Microsofties: There is No Hypocrisy

By  |  Tuesday, June 9, 2009 at 11:05 am

(Note: Yes, it’s Tuesday, but I thought I’d give you a break from Apple news, so here’s this week’s column.)

macmondayApparently WWDC has rattled some feathers in the Windows community. Apple is on the move, and its clear even in this recessionary environment consumers are still buying Macs.

The MacBook realignment was to be expected, and to bring system value back. I’m no fan of the way Apple releases new systems for this reason. Towards the end of the product cycle, the systems lose value because the internals do not change while the rest of the industry is continuously updating.

But that’s not what has the friends of Redmond upset.

Microsoft was mentioned during the keynote, especially surrounding the release of Windows 7. This is what whipped the Microsofties up into a near frenzy.

It appears the beef is this: Apple software chief Bertrand Serlet makes a comment saying Windows 7 is essentially the second coming of Vista.  This is leading into his discussion of how Snow Leopard has made development easier, while Windows development remains unnecessarily complex.

After all, this was a development conference, correct?

Let’s summarize. Apple is apparently hypocritical because Snow Leopard is the second coming of Leopard. Somehow, the Microsofties would have you believe that Apple sprung this on us without us knowing. But there’s one problem with that — we’ve known this for over a year now.

Apple has made it no secret that it planned no major enhancements with this version of Mac OS X. In fact, last year during WWDC 2008 Serlet said during the keynote that Apple “hit the pause button” to pefect the system and lay the foundation for future releases.

In fact, this is arguably the first point release since 10.1 where an operating system will go without any major changes. That also fixed a multitude of bugs from the much-needed switch from the OS9 codebase to OS X, which obviously wasn’t going to be perfect.

Over the row about dropping PowerPC support, that’s also been known. Take for example this fact: the last PowerPC Mac was sold nearly three years ago. The average upgrade cycle on a PC is about that period of time — and most have bought long before that.

I think its a good thing. Apple for three years has been bloating its applications with Universal support. That means twice the size. Wanna know why Snow Leopard gains you hard drive space? There’s part of it.

Another criticism comes on Apple’s decision to charge $29 for the upgrade. (Worth it to note that the upgrade from 10.0 to 10.1 was free.) Microsoft apparently is now deciding to charge $50 for an upgrade, so Apple must obviously be trying to steal Microsoft’s thunder!

This is likely not the case. I highly doubt the company ever intended to charge $129 (the “standard” upgrade price) for this. Among both Apple fanboys and their opponents, there is a good deal of consternation over this. It’s been debated on both sides.

But there’s one thing Apple wants people to do, and that’s upgrade. It just happens to be a little bit more forceful than its Redmond counterpart. As a shareholder, personally I don’t mind that they give their consumers an extra-added push.

In conclusion, my point is to ask where the hypocrisy is here. If we want to talk about hypocrisy, why don’t we talk about Microsoft’s marketing of Vista? Those charges go both ways. Yes, the criticism of Apple may have stung, but don’t lash out. It doesn’t advance your cause.

I am all about a good Mac vs. PC debate. But please, when you are making your point, ensure that your facts are in order. I’ve learned through angering both sides over the years that there is a fine line between an opinion and rant.


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7 Comments For This Post

  1. Tom B Says:

    Apple was being NICE; if they wanted to go for the throat, they could have pointed out that even Win 7 FAILS to make the transition to UNIX. MSFT is hopelessly mired in the 1980’s, when makeshift OS’s were “good enough”.

  2. Marc Says:

    OSX < 10.3 was beta software, and they all should have been free.

    If Microsoft colluded with chipmakers, so they could release new hardware, and Microsoft would stop making software for the old hardware after X years, some might say that was anti-competitive. With Apple, we just expect it and call it the Apple Tax 😉

  3. Marc Says:

    I think one of the issues MS is bringing up is the fact that Apple is harping on Windows 7 being Vista reborn when is fact, so is Snow Leopard. They both have code, significantly tweaked from their predecessor. Secondly, These keynotes are seen and followed by more than just developers and these people may not know what snow leopard is in relation to Leopard.

  4. Level1Alt Says:

    there is no apple tax, just deep windows discounts to maintain monopoly.

  5. Lorenz Gude Says:

    I am really happy to see both companies work hard to polish their releases. Heck yes, 7 is Vista done right and good from MS. And Snow Leopard sounds like a carefully prepared release that improves the OS. Great. I can tell you the latest Ubuntu is a clear improvement too. This is GOOD news. OSs are getting BETTER. And we all have CHOICES. What if Snow Leopard was a Vista like disaster? What if Win 7 failed to fix Vista? I use MS products because of the hardware and software I run and always recommend Apple to newcomers to computing and anyone doing graphics.

  6. John Baxter Says:

    A “universal” application is far less than twice the size of an Intel-only (or PPC-only) app. The code is a small part of what’s in there, in most apps, and almost all the rest is shared.

  7. Pete Says:

    “Take for example this fact: the last PowerPC Mac was sold nearly three years ago. The average upgrade cycle on a PC is about that period of time”

    While true for the period 1980-2004, it hasn’t been the case for many years. Upgrades used to be because hardware became inadequate for current applications. However, RAM, video and CPU performance has plateaued — a 2004 computer in the PC world still runs today’s apps just fine. This is also why netbooks have become popular. 2004 level performance from small, cheap hardware is sufficient for their needs — even when parting with cash today.

    What this means is Apple is dumping PPC well before the performance of these PPC machines with today’s software warrants it. That’s Apple through and through though: expensive and pretty but with built-in predetermined obsolescence.