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Apples looking mighty lonely
Business Week article (2/3/97) by Peter Burrows -

By:David K. Every
©Copyright 1999

This article would be funny if it wasn't so tragically inept. It was edited by Larry Light - who should hide his head in shame. In fact Buisiness Week in general should send a written appology for allowing this article to taint their magazine. But given Buisiness Weeks record on trashing Apple, they may have encouraged such chaff.

The article tries to make a point that the Mac clone makers are trying not to be dependent on Apple anymore. However, that is the point of cloning in the first place. Clone makers want to do their own thing and add value. Apple wants more independence for the clone makers and more platform innovation - it sells OS licenses. The spin that Apple is being abandoned because the clone makers are adding value to the Mac market, makes no sense.

It goes on to say that these clone customers are looking at adding features. Well no duh! That is the point of being a computer manufacturer, you want to add value and differentiate your products, but this guy is trying to spin it such that this is somehow because of a failing of Apple - instead of a marketing altruism.

He goes on to make Power Computings' licensing of BeOS into something it isn't. Power Computing is perfectly willing to attract the hacker crowd and give them a sexy light-weight OS to dink with (like BeOS). But there is an implication by some of the most ignorant reporters that it is a threat (or competition) to the MacOS. though this is not directly stated in this article - just implied. Then there are references to others licensing the BeOS, and implying that it is somehow competition to the Mac. (Like implying at this point that Microsoft is threatened by Amiga sales). The reality is that BeOS is, at this point, a neat specialty / novelty that interests a few for the curiosity factor.

Then Peter goes on to say that - "The chip makers, for their part, say they're looking at licensing Intel's popular MMX multimedia technology". This guy is seriously implying that Motorola, IBM and Exponential are trying to license MMX? The whole point of MMX is to lock people into Intels proprietary instruction set, and to respond to the weaknesses of the Pentiums relative to PPC's. (See related articles on MMX). The PowerPC's already have a performance advantage over the MMX enabled Pentiums - so I don't see what licensing would do. When I spoke to people at Motorola and IBM (a while back) they were definitely not pursuing anything close - and said that their business was in making the best and fastest processors they could, and not getting distracted with proprietary multimedia extensions. Even if they were interested in such things, IBM has their superior (to MMX) multimedia extensions designed and implemented about 4 years ago on the Power architecture (from which the PowerPC's were derived) - why they would be considering looking elsewhere is beyond the rational.

Then Peter, who must be on some serious chemical enhancements, states that such a move "could hurt Apple", right before admitting that Apple says "its unaware of the partners plans but welcomes innovation". How it could possibly hurt Apple to have innovation that would sell more MacOS licenses and get more attention for the platform is left up to the readers imagination.

I must say I am impressed (with the stupidity of the article) - but that is probably not what Peter intended.

Created: 02/25/97
Updated: 11/09/02

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