Don't Sweat The Small Stuff - InformationWeek
IoT
IoT
Infrastructure // PC & Servers
Commentary
5/25/2005
06:33 PM
Patricia Keefe
Patricia Keefe
Commentary
50%
50%
RELATED EVENTS
Big Data at QVC: Where Entertainment Meets Retail
Aug 24, 2017
In this live radio show you will hear about what one modern entertainment and retail company, QVC, ...Read More>>

Don't Sweat The Small Stuff

Besides the obvious technical intrigue ignited by the potential for creating a whole new generation of 'Intel Inside' Macintosh hardware, recent reports of chip talks between Intel and Apple are a sign that maybe Apple hasn't taken its eye off the ball after all. I was beginning to wonder. The paranoid bunker mentality that sometimes envelopes Apple's leadership seemed to have intensified since January, evidenced in part by a string of p

Besides the obvious technical intrigue ignited by the potential for creating a whole new generation of 'Intel Inside' Macintosh hardware, recent reports of chip talks between Intel and Apple are a sign that maybe Apple hasn't taken its eye off the ball after all.

I was beginning to wonder. The paranoid bunker mentality that sometimes envelopes Apple's leadership seemed to have intensified since January, evidenced in part by a string of petulant tantrums.Is all the fussing and gnashing of teeth over unauthorized biographies, leaking product specs, and overeager Mac-enthusiast sites getting in the way of what's supposed to be Apple's core mission? Namely, the delivery of highly innovative, secure, well-designed technology? Reasons to be suspicious were starting to pile up.

Sure, Apple's had great success on the hardware end of things, pumping out new Mac servers and its mini computer to great reviews. It's enjoyed phenomenal success with the now-ubiquitous iPod. It even beat out Google in a survey on brand recognition, and its second-quarter numbers were fantastic.

But the picture has been a little less sunny on the software side. Yes, the new Tiger operating system was introduced to Grrrrr-eat reviews, but it's also required more than 20 patches between the Tiger operating-system client and server. The Panther operating system also required a 20-patch bandage, and there have been two cases of buggy iTunes. Great hardware is nothing without software. And it wont take you far without power. Last week, the vendor was forced to issue a recall for its lithium ion batteries used in three lapotop models.

The personification of prickly, Apple has never been an easy company to deal with, no matter what market segment was involved, from its historically unuser-friendly policies (locked-down hardware and a lack of expansion slots) to battles with its reseller channel to an obsession with secrecy that seems unmatched in the industry.

Most recently, Apple's crusty crankiness has manifested itself in a series of legal actions--against employees, Mac enthusiasts (you know, the pro-Apple people), and publishers of no doubt rehashed Steve Jobs bio material. (Is there really anything new to say about the Life of Jobs or the history of Apple?) And lets not forget the sniping match with environmental activists. All that spying by private eyes and courtroom bluster from attorneys adds up to big costs in time, money, and attention span. It's draining and exhausting. Fighting always is.

This is risky because while Apple rails against these curious infidels and traitors to the cause, the competition is quietly creeping up in the background. For example, the debut of Yahoo's Music Unlimited music-subscription service caused a ripple on Wall Street, impacting even Apples stock, while security experts are warning of an uptick of interest in the Mac among hackers and other cybervermin.

Maybe Apple's management should just consider letting go and laying back. You cannot stop the publication of most books, so why waste the time? All it accomplishes is free publicity for a topic you want to suppress. Mac enthusiasts in general, and the targeted sites in particular, are a good thing--even if they leak a story or two. They provide free, often adoring publicity and marketing to the perfect target audience--what's to complain about?

The company's time, energy, resources, and considerable determination would be best directed toward tightening up software quality-control processes and making sure the paths Apple blazed into personal and entertainment technology are not overrun, and overtaken, by the barbarians on the horizon. gearing up to storm Apple's gates.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
To learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
IT Strategies to Conquer the Cloud
Chances are your organization is adopting cloud computing in one way or another -- or in multiple ways. Understanding the skills you need and how cloud affects IT operations and networking will help you adapt.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll