The Smartphone Is Not Merging With the PC

Behold the pot, bathtub and swimming pool. They all contain water. They are the same. ~ Horace Dediu (@asymco)

On July 9, 2014, Walt Mossberg published an article entitled: “How the PC Is Merging With the Smartphone.”

(I)n the past month, it has become clear that a serious effort has begun to merge the smartphone and the PC. ~ Walt Mossberg

To “merge” means:

    merge |mərj| verb “combine or cause to combine to form a single entity”

[pullquote]Writing is easy. All you have to do is cross out the wrong words. ~ Mark Twain[/pullquote]

I respectfully, but vehemently, disagree with Mr. Mossberg’s observation that the smartphone and the PC are merging. Not only aren’t they merging but they — and their underlying design philosophies — are diverging.

Starting Far Apart

Apple, Google and Microsoft are three of the largest players in personal computing. However, their design philosophies start from very different places.

Apple, Google, and Microsoft each offer all three things: devices, services, and platforms. But each has a different starting point. With Apple it’s the device. With Microsoft it’s the platform. With Google it’s the services. ~ John Gruber

Apple, Google and Microsoft not only start from different places, they are also headed in three very different directions.

Moving Further Apart

Google wants you signed into Google services on all your devices, from phones to tablets to PCs. ~ John Gruber

Google may well be offering one experience at the services layer, but that is not the same as merging the smartphone and the PC and it is not at all the same as what Apple and Microsoft are doing.

Microsoft wants you to run Windows on all your devices, from phones to tablets to PCs. ~ John Gruber

Microsoft may well WANT to run a single Windows operating system on all of your devices, but so far their efforts to create one operating system that runs on phones, tablets, and desktops has actually caused Windows to splinter into three operating systems: one for the phone (Windows Phone 8); one for the tablet (Metro) and one for the desktop (Windows 8). Calling them all by one name does not make them all one thing.

[pullquote]There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all. ~ Peter Drucker[/pullquote]

Further, while Microsoft may well be attempting to merge the tablet and the PC at the hardware layer 1) that is not the same as merging the smartphone and the PC; 2) the paltry sales numbers for their 2-in-1 devices weigh against, not for, the proposition that merging is the way of the future; and 3) Microsoft’s efforts are not at all the same as what Apple and Google are doing.

Apple wants you to buy iPhones, iPads, and Macs. ~ John Gruber

Apple is not merging anywhere — not at the services layer, not at the operating system layer, and most especially not at the hardware layer.

(Apple chief of design, Jony) Ive demands that the hardware be true to itself—its purpose, its materials, the way it looks, and the way it feels. ~ John Siracusa

Not only aren’t iPhones and Macs merging, but Apple’s continuity features allow Apple to draw bright lines between their phone, their tablet and and their desktop offerings.

Apple’s vision is about harnessing the uniqueness of each device rather than converging them ~ Ben Bajarin (@BenBajarin)

Further, what Apple is doing is not at all the same as what Google and Microsoft are doing.

Whatever This Is, It’s Not Merging

  1. A gardener uses a trowel when he gardens and a shovel when he digs. He doesn’t think, “Hey, the trowel and the shovel are merging because they both dig holes!”
  2. A homeowner uses a watering can to water the flowers in her home and a hose to water the flowers on her porch. She doesn’t think, “Hey, the watering can and the hose are merging because they both water flowers!”
  3. A restaurant employee washes the floor with water from a bucket and washes dishes with water in a sink. He doesn’t think, “Hey, the bucket and the sink are merging because they both do washing!”


The beginning of wisdom is a definition of terms. ~ Socrates

Is this just a question of semantics? Well, even if it was, semantics matters. Semantics is: “The branch of linguistics and logic concerned with meaning.”

A definition is the enclosing a wilderness of idea within a wall of words. ~ Samuel Butler

However, this isn’t just semantics. This is a distinction with a difference.

The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug. ~ Mark Twain

Nothing Is Merging

[pullquote]You cannot step into the same river twice. ~ Heraclitus[/pullquote]

Apple is improving the workflow between its devices. Workflow is, by definition, a flow. Saying that workflow is “merging” is like saying that a river is a lake. The improved workflow between Apple’s devices allows those devices to be true to themselves and to grow ever more distinct, one from the other. At Apple, the smartphone and the PC are not merging.

Google is improving its services. It wants you to think of phones, tablets and PCs as portals used to peer into the Cloud — the Google Cloud that is — where all your content and apps, reside. Google may not care which portal you use, but they have no interest in merging those portals. At Google, the smartphone and the PC are not merging.

[pullquote]Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored. ~ Aldous Huxley[/pullquote]

Microsoft is improving nothing. They are forcing the merger of the tablet and the PC because their Windows’ business model demands it. They have not learned — or more likely, they refuse to acknowledge — that the mouse driven user input suitable for the desktop is unsuitable for, and incompatible with, the touch driven user input of the tablet. At Microsoft, the smartphone and the PC are not merging.

Caption: Leaked image of the Microsoft Windows 8.1 Pro Surface Axe/Razor 2-in-1 Hybrid Shaving Combo Device.


Microsoft’s muddled personal computing design is going nowhere, but the design philosophies of Google and Apple are unique and they are rapidly diverging, rather than merging.

Normally, in mature markets, products grow closer and closer to one another as each competitor borrows the best ideas of the other and incorporates them into their own product or service. That has happened with Mac and Windows over the past thirty years and with iOS, Android and Windows Phone over the past seven years. However, Apple and Google are now rapidly moving in opposite directions.

Apple is pushing all of the value down into their devices. Google is pushing all the value up into their services. This is going to have dramatic, long-term, consequences.

Google will almost certainly excel wherever machine learning matters most: maps, voice translation, predictive services and who knows what else.

Apple will almost certainly excel at any task that requires rich applications and with any entity or institution (education, business, government) that inhabits the “long tail” of app creation (i.e., specialized or proprietary apps) and demands robust security and privacy.

Suggesting that the smartphone is merging with the PC obscures this reality. It implies that the overall approaches of Apple, Google and Microsoft are drawing closer together when, in fact, they are not.

Henry Ford said:

The competitor to be feared is one who never bothers about you at all, but goes on making his own business better all the time.

I get the feeling that both Google AND Apple fit into this category of business. Each feels that they know best and each is moving on without much regard for the what the other is doing. Focusing on merging is a distraction. What we need to be focusing on is what is emerging from these two great titans of tech.


A dog goes into a newspaper to place an advertisement.

“What do you want your ad to say?” asks the newspaper clerk.

“Woof Woof Woof. Woof Woof Woof. Woof Woof Woof,” says the dog.

The newspaper clerk adds up the words and says, “Okay, that’s nine words. We charge the same for up to ten words. You could add another ‘woof’ for no extra money.”

The dog says, “But that wouldn’t make any sense.”

Walt Mossberg is not just a good tech writer, he’s one of the very best there is. However, on this one occasion, I believe he added one “woof” too many.

Published by

John Kirk

John R. Kirk is a recovering attorney. He has also worked as a financial advisor and a business coach. His love affair with computing started with his purchase of the original Mac in 1985. His primary interest is the field of personal computing (which includes phones, tablets, notebooks and desktops) and his primary focus is on long-term business strategies: What makes a company unique; How do those unique qualities aid or inhibit the success of the company; and why don’t (or can’t) other companies adopt the successful attributes of their competitors?

125 thoughts on “The Smartphone Is Not Merging With the PC”

  1. It’s difficult to buy into the opinions of someone who spends all his time reviewing different devices, platforms, apps, services et al in a vacuum. Like so many in tech journalism, Walt spends his time bouncing from thing to thing and making comparisons that aren’t meaningful. When your time is spent focused on the specs and what looks good on paper, you become blind to the deeper and more important aspects of a product, like how well it integrates with other things. If you use one device on Monday and another on Wednesday – if you switch from platform to platform for the sake of reviewing it, how do you ever become invested enough to really KNOW how it works? How can you tell what its strengths and weaknesses are that take more time than a few days or weeks to discover? People like Walt adopt technologies for the sake of those technologies – not for how it improves their lives, or solves a problem. And because of that, reviewers are able to see a pot, pool, and bathtub as the same thing. Frankly, I think he’s become out of touch.

    1. I always thought Walt Mossberg was different from the typical tech reviewer because he wasn’t so spec oriented. In fact the whole premise of his columns at the WSJ was to try to write for the non-techie public, which by the way I think he did quite well.

      His reviews, at least of major releases like the iPhone and iPad, were not single day experiences. For the iPhone for example, Apple sent him an iPhone before the release and he used it for about a week (maybe even more) before he wrote the review. I remember that he was initially very frustrated by the touchscreen keyboard but got the hang of it after a few days of use.

    2. Walt Mossberg is a tech journalist titan. The article that I critique was widely read and praised. However, when I read it, I felt that Mossberg’s article was ever so slightly misaligned. I’ve explained why I feel that way. In no way do I want anything I said in this article to be construed as a criticism of Walt Mossberg.

  2. “Apple is pushing all of the value down into their devices. Google is pushing all the value up into their services. This is going to have dramatic, long-term, consequences.”

    For me, this is the key bit. Privacy and security are going to be incredibly important over the next decade and beyond. Apple is on the right path. Google is not.

    1. So true! One thing we know for a fact is that privacy and security can must be baked in at the core design level. It is NOT something you can patch later on with badly written and designed security software that causes more problems than they solve. Or in the case of privacy about what data is stored and where. In the case of biometric information it is vital that data stays only on the device and is not transmitted anyplace else as we can not just change our fingerprints if hackers where able to steal that hashed information like we can with passwords.

      So not only is Google on the wrong path but Microsoft as well. At least in Google’s case, you can choose to use Apple hardware and their services if you wish but with hardware built on Microsoft Windows you are going to be trapped on a never ending patching treadmill trying to secure a flawed system.

      1. While it’s true that Unix based systems are inherently more secure, they are far from foolproof. The regular Linux distribution security updates are proof of this. Systems are vulnerable through so many paths: video drivers, printer drivers, networking protocols, even pictures. The treadmill will always be there. Even Windows has improved greatly, since Windows 7, mainly though this very treadmill.

        Biometrics are far from foolproof. As you so correctly pointed out, if your fingerprints get lifted, and published, they are useless for the rest of your life. We better start asking that our bartenders have security clearance. 😉

        So we’re left with a quandary. Do we limit what our devices are capable of doing (do we not cross the street) or do we apply a certain amount of diligence in what we do (look both ways). Different people have different temperaments towards this, so there is not a one size fits all solution.

        1. You are correct and I hope I did not imply that any system is bulletproof. My point about the treadmill was more about patching for just security problems because when products are not designed correctly from the start they never will be able to be secured after the fact with just another patch or update. In the security field they talk about vectors of attack or ways systems are compromised. The genius thing that Apple did with iOS is that the started with a clean slate and have built it with rock solid security from the start. This does mean that they and the whole ecosystem of apps and devices had to start over but we are much better for it.

          This is not to say that there are not ways to hack iOS systems. There are as any system will have weaknesses. What matters are the defaults and the way that most users use the system.

          In regards to starting over, Just have a look at AirPrint. No need to mess with drivers or AirPlay, simple to use versus other systems like DLNA. On the security front, the original iPhone did not do apps at all. Apple was smart to limit what developers could do with the platform at 1st and only now are we getting 3rd party keyboards in iOS 8 in the fall for example. It all comes down to trust. Many developers are good people. But there are some that are scum and will screw the whole ecosystem either to make a quick buck or just because they are bad people. What is needed is a firewall between the users and the developers. The app store provides us that and we are better for it.

          On Biometrics, Yep. There is only one hashed version of my fingerprints so if that data was to be lifted then any system that uses that as part of or as it’s only security system would be null and void. Hopefully more people will be aware of this issue as we move forward as we must make sure that any company or device that collects that data is as secure as humanly possible.

          As for the quandary, I think that both sides can and should work well together. There are going to be people who want full control on their devices as to what they can and can not do but for the masses that is not the case. They are looking for an appliance that just works and does what they want it to do. The good news is that there are many products in the marketplace that satisfy the needs of both kids of people.

          1. Such a thoughtful response! It’s greatly appreciated.

            I do think Apple gives the aura of the gatekeeper (for security), but I’m cynical towards them. I feel they’ve abused it, and that they shouldn’t be the arbiter over my property. I should be able to choose my gatekeeper (store) even if it’s me or someone I hire. Saying that I can go elsewhere is also like saying “if there’s something you don’t like about your country, then leave”. Technically true, but “wanting”.

            Let’s not forget that Apple has litigated against some of the alternatives. They’ve petitioned against phone unlocking and jailbreaking as well. They obviously don’t want us to have even the choice of moving. From their POV, I understand, but I certainly don’t agree.

          2. You are welcome. On this site I do think it is important to keep things thoughtful and civil 🙂 On the subject of Apple being the gatekeeper for security and privacy. I think that they are doing a great job. As you have said, you disagree. Thats fine. The good news is that if you do not like what they are doing you do have the choice to use other products in the marketplace. Capitalism is great! I can see where you are coming from with the country analogy but it is not a good analogy as I have stated above, there are other options. Normally people have to live where they do for job, family, language and cultural reasons. It is much easier to change platforms than moving.

            I do understand that it may be hard to hear but it does sound like you are not Apple’s target customer and for the rest of us who are happy with what they are doing it is best that they do not change in ways that will compromise on doing things that make their products the best in the marketplace.

            As for Apple’s litigation, I assume you have seen that chart where a year ago or so everyone was suing everyone else over patent violations. This is normal for any new market as we do need to decide over ownership over the future markets otherwise it would be chaos and there would be no incentive for any person or company coming up with new and unique ideas. Just to be clear I am not happy with how long these patens and copyrights last as they do more harm than good because of the length of time the exclusivity is given to the inventor as we end up with less new inventions and products because all of the good ideas have been taken and new products are not able to build on the past without a high tax just to get started.

            I also understand where Apple is coming from in regards to unlocking and jailbreaking. It is a question of support resources and problems with the ecosystem as a whole. If Apple is going to be asked to provide warranty support on an iPhone for example, they need to know where the problem is. By jailbreaking the iPhone and loading non Apple custom ROM’s you make that job a lot harder if not impossible. So Apple in that case will need to only support stock firmware on their iPhones. Also, there is the concern about people who Jailbreak their phones to pirate apps. Again, this is bad for Apple and the ecosystem as a whole. The reason we can have free or $0.99 apps is because most people pay for them. So protecting the interests for the developer community is important as well.

            The one area that does annoy me that I am sure we both would agree on is the issue of locked versus unlocked phones. On that case I do not like it and we should have the ability to move our phones around from carrier to carrier without having to start over with new phones. Sadly, we do not for many reasons. Partly it is a technical reason relating to the various different bands and radios that are used. But it also comes down to contracts and subsidies. I like what T-Mobile is doing and I wish that more carriers would do the same here in the USA as I know that not everyone can afford to buy outright an iPhone at $650 and more so it is a question of financing. T-Mobile has it right. Sell the phone separate from the service. This way if you choose to make changes you are not locked in.

          3. I brought those points up to address the “go elsewhere” argument. It’s clear, and logical, that Apple would prefer we not have an “elsewhere”. There are those (not you) who support that argument, and that’s not logical.

            “the rest of us who are happy with what they are doing it is best that they do not change in ways that will compromise on doing things that make their products the best in the marketplace.”

            Then don’t. Shop only from the App Store. Simple as that. Use your iPad as you wish, and other’s do as they wish.

            “Again, this is bad for Apple and the ecosystem as a whole. ”
            There goes the neighborhood Edith! (Archie Bunker meme) 😉

            The fundamental issues of unlocking versus user device control are exactly the same. I’m delighted we agree on the unlocking part at least.

          4. I respectfully disagree that Apple would not want you to have an option to “go elsewhere” but if in Apple’s case if they where the 1st ones to invent many new ideas and ways to do things they should be compensated for their hard work for a limited time. If that means that the competition’s products are a bit more expensive for a limited time then that is only fair. How long that time should be needs to be up for debate of course.

            One positive thing that is happening now is that because people now are able to “go elsewhere” from WinTel (Windows & Intel) we now have a lot more options that cost a lot less and work a lot better. Look at all the sensors and innovation we have with our smartphones If it was left up to Microsoft and Intel almost none of these things would have happened. So I am optimistic about the future of technology.

          5. I would agree with you if Apple made their stuff available to license. They don’t, as is their prerogative.

            Where I do object, but not just with them, is in the trivial patents they seem to get. This is widespread through industry however.

          6. Yes. That is right. With our current laws on the books it is up to Apple to decide how they want to share their technology with others. A good example of this is webkit. Apple is making that freely available and it has help all of us as all modern web browsers use it. Of course other technology they should keep just for them and their customers otherwise there would not be any difference in any products in the marketplace and they would not be able to their investment in time and money to bring those products to market.

            In regards to trivial patents, I think we can both agree on those being a problem that goes way beyond Apple. For example, The idea that one click purchases should only be something I can do with Amazon is troubling. So changes do need to be maid with the way that the USPTO operates.

          7. I certainly know that Apple has fought against jailbreaking but this is the first I hear they are against unlocking. After all, Apple sells unlocked iPhones themselves, and unlocking makes the iPhone even more desirable, which is what Apple wants. *Carriers* hate unlocking, not Apple.

            If you have evidence to the contrary, please share!

          8. Sorry, but there isn’t a single thing that’s true in your comment.

            First: jailbreaking, by itself does not unlock. Some, not all, jailbreaks made unlocking easier, but you still had to do additional voodoo.

            Conversely you can unlock without jailbreaking. I did this with all my iPhones — after a while AT&T was shamed into providing unlock codes for iPhone users no longer under contract — they have automated it, and it works quite well. There were also ways to get unlock codes from third parties – how they got them, I have no idea. And, these days in the USA Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint all only sell unlocked iPhones — (AT&T is the only major that still sells locked iPhones). In many countries such as Italy, Belgium, etc. it is illegal to sell locked phones, period.

            Lastly unlocking doesn’t “modify” the iPhone it simply allows you to swap SIM card from different carriers at will. You haven’t presented the slightest evidence that Apple has had anything against unlocking.

          9. So true Ted_T, I do think that Klahanas is confusing unlocking with jailbreaking. I can see why Apple would not want people to jailbreak their phones. It is a support, security and piracy issue. Apple for good reason does not want to support 3rd party ROMs that make the iPhone act in ways that it was not designed to. It makes it much harder to tell if the problem is software or hardware and if you are doing warranty support they need to know what is supported and what is not. You also have the security issue. Apple has gone to the virtual ends of the earth to make IOS secure. They do not need any bad press from uninformed people who end up getting hit with malware on jailbroken iOS devices. Lastly, Apple is looking out for the developers and they want to make sure that developers get paid for their work. Some people jailbreak their iPhones just so that they do not need to pay for apps. So for all of these reasons plus others I am sure they do not want jailbreaking.

            Now unlocking is purely a carrier issue. If klahanas has issues with that klahanas should take that issue up with the carriers. It is because of their business models that we have “locked” phones. If people do not want to have a locked phone they can get it unlocked but they will be paying full price for that phone either on a plan with T-Mobile for example or at the time of purchase. But for most people they like their “free” or $199 iPhones. So they make the tradeoff that makes sense to them at the time of purchase.

          10. I agree unlocking is an issue with the carrier. My point, which you may have missed, is that Apple’s arguments against jailbreaking (circumvention under DMCA), if correct, also apply to the carrier’s favor.

            Of course, I disagree with the argument. I own that physical copy of the firmware, and I should be able to modify it for my purposes. I agree I can’t distribute it.

          11. “If people do not want to have a locked phone they can get it unlocked but they will be paying full price for that phone either on a plan with T-Mobile for example or at the time of purchase.”

            This in fact is not necessarily true: Verizon, for example sells all their iPhones, even the fully subsidized ones unlocked. Locking makes little sense (beyond ensuring that frequent overseas travelers get gouged on roaming charges). After all, when buying a subsidized phone, you sign a contract with heavy duty early termination penalties.

          12. Ted_T, I stand corrected. I was not aware that Verizon sold their iPhones unlocked as it has been T-Mobile that has talked about the unlocking issue.

            You are correct that locking phones makes little sense other than having people who travel end up with bill shock and have arguments about their bills when they come back from vacation. It is only gotten worse. It used to be that a cell phone would only make calls so ever if you took it overseas you could limit your charges but now with the cell phone morphing in to the smartphone that is a pocket computer the second you touchdown at your destination your device will start to do all sorts of updates in the background and use up a bunch of data if you are not careful.

          13. With all the international traveling I do I came real close to switching to Verizon for this feature. The Verizon iPhone’s still have the sim slot. Since Verizon does not use sims, they lose nothing to leaving it available. The only thing keeping me from switching is because of the exact location of my house! It happens to be one of those black hole areas for Verizon, but pretty good for ATT. And I have to say, for all the grief ATT receives, every time I’ve had a complaint, they have treated me well. I accept that I am an anomaly.


          14. “Sorry, but there isn’t a single thing that’s true in your comment.”
            I will presume innocence and will assume that you mean that there’s nothing “correct” in my comment, and that your not calling me a liar.

            Like I said, I don’t know if Apple objected to unlocking only or not, because the non-carrier methods I know of (there may be others) involve an unlock and jailbreak. Under those methods, a jailbreak is required to unlock. Even under an carrier sanctioned unlock, you are modifying underlying firmware by entering data to it. You simply have “permission” to do it.

            Apple’s arguments were based on DMCA claims that the user has no right to modify firmware. If Apple’s arguments are true, that would directly include carrier lock. So I don’t think that I’m incorrect either.

          15. I apologize for using the wrong word.

            That said, you are incorrect, yet again. There was a specific exemption to the DMCA for the purposes of unlocking phones. At some point it expired, but then was reinstated again. You can Google for the details — and I really wish you would because you are simply not informed about unlocking.

            You are also incorrect about jailbreaking being the only way to do it without carrier sanction. There are even physical devices mainly used outside the US market to do a non-jailbroken unlock.

            There is one other fundamental difference between the two: having an unlocked phone is a pure benefit to the user. There is no possible downside. Having a jailbroken phone is a double-edged sword.

          16. No worries.

            Did you miss the “non-carrier”…”that I know of” part?

            The only part I am judging is the quality of Apple’s argument in making jailbreaking illegal.
            No matter what method you use to unlock, you are modifying firmware. If the carier gives you unlock codes, you are modifying firmware. If you use a device, you are modifying firmware.

            Apple can’t be consistent in that modifying THEIR firmware is illegal, but modifying a lock isn’t. Can’t be both ways.

      2. “privacy and security can must be baked in at the core design level” – Brian

        Agreed. Further, Apple’s business model is aligned with privacy and security and Google’s is not. Microsoft’s business model is also set up to motive Microsoft to provide good privacy and security.

          1. I agree with you. Microsoft needs to understand that Google’s Android is their competition and not Apple. It is Google who is taking away their OEM sales model in Smartphones and Tablets that are targeted at the same %90 of the market that will not be able to purchase an Apple product. The same buyers that at one point would have purchase a Windows PC of some sort.

          2. “Microsoft needs to understand that Google’s Android is their competition” – Brian

            You’re right, but they need to realize that in 2008. Android undercut their licensing model and that’s a done deal that can’t be undone. So Microsoft needs to stop wasting time, resources and most of all attention on doing the undoable and focus on the next big thing.

          3. I agree. This is why more cuts will have to be made at Microsoft. The market for OEM software is drying up rapidly. The sooner they realize that the better they will be. For Microsoft to survive they will have to become a lot smaller but more focused. It is not the 1990’s anymore. They and even Intel can not dictate to the industry how tech works anymore.

            As for what the next big thing is, I do not think that anyone knows now but we do know that Microsoft has spent a bunch of money in the past on R&D. Part of that money I think was just to keep their smart engineers busy and entertained so they do not jump ship and start competing businesses. The thing is those days are over. Still I do wonder if they have anything interesting that could become a product that is in R&D. I know that many who where Microsoft defenders talked about how great it was that they spent all this money on R&D but from what I can tell most of that money was wasted. The same people loved to complain that Apple does not spend enough on R&D. Just goes to prove that the people who make claims that R&D spending is important have no idea what they are talking about.

          4. “I keep thinking Microsoft would do well to forget about Apple and go after Android.”

            It’s way too late to go after either. The mobile wars are over. Microsoft needs to focus on winning the NEXT war, not trying to catch up in a race that is long done.

          5. You may be right. Although my gut keeps nagging at me, there’s always going to be a very large market that doesn’t want what Apple is selling, and perhaps they aren’t completely happy with their Android experience. Of course all the growth seems to be on the low end in Android, and that is probably a fool’s errand for Microsoft. So, maybe a layer of services on top of all platforms is the path for Microsoft.

        1. True! Hopefully this is the motive that is needed to be a wake up call to Microsoft to stop playing lip service to privacy and security. However I am not sure they have it in them to do so. They have made so much money off of providing software with substandard security that it will be hard to change. This sort of change must come from Microsoft’s board of directors and their new CEO. They have to sleep, eat and breathe it to really make it happen. If they do not they are not going to provide the solutions that will be a differentiator from what Google is doing with Android & Chrome OS’s.

      3. You are either very biass toward Apple or simply do not know what you are talking about.

        A clould base computer will always be safer and more difficult to hack than a Native base OS.

        When it comes to the Cloud the issue is about trust not security.

        Many security experts have found the 200$ chromebooks to be safer and more hackproof than a 3000$ MacBook pro.

        1. “Many security experts have found the 200$ chromebooks to be safer and more hackproof than a 3000$ MacBook pro.”

          Saying that my data is safe on Google’s cloud is like saying that my money is secure in a robber’s safe. Google makes its money by exploiting what it learns about us. Until its business model changes, Google is will never prioritize privacy.

          “You can’t trust dogs to watch your food.” ~ Unknown

          1. Saying that my data is safe on Google’s cloud is like saying that my money is secure in a robber’s safe. Google makes its money by exploiting what it learns about us. Until its business model changes, Google is will never prioritize privacy.(John)

            hmm that is a very misleading statement coming from you John.

            unless you can show me a case of widespread violation of my privacy, or sharing my personal information to third party without my consent, or misuse of user private information by Google for malicious intent, your statement john is a perfect example of intellectual laziness.

            there is a big difference between having access to my personal and private information that have been willing to give in the case of Google or even Apple, and a widespread violation of say information for malicious purpose.

            Google makes money by keeping all the information they know about safe and secure while selling Keyword base on my user pastern and profile to advertising company.

            more than any other company including Apple their business model rely mainly on the trust i have on them with my personal information and any widespread violation of this say information will signal the End of their Business. Hence Google have more incentive to protect my personnel information than even Apple themselves.

    2. The problem with Apple’s “long tail” is that they insist on chopping it off after a few years. It’s hard for a customer to completely trust Apple, knowing that something wonderful today will be unsupported in a few year times.

      I know educators who have stockpiled old PPC Macs so they can still use old OS 9 education apps, and are now stockpiling Snow Leopard Macs to run old PPC apps. They are also running Windows apps from the 90s on Windows 7 boxes.

      There is a fine balance between progress and longevity. That will vary for each customer.

      1. Where on earth does this “Apple devices are useless after a few years” myth come from? It’s nonsense. I use all my Apple gear for half a decade or more, easily. My wife’s iPhone is coming up on four years old. My iPod Touch is more than five years old. Our iMacs are six years old. Our iPads are three years old. Everything works fine. Only the iPod Touch can’t run the latest version of the software.

        “I know educators who have stockpiled old PPC Macs so they can still use old OS 9 education apps”

        Cripes! That’s what, 8 or 9 years old? How long do you expect any company to support a device or an OS version? But I’ll note that it sounds like those old Macs still run. How about that? Huh, I thought Apple gear wasn’t supported after just a few years. How can those Macs be doing anything useful?

        If you want to futz around with Windows and use ten year old software, go for it. I’m not the least bit interested in that. Why is it so hard for some people to understand that Apple does not meet the needs of all customers? If you want a decade old Windows box running old software, then go ahead and do that, but stop pissing and moaning about Apple not offering the same experience. Apple’s customers are quite happy (if we can believe observable reality). And I’m pretty sure if we dug up any data on trust, Apple would score very well on that front.

        Sounds like you wouldn’t be happy as an Apple customer and that it would be hard for YOU to trust Apple. There’s nothing wrong with that, to each his own, but I hope you understand that there isn’t anything wrong with other people who are happy as Apple customers and do trust Apple. We’re not sheep, we’re not being fooled, we’re just making different choices and we value different things. Welcome to humanity.

        1. 100% agree. QKA sounds like someone who is not Apple’s target customer. I know that is a hard thing to hear for some people as we all want to be important but we are not all equally important to all companies. For Apple to serve their customers best they have to make hard choices that are going to upset some people. It is better they do that than try and please everyone and end up with the situation you have with Windows where you can run decades old software on current hardware. The problems come down to security, reliability, support and innovation. People who want to live with technology of the past should not drag down the rest of us who are ready and willing to move quickly to the future. Many of the security problems on Windows date back 2 decades because of flawed design, marketing and business models decisions that are still with us today.

          Sure they have made many people a lot of money but they have come at a cost. By not baking in security in the front end Microsoft has setup the perfect situation where systems get compromised with ease. This is not to say things have not improved but they have not improved enough to stay current with the state of the art. By charging such high prices for each revision of Windows you end up guaranteeing that people will be running older versions of the OS. This leads to security problems that should have been fixed not getting pushed out to users. Also this hurts developers as there is less of an incentive to use the update their software to use the newest API’s. You also end up costing more money for support as each version of Windows has a different enough look to it so it is not as easy to direct users on what they need to do to solve common problems on their own. You also have the issue of software and drivers. When users have to choose what software to install. Most users do not know and should not have to know the difference between 32bit and 64bit software for example. When downloading software many times users get confused as to what one they want to download and install.

          The point being is that by not making hard choices and choosing to dump support for older hardware and systems you end up causing a confusing mess that users are left to clean up. Good design is about making those choices for the users so that they can get on with using the technology without having to deal with issues that only tech people care about.

          1. Well said. Another point I also should have made is this: the crowd that demands Apple change and offer a more open platform, more choices, licensing of the OS, etc, seem to be completely unaware (or they don’t care) that those changes would harm my experience with Apple products. I don’t want all the negative baggage that comes along with a more open less curated platform. It seems beyond the comprehension of some people that their are users who appreciate what Apple is doing and that we gain value and benefit from Apple’s approach.

          2. So true! These people that want Apple to bend to their needs are selfish and self centered people who do not see the big picture about the harm that would come by having Apple change what they are doing just to make them happy. This is why the “go elsewhere” is the correct option for them. I know that they like Apple’s hardware build quality and many other things that Apple brings to the table but you have to take it all as Apple sells systems and not just parts that you assemble together yourself. For the people who want that they are on the wrong platform.

            The problem is that for them they do not understand the value the rest of us get out of leaving many details up to Apple to decide. We trust Apple to do the right thing and they have proven over time that they do. Plus as we are seeing with iOS 8 they are opening up more of what iOS can do and I do believe that if history is any guide the trend will continue in to the future. People forget that there was no app store on IOS or after that a simple copy & paste feature. The point is that Apple started closed and is working to be as open as possible with each release but not doing it in a way that puts the users at risk. By doing it this way they are designing the system correctly for the mass market and not just geeks/nerds/tech people who can deal with problems that come up on a fully open system. That is the true value of doing things the Apple way.

          3. The real geeks/nerds/techs are decent productive people that build the software and systems, the pretenders are, well it’s obvious. These geeks/whatever can and do use any system without limitation and don’t whine and pollute.

          4. Yes, that’s a point I didn’t get into. All the comp sci grads I know and work with, most of whom have their Masters, use Apple gear.

          5. Yep. I agree. Many geeks/nerds/techs are good people. The problems come from people that do not get that they think that any tech product should be maid for only them or people like them. The thing is that they are in the minority. Companies like Apple are in the business to make money from the right customers. Not all customers are the same as some are just not worth the bother as they come with too many strings attached. This is why Apple has not been as aggressive in sales to the Enterprise up until last week’s deal with IBM or to people who are looking for the least expensive systems. In both cases Apple has had to make decisions that are in their best interest and the interest of the people who use their ecosystem.

          6. They just want everyone down at their level and loath those that resist. Similar to gangs that will mug, beat or kill you for being on “their” patch.

          7. I am Apple’s target customer. A Mac user since 1984. I am also a target for using educational software as an instructor. Educational software does not get rewritten every time Apple significantly changes their platform. Such software is often used for one set of instructions once in an academic year. So replacing it every few years it not gonna happen. Apple may have gotten their start in the educational market, but it is a market they are turning their backs on. Much like other professions who supported Apple thru the lean years that Apple has also abandoned in seeking the mass market.

          8. You’re not Apple’s target customer though, you only wish you were (I think). I have also been a Mac user since 1984, and I still have the original Mac on my desk. I am also a professional designer. I don’t have any trouble with what Apple is doing, Macs always were and continue to be quality machines that last for a very long time.

            Apple hasn’t abandoned anything to seek the mass market, making the computer for the rest of us has always been their mission. Apple has always strived to build a computer that anyone can use.

            It sounds like there’s something odd about your particular situation, I don’t know any Mac user (especially professionals) that feel the need to replace their Apple gear every few years. They tend to use their Macs until they die, which is often 7 years plus. I know design shops still using OS 9 on some machines, it’s a little crazy.

            Educators should love Apple, with the iOS App Store and the Mac App Store the price of great software was gone down dramatically. I’m honestly having a hard time understanding your complaints about Apple. My experience, and the experience of every Mac user I know, is pretty much the opposite. That’s not to say your experience isn’t valid, but I think you’re mistaking it as a common experience among Apple customers.

          9. SG, I agree with everything you have said above. Also, like I just stated above, I do see that iOS and the iPad is place that Educators should be looking to invest in hardware and software. Even though the LA Public School district deal did not go though they where on to something and I and others who have looked at the deal think that it was not really a problem with the iPads themselves but a question of training and the speed of the rollout. One thing I have seen myself is that many Educators need more handholding when it comes to the use of technology. It is not what they signed up to do as a job. They just want to teach and the use of technology while it can be good is not a substitute to a good lesson plan.

          10. I respectfully disagree qka. You used to be their target customer. Way back in the Apple II days and the 1980’s and 1990’s Macintosh era before OS X. Now Apple is all in on mobile where they make most of their money. The same is true with the graphic artist and desktop publishing industry. It used to be that there was no question that they would also purchase Apple products. Not so anymore. With Adobe’s creative suite working on both Mac and Windows people are looking at alternatives.

            You are correct that the education long tail applications will not be rewritten every time Apple needs to make a change. Like when Apple went from Motorola 6800 CPU’s to PowerPC and then to Intel and now dropping carbon support and moving fully to 64bit coco. However I do wonder if the iPad is where education should be looking to for their software as that is the new hot platform as the iPad is what Apple is showing off with their kids tables and not iMac’s anymore.

            The thing to understand is that it is not personal. Apple is in the business to make money. They are going to align their goals with where the market is going and not with where it has been. I am not sure of you heard about the infamous story about when Steve Jobs came back to Apple after he was at NeXT that he went and cleared out all of the old Mac’s and other reminders of their glory days of the past. He was laser focused on the fact that moving to the future was important and even though they where successful in the 1980’s and part of the 1990’s there where much bigger markets to take on and by dwelling on the past they would never be able to be the super company that they are growing it to now.

          11. I think your criticism is a bit unfair, at least as education is concerned. Legacy support carries a huge cost, and not just in the form of dollars. If Apple were to support PPCs with each new version of OSX, it would obviously have to be a handicapped version of the new software. Newer Macs have drastically different capabilities than older ones. Continuity radically differentiates Apple’s platform from Microsoft’s and Google’s offerings. This differentiation is strategic; the differences are functional, not merely cosmetic. Apple cannot offer a lesser version of these features to older users without the proper hardware, and they want developers focused on enhancing the new features rather than on building a bridge for users of older hardware that can never fully gain the advantages of a 2014 software release.

            OS X was launched in 2001. Apple made clear almost immediately that the new OS would receive 100% of its development attention, and stopped shipping OS 9 the same year. The last PPCs shipped in 2006. I understand the frustration of educators who need a long tail to justify investment. But I have a couple thoughts:

            1) Use the old computers and the old software until the wheels fall off. Why not? If it works, you have nothing to complain about.
            2) Any purchase made around the time of Y2K is fully depreciated. The school/district/state either got their money’s worth a long time ago; if not, the computers were a bad investment and are a waste of space.
            3) It sounds to me like the software developers/publishers have really let school districts down. The burden of support is not Apple’s alone to bear. If a company has not updated its educational applications to support OS X or moved to a web browser, something is wrong. This wasn’t a sudden shift that Apple threw at the market last week.
            4) It might be time to explore a more modern solution for your students. Presumably, the computers were used as a tool in the first place because educators felt there was an advantage to be gained by teaching through technology. Otherwise, the applications in question would have never been purchased. But can these apps still rightly be considered the best of breed? There has been an explosion in educational software in the past few years, and much of it is free or subscription supported. There is an order of magnitude more content available today than in 2001, and some of it is much, much better.

          12. “100% agree. QKA sounds like someone who is not Apple’s target customer. I know that is a hard thing to hear for some people as we all want to be important but we are not all equally important to all companies.”
            Very generous of you Brian. Also your points about security remind me why my mail is swimming in toxic spam – thanks to windows users with my contact details. Their lax security costs all of us.

          13. Yep. It does. This is part of the picture that people like QKA seem to forget that to make him happy it will make things worse for the rest of us who are part of the Apple ecosystem. I welcome Apple doing things that will make things better for most users and I accept that Apple will do things I am not happy with but I have been using computers long enough to have some perspective as to what is going on in the short term and how it affects the big picture.

            For example, I know people who are not happy that Apple dropped the CD/DVD drives from systems but I can see that they are not needed for most users on a daily biases. In this case it is not a big deal to pickup an external unit so that you can use it when needed but it can be put aside for future needs. So the point is that there are ways to work around decisions that Apple makes.

          14. This has reminded me of an anecdote that I haven’t shared yet. I worked in a large tv post production area that migrated from specialist equipment to PC based when avid went windows. Then after some years and a tender system, we got FCP. You should have heard the whining (maybe you did). Special Mac/FCP bundles were offered to the staff. Even the hardened windows (some ex Amiga) users couldn’t resist and tried macs. I’m sure you can guess the outcome. After being pilloried for years, they suddenly stopped mocking me. There were a few that had chosen macs many years ago (1990’s) like me, but a minority. We rarely felt the need to criticize other’s poor choices.

        2. Well Space Gorilla, the trolls have now spotted the headline and can’t resist the urge to spout their, er, memes, that they have been polishing in their basements. Never let the facts or the obvious get in the way…..of anything. Funny how the anti apple mob have moved from the dystopian fields of microland to the feral wastelands of googleville. Funny how Microsoft seems to be trying to clean up their act now that they’re not in charge, although I would always suggest that those who can’t or won’t buy apple, chose winphone if they place any value on their privacy and safety at all.

      2. “I know educators who have stockpiled old PPC Macs so they can still use
        old OS 9 education apps, and are now stockpiling Snow Leopard Macs to
        run old PPC apps.”

        In which case they really need to get a competent IT advisor, because you can run Snow Leopard perfectly in virtualbox, and os 9 runs just fine in SheepShaver. Far better to have new-ish computers that can run new, old, and ancient software, than “stockpiling” antiquated macs.

        (edit: I keep thinking it’s sheep saver rather than sheep shaver).

        1. In many educational institutions, Mac users have their own IT department, suffering under the Windows hegemony. They are busy enough advancing in their chosen field, and use Macs because “they just work”. They don’t have time or inclination to discover the offbeat solutions out there.

          1. This is exactly why these educators should be in direct contact with Apple. I am sure that Apple would have someone you could talk to about your concerns and help outline a plan for how to move forward with Apple using solutions like the ones outlined above by Glaurung-Quena.

            Here is Apples info page for Education:

            I really do hope you give them a call to work directly with them.

          2. “They don’t have time or inclination to discover the offbeat solutions out there.”

            Since when is VirtualBox/Parallels/VMware “offbeat?” All three allow you to run Snow Leopard inside a virtual machine. (Some might require Snow Leopard Server, you can buy that from Apple for $20, part number MC588Z/A, call as it’s not on their web site).

            I fully understand why someone would want to be able to continue using their collection of educational OS9 apps. Likewise there are awesome Apple II and Commodore 64 educational apps that never got ported either. And sadly there aren’t a lot of commercial emulator apps with proper customer support. But there are several open source emulators. Like most open source apps, they’re not that well documented, but they work perfectly well. And since they do exist, there is NO rational reason why someone should need or want to amass a collection of fragile old vintage computers just in order to run those apps.

            Because which would your colleagues rather be spending time doing — teaching, or maintaining an antique computer that you can’t even get parts for anymore? If I were an educator, I would absolutely spend a few hours setting up an emulator on my modern computer so that I could get on with my job and not have to worry that the antique that runs my favorite educational app might up and die on me at any moment.

        2. Oooh, I need your help. How do you run SL in virtual box? I’ve tried vb before and had no luck and have been told by an apple genius that it was the reason my Mac was behaving badly and sheepshaver tries to make my machine melt down!

          1. “How do you run SL in virtual box?”

            Have you tried these instructions? The virtualbox forums might be a good place to get help with whatever problems you were running into. There are additional guides and forum threads on this topic, as well — googling “snow leopard virtual box” will pull up a lot of stuff about running OSX in VB on a windows machine. Add “on mavericks” or “on lion” to the search to weed some of those spurious hits out.

            By their nature virtualbox and sheepshaver are going to crank up your CPU, which will crank up your system’s fan. Virtualization takes a lot of computer power, no way around it. If you’ve got a fairly modern machine and enough RAM, though, it should work.

            Oh, virtualbox is free, and that means there are things it can’t do that the paid solutions — parallels and vmware fusion — can. One annoying limitation of VirtualBox is that it doesn’t let the virtual mac sleep (which means your real mac will also not sleep). If loud fans are something you hate, and you have the funds, get the SL server disk that I mention elsewhere in these comments, then buy Parallels or Fusion. I think both of them can put the virtual mac to sleep when it’s not in use. The other advantage of the paid solution is that you can get professional help if something doesn’t work right. The downside of the paid solutions is they enforce a strict interpretation of Apple’s licensing requirements, so you need SL server, thankfully it’s only $20 these days.

          2. Thank you kindly. I have parallels and fusion and played with an SL machine in Lion, but that broke with Mountain Lion. I guess I should try server now when I can face it again. SheepShaver looked so promising, never mind the nostalgia. I still miss SL, hopefully Yosemite will make things right.

          3. If it broke on upgrade, my first thought would be to try reinstalling the latest version of the VM software and then try reinstalling SL in the VM. Basically do everything new and fresh on top of the new fresh OS X. Which sucks if you were keeping a lot of apps or data on the VM,

      3. Microsoft has been great at maintaining legacy software. But that also comes at considerable cost as it acts as a drag on the operating system. Apple takes the other tack. They have 90% adoption on their iOS devices because they prioritize the latest operating system over legacy.

        If institutions had their way, their computers would still be running DOS. I think it is their desire to live in the past, not Apple’s desire to stay up with the times, that should be criticized.

        1. Yes. This is true and in my book the cost has been way to high. Of course for many users I am not sure they realize the high cost of doing things the Microsoft way or now the Google way. I will take the %90 adoption rate over the fragmented mess that is Windows & Android. I like the fact that the apps I use on my iOS devices can use the latest API’s so when Apple introduces new features in iOS I know that those features will not be ignored but used.

          I think you might be wrong on this point “If institutions had their way, their computers would still be running DOS” I think that they would rather we went back to using mainframes with green screen terminals! haha Much easier to support and the control could stay in the data center.

          It is the focus on the consumer that Apple provides that is moving us to the future. For consumers it is much easier to move forward as they do not have large investments in fleets of systems that have to run custom LOB (Line Of Business) software. Plus for consumers what they value is quite different than what business want and need. Of course there is going to be some overlap but in the case of ease of use, security, reliability they really are different. Most consumers do not have their own IT department that can smooth over the rough spots that come with using Windows systems.

          1. klahanas often makes the point that Apple acts as the IT department, and that’s a terribly bad thing. But that’s not quite right, what Apple is doing is obviating the IT department, making computing devices which are more and more like appliances, empowering the consumer to simply use the device to get things done.

            I think computing devices should be appliances (simple, easy to use, curated, integrated). But that is anathema to many in the nerd crowd (I don’t mean ‘nerd crowd’ in a derogatory way, it’s just an easy shorthand for those that want to tinker, futz with their tech, etc). Again, back to a point I made earlier, if Apple started doing the things the nerd crowd demands, my experience would suffer, I would be harmed. How is that okay? The answer is of course that it is not okay. But there’s a failure within the nerd crowd to truly grok that many, many, many people don’t want the same things they want.

            In many ways, the ideology of open! when it comes to computing is treated like a civil right by this nerd crowd. I get the sense that the open! folks feel they are entitled to free and open platforms (from all companies) where they can do anything they want. I own the device! It’s mine! I paid for it! I can do whatever I want whenever I want! No one can tell me what to do or exert any control, that would be wrong!

            Well, these same people benefit from the Rule of Law, property rights, environmental regulations, highway and traffic rules, consumer protection laws, the list is pretty much endless. We live our first world lives within closed and regulated systems. And yet none of the open! crowd complains that they are not allowed to drive their SUV on the sidewalk (I paid for the SUV! I can do anything I want with it!). Indeed we hear no complaints about the closed, curated systems that benefit them in their daily lives. It is only when it comes to computing, and especially when it comes to Apple, that we hear the cries of open! choice! freedom! Put simply, it is hypocrisy.

          2. IT locks down options. Good design eliminates choices and the cognitive burdens associated with them. They’re on opposite sides of the spectrum, but Klahanas thinks they’re one and the same because he — like most geeks — wants to make all the choices himself.

          3. Yes, and my larger point is that there are so many other areas where he and others in that crowd have no problem at all with choices being made for them, because it *benefits them*.

          4. Also, it should be noted that as Apple makes products more appliance like people who are the “nerd crowd” loose out as their world has been built up to be experts and be important. The less people need to consult with them it is a blow to their self esteem. They can not have that so they attack any advancements that make things better for everyone. Sort of like back at the beginning of the industrial revolution where machines started to replace human labor. People where being replaced but most of us are better for it.

            As for choices being made for the “nerd crowd”, you are spot on. So many things we do there is an illusion of choice but we live where we do with the laws that we do because anarchy is not what most people want. Plus we have seen that people like smart curation. Just have a look at the popularity of shopping malls over main/high streets. The stores there do a better job serving the market than what you get on most main/high streets. Not only are they normally air conditioned but because it is private property you can keep out the bums and keep the place clean. The thing is that shopping malls do not mean that there will not be any main/high street shops left or that the shopping malls are outlawing stores elsewhere.

          5. Art, Do not be afraid. It is a good thing. The another example would be of a gated community. Some people like to live there as it makes them feel safer. I do not think we should outlaw them just because they keep out the annoying solicitors that I am sure would love to try and sell the people who live there junk door to door. The point is that people who can afford it should be allowed to have an option for a better ecosystem than those that can not.

          6. I’m not even sure about the affordable part. Some people seem to have a rabid dislike for anything apple, but I’m sure mostly it’s just ignorance or gullibility in believing that what they’re sold is as good as or allegedly cheaper than the original. Remember, cheap is best, except when it isn’t.

          7. IT departments decide on what hardware and applications the user gets. IT departments also decide whether certain websites are filtered or not, whether users can use thumbdrives, etc. This removes choice and cognitive burdens too. The difference is that IT owns the devices, so I can’t really object to them.

          8. You can’t drive an SUV on the sidewalk because it’s the law, a higher power than a company. Your SUV is perfectly capable of driving on the sidewalk. It’s the law that prevents it.

            As far as computers being tools for the mind, I agree that open! is a civil right.

          9. You’ve missed that the law flows from a need to provide order within a system which in turn benefits the community. As I said, folks like you are just fine with closed and regulated systems when they benefit you, and against them when they get in your way.

          10. With all due respect, the law is a higher level of order. One that arises by democratic means, and that is subject to Constitutional oversight. To suggest that acceptance of the law, as compared to corporate fiat is “flip-flopping” is blatantly inaccurate.

            When unjust laws exist, you should see the noise I make then…

          11. Again, you’re missing that I’m not actually talking about the law. You are simply attempting to rationalize your obvious hypocrisy by inventing higher and lower levels of order, distinguishing between just and unjust rules. Of course your hypocrisy is only human, we are selfish creatures led by bias. The goal is to become aware of this. You do not seem to be.

          12. You most certainly brought up the law as restrictions that I’m willing to accept, yet I won’t accept Apple’s.

          13. A specific law was but one example. The reality is that you accept and benefit from literally thousands of rules and restrictions in myriad forms in your daily life, we live within closed and regulated systems that deliver value to us as individuals and to the community as a whole. But you pick and choose (as humans do) which rules to rebel against when they do not benefit you personally. You also fail to grasp that the rules you seek to change in order to benefit you personally would actually do harm to others. Your self-absorbed human nature makes it difficult for you to see this, let alone admit the truth of it. Perhaps one day you will become aware of this, but today you are not ready.

          14. And among computers available to the general public Apple’s devices are the most restrictive. Other devices are not as restrictive. Apple is not immune to scrutiny and criticism.

            Yes, this is a personal matter, that’s human nature. That should really not matter to you. I’m not advocating what you should be allowed to do on your device, but you’re sure willing to support policies that restrict what I can do on mine. I guess I don’t have an exclusive on hypocrisy.

          15. “I’m not advocating what you should be allowed to do on your device”

            Yes you are, and as I said you are not ready to see the truth of this.

            “among computers available to the general public Apple’s devices are the most restrictive”

            For you personally, this is true, the rules and restrictions within the systems Apple provides do not align with your personal needs. But again you fail to understand that there is a very strong argument to be made that what Apple is providing is the most accessible and empowering, the least restrictive. It is restrictive in a narrow way that does not benefit you personally, but from a wider perspective Apple makes computing devices and systems that move an entire industry forward, making that power more open and accessible to a far larger audience. Your anger and your bias does not allow you to see this, or accept it.

          16. “Yes you are, and as I said you are not ready to see the truth of this.”

            If Apple permitted software installation from other sources, I would be making you use those other sources?

            If I wanted to run Java applets, or gasp, Flash, I would force you to use them?

            If developers wanted to code in their language of preference, and sell them outside the App Store, you would be forced to use them?

            You could still buy exclusively from the App Store and have things exactly as you have them now.

            If Apple included access to the file system, or SD cards, I would be forcing you to use it? If Apple sold models that included them, would I force you to buy them?

            Yet you support the exclusion of things I (and others) may want.

          17. Everything you list here changes the system and impacts the system to varying degrees. There’s no question that this would change and harm my user experience in many ways. You seek to add complexity to a system that strives for simplicity, it is impossible that this will not alter the system as a whole. As I’ve already said, you want these changes implemented because they benefit you personally (and because you are angry about some of these issues), but you are making a very incorrect assumption that these changes will have no impact on other users. Or you don’t care. It’s one or the other. Indeed, your desire for complexity, while good for you, will certainly make the system more restrictive for many others. You seem to be unaware of this and are simply focused on a subset of restrictions that affect you.

          18. You see… I could agree with you, sort of, if these things were mutually exclusive. I don’t believe that they are. If Apple is as good as they say they are, they could address them. I believe they choose not to address them in order for them to maintain control (IT dept.).

          19. Your anger and bias are a large part of why you hold these incorrect beliefs.

          20. If you mean my bias for self determination and control of my own property, then yes, guilty as charged.

          21. That is not your bias, since we have already determined that you relinquish both when it benefits you personally. We all do this, you are not exempt.

          22. We have not determined anything. If I abide by something it’s either the law, or I don’t care, or I agree with it. You know, choice.

            The last thing I abided by that was not in those categories was the 2009 MBsemiPro I bought. But I gave that to my wife, who doesn’t care.

          23. This is getting tedious. It is obvious that you are fully immersed in the illusion that you are somehow unique and exempt from the myriad rules and restrictions that govern our lives. As I said before, you are not ready to have this conversation.

          24. Anarchists are a worry. Like children throwing tantrums…no no no no, you can’t make me. I hate you. Go away.
            Little grasp of consequences or the future.

        2. “Apple takes the other tack”

          See one of my replies to qka above, in which I suggest that in some ways Apple’s (in)famous preference for ditching legacy support was about making a virtue of necessity. Now that they are no longer so understaffed, and have partnered with the largest CPU maker in the world, I wouldn’t be surprised if we started to see them begin to support old Mac hardware for longer periods of time.

      4. “The problem with Apple’s “long tail” is that they insist on chopping it off after a few years.”

        Apple didn’t twirl their moustache while chortling about how they were going to screw their customers by forcing them all to upgrade. They were forced to change CPU architectures, twice (Motorola > PPC, then PPC > Intel) Both times, it was because as a tiny company with tiny market share, they did not have the buying power to force their CPU supplier to create a more modern, faster CPU with backwards compatibility. Only by jumping ship to a different CPU architecture made by a different company could they deliver the faster, more capable computers that their customers were demanding.

        In between those two CPU changes, they changed their underlying OS architecture. Again, this wasn’t by choice. Their customers were demanding a modern 32 bit OS with proper memory management and proper protected multitasking, where one crashed app would not bring down the entire system. The only way to deliver that was to switch to an entirely different OS.

        True, Apple did stop shipping the OS 9 emulator after OS 10.4 and they stopped shipping the PPC emulator after 10.6. (I don’t know when they stopped including 68040 emulation). One view is that that’s because they’re a company that is always looking forward, a company that would rather deliver secure, simple, robust solutions than a fragile collection of shims and hacks designed to be backwards compatible to the beginning of time. I’m sure that’s part of it.

        But another aspect to their decisions is, I think, that they again didn’t really have much choice. Back in 2005-6 Apple was still a small company with a limited number of programmers. They were constantly robbing talent from one project to enable another one to get finished on time. Maintaining the OS 9 emulator took manpower that they didn’t have to spare, and as soon as their market research showed that OS 9 apps were no longer being used very much, they pulled it. As for Rosetta being pulled from Lion, Rosetta was never an Apple technology — it belonged to Transitive, and Apple was merely licensing it. Then Transitive was bought by IBM, who were only interested in using the technology in-house and pulled it from the market. When Apple’s license ran out, they had no choice about pulling it from Lion.

    3. I agree that privacy and security are going to be key for some, especially education, business and government, but don’t discount what Google is doing. Their machine learning is impressive and we’re entering unchartered waters. Who know where they may take us next.

      1. I’ll believe it when I see it. Sure Google could deliver better privacy and security, but they are not aligned with the end user and make most of their money gathering and selling user data for advertising. I don’t think it’s reasonable to expect a non-hardware solution to match a hardware solution in this arena. But I suppose Google could do something that plugs in to other hardware, in a modular way. I have to think that will always be behind though. How can you beat vertical integration on this front? I don’t see it. But you are correct that Google could completely surprise me a few years from now. I just don’t think it’s likely.

        1. I’m not arguing that Google will provide better privacy and security. That runs counter to their business model. I’m arguing that Google will provide us with better solutions that rely upon machine learning and we still don’t know what many of those solutions will be.

          The might be glorious. They’ll come at a price, of course. But still glorious.

          1. Ah, I get it, something compelling enough that I’ll trade some measure of privacy/security for it. Possible.

          2. There already is a schism between Android users and iOS users. I think that schism is going to grow even wider. Google will know all about you. And that’s both good and bad. Apple will know nothing about you but will act as your respectful servant. The two very different approaches will appeal to two very different kinds of people. And it will be fun to see what paths they take us on.

          3. I agree. If the demographics keep steady it will be the middle to upper class people who will chose Apple’s products including iOS and you will see everyone else choose Android and Windows in the consumer space. So it really will come down to the case that privacy and security will be things that not everyone gets to have as the cost will be outside the reach of many users.

          4. To say that Apple know nothing about you is laughable.
            Apple know as much about you as Google

            They know your name, address. Credit card number where you are go and often go when you use your iPhone or you Mac
            Your movies music taste what kind of app you download what king of game you play etc..

            The only difference between them and Google is that they do not know how to use these information to make money as much as Google does

          5. “Apple know as much about you as Google” – Kenny

            And black is white and up is down. If that’s the premise upon which you wish to build your argument upon, Kenny, there is simply no point having a discussion. I’d rather discuss something more plausible like whether the world is flat or round.

            “You can’t reason someone out of something they weren’t reasoned into.” ~ Mark Twain

          6. Then maybe you can just answer this question for me then i can make my case.

            Do Apple has access to all this information on its users?

            your name, address. Credit card number where you are go and often go when you use your iPhone or you Mac Your movies music taste what kind of app you download what king of game you play etc..

      2. Yes. Google is an amazing company run by some really smart people. I am glad that they are trying various different things and not just sticking to search. Some things like Google Glass I think they released way to soon and have harmed part of the small but growing wearable industry but others I am looking forward to such as the self driving car and Google Internet (LOON & Fiber) as they will better for us all.

        In the case of Google Internet I look forward to them continuing their rollout as they will provide an alternative to the duopoly that the Telco’s and Cableco’s are providing that will be better not only for the speeds but also because they are not going to be screwing around with the peering/routing of your data and forcing companies to pay extortion money to gain access to their customers. Money that we are finding out now is not enough in the Verizon FIOS/Netflix case. Also their set top boxes are supposed to have a much better user interface along with offering better options for voice. So I look forward to changing to them as soon as I can.

        For the self driving car. I know that it would be awesome to just set my destination in on Waze or Google Maps and have the car drive me there. For the times when you are tired or you are stuck in commute traffic it would help reduce stress a lot as I could see it being safer as well.

  3. Capabilities are converging, interfaces are not. Today you run the same app on iPhone and iPad, but with two different interfaces. I could see running it on Mac also, with a third interface. But merging isn’t quite the right word for this, because they aren’t becoming the same, just doing the same things.

    1. True! I think that what is merging is data portability. So any device, any platform is what is going to be important to many people. A good example of this is Evernote. You can use it on the web, Windows, Mac OS X, iOS, Android, BlackBerry and others I am sure. With each platform you have different tools to access the same data depending on what is possible with the platform but the data is the same.

      1. “I think that what is merging is data portability.” – Brian M. Monroe

        I think you could call this merging, but I think it’s more accurate to think of it as data flowing from device to device precisely when one needs. it. That is, metaphorically, more like a river (flow) than a lake (merge).

        1. You are correct! The data will be there no matter what device or system you are on at the time you need it with minimal delay. To take it one step further I can see a day where our apps flow with us as well. The apps will be native to their platforms and take advantage of the latest APIs. I am not in the camp that says we ever will have a write once and run anywhere model for these apps. If we have learned anything from history that model has failed many times over. Of course that is all potentially in the future. I am happy that at least now the data can be with us at all times.

    2. Many (but not all) jobs that we could only previously do with our PCs, we can now do with our tablets and smartphones. For some jobs, we can do them better. And much of the data that we could only previously access and process with our PCs, we can now access and process with our tablets and smartphones.

      But our tablets and smartphones have also opened up many many new jobs that we could not do with our PCs, and have created much new useful data that we did not have with just our PCs.

      1. “our tablets and smartphones have also opened up many many new jobs that we could not do with our PCs” – Mark Jones

        So true. When Microsoft and others put down the tablet and talk about “real” work, what they usually mean is “work that can be done on a traditional PC”. But this is like saying that a hammer can do “real” work and a screwdriver cannot. Work is defined by the user — by the job to be done — and as you point out in your comment, users have discovered all sorts of jobs that can be done with their phones and their tablets that could never have been done on a PC. And that’s as “real” as “real” work gets.

        1. I agree. I think that what gets overlooked in this discussion from the traditional PC vendors is that mobility, touch, security and the explosion in sensors there are jobs that could never be done on a traditional PC. The reason they put down tablets and smartphones is that it threatens their business model as the new technology highlights the areas where traditional PCs are weak. Places PC just can not go or even if they could go would be the wrong tool for the job.

        2. Isn’t this “real work” bs just desperate marketing that appeals to the self righteous? Or maybe only self delusional. I always imagine “real work” as making rather than talking (memos, presentations, blah, blah, blah, buzz words).

  4. As I read the many comments to my article I am again struck by the quality of those comments. We have any amazing community here at tech pinions and I feel both proud and fortunate to be a part of it.

    1. I agree. We do have a number of smart and thoughtful people who are a part of the regular Tech.pinions community. This is one of the many reasons why it is a site that I visit daily. Just as long as the trolls are kept at bay it will continue to be a great site.

      1. Hopefully my random outbursts are not too troll(y) in light of the overwhelming quality of discussion at TP. I come here to get away from the brain numbing stupidity of most other forums but sometimes get a bit wound up when those people start their shticks here as well.

    2. I would also add a great string of articles from the contributors, all of them. Not a bad one in the bunch. I don’t think anyone else is covering the tech topics of the day in quite the same way. I extend that to the podcasts, too, as someone who is not a big podcast fan. Some of the highest quality writing around makes it easier to attract quality comments. Nicely done everyone.


  5. Another benefit Apple has in making several device types, and to be enhanced with “continuity” is the fact that they can sell / cross-sell multiple devices to each person or family. Where’s the money in making hybrid devices, especially when for probably 80% of the world’s population, a tablet is all they ever need.

  6. Every time I read one of John Kirk’s articles (and I haven’t for a long time), I imagine him sitting at a computer, sweating feverishly, shouting obscenities and throwing his own feces at a poster of Bill Gates in between bouts of typing.

  7. For Microsoft, merging Nokia with themselves looks like merging every platform into one. It is just that it is not obvious to others about the way those who run Microsoft think.

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