Dojo (HowTo)







  Easter Eggs




  Martial Arts

RE:ABC News and Fred Moody
Talk about revisionist history!

By:David K. Every
©Copyright 1999

Another author is at it -- revising history and not checking the facts!

ABC News: Apple's Slide started with Jobs by Fred Moody

Let us break down another article... from the top!

The joke circulating around Silicon Valley -- that the next CEO for Apple Computer is to be Dr. Jack Kevorkian -- is more apt than even its progenitors realize. History will show that the demise of Apple was self-inflicted almost from the company's beginnings.

Considering that I, and others like me, make our livelihoods based on the Mac; I find this joke about as amusing as listening to a KKK members telling jokes about Blacks or Jews. The problems with Apple are more the fault of these ignorant people and their misinformation (wrapped in these jokes) rather than any real problems with Apple. History will show this is not "apt," just revisionist history.

Apple began its long decline from dynamo to dinosaur back in the days when co-founder Steve Jobs was still running the company.

As much as I do not like some of Jobs "quirks", this comment is ridiculous. This company was the one that lead us into the GUI in the first place, and it went from about $1 Billion / year in sales (back then), to over $12 Billion / year in sales. The doesn't sound like descending into the abyss. (Apple's revenues have come down a tad since the press has been bashing them with articles like this, and since they have expanded their market with clones).

Byte Magazine and others tech journals still point out that the Mac is far ahead of Windows in most ways -- but that doesn't stop the clueless journalists from writing such drivel.

I would love to know how Apple having; machines faster than the rest of the industry, a better GUI, better plug & play, and leaping into and Object Oriented Operating System (which MS will copy in another decade) is a "Dinosaur?" I suspect ol' Fred would come up with some comment like, "Hey, it's just a joke".

It certainly looks as if Jobs himself is betting on the fall rather than the revival of Apple. Shortly after the company brought him back as a consultant and granted him 1.5 million shares of Apple stock he sold it all.

I have seen no proof or conformation of this, just speculation -- so far it is innuendo. More than that, it is irrelevant -- Steve Jobs may just be playing hard-ball to gain MORE control (by pretending he doesn't want influence unless they give him complete control). Speculating on Steve's motives is silly.

The author also failed to point out is that last time Steve Jobs sold his stock (1985), Apple's stock value doubled over the next 2 years, which cost Jobs a few hundred million dollars (had he been patient). So I wouldn't put much value in Steve's stock tips.

When Apple came out with the easy-to-use Macintosh in 1984, the computer industry was at a crossroads. Either it could go down the path designed by Apple, or it could go down the far less exciting path designed by IBM and a growing cadre of clone-makers.

Interesting spin. IBM PC's had ALREADY dominated the marketplace, because they had been making machines for 3 years. Macs went from 0% market share in 1984, to the 6-10% of the market that they hover at now. Analysts and authors predicted the Mac would be a failure from day-1. The Mac grew to a $15 Billion a year industry (estimated). Seems like a lot of people followed the Mac path.

Jobs and his managers believed that their technology was so far superior to their competition's that customers would eagerly patronize a monopoly rather than a marketplace offering them an array of competing products at competitive prices.

The author spins like a top! 50 Million+ people use Macs, I would say that many eagerly patronized Apple. The fact that people didn't pay more up front, but save money on the lifetime costs of the computer, only reflects on their intelligence, or lack there-of. (It has been proven many times that lifetime costs of ownership for Macs are far less than PC's -- even if initial costs are a tad more).

Macs have also had competitive prices with name brand PC's, they have just been a tad more expensive than the no-name clones. However, last I checked, Apple was a name brand. In fact, the Mac of 1984 cost about 1/2 of what the IBM-PC XT cost.

While IBM, by licensing its Hardware design to competitors, allowed its side of the market to flood the world with computers whose prices were kept low by competition, Apple chose a proprietary path, locking out other hardware makers so it could keep its prices and profit margins high.

Apple did have high profit margins at the time. So did IBM, Compaq, and others. Of course IBM never licensed their hardware design -- it was ripped off.

Technically IBM licensed the card design so that others could make cards for their machine, and their hardware was not a protected design -- but their BIOS was protected and was NOT licensed. You could not just make a PC. The ROM (BIOS) was REVERSE engineered -- meaning copied against their will. IBM was not a party to that. It was years before cloners copied it well enough that they could say "100% compatible". If IBM was licensing (like Apple does), then they would have started "100% compatible".

So the whole premise is wrong. In 1987 (roughly) IBM tried to license the hardware for the first time, with the PS/2's, it was a flop. Also at that time IBM tried to charge people for previously taking their design against their will! They even had an "amnesty" program. Sounds like IBM was not "licensing" as openly as the revisionists remember -- IBM felt it was stolen.

You could always buy non-name brand rip-offs of the PC on the cheap -- or you could buy name brand machines in the PC market (like IBM or Compaq) that usually cost MORE than the Macs. Apple is a name brand with a lot of overhead -- they priced accordingly. Millions bought Macs, and more would still be happily buying them.

Go into a computer store and ask purchasers about Apple. Most people will come back with the comment, "Oh, they are dead". THAT is why people aren't buying Macs, because the press is scaring off the customers. It is modern day consumer McCarthyism and Salem witch trials combined into one! The technology and marketing is not the issue, it is that consumer confidence has disappeared from Apple BECAUSE the press keeps defrauding the public with their scare tactics and misinformation... like this article.

Inexorably, throughout the late 1980s, Apple lost market share as its technical lead over IBM-compatible machines shrunk, and the gap in cost between expensive machines and cheap PCs grew ever wider.

Interesting since Macs went from 0% of the marketplace up to almost 20% marketshare during the 80's!

Now it has one foot in the mass grave already occupied by Wang, Beta Max and a host of other determinedly proprietary companies.

Ignoring the childish cliche's that show a lack of understanding of our marketplace, I wouldn't bury Apple just yet. They sold over $9 Billion in computers last year, and the clone market is thriving. Some grave! Apple has also been openly licensing for years, and Apple problems did not come until AFTER the press decided to take it upon themselves to run garbage, misinformed, bias and error ridden articles (like this one) on a near weekly basis. If the press would let the consumers decide, I think things would be fine. Its like the doctor standing on the patients chest, and claiming the patient can't breathe!

In the end, The Death of Apple will be a business story rather than a technology story.

The Macs still lead in technology, and OpenStep (the basis of Rhapsody) is still years ahead of anything Microsoft has. So if it were about technology (and not misinformation), then you would know that Apple is not dead yet, and Mac users are still rewarded (financially and emotionally) for using their brains, instead of following herders like the author.

Fred Moody is author of "I Sing the Body Electronic : A Year With Microsoft.

At least this guy is man enough to admit (in a round-about way) that he is completely biased and bases his career off of MS. That is better than most others "Journalists".

Fred should stick with things he knows, like brown-nosing Bill Gates and MS to get books written, instead of discussing computer history, which he has proven he knows NOTHING about!

Created: 07/16/97
Updated: 11/09/02

Top of page

Top of Section