Forbes on Apple's Success: It's the Software, Stupid

Thereis one main thing at the heart of Appleis success, according to Forbes magazineis Brian Caulfield, and if you think itis the companyis great industrial design, there should a loud buzzer sound going off near you. Instead, itis all about the software that runs in that hardware.

Mr. Caulfieldis observations, which we found to be poignant, came in a piece and slideshow looking at what Forbes thinks are the seven greatest innovations in Appleis history.

"Everywhere you turn this year, Appleis machines are on the march," wrote Mr. caulfield. "The common denominator? Software. While great industrial design always attracts gawkers, itis software that makes Appleis proliferating array of machines so comfortable to use on a long-term basis."

"Appleis best products," he wrote, "mix the curb appeal of a Lamborghini with easy-to-drive friendliness of a Honda Accord."

Mr. Caulfield also noted Appleis ability to make "the whole widget" -- i.e. controlling both the software and the hardware -- is an important element to why the companyis software works so well. While the rest of the computing industry flocked to Microsoftis anyone-can-license business model starting in the 1980s, Appleis adherence to the earlier model of making that whole widget makes it possible for the companyis products to work more smoothly.

That observation is particularly timely, especially coming from a mainstream source like Forbes, in light of the controversy over Psystaris Open Computer, which the company is marketing as a cheap alternative to Appleis hardware if you want to run Mac OS X. What does "Mac" mean if the concept includes non Apple hardware?

Thatis a question for another time, but itis worth considering as you check out Forbesi slideshow of the seven greatest innovations in Appleis history. Those seven are OS X (not listed as Mac OS X, we might add), iLife, iTunes, the original Mac OS (check out the picture of Steve Jobs in a bow tie from the 1980s), John Sculleyis Newton, iPhone, and iPod.