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Response to Red Herring
an appropriate name

By: George Edward Green III

Bill Gates founded Microsoft, a widely successful company, but really, who the heck cares?

That statement, as useless and pointless as it sounds, is identical in scope, and concept to an entire article recently posted at Red Herring - <>

The article is entitled, "Steve Jobs Rescued Apple-But The Point Is Moot".

The author makes broad claims with nary a single fact to back them up. Let's look at some high lights from this masterpiece exercise in assumption.

In his opening statements the author speaks of a dinner he had with a friend who was warming to Apple, now that they have addressed most of the issue that were literally killing them. The author states

"Alarmed, I phoned friends with ties to Apple. Was Bill's enthusiasm catching? In more measured tones, they indeed echoed Bill: Steve had saved Apple. Well, has he?"

So right off the author has established that he cannot open-mindedly look at the situation. He was alarmed that some might perceive Apple to not be dying and confused by why they might do so, as well as annoyed that anyone might. Perhaps this alone could explain why he would write this article, he doesn't like Apple, and cannot understand why anyone might perceive them as a good company, platform, or investment.

The author goes on to describe what Jobs has done,

"There is renewed affection for Apple's products -- Mr. Jobs's reforms have had their intended financial effect.... But somehow this all seems desultory, irrelevant, an afterthought. Who cares? Depending on how gloomy an analyst you talk to, Apple now has somewhere between 2.6 and 5 percent of the market for personal computers. Its annual sales have declined from a peak of $11.1 billion to $7.1 billion."

Who cares, he concludes?! A company that was a mere year ago bleeding money, and going through CEOs faster than I do brakes on my car, has turned the tide, released new innovative products, and declared profits for the last year strait that have consistently beat Wall Street estimates. Who cares? Well I'd hazard a guess that the folks running the company, shareholder in the company, Wall Street investors, and the persons buying those new products all care a great deal. They are making money, and benefiting from these new products. Who does not care? The author! He apparently has no interest in Apple, and therefore, on that alone, concludes that no one else could possibly do so. He ignore the reasons the industry has taken notice of these changes to instead proclaim that no one cares, when it truth merely he does not care. He of course, being a columnist for a not particularly noteworthy publication, shouting his divine opinion to the masses, and not offering a single logical reason why we should believe his claims. While one would be tempted to stop the awfulness here, we shall continue, in order to further try to understand this blather.

Next the author states,

"The Macintosh has become the Volvo of computers: expensive, stylish enough, surprisingly fast, and the choice of a small number of people (in the Mac's case, well-off consumers, graphic artists, and a few educators)."

Yes folks, the cheap iMac offering high performance at a price the consumer can afford is a Volvo -- probably to the same extent as the author is insightful, and logical. The author here has used a two-year-old piece of pop media truth to describe today's situation without so much as looking at the situation today. The Mac is FAR more popular in education than "a few educators." The fact is the Macintosh cost less to keep running, is easier to use, and has better educational software available. For that reason educators(slightly less than half the schools in America) choose the Macintosh. For very similar reasons, 15% of the people buying the iMac are new users, and 12% are converts from Windows machines.

Not only are Apple's new machines attracting Mac user, but they are also growing the marketshare, and CFO Fred Anderson, a man who, unlike the author, is both widely accepted as a source of good information and capable of forecasting this kind of information, predicts sequential growth in the coming year. In fact, the author's only beef seems to be that Apple's percentage of new computer sold is not equal to that of the WinTel platform. Even while that is already growing, the author does not acknowledge as much and overlooks the fact that all the examples he has cited are likely to cause that to occur. Sure right now, no one who would base their opinion purely on current marketshare is likely to consider Apple a threat. Unfortunately, this class of people includes few other than the author himself. Because of the changes that have happened at Apple, they are much more likely to be taking users from the WinTel platform for the near future. Companies like Dell are already providing their field reps with propaganda against Apple because they fear just this. As a company, they HAVE to see where Apple is going, and defends themselves against them. The author on the other hand just has to turn in a piece by five o'clock on Wednesday in order to get paid.


Through out this article the author has made wide assumption, and proclamations, and failed miserably to provide a shred of reason we could use to accept them as true. This is probably because they are all false interpretations, half truths, and blatant lies.

Why might the author have done this? Is he a good, smart guy trying to warn us of the vile media paying false mind to some aging company? Or is it more likely that the author comes from a time when Apple bashing was fashionable, and one didn't have to support their claims, as their readers likely held the same to be true? In short, the guy doesn't like Apple, he doesn't like other people liking Apple, and he has to turn in something to get paid.

A year ago, he could do this [trash Apple] and no one would so much as question him on any of these points. Now however, Apple has fixed the problems, and is now making innovative products and money in large quantities. Anyone looking to make money on stock, or buy a new innovative computer is looking at Apple with renewed interest, as they stand to benefit from "the new Apple." The author however benefited from the old Apple, as it meant he didn't have to work to write an editorial, he just threw some slurs down on the computer screen, and picked up his check at the end of the week. Because it was so easy to condemn people, a lot of so-called writers have had the opportunity to share their shortsighted evaluations publicly, and get paid for it. Those days are over though. Apple has changed what it was doing, and now criticizing Apple stupidity is much more difficult, as they are less stupid. Hence, articles condemning people who like the "new Apple" are no longer welcome, the vast majority of people think Apple is coming back, and that they will benefit from as much.

The author sadly is living in the past, and will likely continue to do so. Hopefully those who read his blather will get a chance to read my counter, and be able to avoid falling in line with his aging, and unsupported views. That is why I write about the computer industry, to help folks out who are less likely to come to the conclusion I do, because no one has felt like giving them the strait facts. I don't get a check at the end of the week, and therefore I'm less interested in writing crap that no one needs to hear, or will benefit from. I just wish people like the author in question could start doing that too.

Created: 11/16/98
Updated: 11/09/02

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