Why We Love Apple and Why Microsoft Does Wacky Things That Make us Sigh

| Particle Debris

Benjamin Disraeli said that the secret to success is constancy of purpose. That sounds easy at first until one is cast in a business environment where technology changes fast, there are serious conflicts between VPs and troublesome questions are raised by investors and the press.

"Here's to the cracy ones..." (Author's archive)

Often, constancy of purpose can come across as arrogance. It's all too easy to confuse the constant dedication to a sound principle by someone with the arrogance of believing that an opinion is more valid than the opinions of others. It's a shame that confusion like that occurs.

A business that makes nothing but money is a poor business. -- Henry Ford

Apple is very good at constancy of purpose. The corporate culture dwells deep in the psyche of every Apple employee, and the marketing communications department makes sure that Apple's philosophy and spirt of making only the best are maintained with constancy. In turn, the industrial design of products, as we know it from Jony Ive, instantiates the corporate mantra of simplicity, taste, elegance and class. Again, with constancy.

As a result, Apple has been richly rewarded by enthusiastic customers.

When companies depart from laudable principles, they can get into trouble. When everything revolves around simply making money and the decision of the moment caters to nothing else, there will be trouble. This is why we admire Tim Cook when he gets angry defending a principle. In previous times, Steve Ballmer merely shouted.

For the rudderless, the world seems cruel and buffeting. And when a company, like Microsoft, tries to cash in on loyalty that it thought it had, it finds that thanks to its own vagaries of principles, driven only by expediency, it just isn't there. For example, "Microsoft misjudges customer loyalty with kill-XP plea."

With that theme on my mind, I've been reading more and more by Ken Segall ever since I discovered him in Leander Kahney's book about Jony Ive. "Jony Ive: The Genius Behind Apple's Greatest Products." This week, Mr. Segall writes about: "Microsoft vs. Apple: the strategy gap." This article, while a bit lengthy, goes a long way towards explaining why we love Apple and why Microsoft does really wacky things that just make us sigh.

The juxtaposition of Microsoft's silly Windows XP misadventure and Apple's overall strategy explained by Mr. Segall are the clearest and most contrasting evidence yet of why Apple is on the rise and Microsoft is on the wane in mobility.

There's much, much more on this theme in the Tech News Debris that follows on page 2.

Comments

CudaBoy

  Nice spins…again. 90% of the world’s computing runs Windows, and iOS is 3rd in mobile OS’ yet we still puff our chests…..hmmmm.  But, we can count the massive amount of MONEY Apple has so the point here is convoluted.
  If the dream was to turn the great Computer Company Apple into a great mobile phone/tablet company then fine. Bully for phones.  I miss the days of innovation and design excellence - both of which are MIA in Apple for years now. The “spirt” (sic) of Ive’ imagination is clearly gone as witnessed by the competitions thinner yet bigger screened units with more features and double the battery length of iOS devices.
I won’t even go into the mess of the new Mac Pro even though I love the beast’ on paper. And why is there no “Print in 3-D” command in Mavericks yet? I remember when the Print command was in early Mac OS before we had home laser printers at all. I’m semi kidding of course but this is the vision Apple used to have -a step ahead, not playing catch-up with the nth version of the same old bricks. Plus, I guarantee you that that “Print in 3D” global command will be there within 2 years.

RonMacGuy

Thanks John.  Nice debris.  I especially like the link to Ballmer’s regrets.  All I can say is wow to these quotes:

“If you look at things in the last 10 years, I think it’s probably fair to say that there are things that did not go as well as we intended them to.”

“We would have a stronger position in the phone market today if I could redo, for example, the last ten years,” Ballmer added.

That second quote - I mean, really?  He sounds like a complete and utter idiot.  Um, yeh, my job was Chief ‘Executive’ Officer, and by the way, I would love a do over of the last 10 years…  Maybe I wouldn’t dance around on stage and chant like a moron or laugh at Apple’s gimmicky cell phone.  If I could have a do over, I’d actually look at the competition and decide how to counter what they were doing…  You know, actually be an executive…

Then he says, “I’m available to help if the company needs me in any way.”

LMAO - Um, thanks but no thanks.  Like to redo last 10 years - unbelievable.  LOSER!!

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