Hardware/Software integration myth

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
I am a PC user. I recently responded to a thread on MacWorld Forum about why PC users have not yet made the swich. In that thread, I posted as "Outsider". I follow Apple cloely, hoping they will offer me a good enough reason to try them. But so far, they haven't. Apple's marketing is really confusing to me and it leaves me scratching my head more often than not.



One of the things that confuses me most is the notion of Apple's hardware and software integration. I just don't get it. Exactly what hardware integrates with exactly what software? The CPU is made by Moto or IBM. The clockspeeds and architecture of these processors do not seem to align well with the demands of OSX. The motherboards are yesterday's technology, as is the ram and hardrive. The video cards used by Apple do not seem to be a good fit for the high demands for OSX either. Where is the integration?



In fact, Apple seems to have less to do with the specs of G4 processors than Microsoft does with Intel and AMD. The most popular word processor for the mac is made by Microsoft and the most popular graphics programs are made by Adobe. Where is the integration? The iApps? Microsoft also makes consumer software solutions that are more tightly integrated with the OS than Apple.



Clearly, those who tout Apple's vaunted hardware/software integration have something in mind. But for the life of me, I just can't figure out what that is. I would greatly appreciat any and all responses that would clear this matter up for me.



Thanks in advance for you help.



Love and respect to all

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 12
    ricrocketricrocket Posts: 142member
    [quote] The iApps? Microsoft also makes consumer software solutions that are more tightly integrated with the OS than Apple. <hr></blockquote>



    Apple's iApps are consistently reviewed to be superior to Microsoft's... and as far as integrating them into the OS - I seem to remember something about a Justice Dept. and a browser integration that raised a few antitrust eyebrows...



    The iApps work excellently integrating hardware and software. Plug in a digital camera and iPhoto launches automatically. Pop in a CD and there's iTunes. With a few clicks and drags in the latter, you've got yourself a burned disk of mp3's. If that's not seamless integration, I don't know what is :confused:



    Oh, and how is Word being the most popular word processor on the mac an issue with hardware/software integration?



    rr.
  • Reply 2 of 12
    powerdocpowerdoc Posts: 8,123member
    The advantave of the mac, is that there is an unique company who make both software and hardware. When Apple release a new mac, excepting some minor bugs, you can be sure it will work. That's not necessary the case in the PC world where there is Intel, AMD , transmeta ..; chips , many chipsets, differents mobo, different type of RAM ...

    This lead to incompatibility problems (my father and brother have PC so i know all their problems, and how difficult it was to solve them : for example the last upgrade of my father with an Athlon XP 1800 with a abit mobo to run windows XP with a miro DV 500 , requieres hours of thinking to find a solution to make this work to the retailor specialized in the video market ...)

    There are less incompatibility problems with mac, i never encounter one personally.



    I admit it's difficult to know if the integration of Hardware with Software brings a benefit, because there is no comparison possible, but we can say that even if the tech of the Macs are old , it works at 100 % : i mean there is better result with the 133 mhz Apple'smobo for memory test than the PC counterpart, of course the DDR or RAMBUS technology is better.



    One example of the benefit of Hardware and Sofware integration is the use of Altivec in mac OS X : mac os X is definitively better on the G4.



    Anyway : you don't buy a MAC for speed or prize, but for the joy of using a computer without troubles (or very few : but there is no crash on mac os X, really) : it's not the fastest machine ever but it does work that's all, and personally i don't use any informatician to make work my office network. I doubt that i will be able to do that with PC.
  • Reply 3 of 12
    mac voyermac voyer Posts: 1,282member
    Pop in a CD and Media player is there. Digital camera, camcorder, the apprepriate program responds. In fact, just about any third party multi-media program can be set to do that on any platform. Surely that's not the integration that Apple is talking about. If it is, then that does not constitue any sort of difference or advantage over what everyone else is doing. As far as the bundling issue goes. I personally don't see the big deal. It does not stop me from using third party software of my choice.



    By the way, I only brought up word as an example of Apple having no real integration with hardware and software. same with Adobe. They are fine products but offer no integration advantage on Mac over PC. Perhaps it was a bad example. I am not trying to start an argument. I am legitimately trying to understand this whole integration issue. Please show me how Apple does this in a way that is different from every one else.



    Thank you for your help.



    Love and respect to all.
  • Reply 3 of 12
    The "hardware-software integration" thing is basically about peripherals, and the driver hassles that always used to be prevalent in windows. Generally speaking, if you plug something into a mac, it works.
  • Reply 5 of 12
    brussellbrussell Posts: 9,812member
    I always thought Jobs meant that it's the same company making the OS and the box, rather than two companies - like Dell making the box, and MS making the OS.
  • Reply 6 of 12
    serranoserrano Posts: 1,806member
    [quote]Originally posted by Mac Voyer:

    <strong>Please show me how Apple does this in a way that is different from every one else.</strong><hr></blockquote>



    ...it works, and well.



    It's clean, efficient... xp's built in dv editor is hardly comparable to the ease and feature set of iMovie2... in general it is easier for software writers, even if they aren't apple, to write software for the mac because they have a defined set of hardware instead of having to try and write software for every possible configuration out there...



    it comes down to preference, that and *nix.
  • Reply 7 of 12
    fuzz_ballfuzz_ball Posts: 390member
    As a couple have said above, hardware/software integration isn't about iApps, or plugging in a camera and iPhoto starts up. It has to do with deciding what hardware base you will support (from a software perspective).



    Microsoft takes the tact that it will support everything. That is why you can buy just about any mobo, video card, audio card, mouse, fill-in-the-blank PCI card. The downside to this is Microsoft has to attempt to support all of these, and further, try to ensure that the manufacturers of those products supply adequate drivers. I've owned and used PCs since DOS 3.x, and I can't tell you how many times I've had a weird conflict and/or crash due to a system configuration.



    Apple on the other hand doesn't try to support all hardware. This allows (in theory) better Q/A of what is supported and the drivers that are developed for the supported hardware. This should lead to fewer (if any at all) conflicts and crashes.



    That's what hardware/software integration is all about in this case.
  • Reply 8 of 12
    mac voyermac voyer Posts: 1,282member
    Thank you fuzz ball.



    I appreciate your clarification. I guess it is a matter of who's philosophy you prefer. I would rather deal with a company that provides compatibility with everything rather than one that limits your choices. If compatibility means system tweaks or downloading updated drivers, I can live with that. For those who have little experience with system tweaks and driver issues, and are willing to be limited to only that which Apple supports, then the Mac is better for them.



    Thanks again.



    Love and respect to all.
  • Reply 9 of 12
    ricrocketricrocket Posts: 142member
    Beginning to understand the real question here...



    I think "the whole widget" philosophy is best demonstrated by something like the iPod. IMHO, the iPod could only have come from a company like Apple because they DO have the hardware and the software control.



    Apple can put firewire on the iPod because all new-ish macs already have firewire. Not so with a PC - this is why all mp3 players up to this point used USB.



    Apple knows most new macs ship with iTunes, so they tightly integrate the iPod with that software (true, other mp3 players ship with software....but the ease of use comes from the fact that tons of people ALREADY use and love iTunes, zero learning curve).



    Finally, because they build the OS, they can mount the iPod as a HD on the desktop w/out dealing with an OS from another company.



    I think there's a great opportunity for expansion in this area - although whether or not Apple will take advantage is a mystery.



    Now $.02 poorer,

    rr.
  • Reply 10 of 12
    MacVoyer:



    I'd put it the other way - the Mac is for people who've had too much experience of system tweaks and driver issues, and are thoroughly sick of the whole counterintuitive, nerd-friendly shower.



    [ 04-03-2002: Message edited by: Guitarbloke ]</p>
  • Reply 11 of 12
    programmerprogrammer Posts: 3,409member
    [quote]Originally posted by Mac Voyer:

    <strong>Thank you fuzz ball.



    I appreciate your clarification. I guess it is a matter of who's philosophy you prefer. I would rather deal with a company that provides compatibility with everything rather than one that limits your choices. If compatibility means system tweaks or downloading updated drivers, I can live with that. For those who have little experience with system tweaks and driver issues, and are willing to be limited to only that which Apple supports, then the Mac is better for them.



    Thanks again.



    Love and respect to all.</strong><hr></blockquote>





    Its not an either-or situation. Apple provides a more uniform (albeit not perfect) experience out of the box with its equipment, and with the 3rd party devices that it has built in support for. That doesn't preclude 3rd parties providing their own drivers -- the major stumbling block there is just the small market size.



    There is no doubt that the gap is much narrower now than even just 2 years ago. XP has gone a long way to address how smoothly things work together in the PC world, and Apple is going through transition pains to MacOSX. Now Apple is going to have to rely on style, spit'n'polish, better user experience, etc. Their hardware/software integration will really only be an advantage between the time when they introduce innovative new products and when the PC world figures out how to copy them again.
  • Reply 12 of 12
    Look at it from another point of view. Because Apple builds the software and hardware, it could get rid of the floppy drive, SCSI bus, and ADB (keyboard connection) from the Mac line in 1 generation (iMac and PowerMac B&W series) and add Firewire and USB in their place. It improved the platform and made expansion even easier (but not without some headaches for people with legacy stuff). It pushed USB and Firewire into wide usage on the Mac and PC. It might even force Wintel to ditch the floppy .



    [ 04-03-2002: Message edited by: CodeWarrior ]</p>
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