Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Do Want?

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  • Russell Brown,

    "Which does not change the fact of Microsoft's comprehensive failure in the mobile sphere."

    You are only looking at this from an individual perspective, which is surprising, given your political bent.
    When you work in large organisations, the broader considerations are worth more than the odd individual getting hacked off about the tiny frustrations encountered.

    I was thinking more of this:

    Microsoft 'screwed up' Windows Mobile Admits Steve Ballmer

    By Iain Thomson
    Monday, 28 September 2009, 13:30

    IN AN UNUSUAL STEP Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer has been criticising his own products, notably Windows Mobile.

    Ballmer said at Microsoft's Venture Capital Summit that Windows Mobile should be on version seven by now and that the company had "screwed up", according to one participant.

    Journalists are banned from the event but venture capitalist Paul Jozefak sent a tweet from the event floor during Ballmer's address to delegates.
    "Ballmer said they screwed up with Windows Mobile. Wishes they had already launched WM7. They completely revamped the team," the message read.
    Windows Mobile 6.5 is due out in October and Microsoft hopes to get version seven out by next year, according to company executives.

    Windows Mobile is facing something of a crisis after Motorola and Palm decided to stop producing handsets using the operating system, while Apple and RIM have growing market share in the crucial smartphone market and Intel's Moblin system will be coming online soon.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22830 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Homer,

    Including by Apple as a matter of fact, but see also IBM, MySQL, the FSF ... Should add I'm buggered if I know what IBM pays people to work on

    Apple now owns CUPS, which they are still paying people to work on, along with WebKit, Darwin, launchd, and others (just counting the projects they administer). WebKit and launchd in particular they've been very good with, and CUPS is everywhere.

    IBM has a whole bunch of Linux (the kernel) developers, and also a lot of people on OpenOffice, Apache, GCC, and Eclipse. Jonathan Corbet's talk at linux.conf.au last week had updated statistics on it all but the slides aren't online to check at the moment. The trend was towards more and more developers, though, and most of the code came from people with employer affiliations.

    Apple, for all that I'm unlikely to buy anything from them in the near future, has improved a lot on the openness front over the last few years. Maybe they will get there eventually. They're a way off yet, with the iPhone or iPod or their computers or the new tablet. The processor in the thing really looks like it's a bigger deal when you see it in operation. Really remarkable, I'd like to see more from it.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 85 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie,

    Don't take it personally. I'm simply making a point that few outside the geek community seem willing to make.

    I think you meant to say BOFH community there; there's a screamingly good argument that `fuck the users, we're in charge' is about as anti-geek a notion as you could possibly imagine.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1452 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Apple now owns CUPS

    I own cups too, I just choose not to shout at my crockery.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    Mac's are just UNIX for idiots.


    And Apple just makes stuff white people like.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2214 posts Report Reply

  • Jock Hopeful,

    Well; it's just as well I love debating and it appears I'm the only non-Apple lover here.

    If you really think Apple can overturn legacy business systems because consumers love the brand, you are mistaken.

    Corporations seek stability and breadth of service - this is where Microsoft still leaves Apple for dead.

    Why do you think Apple switched focus from the Creative community onto Consumers?

    They recognised the opportunity to inspire a broader audience with toys - not business tools - to grow market share.

    But Corporations don't act on heart. They act out of wallet, first and foremost.

    The current Apple strategy will never force Corporations to change.

    They don't expect this, and why would they care?

    Which - yet again - yawn - leads me back to the point.

    Choose the tool suited to the job at hand. Not. Because. It. Makes. You. Look. Or. Feel. Cool. In. A. Meeting.

    Central Auckland • Since Jan 2010 • 14 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Homer,

    CUPS, though "developed by Apple Inc" is a bit of a stretch, they've only had it for a few years. It hasn't done too badly over that time though.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 85 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie,

    Apple now owns CUPS

    That does explain why the printer test page says Apple on it, doesn't it?

    I knew about WebKit and Darwin and all that, but CUPS was new to me.

    The other classic driver for free software is someone needing it for themselves, and then doing the generous thing and letting anyone else who needs it have it: Knuth with TeX, Stallman with Emacs. You can hardly criticise that and say that the world would be better off if Knuth charged $e^n or whatever for TeX.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1452 posts Report Reply

  • Jock Hopeful,

    Absolutely amazes me that people here seem to think Apple are the good guys and Microsoft the evil corporation.

    Why is it that Apple have proprietary systems that are in actual fact more oppressive than Microsoft?

    And what is it ok for Jobs to be so rich while you continue to pay all his bills?

    Amazing. The whole banalty of all this.

    Logging off.

    See ya.

    Central Auckland • Since Jan 2010 • 14 posts Report Reply

  • recordari,

    Mac's are just UNIX for idiots.

    And Apple just makes stuff white people like.

    Are you a bit bored?
    That's all rubbish anyway. Apple has been a big player in the education market for decades. We had 10 in our school in Whakatane in 1983. Even non-white students used them. Who'da thunk?

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Martin Lindberg,

    Most business people are trying to integrate the iPhone into a Microsoft legacy system. It doesn't really work.

    I'm not sure what you are on about. And I guess I don't really care. But since you brought it up; my iPhone integrates just fine with our corporate MS Exchange servers for email, calendar and contacts.

    The iPod and the iPhone have made Apple widely popular recently,yet still hardly anyone owns a Mac.

    Yes, fewer people own Macs than PCs. Not quite "hardly anyone" though.

    Choose the tool suited to the job at hand

    For me, my iPhone and MacBook Pro are the best tools for my job. They may not be for you, but your requirements are not mine.

    And what is it ok for Jobs to be so rich while you continue to pay all his bills?

    And he has one of my kidneys! No, actually, it's my son's kidney, but I don't care. Jobs deserves it.

    Stockholm • Since Jul 2009 • 802 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    Even non-white students used them.

    I am so happy for you. And them. You've like, totally made a difference. To non-white people.

    Anyway, I think the key to Apple's success lies in their blurb on apple.com...

    "iPad. Our most advanced technology in a magical and revolutionary device at an unbelievable price."

    See it? iPADS ARE MAGIC!

    Personally, if I was Steve Jobs and I could control magic then I wouldn't sprinkle elven dust on an iPhone and call the result a technology triumph, but then again I don't tuck my skivvy into my jeans either.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2214 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Well we'll see. Apple's a good solid designer label, it's sure to sell just about anything to the fan base, and there's nothing wrong with someone trying to make a sci-fi-esque reading device. If it dies in Apple's hands we can be pretty sure the idea is bad. I'll still be reading the odd e-book no matter what, and not giving a crap whether it's cool. If a plethora of devices come out like that and one of them retails somewhere around $100NZ, I'd probably get it. That's about how much I'd be prepared to pay for something I would never want to carry around because it's too big, and would never want to use much in the house because my workstation's screen is about 40 times the size, and wouldn't write on because I like keyboards, and wouldn't use in bed because it appears to require both hands. But it could make a neat picture frame, or you could hand it to people so they could look at photos, or, yes, it might be OK for reading things on. At worst, it could be an expensive toy for the kids to play with.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10650 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    I hear it lacks a USB port. Sweet Jesus and mother Mary, no USB port? Still, wireless allows big brother to keep a weather eye on your DRM.

    Most people who buy one won't get a freebie in the mail and so will buy the 16GB model. The biggest drive is 64GB. WTF??? Sixty-fucking-four gigabytes? Is this a joke? Does Apple take consumers for fools? I can buy a terabyte external drive at Dick Smith for a few hundred bucks and Job's wants me to fork out a grand for 64GB's?

    You can't multi task? What century are we in again?

    It isn't an e-reader. It doesn't use any sort of e-ink. It'll be like reading on a scaled up iPod. Specsavers will be rubbing their hands with glee.

    Taking that lovely, unprotected, 20cm × 15cm screen on holiday? Good luck with that, you are braver than I am.

    Apple may yet prove you can fool enough people enough of the time to turn a buck. But I doubt it.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2214 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Litterick,

    It makes me think of an Etch A Sketch.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1000 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2214 posts Report Reply

  • Just thinking,

    Reading Earth2Tech, I couldn't work out if the ipad ran on pickie dust or fairy dust, it wasn't stated.

    Putaringamotu • Since Apr 2009 • 1158 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    Oh jeez, this thread is freaking me out. What's to hate about the iPhone? It's one of the best things I've ever bought. I luuuuuuuuurve it.

    (And I am not in any way an Apple fanperson. My hatred for iTunes is well-documented and I try to avoid it. I use PCs, not Macs. The only reason I bought an iPod a few years ago was because no other player came near to 160GB of storage - I loved my Creative Zen, back in the day.)

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    the iPhone? It's one of the best things I've ever bought.

    You should obviously shop more... Nice new handbag perhaps?.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • SteveH,

    Apple may yet prove you can fool enough people enough of the time to turn a buck. But I doubt it.

    I don't know if Apple will fool anyone but I think enough people will want this to make it successful. You're focusing on what's missing but it'll probably turn out that what it does do it does brilliantly and that'll be enough for many people. Plenty of pundits panned the iPod and the iPhone, basically missing the point, and I think that's happening again. I expect the industry will spend the next year playing catchup just like they did with the iPod and iPhone and they'll wonder why their apparently superior products don't do as well. I think Jerry Holkins probably has it right when he said:

    It's got to be so annoying to compete with Apple, at anything really, because it's not like they're doing something fucking crazy. Everybody's had these ideas before. The difference, and this is grim if you are a competitor, but the difference is that everyone else spends a lot of time (and often, money) determining why those things aren't possible. And then it comes out, for real, only you didn't make it. Some other guys did. And when you come out with what is (on paper) a better version of the same thing, maybe even multiple times over, it's too late. You made a "product" to compete with their "product," tastefully arranging your regiment, only to discover that they hadn't made a product at all - they made a narrative. A statement about how technology should interface with a life.

    I'm not saying this to be mean, or get my kicks, or to engage in psychic vampirism. Competing with these fucking people must be a genuinely harrowing state of affairs.

    Since Sep 2009 • 444 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    Ahh you guys... comparing Apples to proper computers and stuff.
    I, for one, will not get sucked in. I must admit, I thought the iPhone looked cool but it just don't seem right. Somehow my Spidey senses tell me to beware.

    In February 2007, Apple Inc. hired chief developer Michael Sweet and purchased the CUPS source code.

    That sucks to me.
    People need to print stuff and now Apple© can pull the plug on the likes of HP, Brother, Canon...
    Russ, can't you see the problem?.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Litterick,

    Apple has bought software that allows one to use a PC as a print server. The problem, obviously, is that Apple thinks we are still in teh 80s. Soon, there will be software which allows you to receive faxes on your Mac. Next, will come NeXT.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1000 posts Report Reply

  • recordari,

    As I can't sleep in this damn heat, can I just add one more insightful comment to this thread.

    Apart from being starry-eyed loons, we are also godless communists.

    Linky love to the Creationist 'article'. I had to add this quote, it's just so priceless.

    ADDENDUM IV (4/21/2002): Apparently anti-Christian zealots -- as well as shocked Christians who have unwittingly become Mac owners -- are linking to this article, which explains the large number of emails we have received on this topic. More clues have come in showing the dark nature of Apple Computers. According to one of our readers, the new MacOS X contains another Satanic holdover from the "BSD Unix" OS mentioned above; to open up certain locked files one has to run a program much like the DOS prompt in Microsoft Windows and type in a secret code: "chmod 666". What other horrors lurk in this thing?

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa,

    It doesn't multitask... it doesn't multitask. Just trying to fathom that as I sit here with fifteen different tabs open (weather, invitation to dinner, twitter, news, netflix, shopping, gossip, etc), and iTunes in the background and my e-mail awaiting a reply, and Skype just sitting there in case anyone's awake in NZ, and a blog trying to get written.... and I'm conversing with the nearly-4-year old (today we are Pirate Kangaroos) and plotting dinner and remembering to get to the Post Office.

    Thinks to self: must download Freedom, or WriteRoom, or...

    I multitask. But do I really need my machine to, as well?

    It doesn't multitask. That's so terribly, stupidly, wonderfully old-fashioned. So it's like paper and pen. OR a newspaper. OR a radio. OR a photo album. OR a sketchbook. OR a calculator. OR a Gameboy. OR a recipe book. But just not all at once, because that's just too much for your poor old brain.

    I think I might secretly love it for this alone, even if it doesn't fold in the middle or have handles or come in different colours. It does one. thing. at. a. time.

    [Deep yogic exhalation.]

    D'you think Apple are ahead of the curve on this? Have they had a sit-down with the brain scientists, and this is like voluntarily cutting the nicotine level in cigarettes?

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1472 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa,

    Belated high-five to Danielle, too, for iLiner. I need one of those in my make-up kit at all times. Plus probably some iCream to stop it going all wrinkly.

    And: Stephen Fry is our aesthetic overlord and I will be very disappointed if Apple doesn't honour him in his own lifetime with a dedicated device or app. I nominate the iSay, although I don't know yet what it would actually do or look like.

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1472 posts Report Reply

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