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How Steve Killed Apple (Page 2)
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Jun 14, 2013, 10:52 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Not only do I think this can happen, I think it's a race to see who can do it first.

The only part where you're wrong is Google needing Glass to do it. You've spilled all the goods on your own.

I'm pretty sure I know your:

Gender
Occupation
Ethnic background
What you look like
What kind of women you're into

Google knows everything I know about you squared.


Of course, your ISP knows more about you than Google, but likely lacks the analysis ability.
I'm not talking about that. I don't really care that Google knows much about those things. But I don't want Google to say, know that I was at X restaurant at a certain date and that while I was there the private conversation I was having was recorded and transcribed and associated with me. THAT'S what needs to be reigned in.
     
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Jun 14, 2013, 02:57 PM
 
Google would get flattened if they did that. Look how pissed off people got at them for accidentally slurping unencrypted wifi.
     
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Jun 14, 2013, 03:10 PM
 
There was nothing accidental about that.

It wasn't company policy, but somebody very deliberately wrote that code to read and save wifi content.

And that illustrates my point, somewhat: if the chance presents itself, somebody somewhere is going to use it. His intent may even be to do Good, or just blindly naïve.

But when I hear somebody like Zuck in all seriousness proposing that using pseudonyms on the web is an anachronism and that people should be forced into using real names publicly on social interaction sites, I seriously ask myself whether his vision for the world is one I want my daughter to grow up in.
     
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Jun 14, 2013, 03:21 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
Microsoft also made the Zune and the Kin and the Surface.
Come one! Come all!

To the tent of Microsoft Epic Hardware Disasters!
     
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Jun 14, 2013, 03:30 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Come one! Come all!

To the tent of Microsoft Epic Hardware Disasters!
Sure they didn't do well, largely for reasons that are entirely internal to Microsoft. And the jury's still out on the Surface.

But apart from the Kin (which still cost them billions), they were pretty massive and serious efforts. You can't just discount all previous and current evidence, as well as their biggest, most successful effort, in your attempt to redefine the company into the narrow slot necessary to support your point.

Apart from that, their business division is mostly a services company, and that's where they're shifting Office to, as well.
     
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Jun 14, 2013, 03:34 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
There was nothing accidental about that.

It wasn't company policy, but somebody very deliberately wrote that code to read and save wifi content.

And that illustrates my point, somewhat: if the chance presents itself, somebody somewhere is going to use it. His intent may even be to do Good, or just blindly naïve.

But when I hear somebody like Zuck in all seriousness proposing that using pseudonyms on the web is an anachronism and that people should be forced into using real names publicly on social interaction sites, I seriously ask myself whether his vision for the world is one I want my daughter to grow up in.
I think the company policy aspect is pretty important. "Because I can" is basic hacker currency. If you employ hackers, they, well... hack.

As for the world Zuck is trying to create, for better or worse, is much closer to what the next generation wants.
     
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Jun 14, 2013, 03:39 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
I think the company policy aspect is pretty important. "Because I can" is basic hacker currency. If you employ hackers, they, well... hack.

As for the world Zuck is trying to create, for better or worse, is much closer to what the next generation wants.
Intent is laudable. It'll help in court when your role in enabling somebody to perpetrate a crime is being studied, and it may keep fines low and sentences short.

It does not, however, affect the outcome of what can be done when tools are abused.
     
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Jun 14, 2013, 03:43 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
Sure they didn't do well, largely for reasons that are entirely internal to Microsoft. And the jury's still out on the Surface.

But apart from the Kin (which still cost them billions), they were pretty massive and serious efforts. You can't just discount all previous and current evidence, as well as their biggest, most successful effort, in your attempt to redefine the company into the narrow slot necessary to support your point.

Apart from that, their business division is mostly a services company, and that's where they're shifting Office to, as well.
I'm not ignoring the Xbox, I'm building up to addressing that.

But honestly, I see no point if people think a string of epic failures shows MS is also a hardware company.

Lets not even mention the reason all three devices were created was because MS has this overwhelming need to copy the cool kid: Apple.
     
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Jun 14, 2013, 03:49 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
Intent is laudable. It'll help in court when your role in enabling somebody to perpetrate a crime is being studied, and it may keep fines low and sentences short.

It does not, however, affect the outcome of what can be done when tools are abused.
I'm not claiming it will. I'm only pointing out it's a fraction of the holy hell Google would catch it they were surreptitiously recording conversations.

That's not a civil problem in most jurisdictions, you get sent directly to jail for that. That's a pretty big backstop.
     
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Jun 14, 2013, 04:08 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
I'm not ignoring the Xbox, I'm building up to addressing that.

But honestly, I see no point if people think a string of epic failures shows MS is also a hardware company.
I'm interested in hearing why the services division and Xbox don't count.

Also, speaking of intent, I do think it's relevant where a company sees itself going. And in that light, the Zune, Kin, and possibly Surface were/are failures, but still indicative of where Microsoft wants to be.

THEY are trying to position themselves as Not Just a Software Company, because that business model is dying.
     
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Jun 14, 2013, 04:17 PM
 
Well, that's my argument. If you continuously **** up the shit outside of your core competency, you have failed to change your core competency.

I'm flummoxed by where you got "don't count" out of "building up to address".

I'm guessing you aren't trying to shove words in my mouth, but you definitely seem to be getting the impression I'm saying things I'm pretty explicitly not saying.
     
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Jun 14, 2013, 04:31 PM
 
Well, you're going out of your way not to say them, so sorry for the shoving.
     
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Jun 14, 2013, 04:43 PM
 
C'mon man... If people are bringing up the Kin, I've got an uphill battle on my hands.

Even Microsoft, who has a vested interest in fostering the perception they are more than a software company, I bet would rather you zipped it on that argument.
     
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Jun 14, 2013, 04:46 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Well, that's my argument. If you continuously **** up the shit outside of your core competency, you have failed to change your core competency.
Also note this applies to Apple's broken cloud services.
     
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Jun 14, 2013, 04:49 PM
 
It does not, however, change the fact that Apple's hardware is worthless without the software Apple makes to power it. The best Windows laptop may be a MacBook Pro, but almost nobody buys them just to run Windows.

The fact that the Kin was a victim of internal politics and the sidelining of Roz Ho doesn't change the fact that Microsoft considered the project worth spending a billion dollars on. They should never have released it, obviously.
     
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Jun 14, 2013, 05:17 PM
 
I'll jump to Apple then. Not my fault you want to skip past the Xbox.

As I said earlier, every piece of Apple software is laser-focused to get you to buy their hardware.

More importantly, it's priced that way. It's not just they make more money on hardware, it's almost every if not every piece of software they make is at a loss.

Is there some other company where you can say their loss leader is their primary product?
     
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Jun 14, 2013, 08:07 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
And the jury's still out on the Surface.
I'll give you a nice in to talking about the Xbox again by bringing up MS hardware.

I'd say the jury has come back on this and found Microsoft guilty.

The Surface was an exemplar of where MS was going with Windows 8. A user experience tied far more intimately with the hardware than ever before.

Let's ignore for a second how all the hardware companies howled at the thought Microsoft was poaching on their land, which is kind of an odd reaction to have towards a hardware company, eh?

Microsoft's attempt to mate hardware and software sucked so badly it's cratered the entire PC industry.

Mere words cannot describe the magnitude of this ****up.
( Last edited by subego; Jun 14, 2013 at 10:22 PM. )
     
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Jun 14, 2013, 10:41 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
I'll jump to Apple then. Not my fault you want to skip past the Xbox.
You can still address it, several of us have brought it up several times. Why don't you just say what your opinion is rather than tease several times?
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Is there some other company where you can say their loss leader is their primary product?
Google. Facebook. Tumblr. Twitter. TV networks. Basically every free-services company makes money by selling »eyeballs« to someone else. TV networks make nothing on investing millions in new TV shows, but they use ad revenue to finance them and actually make money. Google and Facebook work similarly, although they use their services to learn stuff about you in the process.

It seems to me that you really mistake a business model (i. e. how a company finances itself) with what their core products are.
( Last edited by OreoCookie; Jun 15, 2013 at 02:45 AM. )
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Jun 15, 2013, 02:21 AM
 
Also, bands. A number that make money actually make money off the merchant, not the records or show tickets.
     
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Jun 15, 2013, 04:28 AM
 
Isn't advertising space/time the primary product of these companies?

Bands as mentioned above are an exception. Sadly, I'd say the primary product of a band in that situation is merch. I know most bands would like to feel differently, their primary product is "the art man..."

Bullshit. You're an engine to sell t-shirts. If you can't deal with that, it's time to pivot.
     
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Jun 15, 2013, 05:09 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Isn't advertising space/time the primary product of these companies?

Bands as mentioned above are an exception. Sadly, I'd say the primary product of a band in that situation is merch. I know most bands would like to feel differently, their primary product is "the art man..."

Bullshit. You're an engine to sell t-shirts. If you can't deal with that, it's time to pivot.
See, what it looks like to me is that in those cases, you perfectly willing to look beyond the obvious and declare that the real business is something else. But in making your own point, you're hell-bent on staying at the superficial level.

Gas-stations, at least here, make almost zero profits off petrol. Their money is in being a slightly overpriced 24/7 supermarket/convenience store. We call them gas stations.

Bands are generally made up of musicians, whose profession is to make music. The primary source of income shifts the moment the band is not hired, but holds their own concerts/tours, but the primary product of the band, regardless of whom you ask, is still music. Nobody would buy the merchandise if it weren't for the music.

TV stations are advertising marketers. That is why they can and do drop well-loved or totally awesome shows at the drop of a hat.

In exactly the same way, Google is an advertising marketer. That is why they can and do drop well-loved and totally awesome services at the drop of a hat or fold them into other products. This much, I think we agree upon.

But Apple does this on both the hardware and the software sides. They drop the iPod mini and replace it with the nano, because the software is what makes it work, and that all stays the same. They buy Emagic, cut the price to 10%, remove the dongle, and add a home user version to every Mac sold. A LOT of hobbyist and pro musicians flocked to the Mac over that, and it was the combination of hardware and software that did it. 

That last point may be a little diffuse, but I'd like to think that this is precisely because Apple blurs the lines. Feel free to pick it apart, though.


The only reason Microsoft is still primarily a software company is because historically, that has been their primary interaction with the audience. Their model has been shifting to services for a while now, and they take a foray into hardware every once in a while. Nobody understands what hardware they push, or why, including them. I don't think their hardware efforts will ultimately be successful (beyond the Xbox); in fact, I believe that their hardware efforts are accelerating their shift into services as they alienate their hardware partners. Maybe we'll see them buying up Nokia, yet, though.
     
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Jun 15, 2013, 11:19 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Bands as mentioned above are an exception. Sadly, I'd say the primary product of a band in that situation is merch. I know most bands would like to feel differently, their primary product is "the art man..."

Bullshit. You're an engine to sell t-shirts. If you can't deal with that, it's time to pivot.
??
I really don't see any consistency in your arguments: on the one hand, bands are merchandise machines because they can't make a decent living off selling records, but in your mind Google is an internet services company?

I've never heard of a musician who turned pro to sell T-Shirts and coffee mugs with their face on it. I'm curious why you don't agree that there are many ways to finance a company's main product(s), be it a newspaper (ads), a TV series (usually ads), Gmail (ads and analytics) or iOS (mostly hardware, but also iTMS).
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Jun 15, 2013, 11:23 AM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
The only reason Microsoft is still primarily a software company is because historically, that has been their primary interaction with the audience. Their model has been shifting to services for a while now, and they take a foray into hardware every once in a while. Nobody understands what hardware they push, or why, including them. I don't think their hardware efforts will ultimately be successful (beyond the Xbox); in fact, I believe that their hardware efforts are accelerating their shift into services as they alienate their hardware partners. Maybe we'll see them buying up Nokia, yet, though.
That's a good point: the end customer doesn't see Amazon's cloud services (e. g. S3), Windows Azure or Google's ad client side of things. Even Apple's giant presence in internet services (>575 million accounts, the largest online music business world-wide, the largest app store) has not arrived in the consumer's minds yet. But that's a problem of perception.
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Jun 15, 2013, 04:11 PM
 
Actually I think Microsofts product choices are fairly obvious.

They have long known the power of their monopoly. OS, Server OS, Browser, Office apps - total domination.

Everything after that has been one of three things:

- Divergence. Gotta spend all that cash on something right?
- Competition for self preservation. What I mean by this is that if you don't copy someone else's killer feature, they might eventually undermine your monopoly.
- Hardware to sell more software.

The Xbox is clearly a case of number three (or rather it has been until recently)
Zune was an attempt to stop Apple's mp3 monopoly from posing a threat to Windows dominance which it eventually has done. You could also argue there is a little of number 1 involved there too.
Bing is a case of number 2 as well. This time to fight Google who have also undermined Windows superiority.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
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Jun 15, 2013, 04:25 PM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
You can still address it, several of us have brought it up several times. Why don't you just say what your opinion is rather than tease several times?
Why?

Because the structure of my argument requires one to initially ignore the Xbox division to make sense.

The response has been an unwillingness to accept an argument begun on that premise, therefore I've lacked the quid pro quo to explain why my argument was based on that premise in the first place.

That's not teasing, it's being skeptical of the request to throw yourself on a pitchfork.
     
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Jun 15, 2013, 04:48 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
See, what it looks like to me is that in those cases, you perfectly willing to look beyond the obvious and declare that the real business is something else. But in making your own point, you're hell-bent on staying at the superficial level.
I was going to cop to OC's argument, but the more I thought about that the more it seemed wrong.

Loss leading is very close to lying. You are trying to take psychological advantage of people. If you are a network, it is in your best interest to pretend like your product is the shows you air rather than they eyeballs you collect.
     
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Jun 15, 2013, 05:36 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
Gas-stations, at least here, make almost zero profits off petrol. Their money is in being a slightly overpriced 24/7 supermarket/convenience store. We call them gas stations.
This sounds like inertia coupled with a general lack of need to analyze that business model.

I call the FedEx Office "Kinko's", and the 7-11 "White Hen Pantry".

Shit... my dad still says "Cassius Clay".
     
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Jun 16, 2013, 07:55 AM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
??
I really don't see any consistency in your arguments: on the one hand, bands are merchandise machines because they can't make a decent living off selling records, but in your mind Google is an internet services company?

I've never heard of a musician who turned pro to sell T-Shirts and coffee mugs with their face on it. I'm curious why you don't agree that there are many ways to finance a company's main product(s), be it a newspaper (ads), a TV series (usually ads), Gmail (ads and analytics) or iOS (mostly hardware, but also iTMS).
In addition, no mention of the "Cool Factor" anywhere.
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Jun 16, 2013, 08:51 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Why?

Because the structure of my argument requires one to initially ignore the Xbox division to make sense.
Yes, and I for one am not sure why you should, it doesn't make sense to me. Perhaps it would make more sense to me if you told me where your premise leads to. But if you don't support your arguments with a line of argumentation, your premise will not suddenly make more sense.
Originally Posted by subego View Post
The response has been an unwillingness to accept an argument begun on that premise, therefore I've lacked the quid pro quo to explain why my argument was based on that premise in the first place.

That's not teasing, it's being skeptical of the request to throw yourself on a pitchfork.
I don't have a pitchfork lying around here for you, but you started a thread with a premise, and it seems you have an argument in mind. So let's hear it. If I weren't interested in the topic, I wouldn't be posting.
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Jun 16, 2013, 04:58 PM
 
Honestly, very few people seem interested in my premise: was it a good idea for Apple to cut off Google?

To be clear, that's okay. I don't mind focusing on the (throwaway) comment I made about Microsoft, but as I said earlier, this is like the "Do You Get Pleasure From the Pain of Others?" thread. The topic is explicitly about people, but everybody wanted to focus more on the (throwaway) introductory comment that cats take pleasure from the pain of others.


Now, the Xbox clearly is now a successful piece of hardware, but there were some key factors to this.

Firstly, MS had to operate at a loss through its entire first console cycle, and half of the next one.
Bungie is software, and was until recently, Microsoft's ace in the hole.
Sony dropped the ball twice in a row in terms of creating a poor developer environment.

So, Microsoft can put out good hardware when they operate at a massive loss against a competitor who blows off both their own feet, and even then, someone (coff, coff... Ballmer) wants to shove unnecessary Microsoft software on it (Xbox One is Windows IIUC).

Microsoft can put out good hardware under these conditions. "Good" hardware which is as loud as a jet fighter and overheats.


On top of all this, when people ask what Microsoft can do to save itself, the first phrase out of everybody's mouth is "spin-off your entertainment division into a different company". This isn't because Microsoft is doing an awesome job, it's because the Xbox succeeded despite it being Microsoft hardware, and the people who like it would prefer it to be in the hands of someone who won't **** it up (coff, coff... Ballmer).


P.S. I actually like Ballmer, but the man has strong and weak suits. Hardware is not his strong suit.
     
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Jun 16, 2013, 05:47 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
Is it really that obvious that if I have a YouTube account, and leave that logged in via a cookie because I regularly upload/comment on videos, Google has a near-complete overview of my entire web usage through Google Trackers?

I turned off my Google History a long time ago, but the fact that they do this by default, and I had to find out by pure coincidence, gives me the willies.
This is a zinger BTW.

I'm still hell-bent on crafting an answer, it's only taking awhile to contort myself in just the right position to field it.
     
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Jun 16, 2013, 10:35 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Honestly, very few people seem interested in my premise: was it a good idea for Apple to cut off Google?
You posed the question whether it's good for a hardware company to cut ties with the world's most prominent internet services company. Implicitly, that contains what I view as a mischaracterization of Apple, Google and Microsoft.* I think Apple had to make a hard call between Google's changed demeanor (they are desperately trying to rival Facebook with anything social, less »no evil« and more aggressive marketing of ads) and what Google had to offer.

Google is the unrivaled #1 in search, and they are (fortunately) still the default search engine in Safari. Apple maps are not reliable where I am, but also Google maps has some failings here in Japan (e. g. there are many different private public transportation companies and Google does not include the schedules of all of them, making Google Maps useless to plan trips back to my apartment at night). However, as long as I have good access to Google's services on iOS via native apps (and all very prominent examples, including maps. Google Now, GMail and Youtube are in the App Store), I don't see how that has been detrimental for the user … yet. Actually, I think Apple's excision of Google maps from the default install has prompted Google to write a maps client that is much more fully featured than what we had before -- which is good for the end user (many of the »new« features were used as bargaining chips by Google).

You get no argument from me, in a hypothetical world where Google does no evil, and Apple and Google have a healthy marriage of software, hardware (Apple) and services (mostly Google), that'd be the greatest thing since sliced bread. But we're not living in that universe and Apple has had good reasons to refuse Google's offer at the bargaining table.

* Apple has already been into internet services for a long time, and in some »niches« such as digital music and apps is the undisputed number 1. They have almost 600 million accounts (off the top of my hat, only Facebook has more accounts, but I could be wrong) and are expanding with varying degrees of success into other areas.
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Now, the Xbox clearly is now a successful piece of hardware, but there were some key factors to this.

Firstly, MS had to operate at a loss through its entire first console cycle, and half of the next one.
Bungie is software, and was until recently, Microsoft's ace in the hole.
Sony dropped the ball twice in a row in terms of creating a poor developer environment.
Microsoft has paid a lot to get into the gaming and the search market. Now, they're there and we have to see whether they can monetize their position now.
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Microsoft can put out good hardware under these conditions. "Good" hardware which is as loud as a jet fighter and overheats.
The Surface hardware (both RT and Pro) has received thumbs up from reviewers: solidly built, high-quality, well-built. Of course, the hardware is hampered by the software, but overall, the hardware itself is not a dud. And it's well-designed. (Although I'm not sold on the way you're supposed to use Surface.)
Originally Posted by subego View Post
P.S. I actually like Ballmer, but the man has strong and weak suits. Hardware is not his strong suit.
Ballmer has missed and ridiculed every single computing trend within the last 7-10 years: smartphones, modern tablets, modern operating systems. He let the guy go who saved Windows Vista and made Windows 7. In my view, he is Microsoft's single-biggest liability.


Overall, I think that in many ways, Apple, Google and Microsoft want to move to almost the same position in the market (e. g. more integration between software, hardware and services) but they come from different positions with different liabilities. Apple refuses to make certain services cross-platform -- which is a no-go for many services (e. g. I have no access to Apple Maps on my 10.8 Mac and I cannot send Apple Maps links the way I can send Google Maps links to give addresses to friends). They shy away from taking on challenges using brute force (again, maps being the obvious example). Their strength is the uniquely profitable way to sell packages of hardware, software and services.

Google refuses to do anything with its hardware business which is colloquially known as Motorola. They don't use it to build Nexus devices, they don't make Motorola the go-to manufacturer for what Google calls a »pure-Android experience« (and I think there is a market for that). They are very dependent on iOS revenue and often don't have much say in the way Android is used. Even though they offer a plethora of services, you often can't really rely on them the way you can on, say, Amazon S3. Google shuts down services at their own discretion after possibly annihilating certain business landscapes (e. g. RSS readers come to mind). And Google (to me creepily) pushes its own social services.

Microsoft lacks conviction and stamina in certain situations: they are unable to simply liberate certain business divisions (e. g. I am sure the Office division would have released Office for the iPad quite some time ago, but they are held back by Windows division). Personally, I think they do too many things at a loss, e. g. their entrance into the Games and Search market was very, very costly, and it is not clear whether these costs can be recuperated. They want to make some premium hardware, because innovation in the PC world has been extremely stale, but refuse to be very bold (e. g. it takes them ages to launch their products outside the US -- if at all), because they are afraid of the backlash from the manufacturers. So IMO most of the things they do is half-assed. On the other hand, their old business model no longer works (the cost of licenses is way too expensive compared to the cost of cheaper tablet devices), and they cannot compensate for that by margins from the sale of hardware.
( Last edited by OreoCookie; Jun 16, 2013 at 11:02 PM. )
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Jun 17, 2013, 12:18 AM
 
^ Agreed, entirely, though I'd note that while the new google maps app is better than what we had before, it comes at the price Apple refused to pay on our (the users') behalf: more profiling, and a complete motion tracking record on google's servers for all users.
     
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Jun 17, 2013, 01:45 AM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
^ Agreed, entirely, though I'd note that while the new google maps app is better than what we had before, it comes at the price Apple refused to pay on our (the users') behalf: more profiling, and a complete motion tracking record on google's servers for all users.
Sure, nothing is perfect, but I reckon that Google is allowed to log less than it wants to, and probably also less than what they were asking for in exchange for allowing Apple to use its maps backend in iOS 6 and forward.

Ever since reading how inadequate activating do not log is, I've installed Ghostery and Do Not Track Me extensions which (supposedly) block a lot of tracking tools. If Apple ever wanted open war with Google, all they had to do was install and activate these tools by default with all their Macs and iOS devices.
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Jun 17, 2013, 02:08 AM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
Overall, I think that in many ways, Apple, Google and Microsoft want to move to almost the same position in the market (e. g. more integration between software, hardware and services) but they come from different positions with different liabilities.
I vehemently disagree, and the only evidence you need is right here in this thread.

Where Google wants to go in the market people see as grounds for outright fear.

Google wants a dossier on every person in the world, and wants to push those to you as you as you see people walking on the street.

Google wants to help make that happen by launching broadband balloons into the stratosphere.

I'm not sure that's where either Apple or Microsoft want to go, and even if they did, I sincerely doubt either Tim Cook or Steve Ballmer have the vision to pull something like that off. The only fear people have of Apple or Microsoft is them failing. The fear people have of Google is success.
     
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Jun 17, 2013, 04:55 AM
 
P.S. This was the closer to a longer post which covered your specific points in more detail. I don't want you to think I'm giving your list of points the short-shrift, and will gladly address them as you desire.

I only wanted to focus on the above for a moment because it gets to the core of the thread topic sans my initial (mis)characterizations.
     
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Jun 17, 2013, 06:02 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
The only fear people have of Apple or Microsoft is them failing. The fear people have of Google is success.
This I can agree with.

I disagree with the assessment in your initial post that Google's model is somehow more "forward-thinking" and the implication that the others' models are doomed to failure.

But that disagreement goes back to what I feel is your mischaracterization of how those models work.
     
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Jun 17, 2013, 06:21 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Where Google wants to go in the market people see as grounds for outright fear.

Google wants a dossier on every person in the world, and wants to push those to you as you as you see people walking on the street.

Google wants to help make that happen by launching broadband balloons into the stratosphere.
I also try to minimize my reliance on Google for privacy concerns, but I think you're confusing how Google is perceived with what Google wants. Google sure wants to be everywhere (iOS, Android, Windows, OS X, your pocket, your glasses, your desk), and even if I put my tinfoil hat on, I think Google's goal is still that they want to be useful (that's the only way people will keep on using Google). That they present you with the train schedule if you're passing a subway stop. Or has the eticket ready when you're at the airport. Google achieves that by combining and integrating information from different services, using data it obtained from apps it runs on its own OS as well as the OSes of others.

That's all a move towards more integration and the point I was trying to make -- whether you find it creepy is another matter

I do, and I buy Apple instead of Google devices also for that reason: Apple's interests and my interests are much more aligned than Google's and mine. I have become very skeptical of Google, and I find it strange that people are so über-careful with anything Apple does but give Google a free pass. I really, really think it's a big tragedy that even though Google has all these super clever brains working for them, they never got around to finding a business model that doesn't involve ads.

And even though I think most other people couldn't care less about this, I think Apple's move away from Google was good for us in the end. I say that despite the fact that I still have to use Google Maps instead of Apple Maps (because Google Maps is just much more accurate).
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Jun 17, 2013, 06:30 AM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
I disagree with the assessment in your initial post that Google's model is somehow more "forward-thinking" and the implication that the others' models are doomed to failure.
That's a good point: Android has big problems, the biggest one speaks Korean and goes by the name Samsung. I think if Samsung were to switch to its own mobile OS or just fork Android, the profit share of Android handset makers would plummet to almost exactly 0 %. All studies suggest lower web usage on Android devices as well as more fragmentation. In short, Google is very much dependent on other OS and device makers, that's their achilles heel.
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Jun 17, 2013, 06:48 AM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
That's a good point: Android has big problems, the biggest one speaks Korean and goes by the name Samsung. I think if Samsung were to switch to its own mobile OS or just fork Android, the profit share of Android handset makers would plummet to almost exactly 0 %. All studies suggest lower web usage on Android devices as well as more fragmentation. In short, Google is very much dependent on other OS and device makers, that's their achilles heel.
That's working on the assumption that Android is supposed to drive people towards Google's services, and in turn, generate ad revenue.

Which isn't materializing.

What does profit share have to do with this, in your opinion? Just that the smartphone business in general is not a sustainable market for all the non-Samsungs? Or just that Apple's is the only other one that works at all? Because Samsung's success is not part of Google's business model — Google is part (though as you mention, probably not essentially so) of Samsung's business model. I'm not sure I understand.
     
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Jun 17, 2013, 07:12 AM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
That's working on the assumption that Android is supposed to drive people towards Google's services, and in turn, generate ad revenue.

Which isn't materializing.
I think that's why Google made Android, to divert more internet traffic to them. If Google hadn't made Android, I'm quite sure Microsoft would be the #2 mobile OS manufacturer by default. I agree with you that it's working about as well as Microsoft pumping billions into Search and entertainment, it's a very long-term bet.
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
What does profit share have to do with this, in your opinion? Just that the smartphone business in general is not a sustainable market for all the non-Samsungs?
Exactly: if Android is not a sustainable business for Google, they there is the danger that a large part of the Android market simply goes extinct.
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Jun 17, 2013, 03:28 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
This I can agree with.

I disagree with the assessment in your initial post that Google's model is somehow more "forward-thinking" and the implication that the others' models are doomed to failure.

But that disagreement goes back to what I feel is your mischaracterization of how those models work.
This is a mischaracterization of my post.

If I thought the other models were doomed to fail I could have called out any hardware company.

The thread is titled "How Steve Killed Apple". The model I'm talking about is having a pissy vendetta against the world's preeminent information resource when what you sell most are portable information devices.
     
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Jun 17, 2013, 05:25 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
The thread is titled "How Steve Killed Apple". The model I'm talking about is having a pissy vendetta against the world's preeminent information resource when what you sell most are portable information devices.
Oh. I wish you'd just SAID that.

Dropping Google services was not a pissy vendetta. At all. Any more than trying to source alternatives to Samsung parts for iOS devices is a pissy vendetta.

Dropping Google services was partly the realization that it's a TERRIBLE idea to be dependent upon a direct competitor.

But Apple has always hated being dependent upon others, and got ****ed over by their dependence more than once — one huge reason why Adobe's Flash never made it onto iOS.
But Google was the best partner for what Apple was trying to supply, so they partnered up. Once their contracts were up, and Google tried to extort user data from Apple by withholding crucial services, Apple kicked them out. They had to, eventually.

The information services are only a part of what Apple offers, and the trade off was a setback in information quality (only maps, really) vs.
a) working towards a world where Google is not the ONLY viable option (see Siri using Bing in iOS 7, and the increasing support for Vimeo, both of which will grow in part due to iOS support — as google and YouTube did, back in the years following 2007), and
b) business-political independence.
     
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Jun 17, 2013, 05:48 PM
 
I did.

I named the thread "How Steve Killed Apple" and said that could be summed up in one word: thermonuclear.

This refers to a well known quote from Jobs about his pissy vendetta with Google.

Other well known quotes:

"Google you ****ing ripped off the iPhone, wholesale ripped us off."

"I will spend my last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every penny of Apple's $40 billion in the bank, to right this wrong. I'm going to destroy Android, because it's a stolen product."

If this isn't a pissy vendetta, I'd hate to see one for real.
     
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Jun 17, 2013, 05:51 PM
 
What does that have to do with Google services?

I mean, yeah, if you want to, you could conflate all that, but going thermonuclear basically means proving that they've been stolen from and destroying Android if they can.

That has absolutely zero to do with Google services. There are extremely sound business reasons for divorcing themselves from a dependency upon Google services.

Did you even read the rest of my post above?
     
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Jun 17, 2013, 07:53 PM
 
I did.

How I would address that (and I was going to add this anyway if you hadn't posted) is to mention (what I feel is) an important comment from earlier in the thread.

As recently as a few months ago, I would have agreed with you, 100%.

I'm not sure if you saw the video I posted about what if big websites were people. The structure of the jokes were simple. Reddit has a picture of his dog who he points out is an atheist. Know Your Meme keeps saying "I get that!"

HuffPo says nothing and stands there with a digital recorder.

The joke for Google was a guy wearing a crazy patchwork coat who tried to force 20 different services on you when all you really want is to find something on the Internet. When Google is finally convinced to give search results he lets out an irritated sigh and rolls his eyes.

This is the Google where you are absolutely right. It's very smart to not be too tight with them if only because it isn't necessary for a company with near-infinite resources.

I'd more or less do exactly what Microsoft and Apple are doing. They're following the Xbox model: use massive resources to muscle in a market with only one player. Microsoft has shown this works. I'm totally on board. I'm still agreeing with you 100%.

Then we had the combo of Glass going "live" and the 2013 I/O conference, and I realized that view of Google from the video was wrong.

It's actually a little frightening how wrong that was. Google isn't this person in a clown coat throwing stuff against the wall to see if it sticks. There's an absolute method to their madness, and it's only now as I see that coalescing, do I feel companies like Apple and Microsoft are in serious trouble with regards to providing the same kind of services.

One example (though this isn't necessarily true) is Google's claim the rationale behind Maps was as a necessary first step of a self-driving cat car program. If that's true, it's certainly evidence of some forward thinking on their part.

Glass is the sea change though, and as I've opined many times I've realized the hardware is inconsequential. Frankly, all of it has been around from anywhere between 5 and 20 years. Why is old hat a big deal all of the sudden when Google does it?

In a sense, the problem has always been one of interface. How can you give it the complex commands necessary to access your data? The more robust the interface, the more useful the device becomes as machine to access data, but the less useful it is as a piece of wearable computing.

Google's solution is something they've said before, but out of context it seemed like all the other clown coat things Google wants to do. Google's goal is to give you a search result before you even know you need it. That's the ultimate Google interface: there isn't one. It's a little funny actually. You would think it was easier to fix the head-mounted computer interface issue by designing an interface rather than algorithmically reading your ****ing mind, but that's not how Google's playing it.

Considering how far along they are, they clearly made the correct bet.

This is how I think Apple is screwed. They have to play double catch-up.

As Google was very quick to point out when Apple Maps was slinging people off of overpasses, it's not as simple as throwing a ****ton of money at something. You learn a lot of tricks after putting 10 years of effort into something. The same goes for Microsoft and bing!

Okay, great. After awhile they catch up. Maybe by then they've offered their own version of all the other services too. We get Apple search, and bing Maps are done! Awsome.

How far along are they with project to consolidate all that and start the "big data" analysis underlying Google's read your ****ing mind model? How long have they been learning tricks and throwing money at it?

Also ask yourself this question: how much of the above things are the type of things Apple has almost always had a terrific struggle? Pretty much all of it. I'm not going to bet too much on them ever being able to catch up.
     
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Jun 17, 2013, 11:13 PM
 
I don't think they necessarily want to.

I also don't think the world necessarily wants Google's vision, because it's ****ing creepy.

I'll ponder your post for a while, but that's my initial reaction.
     
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Jun 18, 2013, 01:04 PM
 
The creepy factor is by far the biggest hurdle Google has to jump.

They know it too.

They're not even close to pitching Glass (for example) in terms of what they really want it to do. That would scare everybody off.


Google has said in the past they want to get right up to the "creepy line". That's not because they want to stay at the creepy line. They want it because that ultimately pushes out the creepy line.

I also should mention the next generation seems 100% fine with this. I guess they need to get off our non-creepy, information-starved lawn, eh?
     
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Jun 18, 2013, 01:44 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
As Google was very quick to point out when Apple Maps was slinging people off of overpasses, it's not as simple as throwing a ****ton of money at something. You learn a lot of tricks after putting 10 years of effort into something. The same goes for Microsoft and bing!
Google Maps suffers from many of the same issues as Apple Maps did/does.

Originally Posted by subego View Post
How far along are they with project to consolidate all that and start the "big data" analysis underlying Google's read your ****ing mind model? How long have they been learning tricks and throwing money at it?.
Apple is very clear that this is explicitly *not* what they want.

In fact, they're banking on it:

Apple has always placed a priority on protecting our customers’ personal data, and we don’t collect or maintain a mountain of personal details about our customers in the first place. There are certain categories of information which we do not provide to law enforcement or any other group because we choose not to retain it.

For example, conversations which take place over iMessage and FaceTime are protected by end-to-end encryption so no one but the sender and receiver can see or read them. Apple cannot decrypt that data. Similarly, we do not store data related to customers’ location, Map searches or Siri requests in any identifiable form.
Apple - Apple’s Commitment to Customer Privacy
     
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Jun 18, 2013, 02:27 PM
 
I'm skeptical.
     
 
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