently, not a lot.

    It depends on your definition of executive. Being that you did not explain your definition, I would only agree to Obama and Biden not having executive experience.

    McCain has executive experience by being in the military and rising through the ranks. Now McCain retired as a Captain in the US Navy. By virtue of bein a Captain or Colonel, you had to have, at the very minimum, accomplished the following:
    1. Division Officer (average, managing about 15-20 personnel)
    2. Department Head (managing about 3-5 divisions, depending on the department.)
    3. Executive Officer (second in command in the organization, for a ship, between 150-5000 personnel, depending on the ship)
    4. Commanding Officer (CO) (first in command in the organization)
    a. Base CO
    b. Squadron CO
    …these are just few examples of what a CO does. For instance, the base CO of Norfolk, Naval Base (NOB) has rank of Captain. Norfolk is the largest operating Naval base in the world. I’m not saying that McCain was the CO of NOB. All I’m saying is that the job of a CO definitely requires executive experience gained from rising through the ranks.

    Most importantly, Obama does not have any of this. And, neither does Biden. Palin does not have the same executive experience as McCain but she has the experience to lead people. She is in charge of the Alaska National Guard…just any governor has in any state.

  • John E

    readers should bear in mind that Dan’s posts on this RDM blog often include personal remarks about politics, etc., like the above. after all, this is his own individual blog, and Dan is obviously a pretty intense guy. but when Dan posts on Apple Insider as Prince McLean, he sticks to technical discussion only. AI has other writers, with many more viewers and commenters than RDM (that’s why there are fewer comments here on articles that are posted on both sites). so if you want only dispassionate tech commentary, go there, not here. i enjoy the more personal style of RDM because you are hearing from a real human being, not just a techie. if i were the editor, sure i’d cross out things sometimes, like holocaust, but as a reader i just take them with a grain of salt and enjoy the rest.

  • Phildikian

    HCE & Shunnabunich:

    You’re right. I can see that inputting political views (even for analogical purposes) definitely deters people from seeing the main message (which here has to do with Paul T.’s article) and makes even less sense for readers outside of the SA.

  • SunnyGuy

    Hey, I’d hate to see a fine technical site degraded to a political scrap.
    So I won’t give my opinions. But reading Daniel’s political views is no
    different that skimming over advertising blurbs, imo. Deal with it.
    Maybe they make some people squirm — but maybe they should.
    I think that Daniel is amazing for running such a quality Mac site.

    Disclaimer: Alright. I’m an independent voter. I voted for Bob Dole
    in 1996, and I would have voted for McCain in 2000. But not now.

  • Bill

    How can Thurrott cal Apple the bad guy for ridiculous reasons, then excuse Microsoft’s deliberate sale of defective Xboxes? I mean that man is just insane. I read those pages and calling anything about Apple a monopoly, then bragging that Apple’s market share is so low. He is pathologically obsessed, or just paid by Microsoft. No Apple ad harmed anyone, including Microsoft since they didn’t make a dent on world market share. But Microsoft hurts consumers by wantonly selling defective hardware, just to get an edge on competition. And don’t forget Vista Ready lawsuits, which were successful at deceiving consumers. Jeez, the guy needs psychiatric help. Personally, I found nothing wrong with Vista, but Thurrott’s is crazy, or paid off.

  • CocoaCocoa

    > 1. Obama did not part the Red Sea.
    > 2. Obama does not walk on water.
    > 3. Obama did not feed the masses with one loaf of bread.
    > 4. Obama did not lead the opressed to freedom.
    > 5. Obama did not ask the Pharaoh to let his people go.
    > …what else did Obama not do? Apparently, not a lot.

    Dude, nobody’s comparing Obama to Charlton Heston.

  • http://www.giveyourbrainachance.com jeromec

    Paul Thurrott is pathetic.
    I am not sure he is worth spending so much energy discussing.
    He is just a guy defending ideas which are very disconnected from reality.

    I strongly recommend his latest article, a very complex way of moving iTunes from a Mac to a PC, involving exports of playlists, replacement of file paths in text files …. here : http://www.winsupersite.com/showcase/mac2win_itunes.asp

    Here what the smart guide would be :
    – “Consolidate Library” on the source computer in iTunes
    – Quit iTunes on both computers
    – Locate the iTunes folder (in quite obvious “Music” folders on a Mac or PC)
    – Replace the whole iTunes folder on the target computer by the one on the source computer (you might want to use a FAT32 formatted hard drive to copy data),
    – Relaunch iTunes on the target computer and find everything exactly as it was on the source computer, playlists and all. You will have to enter your iTunes account’s password if you have protected iTunes Store music
    – Do not forget to deauthorize the source computer’s iTunes account if you do not want to use the source computer any more.

    Now read Thurrott’s “guide” and have a good laugh.
    This guy clearly has a lot of energy to spend in unnecessarily complex stuff!

    I’d have liked to give him feedback directly but could not find how to provide feedback on his site.

  • http://www.danks.ca Andrew Danks

    Those of you who are offended by the use of “holocaust” in regards to Vista, please keep in mind that “holocaust” is an actual word. The Holocaust is a completely different word, depending on the capitalization. For example, when I say “vista,” I am speaking of a pleasurable scene in the distance; when I say “Vista,” however, I am speaking of the one-and-only notorious, feature-bloated, and failed operating system, Windows Vista. The fact that the tragedy that occurred over 60 years ago is called “The Holocaust” is coincidental to Daniel Eran Dilger’s use of the word, “holocaust.”

    Just thought I should point that out since some people fail to understand simple concepts of logic. I wish I could have posted this earlier.

  • rogre

    I agree with you on Palin but think the politics will hurt everything else you say because politics do so with everything.

    The Holocaust reference is fine. I happen to be half way literate and understood your point without a second thought. Your reference to Holocaust denial is not a reference to the Holocaust. It is the denial folk that ware the shame on this one. And it is not Over The Top to reference the denial.

    Great article

  • http://www.roughlydrafted.com danieleran

    @ silversurfer1931:

    I am guessing by your handle that you are around 77, and therefore have twice as much experience as I have to look back on; I certainly respect that. However, I am disputing your comments as not being factual or relevant, and here’s why:

    “…5. Obama did not ask the Pharaoh to let his people go.
    …what else did Obama not do? Apparently, not a lot.”

    Fortunately, we aren’t needing to find a new Moses/Jesus. However, we are in need of a new president, hence the election. And Obama, as a Senator, an articulate speaker, and someone who can and does listen to intelligent people and take their advice (he certainly did not handle his successful, Clinton Machine-defeating campaign all by himself) makes him at least as qualified as Reagan, who was an ACTOR and figurehead governor of California.

    Obama spent 12 well-regarded years teaching and discussing law at the University of Chicago, (a conservative-minded law school), proving his commitment to law, public service, and his ability to discuss the Constitution with the brightest minds of all parties.

    The Extremist Right has tried to run down his experiences as a professor of law, quibbling that his distinction as a Senior Lecturer is completely different than that of a professor because Obama turned down a tenured position to serve in the Senate. That’s ridiculous.

    You said: “McCain has executive experience by being in the military and rising through the ranks. Now McCain retired as a Captain in the US Navy. By virtue of bein a Captain or Colonel, you had to have, at the very minimum, accomplished the following: …”

    I don’t want the next President of the USA running the country under military rule. I want somebody who is knowable of the law, respects the rule of law and the Constitution, and cares about citizens more than Oil Companies and their big profits.

    I also find it hard to swallow a ticket lead by a 72 year old man with cancer and dementia, backed up by a ~44 year old “hockey mom” with no credible experience outside of pocketing Federal money and pandering to religious fanatics, and who is associated with the Alaska secessionist movement (a traitor to the USA) while syphoning off millions in Federal funding for a few thousand people. And, as I noted in the article, dripping with hypocrisy over claiming to be against earmarks such as the Bridge to Nowhere she railed to support and accepted partial funding of as the state governor.

    I am happy to present both sides of an issue when there are two sites to present, but there’s no way to spin Microsoft as non-evil, no way to present Apple as a monopoly with limited market share, and no way to defend the “new” John McCain and the incompetent woman half his age that he is running with.

    You might try to convince me otherwise, but you have a shit-ton of facts you have to overturn first.

  • PerGrenerfors

    Wow. This sure got out of hand. Is this the youtube comments all of a sudden?

    To all of you complaining about Daniel expressing his own opinions in his own blog, just stop reading it. I’m sure Daniel isn’t complaining about your political opinions in the comments on your blog, if you have one.