How things have changed at Apple in just a few short years

Wednesday night I read a terrific post over on Google+ by Guy Kawasaki with his tips for speaking in public (link). It was a really insightful article, and in it he links to an article in the UK’s The Guardian about how Steve Jobs used to prepare for his keynote speeches.

The article was written in January of 2006, and this one paragraph really put things into perspective for how far Apple has come in just a few short years. The writer, Mike Evangelist, wrote:

“Objectively, Apple Computer is a mid-sized company with a tiny share of its primary market. Apple Macintoshes are only rarely seen in corporate environments, and most software companies don’t even offer Apple-compatible versions of their products. To put it another way, Apple is just bit larger than Cadbury-Schweppes and about the same size as Nike or Marks and Spencer in terms of annual sales.”

At the time, of course, he was right. But who would have guessed that in just a few short years, Apple would become the #1 most valuable company in the world, surpassing not only Microsoft, and Google, but even Exxon/Mobile. Truly amazing. (By the way, the image above is Apple’s home page from January of 2006). 

That being said, I have now publicly mentioned Apple, which means you are now free to post hateful comments that have absolutely nothing to do with the topic I just discussed, except for the fact that I mentioned Apple. Please don’t forget to use the term “fanboy” frequently, but right after that, read this:

      1. Nope, never had worms, viruses, or any other parasitic ailments infect my Apples & I’ve been using a couple of them for about 5 years now. I threw all those nasty things at the Windows, errr I mean out the window long ago when I got rid of the old Windows PC. 

        My Apples are still as shiny, crisp, & refreshing to use as day one…and without any nasty Norton hog slowing it down. No worries here. 
        ; ) 

  1. Good post Scott. It is amazing how opinions change over the years. The people that where laughing at apple users about ten years ago, are now the biggest fanboys. So things changed a lot. What I don’t understand is why would you post a hatefull comments on people who happen to use a product of a certain brand, I don’t understand that at all. Keep up the good work. I love everything you do and have achieved for the Creative community.

  2.  Commodore 64 is still the best computer out there.  It’s also uses floppy discs that can bend.  Let’s see Apple come up with one of those.  Not so big meow are they?

  3. Whether you love or hate them, you can not deny that fact that Apple have changed how we all work, rest, and play. Ether you use a iPhone, Mac or a iPad You can’t sit their and say they have done nothing to change computing and to a point mobile computing. In another year or two I can see the iPad being the way many of us compute while mobile. Even being the only computer we own.

  4. I just wish they’d focus more on substance than on style (that’s basically how they got to where they are now, just as you describe). I own one ipod (a gift and almost reason enough to unfriend the giver :-D) and this crappy little piece has proven to be so unreliable over the years, it’s just not funny. (It’s already the third one because it had to be replaced twice already after it stopped working – and this third one is still not working properly). And given all the problems with iTunes, too, I have zero desire to actually buy anything from them myself. Based on that, I can see why Apple lovers are quickly called “fanboys” etc. – I just don’t see what they’re seeing in those overpriced products. :-/ (And I hope that doesn’t make me sound dumb when talking about Apple – it’s just my experience.)

    1. It’s really strange how some people have had such bad experiences with Apple while others are mostly problem free.  In my family over the past 4 years we have accumulated 5 iPods, 4 iPhones (2 3Gs, a 4 and a 4s), 3 Macs and 1 iPad.  As for problems, none of the iPods (all 2+ years old), iPad or iPhones have had a problem requiring a repair or replacement from Apple.  The earbuds have needed replacing because my kids are pretty hard on them, and the replacements have needed replacing and so on.  We’ve been buying non-Apple earbuds once the originals stopped working, and they all wear out for the same reason – broken/worn out wiring.

      Of the Macs, the 4 year old Macbook Pro has had 2 faulty batteries replaced, a replaced logic board from a flawed graphics processor (nVidia’s fault, and Apple did the repair for free beyond warranty) and a broken power supply cord (the only thing I’ve had to pay to repair since it was also outside warranty).  The other Macs (a mini approaching 3 years old and a current iMac model) have had no problems.That’s a pretty good record for all those devices.I don’t deny you’ve had problems, either.  There just seems to be a few unlucky folks who have a lot of problems with Apple devices.

      What do I see in Apple?  I got tired of crawling around on the floor gutting and rebuilding my Windows PCs because the graphics card failed, or the system was overheating and I had to figure out what it was and fix it.  They were really noisy.  It was a chore upgrading Windows.  I have none of that with Apple.

      1. I have had issues with my daughter’s Ipod…and as far as the awesome support…it’s not and you have to make an appointment, after finding a store that is near you…there are not too many.
        I don’t want to get into an Apple vs PC argument.  I am just very tired of Apple users(notice, I did not appropriately label them as fanboys) bashing PCs based upon their experience with Vista.
        I recently created a PC with Win7 and I love it.  I built it specifically for editing.  It cost me under $500 and starts up in under 31 secs and has 8gb ram upgradeable to 32gb.  I love it.  I don’t have a virus protection running on it because I don’t use it for much internet browsing.  I have another PC for that on Vista(unfortunately).

        I must say that I am very curious about getting a Mac for my next super media editing machine… it really that much better?  I have spoken to some other techies on a much higher level than myself(not a real techie, but follow instructions very well) and they say things like you can do hardware acceleration whereas Apple cannot.

        I have to say that I am very curious if it is that much better than a PC.  I dislike the Apple way of doing business with their ridiculous lawsuits after the competition started to legitimately threaten them.  I also don’t like someone telling me how I can use something that I own.  I have a rooted EVO that I am very happy with…except for when the battery dies…I carry a spare battery with me now.  I have yet to need a tablet.  When I can edit on one properly, I will consider it.  It may very well be an IPad.

        I have Nikon but I respect Canon and love photos from Canon users.  I love Photography and it does not matter if the photo was taken with a hole in a box, I will enjoy it anyways if the content appeals to me.  

    2. Wow! All that after owning ONE iPod. We can all understand your reasoning. Like Greg Williams, I’ve owned MacPros, MacBooks, iPads and iPhones with NEVER an issue. Oh, my Apple wifi died after 5 years, but they replaced it. Maybe I should return all the other stuff now since this heart stopping experience. Ya, I guess no one is going to confuse you for a fanboy(a title I’ll gladdly carry)! Have a nice day!!!

    3. ‘The use of that last phrase, “style over substance” has always been, as Oscar Wilde observed, a marvellous and instant indicator of a fool. For those who perceive a separation between the two have either not lived, thought, read or experienced the world with any degree of insight, imagination or connective intelligence.’

      – Stephen Fry

      1. Goodluck and James Stratford: Thank you for confirming my position. I said I *OWN* one iPod (THREE separate items, to be precise) and I regularly use iTunes (or rather: am forced to use it). That doesn’t mean I’ve never worked on other Apple products before. But your inability to respond without personal insults is proof enough for me that I don’t really want to become a part of “the Apple clique”. Aside from the technical problems with that iPod, I could name you various other shortcomings of the product itself (starting with the simplest things such as a missing loop to attach a carrying strap, all the way to missing functionality such as being able to delete files on the iPod itself etc.; I won’t bother listing them all for you two).Have fun in your little elitist circles. I’m happy with my non-Apple products. I pay less, I have less trouble using them, and I can sleep well at night knowing that I didn’t overpay in order to fund a greedy company’s patent lawyers.
        But thanks for your eloquent and well argued responses.

      2. I’m sorry if you took my comment to be an insult; it was not intended as one. My entire comment was a quote by Stephen Fry, and was attributed as such in my comment. The point was not to insult you, it was to point out that Fry/Wilde makes a very good point that style is not as easily achieved as some would say and not as valued as it ought to be. It is also a great deal less superficial and unimportant than many believe. It is the style and sleekness that makes Apple’s products so enjoyable to own and use. That’s not ephemera.
        I made no comment about your iPod, that was another commenter. To defend that commenter, you said ‘based on that [your experience with your iPod and iTunes]’. I’m sorry you feel the need to label anyone who loves their Apple products as part of a clique. I think that’s lazy and simplistic. I love great design and it dismays me that there is precious little competition for Apple. I would love there to be two or three companies on Apple’s level, but there aren’t. That’s not my fault and I’ll be damned if I’ll use an ugly computer with an even uglier OS just to avoid being called a fashionista. I couldn’t care less how others view my computer, I love it for what it does for me and my business. There’s a very good reason when you will see 3 Macs to every PC at any design studio, photography conference etc. They’re just better. If one day HP are better, and stop outsourcing the most important part of their system (the OS) to a third party and do it brilliantly themselves, then I’ll have a look at what they can offer.Don’t assume elitism based on my derision for the awful state of the IT industry outside of Apple. Don’t confuse smugness for satisfaction.

  5. Scott, I appreciate very much how I have been influenced by you and all the folks at NAPP resulting in my Mac conversion four years ago. No regrets whatsoever. Digital photography, Photoshop, Lightroom, and yes, surrendering and buying an iPhone, have been tons of fun with all the resources that you’ve made available. One of the reasons that Apple has done so well is that their stuff works. Inputs from guys like you is one of the reasons. 

  6. OMG Scott, how can you wright a post about Apple … this is a photography blog, not a fanboy club, you’re such a fanboy!  Apple only make more money that Microsoft because they are SOOO expensive, only true dedicated fanboys and other sheeple would waste their money on them!

    … too far? (I hope you can tell I’m joking)
    In other new apple are suing Kodak, which is mean!  They should leave them alone and die with a little dignity, everyone loves Kodak, that’s not a good way for Apple to make friends.

  7. I own both.  I use both.  I write software for both.  For the average user they are just not worth the extra $500+ Apple Tax. 

    As for the “hateful comments” – they do seem to come more from the Apple side then the Windows side…

      1. Scott there was nothing hateful at all about my comment.  The fact that you saw it that way concerns me.  But as a guy that makes his living dealing with computers and their owners I stand by my statement.   Most of the time I hear someone says another type of computer sucks it’s an attack on Microsoft.  The biggest complaint I hear from PC owners about the Mac guys is all the preaching or the way Apple Corporate operates.

        To establish my bona-fides – I’m a Computer Software Engineer with 20 years experience and I develop on PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad, Android, and Windows Phone 7.

        My primary personal machine is a MacBook pro (Parallels installed for my PC needs).  It serves me well and apart from the missing keys (Home, End, etc) I have no major complaints.

        In my house I have 1 other Mac and 2 PCs. 

        My workstation at work consists of a PC & a Mac Mini sharing monitors, keyboard, and mouse. 

        I own a iPad, Apple TV, several iPods, and bought a iPhone 1 on the very first day it became available followed by a iPhone 3 (since replaced by a Windows Phone 7).   

        In short – I feel very well qualified to comment.  And nobody can call me a Apple hater – I earned my way past that label a few thousand dollars ago.

        There are 2 reasons to pick a Mac over a PC. You NEED it or you WANT it. My case – I need it for my work. If you just want it – more power to you. Otherwise save your Apple Tax money and buy some Kelby training instead… ;-)

        Apple builds fine machines.  But a SIMILARLY PRICED Dell or Sony is just as nice and you will probably get more horsepower for your money.  The competition makes both Microsoft and Apple better just like Canon and Nikon do with each other.  Buy what you prefer but neither choice makes you smarter.

        Please don’t take any of this as an attack Scott!  I follow your blog cause I love you man!  Been to your seminars, own several of your books, and routinely refer people to your site whenever a photo question comes up.   All I ask is for the same consideration given to Microsoft that you often give to Canon even though we all know you are a Nikon shooter.

      2. “Apple builds fine machines.  But a SIMILARLY PRICED Dell or Sony is just as nice and you will probably get more horsepower for your money.”

        Given the credentials you laid out, I’m dismayed to hear this from you. I’ve seen two £1200 Alienware computers belonging to a good friend go by the wayside in the time I have had my MacBook Pro. I’ve had a £950 Acer literally fall into two pieces within 18 months of reasonable use. I just don’t see anyone else making computers to the same quality as Apple are. The awfulness that is Windows aside, the sheer cheapness of the hardware shocks me even at the top price points. It’s not all about ‘horsepower.’ A Nascar chassis wouldn’t get around Monza like a Ferrari.

      3. In response to James below – for some reason I wasn’t allowed to respond directly…

        Yes I have seen PCs fall apart in a year.  I also see my wife refusing to let me replace her 5 year old Sony (Upgraded to Win7) because she loves it (yes I even offered a Mac as a replacement…).  I have a 7 year old Mac still chugging and I went to the Apple store with a friend and tried to comfort him over his $600 bill to replace a motherboard on a MacBook a month out of warranty.  My cousins MacBook (not pro) is sitting on my desk with a dead CD, missing keys, and a dead hard drive. (For some reason it won’t let me reinstall the OS with my external CD – clues anyone?!?!?)  My dad’s new Dell Laptop easily rivals a 17” MacBook pro in quality year yet costs hundreds less.  It’s even a bit better because it doesn’t have all the sharp edges which may be my biggest complaints about the Pros….

        In short there are good PC makers and not so good ones.  Like everyone else Apple occasionally makes lemons (ha!) too.  

        Isn’t having choice great?!?!?!?!?!

      4. Scott, you can say the same thing when discussing quality.  Sure Apple used to have entirely different machines, with entirely different hardware (PowerPC).  Now, I feel as my 27″ iMac as the crummier machine than my PC with a 30″ NEC (Adobe RGB 102%).

        I guess the point here is that a PC is more flexible and scalable.  I have built my PC to perform with the highest quality for photography and video editing.  I just cant say the same for my Apple products.  Sure, my PC was a good chunk of change, but its quality is far superior to that of a Mac Pro or iMac.

        Also consider the USB 3.0 which should support the D800 quite nicely!

    1. I’ve come the conclusion recently that the reason Macs are more expensive than PCs (though not as much as Windows evangelists would have you believe) is that Apple still have the power to command what their computers are actually worth and turn a deserved profit on them.

      PC manufacturers cannot do this any more. People expect to pay £500 for a PC, and so a £500 PC is what these companies must sell. That means they are trundling along on painfully narrow margins. It means PCs are often made with cost-cutting in mind and not a great user experience.

      My ‘Apple tax’ is nothing more than profit margin I should expect to pay for a beautiful, wonderfully-engineered computer. How many PCs can you describe with those terms?

      I cannot imagine life without my enormous, multitouch, gesture-rich, glass trackpad. I don’t want black plastic. Macs look and feel like a labour of love, and that garners them the love of their users.

  8. Apple has become a game changer.  My work environment is PC, my home is a hybrid of PC, Mac, Lenox.

    next up: Canon vs. Nikon: which camera system is better.  

      1. The difference with those two is that we all know deep down Nikon and Canon both make great cameras. One gets a nose ahead of the other every couple of years but in essence they’re both great and we’d all advise a friend to stick with the system they currently have all their glass for etc.

        With Windows and OSX, it’s like going from bows and arrows to laser beams.

  9. Have switched everything over from Windows machines and now use Macs exclusively.  Have used PCs sine 1985 and work in IT so I have lots of experience with different operating systems and hardware.  Apple is by far superior is all aspects.  There is nothing Windows offers that can’t be done better on the Mac.  Call me a fanboy because that’s what I am.

    Anyone who says Windows is better than Mac OS is only saying that out of ignorance or pride…

  10. Hey Scott, You go man.  You know there will always be haters out there.  I do use a PC, but love my iPhone.  Funny thing happened with your blog this morning.  When I clicked on my link in favorites, the page loaded but came up with a login screen The server at *** requires a login to activate.  Just thought you should know.  Everything does work okay after I cancel past it though!
    See ya in Septemeber, wish it could be next month,

  11. Hi Scott,

    In the beginning, I was a PC Windows Dude!  However, a few weeks ago my PC crashed majorly and I thought I had lost all my photos and data.  With the help of Seagate, I was able to recover all my photos and data.  Watching you, Matt, RC, and Corey over the 6 or so years I’ve been a NAPP member, I decided to trash the PC Windows 7 and purchase an iMac.  I love my iMac!  I’ve always wonder why you guys used Macs … now I know.  All the problems I was having with LR3 and CS5 in Windows are gone!

    Thanks for making me see the Light!!!


  12. Hmmm, flashback, January 2007:
    INTERVIEWER: …  The Zune was getting some traction. Then Steve Jobs goes to MacWorld and he pulls out this iPhone.  What was your reaction when you saw that?
    STEVE BALLMER:  500 dollars?  Fully subsidized? With a plan?  I said that is the most expensive phone in the world.  And it doesn’t appeal to business customers because it doesn’t have a keyboard.  Which makes it not a very good email machine.
    INTERVIEWER: How do you compete with that, though?  He sucked out a lot of the spotlight…
    STEVE BALLMER: Let’s take phones first. Right now, we’re selling millions and millions and millions of phones a year.  Apple is selling zero phones a year.  In six months, they’ll have the most expensive phone by far ever in the marketplace…Watch…

    1. To be fair, hindsight is 20/20. Perhaps the most astonishing thing about Apple’s success in the past 5 years is that all conventional wisdom would have suggested he was right!

      What this interview showed was that Balmer didn’t see the bigger picture. Sure, the first iPhone WAS too expensive, it wasn’t interesting to business with iPhone OS 1.0. What it should have been was a big flashing sign screaming “you’re about to be left behind!”. Sure enough, the second iPhone, with the truly game-changing App Store, 3G and significant price reduction was a mega-hit.

      That interview showed why Balmer should have gone long ago; he doesn’t see anything that the rest of the beige box generation doesn’t see. He should manage a sugar water company, not a computer giant ;)

  13. I am considering an Apple for my next PC but does one have to jump on the Adobe train with an Apple version of CS5 and Lightroom. Starting over can pretty darn expensive….

    1. Last I checked Bob, no one forces you to buy Adobe products for your Mac. You are free to use whatever software you want to.  If you have Photoshop, you can switch your license over to Mac by contacting Adobe, they charge a small amount for this, something like $20.00.  If you own Lightroom, just download the Mac version and use your product key with it.

      1.  I had no idea Adobe would do that.Thanks Steve and that’s excellent information. I had been looking at an Apple a while back, The salesmans solution to my query was to “run Photoshop and Lightroom with a Windows Emulator” or something like that. I thought it odd to purchase a Mac and then have to run a “windows” version of software to use Photoshop.

      2. Exactly Bob,  You can run Windows on a Mac with Parallels or VMWare Fusion but unless you have to run a windows program that is not available on the mac, why would you want to?

      3. I did the same thing a couple of years ago and Adobe did have an option to change my licenses over to the Mac version for a small shipping charge. There is a link on their website that will get it all going for you. I did and it was painless. It was nice of Adobe to do that for the people who were switching. I hope that helps you out. You’ll be glad you did.

    2. Hi Bob,

      Cost is something people usually flag up when considering a Mac. All I can say is don’t let that be too big an issue. You will find yourself replacing your hardware less frequently, enjoying its ownership more and getting more done with it. It’s genuinely that simple.

      I hope you make the jump soon :)

  14. Having a degree in electrical and computer engineering from a major university I think I am qualified to chime in on the subject.  

    Apple makes great machines that just work.  If you enjoy pulling out a graphics card to upgrade it or swapping out a network card or changing power supplies then buy a PC.  If you like messing with software drivers then buy a PC.  If you want to buy a computer that just works, retains its value, and will be usable after several major OS upgrades, buy a Mac.  When I bought my iMac it had Tiger installed on it.  It has run Tiger, Leopard, Snow Leopard and now Lion flawlessly and operates as fast or faster now then it did under Tiger.  Try to do even one major OS upgrade on a PC.  Even if you get the machine limping along it will not be an easy task and likely requires some type of hardware upgrade.  My mac has cost me way less to run keeping current with software then any PC ever could.  

    My iMac has gone through 4 major OS upgrades and is still running fine.  Try running Windows Vista on a Windows Me machine and see how you like it.

    I used to use PCs, I build my own, I build 4 for our family and had then all networked together and even ran a small file server at home.  I am so happy to have moved away from the PC, now only using it at work.  I am more productive, have less problems, and have not had to waste time or money upgrading my machine.

    1. I also have a degree in Electrical Engineering and love my PC.  I’ve bought PC’s, built them, networked them, etc. I love Windows 7.  I really like to be able to view any file, document, video, etc from any computer in the house – no server required. 

      I’m glad that we both have found a systems that we are happy with.

      1. Viewing files from different Macs on a network does not require a server either. Apple’s implementation of this is an order of magnitude more reliable and user-friendly.

        You also get integrated network messaging, screen sharing and video chat that can be used by anyone, not just the tech-minded.

        I have built PCs, still maintain my parents’ brand new Windows 7 machine and have also studied Multimedia Systems at university (although I dropped out and became a photographer! lol). For me, Windows creaks with legacy. I would not go back if you paid me.

        I could write a (very boring…and long) book on how many things I don’t miss about Windows.

    2. I hate to say, but what computer engineering school did you attend?  My Mac book core duo (32bit) doesn’t support lion (64bit OS) and its from 2006, yet windows 7 runs just fine on older 32 bit machines. Your comparison to Windows ME (1999) false, you could easily upgrade to windows 7.  However, consider upgrading your powerPC G4 from 1999 to lion or even snow leopard? didn’t think so..

      It is sad to me that you’d associate as an engineer.  Besides most computer engineers run debian, freeBSD, or gentoo at home, not these OSs that limit the users experience.

      The reality is your comparison to upgrade older machines is just the opposite. And truthfully, it usually is better to upgrade your computer every so often to make the best of the ISA and OS interoperability.

      Oh yea, you can now chime out..

  15. I really enjoyed the February 15th speaking tips post on Guy Kawasaki’s blog. Thank you for bringing it to my attention. I never realized that Guy worked for Steve Jobs. In my limited view, your management style couldn’t be any more different from Steve Job’s but one of the things I admire most about both of you is that the people around you tend to find a whole new set of creative gears in response to your press for excellence.

  16. Scott, appreciate the link to Chris Rawson’s article. Many of the tips are just as applicable to any situation where you want to express your opinion. Also your comments are helpful when we are bombarded with advertising of any  sort for any product –just ask some common sense questions regarding the hype. The best expectation is usually one that lies midway between two extremes, generally speaking.

  17. I happen to love apples.

    They can be a little tart at times, but they’re good for you. Ok, they’re not for everyone. Some prefer oranges, or grapefruit. Others prefer strawberries or a delicious melon now and then.

    I’m just glad we have choices.  ;-P

  18. Scott, Thanks for pointing me to that article from Guy Kawasaki. That was the best part of today’s post! I heard Guy speak live at an AutoCAD convention a number of years ago and have been a fan of his since.
    I actually got an autographed copy of ‘The Art of the Start’ from him at the convention. The funny thing is, I think one of his best pieces of work is his intro to ‘Presentation Zen’ by Gar Reynolds. It’s great!
    Thank you again for pointing me to this. Have a great weekend!

  19. Great thoughts from Guy.  Thanks for the link.  I’d build on Guy’s point about not denigrating the competition by saying that it makes me question if you have confidence in your own products.  You need to make someone else’s products look bad as a way to make your own products look good??? (At the risk of going somewhere even worse than Apple vs. PC, see politics in America)

    Which leads me to the Apple vs. PC debate Scott…why even include the last paragraph of your blog entry?  The rest of your entry is (I believe) complete fact and stands on its own.  All the last paragraph does is poke the Apple haters with a stick.  Sure, you’re going to get some hater comments anyway, but no need to incite them.  In my experience, the best way to deal with haters is to ignore them.  (Full disclosure…I’m a happy PC user who likes competition).

  20. Different tools for different jobs. People are saying PCs are dead and are rubbish, but just like Balmer was with Iphone everyone is being short sighted over Microsoft and the way it’s changed. People like to harp on about Vista, but Windows 7 showed what Microsoft can do when they have to. Come Autumn we will seen a new Microsoft. Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 will likely change and polarise a lot of opinions about Windows.

    One other thing, Windows Phone 7 the current OS for mobile phones is winning countless awards and critical acclaim. Even from hardcore Apple users. This along shows how much Microsoft has changed, no longer are the slavishly copying the competition, instead the competition is copying their ideas. Microsoft had the guts to admit they was wrong and rebuilt an OS and developed a design manual and ethos; Metro . Windows 8 (Desktop) is an extension of this philosophy, it’s the biggest change to the desktop OS for over a decade.

    You notice something, not once did I mention hardware. That’s something that’s going to change as well at least in tablets where Microsoft is dictated minimum spec just like their mobile division. Sadly they can’t do this for the desktop.

    Why am I interested in Windows 8? I can look forward to a tablet that can do what I want it to, rather than have a company dictate that to me. I want a tablet that I can draw, do notations, edit RAW files natively. I want a device that has expansion and usability. 

    Apple is also losing a lot of credibility with their fanatical Patent Litigation, and more disturbingly, their lack of willingness to licence patents. At least Microsoft tries to negotiate first before siccing the legal hounds.

    I will say Apple produces some beautiful PCs, yes they are Personal Computers, but in recent years their quality control and willingness to admit to faults (Time Capsule most notably, and the Antenna Gate fracas) is a liability. The other issue is the lack of longevity, Apple has a nasty habit of arbitrarily killing support and hardware when they, not the user, deems it necessary. Apple is not suitable for business, especially if you want data security.

    Hate Microsoft all you want, or hate Apple but the world is a richer place for the technology they have created on both sides of the fence. Apple is great at refining and presenting technology to the masses, whilst Microsoft is great at providing what business need and demand.

    Also if you ever wanted to know how good an Imac could be look at the recently announced HP Z1 AIO workstation.

    1. I think any reasonable person keeps an open mind about companies such as Apple and Microsoft. Right now, Apple are enjoying massive success, and Microsoft are having to do a lot of repositioning. Personally, I have nothing against Microsoft per se, but I disagree with your on some points.

      I’ve heard ‘we will see a new Microsoft, a new Windows’ too many times to have any faith that it is coming. Windows 7 is simply not this panacea to Vista’s ills that so many seem to want to tell themselves it is. I have huge problems with it when I use it and as someone who still has to use Vista regularly, I don’t see the enormous improvement apparent to some.

      It’s not all Microsoft’s ‘fault’. Much of it has to do with the way Windows requires 3rd parties for so much of its core functionality. Go to Google and type in ‘Catalyst Cont’ and watch the suggestions Google autocompletes. The software controlling my parents’ Radeon GPU is at the heart of the computer’s functionality…but it doesn’t open. And I am far from alone. I am an extremely advanced user and I have been unable to correct this for them. It’s infuriating, and it would never happen on a Mac. Not because Macs are wonderful yada yada yada, but because Apple keep control over the core functions of their computers and ensure they work. It’s not left to the user to muddle through.

      (I had to wait for an advert to run within the Radeon driver installer itself…I kid you not.)

      I’ve yet to find a job for which I would choose Windows as my tool in all honesty, but I agree that it is phenomenally premature to suggest Windows is dead.
      WP7 is beautiful. It’s utterly superb. In itself, it’s a real contender with iOS and blows Android away. That doesn’t mean Microsoft has changed. On the contrary, the decisions made regarding Metro on Windows 8 tablets show that Microsoft hasn’t changed a bit. Instead of taking the manifest wisdom of the WP7 development team and letting them design a superb tablet OS, they’ve ploughed on with the same old Windows and plonked a WP7 lookalike layer on top of it.

      That shows us that Microsoft’s top brass think what makes WP7 so wonderful is just how it looks. It’s not, it’s far more than that.

      I think you have a dream of an iPad that lets you run desktop apps with full-blooded desktop features, but that’s just not what’s going to happen. Apple aren’t restricting what the iPad can do, they’re just not trying to make it do things it cannot. Apple are masters of taking a step back and asking what a product is for. A tablet will never replace your workstation, nor should you want it to.

      Consider battery life, heat, UI precision etc. A Core i5 with 4GB RAM running in a tablet would have next to no battery life. You’d have to plug it in, and then you have a tiny little desktop computer.

      I’m puzzled how you have failed to find an iPad app that you can draw with or one that lets your take notes? The industry giants Autodesk have released wonderful apps for drawing. As for editing RAW files natively, that’s just a matter of a good developer believing there is a market for that ability. I’m not aware of any reason why such editing could not be done with an iPad in theory, though why anyone would want to is beyond me. Surely shooting RAW is for those who seek the very most from their images, and such people are unlikely to choose a tablet for that level of post. In the field backup of RAW files would be nice, but I don’t see why that’s beyond the iPad. Also, native RAW support in Windows leaves a little do be desired, so there’s no reason to believe Windows 8 will be any better than iOS.

      I think the patent issues you talk about are more complex than you’re making out. Microsoft and Apple have even recently bought patent portfolios together to keep them from Google. Almost never reported in articles about such things is the fact that in US law a patent holder is required to prosecute its patents aggressively or risk losing them. All companies do it, but not all companies magnetise headlines quite like Apple does. Have a BS filter.

      On ‘antennagate’, we’ll just have to agree to disagree. It was an absurd media circus. Apple killing support for hardware quickly is a specious claim. Many Mac users have some seriously old hardware they still use daily. Apple cease support when that support would hold back the company. It’s gutsy, sometimes controversial, occasionally brutal, but often the criticism is unfair. As for being unsuitable for business…well you’re reading a blog by a rather well known businessman. With respect, that comment was tosh.

      Apple makes computers with appliance-like solidity and ease of use. Microsoft lacks the courage of its convictions enough to say no and ends up trying to be all things to all people.

      I hope for everyone’s sake that Balmer goes soon and by some miracle the person who replaces him has the vision and flair to get Microsoft’s act together. That’s in everyone’s interest.

      1. James, 

        You are ignoring the fact that AMD has some compelling and low-power chips call Fusion, Trinity like Brazos and Llano is likely to shape the low to mid range market. I’ve played with the Samsung developer tablet that was shown last year and it’s a beautiful, if expensive, bit of kit. Also Win 8 will also run on, wait for it, ARM the same core processor in the iPad. In fact Win 8 will be the core OS for all devices, regardless of form factor.

        I’m not looking for something to replace my desktop, that’s impossible as I’ve got a custom build system with multi-terabytes of data stored. I’m looking at a companion device that compliments my workflow not disrupts it. I use OneNote and Office extensively alongside the Creative Suite. I don’t expect the same performance from a tablet, but I do expect to be able to run Windows Apps. The power of even low-end processor is sufficient for this these days and with GPU acceleration in APU systems becoming more dominant that will become less of an issue.

        Also Metro isn’t just something slapped on Windows 7, it’s distinct OS in itself. When Metro is running the old desktop isn’t. If you bothered to read the information that’s publicly available from Microsoft you’ll realise it is something totally new, the old Desktop is playing second fiddle. There is a new set of APIs available (WinRT) that all programs for Metro have to be written for. The desktop isn’t going away, but it’s very much considered for ‘legacy’ and ‘business’ purposes.

        I have used iPads and iPhones, whilst they are slick bits of kit they could be so much more. The are designed for consumption rather than creation at present, maybe the next gen will change that.

        However my main point stands, don’t ignore Microsoft. They are taking advantage of their cloud (Office 365, SkyDrive and Live!) and media (Zune and XBox) services and finally (we hope) to integrate that into the core eco-system. WP 7 took a major step towards this, now it’s going to be interesting to see how this pans out on the desktop/tablets. It’s going to be an interesting year and the two OS systems I’m going to watch is Android and Win 8, not iOS which is getting long in the tooth.

      2. I hope you’re right, I really do. It’s in everyone’s interest and there’s no doubt that Apple’s way is not the only way on this. We’ll see how many x86 Windows programmes end up on ARM Windows. It’s a fundamentally different architecture and isn’t as simple as this ‘Windows Everywhere’ spiel Microsoft kick out. I’m skeptical.

  21. Scott, Thanks for making my day with laughter…..
    ” I have now publicly mentioned Apple, which means you are now free to post hateful comments that have absolutely nothing to do with the topic I just discussed, except for the fact that I mentioned Apple.”It truly amazes me when I hear all the hate mail you get when you just mention the “Apple” word in your post or your video’s. I just have to sit back and laugh at people who consistently badmouth this company. I for one have been a very big fan of Apple and I use most of there computers since 1991. I used Apple products for one simple reason…..” Plug and Play” Apple has changed our world in technology in products that are just so simple and fun to play with. What most people forget that most companies try to copy Apple for years and still do to this day and those same haters are using “other brands” that have some sort of feature that Apple came up with first.Keep up your great work. I come back to your blog and google plus site everyday for the teaching and the laughs.GREG

  22. I’ve been an Apple guy since I first used a Mac 128K with System 0.9. Professionally, though, I’ve always had to develop software for Windows. As I used to say, Microsoft pays the mortgage while Apple gives me fun. I’ve never fully understood the fanboy stuff, either. I guess some people need that in their life?

    Anyway, it is always remarkable to see how quickly a company can change its fortunes for good or ill. It’s also a lesson for other companies out there that move glacially. But the key thing I remember is a quote I’ll paraphrase about Steve Jobs when the economy was tanking in the dot com bust: Apple would survive not by scaling back and retreating but charging forward boldly and innovating. Imagine what would happen if more companies acted boldly?

  23. Switched from all Windows to Apple; haven’t looked back since – no blue screens, or memory leaks… Can’t wait to get my hands on Mountain Lion!

    And the best is how everything just works together – start a script for a shoot in Celtx on the Mac, then finish/update it while talking to my clients on location on my iPad. Perfect.

  24. I have been transitioning to Apple products over the last three years and am so happy with that decision.  But as a photog and someone who uses media I really think Mac is the way to go!  But just as there are those who will go the rounds about Nikon vs. Canon.  Everyone has an opinion.

  25. Been using apple for 16 years now and seen the company grow and grow. For a photography business apple have always done it for me. They offer great products that people want to own and use and its great to see a company doing well.

    Its been interesting in the UK to see how Apple has worked its way into people lives. I run a photography courses business, so see people interested in photography all the time. A few years ago it would have been rare to find a mac user now around 40% of people I see are using macs. Not scientific but my experience and still, of course means most people are using pcs. 

    It will be interesting to see how the company does over the next few years.

  26. Hi Scott

    I was a dedicated PC user for 26 years and a software junkie to boot.  After getting an iPhone and a iPad2 I soon realized that these were quality systems. A year ago I made the change to a MAC Book Pro because of a load of frustrations with Microsoft’s OS.  I can say that after a relatively short learning curve I am thrilled with my decision.  It has been a year of being able to work without the constant failures, updates, lock up, frequent shut downs, and blue screens of death that constantly plagued the MSOS. 

    I do not see myself ever returning to a PC.  Apple absolutely rocks.     

  27. I bought my first pc in 1996 and I was very happy using them until about over a year ago. I decided to buy an iMac. I have to admit that by then I had used an iPhone for over a year and loved it. So buying a Mac was not that great a step (despite the fact that there is a world of difference between XP, that I used then, and OS X). Now I have an iPhone, an iPad and an iMac and they work very well together, making me a happy (fan)girl.

  28. always to good to stop and see how far we have come, not only at Apple but look to ourselves. good measuring stick to look to as a business model, people can learn a lot from successful businesses and people. i like the this post and I’m a “FANBOY” LOL

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