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

5 slither.io mash-ups we'd love to...
If there's one thing that slither.io has proved, it's that the addictive gameplay of Agar.io can be transplanted onto basically anything and it will still be good fun. It wouldn't be surprising if we saw other developers jumping on the bandwagon,... | Read more »
How to navigate the terrain in Sky Charm...
Sky Charms is a whimsical match-'em up adventure that uses creative level design to really ramp up the difficulty. [Read more] | Read more »
Victorious Knight (Games)
Victorious Knight 1.3 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.3 (iTunes) Description: New challenges awaits you! Experience fresh RPG experience with a unique combat mechanic, packed with high quality 3D... | Read more »
Agent Gumball - Roguelike Spy Game (Gam...
Agent Gumball - Roguelike Spy Game 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Someone’s been spying on Gumball. What the what?! Two can play at that game! GO UNDERCOVERSneak past enemy... | Read more »
Runaway Toad (Games)
Runaway Toad 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: It ain’t easy bein’ green! Tap, hold, and swipe to help Toad hop to safety in this gorgeous new action game from the creators of... | Read more »
PsyCard (Games)
PsyCard 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: From the makers och Card City Nights, Progress To 100 and Ittle Dew PSYCARD is a minesweeper-like game set in a cozy cyberpunk... | Read more »
Sago Mini Robot Party (Education)
Sago Mini Robot Party 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Education Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: -- Children's Technology Review Editor's Choice -- | Read more »
How to get a high score in every level o...
Sky Charms is an adorable match three puzzler that provides a decent challenge thanks to its creative level design. It regularly presents something new, forcing you to think on your feet. [Read more] | Read more »
Apestorm: Full Bananas (Games)
Apestorm: Full Bananas 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: ***Launch sale – limited time only!*** Fugitive Apes have taken to the skies in search of revenge after humans have... | Read more »
How to create bigger words in Spellspire
Words have power. At least they do in Spellspire,a game about blasting out magical attacks by making words out of a jumble of letters. And it's a lot of fun. But if you want to be the best, you're going to have to think tactically when you start... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

15-inch 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale for...
Amazon.com has the 15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale for $1699.99 including free shipping. Their price is $300 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for this model from any reseller (and... Read more
Apple Beats Microsoft at Own Game; Amazon Pri...
First quarter seasonality combined with an overall disinterested customer base led to an annual decline of 14.7% in worldwide tablet shipments during the first quarter of 2016 (1Q16). Worldwide... Read more
Aleratec Releases Mac Software Upgrade for 1...
California based Aleratec Inc., designer, developer and manufacturer of Portable Device Management (PDM) charge/sync products for mobile devices and professional-grade duplicators for hard disk... Read more
Sale! Amazon offers 27-inch iMac, 13-inch 2.9...
Amazon has the 27″ 3.2GHz 5K iMac and the 13″ 3.9GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale for $300 off MSRP, each including free shipping, for a limited time: - 27″ 3.2GHz/1TB HD 5K iMac (model MK462LL/A): $... 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
13-inch 2.7GHz/128GB Retina MacBook Pro on sa...
Take $200 off MSRP on the price of a new 13″ 2.7GHz/128GB Retina MacBook Pro (model MF839LL/A) at Amazon. Shipping is free: - 13″ 2.7GHz/128GB Retina MacBook Pro: $1099.99 $200 off MSRP Act now if... Read more
Apple refurbished clearance 15-inch Retina Ma...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2014 15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pros available for $1609, $390 off original MSRP. Apple’s one-year warranty is included, and shipping is free. They have refurbished 15... Read more
27-inch 5K iMacs on sale for up to $150 off M...
B&H Photo has 27″ 5K iMacs on sale for up to $150 off MSRP including free shipping plus NY sales tax only: - 27″ 3.3GHz iMac 5K: $2199 $100 off MSRP - 27″ 3.2GHz/1TB Fusion iMac 5K: $1849.99 $150... Read more
What Does The Refreshed 12-Inch MacBook Tell...
A lot of commentators are complaining that Apple’s update of the 12-Inch MacBook last week is a bit of a damp squib. I don’t know what they were expecting, since it would be very unlike Apple to do a... Read more
Free Wittify Keyboard Now Available On The Ap...
A team of Harvard Business School students have announced that the Wittify Keyboard, a new app utility for iOS devices, is now available on the Apple App Store. The Wittify keyboard and application... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant - Apple (United...
# Apple Solutions Consultant Job Number: 48260200 Phoenix, Arizona, United States Posted: Apr. 22, 2016 Weekly Hours: 40.00 **Job Summary** As an Apple Solutions Read more
Restaurant Manager (Neighborhood Captain) - A...
…in every aspect of daily operation. WHY YOU'LL LIKE IT: You'll be the Big Apple . You'll solve problems. You'll get to show your ability to handle the stress and 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
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.