Thursday, June 09, 2005

Apple's Colossal Disappointment


Linspire's Michael Robertson wrote about the implication of the Apple's announcement to switch to Intel chips in the next two years.

Once upon a time, on a
sunny evening with a distant rainbow in the east, sitting on the wet
green lawn near the roses, Albert and Trebla went into an argument

Albert: Apple has a special place in our minds, brother. Do you remember the days when we built a local area network using the Apple ]['s game port? It was fun! But since then, we had not use follow with the Mac development.

Trebla: Yea, Apple lost us because the closed architecture of the Mac. Apple ][ opened the whole new world of personal computing because its case can be open, and should be open. There were slots there we could plug wonderful cards in. There were lots of potential to do cool things. Mac reversed all its success factors. Then IBM PC came along. The case could be opened too and there were slots for plugging cool cards in as well. So we followed that trend. At the time, we thought IBM was choosing the wrong processor - the lame 8086 when compared to the 68000 by Motorola.

Albert: Well to be honest, we followed the trend because of the availability of clones. We were brought up with custom-made Apples. Remember that power point story? We used a regulated power support instead of the switched power supply. The main connected to the transformer was located at the same position of a factory Apple ][ and how many times we have stopped our friends to reach for the death of touch. :-)
We followed to the pc world because of the availability of clones!

Trebla: We were in Hongkong at the time. That's the cool thing to do then. Why do you bring this up?

Albert: Michael Robertson, being the CEO of Linspire was looking at Apple's move in order to see if his company still have a future.

Trebla: Don't worry, brother. The world will be Linux based soon. With all the argument put forward by the M$ spinners, the world's computing platform will still become Linux based anyway.

Albert: Yea, most of under-developed countries are moving to develop their own Linux based computing platform. That's an obvious trend. When China equips her secondary school students with a computer, that would be Red flag Linux. That would immediately add several hundred millions installation to the Linux platform!

Trebla: What Linspire is doing looks to me very much taking a disruptive technology route too!

Albert: Yea, bottom up disruptive technologies typically start with an inferior technology and a young market where people are not too concerned about getting the best and the most expensive, like walkman or digital camera. As the technology supporting the innovation advances, it eventual takes over the majority of the market. But I don't see Linux being an inferior technology. It is being used at the top end of the computing platform - super-computer.

Trebla: I said Linspire is taking a disruptive routine as a way to displace Windows as desktop.

Albert: I see.

Trebla: Even if Linspire does not, some other Linux based desktop will. The economics is just on Linux side.

Albert: Linux is also like the Apple ][ and IBM PC, it's open and let people play around with it. But at this point, the development tools on Linux is still too geeky

Trebla: Well, someone will come up with something like Visual Basic for Linux platform someday and you will suddenly see an explosion of software as people experiment with it.

Albert: I would love to put my hand on some easily to use programming tool for the Linux environment. Most important for the tool, it must hide all the complexity behind it. Application programmers are not the same as hard core kernel developers!

Trebla: For once, we brothers agree.

Albert: Yea, ha ha.