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Author Topic: Apple and the future of Macs - a difficult topic for me  (Read 1685 times)


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Apple and the future of Macs - a difficult topic for me
« on: January 28, 2013, 06:34 PM »

Okay, I must be getting old and grouchy, because this opinion article hit a nerve.


In older days, we had basically free DOS fueling the surge of beige boxes and the rise of the business market etc. Then Apple did make the world at least wake up to what a graphical UI could do. After a few good years, they then drifted into a shrinking niche while MS pulled those eight odd years of sleazy lock-in deals from about Win95 to WinXP & Server2003. Then they got stuck.

Meanwhile Apple saw surprising success with the whole Mac OS revolution, but to me it was still pretty niche, not to mention the beyond aggressive obsolescence strategy. But that was supposed to be okay, right? "Mac OS was the prettied-up *nixxy OS for the masses, and if you Get a Mac, Justin Long will be your friend." Or something.

So now with the typically click-baity headline, Apple's tablet seems to be chewing into its Mac line. But can Apple be truly "happy" killing its own line of Macs? Is it even possible to "kill" the "PC-thingie" (or Mac etc)? Yes, it might stabilize down into "a shadow of its former glory days" but I don't even understand how it is possible to get serious work done on an iPad. Not "read 8 webpages of news and fire off an email", but full document creation and control, plus the software side. How do you even work on a device that basically doesn't create files?!!  :mad:

Carol Haynes

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Re: Apple and the future of Macs - a difficult topic for me
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2013, 07:06 PM »
Same goes for Android and WinRT really.

Who wants to create documents of any substance on a small touch screen - and that is just word processing trying to design anything on a tablet beyond a quick sketch is nigh on impossible.

But whilst I agree with you what we have to remember is this where Apple, Google and Microsoft want to head. They don't care what their customers want or need - they just want the disposable 'domestic appliance' market with all its locked in money making capability.

Trouble is Apple, in particular, are very good at convincing massive numbers of people that what they really NEED in their life is a cool iXXXXXX (whatever) - that fact that it serves Apple more than the consumer is skillfully hidden and most people are simply too stupid to realise what they are getting and what they are losing.

Reminds me of a biblical verse "All we like sheep have gone astray" - Apple sees itself as the shepherd and Google and Windows are training up to be sheepdogs. Blackberry is like the lost sheep trying desperately to find its way home!


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Re: Apple and the future of Macs - a difficult topic for me
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2013, 08:24 PM »
It used to be said by many (way back in the pre-OSX days) that Apple was really "a software company that thought it was a computer company."

Nowadays, Apple really seems to be more of a consumer electronics company that wishes computers (as we currently know them) would dry up and go away.

Most of their corporate "vision" seems to be intent on reducing their product to an info-appliance with a captive audience locked into a fully proprietary and managed user "experience" (i.e. platform slaves).

The fact that they somehow managed to turn it into a cult experience for so many has allowed them to do things - and get away with things - most people in their right minds would never put up with. But there is an audience for that sort of treatment. It's a distinct minority made up of about 6% of the computer using public corresponding to roughly whatever Apple's current market share is.

I go back with Apple to their Apple][ so I know their 'story' in all its mutations. And the simple fact of the matter is Apple never treated its customers very well. Or with much respect. They always charged top dollar, made dubious design and engineering decisions "because they could" rather than in the best interests of their customers, and had a "take it or leave it" mentality. Us vs Them was the way of life for Apple. They also generally disregarded the opinions and desires of their user community -  invariably preferring to convince people to see things their way rather than enter into any real dialog. And resorted to ridicule when confronted with their logical absurdities and overall poor behavior.

I personally always felt Apple had a corporate deathwish. Rather than truly change the word (as the official goal supposedly was) I saw more of a desire on the part of Apple to end in some Waco-like scenario with their great and noble company brought low and ultimately destroyed by the craven and unworthy.

Which makes sense, since out of such events are myths and legends born. And Steve Jobs wanted more than anything to become a legend.

As far as cannibalizing it's own product lines, Apple has already done that. The Macintosh deliberately competed with and ultimately devoured the Apple II/III/IV product line. The Macintosh was created by a 'company' (or design team) within the main company. Most of their talent was poached from their main business operation. Story goes when Jobs set up the Mac skunk-works in a separate building, the people involved went so far as to fly a pirate flag from the roof thereby clearly signaling their intentions. This was Steve Jobs way of showing the world he was somehow on equal technical footing with Steve Wozniak. And killing the original Apple and doing his best to push Woz out the door was all part of achieving that. Which is typical behavior for a 'young Turk.'

And now it looks like the new powers that be are rerunning the Job's old playbook by trying to show the world just how wrong it is about the way it does things - and how Apple (as always) has an infinitely better idea. "Insanely great" in fact.

Jobs wasn't content with merely killing off the original Apple computer. Because in the final analysis, the Macintosh was still a personal computer. And Steve couldn't claim exclusive credit for coming up with that idea. So the next step was to come up with something that would ultimately replace the personal computer. Something he could claim was all his idea. And his alone as long as you ignored (or didn't know about) Alan Kay's Dynabook. :mrgreen:

So no..bait & switch or not, I think Apple would be very happy to see the personal computer disappear. It's too hard to completely rein in a Mac. It's much too open to individual modification and repurposing. And that's something Apple was never happy seeing people do with its products.


Note: I say "its" products because if you read the EULA that comes with a Mac you'll notice that you have only licensed use of the device from Apple. You don't actually own it.