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As I write this, Google is being investigated by the DoJ for antitrust violations that make Microsoft's actions look trivial by comparison. It took Microsoft over a decade to exhibit the type of behavior that Google is now engaged in, which increasingly seems to favor cash over conscience. In terms of its non-economic goals, history may view Google as a failure. Just as not making a difference is defining Apple and not getting the new market is defining Microsoft, being evil is likely to define Google. In all of these cases, I don't expect a great outcome.
The departure of Mr Gates makes the subject of Microsoft's being unable to adapt to the cloud very interesting. Over the last thirty years, Microsoft has continuously been able to reinvent itself, in spite of its size. At least a part of that ability was Bill's status inside the organisation which enabled him to prevent internal politics from stopping the reinvention process.
To my mind, a question that is at least as interesting as whether Microsoft understand the cloud is whether, if they do, they are in a position to change themselves enough to take advantage of it.
This guy is the absolute worst when it comes to reporting on technology. He is so off base I am so sick and tired of his inaccurate information. Funny thing is he gets it wrong every single time. I have followed Apple and his demeaning comments over the years and nothing he states has any significant value to the reader other than how bias he really is. A total loser! Jack-ass, It's sugared water not colored water! Apple did change the world. They mainstream the idea that individuals can have a personal computer in the home or business. Apple mainstream the idea of a Graphical User Interface. They brought music to the 21st century. Who makes CDS when you have an iPod? The iPhone, The AppStore it goes on and on. If they didn't change anything then why is Microsoft and countless others trying to replicate it?
Google is amazing as a company. They think outside the box and that comes within from individuals who push innovation at Google. They are not Evil?! Where the hell did you get that from? Cloud computing, improving search, GoogleTalk, YouTube, and the list goes on. Most use Google because they enjoy what they provide.
Microsoft well they need to focus. They need to stop worrying about everyone else and focus on what they do well.
You are so far gone you JUST DON'T GET IT! Please do us all a favor and STOP writing this crap. You are DUST under a rug. Dirty and forgettable!
Rob I think you've lost your bearings and possibly your mind.
Apple's iPhone is probably the most important game-changing device to have been introduced since the PC. The company is very clear that their mission it to develop great products and bring them to market. Steve Jobs is my hero. He's surrounded himself with a great management team and they'll carry the torch. Steve's only major screwup was putting Al Gore on the Board of Directors. Why would he want that bozo on the board?
Microsoft is not becoming IBM. That's an insult to IBM. Microsoft is evil and has been for many years. Watch Larry Ellison as he tells it like it is http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ssX4RL24HT4
Google is bringing us the world's information in searchable form. That's a great public service. Google is not evil. Watch founder Larry Page's commencement address at the University of Michigan (http://tinyurl.com/cjwd8b).
Who is this guy and does he get paid for writing this stuff? A little fact checking might be in order. I feel ashamed even responding to the drivel in this article ...it, and most of what the author opines, is insignificant at best.(my being here has probably generated ad revenue, which is what this column in all about anyway. I'm so ashamed for contributing to that)
Lastly its the market which decides , whether these products make a difference. Ex-so why was LG prada not successful!!
Mr.Enderle, so please can you clear what exactly is tectonic or create a difference in the world. One needs to create a tectonic shift to understand one. If you say apple has not created one you must be kidding. they have created some breakthrough products all along. Whether it was Mac,or the Ipod or the i Phone. If these are products which are not making a difference in the world?? what on the earth they are. also critics like you need to be objective. instead of plainly criticizing its important you appreciate each company for their contribution Apple for breakthrough technologies, Microsoft for democratizing GUI,google for search engine .
Please look at yourself in the mirror before giving incisive views!!
I've been writing software and reading about computers and tech for over 25 years. I've never read anyone, over that entire period of time, who is/was as consistently clueless as Enderle. That's saying something, because there are a half-dozen boobs out there vying for his slot. Some have given up, and some have died, but Enderle lives on and does what it takes to lead the pack of clueless morons.
Perhaps some optimism, enthusiasm and creativity of thought would be appropriate in the current climate, and not this depressing, trivial, mediocre drivel which you audaciously pass off as newsworthy commentary.
You might want to think about leading by example. It is rare that a post embodies so many things that is appears to be complaining about.
This is the first time that I've ever commented on an article like this.. Normally the pain of having to register in order to post a comment is not at all worth the effort. Today I feel entirely differently. After reading this article I do not think that Rob Enderle could be more incorrect regarding his comments on Apple. How many times does Apple need to change the world to shut you up exactly? How could you possibly say that the iPod was Apple's only world changing product? Was the Macintosh not a world changing event in 1984? Is giving Microsoft a run for their money not a world changing event? How about OS X scaring the crap out of Microsoft? Was the iPhone not a world changing event? Breaking into the cell phone industry so late in the game is next to impossible for every other phone manufacturer, so of course when Apple knocks it out of the park with the iPhone and gains more market share than any newcomer to the industry and you call it a failure? Don't believe I saw lines out the door weeks after RIMM introduced their last phone. And I don't frankly understand why your article digresses towards helping children and Al Gore? Seriously - Don't ding the company for not doing what isn't in their business plan. Apple's stock would probably tank anyway if they announced that they had partnered with Al Gore to make their product solar - dumb idea.. And your comments regarding being dragged kicking and screaming by Greenpeace - well granted Apple was trailing the industry in terms of making their products green, but is there any denying that they are now an industry leader? It's not like Apple took some half-assed approach to getting Greenpeace to quiet down. Get your crap together Rob - Apple is one of the most successful companies in tech right now and has been for quite some time. They have changed the way that consumers think about what a tech product should be and how it should work. They are constantly changing the terms of the game and the rest of the industry is forced to follow where they go. Apple is changing the world everyday!
Yes back in 1984, over two decades ago, Apple tried and failed to make a difference. The market went on to become dominated by Microsoft making Bill Gates the richest man in the world and the leading philanthropist. Even the concept of all-in-one computers which Apple later revisited never took on broadly and, according to the most recent consumer reports, Apple no longer even makes the best one of those.
Currently Google is heavily involved in digitizing the world, smart grid, and energy independence. If they operate to plan they will shortly be one of the greenest companies that has ever existed. That too is changing the world.
Products come and go. We are a fickle race. What was the hot phone before the iPhone? What was the hot music player before the iPod? The last consumer electronics company to truly make a difference was RCA and they gave us most of what Apple is now living on. But changing the world means making some kind of lasting impact. Google has done more to do that in the last several years than Apple has since its beginning and yet, with Steve Jobs, Apple has had a greater voice. What if it were used for selling something other than the digital equivalent of colored water?
Now I agree the iPhone, which was largely a copy of the LG Prada (better copy but a copy none the less), changed the way people thought about the cell phone. But the Mac changed the way folks thought about the PC and yet Microsoft benefited from the change and with the smart phone Google is about to do a Microsoft repeat.
Look at Apple, their ads look like a desperate case of PC entry. Their response to the Palm Pre is to threaten litigation. This isn't a company making a difference it is a company trying desperately to hold on to markets that will eventually move on. I think Apple can be more than that. I think every company should strive to be more than that.
You seem to be happy with the way things are, let's chat again in a few years. I'd still like to see Apple, Microsoft and even Google become what they still could become.
Mr. Enderle, how are you able to do it? Every time I read something "new" from you about Apple I am astonished and think it impossible you could be more wildly incorrect, but here you are again with this. Not only are your Apple comments preposterous, you do about as good a job at obscuring reality with your Microsoft and Google insights. Is it possible you can be so wrong you are "not even wrong" about everything in the tech industry? Amazing.
I doubt you are disagreeing with the facts; Apple does only dominate the MP3 space after all.
But what does "making a difference" mean to you? When Bill Gates wanted to make a difference he left Microsoft to do it and he made sure there were folks to take his place when he left. Steve has the potential to make a real difference in the world and yet seems satisfied with less. Much of what Apple has done was actually reused and improve on the ideas of others. The UI and mouse came from Xerox, the iPhone from LG, the iPod from Portal Player etc. Taking someone else's idea and making it better is Microsoft's thing and currently Apple's ad campaign seems to be largely PC envy based.
I think Apple can be better than this. But, it is hard to respond when you aren't very specific about what you are disagreeing with. I think Apple could actually change the world, right now they are setting up for another slide into oblivion. I'd rather not see that again.
I completely disagree with the premise of the article. Here's first -- Mr Enderle is hugging the potty of early years of Steve Jobs, Bill Gate and Googlers. What they thought when they started is a misnomer. Every company emerges when they face the reality. Think about companies who did not transform? Auto industry anyone?
The second one is the hallucinating belief of "Author" in "changing the world". These three firms have actually changed the shape of the world -- made it flatter, faster, beautiful, easier, search-able, etc. If I compare my life from the previous generation, I won't complain about Apple, Microsoft or Google.
Specifically to Apple, not being able to see what Apple changed is myopia here. Apple changed the mindset completely. Apple changed how music industry operated. Apple changed the way Telcos were screwing its OEM and consumers altogether and Google helped the cause. Apple changed the trends in movies (remember Pixar?). Apple changed the way others were subsidizing hardware for software. Apple created a new norm for "experience".
Now if you want to believe in "changing the world" as changing the energy dependence, world hunger and bringing Africa on the world map, that's completely different topic. But in that list Apple, Google, or Microsoft will surface at the very bottom.
You probably shouldn't use comparisons you don't understand. The car companies, for the most part, were started by people who loved cars. Over the decades they were taken over by unions and finance types. Take a look at the wonderful cars that came out in the 20s that are worth Millions today and ask yourself if there is anything Apple is building that will have that kind of lasting impression. What is an original Mac worth? How about an original iPod? Tech just doesn't last like that and most cars don't either anymore. I don't think that was a change for the better. The History of William C. Durant http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_C._Durant (founder of GM) is worth studying and it is to point. He was amazing at the start, got too involved with making money, and ended up running a bowling alley. But, without him there never would have been a GM.
In this instance my premise is that every one of these firms anticipated and then either forgot, or (in the case of Google) is forgetting the one thing that could assure its continued success. In Apple's case it is making a difference, in Microsoft's it is remembering their model and not following IBM, and in Google's it was dominance without being evil. That evil thing bit Microsoft and it will likely bite Google much harder.
Pepsi and Coke changed the soft drink industry as well, but that wasn't the change Steve Jobs was talking about otherwise John might as well have stayed with Pepsi. I'm pretty sure he didn't mean, leave soda pop and come over and make MP3 players or even shiny new phones that are great game and TV players.
I think every firm should, from time to time, look back and remember what they once intended to be. Probably good advice for people too.
Must have been a slow weekend and you hit the colored water much to much. A couple of cute analogies a story do not make.