Is Apple irrelevant?Apple has just released a "Blueprint for the Decade," which talks about the future of system 7, enterprise computing Refers to information technology in the larger company. See enterprise data and enterprise networking. , object-oriented development tools, and RISC RISC
in full Reduced Instruction Set Computing
Computer architecture that uses a limited number of instructions. RISC became popular in microprocessors in the 1980s. architectures. Are these the right initiatives to help Apple recover its momentum in the marketplace?
Like most hardware companies, Apple suffers from the delusion that end users care deeply about operating system operating system (OS)
Software that controls the operation of a computer, directs the input and output of data, keeps track of files, and controls the processing of computer programs. technology. The truth is, users care much more about the quality of applications software. And that's where there's a huge hole in Apple's blueprint. Until about two years ago, leading-edge applications almost invariably in·var·i·a·ble
Not changing or subject to change; constant.
in·vari·a·bil appeared first on the Macintosh. Today, most of the interesting stuff (except in a few niche markets like multimedia) appears first on Windows-based platforms. As a result, users perceive--perhaps correctly--that Windows has become the more important software environment.
Aren't developers targeting Windows because they believe it represents a larger market?
Yes, and it's a mystery to us why Apple can't make a better case that the Macintosh--with five million active users--still represents a relevant market opportunity. John Sculley John Sculley (born April 6 1939) was president of PepsiCo during the 1970s and early 1980s, until he became CEO of Apple on April 8 1983, a position he held until leaving in 1993. Sculley is currently a partner in Sculley Brothers, a private investment firm formed in 1995. brags about Apple's advanced technology and Bill Gates (person) Bill Gates - William Henry Gates III, Chief Executive Officer of Microsoft, which he co-founded in 1975 with Paul Allen. In 1994 Gates is a billionaire, worth $9.35b and Microsoft is worth about $27b. promises millions of eager Windows software customers. Not surprisingly, the Microsoft pitch is the one that creates a feeding frenzy feed·ing frenzy
1. A period of intense or excited feeding, as by sharks.
2. Excited activity by a group, especially around a focal point: among developers.
Yet Apple has always put a lot of effort into evangelism. why hasn't that effort paid off?
All too often, Apple has tried to manipulate third-party developers in ways that brought short-term benefits to Apple but were profoundly destructive to the Mac software community. Take pricing: To keep the overall cost of a mac system competitive, Apple hammered its early developers to hold software prices under $150--a price point that crippled the growth of Mac software revenues. (Even today, the top Mac word processors--Microsoft Word, $395; MacWrite II, $249; Write/Now, $199--sell at prices that are well below their DOS counterparts.)
At the same time, Apple's obsession with low-cost, mass-market applications has helped drive away developers of high-end, workstation-class titles (which "don't sell enough hardware"). Largely because of Apple's self-serving evangelism, Mac software now tends to be underpowered, underdistributed, and underprofitable.
Will the Apple-IBM alliance In 1991, Apple and IBM agreed to do the following:
1. To develop the PowerPC, a single-chip version of IBM's POWER architecture, with IBM and Motorola.
2. To better integrate Macs into IBM enterprise networks.
3. strengthen Apple's software position?
Probably not. Lately, perhaps inspired by a recent Harvard Business Review Harvard Business Review is a general management magazine published since 1922 by Harvard Business School Publishing, owned by the Harvard Business School. A monthly research-based magazine written for business practitioners, it claims a high ranking business readership and article that suggests hardware companies should think more like software companies, Sculley seems determined to transform Apple into a Microsoft clone. Trouble is, operating systems typically generate about as much revenue per copy as low-end utilities--$30-$50--so the business isn't very interesting unless a company happens to control a market of perhaps ten million machines a year (as Microsoft does). We don't see any scenario that will give Apple either the volume or the pricing it needs to make system software a lucrative business.
The fact is, when Apple acts like a hardware company, it hits home runs like the Laserwriter, the Classic, the new Powerbooks. When Apple tries to act like a software company, the results--hypercard, System 7, Truetype, even Claris--have been pretty marginal. Seems to us there's a pretty explicit message here.