Daniel Eran Dilger
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Why Windows 7 is Microsoft’s next Zune

Windows 7 Zune

Daniel Eran Dilger

Every once and a while I get the opportunity to appear brilliantly prescient by pointing out something that is blatantly obvious but which has been so obscured by valiant marketing efforts that it makes me look like a grand wizard at detecting emperor nakedness just to say it. In this case, it’s that Windows 7 is becoming the next Zune.
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Consider the Zune.

Over the past couple years, while I enjoyed explaining why the Zune was set up for disastrous failure, I was even more entertained by the caustically religious response that it elicited from Windows Enthusiasts. I was accused of predicting things nobody could yet know and was assailed for being “biased,” as if the facts and rationale I presented to outline why I thought the Zune was doomed were all based on wishful thinking and a blind attraction to Apple.

It’s almost like having the 22% of inbred Americans who think Iraq was involved in the attack on the World Trade Center point their quivering finger at me and disdainfully accuse me of being against war, all because I’m biased toward presidential candidates who can speak articulately and intelligently.

The problem with the Zune wasn’t just that it was from Microsoft, but that it was a copycat product trying to be something Apple already had delivered, which of course does means that the problem was related to being from Microsoft, as that’s all the company knows how to do. Despite being congratulated at every opportunity for copying other’s successes in a half-assed and often more expensive way, Microsoft’s business plan isn’t all that cool.

It’s not impressive when Korean car makers clone portions of a BMW, or when the Chinese attempt to copy the iPhone using portions of Windows Mobile, or when WalMart releases a suitable clone of Adidas sportswear it can market for ten dollars to the kind of people who live in sweats and drink most of their calories two liters at a time.

Microsoft’s attempts to copy the iPod was a store-brand strategy, hardly genius. In further laziness, however, the company didn’t just set out to make a copycat iPod but started by building on top of a flawed product that had already failed in the market. The Zune was a Toshiba Gigabeat with slightly different plastics and navigation, where “different” should not be confused with “better.”

Imagine Microsoft trying to enter the SUV market by taking a Pontiac Aztec and adding new pin striping and perhaps flames, and its obvious why the Zune was doomed even before considering how terrible Microsoft is at developing consumer software (Songsmith?), how counterintuitively bad the company is at forging relationships with media companies (the Zune was abandoned by MTV’s PlaysForSure Urge store in the first year), and how terrifically incompetent the company is at conceptualizing and delivering consumer features (I already cited Songsmith, so I’ll just point out the train wreck that Zune “WiFi sharing” was).

pontiac ass-tech

Why Microsoft’s Zune is Still Failing

Why Windows 7 is another Zune.

But wait, you may ask, the Zune was an effort by Microsoft to travel well outside its core competency. Microsoft has never delivered consumer hardware products outside of its Microsoft-branded Logitech mice and keyboards (and if you are counting those as innovative or interesting products, please put down the invisible scissors you’re using to craft those exquisite invisible clothes for the Redmond emperor before you hurt yourself with them), the company has never been cool, and has never really successfully sold anything to anyone outside of OEM hardware makers and brainwashed IT drones.

Windows is an entirely different story, say Windows Enthusiasts. Microsoft has sold those two categories of customers–PC makers and IT drones–so much “Windows” that it can afford to blow out billions in hobbies that never go anywhere, from Windows CE devices and Windows Mobile to Microsoft TV to SPOT watches to the Surface and the Xbox, which isn’t a game console business so much as a multi-billion dollar bribe to prevent video game developers from using open and interoperable APIs.

What Microsoft is really good at is keeping generic PC OEMs and IT drones happy, right? That’s where the company makes its money, and back in 2006 when I was pointing out how badly Windows Vista would tank, the conventional wisdom pundits were laughing at me because there was No Chance the company would fail at selling Windows, because it doesn’t have to sell Windows, it merely forces the industry to pay for it as a tax on all new hardware.

Even if Vista were terrible, they insisted, companies would still roll it out and PC makers would still force it down the throats of consumers, just as they had for the last fifteen years since Windows 3.1 showed up offering them a way to insist that their generic PCs were just as good as a Macintosh. No amount of terrible Windows software, from 98 to ME, had ever prevented Microsoft from milking the tech industry dry and starving out competitors selling products that actually worked. How could things possibly ever change?

CES: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
Scratching the Surface of Microsoft’s New Table PC
How Microsoft has become the Beleaguered Apple ‘96

Vista? Que?

In retrospect, Vista was the Zune. Rather than Microsoft doing what it had been doing all along to please the PC makers and IT drones (that is, releasing a rewarmed version of Windows every few years that did little more than keep the tech industry consumed with keeping up with the latest version), Microsoft looked at Apple and tried to copy it. But what makes Apple interesting and successful as a hardware and software integrator is not transferable to a software monopolist.

The straw that broke Vista’s back was Microsoft’s attempt to give Windows XP a graphics compositing engine just like Mac OS X’s, a technology which Apple had initially debuted in 2000. Microsoft delivered its own version six years later, but the problem was that that feature, which worked so well to breathe new life into the Mac and differentiate it as a platform, was an unwelcome albatross around the neck of generic PCs.

Generic PCs are sold to be cheap. When Microsoft ripped off the Macintosh look and feel and introduced the first version of Windows that PC users could actually use (which was in 1991, six years after the introduction of the Mac and nearly ten years after Microsoft gained access to Apple’s technology as a software partner, and not in the early 80s as historical revisionists in Wikipedia attempt to claim in order to shore up some credibility for the company), PC users never claimed that Windows was anything comparable to the Mac environment. Instead, they prided themselves with how cheap they’d acquired their generic PC, and only ever mumbled about Apple’s superior user environment in an embittered shrugging off of somewhat out of reach sour grapes.

When Mac development at Apple ran off the track in the late 80s and early 90s and the creative forces behind the Mac jumped to NeXT and Be, Inc and to other efforts that seemed more promising, Windows gained credibility solely from the fact that nobody was around to show how hopelessly behind and conservative Microsoft was. The one-party tech kingdom ended up a Soviet Union of sorts, where everyone hailed the supreme leaders who were really doing so little to accomplish anything. Compare PCWorld from the 90s with Pravda and you’ll find lots of similarities.

Windows 95 and Vista: Why 2007 Won’t Be Like 1995
Microsoft’s Mojave Experiment Exposes Serious Vista Problems

NeXT strikes back.

When Mac OS X broke loose on the scene, Microsoft realized the danger of allowing a competitor to show up how little the company was doing in exchange for the massive profits it was syphoning off of the tech industry. Linux was already indicating how little Microsoft was adding in the enterprise software arena, but now Apple was proving the same thing to consumers, a market Linux didn’t have the unified leadership required to woo.

Vista was a desperate attempt by Microsoft to turn Windows into Mac OS X. In 2000, Windows was Windows 2000, aka NT 5. Microsoft had spent the 90s trying to deliver an alternative to Unix with the administrative ease of use of the Mac. In large part, it had succeeded with Windows 2000, but that accomplishment was embarrassed by the fact that a small group at NeXT had already delivered a superior product that did the same thing a full decade prior, albeit without losing any compatibility with Unix.

Bill Gates had used his position to hamstring NeXT and refused to develop for it, which had helped to hide the fact that all Microsoft had managed to do in the 80s was copy Apple’s Mac, poorly, and all it had managed to do in the 90s was copy NeXT, badly.

Now, all of a sudden, NeXT was back in the form of Mac OS X. Except this time it had two new features: an open foundation based on open source software (a heretical liberal cancer in the mindset of Microsoft’s hard liners) and an advanced compositing graphics engine that promised to do to desktop graphics what QuickDraw had done for the original GUI in the early 80s, what QuickTime did for video in the early 90s, and what NeXTSTEP did for object oriented development in the same period: embarrass Microsoft.

Why OS X is on the iPhone, but not the PC
1990-1995: Microsoft’s Yellow Road to Cairo

Rise of the GPU.

Mac OS X’s Quartz graphics compositor wasn’t just a new feature. Apple was onto a very powerful new concept in computing: the offloading of desktop graphics to the GPU. The company realized that the CPU was no longer the engine that would define the power and usability of a computer. It was being eclipsed by the latent processing power of the GPU. Microsoft and Intel realized this too, to some extent.

In the late 90s, the team of tech monopolists tried frantically to figure out a way to get PC users, primarily running Office, to continue to buy increasingly faster PCs, but ran out of reasons for consumers to keep buying new PCs when their old one ran Word pretty decently already. Their solution was to build 3D visualizations into web pages, so that users would need a faster CPU to look at crap on the web designed entirely to make their CPU hot. This was the extent of their vision.

Microsoft also saw games as a reason for buyers to spend absurd amounts for PC hardware, but Microsoft doesn’t sell hardware, so all it could do was devise software to make games that only worked on Windows, further tying Windows to PCs sales. This wasn’t so much a strategy as a reaction, a ploy to shore up the moat surrounding its monopoly.

While Microsoft and Intel were in monopoly maintenance mode, a myopic condition that almost always results in a face planting stumble before long, Apple was assembling a GPU strategy that took everything painted on the screen and made it an OpenGL surface. The Mac OS X desktop was now a video game; individual windows could be slurped into the Dock with their contents being rendered live during the animation. Vector art could resize with liquid realism.

Ten Myths of Leopard: 1 Graphics Must Be Slow!

Microsoft tries to clone Mac OS X.

Microsoft wanted to stop the comparisons between Apple’s new Aqua-smooth operating system and its boxy Windows 2000, so it renamed the next NT 5.1 service pack Windows XP, in the hopes that consumers would confuse XP and OS X just as quickly as they might equate Mr. Pibb for Dr Pepper.

The problem was that Apple capitalized upon its core technologies to rapidly outpace Windows XP, which despite being a fairly decent operating system fitting the needs of PC makers and IT drones, could not fake the ability to render its graphics using a modern Open GL surface, but was instead tied to the simpler graphics model Apple had originally introduced in the early 80s, which Microsoft duplicated in the flattering imitation of Windows GDI.

In the last few years, Apple rapidly advanced its graphics compositing engine to take increasingly fuller advantage of the untapped power of GPUs. Similar efforts on Windows have been entirely limited to screen savers and video games. However, while this was a source of embarrassment to Microsoft, it did not represent much of a problem for Microsoft’s key customers, who are not consumers and end users, but rather PC makers and IT drones.

When Microsoft released its own graphics compositing engine in Windows Vista (NT 6), it hoped to wow consumers sufficiently enough to jack up the price of Vista significantly. However, the PC buyers of 2007 were largely the same cheapskate demographic of 1991 who prized cheapness over utility. Microsoft’s attempts to make Vista match the graphics savvy of Mac OS X were like WalMart trying to introduce its sweats-wearing customers to organic vegetables.

Pearls before PC users.

Like the proverbial swine who have pearls thrown at them, they reacted with umbrage and ferocity. They’d grown used to every version of Windows being slower, but Vista was much slower without any advantage apart from looking more like Mac OS X. If they wanted a nice looking computer, they’d have bought a Mac.

PC buyers wanted trough-cheap hardware with the least invasive annoyance of Microsoft possible. Instead, they got a more expensive operating system that demanded greater hardware resources, didn’t quite work with their existing software and peripherals, was significantly slower overall, pushed Microsoft into their faces to a greater extent, and attempted to extort Vista upgrade to unlock Ultimate features Apple was offering for free in Mac OS X.

When somebody asks for an iPod and you hand them a Zune, which has no cost advantage, no compatibility with either the iPod nor PlaysForSure, is slow and looks silly, they fail to see any reason to buy it. Connecting the dots between the Zune experience and Vista should not be necessary at this point.

Windows 7’s audience problem.

However, what some pundits are still missing is that Microsoft’s promise that Windows 7 is some flawless hyper-jump advancement over Vista is a typical Microsoft assurance, with all the utility of toilet paper. Apart from cleaning up an unpleasant mess, there’s not much else it’s suitable for. Recall that Microsoft has also promised that each version of Windows was its best operating system ever, even as each got slower as it dragged along the legacy required to please its customers, which again is not consumers but PC makers and IT drones.

Windows 7 does offer some real fixes for Vista, which it damn well should a full three years after that high-priced catastrophe was launched. The problem is that Microsoft’s customers, those same PC makers and IT drones, do not want another generation of Vista and its Mac OS X-envy imitation. They want a thin layer of supportable software that runs legacy Windows software. That’s not at all what Windows 7 is aiming to do.

PC makers are desperately trying to weather the storm of a brutally competitive market that is shrinking globally for the first time ever. They don’t want a fancy bunch of glitz that shows the power of GPUs, they want Windows XP as cheaply as possible so they can apply it to netbooks and sell something, anything, before they go out of business.

IT drones don’t want a layer of GPU sophistication, they want Windows XP as cheaply as possible so they can roll out centralized services in the pattern of mainframes and dumb terminals, the game they were playing when Microsoft waltzed in and sold them on PCs running DOS and then Windows as an alternative to the terminals they’d been using.

Netbooks killing off sickly Windows PC sales

Bad news: Windows 7 no faster than Vista.

The fact that Microsoft has borrowed its operating system strategy from Apple is also the reason why Windows 7 is no faster than Vista. Anecdotal excitement from Windows Enthusiasts aside, recent testing (by no less than PC World) has shown that Windows 7 does nothing to noticeably speed up PCs over the baseline performance of Vista. That’s a huge problem for PC makers and IT drones who have pushed back against Vista adoption in large measure because it was too slow.

It’s also a rude awakening to the dreamy illusion that Windows 7 would somehow enable Microsoft to sell a Vista-based operating system for netbooks that was wildly faster than Vista and therefore could bring the company greater revenues on netbooks compared to the Windows XP it had been dumping on netbook makers for next to nothing, just to prevent them from using Linux instead.

Never mind the reality that even if Windows 7 were spry and capable on netbooks, Microsoft wouldn’t be able to bleed significant software revenues from the ultra cheap hardware that is now commonly selling for $300 or less. The big problem is that Microsoft can’t speed up Windows 7 appreciably because it is Vista, and the reason Vista is so slow is not just because Microsoft didn’t have the time to worry about optimizing code in its 6 years of gestation, but centrally due to the fact the Microsoft was copying Apple to deliver a product that is not like the one Apple wanted to deliver.

Speed Test: Windows 7 May Not Be Much Faster Than Vista

Microsoft is no Apple.

Microsoft does not have Apple’s audience of sophisticated consumers, and it’s ridiculous that the company keeps trying to pretend that it does. Microsoft serves an installed base of cheapskates through a blackmailed array of PC hardware companies who are forbidden from selling alternative software by exclusive licensing contracts. It also services, at very high cost to companies, a large number of corporate cube-holders who have no voice in the technology decisions forced upon them by corporate IT drones.

Both markets are impossibly out of reach to Apple. That’s why Apple does not copy Microsoft’s development or marketing strategies; they simply wouldn’t work at Apple. But the converse is also true; Microsoft can’t be successful at its own business by copying Apple, because the two companies serve very different markets.

The Zune clone of the iPod was a good example of this and the results of trying. It’s like stealing answers from your classmate during a test, even though you know he’s taking an entirely different exam. Don’t plan on acing your test no matter how smart he is!

Microsoft’s consumer failure is only going to get worse.

The biggest problem for Microsoft, outside of the fact that it is getting ready to release another tepid Zune to follow up the original lead balloon Zune (and if you didn’t catch that metaphor, I’m talking about following up Vista with Windows 7), is that the PC cheapskates and IT drones are not as valuable as Microsoft seems to think they are. All the buzzword dropping around netbooks aside, the real value in PC hardware and consumer electronics is in delivering devices that work, which users will pay extra to obtain.

That’s a market Apple has locked up. Despite the efforts by Dell and HP and Acer to tiptoe past Microsoft’s Iron Curtain and investigate free market ventures using Linux, none are even close to delivering a well-integrated product similar to the Mac. All they can do is cater to cheapskates with unprofitable, low-end hardware that is so problematic and virus-vulnerable that those consumers will be forced to return and buy a new PC within a year and a half.

Having staked out a business that serves PC makers first, IT drones second, and consumers dead last, Microsoft is left only to advertise that its software arrives on cheap hardware that isn’t burdened with being cool or sexy like Apple’s. As a marketing strategy, that’s so blatantly moronic that it’s hard to imagine a Fortune 500 company could decide to do that.

This company delivered also Vista and the Zune, and all I’m pointing out is that the company is getting ready to do the exact same thing this year. Now will all those people who insisted that Microsoft would never stop making increasing amounts of automatic money regardless of how badly it performs please post an apology? Thanks!

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  • kimsnarf

    @counterproductive

    I’m not particularly sensitive to heat. :) That’s why I keep coming back to this blog. Daniel (and the commenters) have some very interesting perspectives. Sometimes they tend to be extremely black and white, though. Like when he’s accusing PC users in general of being “cheapskate” because they don’t want to or can’t shell out for a Mac. Or when he’s referring to IT administrators as “drones” because they need to balance company policies with user needs – all on a tight budget. I’m trying to give the accused a voice here.

    I’m not arguing against the Mac platform as being easy to learn, highly productive, creative and joyful to use. There are loads of credible user testimonials in support of this view. I’ve also studied many of the internals of OS X and I’m impressed. From reading this blog, though, one gets the impression that everything is perfect in Appleland. Clearly that is not the case. There are some very good reasons why everyone is not jumping on the bandwagon. These reasons need to be pointed out and addressed. (Hint: it’s not because people are stupid – these issues lie with Apple).

    The seemingly minor differences in PC hardware you’re talking about are not just superficial. They’re important to cater to all the various needs and requirements of users. This huge selection means I’m able to find just the combination of features I want for a price I find sensible. I can pick and tweak until I’m satisfied. With Apple I have to limit myself to a couple of predefined user categories – for a price that always pushes well out of the comfortable range. The nicest software in the world is no good when people don’t have the hardware to run it.

    Apple need to produce more distinct models (or give others a chance) and they need to allow consumers to tweak the configurations without forcing them to buy a more expensive model. They know this but they’re holding back. Their purposed idealism goes only as far as their ability to maximize their profits. They want high margins (exclusivity), not high volumes (far reach). But they still use the same sweatshops as everyone else to produce and build their components. Their higher margins are reserved only for themselves. Apple is no saint. Why should they deserve a premium?

    @duckie

    I did not use the term “monopoly”. I used the term “monopolist”. If you look that up in a dictionary, “sir”, you’ll see that it has multiple meanings. I’m referring to the one of having a monopolistic mindset. Apple has shown some clear tendencies in this direction throughout history and they still do. The goal of the board of directors of Apple isn’t likely to be very different from the one of Microsoft. Given the chance, Apple would (and surely still can) easily become a monopoly. With their perpetually low marketshare, though, they’ve been able to get away with a lot that would have crucified Microsoft. I’m not defending either company though. I think their main difference lies with their positions in the market, not their reasoning. They’re both comprised of ordinary people.

    Notice that I said I’m a “PC user”, not a “PC enthusiast”. I haven’t been enthusiastic about a platform since the Amiga. These days I regard myself as an independent. :)

  • http://www.muir.tumblr.com John Muir

    @kimsnarf

    The trouble is: Apple and Microsoft are *indirect* rivals.

    Apple is not in business to cater to every conceivable need of every IT shop, or even every consumer. Choosing to do so would mean such huge change at Cupertino that Apple wouldn’t be Apple any more.

    I know why some PC users dislike Mac OS X: it’s because they have to buy a Mac. They look at the six model line Apple sells and feel completely out io their element. They are used to being able to express themselves in Byzantine hardware configuration, while always settling for Windows in the end. On the Mac platform there’s an entirely opposite focus.

    One of the great traditions among highly technical (and prickly!) Mac users is to read John Siracusa’s epic and maniacally detailed reviews of every OS X release, over at Ars Technica. I enjoy those as much as exploring it for myself. He wrote up an interesting piece on the role of criticism in Apple and the industry last week. Such matters as the “Tabs on Top” Safari 4 beta really do receive intense debate on the Mac side. I dare say far much more so, and in subtler detail, than the huge wrenching changes to the Windows UI in recent years.

    I think that many of us – and I certainly count myself – are more *software* geeks on the Mac side. While more are purely into hardware who use the PC.

    Apple’s hardware is nice stuff. But Apple is a uniquely focussed company. There will never be a Mac for every use scanario and every specialist. Just as there will never a matching level of synergy between generic hardware and a universally intended OS. “It just works” is one of the hardest things to pull off in the industry.

    Interesting that you mentioned the Amiga. That platform really was a direct rival to Apple. It will take hardware makers developing their own Linux distros and the like to reignite the kind if competition every other industry knows besides for home computers.

  • shadowmonk

    Ah, now I remember why I stopped reading this blog.

    I’d enjoyed reading it for years now and was fine when political articles started to appear on the site. Unfortunately, shortly after the political articles appeared, most of the tech articles started spewing derogatory remarks towards those of us who both love Apple products and *gasp* are conservative.

    I don’t know why I decided to visit by the site again today. I suppose I was curious as to what DED had to say about Win7. I was unpleasantly reminded three paragraphs in. There is nothing more tolerant than calling Republicans inbred Americans. I suppose I should be satisfied that we are at least still called Americans and that there was no mention of racism.

    It’s great to see that intolerance by the intolerant liberals is alive and well. I know that it’s DED’s site and he can say whatever he wants. It’s just sad that he’s limiting his audience to just those who are liberal and Apple fans. I know that that I will no longer recommend this site to my friends who have questions about Apple. (Believe it or not, I have still been recommending the site, just mentioning to others to skim over the intolerant and belligerent political views. I am no longer going to recommend this site at all.)

    [If you are confusing “Republicans” with “people who think Iraq had something to do with 9/11,” then I’m glad you are offended and I laugh in your general direction.

    Also, I don’t think you grasp what “tolerance” is. It’s not agreeing with people you don’t agree, it’s respecting somebody else’s right to legally live as they choose to. When you begin kidnapping American citizens and torturing them and hold them for years without charges, or try to force fanatical religious views into law to oppress people who don’t subscribe to your world view, there’s no room for “tolerance” of these behaviors, because there’s nothing legal about them. – Dan ]

  • SteveS

    Daniel, sometimes your posts are good, sometimes you lay it on so thick that you just end up coming off as a fanboy. This article is heavy on opinion, but short on facts. As a Mac fan, I want to like this article, but can’t.

    For starters, why bring politics into this discussion? It servers no real purpose for the sake of comparisons and only serves to demonstrate your zealotry.

    Why pretend UNIX compatibility was ever a design goal for Windows NT. It wasn’t, so it shouldn’t be judged unfairly for not being UNIX compatible.

    Why pretend NeXT was UNIX compatible? NeXT like BSD, etc. are Unix like operating systems. They share many conventions and are possibly compatible at the shell level. However, having done low level interprocess communications in both systems, I can tell you that under the hood they are VERY different beasts and most certainly not compatible. It wasn’t until Leopard that OS X actually achieved UNIX compatibility and that’s basically through writing wrapper APIs that map to entirely different architectures.

    Yes, Vista was a “turd” so to speak, but that’s not entirely unusual when changing vast amounts of your operating system. Do you have such a short memory regarding OS X 10.0, 10.1, etc.? These releases were painfully slow for OS 9 users. However, they offered the promise of a new foundation for future releases. Vista is no different. have you used Windows 7 yet? I’m guessing that you haven’t. It sounds more like your Windows 7 experience is limited to PC World articles. Try it, you’ll find that it’s pretty decent and it removes much of the negative stigma associated with Vista. More devices are compatible, etc. as well. I’m not suggesting it’s better than Leopard. It’s not. But it’s not as bad as you make it sound.

    Also, why pretend you have a clue as to why major corporations have been avoiding Vista? From what you’ve written, you don’t. I’m an IT Manager for a large corporation and the reason we haven’t yet moved to Vista is simple. There is no need to and there are costs associated with a change of this nature. There are incompatibilities with third party and custom built applications. There are costs associated with upgrading these products and project costs associated with the testing, etc. However, Microsoft is currently only planning on making XP available through 2010. By 2011, new machines will have to be imaged with either Vista or Windows 7. Unless Microsoft moves the date out, companies will migrate at that time. The costs associated with moving to Linux or Mac OS X would be considerably more expensive. Companies are about keeping things running, not about using the latest and greatest.

    Anyway, that’s just a sample. Sorry to call you out on some of this stuff, but your posts are heavy on unsubstantiated opinion and light on facts. Still, I usually find your perspective interesting when I’m looking for a completely Mac fanboy view of the world.

  • anonymous500r

    Oh, well. NT’s probably reached a dead end. Singularity anyone?

  • http://spacecynics.wordpress.com Thomas

    I’m at a publishing company (~600 employees, about 120 Macs) that still considers it a “termination offense” for someone to run Vista on their network. They’re scared shitless of it. As a sysadmin who tests publishing technologies, they’re OK with me having Leopard and Snow Leopard beta builds on the network, but they still only support Tiger, to date. IT dreads the day they finally have to give up XP. We can’t be unique in this regard.

  • http://www.muir.tumblr.com John Muir

    Remember folks: it’s Daniel’s blog. Someone has to point this out again every time politics comes up.

    Here’s a little something for the Obama haters courtesy of one of the sadly rare Europeans who didn’t unleash the hate on all America during the Bush years. Outside the US, Obama is bigger than Jesus. Throw in Allah and, heaven forbid, The Beatles too. Even the dyed in the wool anti- Americans have trouble disrespecting him. Unlike Bush and even Clinton, Bush I, or any president going back to Kennedy: he comes across as the real deal. A mind up to the task of leading the world, whether the rest of it likes it or not.

    When Bush’s face appeared on TV beyond America and he’d start to speak, people really did just start laughing. (Not me, because I’m a politics junkie who loves thus stuff, but every friend and anyone else I ever noticed.) The guy was a true embarassment for his nation. Even replacing him with McCain would have been a great boost, but going as far as comparing him with Obama is like weighing up Herbert Hoover versus FDR. Ouch!

    Oh and Daniel: could we iPhone users get a quick way to skip to the end of the page? Popular articles like this one stretch the swipe to its limit!

  • Netudo

    @SteveS

    Large corporations are afraid of anything that is not “standard”. Nobody wants to take a decision that is against common knowledge.

    Nobody gets nailed if he/she recommends Windows, Cisco or Oracle and it fails. Directors have heard about them, and will feel confortable backing up such decisions.

    The trick in large corporations is to leave before things blowup. But if you recommend some thing like linux, unix, open source, macs, the next guy will blame on you if things go wrong.

  • Pingback: Windows 7 is another Zune « Day and Age()

  • enzos

    JohnM.. you connect it up to a keyboard and hit the END key. Too close to lunch to talk about politics… except to admit that Shrub’s loony toon “axis of evil speech” had me in stitches! And, as much as a want to like him, Obama comes across as a bit of a flimflam man.

  • John E

    yup, it’s DED’s blog, and if he wants to rant and throw political stuff into his pieces, he has every right. i read it because it is still interesting and informative. i just tune out the extraneous political stuff. and the commenters have every right to tell him they think it is a mistake. any editor would chop it instantly.

    but … one political point which DED has not made but which would be germane is that MS has been openly pro-Republican. their political contributions and lobbying are strongly weighted in that direction. make of that what you will. Apple, as usual, is more inscrutable and appears less politically involved (or maybe they just hide it better). being in California, the Valley has a general Democratic tilt, due in part to the fact that the GOP here is totally hard line right wing (or as Dan might say, batshit crazy).

    that would be a good topic for a RDM piece.

  • SunnyGuy53

    @deardevoper
    “‘…I’m biased toward presidential candidates who can speak articulately and intelligently.’ – Daniel Eran Dilger”

    “Either you meant Ron Paul or maybe the Teleprompter, because unless you’ve been under a rock, it’s pretty well known that our current president is about as inarticulate on his own as our last one was. Not being a hater, just stating the facts.”

    Perhaps the Current Occupant can only read Teleprompters
    accurately and intelligently, as you say, but even so, that still
    constitutes a major improvement over the last President.

    Of course, it also helps that what the the Teleprompter has to say,
    is accurate and intelligent now, as opposed to then. Wonder why
    that is? … Those darns lib-ruls. Always trying to confuse matters
    with logic.

    Not being a hater — just stating the facts, also.

    Another instant classic, for Daniel. Good job.

    Sunny Guy

  • Pingback: This Blog Now Returns to Normal (Such as it is); Out of My Mind for 12 May 2009 « Out Of My Mind()

  • TenThousandThings

    @shadowmonk
    @SaneInSF

    You are missing the point. People are very angry at what has been done to this country and its international standing in the name of the Republican party and so-called “conservatives” in general. Your movement is intellectually bankrupt — as a result, you come to progressives and liberals for a bailout, asking us to take you seriously now, after years of denigrating and making fun of everything about us, about what we believe is righteous and true.

    Are you filled with outrage at Wanda Sykes today? Where were you when Limbaugh referred to Obama as “Osama” hundreds of times last year? Isn’t that a 9/11 reference of the worst sort? So it’s off limits now that we’re in power, but last year during the election it was fine? Hypocrites!

    If you want currency from us, you’ll have to first admit that you’ve utterly failed to do what you say, to live up to your own ideals. Then we can talk about true libertarians and conservatives and their virtues. Until then, STFU.

  • SaneInSF

    Hypocrites? What do they say about glass houses?

    It goes both ways. You guys had no compunction with calling people derisive names (Chimp? Shrub?) and now any minute criticism of Obama, you guys go ballistic? How dare we?

    If Bush made the same gaffs that Obama is doing today, you guys would be all over it as an example of his “lack of intelligence.”

    I’m laughing at you guys. Such thin skins.

  • mailjohannes

    @TenThousandThings, @SaneInSF and the rest of the political postings.

    A long way from the US , in a place called Europe we couldn’t care less what president the US has. As long as he/she understands that the US doesn’t lead the world, can’t lead the world and that no one outside the US wants the US to lead the world.

    The score so far: 0

  • http://Lyndell.NET/wordpress/ lyndell

    Win7 free for a year sets the expectations low. After the year, how many will buy it instead of expecting Win8 for free?

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  • TenThousandThings

    @Sane
    > It goes both ways

    I accept that. But your original post did not. You were all — well, “thin skin” sums it up. GBCW and all that. Now you come back and pretend like you weren’t acting like that. You’re the joke. Face up to your leadership’s galactic failures and then we’ll talk. Meanwhile, we’re busy cleaning up your mess.

    The point was they’re all over Sykes for using 9/11 in a joke, when the butt of the joke and all of the so-called “news” sources you use to tint your world invoked it again and again in little and not-so-little jokes about Obama just a few months ago.

    @mailjohannes

    Daniel includes politics in his posts. Nobody mentioned Europe. Get over yourself.

  • kimsnarf

    @John Muir

    Apple doesn’t need to cater to every possible user, but today they cater to far too few. The current lineup is sorely lacking for the PC users. They need at least a couple of more models to cover a broad enough user base.

    For instance, they need something in between the two extremes of the Mac mini and the Mac Pro. Something without a built-in display. PC users already have good displays, thank you, and prefer to upgrade them separately. It’s just silly that Apple does not have a model for the biggest segment of the desktop market. Likewise, for the laptop segment they need a 13″ MacBook Pro. Something with a comparable quality display and firewire, upgraded along with the 15″ and the 17″ models. They also need an ultraportable that can be used for real, extended work. Something in between the MacBook and the MacBook Air. These three new models are the very least they need to provide to be able to cover the most common PC configurations. They also happen to be the ones I’m interested in personally. :)

    They also need to lower their prices (and margins) on the two entry models; the MacBook and the Mac mini. Yes, that will hurt them financially in the short term, but they will also be recruiting a huge wave of new Apple enthusiasts. The rest of their lineup will still attract the more discerning users.

    Further, within each model they need to let the user be able to pick each component themselves without restricting better components to more expensive models. This means at least CPU, RAM and harddrive. Possibly also GPU, keyboard, trackpad, screen and coating where applicable. If there is no technical or practical reason why a given component can’t be used in all models, then there should not be any artifical restrictions either. Give consumers choice, and don’t overcharge them for every single component!

    If Apple permitted these changes they would be extending a truly helpful hand to the consumer PC user base. They would also still be Apple. No one would mistake them for a generic PC hardware maker.

    I’m not proposing this as a complete solution, nor as the only solution, but it would be a big and necessary step in the right direction to spread the usage of Apple software, which is their main contribution to the world.

  • http://www.muir.tumblr.com John Muir

    @kimsnarf

    Reasonable comments. The “headless midrange Mac” concept has been around for more years than I’ve been on the platform and tends to be simply called the “xMac”. I used to be more vociferous in supporting it some years ago until the Intel Mac mini’s came out and I found I could stack together my own kit with one quite nicely, though obviously GPU wasn’t a sticking point for me. As for the ultra-portable: I’m posting from my 12″ PowerBook, now six years old and on the current OS. Mind, I stick onto it through money as much as fondness!

    Even Daniel writes about ideas for new Mac models from time to time. The topic seems to be a favourite among the community, and the natural result of Apple’s supreme focus yielding a positively gaunt line-up ever since Steve returned.

    However many new machines Apple were to turn out, though, the market as a whole needs countless more. This is one of the reasons why I don’t think Apple will achieve a majority share, or even desire to. It’s also why I’d truly like to see other OEMs take up the challenge and work on their own OS, so that there’s a wealth more choice for all of us, whatever our individual needs.

    In a way, it’s chance that Apple even survived the Windows onslaught of the 1990’s to even exist as a trend-setting rival today. Commodore, Atari, Acorn, Digital, Be, IBM with OS/2 … so many failed, leaving Microsoft unopposed and complacent. That doesn’t mean no one else can come in and try though. Google’s experiments with Android are promising. But I am always skeptical that another misstep will be the end of Microsoft. Their reputation suffered, but Vista still earned profits on the same scale as Apple as a company. Just what will replace Windows eventually when Microsoft run out of steam and the worldwide userbase is ready to flee en masse remains an open question. My money’s on post-PC hardware, like the iPhone, but it’s just an informed guess.

    Fortunately, I’ve no need to wait. The Mac’s here today.

  • mailjohannes

    @TenThousandThings

    Exactly my point: get over yourself, skip the politics and talk about something interesting, like Apple.

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  • kimsnarf

    @John Muir

    I share your desire for more platforms competing in the computer space. What I ultimately want is a user friendly operating system that is not built on business requirements (Windows), expert knowledge (Linux) or protecting the users from themselves (OS X). Something slick, fast and bloat-free. Just like a modern day Amiga OS. ;) The onslaught of the 1990’s, which you’re referring to, left a huge gap in this space that has yet to be filled. Each of the three major platforms edge increasingly closer, but they bring a lot of old baggage – even with overhauls like in OS X and Win 7. Apple is closer than ever with their OS X, but unless they make some major policy changes soon they will again be overrun by the next Windows. Perhaps that is just the way they want it to be. We could all use another strong competitor in this space.

  • http://www.muir.tumblr.com John Muir

    @kimsnarf

    Somehow I doubt Windows will be running over much of anything, any more.

    There’s a reason why Vista was such a lead balloon and why, certain people’s wishful thinking aside, 7 is unlikely to turn that tale around. It lies at the top of Microsoft and seems to flow through the whole company’s veins these days. They really don’t seem to know where they’re going. Their most obvious competitor is a lot more successful now than just a few years ago, and already has a long lead in handheld devices: the obvious next platform. Meanwhile the core Windows OEM market is obsessed with making machines so cheap that Microsoft have been forced to squeeze the price of Windows licences. Alarming!

    Redmond needn’t worry about going out of business anytime soon. But there’s a lot to worry about just how much they’ve been outclassed by their once all-but-vanquished competitor, and how no one in their right mind looks to Microsoft any more for leadership and direction. That’s a big turn around over the last ten years.

    I don’t doubt that there is talent and certainly a world of resources inside Microsoft to do something about all of this. But I do doubt the vision of an answer even exists at the top of the company, where it is required. Sounds a lot like the Apple of the mid 1990’s which flailed about, losing its lead, and ultimately almost heading out of business. Do they have any visionaries to call upon once Ballmer’s given the boot I wonder?

  • enzos

    > no one in their right mind looks to Microsoft any more for leadership and direction 24 hours and 7 days Most talked about
    1.Microsoft’s Windows 7: how does it look

    Sad to say for them but that’s the way it still is. (Even sadder for me that I can’t afford a new MacBook Pro like the ‘beautiful beast’ on my Kiwi colleague’s office desk.)

    Cheers

  • enzos

    Bums! My deathless prose got mangled.. never mind. you get the picture. The example paper was today’s uk Guardian.

  • kimsnarf

    @John Muir

    Don’t underestimate the awakening Redmond giant. While sleeping they were dealt a mighty blow by this annoying, little terrorist with the fruity name. But they have not wasted any time reassembling their forces and have nearly completed their next Death Star. Meanwhile, Cupertino is satisfied with their recent victories and are holding back on the final blow. That will soon turn out to be a gross mistake. They are losing their window of opportunity.

    I’ve been using Windows 7 for a while, and from a user perspective it’s a huge improvement over Vista. In Vista I could see what they were attempting, but in practice XP was better. Not so any longer. Win 7 is a true successor to XP and addresses all of the major issues people had with Vista. Also, it’s “free” for a year and the positive impressions are spreading like wildfire by word of mouth. With Apple satisfied by their minor disrupting activities,
    Microsoft is quickly filling the opening left by themselves. By the end of the year, there will be no huge demand any longer for an alternative platform in the PC community. Back to status quo.

    Microsoft does not have to be the first nor the best at anything. Look at history. They just have to sell the most. They have the required vehicle for that. The power balance has shifted somewhat but the game has not changed.

  • bartfat

    @kimsnarf

    Actually, Microsoft just needs to maintain their monopoly and hope people don’t switch to Linux or Android (if a netbook runs on that) or, of course, a Mac. Which is why Microsoft probably won’t go out of business anytime soon, BUT the road is set for other competitors to compete, vs. the 1990s where NO ONE, not apple, not NeXT was able to compete. So the power balance has shifted so that others can compete… so I don’t really get your point. It’s not so much that Apple wants to compete with Microsoft, it’s just that they would rather build great products, like BMW. They don’t try to take on the whole market, because they know that that’s not their strong suit. And frankly, if people choose to buy Microsoft on their merits, then so be it. For me, I’ll still use a Mac, b/c that’s what suits my needs best… and for the other 20 million in the US :) Anyway, it’s just a computer, if you feel that Microsoft is going to do wonders to the rest of the market, then great… just remember that you can’t complain about something you haven’t tried (aka Mac) :)

    And don’t label me as a Mac fanboy, because I have used all types of OSes, from DOS to Windows 3.1 to Vista to Mac to Linux (SuSE and Ubuntu)… so I CAN nitpick their differences, as I have used them one time or another on a daily basis :)

  • enzos

    That’s not a bad thing, Kim, Apple has plenty of resources (unlike the mid 1990s) and being the little guy keeps them on their toes.

  • kimsnarf

    @bartfat

    My point is that there should not be a monopoly. That kind of easily abusable power is no good for anyone. Apple and its enthusiasts may be happy living at the mercy of another, but that is kind of sad when they could have done so much more. The computer world consists mostly of PCs and they deserve another strong player. Apple has the chance to become that player if they want to and play their cards right.

    By the way, I have used Macs. I just haven’t owned one. The Mac is not good enough for the PC community, as I have been trying to explain. A mindshift in Cupertino is needed in order to get there.

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  • luisd

    @Kimsnarf

    I don’t really understand what you are talking about. The window of opportunity you talk about may just as well be closed in the desktop market (although I doubt it, wait to see how W7 is delivered, and if it fulfils its promise, also wait and see what SL will deliver, and how it is received), but it is very open in the portable domain. There, the iPhone is thriving, we don’t know yet what will be announced in June and the notebook line-up from apple (as limited as you claim it is) is doing spectacularly well, despite of the economy. So I don’t see what exactly you mean by a mindshift being needed. Their business strategy is giving them great results, why should the take the risk to change it to something that may not work for them (even if it would make the PC community happy, but hey, the PC community has PC’s, and according to your posts they are happy with them! Apple only needs to cater for those in the PC community unhappy with their PC’s, which is obviously not your group)

  • kimsnarf

    @luisd

    I didn’t expect a lot of agreement when posting my comments here at the lion’s den. :) But I wanted to see what kind of response my suggestions would get from an enthusiastic Mac community accustomed to lengthy discussion. I have not been disappointed. Hopefully I’ve been able to bring something of substance to the table as well.

    Apple’s strategy has clearly been working so far, and they probably have a few aces up their sleeves should the situation start turning around. The question is whether Win 7 will start that ball rolling.

    Let’s forget Vista for a moment. XP has reached the point which OS 9 held at the bitter end. Stale, outdated and with a user base increasingly envious of the competition. Win 7 is promising to be to XP what OS X was to OS 9. There has been a much needed shift of focus in Redmond to ensure that this new version will be popular and successful. Snow Leopard, on the other hand, will still “just” be OS X. There’s nothing wrong with that, but that hasn’t started an avalanch of switchers yet. Incremental updates of sufficient quality might do the trick in the long run. Who knows? But I’d be very surprised if Win 7 doesn’t bring Microsoft back in full force. Of course, most Mac users won’t mind one way or the other as long as their system continues to thrive. But doesn’t an increasingly stronger Apple make things more interesting?

    Regarding the portable domain, I’ve stayed out of that here on purpose. Suffice to say that I think Apple has that domain nailed. My iPod Touch is my most frequently used device. It’s just a shame that iTunes for Windows leaves a lot to be desired. But that’s another discussion.

  • sharp_jiang

    nice article

  • bartfat

    @kimsnarf

    Actually, most of us aren’t Mac fanboys, we just like to complain (ironically) about the products we use and even more about the competition. But yeah, you make a very good case for Microsoft to come back (assuming Windows 7 is as good as the hype). The problem is I just don’t see it living up the hype as much as Windows enthusiasts would like, based on Microsoft’s previous track record. And even if Microsoft comes back and supposing Windows 7 is the Microsoft version of OS X… well then, I welcome it, as it won’t be a steaming pile of crap like Vista was. And that’s better for the consumer as well. But we won’t know for sure what the reaction will be to Windows 7 until it’s released to the public as a finished product, so it’s anyone’s guess what the reaction will be. As for Snow Leopard, well, not many people outside the Mac circles will care.. and that’s fine too, because apple can’t convince just anyone to switch.

    Only people who are actively seeking alternatives will choose the Mac, and only if they have the cash and sense of value/quality to buy it. And I admit, Macs have lots of flaws/defects that have been cropping up all over the place (maybe this is part of the reason why Apple is reluctant to sell more, b/c quality will go down), but the applications and OS behave like you expect and apple tends to do well in the customer service dept (even after warranty.. i can’t tell you how many times i’ve been helped by a Genius in the apple store for free). Likewise, Windows will continue to be used by many people, since it is bundled with most OEMs and alot of people just want a computer, they don’t usually do much research besides checking prices and maybe CPU specs. That’s about it, and it’s part of the reason why HP was able to survive even with a horrible record of reliability and forced Dell to lower their quality so they could compete on price. I’m not saying that everyone is dumb… but they could have reasons to keep windows or they’re simply too lazy to compare differences. Which is why this blog exists, because a person (Daniel) was upset at how much news focused on microsoft at one time (now it seems to be the opposite).

  • John E

    pretty much agree with kimsnarf. the Zune is a commercial flop (tho not quite the “colossal failure” Dan branded it once). Win 7 will be a commercial success, viewed positively by virtually all Windows users in comparison with Vista. Win 7 will not be “like the Zune” in that regard.

    MS real problem is price erosion from all causes for its software, especially Office, its other key moneymaker. cheap alternatives to Office are becoming more common, including iWorks for Macs, that do the job and work fine with Exchange (a key new feature of Snow Leopard). Office’s bloated price is of course the huge “Microsoft Tax” that no on talks about. it accounts for a huge chunk of MS profits, and any price erosion here from new competition really hurts MS bottom line.

    MS other real problem is the fast growing alternative of computer phones/pods. i don’t mean netbooks, which are still shrunken computers and hence still a pain in the butt to get working and keep working good. i mean the much more simple computer app OS like the iPhone and soon all its imitators. it is only a year or two from now that consumers will buy these INSTEAD of a laptop of any kind or size, because they will be able to perform every function they need and are much easier to use, plus offering some unique features. MS actually foresaw this long ago in the 90’s to their credit, and created Win CE, now Win Mobile, in response. but it screwed it up badly and let it drift technically, so now Win Mobile 6.x is just hopelessly inadequate. it will be interesting to see if Win 7 next year is a credible next gen mobile OS. if not, Win Mobile will meet the same fate as the Zune and become irrelevant. if future computer phones/pods start taking net sales away from desktop OS sales globally, as well they might, that will also really hurt MS’ profits.

    so looking ahead in the next few years i see MS facing shrinking profit margins even while unit sales may increase. that’s the real problem they face.

    meanwhile, over the next five years Apple just needs to nudge its desktop OS share up to perhaps 15% to equal MS in total sales revenue, and – thanks to its hardware focus – outpace MS in net profit.

  • indiana61

    I love how we are all pretty much subjective when it comes to giving our opinions about what should or shouldn’t happen. Apple needs to do such and such, Microsoft should blah blah!
    Bottom line Apple does not want to compete with MS in the OEM OS market. Apple just wants to continue to bring best of breed products to market. Now we can all get subjective about what “best of breed” means. Apple competes against HP, Acer, Dell, and generic PC manufacturers, who all just happen to offer (by force/lack of competition) MS Windows. Why do these manufacturers offer a pre installed OS? Because the absolute majority of PC users (not IT/Tech) are not tech savvy. The best they can do is use the power on/off button and just maybe plug the mouse into the right place. A lot of them think they are smart because they can quote Ghz and Mb’s but the reality is they do not have a clue. They go of to stores and say to sales people I want to be able to x and y, the salesmans thinking I can sell them an Acer ’cause they give me a $100.00 rebate for each sale this month. Customer ends up buying whatever salesman recommends, if the price is within their price range. This is the lesson to be learned from the recent MS ads (other than the fact the ads are scripted folks), the end user is basically a moron and does not really know what they are buying. Apple would be happy if HP did actually develop their own OS and not because it would affect MS sales but because finaklly they could have a direct competitor and maybe people would not focus on the MS/Apple competitors mythology.

  • indiana61

    And christ I can ramble…

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  • sharp_jiang

    wondering what would microsoft do in the coming days.

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  • Joel

    @John E “well, bashing and snarking MS and Windows is a lot of fun. but fact remains that Win 7 will be a noticeably improved version of Vista…”

    No it won’t. It wil be as “noticeably improved” as Xp was over 2000. Ie, full of the same security holes and design compromises as last time, just with a nice coat of paint.

    If Microsoft want to noticebly improve their O/s they need to start again from scratch, or, like Apple, adopt a firm basis from someone else.

  • bornonjuly4

    I have been using Windows 7 Beta for last few months and have been pretty happy with it. Comparing Windows 7 to Zune is a stretch. I would love to come visit this blog a year after both Snow Leopard and Windows 7 have been released.

    For everyone who defends OSX, I would like to ask one simple question. Why can’t it come up with a useful File Manager shell like Windows Explorer? Finder is a sorry excuse for a shell and sucks donkey balls.

    Windows 3.1 had better File Manager.

  • bornonjuly4

    Here is the Windows 7 Developer blog. The core development team updates various technical aspects of the OS and how they are fixing some of the issues from Vista.

    http://blogs.msdn.com/e7/

  • Netudo

    @Joel, Or giving XP a fancy GUI, a service pack and to sell it as Windows 8.

  • stefn

    As with some writers above, I review comments with this first filter: Does the writer realize that MS = enterprise and Apple = consumer market sector? If not, then it’s almost always an apples (of course) and oranges comparison, hardly worth a read.

    Daniel, over the years, has done a great job of portraying the difference between the sectors: As Daniel has shown, with gobs of articles, MS cannot do both enterprise and the consumer sector. And Apple gave up on the enterprise sector years ago as a priority.

    MS made its bones in the Wall Street/enterprise/OEM area, over which it maintains enormous control and “push” within its primary constituency of IT folks. It is the killed-the-king successor to IBM in this sense, and it continues IBM’s solid, big blue qualities.

    Apple works Main Street, where it early learned to strut its multicolored fruit cart against lots of other vendors, relying on individual choice-makers, almost “hand selling” its wares with the “pull” of whatever style, substance, and solutions it created. Its competition in this area is more often Sony and Motorola than MS.

  • Mike V.

    Yes, Microsoft is a suck company.

    Yes, Wal-Mart is the dumpster of the world.

    Yes, probably everything in your article is correct.

    But do you have to be such a d-bag about it? I mean it’s kind of sad that you have all these guys cheering on your arrogance. So what if Microsoft products are used by people that consume their calories two liters at a time? Apple sells their products to people who consume their calories one tall, grande or venti at a time. And then they go on to eat something organic (ironically, w/o even knowing how lax their government regulations are becoming when it comes to what’s considered organic), I guess, to feel better about their $4 latte.

    Throwing liberal politics into it is a poor choice, considering the widespread (and probably well-substantiated) opinion that the current vice president is nothing more than a cheerleading sock puppet of the RIAA.

    People who shop in Wal-Mart are not there because they’re cheapskates. Nobody ‘wants’ to be shopping in a Wal-Mart. The people at that level, for the most part, are just trying to survive. I know because I started out there.

    If you somehow associate ‘owning a Mac’ with sophistication and ‘owning a PC’ as a lack thereof, you’re sadly mistaken. I know people with seven and eight figure incomes that roll through life just happily with their Sony Vaio’s or what-have-you. And as for the Wal-Mart crowd, most probably don’t really use a computer enough to know the difference. I doubt if any of them would object to owning a Mac. But they don’t have the means. And it’s not that high of a priority.

    I started out liking this blog. I loved the history of Apple and the way you told it. But this is kind of the last article for me. You can’t just talk down on a certain group of people just because of where they shop or what constitutes their diets or how much money it’s apparent that they (don’t) make.

    Bro, I work with practically every A-list talent in Hollywood, every Director and every Producer -all the way to the top. And when I say ‘work with’, I mean in-the-same-room. I do quite well for myself financially. And I’m probably the only person posting here with aSmallWorld account -ooh la la. I own plenty of Macs. Heck, I just bought my girlfriend a new one last night. And I would never dream of talking about people like that. Maybe that’s just the conservative in me.

    Anyway, I’m outta here. Moving along. Link deleted. Good luck with all that.

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