Women in Technology

Hear us Roar

Weblog:   Apple and Developers
Subject:   Visionaries and hogs
Date:   2003-06-29 14:57:43
From:   anonymous2
I don't doubt that both Gates and Jobs would hog the potatoes. They are more alike than people think. Jobs is often credited as a visionary while Gates is considered a plodding behemoth.

Fact is, Gates is a visionary in his own right. He fully understood that the most ubiquitous OS, not the best OS, would rule the world. He got it. Jobs didn't.

OS is one place where quality does not reign supreme. No matter how good Apple's OS is, it will continue to lose market share. Inertia drives OS adoption, not quality, because most people are fearful of not being compatible with what most people use. Conformity and fear a are powerful carrot-and-stick combination.

--Roger Mercer

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  • Re: Visionaries and hogs
    2003-07-10 14:35:43  anonymous2 [View]

    Roger Mercer, you've had the smartest response out of everyone here. Compatibility is stronger than quality, because everyone has a different taste of how they like their software served.It doesn't feel safe to have Apple single handedly running everything. There have to be many hands in the cookie jar (Third parties) doing the same applications in different styles or only a minority will feel safe. That's why PC and Microsoft have the majority of the market. The user feels comfortable with the highest amount of compatibility (safety).

  • Different Perspective
    2003-06-29 15:19:08  jmincey [View]

    You make valid points regarding the psychology behind the purchase of computer platforms. But if what you say is true, then any strong-arm monoplistic practices by Microsoft should have been utterly gratuitous. After all, who chases after someone who is already running toward him anyway? Therefore, in seeking to explain the success and market dominance of Microsoft, I think you need to give more credit to its Draconian (and illegal) practices of the past (and present).

    You lose me also when you say that unlike Gates, Jobs has failed to understand that ubiquity -- not quality -- is what will rule the world. The problem here is that you predicate this statement on the assumption that Gates and Jobs have shared the same goals. They haven't and they don't.

    Make no mistake -- I'm sure Jobs would like to see significant gains in market share for Apple. But I see no evidence on his part of any aspiration for complete market dominance. It's one thing to want to be a major player; it's quite another thing to want to be the ONLY player. Jobs falls in the former camp while Gates falls in the latter.

    I think what rings Jobs' bell is developing new technology and wowing the market with it. Of course he wants his products to be a success, and of course he wants to see healthy profits for Apple. And he's a tough CEO -- no question about it. But inside him beats the heart of someone who can still get excited over new technologies -- and I see no evidence of this from the cool-tempered Gates.

    I differ with you also in respect to the idea that the market share of all non-Wintel platforms will continue to shrink. Notwithstanding the "buyer psychology" you cite, there will always be a place for a few other players in the industry. Indeed, while in some quarters Apple's market share might be decreasing slightly (even as its installed base is not), the market share of non-Wintel computers IN GENERAL is actually increasing or at least holding steady -- what with the prevalance of Linux. Besides, the very fact that these alternatives still survive in spite of the Microsoft-Intel monopoly is testimony to this.

    Jeff Mincey

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