Friday, December 26, 2008

Apple vs Microsoft

Steve Ballmer on the failure of the iPhone.

Steve Jobs on Microsoft.

Bill Gates on Apple.

Desktop PC's and operating systems are the walking dead. The future lies in handheld devices. PC's are destined to become nothing more than interfaces between your mobile device and your nice display and keyboard/mouse. This will become reality sooner than you think.

6 comments:

tesla said...

I do a lot of computationally intensive simulations on my PC and I can't imagine doing this on a low-performance handheld computer. I can't envision making a big spreadsheet or writing code on an iPhone, for instance. So for business purposes at least I don't see PCs going away anytime soon. I'm interested to see if they can improve the performance on the mini-laptops.

Rob Dawg said...

The essence of your computational environment will reside on your person. Be it your iPhone or a thumbdrive at first eventually likely wetware. plug in (again at first) and your portable device enables either a laptop or desktop that layer capability.

Yes, you get, Apple gets it, MS can't even steal it.

Anonymous said...

Paul writes,

I started with Fortran at a fold paper terminal. The first personal machine, was a Franklin with cpm(?), twin 5 inch floppies.

I've always liked the Apple products, but bought PC. I can remember spending more for a Compaq. Now, I don't care, any one will do. They're disposable. Toasters.

Apple fans remind me of old Saab and Volvo fans. Lefties too. I know lefties that don't believe that 90% of their Macs are PC parts. They think Apple makes their own chips, drives and such.

Anyways, a hammer is a hammer is a hammer. These are tools, not the thing itself.

On the other hand, people seem to have a deep, desperate need to buy a symbol. No different than the old Greeks buying a lamb to burn in the fires.

Pretty harmless, I suppose.

Lou Minatti said...

The essence of your computational environment will reside on your person.

Correct.

Tesla, you are also right to an extent. Creating a spreadsheet on the display of a handheld device isn't practical. But you wouldn't do that on your smartphone. You would dock it to a dumb terminal that serves as nothing more than a buffer between your handheld and a big display and keyboard or other input device. The display could even be your HDTV set. Everything is with you, all of the time. The vast majority of apps are quite usable on those smartphone displays.

What's the next killer app for PC's? HDTV processing? You don't need more powerful computers for spreadsheets or word processing or even Photoshop. Meanwhile, handhelds are as powerful as the typical PC just a few years ago.

I know lefties that don't believe that 90% of their Macs are PC parts.

This is besides the point. Handheld devices will supplant the Mac as well. No one else currently has the critical missing piece: iTunes. Others are rushing to compete but cannot. Now iTunes is offering thousands of apps, pre-tested on a closed system. Millions of people are loading up their iPhone and iPod with free and cheap 99 cent apps. This scares MS and packaged software/bloatware vendors shitless.

Nokia gets it. They are coming out with some great phones and they are building a credible iTunes competitor. RIM gets it as well, but their latest phones aren't quite up to par. Palm: Dead. Sony Ericsson: I hear things about a comeback. Motorola: Don't count them out quite yet, especially if Google is successful with Android.

Microsoft? Well, they have the Zune Store.

tesla said...

I'm skeptical of Google Android. Not because of Android itself (I know almost nothing about it) but because Google has an abysmal success rate with their new product rollouts.

There's a pretty standard formula: Google announces they are introducing product X. The tech media buzzes about it and wonders how badly Microsoft will be hurt by this new widget from Google. The product rolls out, Google fanboys blog about how awesome it is, but rank and file people report that it's "OK". Interest quickly fades. A year or so later Google quietly announces that it's discontinuing product X.

Maybe Android will be different due to the magnitude of investment but we'll see.

Lou Minatti said...

I'm skeptical of Google Android. Not because of Android itself (I know almost nothing about it) but because Google has an abysmal success rate with their new product rollouts.

Your doubt is valid. Other than Search and Google Ads, their other product ideas have not worked out for them as big revenue generators. And Google does have some great products, particularly Gmail. But if you look at the Google Labs page, so much of what they do is crap that will never generate significant cash.

For Android, it boils down to the media and software interface, a la iTunes. AFAIK Google doesn't have it yet. They may in the future, but so far only Nokia is getting close to iTunes. Sony Ericsson SHOULD be there now, considering that Sony is a media company!