Monday, July 04, 2005

Is Apple the next Microsoft or, is Apple Evil?

As I watch Apple take over the online music world, I can't help but wonder if much of what they're doing isn't akin to what Microsoft does to hold on to it's control over whatever domain it targets. But in many ways, it's worse.

Apple's OS is built on top of BSD Unix, and open and free OS. They take it, 'extend' it to be the Mac OS, wrap it in sophisticated copy protection scheme (called the Macintosh Computer) and sell it at a premium.

We're starting to see the same thing in their iPod business. With the recent release of iTunes 4.9, we see the addition of podcasting, but, in a closed mannor. There's no 'sharing with the community' happening here. It's all about aggregating as much control as possible into the Apple view of the audio world. I can see Steve now:

"What if we go all these podcaster dudes to put their crap into iTunes and we added advertising? Hmmm... lots of people doing that, or trying to. But we could OWN it.. and we could lock out all the little guys AND cut of Billy Gates at the knee's here. Maybe even get Clear Channel to give us a cut of the action".

Apple sues bloggers that are highly supportive of Apple and help create hype that creates value for their company. I friend of mine recently had an exchange with jobs that he sent to me. Here's there (brief) exchange:

Message to Jobs:

I know your trying to get at sources to stop leaks about unreleased
products, but, whoever is driving this attack on bloggers is creating
massively negative brand backlash for Apple.

It may be too late for you to stop at this point (it may look as bad
as continuing) but I would implore you to do so.

You are losing your core brand tribe and PO'ing alot of Apple
Supporters. I have had more than a dozen emails, today, about how
people I know are selling off their Macs and going Linux or, gasp,
Windows (because: What's the difference between Apple and MS now?
None.. at least, not as far as corporate philosophy and greed go, or
so goes the general line in the email).

So, I implore you, stop cutting off your nose to spite your face. You
are, and you're going to cost Apple, long term, alot more than any
short term win in this area can give you.

From an Apple Tribe guy who cares,

old Apple guy
ex Apple employee (over 10 years ago, don't bother looking, I know nothing)
witless sage

Steve's reply:

Steve Jobs to me
More options Mar 13


Its just not acceptable to let people steal our secrets and publish
them without consequence. Sorry.


- Show quoted text -


This doesn't sound like the Apple we all think we know (and love). It sounds like a company with it's own self interest as the ONLY driving force. Now, I expect that from Bill Gates, but Apple's success comes from it's 'being different'. Do they really have to emulate the enemy to fight the enemy? Don't they _become_ the enemy when they do that?

I have to ask: Is Apple becoming evil?