Re: Apple? Oh pleeease!

Jim Whitehead (
Wed, 26 Feb 1997 15:53:32 -0800

>* 2) At a time when they need to be focusing on basics (like, how do we
>* consistently manufacture laptops which work, how do we get new computer
>* purchasers to buy Macintosh, and how do we reduce our inventory), they are
>* involved in a soap-opera in which 90% of all institutional knowledge among
>* the upper management team has been dissipated. This does not bode well.
>check out Cyberdog. I'll post about that little experiment later.

When I checked out Cyberdog this time last year, I was unimpressed. It
certainly isn't the next killer app. Cyberdog does email, news, and is a
net browser. So can a WinTel machine. So can a current generation Mac.
Yes, I know you get all the advantages of being able to compose new
applications using these utilities as building blocks, thus bringing us
closer to the eventual nirvana of component-based software, but I still
claim the typical user (and the typical IS department) doesn't care about
this capability. Cyberdog is not going to save Apple.

>* 4) The Mac OS is still not compatible, and is not projected to become
>* compatible with the vast majority of existing software (i.e., WinTel
>* programs)
>what exactly does this mean? compatable in which way? can I run
>bloated_wordprocessor.exe on a Mac? no, but I can't run it on Solaris, or
>SGI, or Linux either. cheap shot and played out.

Actually, you can run Windows applications under Solaris, using WABI technology.

However, Unix does have compelling reasons to use it -- it's still the
mid-range server OS of choice. The compelling reason to use Mac OS today
is its integrated graphics support.

Thus, application compatibility isn't an issue for Unix -- these boxes are
in a different market. It *is* an issue for Macs, because they are in the
same market as WinTel machines. The average user goes to Bits'R'Us and
sees 10 aisles of PC software and 3 aisles of Mac software -- this has an
impact, even if three whole aisles are exclusively Microsoft products.

>* 5) What is the compelling reason for the average corporate or home user to
>* want Rhapsody? They can already do word processing, spreadsheets, email,
>* and Web access just fine on their WinTel platform. I'm sure Rhapsody is
>* great for some niche markets, but how will it convince the average user to
>* switch? Again, I'm not talking engineers who appreciate a fine OS design,
>* I'm talking about the average user.
>none. but Apple's installed base isn't the average corporate/home user.

And the implications of this on their bottom line is?...

Here's my picks for features which could really differentiate Apple from
competitors, and which the typical end-user really cares about (and which
I'll bet could be achieved with the millions spent on NeXT):

1) Fast boot times. Imagine how fast PowerBooks would fly out the door if
they were operational in under 5 seconds from cold start?
2) Memory protection. Make the Mac really stable, so it doesn't crash
several times a day.
3) Freedom from upgrades. Rather than upgrade the OS, why not stabilize
the OS? Keep making minor rev. releases, but don't make a major
architectural change. The typical computer user doesn't like dealing with
OS upgrades -- they're stressful, they cost money, and don't result in any
tangible increase in functionality. Advertising that buying a Mac means
you don't have to play the Microsoft upgrade game would be very compelling
to a lot of people.

- Jim