Apple poaches ex-Amazon, HP executive for growing software team

Posted:
in General Discussion edited April 6
Apple has made a second big hire in a week, with the latest being an HP executive who was previously the chief technology officer of the "Lab126" devices group at Amazon and a vice president of software for the Kindle ecosystem.




Prior to his stint at Amazon, Jon McCormack was an executive in Google's Advanced Technology and Products group, as well as a software chief just before his arrival at Apple. He also worked for Amazon's secretive "Lab 126" said to be the company's research and development wing for devices.

Unlike Wednesday's hire of Google's John Giannandrea, it isn't clear at present precisely where McCormack will land at Apple. McCormack's LinkedIn profile now says that he is a VP of Software at Apple, but in what department specifically is unclear.

McCormack worked in parallel at Amazon for a time with David Foster, the "primary technical liaison" on the G4 and G5 towers, iMac and eMac families, the Xserve ecosystem, and specifically the iPod hard drive.

In the span of a month, Apple was rocked by not just one software bug, but several. One of them was one of Apple's most severe security-related flaws yet -- the ability for a user to generate a Root account with the highest level of permissions possible, bypassing most of Apple's protections and security measures.

The fallout of the Root bug resulted in a series of crucial updates delivered through the App Store and automatically -- with their own foibles. Another issue developed on Dec. 2 with the iOS Notifications center, culminating in the what was the be pre-emptive release of iOS 11.2 on the following Saturday morning, that brought its own problems.

It isn't clear if McCormack will be involved in feature development, or quality assurance.

Apple has recently released iOS 11.3 and macOS High Sierra 10.13.4, both with software fixes to many previous problems -- but not without inducing some new issues and incompatibilities.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 14
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 29,874member
    So, it's going to be a war of attrition bleeding off the best people at Google, eh? I like it.
  • Reply 2 of 14
    canukstormcanukstorm Posts: 1,543member
    So, it's going to be a war of attrition bleeding off the best people at Google, eh? I like it.
    No choice.  Not like there's a surplus of A-players to go around.
  • Reply 3 of 14
    Apple’s greatest strength is pushing bug fixes out quickly.

    Apple’s greatest weakness is pushing bug fixes out too quickly.

    I’ll bet he works on QC.  It’s Apple’s greatest need at the moment.

    If there is going to be a merger of MacOS & iOS then QC is about to get incredibly complicated.

    The A series chip (in a Mac) is going to be a massive undertaking...


    Folio
  • Reply 4 of 14
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 5,587member
    Apple’s greatest strength is pushing bug fixes out quickly.

    Apple’s greatest weakness is pushing bug fixes out too quickly.

    I’ll bet he works on QC.  It’s Apple’s greatest need at the moment.

    If there is going to be a merger of MacOS & iOS then QC is about to get incredibly complicated.

    The A series chip (in a Mac) is going to be a massive undertaking...
    There’s not going to be a merger of macOS and iOS, this is a false narrative. iOS is already built of Mac OS X, if they had wanted to they could have already. But the use cases are different and the products are different.  
    randominternetperson
  • Reply 5 of 14
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,171member
    So, it's going to be a war of attrition bleeding off the best people at Google, eh? I like it.
    I think Google was a few stints back. Let’s not rattle GoogleGuy’s cage. 
  • Reply 6 of 14
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,171member
    This article is all over the place. The list of Apple bugs is just meaningless fluff since we have no idea what this chap will be doing. 

  • Reply 7 of 14
    canukstormcanukstorm Posts: 1,543member
    Apple’s greatest strength is pushing bug fixes out quickly.

    Apple’s greatest weakness is pushing bug fixes out too quickly.

    I’ll bet he works on QC.  It’s Apple’s greatest need at the moment.

    If there is going to be a merger of MacOS & iOS then QC is about to get incredibly complicated.

    The A series chip (in a Mac) is going to be a massive undertaking...
    There’s not going to be a merger of macOS and iOS, this is a false narrative. iOS is already built of Mac OS X, if they had wanted to they could have already. But the use cases are different and the products are different.  
    Think of a unified core architecture with a UI unique to each device. Very similar to what MS is doing with Windows 10; they're building a unified Windows Core that will have an adaptable shell based on the device it's running on.  This is a smart move.
  • Reply 8 of 14
    The ability to create a root account from the users panel isn't a bug it's a throwback to the early days of macOS where doing so was a tick in a box. That has long gone now due to the security implications so it's a bug in the sense that it's allowing something that was removed.
  • Reply 9 of 14
    Poaching top talent or buying out companies doesn't seem to help Apple at all. Their software continues to be terrible.
  • Reply 10 of 14
    k2kwk2kw Posts: 1,347member
    Apple’s greatest strength is pushing bug fixes out quickly.

    Apple’s greatest weakness is pushing bug fixes out too quickly.

    I’ll bet he works on QC.  It’s Apple’s greatest need at the moment.

    If there is going to be a merger of MacOS & iOS then QC is about to get incredibly complicated.

    The A series chip (in a Mac) is going to be a massive undertaking...
    There’s not going to be a merger of macOS and iOS, this is a false narrative. iOS is already built of Mac OS X, if they had wanted to they could have already. But the use cases are different and the products are different.  
    But I do think that eventually iOS will have cursor support and you will be able to run an mouse with it on a iPad.   But first macOS maybe getting the ability to run iOS apps (via mouse) if rumors about Project Marzipan are true.    This will certainly take time.   Apple won't rush this because they believe the use and experience of each device is different.  I still hope for a day when iOS overtakes Windows 10 Home in terms of the numbers of installs on Desktops and Laptops (Probably with A Series chips).   
  • Reply 11 of 14
    k2kwk2kw Posts: 1,347member

    Poaching top talent or buying out companies doesn't seem to help Apple at all. Their software continues to be terrible.
    But off course we noticed how Window 10 Mobile has just overtaken smart phones because its so good.</s>

    MS is so scared of Apple now.    They know they can loose the desktop in the next 10 years.  That's why they are trying to re-establish themselves as a cloud company.
    sflocalrandominternetperson
  • Reply 12 of 14
    genovellegenovelle Posts: 733member
    Poaching top talent or buying out companies doesn't seem to help Apple at all. Their software continues to be terrible.
    I guess Google is better?  The long list of exploits on the platform is epic, and their solution in some cases has been to decide to just change direction and suddenly stop supporting many of the OSs targeted. Some just two years old at that point. The criticism was nonexistent. I find it interesting that Google can find flaws in Apple and Microsoft software but can’t find and fix their own. 

    The other thing that puzzles me is that when Apple kept everything in house until the last second they had fewer bug issues. Now that they’ve  relented and started providing public betas like competitors, these bugs are not showing up until after the final release. Almost as if they are being found during beta and held until final release to embarrass them. 
    ivanh
  • Reply 13 of 14
    genovellegenovelle Posts: 733member
    I guess the best thing for Apple at this point would be to go to the perpetual beta model, where it’s always in beta until it’s quietly out of beta. 
  • Reply 14 of 14
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 5,587member
    k2kw said:
    Apple’s greatest strength is pushing bug fixes out quickly.

    Apple’s greatest weakness is pushing bug fixes out too quickly.

    I’ll bet he works on QC.  It’s Apple’s greatest need at the moment.

    If there is going to be a merger of MacOS & iOS then QC is about to get incredibly complicated.

    The A series chip (in a Mac) is going to be a massive undertaking...
    There’s not going to be a merger of macOS and iOS, this is a false narrative. iOS is already built of Mac OS X, if they had wanted to they could have already. But the use cases are different and the products are different.  
    But I do think that eventually iOS will have cursor support and you will be able to run an mouse with it on a iPad.   But first macOS maybe getting the ability to run iOS apps (via mouse) if rumors about Project Marzipan are true.    This will certainly take time.   Apple won't rush this because they believe the use and experience of each device is different.  I still hope for a day when iOS overtakes Windows 10 Home in terms of the numbers of installs on Desktops and Laptops (Probably with A Series chips).   
    AI's interpretation of the Marzipan rumor is very likely completely wrong. It's not about running iOS apps in windows on macOS. The much more likely explanation is here:

    https://daringfireball.net/2017/12/marzipan


    SpamSandwich
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