Link: Michael Gartenberg: A Personal Note to Microsoft, It’s past time for Music Czar.
It’s not game over yet. The market is still nascent and there’s still time to act. There’s time to pull together what you need from your partners and really get out there to compete. The clock is ticking though and it’s time to get to work.
Personally, I think it’s actually much closer to game over than Michael thinks. Apple has such a tremendous lead in this area that it would take a truly disastrous set of errors to fumble the ball. But then, history is littered with examples of unassailable leads that have been lost – just ask Quark.
A Mac Rumors “Page 2” (ie probably not true) report details a possible link between Transitive and Apple. Transitive is a Manchester-based company which specialises in products which allow one processor architecture to run code from a different one – in this case, PowerPC code on Intel chips. It’s one that’s been doing the rumour rounds for a couple of years: although it’s certain that Apple has been working on an Intel version of OS X, I’ve always maintained that this is more of a strategic backup (in case PowerPC flags) rather than a serious product.
One of Mac Rumors comments, though, is worth picking up on:
Apple has traditionally been a hardware company, with the bulk of revenue coming from Mac hardware. The past few years, however, has seen software become a larger portion of their revenue.
It’s worth saying that there’s no reason why an Intel port of OS X equates to Apple becoming a software company. There would be nothing to stop Apple adopting Intel processors while preventing OS X from installing on bog-standard PCs – thus allowing it to continue to be a hardware company.
Evan has a great, funny post on the equally great G’Day World interview with Marc Orchant in G’Day, Tablet PC:
Speaking of Office 2003, a bit later in the podcast, the topic is, “Why doesn’t Outlook 2003 support the Tablet PC, um, at all?” Sounds like Microsoft’s really behind their product on this one.
Yes, but at least it leaves a gap for Josh Einstein to make some well-deserved money.
Speaking of Josh, he makes an interesting comment on his thoughts post-Windows Anywhere:
Of the 7 or so people I’ve convinced to buy a Tablet PC, none of them use the digitizer anymore. It’s just a laptop to them.
I’d say my tablet use breaks down as 60% laptop 40% tablet, but that’s because I have the software to make it worth using in Tablet mode – mostly either PlanPlus for XP or OneNote. Without the software, a tablet is just another laptop – so maybe MS should start pushing real tablet development.
CNet has a great interview with Adobe CEO Bruce Chizen, which asks "does Bruce Chizen know something that other software executives don’t?" Adobe has managed to co-exist with Microsoft, beating them with its products so well that Microsoft has basically been forced to ignore the professional graphics space completely.
It’s managed to produce two applications that are the de facto standards in their fields (Photoshop, PDF), and one other that’s probably going to become the standard (InDesign). Plus, of course, PostScript, which is a core technology that’s so important it’s become invisible.
It’s done it not just through exceptional technology – and no company founded by John Warnock could have anything but exceptional technology – but by being incredibly good at marketing.
Take InDesign, for example. Adobe has focused not just on having the best technology, but by exploiting the weaknesses of Quark, the market leader. Quark was long known for poor customer service, sluggish upgrades, and a "communications" strategy that was the most uncommunicative in the industry (worse, even, than Apple’s). So Adobe did the most effective marketing campaign ever, winning over publishers by going in to their offices, demoing the product, helping with training, and ensuring that the path from QuarkXPress to InDesign was as smooth as possible.
And it’s paid off – to such an extent that Quark has been forced to be more customer-friendly, and appears to be doing a good job. But I suspect it may be too little, too late – once the Adobe juggernaut starts rolling, it has a tendency to roll right over you.
Possibly the nerdiest thing of the day: How to Build a Working Replica Apple I Computer.
Syngress Publishing, Inc., today announced the publication of Apple I Replica Creation: Back to the Garage a 368 page book featuring a foreword by Steve Wozniak, Co-Founder of Apple Computer.
AP has a story about Tivo Shares Surge on Buyout Speculation, with Apple listed as a possible buyer. In a post to his weblog yesterday, Michael Gartenberg showed this one for what it is – wishful thinking on the part of a Wall Street analyst. As Michael puts it:
Apple’s not a big fan of TV consumption
and is not likely to want to want to get into the standalone DVR
business at this point. Even if they did, I suspect Apple could build
the technology themselves cheaper (and even if you think they can’t, I
suspect they think they can.)
If Apple was going to acquire someone in this space, it would more likely match the previous pattern of their acquisitions, and be a small, little-known company that has technology it needs.
Apple Patches Java for Mac OS X Flaw.
The Apple patch comes exactly three months after Sun Microsystems Inc.’s original warning that a vulnerability in its JRE (Java Runtime Environment) could allow an attacker to turn off Java’s security feature and execute malicious code on a compromised machine.
Thanks, Apple for the speed of that patch! Three months is simply unacceptable – up there with Microsoft’s sloth. Do I get the feeling that someone in Cupertino isn’t taking security seriously because, like all too many Mac users, they think that Mac OS X is somehow immune from security problems?
My eWeek colleague Mary Jo Foley takes a look at Microsoft’s decision to change Windows activation so that you will have no longer be able to activate via the Internet if you’re using a PC from one of the major vendors. While I can understand Microsoft’s reasons for this, it makes activation just slightly more irritating – just one more reason to jump to a better operating system if you’re a consumer.
Microsoft’s shadow, open source and the next great user interface.
"We are about to experience large-scale expansion that we haven t seen since 1984, driven by the fact that the Wintel shadow is a smaller corner in garden."
I was lucky enough to meet Mark last year, and he’s one of the smartest and sharpest people I’ve ever met. His weekly email newsletter – SNS – should be essential read if you’re interested in the strategic directions of the technology business.
David Coursey takes a look at the Mac mini, and likes what he sees.