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  1. #121  
    That's cool, man. I think a grand total of zero people have ever been converted by a Mac vs. PC argument on the Internet.
  2. #122  
    Here's someone's take on MACs:

    Why you should not buy a MAC

    Click on image to enlarge.
  3.    #123  
    Quote Originally Posted by Kupe View Post
    I put this graphic together to help in understanding Apple's focus. In addition to printers, Apple has also indicated they are getting out of the business server market too, although that's still up in the air. What's left is shown below: A tightly integrated ecosystem where all the parts are designed to work together. No other corporation has gotten this far providing the average consumer with an integrated, turnkey operation.

    I think this is right on. Instead of eliminating business servers, just think of them as monster workstations for media production. Any I've ever seen in the wild are being used that way. So if they just reposition them as workstations, your diagram is perfect. Ironically, it's apples lead in the creation and distribution of media that becomes their advantage as the competition from HP/Microsoft/Google gets stronger, it's the ecosystem that differentiates them and keeps them ahead of the others. Pretty smart.

    I chopped your post down to save space. Well done.
  4. #124  
    Quote Originally Posted by sinsin07 View Post
    Here's someone's take on MACs:

    Why you should not buy a MAC

    Click on image to enlarge.
    Marco.org - The 2010 Mac Pro CPUs and pricing
  5. #125  
    Quote Originally Posted by barkerja View Post


    Thats more of a fair look at what Apple does. Good find.
  6. #126  
    Quote Originally Posted by Cantaffordit View Post
    Looks like a laser-like focus on unified digital media experience. Everything from producing to distributing to consuming. And media includes everything from music to voice calls to twitter to email.

    Everything there focuses how to create/deliver/consume media.

    They didn't misunderstand the meaning of focus.
    I'll give you that, except for you conclusion.

    Keep in mind, we're talking about a company who originally registered their trademark on the condition that they never enter the music industry. Now your assertion is that their "laserlike focus" is on a "unified digital media experience". I will agree with you that it's their (current) focus. I will not agree that such a "focus" is "laserlike". In its very scope it cannot be. If that qualifies as "laserlike" then HP can equally assert that they have a "laserlike focus on all technology related industries".

    I'll refer back to my original assertion (that has somehow mysteriously disappeared), Apple's strength has nothing to do with focus (laserlike or otherwise) but has more to do with their ability to recognize changing consumer trends and adapt accordingly. This keeps their profit margin high, no doubt, but what about folks left with those abandond products. A now0 obsolete $2k laser might be OK, as long as it kept printing and you could buy consumables; but I suspect that folks that invested in something like their server technology might feel a bit jaded as the product is abandoned.
  7. #127  
    Quote Originally Posted by cardfan View Post
    With my dell laptops in past, if something went wrong, i call up Dell. They send a tech over in a couple of days to fix it. Or they overnight a part if not that serious. Sounds easier then packing things up and heading to the mall to fool with the Apple crowd...
    For the past decade or so, I've only bought Dell laptops (high end Dell laptops) because they offer an extended warranty against spillage, drops, and theft. And yes, they typically come out the next day with the replacement parts for a repair.
  8. #128  
    Quote Originally Posted by astraith View Post
    Thats more of a fair look at what Apple does. Good find.
    Yep. I would agree:

    Those who criticize the Mac Pro for being too expensive usually don’t realize how much Intel charges for their high-end Xeons, but Apple’s margin is bigger here than it needs to be. Unfortunately, it doesn’t matter (which is why Apple does it), because most people who need that much CPU power in a Mac Pro are willing to pay whatever price Apple chooses.

    Marco.org - The 2010 Mac Pro CPUs and pricing
  9. #129  
    For $499-$599 you can always get a Dell Inspiron laptop with everything on it. They last forever so no need for a warranty. Never upgrade anything. Keep them until you feel you have to have something new. We have four at home.

    The newest Dell PC at the office is 5 years old running XP. Why upgrade? At $399 each with everything on it, you can upgrade three times for the cost of one Mac. I pay enough in taxes without paying the Jobs tax on top of it.
  10. #130  
    Quote Originally Posted by milominderbinder View Post
    For $499-$599 you can always get a Dell Inspiron laptop with everything on it. They last forever so no need for a warranty. Never upgrade anything. Keep them until you feel you have to have something new. We have four at home.

    The newest Dell PC at the office is 5 years old running XP. Why upgrade? At $399 each with everything on it, you can upgrade three times for the cost of one Mac. I pay enough in taxes without paying the Jobs tax on top of it.
    Yeah Dell Inspiron's are awesome laptops. I had one with a 1920x1200 screen. They aren't as light or thin as others, but you can tear them apart and swap aftermarket parts in them.
  11. #131  
    Quote Originally Posted by milominderbinder View Post
    For $499-$599 you can always get a Dell Inspiron laptop with everything on it. They last forever so no need for a warranty. Never upgrade anything. Keep them until you feel you have to have something new. We have four at home.

    The newest Dell PC at the office is 5 years old running XP. Why upgrade? At $399 each with everything on it, you can upgrade three times for the cost of one Mac. I pay enough in taxes without paying the Jobs tax on top of it.
    Ha, Ha. It depends on what you put in the MAC. An almost fully tricked out MAC Pro is $13,000...(that's before shipping, Tax, no software, no SSD drives, or Apple care LOL)
  12. #132  
    Quote Originally Posted by hparsons View Post
    Keep in mind, we're talking about a company who originally registered their trademark on the condition that they never enter the music industry. Now your assertion is that their "laserlike focus" is on a "unified digital media experience". I will agree with you that it's their (current) focus. I will not agree that such a "focus" is "laserlike". In its very scope it cannot be. If that qualifies as "laserlike" then HP can equally assert that they have a "laserlike focus on all technology related industries".
    That's old news. That's akin to asserting HP is way out of its core capabilities today because they're not pushing oscilloscopes and calculators out the door like when Bill and Dave were still running the business.

    Quote Originally Posted by hparsons View Post
    I'll refer back to my original assertion (that has somehow mysteriously disappeared) (I noticed that too - weird ), Apple's strength has nothing to do with focus (laserlike or otherwise) but has more to do with their ability to recognize changing consumer trends and adapt accordingly. This keeps their profit margin high, no doubt, but what about folks left with those abandond products. A now0 obsolete $2k laser might be OK, as long as it kept printing and you could buy consumables; but I suspect that folks that invested in something like their server technology might feel a bit jaded as the product is abandoned.
    I think you might be missing the "focus." It's not about the individual products. The focus is on the ecosystem. It's how Apple gets away with slogans like "Think Different" (awful grammar, BTW) and "It Just Works." The ecosystem is a suite of devices and services, which can function well individually, but are designed to work together simply and seamlessly. The further you step outside their ecosystem (i.e. a windows desktop, a Netgear router, or a Palm Pre leeching off of iTunes ), the more kludgey the ecosystem becomes.

    The ecosystem has evolved over time for sure. When Apple began, their focus was on desktop publication and once again they provided the entire ecosystem for it (including printers!). Under John Scully, Apple lost its "focus" and started building (clever, pretty, expensive!) devices with little to no unifying premise to them. Shortly after the return of Steve (and with the help of Jon Rubinstein ) Apple refocused their unfocused business into the emerging digital media industry.

    Summary: 1. Apple does its best work when focusing on an ecosystem, but evolves that ecosystem as it sees the market evolving. 2. Any individual Apple product can be matched or bested by any other individual product in the marketplace, but no one else does ecosystem like Apple.

    You would think big, successful companies like HP would see this and try to leverage on it for themselves.
  13. #133  
    Quote Originally Posted by Kupe View Post
    Summary: 1. Apple does its best work when focusing on an ecosystem, but evolves that ecosystem as it sees the market evolving. 2. Any individual Apple product can be matched or bested by any other individual product in the marketplace, but no one else does ecosystem like Apple.

    You would think big, successful companies like HP would see this and try to leverage on it for themselves.
    I agree wholeheartedly with this.

    The thing with HP is, they are indeed a big successful company, but they're more like a loosely governed group of city-states than the monolithic, focused machine that is Apple. Steve Jobs - love him or hate him - does have a unified vision and aesthetic that reaches across their product line.

    HP, on the other hand....what's the through-line between servers, printers, phones, computers, ink and everything else? HP.com is a shopping/e-business portal, not an acquisition website like Apple.com. That would have to change, but how do you do that without <upsetting> off enterprise customers? But on the other hand, how do you move new top-of-the-line consumer products when people are dumped to a generic shopping where the new hotness is stuck at the bottom of the page because the default listing is "Price (Low to High)"?

    Who has the vision and the leadership there, and what is it aside from being "cool"?
    Last edited by Cantaffordit; 02/06/2011 at 03:19 PM.
  14. #134  
    Quote Originally Posted by Kupe View Post
    That's old news. That's akin to asserting HP is way out of its core capabilities today because they're not pushing oscilloscopes and calculators out the door like when Bill and Dave were still running the business. .
    I was using that as an example, of course. But, Apple is still building servers, and actually introduced new models as late as last year. So, my differing opinion of "laser like focus" remains. I think they're much more adept at recognizing changing trends, than they are on focus.
  15. #135  
    Quote Originally Posted by Kupe View Post
    That's old news. That's akin to asserting HP is way out of its core capabilities today because they're not pushing oscilloscopes and calculators out the door like when Bill and Dave were still running the business.

    I think you might be missing the "focus." It's not about the individual products. The focus is on the ecosystem. ...

    ...The ecosystem has evolved over time for sure. When Apple began, their focus was on desktop publication and once again they provided the entire ecosystem for it (including printers!). Under John Scully, Apple lost its "focus" and started building (clever, pretty, expensive!) devices with little to no unifying premise to them. Shortly after the return of Steve (and with the help of Jon Rubinstein ) Apple refocused their unfocused business into the emerging digital media industry.
    Ahh, now we're getting somewhere (these discussions are so much more fun when folks leave out the sniping, both personal and corporate).

    Read on.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kupe View Post
    Summary: 1. Apple does its best work when focusing on an ecosystem, but evolves that ecosystem as it sees the market evolving. 2. Any individual Apple product can be matched or bested by any other individual product in the marketplace, but no one else does ecosystem like Apple.
    On this I agree. However, the question is, can Apple maintain not only the ecosystem itself, but the lock on the devices within that ecosystem; and face it, the lock itself is what Apple desires - not the ecosystem, but the monoplistic control of what can use the ecosystem. That control is what allows them to sell devices at a high premium.

    There's a danger in this to the consumer, even though they may not recognize it. Back in the day, when Apple posed a real threat to Microsoft's operating system, the de facto office suite was Microsoft Office. The versions that ran on Apple were always a step (or more) behind the version that ran on Microsoft's operating system. This was not accidental. Microsoft wanted to make sure that you couldn't run the "real" MS Office on anything but a real MS system.

    I don't think Apple will be even that open (witness their efforts preventing Palm Pres to sync their songs, purchased by their customers using iTunes).

    Imagine what could/would happen if this ecosystem was even more universally successful. Imagine if 90% of the population were getting their TV content, movie content, music content, etc all from Apple.

    Then Apple announced that latest features of the software would only be available to run on Apple's OS.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kupe View Post
    You would think big, successful companies like HP would see this and try to leverage on it for themselves.
    They have, and I think they will continue to do so.

    By have - witness the example you used. HP was the largest selling laser printer when Apple introduced the laser writer. Apple's entry sold for more (about $2000 more, if memory serves me right, about 8k for the Laswriter, and about 6k for HP's laser printer). The LaserPrinter quickly eclipsed the sales of the competing brands (including HP) for one specfic facet - the desktop publishing ecosystem you mentioned.

    Apple owned that ecosystem. So, what happened? Well, others improved their printers. The two biggest improvements were more memory on the printers and licensing Postscript. The latter allowed them to work on Apple systems, and the former allowed them to run Postscript, and to run other languages onboard (like PCL). That allowed other systems to compete in the desktop publishing arena. I think licensing Postscript sped up the break in the ecosystem - but I also think it would have happened anyway. Desktop publishing was just too popular for Apple to contain it. Desktop Publishing became ubiquitous. That ecosystem could not be owned.

    Trust me, Apple did not give up that ecosystem out of the goodness of their heart. They gave it up because they could no longer own it, and owning an ecosystem is the "core competency" they wanted to concentrate on.

    So, can HP (or anyone else) repeat that? I don't know, I guess it depends on what you call success in repeating the process. The scope this time is much larger - it's not just publishing print content - it's all digital media. The advantage the competition has is that Apple doesn't have a lock on the production side. That genie's already out of the bottle. All they can hope to do is contain the consumption side.

    That's what HP will need to concentrate on. And for it to succeed, they will have to repeat the broad method that the corporate competition (it wasn't just one company) did with the publishing ecosystem(s). By that, I mean that there will have to be the same sort of openess that there was in the publishing arena. I am not (now) restricted to one OS (I can use virtually any popular OS for desktop publishine), I am not (now) restricted to one or two publishing programs (every semi-popular OS has multiple options for desktop publishing), and I'm definitely not restricted to one brand of printer.

    So, how will HP be able to succeed against Apple? In my opinion, only by offering open systems that can be used interchangably.

    Yes, their systems should work the easiest if you buy their systems. But that should be only because they offer everything you need.

    In my imaginary scenario:
    You buy from their music store? Great, the have Windows, Linux, and OSx applications that let you buy, store, and playback that music. They also allow other developers to develop software that does so.

    You have their phone? Great, they offer connectivity to all of their other services. They also allow any other phone to connect to those same services, but they ensure that their phones have the software to do so.

    Same with tablets, and even their PCs.

    And yeah, I think HP has the resources, and the vision, to pull that off.
  16. #136  
    Quote Originally Posted by hparsons View Post
    Ahh, now we're getting somewhere (these discussions are so much more fun when folks leave out the sniping, both personal and corporate).
    But you still just had to say something.
    Quote Originally Posted by hparsons View Post
    There's a danger in this to the consumer, even though they may not recognize it. Back in the day, when Apple posed a real threat to Microsoft's operating system, the de facto office suite was Microsoft Office. The versions that ran on Apple were always a step (or more) behind the version that ran on Microsoft's operating system. This was not accidental. Microsoft wanted to make sure that you couldn't run the "real" MS Office on anything but a real MS system.
    Your example seems like a non sequitur to me. I'm not sure what time period your talking about, but the OS wars were pretty much over when Apple sued Microsoft in 1988. Microsoft Office didn't come out until 1992. So what was your point here?

    However, I agree that Microsoft has in the past, and continues to this day, releasing their Mac Office versions 1-2 years after their "equivalent" Windows versions. This fact hasn't seemed to have much bearing on the market landscape since Office came out ~20 years ago. If you're looking for a good example of a "danger in this to the consumer" you only need look back to the advent of OS X and what turmoil its introduction caused in the otherwise tranquil (yet stagnant) MacOS ecosystem.

    Quote Originally Posted by hparsons View Post
    I don't think Apple will be even that open (witness their efforts preventing Palm Pres to sync their songs, purchased by their customers using iTunes).
    That red herring actually had nothing to do with openness. Every piece of commercial software on my computers (Mac, Linux, Windows, Sun) comes with a boilerplate section in the license agreement prohibiting me from reverse engineering and/or using the software in a manner beyond it's stated intent. iTunes also has a clause like this. Even so, Apple, at no one's insistence, provided free iTunes APIs for anyone who wanted to do what Palm tried to do in violation of Apple's licenses. Many successful free programs use Apple's free iTunes APIs today ... and are probably used by some Pre users. So to be more correct, your statement should read: (witness their [Apple's] efforts preventing Palm Pres to sync their songs, purchased by their customers while violating iTunes' license agreement).

    Quote Originally Posted by hparsons View Post
    Imagine what could/would happen if this ecosystem was even more universally successful. Imagine if 90% of the population were getting their TV content, movie content, music content, etc all from Apple.

    Then Apple announced that latest features of the software would only be available to run on Apple's OS.
    You mean like Microsoft's ongoing web standards violations? Like many things, the tighter one tries to grasp something, the more of it that slips through the fingers. If people don't care, they'll ride along with the tide. If it ticks them off, they'll vote with their wallet, lawyer, or Congressional Representative. I think we're a couple of "1984" reissues away from your dark, Jobsian future.

    Quote Originally Posted by hparsons View Post
    By have - witness the example you used. HP was the largest selling laser printer when Apple introduced the laser writer. Apple's entry sold for more (about $2000 more, if memory serves me right, about 8k for the Laswriter, and about 6k for HP's laser printer). The LaserPrinter quickly eclipsed the sales of the competing brands (including HP) for one specfic facet - the desktop publishing ecosystem you mentioned.
    You're close. The reason Apple's printers jumped to the forefront was no one else had a printer that worked with a Mac. Apple entered the printer business if for no other reason than to fill in a gaping hole in their desktop publishing ecosystem. Well, that and the steadily growing and unfulfilled demand for Mac-compatible printers.

    Quote Originally Posted by hparsons View Post
    Apple owned that ecosystem. So, what happened? Well, others improved their printers. The two biggest improvements were more memory on the printers and licensing Postscript. The latter allowed them to work on Apple systems, and the former allowed them to run Postscript, and to run other languages onboard (like PCL). That allowed other systems to compete in the desktop publishing arena. I think licensing Postscript sped up the break in the ecosystem - but I also think it would have happened anyway. Desktop publishing was just too popular for Apple to contain it. Desktop Publishing became ubiquitous. That ecosystem could not be owned.
    Agreed. Once it became apparent to printer manufacturers that there was money to be made selling printers to Mac users, they jumped on board. Ironic that you mention HP's proprietary Printer Command Language (PCL) in your example, which was HP's attempt to use their position to control the personal computer printer ecosystem.

    Quote Originally Posted by hparsons View Post
    Trust me, Apple did not give up that ecosystem out of the goodness of their heart. They gave it up because they could no longer own it, and owning an ecosystem is the "core competency" they wanted to concentrate on.
    I "trust you" wholeheartedly since this is the very premise I finally seem to have gotten you to understand.

    Quote Originally Posted by hparsons View Post
    The advantage the competition has is that Apple doesn't have a lock on the production side. That genie's already out of the bottle. All they can hope to do is contain the consumption side.
    For now - but we'll all have to see what Apple declares to be the Next Big Thing so the rest of the industry can scramble along behind Apple with their pale imitations.

    Quote Originally Posted by hparsons View Post
    That's what HP will need to concentrate on. And for it to succeed, they will have to repeat the broad method that the corporate competition (it wasn't just one company) did with the publishing ecosystem(s). By that, I mean that there will have to be the same sort of openess that there was in the publishing arena. I am not (now) restricted to one OS (I can use virtually any popular OS for desktop publishine), I am not (now) restricted to one or two publishing programs (every semi-popular OS has multiple options for desktop publishing), and I'm definitely not restricted to one brand of printer.
    You're sort of getting it. However, what your don't seem to get is this: I've been able to do everything since 2001 that an Apple product user can do today using other brands. I was using cloud storage, online/offline digital music, untethered device syncing, capturing video, making home movies, designing and printing "pretty" documents, and using my phone to send emails, texts, read/share docs, and installing apps on it. The difference is, I had to go to a couple dozen different manufacturers and services and stitch together their completely un-integrated systems to make it happen. In 2011, I can still do it the "old-fashioned" way (and I do, because it's fun!), but I never recommend what I do to people I want to keep as friends. I send them to the Apple Store and 2 days later they're cooler geeks than I am!

    Quote Originally Posted by hparsons View Post
    So, how will HP be able to succeed against Apple? In my opinion, only by offering open systems that can be used interchangably.
    Define "open" and define "interchangeable." Open should mean royalty-free and interchangeable should mean integrated. Until you also provide a business model that allows non-HP companies to make money off of HP's hard work while HP remains satisfied with that arrangement, it won't work ... if for no other reason than no other company views HP as an altruistic, "let's do this good deed for the consumers" corporation. After all, have you considered starting your own HP Printer replacement cartridge company (and I'm not talking about refills here)? Yeah, HP is all about the openness.
  17. #137  
    Quote Originally Posted by Kupe View Post
    But you still just had to say something.
    Of course I "said something", it's a discussion board. My response had no snipping at anyone though. Sorry you took it that way. Of course, one can't say the same of your response. Rather than address all of the issues, I'll zero in on just one:

    Quote Originally Posted by Kupe View Post
    I "trust you" wholeheartedly since this is the very premise I finally seem to have gotten you to understand.
    You give yourself way too much credit. I've been saying that Apple has been trying to keep a closed system to maintain their market and profits since before it was called an "ecosystem" (or at least, before I was familiar with the term).

    Back in the 80's, they claimed it was for "quality control". Lots of folks knew better.
  18. #138  
    Quote Originally Posted by Kupe View Post
    Your example seems like a non sequitur to me. I'm not sure what time period your talking about, but the OS wars were pretty much over when Apple sued Microsoft in 1988. Microsoft Office didn't come out until 1992. So what was your point here?
    Not sure what you mean by "the OS wars were pretty much over ... in 1988". I saw a "I'm a Mac, I'm a PC" silliness commercial just a few weeks back (it might have even been months, but oh yes, the OS wars continue today).

    However, to my exact point, part of Microsoft's agreement in 1997 was to continue developing Office, and Apple would make Internet Explorer the default browser on their machines. How such an agreement ever got past anti-trust laws is beyond me, but it did. However, to dismiss it as a "non sequitur" is to ignore what was going on.

    I suspect that by the time the agreement expired, the market penetration of Apple OSs on computers had diminished enough, and the demand for an Office compatible suite for Mac had remained steady enough, that no such agreement was needed by either party.
  19. #139  
    Quote Originally Posted by Kupe View Post
    You're sort of getting it. However, what your don't seem to get is this: I've been able to do everything since 2001 that an Apple product user can do today using other brands...
    Why do you think I "don't get" that? I was selling to folks like you back in the late 80's and through the 90's. The problem with recommending the simple solution to others is that they are then tied into a closed system that is more expensive. I make the same recommendations, but I doubt I do it as often as you. I find that most people, with a little encouragement, can download their own music without using iTunes, can play that music with no Apple products, and ... well, I think you see the point.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kupe View Post
    Define "open" and define "interchangeable." Open should mean royalty-free and interchangeable should mean integrated. Until you also provide a business model that allows non-HP companies to make money off of HP's hard work while HP remains satisfied with that arrangement, it won't work ...
    I think maybe you missed my point. HP already allows "openess" and "interchaneability". My Dell computer is running fine with my HP printer. For the business model to work (the way I describe), HP will have to allow other devices (and systems) to work with their systems, but to also not only make their's work better but to make each system independently profitable.

    They do the latter now. My suspicion is that they're working on the former as we we speak.

    Oh, and please, don't think I'm making HP out to be altruistic. I don't think they are in the least - however, I've not seen nearly the number of lawsuits against HP for anti-trust issues as I have for Apple. Without commenting on the success or even the merits of those suits - I think it's fair to say that most folks would prefer a heterogeneous system that works well.
  20. #140  
    Quote Originally Posted by Kupe View Post
    You mean like Microsoft's ongoing web standards violations? Like many things, the tighter one tries to grasp something, the more of it that slips through the fingers. If people don't care, they'll ride along with the tide. If it ticks them off, they'll vote with their wallet, lawyer, or Congressional Representative. I think we're a couple of "1984" reissues away from your dark, Jobsian future.
    Yes, exactly like Microsoft's ongoing web standards violations. Unfortunatly, much like that Microsoft example, sometimes folks don't understand enough about what's going to to care, until it's too late. I was pretty surprised with the US Feds sided with Microsoft on the whole IE fiasco. I believe it was only the Europeans (who seem a lot more concerned about real competition) that did anything even remotely effective in stemming that tide.

    Fortunately, enough people are resistant to Apple's pricing structure that we haven't gotten the "1984" image they portrayed of, ironically, their competiton.

    Side note on that - I thought Motorola did a pretty good job at digging back and Apple's "We own it all" stuff in their commercial yesterday.
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