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PC World – Is Apple the New Microsoft? September 7, 2007

Posted by sk in Apple, iPhone, iPod, Microsoft.
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PC World – Is Apple the New Microsoft?

Don’t look now, but the role of the industry’s biggest bully is increasingly played by Apple, not Microsoft. Here’s a look at how Apple has shoved Microsoft aside as the company with the worst reputation as a monopolist, copycat and a bully.

Apple the monopolist

The core complaint about Microsoft in the 1990s was that its Windows market share gave it monopoly power, which it abused in multiple ways. Attorneys General and others zeroed in on the “bundling” of the Internet Explorer Web browser, which they claimed was forced on users because Microsoft offered it as part of Windows.

And “bundling” works. Steve Jobs bragged this week that Apple has distributed 600 million copies of iTunes to date. The overwhelming majority of those copies were iTunes for Windows. And iTunes for Windows’ popularity isn’t driven by software product quality. ITunes is the slowest, clunkiest, most nonintuitive application on my system. But I need it because I love my iPods.

I guess it has to do with success. The more successful a company gets, the more enemy it makes. On the other hand, Apple has a lot of friends too … those starry eyed fans (you know who I’m talking about). Which other company can take an ugly product like the new fatty Nano and turn it into a bestseller? (Of course, the iPod Touch looks awesome.)

Apple launches iPod touch and new fatty Nano September 6, 2007

Posted by sk in Apple, Computers & Internet, iPhone, Microsoft.
1 comment so far

 

Another year, another iPod redesign. In my opinion, the iPod Touch is pretty cool and actually redeemed the keynote because the rest of the products were nothing to write home about. iPod Classic may be thin, but it’s also ugly. Same with the new redesigned Nano. With the iPhone, His Holiness, Jobs actually screwed early adopters. Of course, he gave them $100 back but that was a gift voucher. What can you get for $100 in an Apple store? A Shuffle or a keyboard. What can a Windows user get? A Shuffle. Obviously, this forces people to spend more money to buy a Nano or even a Mac. Smart marketing move. Of course, no other company would have got away this easy. Maybe the Reality Distortion Field hasn’t dampened yet.

Yup, the Zune is probably doomed. I’m not ashamed to admit that I actually liked it, even though I never bought one. I guess its days are numbered unless Microsoft can come up with something revolutionary when the v2 Zunes come out this fall. However, I think Microsoft should forget about the Zune and concentrate on the phone platform. The iPhone is a blessing in disguise for Microsoft. They’re obviously working on their own version of a touchscreen consumer phone OS. Thanks to the iPhone, more hardware vendors will be interested in partnering with MS now. Also, unlike the mp3 market, which was really in a nascent stage when Apple entered, the phone market has some huge OEMs and networks. If Microsoft plays its cards right, we could have a PC vs Mac type scenario once again. After all, Apple has a five year contract with At&T.

BTW, I was reading some comments about leaked Nano photos a few days ago (I think it was on Gizmodo). Most commenters felt the product was too ugly to have been designed by Apple. Yesterday, when it was confirmed that the leaked photos were indeed real, the general consensus changed. Suddenly the new Nano was HOT! Funny. 🙂

The i Word August 19, 2007

Posted by sk in Apple, Computers & Internet, iPhone, Microsoft.
16 comments

The word being iPhone (well, not a word but…). It’s been nothing short of a success so far for Apple and AT&T. Apple has probably sold a million of them already or at least close to a million. The lack of applications (that’s a feature rather than a weakness), the initial bug reports (hey, bugs are for Microsoft; with Apple, they’re called eccentricities), lack of GPS support (it has Google Maps, that’s more than enough), 3G,… hasn’t stopped people from buying it in hordes. Now don’t get me wrong. I’ve checked out the device a couple of times at the local Apple store and it really is impressive – not something that I would personally pay $600 for but that’s another issue.

Frankly, I think this is a device that is capable of revolutionizing the cell phone industry. Microsoft, Nokia, Sony Ericsson all have something to learn from this. Don’t throw in hundreds of applications into the phone if you don’t provide users with an easy way to get to them. With the iPhone, the applications that you see in the main menu are all that you get and it looks . Like every other device designed by them, the first iteration is simple and lacks features. With subsequent iterations of the device, Apple will add more and more complexity without losing focus on their main goal – keeping the UI as simple and uncluttered as possible. I’m pretty sure the iPhone will cause Microsoft to either come up with a better design for Windows 7 or a new OS for casual users.

By the way, it looks like AT&T too is milking the device for all its worth. Blackberry Cool reports that AT&T has locked down “the GPS functionality in their upcoming BlackBerry 8820 so that the only functioning 3rd party software will be TeleNav.” Blorge also talks about a rumor that “the device’s WiFi will only be usable if you purchase an EDGE data plan to go along with it that was reported on Engadget.” Wow!

I’ve been enjoying playing around with my new Media Center PC. It features XP Media Center 2005. I will probably upgrade it to Vista Ultimate in a few months   – after SP1 comes out. I wonder why Microsoft never really advertised Media Center. Their stupid Vista ads focused on Flip3d. Who the fuck cares about an application switcher? Media Center has an amazing UI and has tons of features. It’s not only the Tivo like functionality where you can record, pause, and rewind live TV. You can also listen to FM radio and play songs, videos, photo slideshows on your hard drive. It also has an online spotlight which features material from MTV, NPR, Yahoo!, MSN, etc. Everything accessed with one remote control. Microsoft should change its marketing agency – really. They’re idiots.

The iPhone Shuffle is here March 8, 2007

Posted by sk in Apple, iPhone, Microsoft, Technology and Software, Vatican.
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iPShortly after wowing the world with the iPhone, Steve Jobs today announced that Apple is already working on a “Shuffle” version of the iPhone. “Like the iPod Shuffle, the iPhone Shuffle comes without a screen,” Jobs announced to a roomful of Apple fans and tech journalists. After a brief standing ovation, Jobs continued, “The phone will also have no buttons and will be entirely voice activated. It also has a unique shuffle feature that arbitrarily picks a number to call from a list of numbers preloaded by the user into the desktop software for Windows and OS X.” Jobs claimed that the “Shuffle” feature is new to cell phones and will change the way people talk. “Our competitor thought the Zune would be a social device but this is magnificent. This is the true social device.” It has also been reported by sources at Saturday Night Live that the phone will have an iGenie that grants three iWishes.

Details about how much the phone will cost are sketchy but sources indicate that the phone will be available with a 2 GB Nand memory and will retail for $59.99 with a two year contract with AT&T.

Analysts hailed Jobs’ announcement and Apple’s share prices rose to an all-time high of $1000 when trading closed on Wednesday, March 7th, 2007.

Close on the heels of Jobs’ announcement a spokesperson for Microsoft claimed that Microsoft was working on a similar product called “Microsoft Windows Live Phone Shuffle edition” which they plan to release in 2010.

In other news, an anonymous commentor on a Windows site has indicated that the Pope has agreed to initiate proceedings for the canonization of Steve Jobs. Steve Jobs, as many of you already know, is already known as a “living saint” in many circles.