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Hardware makers plan preemptive strike against Apple tablet at CES - Page 4

post #121 of 166
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTripper View Post

Yes your points, I don't see any.

Perhaps we should just let it be then.

So then you won't read or are just stubborn? I'm guessing a little of both.
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post #122 of 166
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerseymac View Post

I predict the price point will be over a thousand bucks. We are talking about the same company that made the MacBook Air. $1800 bucks, no DVD drive, no ethernet, no firewire, etc. But sexy as hell.

I very much doubt it. They can create a highly focussed experience with their own hardware and software design, and they want to make it available to a great many people.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTripper View Post

Different markets.
Apple caters to the home consumers, that's their market and they fight hard against any competition in that area. Their products are designed with a high lust factor and invoke impulsive purchases and even theft.

Apple certainly designs more interesting/exciting products, which aren't necessarily useful for business. In fact, I suspect that MOST business users need a keyboard more than your average consumer does. Actually I should rephrase that - current PC users in businesses probably need their keyboards for what they currently do, but there's scope for different uses.

Quote:
Originally Posted by primedetailer View Post

There is going to be a lot of new, very nice looking tablets showing up on the market, but the biggest advantage that Apple has and everyone already knows about, is Itunes.

Apple's got a great ecosystem of technologies that pulled together could be amazing
1) their own CPU designed for their precise needs
2) their own OS already acclaimed for ease of use and running on low end hardware
3) willingness to abandon any old stuff that doesn't move the device into the future
4) iPhoto, iMovie ... redesigned for a tablet? scroll your finger over an event to skim photos, create slideshows etc?
5) iWork redesigned for a tablet - can we work on basic word processing on a tablet? (does it need pen recognition?)
6) all the music & movies we already can get via iTunes
7) possible subscription media deal for TV &/or music onto the tablet
8) probably the iPhone apps (or easy redesigns)
9) highly functional touch-based safari web browser
10) online syncing of calendars, documents (iDisk), etc
11) possible great access to next generation of magazines and newspapers
12) Kindle app for the tablet with close to native kindle screen size? PDF viewer too. etc
13) bluetooth keyboard and mouse?

I know they must want this to be light and inexpensive. I wonder what balance they've come up with.
post #123 of 166
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTripper View Post

The comparisons are unfair.

Dell is certainly selling more computers than Apple, but Apple is selling other things in addition that is making more profit and cost less, like media for instance and the nice kickback from AT&T for the iPhones.

Also the profits Microsoft makes from each copy of Windows needs to be figured in Dells profits too, not a cost, in order to more closely match Apple's, because Apple makes their own OS.

Those are valid points.
post #124 of 166
NOW CNBC at 9:30 about the Macintosh
post #125 of 166
This is a good way to get rid of netbooks, which are hurting the industry and cannibalizing NOTEbooks. I doubt that this will be a new category in addition to your EEE PCs and MSI Winds. If anything this is a direct competition, and will probably be better, since the tablets will run a dedicated tablet OS, which will be lighter and better suited for light weight social use.

Where current netbooks run Windows or ubuntu, which are altimately desktop OSs (even though efforts are made to change that with Ubuntu Netbook Remix and all) the netbook OS will be able to run apps kinda like iphone, which will allow for even better performance, provided no multitasking or limited multitasking on much lower speced machines.

You may have seen some of my other posts and know that I hate netbooks, because i see them as nothing more then a 5 year old laptop performance with a tiny screen and keyboard. A tablet however, is different, in that I can hold it and walk with it, I can take it out and use right away (without having to open the lid or sit down). I can read it like a book on the train, moving it away from sunlight in a way that a netbook can't be moved. In other words, this is an iPhone with a bigger screen, something I sometimes with I could have. Now hopefully this will be it.

As long as the price is not outrageous (and I know it will be, just like it was for the 1st gen iPhone) I think I can see myself making use of this. Unlike a netbook.
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post #126 of 166
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

Bingo. You win a cookie.

The rest of industry is chasing Apple, even though they don't know yet where Apple is going.

The trick is to get Apple to chase you. And by "you" I mean the average tech company. And from what I've been observing I don't see that happening anytime soon. I'm not being fanboyish either.
I think this is very unhealthy to have one or very few tech companies that are actually innovating in consumer computing tech. Apple is that one company out of a very short list of innovators. There should be many more.

But there are not.
post #127 of 166
Quote:
Originally Posted by Olternaut View Post

I think this is very unhealthy to have one or very few tech companies that are actually innovating in consumer computing tech. Apple is that one company out of a very short list of innovators. There should be many more.

Yeah, people generally can't see more than a few degrees from where they are.

Psychologically (in counselling) if someone is in a bad place they see only a very few options which don't actually change much in their life at all. We see things through filters and it's difficult to make bigger leaps.

Apple is good at ignoring current ways of doing things, and looking at it with a fresh perspective. They're also good at grossly simplifying whatever they end up designing so that more people can "get it" even though it's something very new.
(edit: They are then criticised for over simplifying and leaving out all the extras.)
post #128 of 166
Quote:
Originally Posted by sheff View Post

This is a good way to get rid of netbooks, which are hurting the industry and cannibalizing NOTEbooks. ...
You may have seen some of my other posts and know that I hate netbooks, because i see them as nothing more then a 5 year old laptop performance with a tiny screen and keyboard..

Why do you think that netbooks are hurting the industry? Why do you want to get rid of them, considering how many of your fellow consumers seem to want them?
post #129 of 166
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTripper View Post

The comparisons are unfair.

Why? They're all in the same business segment.

Quote:
Dell is certainly selling more computers than Apple, but Apple is selling other things in addition that is making more profit and cost less, like media for instance and the nice kickback from AT&T for the iPhones.

Dell sells as much other stuff as they can as does HP. TVs, GPS, phones, MP3 players, consoles, cameras, etc.

Quote:
Also the profits Microsoft makes from each copy of Windows needs to be figured in Dells profits too, not a cost, in order to more closely match Apple's, because Apple makes their own OS.

Why? OSX and the Mac ecosystem (iLife, iWork, etc) is something of a wash for Apple to make the high margin hw sales happen. If Dell thought it could and was useful, then it might do a custom Android or Linux variant and suck up the costs (large) and the benefit (marginal for Dell's business model).

The PC world is cost conscious with a lot low margin sales. Whenever the perform poorly they still have high sales and low (or no) profits. When Apple performs poorly they have low sales and low or no profits.
post #130 of 166
Quote:
Originally Posted by iGenius View Post

Why do you think that netbooks are hurting the industry? Why do you want to get rid of them, considering how many of your fellow consumers seem to want them?

Netbooks are great for consumers.
Terrible for computer manufacturers.
Not only are the profits terrible - about $15 per computer.
But they are displacing sales of full-priced notebooks.

C.
post #131 of 166
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carniphage View Post

Netbooks are great for consumers.
Terrible for computer manufacturers.
Not only are the profits terrible - about $15 per computer.
But they are displacing sales of full-priced notebooks.

C.

Are you a computer manufacturer? Or a consumer?
post #132 of 166
Quote:
Originally Posted by iGenius View Post

Are you a computer manufacturer? Or a consumer?

A consumer that likes healthy manufacturers. Which is why I'm happy that Apple maintains good margins and very healthy profits. I want them to be around in 10 years making the same kind of great product.

This is also why I want a higher average sale price for iPhone apps. If the consumer believes everything should be $0.99 then nobody will build apps that cost more.

For netbooks, Intel has to juggle how badly Atoms impact their sales of other CPUs. If it ever becomes purely commodity you can forget about tick/tock improvements in processor speeds or moore's law. Moving to ever smaller processes is a hugely expensive proposition.
post #133 of 166
Quote:
Originally Posted by Olternaut View Post

The trick is to get Apple to chase you. And by "you" I mean the average tech company. And from what I've been observing I don't see that happening anytime soon. I'm not being fanboyish either.
I think this is very unhealthy to have one or very few tech companies that are actually innovating in consumer computing tech. Apple is that one company out of a very short list of innovators. There should be many more.

But there are not.

The fundamental problem with the technology industry is Microsoft. Not the company itself so much, as their dominance, and the way the bulk of the rest of the industry is slaved to them. So as we move into this new class of portable computing devices, you'll see a variety of devices which may vary somewhat by form factor, but all working essentially the same way (running a Microsoft OS), and Apple's approach. That's what passes for choice these days. Not so many years ago, you could have subtracted Apple from this picture, and what passed for choice was a bunch of slightly different PCs, all functioning the same way.

Overall the market has been conditioned to accept a lack of real choice by Microsoft's dominance, which for a long time was considered to not only be preordained but a good thing besides. I'd like to think that Apple is beginning to change that mindset, but we'll see. I view this new device as being a marker for the future direction of the industry. If Apple can make a big impact in a new product area which is essentially wide-open, then perhaps other technology companies will rethink their approach and their relationship with Microsoft, and we'll begin to see real choice emerge. This would be a far better outcome than dominance by any one company.
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post #134 of 166
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

The fundamental problem with the technology industry is Microsoft. Not the company itself so much, as their dominance, and the way the bulk of the rest of the industry is slaved to them.

Very true.

I was wondering why would a company create a Netbook - when doing so is obviously commercial stupidity.

If you look at HP's Netbook it is a lovely device. And for all that investment and design, HP makes a pitiful sum per unit. These cheap netbooks are cannibalising sales of full-priced notebooks - and the sales of PCs are declining.

To add insult to injury, HP have had to do a recall. So any small profits they would have made have been wiped-out.

So why did they do it?

Because if Acer makes a netbook, and HP don't - the consumer will just buy an Acer.

The universal nature of Windows means that any given manufacturer is powerless to retain customers. The offering is Windows in different coloured wrappings. The very best that HP can do is make a shinier package.

In a food analogy. There only one company that makes beans. All all the outlets just compete to make a more attractive bean-tin. This one is chrome. This one has holograms! But the beans always taste the same.

Ultimately this is unhealthy for computer manufacturers, for the industry and for consumers.
A manufacturer cannot offer a more stable computer. Or an easier-to-use computer, because that's Microsoft's job.

It's not even like the beans taste that good!

You are right, Apple is breaking this model. But I worry that the surviving PC hardware manufacturers will be those who raced to the bottom and stayed there.

C.
post #135 of 166
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carniphage View Post

You are right, Apple is breaking this model. But I worry that the surviving PC hardware manufacturers will be those who raced to the bottom and stayed there.

True story. I hear all these huzzahs for Acer besting Dell, and wonder why anyone would root for either one of these companies.
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post #136 of 166
Do these manufacturers just poop out devices to compete (?) because all of a sudden tablet computing is gearing up to be the next big wave... something Microsoft tried for quite some time to accomplish as I remember... Apple steps in and now all the followers (Dell) come out of the woodwork... However, all of this tablet press is actually positive for Apple, because if tablet computing does take off, it will be another channel for consumers to continue to learn about the Apple experience (Mac OS X) - and it's ecosystem, which is at the top of the class.
post #137 of 166
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

The fundamental problem with the technology industry is Microsoft. Not the company itself so much, as their dominance,

I agree. MS set back the PC industry greatly, notably in the late 80's and through the mid-to-late '90's.

We need viable alternatives.
post #138 of 166
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

The fundamental problem with the technology industry is Microsoft. Not the company itself so much, as their dominance, and the way the bulk of the rest of the industry is slaved to them.

Microsoft and Intel is what saved us from a balkanized computer world. If you don't like the state of the industry today, imagine what it would have been like if HP, SGI, Sun, DEC and IBM still dominated computing. Computers would still cost $3000-$6000 and be about 1/10th as fast.

Even, or perhaps especially if, Apple had retained the PC crown.

Microsoft and Intel forced a de facto standard on an industry totally incapable of adhering to de jure standards or even able to make common standards that simply didn't suck.

Microsoft sold compilers for hundreds when Unix vendors sold them for thousands. Microsoft sold operating systems for tens of dollars when Unix vendors sold them for tens of thousands. Microsoft sold word processing suites for hundreds when other vendors wanted thousands.

All those computing companies that are dead are dead for very good reason. They sucked and they wanted a lot of money to continue sucking.

Gates and Grove were the two best things to happen to computing in the 80s. Yes, even more than Jobs and I'm a real fanboi. But he couldn't make a cheap mac well...ever.
post #139 of 166
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post

Microsoft and Intel is what saved us from a balkanized computer world. If you don't like the state of the industry today, imagine what it would have been like if HP, SGI, Sun, DEC and IBM still dominated computing. Computers would still cost $3000-$6000 and be about 1/10th as fast.

I could not possibly disagree more. I don't know where anyone gets the idea that competition would utterly fail us in the computer market when we count on it driving innovation and lowering costs everywhere else. So this argument makes absolutely no sense to me. None whatsoever!
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post #140 of 166
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post

Microsoft and Intel is what saved us from a balkanized computer world.

Gates and Grove were the two best things to happen to computing in the 80s. Yes, even more than Jobs and I'm a real fanboi. But he couldn't make a cheap mac well...ever.

I also disagree.

Yes, Gates brought a powerful unifying vision, which served the interests of consumers.

But that unifying effect has gone well past its sell-by date.

The present-day effect of Microsoft's near monopoly is stagnation. The market is now incapable of delivering innovation. All PC vendors can do is change the color of the wrappings. The influence of Microsoft has become a force for anti-competition and anti-free-market.

Yes, consumers benefit from low prices. But consumers now have little or no choice.

And the idea that computers can be "balkanised" is simply no longer possible. The web, xml, ethernet and a hundred other technologies means that data can flow effortlessly between disparate systems. Go to a cutting-edge visual effects house and see Macs, PCs and Linux machines all doing what they do best. The walls don't matter anymore.

We don't care what is under the hood, we only care how well it drives.

C.
post #141 of 166
Consumers benefit from competition. Variety is what creates choice, and choice drives prices down. Monopolization has just the opposite effect. Microsoft's 25 year stranglehold on the market has done nobody not named Gates any good.
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post #142 of 166
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

I could not possibly disagree more. I don't know where anyone gets the idea that competition would utterly fail us in the computer market when we count on it driving innovation and lowering costs everywhere else. So this argument makes absolutely no sense to me. None whatsoever!

Except it did fail for the mainframe, mini, unix and even personal computer market prior to the PC. IBM's UCSD was $450, CP/M was $175 when MS charged $60 for MS DOS. It failed in the unix market even after the PC appeared leading to the destruction of the Unix market by Windows.

Only MS (Gates) and Commodore (Tramiel) pushed hard to commoditize the PC market to drive computing to be ubiquitous. MS dominated the business market. Commodore the home market right up until it damaged itself chasing market share too far and management balked leading to Tramiel leaving and buying Atari.

For both Gates and Tramiel business was war and they stomped competitors to the benefit of the consumer. Market share and low cost was the grand strategy for winning. The difference was that the DOS was a much better platform to expand from than the C64 OS and the separation of OS from hardware vendor allowed for much greater penetration of the OS.

I get the idea from actually knowing computing history. Left to itself the computer market was always low volume, high margin and not a commodity market. Gates drove the industry to low cost, high volume sales bringing computing to the masses after Tramiel faltered (after destroying TI, damaging Atari and others). After Tramiel left, Commodore went back to low volume, higher prices with Amiga (compared to the C64).
post #143 of 166
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTripper View Post

Like your optimism but here are the facts.

Businesses who need to hire IT personal usually to fix other things besides Windows.

Even a company filled with just Mac's needs IT personnel, to maintain servers, data, backups, hardware maintenance, upgrades and hand holding/teaching.

It only takes a few minutes of actual labor to reinstall Windows if it's hosed. Take the machine into the shop and "ghost" the drive from a master and go do something else while that's working. Return the machine in a hour, it's that simple.

Another fact is that most people know and businesses use Windows and Office, schools teach it, the business world uses it. It's done, no possible penetration possible, even free OpenOffice hasn't made any real headway.

Another fact is OS X is tied to hardware, if your business needs matte screen laptops for the road warriors, Apple doesn't sell them except in a very few models. So choice of hardware is another problem, Toughbook with OS X? Dream on!

Apple doesn't give a rats ass, they want to sell flashy devices to home consumers and be absolutely no threat to Microsoft and the PC industry at all.

Forget all about OS X taking over the world, it's not going to happen. Apple is already introducing a new closed UI on consumer devices and that's going to be their market.

You want a real computer 10 years from now? It will be a Windows machine.


Sure a few companies can save money by going all Mac, but Apple is flaky and so is their hardware choices. Try getting video card upgrades for your Apple towers over the years and you'll see what I mean.

Also most Mac's are closed boxes, this makes it difficult to remove drive and service the device in house. The whole machine (and your companies private data) goes off to lala land to be fixed.

Since it's so easy to clone a Windows machine from a master, the benefits of going all Mac in business doesn't offset the drawbacks and limited hardware choices Apple provides.

Steve got that money from Gates to breath life into Apple and not to be a threat to his empire by going off into another direction. Apple Computer>Apple etc.

Sorry that's the truth and that comes from a 20 year Mac veteran.

I can't even begin to describe how ignorant and poorly thought out your arguments are. It is FACT that organizations using Macs require fewer IT professionals. It's not even up for debate. Your "closed box" statement is completely false. I've upgraded my three year old Mac mini several times and it's still snappier than most new Windows machines. Companies actually prefer Apple's hardware model because it's much more consistent, making it that much easier to roll out new software and hardware upgrades. Mac OS X Server makes it much easier to image and restore hard disks, right over the network, which is also quick when most modern Macs are eqipped with gigabit ethernet and 802.11n. Networking in itself is also much easier with Macs. It's instant-on and a breeze to configure. Bill Gates made an investment in Apple. Given Apple's stock performance since that time, I'd say it's paying off very well. It's probably the best business decision Redmond has made since buying DOS and stealing Mac OS.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that you are a relentless (and obviously, painfully ignorant) troll.
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post #144 of 166
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Originally Posted by Carniphage View Post

I also disagree.

Yes, Gates brought a powerful unifying vision, which served the interests of consumers.

But that unifying effect has gone well past its sell-by date.

When that actually occurs MS, like IBM will be eclipsed by someone else.

Quote:
The present-day effect of Microsoft's near monopoly is stagnation.

WPF, XNA, multitouch SDK and other recent MS advances are not stagnation and represent some of the best advances in the industry. Pick a development ecosystem advancing more quickly than .Net. It sure as hell ain't Java.

Quote:
The market is now incapable of delivering innovation.

So multi touch PCs isn't innovation? The problem with MS is that it's geek driven and lacks refinement. The upside is that they have enough money to paper over most of those issues by hiring talent to cover some of the shortfalls. Something Linux (even more excessively geek driven) cannot do.

Quote:
Yes, consumers benefit from low prices. But consumers now have little or no choice.

Please. Consumers have as much choice as they demand. There's Apple. There's Ubuntu. There's Android. There's even AmigaDOS abd BeOS still lurking about somewhere.

Quote:
And the idea that computers can be "balkanised" is simply no longer possible. The web, xml, ethernet and a hundred other technologies means that data can flow effortlessly between disparate systems.

Right. Did you know that Java and .Net both implement about 80%-90% of SOAP. Different 80%-90%? So WSDL and schema designed for the Java stack STILL may or may not work with the .NET stack? The RESTful world is a little better. Maybe.

And the web. Notice that some sites STILL require IE and Safari is still borked on them? Data flows but XML is no panacea to stovepipes.

Quote:
Go to a cutting-edge visual effects house and see Macs, PCs and Linux machines all doing what they do best. The walls don't matter anymore.

Try talking to their IT folks and the folks that make them all play together. It's not nearly as seamless as you think.

And the balkanization was in the 70s and 80s (Apple, Commodore, TI, Radio Shack, Atari, CP/M, PC, etc) and CONTINUES for the unix market (what's left of it) and in the Linux market. Because we really need 10 different package managers and a 100 slightly different distros all slightly different.

Had there not been a dominant Wintel ecosystem we'd have a half dozen incompatible systems claiming compatibility through "web standards" and "xml" and all about as compatible as OOXML and ODF are to each other.
post #145 of 166
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carniphage View Post

Yes, Gates brought a powerful unifying vision, which served the interests of consumers.

But that unifying effect has gone well past its sell-by date.

I think we've actually got a pretty good combination. Perhaps luck?

Microsoft's way of working has enabled the PC industry to grow in many different ways, and encouraged competition (in non-Microsoft areas). Apple's integrated approach allows for a different class of solutions.

Apple leaves out important pieces, they paint brilliant pictures with a couple of flaws that they simply don't care about. Overall their art looks great. Microsoft and other competitors produce lower quality imitations but with the flaws fixed, and then they innovate in other ways Apple hadn't thought about. The cycle repeats, they drive each other forward in different ways.

Anyway - haven't been following the argument closely so apologies if my comment is irrelevant.
post #146 of 166
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post

Except it did fail for the mainframe, mini, unix and even personal computer market prior to the PC. IBM's UCSD was $450, CP/M was $175 when MS charged $60 for MS DOS. It failed in the unix market even after the PC appeared leading to the destruction of the Unix market by Windows.

I "actually know" computer history. In addition to it being a particular interest, which has led to having a shelf full of books on the subject, I've been using computers since the early 1970s.

Your comparisons are not apt. The personal computer market was only in its infancy when the IBM-PC came out, so it makes no sense at all to compare it to the mini and mainframe markets, for several obvious reason. Gates had no design to commoditize anything. His great genius was to have a huge stroke of luck which led Microsoft to dominate a market it had no actual role in creating.

At the time the technology for building useful desktop computers was just emerging. The domination of the industry by one company did not advance this process. Like any other industry which is too centered on one company, it retarded it. Believe it or not, the technology industry does not operate by a completely different set of rules and does not exist in a completely separate universe from everything else. Competition is what makes good things happen, not domination.
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post #147 of 166
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post

When that actually occurs MS, like IBM will be eclipsed by someone else.

In a fair marketplace, I think Microsoft would already be much smaller. But the anti-market nature of the Windows near-monopoly makes that much more difficult than it should be.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post

WPF, XNA, multitouch SDK and other recent MS advances are not stagnation and represent some of the best advances in the industry. Pick a development ecosystem advancing more quickly than .Net. It sure as hell ain't Java.

I am not saying that Microsoft has not made innovations.
I am saying that the Computer Hardware Manufacturers are unable to make innovations. They are unable to distinguish their offerings. They don't sell products, they sell Windows. Manufacturers simply make fancy boxes to sell Windows in. Real innovation becomes something that Microsoft does. While HP and Dell and Asus are obliged to go along with whatever MS does next.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post

Please. Consumers have as much choice as they demand. There's Apple. There's Ubuntu. There's Android. There's even AmigaDOS abd BeOS still lurking about somewhere.

If you look at other products, cameras and cars and even phones - you have many manufacturers who all compete to produce diverse and differentiated products. That seems to suggest that consumers like choice and like diversity.

But walk into a Best Buy or PC world and you get a desert of cloned products. (with an occasional Apple oasis) . Thank goodness for Apple because without it, computers would be like the Model T - you can have any colour as long as it's black.

Is this the fault of consumers who don't want more choice? Or is it because of the Microsoft monopoly? The current success of Apple certainly seems like consumers want a viable alternative to Windows.

Microsoft's dominance came about because consumers and businesses overwhelmingly voted for MS in the 90s. To avoid the data balkanisation you described and take advantage of the cost-benefits of being part of a mass-market hardware.

That was then, this is now. Both of those reasons have evaporated. Computer hardware is now commodity stuff. And data is data.

Yes different brands of OS mean that we can't plug one bit of software into another. But so what? You can't put BMW parts in an AUDI either. Would the market benefit from wiping out AUDI? Would the Auto market be better if there was only one engine manufacturer in the world?

Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post

And the web. Notice that some sites STILL require IE and Safari is still borked on them? Data flows but XML is no panacea to stovepipes.

Try talking to their IT folks and the folks that make them all play together. It's not nearly as seamless as you think.

And why is that? All too often it is because a certain dominant OS vendor, thumbs their nose at recognised standards, because their market share allows them to do so.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post

Had there not been a dominant Wintel ecosystem we'd have a half dozen incompatible systems claiming compatibility through "web standards" and "xml" and all about as compatible as OOXML and ODF are to each other.

I disagree. If consumers had choice, and chose a variety of systems - standards compliance would be utterly essential. If you are a smaller vendor, it is vital to be a team-player.

It is when you have one dominant player that you get breakage - How often do dominant companies intentionally violate their own standards to force consumers to upgrade?

In the 3D world - Autodesk owns all the major 3D software tools. They are all incompatible. They can barely exchange data. And with a package like Maya they change it each year. And with that change, the file-format changes. Older versions are unable to load files from the newer.



Consumer support may create monopolies in the first place. But once established, monopolies never operate in the interests of the consumer.

C.
post #148 of 166
"The current success of Apple certainly seems like consumers want a viable alternative to Windows."

Or 8 or 9 percent of them, max...

"It is when you have one dominant player that you get breakage - How often do dominant companies intentionally violate their own standards to force consumers to upgrade?"

The only example I can think of is Apple ditching Firewire. Do you have any other examples?
post #149 of 166
Quote:
Originally Posted by iGenius View Post

"The current success of Apple certainly seems like consumers want a viable alternative to Windows."

Or 8 or 9 percent of them, max...

Apple is unique in showing regular year on year growth - both in units and in profits.
While PC revenues are declining in all the PC vendors. What does this regular migration show if it is not that some customers are looking for Windows alternatives?

But imagine if there was real choice. Imagine you could walk into a shop and pick from a choice of computer products. They might have hardware and software that was...
..Idealised for gaming ..or..
..With an OS suitable for old consumers. Free from settings- everything set to auto. ..or..
..Stripped-down for cloud-only use. ..or..
..Setup for school students.

Such products do not exist. The lack of diversity means there are huge sections of the potential audience who are unable to buy products that are suitable for them. They end up with a one-size-fits all system. And to be honest, the right system for a middle-aged accountant is not the right system for a 12 year old girl.

Other products reflect this. Computers do not.

Quote:
Originally Posted by iGenius View Post

"It is when you have one dominant player that you get breakage - How often do dominant companies intentionally violate their own standards to force consumers to upgrade?"

The only example I can think of is Apple ditching Firewire. Do you have any other examples?

Have Apple dropped Firewire? I now have 7 macs. They all have firewire, even the newest.

How about...
Microsoft, remember them introducing office with DOCX?

C.
post #150 of 166
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

I "actually know" computer history. In addition to it being a particular interest, which has led to having a shelf full of books on the subject, I've been using computers since the early 1970s.

Your comparisons are not apt. The personal computer market was only in its infancy when the IBM-PC came out, so it makes no sense at all to compare it to the mini and mainframe markets, for several obvious reason. Gates had no design to commoditize anything. His great genius was to have a huge stroke of luck which led Microsoft to dominate a market it had no actual role in creating.

At the time the technology for building useful desktop computers was just emerging. The domination of the industry by one company did not advance this process. Like any other industry which is too centered on one company, it retarded it. Believe it or not, the technology industry does not operate by a completely different set of rules and does not exist in a completely separate universe from everything else. Competition is what makes good things happen, not domination.

Except that's completely false. In the 80s there was Commodore with 22 million C64 sales. There was Apple. There was Atari, TI, RS, and a host of others (clone makers like Sanyo, Pear, etc). There was no lack to competition. What MS did was decouple software from hardware to allow the most penetration and they had a willing ally and partner in intel. They drove costs down in ways that even Commodore's aggressive vertical integration could not do.

So your knowledge of computer history is suspect. You have a "shelf" of computer history books? And you aren't cognizant of all the competitors during that period? At no point in MS's history that they lacked substantive competition in the markets they were after. Sun could have beat them in the server market. Apple, Commodore or Atari in the home market. IBM in the business market after they parted ways. What you see is the final period of domination when all the other participants lost. Just like IBM was dominant in the mainframe era AFTER they beat everyone else in the 60s with System/360...something Watson bet the company on and was also a huge game changer (Also another company never quite the same without the founder or his son).

It is certain that Gates had luck but he got it second hand from Kildall who squandered it. Both with old school thinking (high cost) and simply missing the boat for whatever reason with IBM. Had Kildall kept the "luck" component he would never have been as successful as Gates and the industry would be much poorer for it. Every successful person had luck at some point. It was the ability to grasp that luck and capitalize it that made them great.

I asked you in another thread why you felt compelled to argue so definitively on this topic when you dissed other folks for expressing the same kind of dismissing opinion of the Jackling House that you do of Microsoft as "unqualified" to have a discussion with you because you were an architectural historian and they weren't. Use of computers in the 70s doesn't qualify to you be an expert and perhaps some of us actually were in the thick of things as developers and tech weenies opposed to users. I owned or developed for almost every one of those systems in the late 80s even as a high school kid. Apple ][, Commodore 64 (in FORTH for some bizzaro reason), Atari 800, Amiga, Atari ST, PC, TRS 80, TI. I coded on the PC before it was the PC (IBM 5100 in APL). I even did work on the Lisa.

MS and Gates was a definitive game changer. Sure he had luck. I could have had that same luck and missed out and honestly there were a lot of us in the same computer geek circles, doing the same things (tinkering with hardware, coding, etc) that he did and there's just him, Jobs and a handful of others that turned luck into real change.

Gates certainly had far more impact than some minor architect that resurrected the Spanish Colonial style for rich californians.
post #151 of 166
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carniphage View Post


Have Apple dropped Firewire? I now have 7 macs. They all have firewire, even the newest.

Maybe I'm wrong. Do all current Macs have firewire? I don't really follow available Mac expansion ports closely, but I seem to remember an outcry by folks forced to buy Firewire peripherals for their Macs, who were then forced to discard them when Apple dropped it.

Did that never happen?
post #152 of 166
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post


I asked you in another thread why you felt compelled to argue so definitively on this topic when you dissed other folks for expressing the same kind of dismissing opinion of the Jackling House that you do of Microsoft as "unqualified" to have a discussion with you because you were an architectural historian and they weren't.


My guess is that he is a religious man. Many Christians look to authority rather than reason to support their conclusions. It is the nature of religion to accept as gospel certain texts or certain conclusions.

Appeal to authority is trump in religious debates. When folks often use this method of determining truth, I wonder if it because in their daily life, speaking with other religious folks, they can play the "Absolute Authority" card and win every time. Certainly the method does not work in science (or in many other fields). But in some religious circles, appeal to authority is the ONLY compelling argument format.

So Doc, are you a bible-believing Christian? Or did I rely on scant evidence to make an incorrect guess?
post #153 of 166
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post

Except that's completely false. In the 80s there was Commodore with 22 million C64 sales. There was Apple. There was Atari, TI, RS, and a host of others (clone makers like Sanyo, Pear, etc). There was no lack to competition. What MS did was decouple software from hardware to allow the most penetration and they had a willing ally and partner in intel. They drove costs down in ways that even Commodore's aggressive vertical integration could not do.

Atari was fundamentally a game console company. Commodore was essentially a pocket calculator company. Apple was not taken seriously by business people. Texas Instruments? Radio Shack? Don't make me laugh. Even by the standards of the day, these were pretty sad efforts, mostly directed at hobbyists.

These factors seriously limited the appeal of the computer products they made beyond casual home use. When "big blue" came out with a desktop computer, that was an automatic game changer. The maxim that "nobody ever got fired for buying IBM" wasn't coined for nothing. Unfortunately for IBM, they lost control of the hardware platform and had farmed out the operating system, which left them holding a bag full of air.

Microsoft never designed to "decouple" anything. Dominance was handed to them on a silver platter because of blunders made by IBM. Had this not occurred, the personal computer industry, which was just taking its toddling steps during the early '80s, could have evolved into a far more competitive market. Instead, it was dominated.

But that's not really the meat of it. The important question is whether your "balkanization" argument makes any sense. I am arguing that it doesn't make any more sense for the technology market than it does for any other market, where we count on competition to drive innovation and lower prices. How many operating systems and hardware designs do we have for cell phones today? Would you argue that we'd have been better off with just one? That one design would drive innovation faster and prices lower?

I say, good luck with that argument. It is completely counterintuitive, and it's not supported by the history of any product, let alone computers.
Please don't be insane.
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Please don't be insane.
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post #154 of 166
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post

Microsoft and Intel is what saved us from a balkanized computer world. If you don't like the state of the industry today, imagine what it would have been like if HP, SGI, Sun, DEC and IBM still dominated computing. Computers would still cost $3000-$6000 and be about 1/10th as fast.

Even, or perhaps especially if, Apple had retained the PC crown.

Microsoft and Intel forced a de facto standard on an industry totally incapable of adhering to de jure standards or even able to make common standards that simply didn't suck.

Microsoft sold compilers for hundreds when Unix vendors sold them for thousands. Microsoft sold operating systems for tens of dollars when Unix vendors sold them for tens of thousands. Microsoft sold word processing suites for hundreds when other vendors wanted thousands.

All those computing companies that are dead are dead for very good reason. They sucked and they wanted a lot of money to continue sucking.

Gates and Grove were the two best things to happen to computing in the 80s. Yes, even more than Jobs and I'm a real fanboi. But he couldn't make a cheap mac well...ever.

Great post, and I couldn't agree more. It is not that alternatives didn't exist, but all of them - original Mac, Amiga, ST... after initial breakthrough kind of cocooned themselves in their little niches and stopped developing, hoping that exclusivity of their little platforms will let them milk money forever without pushing forward.
post #155 of 166
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

Atari was fundamentally a game console company. Commodore was essentially a pocket calculator company. Apple was not taken seriously by business people. Texas Instruments? Radio Shack? Don't make me laugh. Even by the standards of the day, these were pretty sad efforts, mostly directed at hobbyists.

These were all competing computing platforms with significant sales in the personal computing market. if you're going to discount the home market then you might as well ignore Apple even today. The number of enterprise deployments of the Mac are tiny.

IBM did consider this home market significant and competed with the PC Jr.

That you discount Commodore as a "pocket calculator company" highlights your ignorance of computing in the 80s. They dominated the education market (PET). They were the first company to sell 1 million computers (VIC-20). The Commodore 64 is the best selling single computer model of all time.

TI was a major manufacturer of technology and the TI-99/4 was the first 16 bit computer. TI pioneered the plug and play architecture in PCs.

The TRS-80 was a successful small business (and home) computer. The Model 16 launched in 1982 ran Xenix (Unix...from Microsoft) in addition to TRSDOS ad handled a lot of accounting and other business needs. Visicalc, Multiplan (spreadsheet) and custom COBOL business apps were popular apps. It also ran databases and eventually Informix offered a real RDBMS for that platform. I actually learned Z80 assembly on the TRS-80 Model III.

Their laptops were popular too with folks that needed to write on the road. Journalists liked them and they did well against other IBM/MS-DOS based portables of the period. Here's the specs:

http://www.trs-80.com/wordpress/trs-...ine/model-200/

Not a shabby set of business apps built into ROM.

Quote:
These factors seriously limited the appeal of the computer products they made beyond casual home use.

These computers were not inferior to the PC in capability and many surpassed the PC in compute power. In fact the TRS-80 was a successful small business computer.

Quote:
When "big blue" came out with a desktop computer, that was an automatic game changer. The maxim that "nobody ever got fired for buying IBM" wasn't coined for nothing. Unfortunately for IBM, they lost control of the hardware platform and had farmed out the operating system, which left them holding a bag full of air.

Microsoft never designed to "decouple" anything. Dominance was handed to them on a silver platter because of blunders made by IBM. Had this not occurred, the personal computer industry, which was just taking its toddling steps during the early '80s, could have evolved into a far more competitive market. Instead, it was dominated.

Again false. Gates deliberately did not transfer copyright to IBM and structured the relationship that way. IBM lost control of the hardware not due to a "blunder" but because clean room reverse engineering of functionality (in this case BIOS) is legal and because Gates, as part of the very inexpensive licensing to IBM, retained rights to sell DOS to other companies. With the clean-room BIOS there were lots of companies without the requirement to port that OS although he did sell MS DOS to a bunch of clone makers that were MS-DOS compatible (as opposed to IBM PC compatible). Sanyo was one of these and I worked at a store that sold those.

Gates was proactive in retaining these rights. It may have been a "blunder" on IBM's part to do so but it was one "blunder" that Gates instigated.

The market was very competitive given that IBM DID lose control through all the clones. Had IBM retained control computers would have remained expensive (in the $3K range) and locked into single vendors that used vertical integration. Instead we had clones from Xerox, HP, Digital, Sanyo, TI, Tulip, Wang, Olivetti running MS-DOS.

(As a note, the TRS-80 Model 16 and Tandy 6000 were not cheap. About $5K)

Quote:
But that's not really the meat of it. The important question is whether your "balkanization" argument makes any sense. I am arguing that it doesn't make any more sense for the technology market than it does for any other market, where we count on competition to drive innovation and lower prices. How many operating systems and hardware designs do we have for cell phones today? Would you argue that we'd have been better off with just one? That one design would drive innovation faster and prices lower?

The cell phone OS was dominated by Symbian. 72% as late as 2007. The difference was that the major symbian variants were largely incompatible with each other. This lead to a lot of issues with software development and why folks today talk about Android fragmentation.

If domination cannot move technology forward pray tell why the closed ecosystem of the iPhone OS is so successful in driving app innovation? Multiple OS and hardware designs tends to retard software advances because it takes away critical mass and productivity in maintaining ports for all the different platforms. At least half the technological innovation occurs on the software side of the equation (if not more).

You don't understand balkanization because you don't understand the unix market that preceded the PC market (or evidently the PC market itself) These were all "unix" systems and mostly incompatible with each other despite interoperability "standards". There was a distinct reason for companies to do this: vendor lock in. With an installed base of very expensive software designed to run on one platform it was cost prohibitive to move from SunOS to HPUX or AIX. In theory you could simply recompile for the other unix os. In practice it was a royal pain in the ass.

Moving from one hardware architecture to another also meant you lost many of those expensive peripherals that didn't work on competitor systems due to interface mechanisms.

Using your arguments the Unix market should have been far more successful than the PC market, especially in business, because of all the "competition". The exact opposite was the case despite product lines from big iron down to personal workstations. Despite the fact that business critical software ran on those systems.

Microsoft should have completely failed in entering the server market against such tough competition. It did not. Instead SGI is gone, AIX and HPUX nearly abandonware (in favor of linux) and Sun sold to Oracle. Today the most successful unix of all time is OSX.

Why? Because these vendors were still using the vertical integration model and charging a huge amount of money for everything. Sun NEVER should have allowed MS entry into the low end server market but because they elected to charge $700+ for SolarisX86 during those critical years where NT Server was trying to gain traction they allowed MS into the server rooms using commodity hardware. Hardware they were not locked into by Sun, HP, IBM, or SGI. They could easily source hardware from Dell, Compaq or whomever whenever they wanted to make a switch and keep their installed base.

Apple is hugely successful today but only with a business strategy of catering to the upper end of the market. Even as successful as it is, it will never command very large market share because it simply cannot at the price points it needs to be profitable.

Quote:
I say, good luck with that argument. It is completely counterintuitive, and it's not supported by the history of any product, let alone computers.

Your lack of knowledge of computer history is not the same as that history not occurring. Other than handwaving, you haven't provided any supporting evidence that your position is correct and mine is as impossible as you state.

Not one of your "facts" were correct about early personal computing history.
post #156 of 166
BTW, that "preemptive strike" against Apple at CES turns out to be some 7"-10" tablets running Windows 7, Linux and Android. Same sort of stuff that hasn't sold very well in the past.

I doubt Apple is particularly alarmed.
They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
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They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
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post #157 of 166
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post

Not one of your "facts" were correct about early personal computing history.

No. You are long, but you are wrong.

Gates had no way of knowing what would happen to IBM's hardware control. Yes, it was blunder by IBM -- one of the greatest in recent corporate history. They were in too much of a hurry to develop the PC, and as a consequence used almost entirely off the shelf parts, and of course they farmed out the OS because that was another part they didn't have time to complete on their own, based on their own self-imposed deadlines. Only the ROM-BIOS was copyrighted. IBM assumed, incorrectly as it turned out, that the BIOS could not be duplicated without violating the copyrights. Nobody knew otherwise until after the fact, when Compaq successfully managed it and survived the legal challenge. Not IBM, not Bill Gates, nobody. In fact, once Compaq started producing clones, Microsoft had to shift gears. It's not as if they anticipated the clone business, let alone, caused it.

Like many, you give Gates way too much credit.

You could look all of this up. I have.
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post #158 of 166
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

No. You are long, but you are wrong.

Gates had no way of knowing what would happen to IBM's hardware control.

He didn't need to. He already had a vision of selling his OS to multiple manufacturers which is why he retained the rights to do so.

Quote:
Yes, it was blunder by IBM -- one of the greatest in recent corporate history. They were in too much of a hurry to develop the PC, and as a consequence used almost entirely off the shelf parts, and of course they farmed out the OS because that was another part they didn't have time to complete on their own, based on their own self-imposed deadlines. Only the ROM-BIOS was copyrighted. IBM assumed, incorrectly as it turned out, that the BIOS could not be duplicated without violating the copyrights. Nobody knew otherwise until after the fact, when Compaq successfully managed it and survived the legal challenge.

It was Columbia Data Products that cloned IBM's PC first. Compaq also did reverse engineer the BIOS and was considered more compatible. Some say first 100% compatible. Others say Columbia's machine was good enough to be considered first. Corona was another company that had a (mostly) compatible BIOS which was challenged by IBM forcing a re-write of some pieces.

Arguably Phoenix and Award did far more than Compaq to foster clones given they licensed their BIOS to clone makers and Compaq did not.

That clean room reverse engineering was legal was known at the time. That didn't mean IBM couldn't still tie you up in courts for a long time.

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Not IBM, not Bill Gates, nobody. In fact, once Compaq started producing clones, Microsoft had to shift gears. It's not as if they anticipated the clone business, let alone, caused it.

Which is why MS had been selling DOS to Eagle and other "MS-DOS compatible" computer makers before (and after) the BIOS was reversed engineered? These were 8086 computers that were not IBM compatibles but ran MS-DOS.

The whole point was that DOS was a weak clone of CP/M. CP/M ran on many different hardware platforms. Gates expected to sell DOS the same way as CP/M and provide a hardware abstraction layer that would allow any code written for DOS to run on any 8086 hardware running DOS. The IBM PC would simply be one of many DOS platforms. Perhaps the dominant one but the MS-DOS compatibles would provide sufficient SOFTWARE compatibility to make Microsoft a lot of money.

The pure clones based on reverse engineered BIOS simply made that work a lot better and eliminated any fragmentation in the DOS world.

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Like many, you give Gates way too much credit.

You could look all of this up. I have.

Right, so you're a architecture AND computer expert. Who knew? I might be more compelled to believe that if you actually had understood that there were MS-DOS compatible machines in addition to PC compatible machines...

Alas, no.
post #159 of 166
Quote:
Commodore was essentially a pocket calculator company.

Pah. How 'enlightened' you are, Mr. 'Absolute knowledge' of the golden age of computing.

Dr. Mill, your fancy computer books aint doin' ya much good, are they?

As someone who lived through the 'computer years' I find your throwaway summation of Commodore derisory. I can't take anything else you say seriously. Stuffy and self important certainly. Factually abusive, definitely.

I , for some reason, can't remember a single post of Vin's that I agree with. But, on this matter, I agree with his cut and thrust in response to your pompous simplicity.

In short, Vin' mowed over you with his Hover Mower.

Lemon Bon Bon.

You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

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You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

Reply
post #160 of 166
Quote:
Right, so you're a architecture AND computer expert.

Well, let's not give Dr. Mill' 'way too much credit', because he aint coming across like any computer history expert of any kind. He may have books, but he clearly hasn't 'lived' it in his little pocket universe. Dr. Mil? More like Dr. Zeus.

Lemon Bon Bon.

You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

Reply

You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

Reply
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