TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Swaine Manor: Oh Noes! Apple is Turning into the Borg!

Volume Number: 26
Issue Number: 06
Column Tag: Editorial

Swaine Manor: Oh Noes! Apple is Turning into the Borg!

...Or IBM. Or Google. Or Something. Anyway, It's Time to Panic.

by Michael Swaine

Blame It on Rio

I blame the Brazilians.

I was shrugging off all this "Apple is turning into Microsoft" hysteria until I got the call from Guilherme de Camargo Barros of Galiliu Magazine and was forced to really think about the question. Guilherme wanted to interview me about Apple and Steve Jobs, and several of his questions were of the "has Apple become Microsoft?" variety, triggered by the report that Apple had passed Microsoft in market valuation.

If "passed" is the word I'm seeking. Do you "pass" another car when you're heading north and you see it zip by in the southbound lane? But I digress.

Being confronted with the question in an interview forced me to take it more seriously than I had been. Well, is Apple turning into Microsoft, or IBM, for that matter, or some other relic of the past? Given some of Apple's recent actions, it was a fair question.

Only the more I thought about it, the more sure I was that it was really several questions. If Apple was in fact undergoing some ghastly transformation into a hideous monster out of the Technozoic, I realized that there were several candidate monsters.

The Microsoft Meme

Apple turning into Microsoft? I kinda get it. Remember "I'd love to offer my app on the Mac but the Windows market is twenty times bigger and the incremental income wouldn't justify the cost of porting"? Now put WebOS in place of the Mac and iPhone/iPad in place of Windows. OK.

There must be some validity to the idea; it's a topic (http://bit.ly/dzca3G) on Apple's own support discussion board.

The premise seems to be that Apple's growth and its recent behavior in tromping on users and developers, as well as its de facto monopoly in some new market segments, are evidence that Apple is turning into Microsoft. But other conclusions could be drawn from the same evidence.

Take the legal harassment stuff. That could be evidence that Steve Jobs is turning into Darl McBride. (Darl who, you ask? CEO of SCO, claimed ownership of Unix, built a business model on suing everybody. At least that's how I remember it. I could be wrong. Don't sue me, Darl). The de facto monopoly thing? Evidence that Apple is turning into Google. The whole police state kicking-down-doors thing? Apple is turning into Big Brother. Why wasn't 1984 like 1984? So 2010 could be.

Other Monsters

I think you could make a stronger argument that Apple is turning into Sony. It's hardly an original idea. Starting with dropping "Computer" from its name, Apple has been pretty open about its movement into a post-PC era of scads of different yet-to-be-invented consumer devices, and Steve Jobs has always admired Sony.

Or maybe Apple really is turning into Google. John Battelle says they're developing a search engine for apps. Why stop there? The iPhone OS is proof that Apple understands something that Microsoft never has: most users don't bother to put their documents in nested folders, they just dump them in one folder or on the desktop and search for what they want. Google understands that search is a key operating system function; maybe Apple does, too.

I'm unconvinced. I had dealings with Apple and Steve Jobs back in the 1980s, and I don't remember this benign company that is implied by these laments over Apple turning into something different. If I were forced to say what it is that Apple is turning into, I'd have to say it's turning into Apple. A bigger, stronger, more Apple-like Apple. It's acting pretty much like it's always acted: arrogant, controlling, and bold. Only now, it has more power.

And here's one consequence of Apple's embrace of post-PC products that I'm not seeing mentioned in all these articles: you can no longer turn your Apple products into aquariums and hamster cages. Now that's a shame.


Michael Swaine is the former editor-in-chief of Dr. Dobb's Journal (http://www.ddj.com) and current editor of PragPub (http:// www.pragprog.com/magazine), the electronic magazine for pragmatic programmers. You can reach him at mike@swaine.com.

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Ellipsis - Touch. Explore. Survive. (...
Ellipsis - Touch. Explore. Survive. 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »
Ys Chronicles II (Games)
Ys Chronicles II 1.0.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0.0 (iTunes) Description: After a hard fight to recover the six sacred books in Ys Chronicles I, Adol is back for a sequel! | Read more »
FINAL FANTASY Ⅸ (Games)
FINAL FANTASY Ⅸ 1.0.4 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $16.99, Version: 1.0.4 (iTunes) Description: ==========●Special sale price for the FINAL FANTASY IX release! ●20% off from February 10 to February 21, 2016... | Read more »
Tennis Club Story (Games)
Tennis Club Story 1.03 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.03 (iTunes) Description: Aim for the ace position of tennis club prestige in this simulation! Your leadership decides if players make it to the big... | Read more »
Juggernaut Wars guide - How to use skill...
Juggernaut Warsis a brand new auto-RPG on iOS and Android that challenges you to build a team of heroes, send them out into various different missions to defeat waves of heroes, and level them up to increase their power. The actual combat itself... | Read more »
Check out the new Pirate Attack update i...
Love pirates and board games? Well, you'll love the new Pirate Attack themed update that just launched in Game of Dice. It adds a bunch of new content themed around pirates, like an all new event map based on a pirate ship which revamps the toll... | Read more »
Splash Cars guide - How to paint the tow...
Splash Cars is an arcade driving game that feels like a hybrid between Dawn of the Plow and Splatoon. In it, you'll need to drive a car around to repaint areas of a town that have lost all of their color. Check out these tips to help you perform... | Read more »
The best video player on mobile
We all know the stock video player on iOS is not particularly convenient, primarily because it asks us to hook a device up to iTunes to sync video in a world that has things like Netflix. [Read more] | Read more »
Four apps to help improve your Super Bow...
Super Bowl Sunday is upon us, and whether you’re a Panthers or a Broncos fan you’re no doubt gearing up for it. [Read more] | Read more »
LooperSonic (Music)
LooperSonic 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Music Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: LooperSonic is a multi-track audio looper and recorder that will take your loops to the next level. Use it like a loop pedal to... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

App Annie Reveals Future of the App Economy:...
App Annie, a San Francisco based mobile app data and insights platform, has launched its first comprehensive app economy forecast. This new offering will provide brands, agencies, investors and app... Read more
Apple restocks Certified Refurbished Mac mini...
Apple has restocked Certified Refurbished 2014 Mac minis, with models available starting at $419. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each mini, and shipping is free: - 1.4GHz Mac mini: $419 $... Read more
What iPad Pro Still Needs To Make It Truly Pr...
I love my iPad Air 2. So much that I’m grudgingly willing to put up with its compromises and limitations as a production tool in order to take advantage of its virtues. However, since a computer for... Read more
21-inch 3.1GHz 4K on sale for $1399, $100 off...
B&H Photo has the 21″ 3.1GHz 4K iMac on sale $1399 for a limited time. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only. Their price is $100 off MSRP: - 21″ 3.1GHz 4K iMac (MK452LL/A): $... Read more
Apple price trackers, updated continuously
Scan our Apple Price Trackers for the latest information on sales, bundles, and availability on systems from Apple’s authorized internet/catalog resellers. We update the trackers continuously: - 15″... Read more
Save up to $240 with Apple Certified Refurbis...
Apple is now offering Certified Refurbished 12″ Retina MacBooks for up to $240 off the cost of new models. Apple will include a standard one-year warranty with each MacBook, and shipping is free. The... Read more
Apple refurbished 13-inch Retina MacBook Pros...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 13″ Retina MacBook Pros available for up to $270 off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free: - 13″ 2.7GHz... Read more
Apple refurbished Time Capsules available for...
Apple has certified refurbished Time Capsules available for $120 off MSRP. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each Time Capsule, and shipping is free: - 2TB Time Capsule: $179, $120 off - 3TB... Read more
13-inch 2.5GHz MacBook Pro (refurbished) avai...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 13″ 2.5GHz MacBook Pros available for $829, or $270 off the cost of new models. Apple’s one-year warranty is standard, and shipping is free: - 13″ 2.5GHz MacBook Pros... Read more
Apple refurbished 15-inch Retina MacBook Pros...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2015 15″ Retina MacBook Pros available for up to $380 off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free: - 15″ 2... Read more

Jobs Board

Lead Engineer - *Apple* OSX & Hardware...
Lead Engineer - Apple OSX & Hardware **Job ID:** 3125919 **Full/Part\-Time:** Full\-time **Regular/Temporary:** Regular **Listed:** 2016\-02\-10 **Location:** Cary, Read more
Simply Mac *Apple* Specialist- Service Repa...
Simply Mac is the largest premier retailer of Apple products in the nation. In order to support our growing customer base, we are currently looking for a driven Read more
Infrastructure Engineer - *Apple* /Mac - Rem...
…part of a team Requires proven problem solving skills Preferred Additional: Apple Certified System Administrator (ACSA) Apple Certified Technical Coordinator (ACTC) Read more
Lead Engineer - *Apple* OSX & Hardware...
Lead Engineer - Apple OSX & Hardware **Job ID:** 3125919 **Full/Part\-Time:** Full\-time **Regular/Temporary:** Regular **Listed:** 2016\-02\-10 **Location:** Cary, Read more
*Apple* System Analyst - ATOS IT Services...
Apple System AnalystReference no.198783CountryUSARegionUS - CALIFORNIACityUS - CALIFORNIA - BURBANKPosition TypeProfessionalJob AreaIT SupportJob TypeFull Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.