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Jef Raskin: "Little Difference Between Using a Mac and Windows"

Jef Raskin: "Little Difference Between Using a Mac and Windows"

by , 1:45 PM EDT, October 21st, 2004

Jef Raskin is as rascally today as he was more than 20 years ago when he fought to get his idea for a new computer through Apple's management. That computer was the Macintosh, if not the Macintosh that was eventually brought to market, for Steve Jobs took over Mr. Raskin's project, and effectively pushed him out (for more on that history, we recommend Own Linzmayer's Apple Confidential 2.0 (US$13.97 - Amazon)).

Since then, Mr. Raskin has seldom held back when asked his opinion of things, and he has often been very critical of what his baby became. In an interview published on Thursday in UK newspaper the Guardian, Mr. Raskin lets forth his opinion yet again, saying that using a Mac is little different than using Windows. From the article:

Has this simplicity of design been key to the Mac's popularity?
Yes, but unfortunately, the Mac is now a mess. A third party manual (Pogue's The Missing Manual) is nearly 1,000 pages, and far from complete. Apple now does development by accretion, and there is only a little difference between using a Mac and a Windows machine.

[...]

And the iMac G5? Was the original iMac a step on the correct path?
The unfoldable portable-shaped box on a stalk? It is a practical and space-saving design. But the interface needs fixing. One only cares about getting something done. Apple has forgotten this key concept. The beautiful packaging is ho-hum and insignificant in the long run.

You can find the full review at the Guardian's Web site.

The Mac Observer Spin:

To paraphrase Senator Lloyd Benson: I know Mac OS X, and Windows is no Mac OS X. Seriously, we get that Mr. Raskin thinks that computing should be sheening off in new directions, but to say there is little difference between using the two platforms is delusional, at best.

We saw Mr. Raskin speak at Macworld Boston this past summer, and throughout the presentation that featured several Mac pioneers, Mr. Raskin seemed more jilted (and bitter) lover than the visionary he was when he first started working on the Mac.

That's not to say that his ideas have no merit, but denying reality in the pursuit of new ideas is hardly the best way to get folks to listen to you.

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