Emerging Tech

Why does Apple rise while the rest fall?

Apple Inc.'s recent successful results are causing debate about the reasons behind it. John M McKee, leadership and business coach, considers both sides of the issue in this article.
"Apple's products are over-priced. They have an undeserved reputation for high quality and low failure rates."

And with those comments, the conversation became more animated. It took place over dinner last weekend. My companion was with a guy who runs a moderate sized IT firm in Southern California. And, as is often the case with those who sell services using PC-based applications to other companies, he has a strong bias against Apple products. Actually, he really doesn't like Apple. At all.

He told me that "Apple's products are over-priced." Going further, he noted that much of the so-called "coolness" and "class" that the company promotes is little more than "marketing BS". Clearly, it frustrates him that so many individuals opt to pay a premium for products that he thinks are often not as good as similar products being made by other manufacturers across a wide field of services

He'd just seen a video that reinforced his opinion. It supposedly announces the launch of a new product called the MacBook Wheel. You can see it here on The Onion.

No doubt that it's a funny piece. But it, and the guy I had dinner with, are kind of missing a key point - this is business.

Regardless of whether or not one likes Apple, it's clear that many people and organizations do. And, their numbers are growing, while the manufacturers of other brands of PCs, phones and/or music players are suffering. What's the reason for Apple's continued growth in a market that's got key retailers collapsing and key manufacturers looking for companies to fill their production lines? Is it simply, "BS marketing"?

I don't think so. Although marketing does play a big part in the equation of many business successes, I believe that Apple's ability to thrive is mostly due to its design philosophy. Ask people who use their products, and they immediately start to sound like owners of BMW cars while they talk about "the feel" or "company philosophy" as well as performance. Like BMW, which also has a few models with service records that are worse than some competitors' products, Apple positions its goods on the higher-end of prices for their products. (Interestingly, Apple and BMW have similar levels of market share in their respective business segments.)

In their recent quarterly report of April 22, Apple reported earnings up 15% year over year. While other organizations' CEOs are saying that nothing can be done to stop the layoffs, the office / plant closings, and the bleeding; here's Apple saying that things are expected to continue to improve. Even though consumer spending is slowing each month and is now below last year each month for 3 months in a row; Apple has sales up 9% over last year. Those results are not due to marketing alone.

Not all the news was good: Computer sales were down 3%, apparently impacted by school budgets cutbacks. (Overall, the personal computer industry was 7%.) But mostly their results surprised investors and the market with 3.8m IPhones sold (+123%, and according to other reports, helping AT&T’s results significantly as their sole wireless partner), and 11m IPods sold, up about 3%.

Apple Inc's leadership has shown vision, guts, and determination. They created a clear business plan and executed it without any outwardly visible hesitation.

Recent product launches from Microsoft, Dell, HP, Samsung, Motorola, Nokia, and Sprint which were extremely marketing-driven seem to have done little to stem the losses of those organizations. The leaders of those entities would be wise to spend more time talking to their customers, and learning the long term benefits of design before they have to shut more factory lines and let go more employees. If they don't, the stock market will continue to spank them and at some point they'll find themselves out of work, too.

john

Leadership Coach

About

John M. McKee is the founder and CEO of BusinessSuccessCoach.net, an international consulting and coaching practice with subscribers in 43 countries. One of the founding senior executives of DIRECTV, his hands-on experience includes leading billion d...

58 comments
Gis Bun
Gis Bun

Errr. Apple just cut 1600 jobs at their stores. Apple revealed average revenue per Apple-owned Apple store was down to $5.9 million from $7.1 million for the same quarter a year earlier -- a drop of 17 percent. Apple opened just one new retail shop in its most recent quarter, and has been temporarily closing stores in places like Oregon, Michigan and upstate New York for renovation.

all4monies
all4monies

... for me. I like PCs and MACs, I like Windows, Mac OS, and Linux. It's my simple truth that if I had the money, then I would buy a MAC. Option 1: Spend thousands on a single MAC, spend the next couple of years recovering my savings/paying it off. Option 2: Spend much less on 2 computers and 2 laptops (one computer I built that is only beaten by the $4000+ Mac Pro, not including monitor), plus complete my theater system, fix the sink, and take my wife out to dinner a couple times. Sorry, I just want to save money, not pay for a fad. But if you've got the money, then go for it.

vision
vision

Steve Jobs, Founder and CEO, has marketing savvy, but is also technical. The difference between Jobs and everybody else is that the originality, elegance and innovation ARE what determines RIGHT. He spends entire interviews expounding on how ancient fonts inspired him on the first desktop. Very few managers GET what is RIGHT. Jobs spent years doing nothing but touring colleges and universities to find out what the educated of our next generation would NEED and what the greatest minds in the world (they come to study at US universities) considered "possible". He didn't waste his time asking what left-brained management with no imagination wants today. He knew a decade ago what would be needed, without asking, 10 to 20 years later, determined how to do it right, then took the time and money to get it done. His paths are not the safest, because he doesn't create products that he has already confirmed as presold by taking a poll. He passes out the rubber hammers every day, betting everything he has on himself. He works shoulder to shoulder weekends and all-nighters with his hand-picked teams, keeping the vision clear. Comparing the success of XP or Vista on x86 or x64 with MacOS is missing the point. That fails to explain successes of the iPod and iPhone vs. Zune and Blackberry. It is not the Leadership. It is the Vision. It is "Getting It", doing it "Right" and knowing what will be needed, even necessary, then timing it well. I think too many leaders have a hammer, so everything is a nail. If all you can comprehend is project workplans, micromanagement, and budgeting, then vision, creativity, and prioritizing the risk of extra time and money to ensure originality, elegance, and innovation will be meaningless. Just continue catering to the lowest bidder. Oh, and by the way, BMW has announced a forthcoming significant price increase.

KSoniat
KSoniat

Believe it or not my dad is practically a MAC guru - he goes to a local MAC users group 2x's a month, has his house wired with wifi and usually has the latest and greatest equipment. Last year when he bought his new MAC we were stuggling with our home PC, and asked what he was going to do with his old MAC - so rather than recycle it he gave it to us. The ease of use has been terrific, so when my son needed a laptop we got him a MACbook. We had MAC's early on, but it was too hard to switch back and forth between PC's at work and MACs at home. And we didn't have USB drives etc. Now it is seamless. (and painless) :)

jbelkin
jbelkin

If marketing could buy you market share or sales, that $300 million MS spent last year should do the trick but nope, sales are down - Pepsi, Coke? All companies that don't 'market' enough. Saying it's just marketing shows an APPALLING lack of understanding - what is marketing, some lephrachun or maybe that is THEIR problem who thinks that ... the bigger picture is that marketing is design is production and is logistics but of course, that's too scary for most companies to think about so they believe marketing is a bunch of ad guys who make these "videos." As for Apple's "undeserved" quality claims, there has been no survey where Apple isn;t 10-30 point higher than their competitor or the iPhone satisfaction rating (79 ... Blackberry 55) ... the bottom line is that PC users think of PC's as worth nothing more than a bucket of parts - maybe that is true of PC's why not pay more than absolute minimum while Mac users value their personal computer because it's not just a bucket of parts? It's like Paris Hilton to value a chain saw - they just don't get it.

jdclyde
jdclyde

that kept things going, not the Apple computers. Having alternate products to fall back on during hard times is always a good thing, and shows they are always looking for new opportunities. Sure, I love to tease the MAC guys about how "cute" their system is, but in reality I don't care what they use. Whatever works for them, more power to them. If I ever DID get a mac, you know I wouldn't stay with their OS.... :D

vision
vision

Bottom right corner of www.apple.com

vision
vision

You can run all versions of Windows, linux, and Solaris x86/x64 at the same time for the same price as 3-4 pieces of junk.

TNT
TNT

I agree that Jobs is a huge part of the Apple success story. Apple floundered without him at the helm, and are fortunate to have him back. Hopefully he is not all there is to Apple's success however, as there are rumors about his retirement. When you say I missed the point in my Apple's to Oranges post. I was right on point for the issue raised by the gentleman I was responding to. But you are right in that it doesn't have anything to do with why Apple is growing and everyone else is shrinking. Even so, Apple has a long way to go before their market share becomes anything for Microsoft to worry about. I think you do a disservice to both platforms by bashing one over the other. They are comparable, on almost every level, just different in their execution. Apple controls the hardware their OS runs on, so driver issues are non-existent. MS must rely on drivers from manufacturers, so while there are problems the platform itself is much less expensive. With a good IT department, running either platform in business can be a good experience.

TNT
TNT

KSoniat, Using a Mac at home and PC at work may be seemless and painless, but try to integrate the two platforms on the same network domain and there are a myriad of problems. Mac's do not play nicely with Windows Servers. And if you want to enable mobile accounts for MocBook users you HAVE to have a Mac server in the mix. Believe me, I've spent the last 6 months learning how to properly integrate Mac's into our school network and administrate them the "Mac way". It works well if you follow Apple's best practices, but it is far from painless -- either in the prep work or the pocket book.

boxfiddler
boxfiddler

[i]Saying it's just marketing shows an APPALLING lack of understanding...[/i] Marketing flat irks me (politely speaking). Being rather perverse in nature, I chafe at marketing at its best. Anything less, I perversely go an opposite direction.

yobtaf
yobtaf

I teach at a college where students eat, sleep and live digital media. I hear it over and over again,: "My next computer is going to be a Mac" They have access to Lynx as well as Windows every day. Who in their right mind would choose would choose wmv over mov.

monoclast
monoclast

jdclyde wrote: "If I ever DID get a mac, you know I wouldn't stay with their OS...." I love it when people who have obviously spent all of 0 seconds actually *using* something talk about how much it sucks... It's a genuine sign of real intelligence. *smirk*

Rastor9
Rastor9

The anwer lies in the Applications man! Install bare bones OS X and how much "work" or "play" can you get completed? Install bare bones Windows and how much "work" or "play" can you get done? The applications needed to complete your PLAY or WORK will determine what you use. The other "minimal" factors will be what you are familiar with. If you have used Final Cut Pro on your Mac for Video and DVD creations, you will not likely switch to Avid for Windows or vice versa. If you use MS Office on your Mac, you will find dozens of features on MS Office for Windows that aren't included in the Macintosh version. You should have seen the panic of my teachers when they had to move from OS 9 to OS X back in 2001! They couldn't imagine "why in the hell" does Macintosh require a "root" administrative user to install any software. They even tried to make this a teacher union issue by filing a grievance towards the school because of "trust issues" such as the school doesn't "trust" me to run my own computer (without the "administration password"). Of course those same "Mac users" don't remember anything from the past such as the OS 10.2.7 update that physically broke many models of Firewire drives, or the Fact that Apple no longer supports OS X Versions 10.0, 10.1, or 10.2 even though those came out after 2002. Mac users have rose colored glasses when does come to Mac's mistakes and magnifying glasses when it comes to Microsoft's. Apple has also moved from Motorolla, IBM and now on to Intel processors with little or no "conversion" between systems. G4 processors (Motorolla-less than 4 years old) cannot run Leopard but yet Vista can still run on a 8 year old Pentium 4 as long as it has sufficient memory and video system. Try to run the same version of Adobe Acrobat on a G3, G4, G5 or Intel Mac (all systems available in the last 8 years)--won't work Question to original Poster....If OS X were so great, then why does Apple FORCE me to by their hardware to run their software? Toshiba, HP, Dell etc would be sued to kingdoms end if they allowed their systems to "dual boot" Windows and Apple OS Systems. As I said at the begining, the choices have to do with the function you intend to perform with the Operating System. Both have great features, both have great histories but the "Cult of Mac" (just google it), keeps claiming the "best" title, it sounds more like OS envy when you consider Apple single digit market share of OS's. Even if Apple sold 2 million more copies of OS X TODAY than Microsoft Any Version this year that still won't change their market share more than 1/2%.

ian.digby
ian.digby

Comparing Apple IPhone with MS-based mobile. Whilst the Apple insistence on using ITunes is rather annoying, nevertheless the IPhone I have had for nearly a year has crashed/hung perhaps twice. A prior MS Windows Mobile 3-based phone crashed regularly. Apple also have vision. The App Store is a winning concept, as is the touch-screen interface. Almost every other phone company seems to want to imitate them. High priced? - yes. But better quality and functionality? - definitely.

Daniel.Muzrall
Daniel.Muzrall

I'll start off by saying I grew up on Mac OS 6/7/8, DOS 5/6, and Windows 3.1/9x. I currently run Windows XP/Vista and Linux (Kubuntu, though I'm considering switching to Ububuntu), and would love to get a Mac again. I like to think that I'm pretty OS agnostic....I haven't drank any one OS's kool-aid. Several years ago Apple switched to using more commodity Intel-based components in their systems. Many Mac purists and pundits said that would be the fall of Apple and many others said it would be the gateway to massive Apple success. If both Macs and PCs are using the same commoditized hardware, what's the difference? I think it comes down to the fact that Apple spends more time in testing, verifying, and certifying which hardware it will put in their machines. There's a big difference between compatible hardware and certified hardware. I don't believe that Microsoft puts the same amount of effort into hardware certification that Apple does. The other piece of the pie is the operating system. Apple has long had a focus on the highly user-friendly, stable, and speedy OS. They've rebuilt and re-engineered the Mac OS on top of BSD/Linux. A complete system rebuild is something that Microsoft has not done up to this point(we'll see what Win7 does). With the re-engineering, Apple was able to take advantage of its hardware certification process and tweak the OS to make optimal use of the hardware. Do these differences make Apple "better" than Windows? It's hard to say...there are just too many situations and too many variables out there to answer definitively. Does Apple's engineering (hardware and OS), design, and marketing combine to give Mac a competitive advantage? I'd have to say yes. Does Microsoft's broad hardware compatibility and lower price give it a competitive advantage? I'd have to say yes to that too. My $0.02!

cmo726
cmo726

Apple does at least one thing much better than Microsoft: listen to their customers. Apple visibly works to improve its products and the improvements that are quickly implemented tend to be related to customer requests or customer complaints. Microsoft isn't so good in this area. It took Microsoft almost seven years to release Vista, and when they did you could hear a collective groan. Vista isn't terrible, but a seven year wait for a new operating system that was hyped for all those seven years should blow their customers away. And I know there are good reasons why it take Microsoft longer, and it maybe that those reasons are sound business reasons for Microsoft, but as a customer it sucks. By the time Vista came out it was already outdated. Loyalty of the sort that Apple enjoys is not mere marketing. It has to be demonstrated, and not to those who will never care, but to those who are current customers. Apple has mastered the business/customer relationship. If Microsoft really wanted to impress Apple users they would stop harping on and on about price, and instead provide a case for why they are better for individual users. "I'm really cheap" just reinforces everything that Microsoft doesn't have going for it.

cmatthews
cmatthews

This one's hard to nail. No question the products cost more, you get better than average quality, but something's amiss here. It's that, "better than the rest", "push me - I'm into world domination" attitude, that'll likely sit with most of us until MAC-OS goes on sale for every-one. (If that ever happens it'll be the death of Apple, since totalit*rianism wants all, and must control all, whilst manipul*ting empty-headed, half-deaf followers with ear-buds who can no longer think deep, original thoughts for themselves). I work with some who use that dreaded "..my MAC.." injected into every conversation - even when shamelessly unwelcome. The same hold vague ideas on quantitative comparisons with something that sits almost totally in another camp or can run myriads of software that doesn't begin with "i-". "I" could mean ideology. Sadly, the story here uses BMW as a parallel - bad move for a lot of reasons. If roads were software it natively fails, and speed can never be judged for the same reason. The foundations of today, are built by the same past-characters who would sell you a keyboard and peripherals with special connectors etc.. (you could only buy from them). This I can't forget, since I once ran several Avid media-composer systems and pre-buying special spare parts was a must. IBM ditched OS/2 and now runs Z-series super-computers on Linux (yes, even at places like Los-Alamos). They have the talent to rip-off Linux, or buy Torvalds, but they don't - that wouldn't be ethical like ripping-off BSD and holding it hostage to ideology... (For those interested, I mostly run Windows-on-Linux and hail-back to my first job in Computer-Land as a tech fixing Kay-pro's and Lisa's and had to solder my first PC's together). Summary: These "better" fr*udulent "leaders" would feel more at home in pre-coldwar Russia than here. 10-20% is all they'll ever get, because that's about the same as the societal *diot-to-thinker ratio. Sorry for going long folks!!

axent
axent

A few years ago, I made the switch to Mac and purchased a 12" Powerbook G4. In the intervening years that I've owned my PB, I've had it crash once. I always put it to sleep and it wakes with no problems. Not so on my Windows laptops. I've never had good luck putting a Windows laptop to sleep; in fact, when waking it up, I always had something fail (sound, network, etc). Is it marketing alone? No. It's the fact that people who own Apple computers love them. Marketing is important to get the name out, and Apple's marketing campaigns are brilliantly thought out, but word of mouth is absolutely the most important. Consider the number of times that you've crashed your Windows computer. Does it matter what version of Windows you run? Probably not. Are you sick of the BSOD? I know I am. Mind you, my entire network is Windows XP and Server 2000 based. Maybe I'm just tired of having to fix people's problems with Windows. Maybe at the end of the day, after dealing with Windows issues, I needed something different at home. Who knows? Getting back to Apple's marketing strategy... how many people do you know that own an iPod? Or an iPhone? What do they think? Do they like how it functions? Do they appreciate the sound quality? Did they compare products before they purchased? My guess is, probably not. They bought an Apple product because it's the "IN" thing to own. THAT is where Apple has executed their marketing strategy brilliantly.

adakar_sg
adakar_sg

7 of them are "you can run microsoft software" I belive mac will keep its marked share as there will be aprox the same amount of guys wanting to be "special" and "cool" by using 37% more on their hardware and get a fancy OS with animated everything.. as a vista user at home.. all the animated stuff was the first to go so.. people want different things and MS need some competition.. Regardless google is the most likely to crush MS, not apple, not ever :)

HypnoToad72
HypnoToad72

... if you use their store credit card. For all the talk of frozen credit, I was happily surprised when I got a large enough limit for the iMac and much more. (And I don't plan to max it either, but as I'm in college I want to get used to it sooner rather than later...) And their extended warranty includes accidental damages. AppleCare does not. Nothing against Apple; I just bought a 24" iMac for graphic design work... the screen quality alone makes it worth every penny. (avoid the 20" monitors; those are still using cheaper monitor panels) And as every notebook out there uses the cheap TN panel anyway, I'd no qualms about the Macbook Pro I got too. It came with a small indentation in the case, but it's barely noticeable and works like a charm. The RAM upgrade arrives by Thursday, whee!

vision
vision

Please reread my post. Not a single negative statement was made about Microsoft (until later in this post), Apple wanting the entire market, or any product being better than the other. Ever heard the cliche metaphor about 4 blind men and an elephant? My point was, and is, that Mr. Jobs anticipates the voids (possibly questions initiated by his creation of the answers), then fills them in a correct and timely fashion with his priority characteristics of originality, elegance, and innovation. This is different than the many companies, not just Microsoft, who added graphic icons, fonts, and mouse navigation cursors after Apple II and Mac were invented; created a tiny storage mp3 player after iPods became popular; and introduced graphical editors, drawing programs, and project management software products long after MacWrite, MacPaint, and MacProject, although other originals were also knocked off, such as WordPerfect documents, Lotus 123 Spreadsheets, and Harvard Graphics Presentations, not just Apple. Microsoft should be commended for doing an amazing job of copying ideas, making lots of money on them, and crushing any potential competition, except Apple, but only when Jobs is not CEO. Despite Microsoft's IP infringement expertise, however, not everybody wants sloppy seconds. Some people want to be first and have the real thing when it first comes out, so you have to be continuously innovating to ignore that your last patent was ignored by Microsoft. Will Apple die after Jobs retires? Of course, just like Microsoft is dying after Gates semi-retired to the board. My perception is that running these kinds of companies is not a spectator sport - you either play or not.

yobtaf
yobtaf

Apple is not interested in taking over the computer world from Microsoft. They are focusing on a core group. This group is fanatically loyal. I agree that both operating systems are equally usable. For that matter a Chevy Malibu is just as usable as a BMW.

jdclyde
jdclyde

just how much of the problems you had were caused by MS intentionally writing their apps to NOT work with the macs, vs the macs not following networking standards? And win08 or win03 servers?

monoclast
monoclast

You encounter the same or worse problems connecting Linux computers to Microsoft domains. The reason for this is Microsoft's proprietary, closed nature. And it has little to do with the way Mac OS X is designed. You're blaming the wrong company for your problems connecting non-Windows machines to Windows domains.

KSoniat
KSoniat

I wouldn't want to tackle 10's to 100's of either actually - which which why I write software and leave the hardware to y'all. BTW - we drove from SC to CO last summer and had a blast! Camped at Rocky Mtn National Park then went on to Yellowstone. Love your state!

Rastor9
Rastor9

Notice they say their "next" computer will be a Mac...could it be they can't afford it because of their income or financial status???

jdclyde
jdclyde

then that is all that matters, huh? It is foolish to buy any product based upon it being more of a religion than a logical choice. The current religion war between the xp and vista camps really cracks me up... :D

TNT
TNT

Actually WMV has a better compression codec. Nothing against MOV files, I'm just saying...

jdclyde
jdclyde

Well mr rocket scientist, when did I say anything about the os sucking? I HAVE seen what a mac can by like after the ox was stripped off, and liked it. present day situation, not worth the money for what my needs would be.

HypnoToad72
HypnoToad72

Why does Apple compel you to buy THEIR hardware? Simple: They don't want the reputation Microsoft has received over the years. Score one for Apple! :D BTW: I found that the UI for Adobe's products is a bit more streamlined in OS X Surprising, as I came from a Windows environment. The CS4 suite. I do agree it would be nice if Apple opened up OS X to generic PCs and brands... but the moment the system crashes, you KNOW what will happen: They will be accused of making slop. And that is hardly true. Apple needs to stay its course. For these, and the other reasons I've mentioned in responses to other people in this thread.

HypnoToad72
HypnoToad72

Especially as the G5 had been costing more for less net horsepower, I concede it was the right choice to make. My new MacBook Pro did come with a Hitachi hard drive (they're said to have a bad reputation, I had not noticed and I have one in my PC laptop too) so I summarily replaced it with a Western Digital. BTW: T6 star screwdrivers are bloody difficult to come by... but they do hand pick components and have customized cases - the aluminum design certainly spreads heat better than the plastic found in regular PCs. It's a quality product, the Mac. Microsoft leaves all driver work to the hardware vendors, save for the generic VGA driver of course. Shifting responsibility. That's one reason why Windows has a reputation for being unstable as well, though Vista 64-bit is VERY reliable because only qualified drivers are allowed.

TNT
TNT

Your experience with XP vs. your experience with your PB is not a fair comparison. Your versions of XP are likely 32 bit, and even if you're on the latest service pack the core OS is still 7 or 8 years old. OS X 10.5 is 64-bit and only a few years old. Try running 64-bit Vista on the same hardware (go ahead and bootstrap your PB) and you'll never see the BSOD again. I put 64-bit Vista on my home PC 20 months ago and its only crashed once, and that was when I installed a bad driver for an old webcam that wasn't Vista compatible. It stays on 24/7 and only reboots on update Tuesdays. I'm no Apple basher. I work at a school and support both platforms. My work laptop is a MacBook Pro, which I dual boot with XP. I have to tell you though, about 70 percent of my time is spent on the Mac community, and they make up about a third of our user base. The ongoing joke is, "Something doesn't work? On your MAC?! But they are supposed to be so easy to use and so reliable..." Again, not bashing anyone, just stating the reality that OS X, while a good OS, is not the nirvana many say it is.

HypnoToad72
HypnoToad72

1. Apple charges more for their hardware. You also get it in a metal case that accelerates component cooling. 2. PCs are cheaper, but they are subsidized by 3rd party spyware bloatware. 3. Microsoft OSes take up more RAM - ever since NT 4, multiplying Microsoft's minimum RAM requirement by FOUR has **always** been consistently accurate. I hope Win7 breaks that trend, especially as its minimum required RAM is double Vista's minimum required RAM (1024MB/512MB respectively. Vista requires 2GB as a realistic minimum...) In short, one way or another one is going to spend about the same amount of money. Directly or otherwise; you may not have used the complimentary Norton antivirus kit that came with the new PC... but Norton's customers helped to subsidy that inclusion. (Would Norton or any company truly take a profit loss? In a word, "no". Even despite mass profits, MS is doing selective layoffs anyway. And given the problems that plagued Vista, I refuse to trust my data and intellectual property to Win7. I lost enough because of that macrobloat from Microsoft.) Don't get me wrong; I still love the Windows Mobile operating system. I just worry they'll kill that too. :(

vision
vision

Do your homework next time so you don't embarrass yourself again: 1. You appear to be a prime example of the cheap x86 customers, not aware of specs - 5400RPM disks are still on almost all the bargain basement boxes. 2. Even if you can plug an SSD in, doesn't mean there will not be any motherboard bottlenecks (didn't want to go that deep, but ok) 3. Engelbert applied for the patent in 1963 but didn't get a patent until 1970: "In 1967, Engelbart applied for, and in 1970 he received a patent for the wooden shell with two metal wheels (computer mouse U.S. patent 3,541,541)". For the purposes of my conversation on patent infringement, 1970 was relevant, 1963 was not, as 1970 was the latest date he could defend. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Douglas_Engelbart According to the Wiki, Microsoft invented Xenix and licensed rights to SCO, who ported it. However, Microsoft still owned the rights, which were eventually sold to SCO: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xenix Xenix is a version of the Unix operating system, licensed by Microsoft from AT&T in the late 1970s. The Santa Cruz Operation (SCO) later acquired exclusive rights to the software, and eventually began distributing it as SCO UNIX. Xenix was Microsoft's version of Unix intended for use on microcomputers; since Microsoft was not able to license the "UNIX" name itself, they gave it an original name. The -ix ending follows a convention used by many other Unix-like operating systems. Microsoft did not sell Xenix directly to end users; instead, they licensed it to software OEMs such as Intel, Tandy, Altos and SCO, who then ported it to their own proprietary computer architectures. Microsoft Xenix originally ran on the PDP-11; the first port was for the Zilog Z8001 16-bit processor. Altos shipped a version for their Intel 8086 based computers early in 1982, Tandy Corporation shipped TRS-XENIX for their 68000-based systems in January 1983, and SCO released their port to the IBM PC in September 1983. A port to the 68000-based Apple Lisa also existed. At the time, Xenix was based on AT&T's UNIX System III.

ndupasquier
ndupasquier

Just got an HP 6730b laptop(enterprise model) with Vista that our IT insists we buy and was surprised to find a 5400 rpm drive in it. 3yrs ago I was looking for a laptop for my son for university and saw quite a few laptops still quietly including 4200rpm drives. We loaded a Dell laptop with 7200,video and audio card, lots of memory and three yrs later his laptop still runs whatever he wants. You'd best check under the hood when looking at PC laptops.

TNT
TNT

Seriously, great response. I have not been one of those who keep pointing to the price tag as the primary difference between the two platforms. In fact, I agree, that with similar hardware and software a PC and a Mac are close in price. However, my Apple sales rep brought something to my attention that's worth repeating. The Mac (particularly the server) comes with more software than most people will use. If you bought a Windows server that could perform all the roles a Mac server can out of the box, you'd spend thousands more. But in the Windows world, we buy servers for one or two roles at a time, so we do not need every server to have all that capability. Not saying one is a better model than the other, just pointing out that the price is spread out in the PC world whereas it is more upfront in the Mac world.

cmatthews
cmatthews

"I only work on UNIX, usually 100's or 1000's of servers..." (hey, chill..) When folks start out with "I" and roll to a boast, what can we say? 1st, Xenix was ported to the 8086 from Unix V-III source. Read Xenix history: http://williambader.com/museum/dell/xenixhistory.html 2nd, the mouse was invented in 1963 by Engelbart at SRI (check wiki). 3rd, (straw-man techno-babble) 5400 rpm drives were gone years ago, and where did you pull the DDR and DDR3 on the same platform, upgrade stuff? Yikes! Sounds like you better leave the hardware to someone else.. BTW, SSD's use the same interface both physically and electrically, so they'd be interchangable on anything.

vision
vision

Not linux, UNIX - Solaris, HP-UX, and AIX. Linux took it a step further by stealing from Microsoft! They pirated code from Xenix that was sold by Microsoft to SCO, then wouldn't pay SCO for the rights! Xenix is actually something original for which I respect Mr. Gates...quite alot, actually. I'm a little surprised that he has not yet bought back SCO code rights and put a UNIX core, shells, and X-Windows in Windows. By the way, Macs run on FreeBSD (MacOS X), which is really the only true free code out there. Who wrote BSD? Sun Microsystems co-founder, Bill Joy, while he was still in college at Berkeley (so much for Linus Torvalds being original). If you want to know the difference between MacOS and Windows, compare the memory and disk management schemes and fact that every process doesn't run as one user, then you'll understand the difference between Windows and UNIX or linux. The mouse was invented at Xerox PARC in 1970 and cost $400, as well as only working with a $16,000 computer called an Alto. Apple did not market the mouse until 1983. Apple payed stock to Xerox for GUI rights, but almost noone yet knew what a mouse was still and the patent had expired when Xerox cared enough to sue - moot point. Apple outsourced development of their unique mouse design. The single button was one result of a $25 target price. The new egg shaped design endured 20 years without change - respectable example of what you pay for in an Apple. POINT: Apple did not infringe on any patents, their mouse design was very original (especially to the market), and they did pay for the Xerox GUI, even though their "Look and Feel" was completely original. Compare screen size and resolution (probably 1200x1024 or 1024x768 vs. Apple's 1920x1200), disk size and speed, maximum speed and capacity of memory, wireless protocol (e.g. n), ethernet port speed, maximum CPU compatible with the motherboard, and size and resolution of the external monitor of your cheap non-Apple computer to the Apple (24-30", 1920x1200), then figure out how much it will cost you to upgrade it to an acceptable level, before you say Apple is just big ticket. By the time you buy the graphics card, replace your 5400RPM disk with 7200RPM, and upgrade your 100Mb NIC to 1000Mb, you'll realize that you can't add any more memory, speed memory up from DDR to DDR3 (not even DDR2), interchangeably use SSD, enjoy built-in wifi, or a $19 remote control. I've gone to several non-Apple websites and REALLY compared Apples to apples and found that Apple was often a big savings. The prices you see offered are like the $399/mth BMW lease. If you think that's what it will really cost, then P.T. Barnum would have loved you! There is a point to the disposable computer, but not everyone is comfortable with throwing away their computer every 2-3 years, because nothing will run on it any more and you can't upgrade it any further.

TNT
TNT

Read your long deification of Jobs in the previous post, and this one, and stand by what I said earlier. BTW, Apple has done their fair share of copying over the years. The mouse is one example. It was first invented by Xerox. In business it's not as much about being first to market, but about the best implementation of the idea. And what does Jobs have against 2-button's on a mouse anyway? (joke.) I'll give you the fact Apple has a fanatical following. I work on both platforms and really do not prefer one over the other. Though I do like running Windows on Mac hardware (except for the mouse -- its that 2-button thing again). Their hardware is elegant. And Windows 7 beta runs great on a 20" iMac. ;-)

yobtaf
yobtaf

That all I have to say.

jdclyde
jdclyde

Yeah, MS doesn't have a vested interest in competitors not doing well? I am thinking the answer lies somewhere in between....

TNT
TNT

I wasn't saying MS was an angel in regard to standards compliance - though EI8 is a step in the right direction - I was simply stating that MS doesn't purposely design their server OS so that it won't work with Mac's. Even with IE and FrontPage, the motive was to extend functionality and to gain market share, not to make their product incompatible with existing standards.

jdclyde
jdclyde

No, they would never use non-standard code in packages like FrontPage, giving "features" that will only work if your customer uses IE, would they? ANY package that limits my ability to communicate with others because of not following standards is a bad package. Not saying that is the case here, but it would hardly be the first time MS did something like that.

TNT
TNT

I'm going to assume you're primary question is, "how many of your problems were caused by Microsoft not adhering to network standards?" Because I think its too conspiracy theory-like to think that Microsoft deliberately wrote code so that their server platforms would not work with Mac. And in answer to that question, I'd have to say I honestly do not know. Since Microsoft owns 90% market share I figure they are the playing field and have the backing to make the rules. Let's face it, if Mac, or Linux, wants to break into corporate America it must be able to work alongside Windows servers, not vice versa. On the other hand, Apple changed the rules of their own OS with Leopard. When I arrived at my current Job a little over a year ago things were running pretty smooth between the Mac's and PC's, until I upgraded everyone to Leopard. Leopard broke Windows connectivity badly. It was constant problems caused by Leopard - not Windows - that took me 6 months to straighten out. You may argue OS X is more "standards-based" now, and that in the long run its a good thing. And that may even be true. Regardless, it isn't anything Microsoft is doing to thwart Apple, Apple thwarted itself with drastic changes to AD connectivity and to client/server roles and relationships.

monoclast
monoclast

Apparently you are unaware that AD is Active Directory, a Microsoft-only technology. And it's hardly as open as other open source alternatives such as OpenLDAP, Kerberos, and so on. I find your statement that "Apple doesn't have any way to make [the OD to AD] connection" humorous. Apparently you couldn't be bothered to do a simple Google search, because if you had, you'd have learned what other IT professionals already know - that Mac OS X has been connecting to AD servers for *years*: http://www.apple.com/business/solutions/it/directory.html

vision
vision

AD is a Microsoft only kludge. However, ever heard of Microsoft UNIX Gateway, LDAP (e.g. Sun Directories Server v6.3) or, on the infinitely more obvious side, SAMBA? When all you've got is a hammer, everything's a nail. The beauty of FreeBSD, Linux, and UNIX is the OpenSource market. Take some time to see all that you can download. A fun place to read is www.sunfreeware.com, which has all the Public Domain downloads for Sun Solaris, but is an outstanding place to read quick excerpts on pretty much any OpenSource software package that will run, if downloaded from elsewhere (Google) on any linux or UNIX, and many even on Windows. Nice! Great skimming material.

TNT
TNT

When connection my schools OD server to our AD server it required downloading ADAM from Microsoft and install additional server tools from Microsoft. Apple did not have any way to make that connection - Microsoft provided the solution. In fact with most connectivity issues Microsoft has been the one writing code to make it work. Some may argue that its their responsibility to make sure their customers can access data on any platform, but when you own almost 90% of the market you really don't have to do that. It's Apple and Linux that are responsible for making sure their systems play with the market leader.

HypnoToad72
HypnoToad72

Jobs of even the most qualified people are going under their feet because of this economy. Replacement jobs don't seem to have quite the same pay. A person is more than his "financial status" and "income" and many do work hard to get what they do. Heck, unlike the lawyer that listens to a right wing talk show blowhard who tells his buddies the rock musician he's defending needs to get a real job, I'll readily acknowledge that making music... and spouting empty, hate-filled gibber into a microphone are both obviously viable career choices.

yobtaf
yobtaf

I can't know the answer. I surprised how many student have the latest iPhone. I can't afford one.

jdclyde
jdclyde

see which one fills up first? :D

KSoniat
KSoniat

You still keep it easily available in case of emergencies? ;)

jdclyde
jdclyde

:D Gawd, the ex HATED when I called her that....

boxfiddler
boxfiddler

I need to figure out how to make flour that tastes good from acorns, too.

santeewelding
santeewelding

Get your ass to bed. Don't you have to work tomorrow? I mean, Boxy has wood to get off the porch; I still have fold and put away laundry; and you, you gotta do what a man's gotta do, don't ya?