Way back in Apple’s past, when money was tight, market share was none-existent, mind-share even less, the Apple-faithful and the wider tech-press looked to Apple for a solution to their woes.
Just what was Steve Jobs and Apple going to do to stop the downward spiral?
Steve’s answer surprised everyone, and in hindsight it’s the approach that has, in part, turned the company around, and secured their future – Steve Jobs said:
“For Apple to win, Microsoft doesn’t have to lose.”
Most of the Apple faithful balked at this comment, did they here that right? What was Steve Jobs on? Did he really know what he was doing? Surely Microsoft has to be crushed, stamped upon and erased from history so that Apple can ‘win’.
But Steve was right. One of the problems with Apple, was that they were obsessed with Microsoft, and it damaged everything they did, every effort, every promotion was measured against the impossible goal of toppling a giant.
What Steve Jobs did is refocused the company, allowed them to say to themselves, “it’s perfectly OK to have a small market share, there is room in this industry for everyone.” With that approach Apple could concentrate on what they were good at, and measure their success against their own watermark, not somebody elses.
Which brings us back to Ballmer. Wouldn’t it just be a breath of fresh air if Ballmer said:
“We don’t worry about Google – we relish competition, and there’s room in this industry for everyone. We don’t have to win all the time.”
I think the whole tech industry would breath a sigh of relief that at last, Microsoft was happy with it’s lot and concentrated on creating great products for us all.
“In a blog post entitled ‘Competition Authorities and Search,’ Microsoft Vice President and Deputy General Counsel Dave Heiner said part of the motivation for Microsoft and Yahoo’s search deal was ‘we are concerned about Google business practices that tend to lock in publishers and advertisers and make it harder for Microsoft to gain search volume,'”
And here’s the killer line:
“according to court documents, Ballmer pledged to ‘f***ing kill Google’ after learning of Google’s plan to hire a key Microsoft engineer in 2005.”
Poor Microsoft are upset that Google isn’t just rolling over and letting them dominate search, just like every other company has let them take over their business-niche before them.
Maybe Microsoft are angry because:
a) they can’t ‘cut off their air supply‘ like they did with Netscape in order to create an abusive monopoly in the internet browser business
b) they can’t blatantly steal code from Google, like they did with Apple’s Quicktime, in order to have a product that got even close to what Apple had
Still, while Microsoft and Google are at loggerheads, it keeps them occupied whilst everyone’s favourite fruit company can stroll past them.
A good a comprehensive review from Andy Inakhto, covering the pros and cons of Tyrell Corps’ new phone.
One of the problems that Andy sees it the fragmentation of the Android OS. The platform is not set in stone, some things work on your Android phone, but may not work on your friends’. This is because Google has given too much control to the carrier, however Andy comments that this may be a moot point because of a similarity on the iPhone:
Alas, even the comparative utopia of Apple’s iPhone’s “One OS to rule them all” system can’t last forever; early reports are that iPhone OS 4.0 will bring enough new core features that only the iPhone 3G and 3GS will run it.
I would strongly argue that that the fragmentation of Android is worse than the ‘fragmentation’ of the iPhone, because it doesn’t matter how many times Apple fragments the iPhone – they control & manage every fragmentation. Google does not.
It’s that control that sets the iPhone above everything else, Apple can split and dice up the OS’s relationship with the hardware as many times as they like, as long as they manage the user’s experience.
Google’s user frustrations in this area will not come from the fact that they can’t run ‘X’ piece of software on their phone, it’s that nobody (Google or the carrier) will give then a straight answer, or even care that this is important to the user.
Google’s carriers hang like a weight around its neck, the user will constantly be frustrated with that and will demand better.
They way you get ‘better’ is to handle it all yourself – Apple’s route. Apple’s relationship with AT&T is rightly criticized, but at least Apple has AT&T under control.
Lastly, Andy’s title for this piece is, “Google’s Nexus One is no iPhone – and that’s OK”. Is that because Andy, you have been saying on The Twit Network that it’s much better than the iPhone, however after using you realise that that’s not the case?
Expect Leo Laporte to quietly stop using his Nexus One (which he has gone on record as saying that he has abandoned his iPhone for the Google phone) and move back to the iPhone within the next few days…
Reinforcing my previous post concerning the apparent invisibility of our friends at Redmond – why does no-one dare to question the insecure system that allowed all this?
China hack into over 30 western companies due to flaws in Microsoft Windows – how much more serious does this have to get?
Why does nothing seem to stick to this company?
The best (for them) days work Microsoft ever did, was to convince everyone that they are blameless for the security holes in their software.
The ever-excellent Macalope highlights that Google’s support for the Nexus One is even more convoluted than I thought.
Taking a leaf out of the Microsoft/OEM handbook of support, where if you have an error they both simply blame each other, Google goes even further with a triumvirate of support options:
Quoting the post:
A T-Mobile spokeswoman said that T-Mobile is providing support for phone service, including billing, while Google supports device sales and software, and HTC supports the hardware, including device troubleshooting, warranty, repairs and returns.
So if you are unfortunate to have some problem with your totally open and wonderful Nexus One, you first have to ascertain what the problem is (surely that’s the reason why you’re calling support in the first place?).
If you have a problem with dropped calls, is that ‘the phone service’ (T-Mobile), ‘software’ (Google) or is that ‘device troubleshooting’ (HTC)?
Could anyone on earth come up with a more obfuscated process that seems intent on making sure you don’t actually get your problem solved?
I’m certain that these are very valid points which should be taken into account if you were let’s say, vaunting the ‘open & wonderful’ Nexus One as a worthy competitor to that horribly restricted iPhone, such as certain pundits do on regular occasions on the Twit Network.
I’m also certain however that we won’t hear a word of these problems, and the Nexus One, Two, Three etc will be lauded upon high as the ‘iPhone killer’.
Via Mac Daily News (‘cos I aint linking to Enderle).
It seems that The Tyrell Corporation, sorry, Google went to great lengths to create an iPhone competitor, and worked very hard on their GUI, partnering with HTC for the hardware and even went to generous lengths by screwing over Philip K. Dick’s Estate, but forgot the after sales service.
It seems that they really thought that they could use the same strategy that they used for almost all of their other technological efforts, like GMail for instance; just release it, and when something goes wrong, say it’s a beta.
They completely ignored the lesson learnt many, many times by Apple, that if you want to convince someone to part with cash for a new technology, you’d better have a damn good infrastructure in place if that person wants some support.
And they do – the Apple Stores are the crown jewel in their business plan, and is one of the reasons people switch to the Mac – the safety net of a real, trained, intelligent genius to talk to.
What do users of the Nexus One have? Email support with a promise of an answer within 2 days. Come on Google.
If Google thinks that the Nexus One is giving them trouble, imagine the support calls they’ll get on revision six, when the phone jumps a shuttle off-world, killing the crew and passengers, and then seeks out it’s creator and murders him, all the while being hunted down by Google’s next prototype phone.
(Anyone who doesn’t get the Bladerunner comparisons in this post, please read the book, or see the film).
Oh yeah, and Google, just give Phil’s estate some licensing fees and stop ripping off his legacy.
I’ve posted previously about the viewpoint of certain Mac-gurus (Inak-cough!-hto), that Apple’s over zealous closed system for the iPhone is something they should abandon and allow the users to decide whether or not they can run ‘x’ software on ‘their’ phone.
Apple have stated previously that a phone is not like a computer and you shouldn’t be allowed to just run anything on it – I agree.
Along comes Google with their ‘open-and-not-like-the-horrible-closed-iPhone’ GooglePhone, and this is the result, and as if to add insult to injury you have to do this:
If you did download the Droid09 app, please remove it from your phone and take it to your mobile provider to ensure it’s completely removed.
Not only do you have to delete it, you have to take it to your mobile provider to ensure it’s totally gone.
Take note of my emphasis – not only can you not be sure it’s gone by deleting in the UI, but you have to take it into the place you bought it to sort this problem out.
If something went wrong with an iPhone, you’d take it to an Apple Store, who’d be briefed on the problem and be able to sort it out there and then. Can you imagine taking your phone back into a high street phone provider and asking the untrained, minimum-wage spotty teenager to help you?
Ah, but at least you have an open phone… can’t use it reliably because it’s full of malware, but at least you haven’t got one of those ‘closed’ iPhones…
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Interesting article over at ZDNet, concerning Google’s Chrome OS.
One quote that caught my attention was this:
It’s interesting that Chrome OS doesn’t represent a direct threat to Windows, Mac or Linux because the OS can’t be downloaded and installed onto existing systems. However, given that Google is earmarking netbookesque form factor devices to get the Chrome OS treatment, this still means that Google could capture market share from both Windows and Mac, especially those looking for a simple, fuss-free web-based solution.
It’s difficult for me to see how the Chrome OS will affect Apple, with them publicly stating that they want nothing to do with Netbooks. Jobs has stated, “Apple doesn’t know how to build a sub-$500 computer that’s not a piece of junk.”
It seems to me that Apple also doesn’t want to build a netbook because they new all along that the Chrome OS was perfect for netbooks, and will whitewash this sector completely.
No proof of that of course, but it does seem a little coincidental.
“Yahoo said it expects the deal to generate $250m to $450m in operating cash flow during the first 12 months, and that it represents an annual revenue opportunity for Yahoo of $800m. The deal is for an initial period of four years, with an option for Yahoo to extend it for a further six years.”
Google (with Steve Jobs smirking in the background) was reported as saying: “This is big, bigger than the biggest thing ever (other than me).”
Microsoft was reported as doing nothing much, except staring wide-eyed like a rabbit in the middle of the road, waiting to be run over.
“As part of the deal, the companies also plan to make their instant-messaging services interoperate, Decker said.”
Bye-bye Microsoft Instant Messenger, and within a decade – bye-bye Microsoft.
God I just love the world at the moment…