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Woz On Apple's Success

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the they've-been-doing-well-lately dept.

294

Frankenbuffer writes "The Globe and Mail today has a short interview with Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple. Steve muses on spinning off iPod as a separate division. He also questions the move to Intel." From the article: "Microsoft wants to get out of the whole image of the big, black Darth Vader evil guy ... Innovation is probably going on within the company, because any time you put smart engineers in places eventually they wind up talking and innovating no matter how much you try to hold them back. I hope Microsoft improves and becomes more like Apple."

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MOD THIS COMMENT DOWN!!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14785794)

MOD THIS COMMENT DOWN!!!

Re:MOD THIS COMMENT DOWN!!! (3, Funny)

Aqws (932918) | more than 8 years ago | (#14785811)

MOD PARENT UP!

IPods are the only reason why Apple still exists (0, Flamebait)

MinerSixtyNiner (956393) | more than 8 years ago | (#14785850)

You know, I prefer Apple to Microsoft, but here in Ole Europe I haven't met anyone that uses Apple. Apple doesn't have a market penetration on Europe... But "hip" european teenage girls are affected by the trendyness of the IPod, so, Apple still makes some money here in Europe, but not thanks to their main product, the Macintosh computers...

Re:IPods are the only reason why Apple still exist (4, Interesting)

jcr (53032) | more than 8 years ago | (#14785913)

Even if you remove the iPod from the picture, the Macintosh business is growing by double-digits, year over year. With the iPod, Apple's a sixty billion dollar company. Without it, they would probably be a thirty billion dollar company, which is still Freaking Huge.

-jcr

Re:IPods are the only reason why Apple still exist (3, Informative)

AnonymousPrick (956548) | more than 8 years ago | (#14785997)

Apple Results:

Industry Comparison: Apple doing better than Dell in terms of operating margin. MS still better 40+% [yahoo.com]

ROE very nice! [yahoo.com]

I mention this because a couple of years ago I was once with a bunch of mgt types and they were saying that Apple should get out of the PC business because they were an industry laggard. It looks like things have changed.

Re:IPods are the only reason why Apple still exist (1)

osviews.com (955101) | more than 8 years ago | (#14786134)

The thing is... things haven't changed. Apple is a high profile today. Apple was a high profile player before.

The only thing that is changing is public perception.

Re:IPods are the only reason why Apple still exist (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14785931)

"...but here in Ole Europe..."

Is that Spain or something?

Re:IPods are the only reason why Apple still exist (3, Interesting)

cyngus (753668) | more than 8 years ago | (#14785957)

Well, here in Ole Silicon Valley where I take the train every day to work (no, unfortunately not at Apple) they seem to have a lot of penetration. There are three laptops that I see on the train, PowerBooks, ThinkPads, and Dell whatevers. I'd say I see each in about equal numbers. Given that I have a bais to notice PowerBooks ('cause they're dead sexy!) maybe PB's account for more like 20%. Still, pretty good numbers in the Valley where I'd say a lot of the tech trend setters are.

Re:IPods are the only reason why Apple still exist (1)

mccalli (323026) | more than 8 years ago | (#14786173)

Well, here in Ole Silicon Valley...[t]here are three laptops that I see on the train, PowerBooks, ThinkPads, and Dell whatevers. I'd say I see each in about equal numbers.

I commute in to London every day and work in the City. My experience is similar to yours - only those three brands tend to make an appearence, though I'll allow the odd HP and Sony a guest mention. However the Dell/Thinkpad numbers dwarf the rest - whilst my Powerbook isn't quite a unique sight, it's not an especially common one either.

Having said that, if you dump the commute and just look at laptops in the various coffee bars etc. within the City itself, then the Apple quotient jumps up again. And it's still the same brands that make the bulk of the appearance.

Cheers,
Ian

Nawww... (4, Funny)

JoeLinux (20366) | more than 8 years ago | (#14785812)

If there is one thing I've learned as an engineer, it's that no matter how innovative your engineers, if your management is nothing but bottom-line looking buzzword spewers, you are going to be twisting in the wind.

I swear, the next time a manager tells me that I need to leverage my win-win situation to think outside the box synergisticly, I'm going to mail the CEO the christmas party pictures I took...it graphically proves that our admin used to be a gymnast...

Boldly going where I surely don't belong...

Re:Nawww... (3, Funny)

general_re (8883) | more than 8 years ago | (#14785868)

Sounds like someone hasn't leveraged the empowerment of their paradigm shift....

Re:Nawww... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14785918)

tried that, i dilocated my leg, 9 of my 10 fingures, along with both arms.

Re:Nawww... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14786145)

I bet you would never post them anywhere... especially somewhere that we could see on /.

Prove me wrong you synergizer!

You missed a few (2, Funny)

ianscot (591483) | more than 8 years ago | (#14786248)

You aren't to critical mass yet:

the next time a manager tells me that I need to leverage my win-win situation and core competencies to think outside the box to create a robust solution synergisticly going forward on an as-needed basis,

In my work group, we spend staff meetings keeping track of the jargon used by management. It's interesting to track over time.

Re:Nawww... (1)

fak3r (917687) | more than 8 years ago | (#14786329)

Thanks for posting that, it's completely true; the more managers you get the more ideas they learned at the recent 'offsite manager meeting' with red tape aplenty. There's always more of the hated bizspeak and think it's a dead language. Check my writings (with examples) if it:

A dead language [fak3r.com]
More bad language [fak3r.com]

Unless you want to 'take this offline' to 'get your head around the 'tribal knowledge' - that's my fav...

Why do people care about this guy? (serious inquir (-1, Flamebait)

chroot_james (833654) | more than 8 years ago | (#14785816)

I just don't understand it... Why do people care about what this guy says?

Re:Why do people care about this guy? (serious inq (3, Insightful)

91degrees (207121) | more than 8 years ago | (#14785867)

He was co-founder of apple and creator of the original Apple personal computers. Reasonable to presume he has a few insights worth listening to.

Re:Why do people care about this guy? (serious inq (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14785879)

You should add that he singlehandedly designed and made what is arguably the first mass-produced, consumer-friendly personal computer.

Re:Why do people care about this guy? (serious inq (1)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 8 years ago | (#14786143)

Who cares what some burnout TTL jockey lazy rich-bitch, who hasn't done anything new since the late 70's thinks?!!

Re:Why do people care about this guy? (serious inq (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 8 years ago | (#14785888)

Why do people care about what this guy says?

Probably because he's acheived more than most people ever will.

-jcr

Re:Why do people care about this guy? (serious inq (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14786299)

agreed

Re:Why do people care about this guy? (serious inq (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 8 years ago | (#14785908)

moron

Re:Why do people care about this guy? (serious inq (0)

chroot_james (833654) | more than 8 years ago | (#14785974)

sweet. thanks for answering my question. woz hasn't done anything interesting since he made that computer. why should i care about his opinion when he simply happened to get lucky by knowing steve?!

Re:Why do people care about this guy? (serious inq (1)

ncc74656 (45571) | more than 8 years ago | (#14786093)

sweet. thanks for answering my question. woz hasn't done anything interesting since he made that computer. why should i care about his opinion when he simply happened to get lucky by knowing steve?!

It's more like Steve Jobs "happened to get lucky" by knowing Woz. Jobs was (and is) a salesman, not an engineer. Without Woz, Jobs wouldn't have had an Apple II to sell and make a fortune off of.

Re:Why do people care about this guy? (serious inq (1)

chroot_james (833654) | more than 8 years ago | (#14786120)

Well, to be fair, Woz probably wouldn't be famous without Steve. And, as you said, the opposite is true. Lucky guys!

Re:Why do people care about this guy? (serious inq (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 8 years ago | (#14786113)

Yes i agree, Steve jobs was lucky for knowing Woz.

Re:Why do people care about this guy? (serious inq (2, Interesting)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | more than 8 years ago | (#14785950)

Because he helped start the personal computer revolution that enabled you to be typing on your computer in your home or office to write that comment. And he brings technical authority, since the Apple II computer was the last personal computer to be designed entirely by a single human being. Whether you use Windows or Linux, it all traces back to Apple.

Re:Why do people care about this guy? (serious inq (4, Insightful)

Golias (176380) | more than 8 years ago | (#14785985)

His design ideas in the Apple ][ were revolutionary, so he as geek cred because of his clever engineering skills.

Plus, he's kind of a hippy who marginalized himself at Apple and eventually quit because it stopped being fun, so he also has anti-establishment cred.

He's also very good at talking about technology, and a fairly likable person, so the press loves the guy.

Finally, Steve Jobs haters love to hail him as the "real" genius behind anything good that Apple has ever done, in spite of the fact that he was never really part of the Macintosh team and hasn't been involved in any company of note for a couple of decades now.

Re:Why do people care about this guy? (serious inq (1)

chroot_james (833654) | more than 8 years ago | (#14786029)

fair enough. thanks for actually answering me too.

Re:Why do people care about this guy? (serious inq (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14786041)

They shouldn't.

Let's face it - Steve hasn't done anything serious since being at Apple - what over 20 years ago? A lot has changed since a lone hacker writing a few lines of 6502 assembler and hooking up discrete ttl chips makes a breakthrough product.

Have you heard about the CORE (controller of remote electronics), or Worlds Of Zeus (WOZ)? Those are just two of his post-Apple failures. If anything, his career as a serial startup-flop is longer and more sustained then his time at Apple.

Does anyone remember CORE sort of invented self-learning universal remotes? So how come he isn't making millions (or billions) off it?

A little thing called business acumen and marketing.

Funny, there is this OTHER steve (Steve Jobs) who has quite a bit of that. Now, guess who returned to Apple after being forced to leave, saved the company financially and with innovative product strategies, and is in the process of selling his other company (Pixar) to Disney for billions of dollars.

It is Steve Jobs that has done all that.

The success of Apple in it's current generation (iPod, iMacs, switch to Intel) is all directly Steve Jobs and has nothing to do with the other Steve.

Maybe that's why he runs around giving interviews about the "way it was" back in the '70s and '80s - there's nothing about today's technology or accomplishments for him to talk about.

Re:Why do people care about this guy? (serious inq (1)

russellh (547685) | more than 8 years ago | (#14786350)

A person like Woz thrives in the lower tech frontier environment of 1975-1982. It's long gone. The garage startups turned into giant corporations, but Woz seems to be a garage hacker kind of guy.

How is he questioning the move to Intel? (4, Insightful)

jdb8167 (204116) | more than 8 years ago | (#14785818)

From the article:

"Still, the switch to Intel is a necessary one from an engineering standpoint, he said, because Apple needed a way to improve performance per watt. Mr. Wozniak would have liked Apple to continue using Motorola processors, but "Intel just did a very good logic design.""

Sounds like sound logic to me. No questioning there at all.

Re:How is he questioning the move to Intel? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14785973)

Um, next paragraph:


Engineering related considerations aside, he still seems reluctant about joining the Intel camp. "If it wasn't needed, I would say we shouldn't do it. And I still have some questions as to how much it's needed."


"I still have some questions ..." sounds like *questioning* to me.

Re:How is he questioning the move to Intel? (2, Informative)

Electric Eye (5518) | more than 8 years ago | (#14786149)

How the f*ck can he even question this move??? Is he smoking too much weed? Motorola COULD NOT come up with a G5 (or better) that could power a notebook. They hit a wall with this processor. End of story. The Powerbooks have had G4s in the for more than two years now. The best thing Apple could do to "update" them was to add small gizmos or slightly improve the displays. That was it. Apple is now finally able to move forward with its notebooks again.

I guess it's good he's no longer with the company. We might still be using Performas....

Re:How is he questioning the move to Intel? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14786170)

How is it Freescale's fault that Apple chose to sit on their backsides and not update their processors to the dual-core G4s?

Re:How is he questioning the move to Intel? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14786283)

It's Freescale's fault they haven't released them yet, and probably won't until late this year.

And clock speeds weren't guaranteed - it could have been 1.8GHz max ... the Core Duo will be at 2.33GHz in a few months.

Re:How is he questioning the move to Intel? (2, Insightful)

jdb8167 (204116) | more than 8 years ago | (#14786158)

I guess I don't equate "questioning the move to Intel" with "I still have some questions." The first implies that Woz doesn't agree with the move. The second says that he doesn't have enough information to completely satisfy himself. But given that Woz is first and foremost an engineer, I suspect that he is going to side with the engineering argument over the emotional one.

How about the previous paragraph? (1)

Yhippa (443967) | more than 8 years ago | (#14786002)

"It's like consorting with the enemy. We've had this long history of saying the enemy is the big black-hatted guys, and they kind of represent evil. We are different, and by being different we're better," he says. "All of a sudden we're the same in this hardware regard, so it's a little hard to swallow your words from the past."

Re:How is he questioning the move to Intel? (2, Informative)

Golias (176380) | more than 8 years ago | (#14786012)

People forget that Woz originally chose Motorola over Intel for the first Apple computers because of cost more than any other factor. Motorola had a chip available which was a fraction of the price of most other options at the time.

Re:How is he questioning the move to Intel? (1)

Firehed (942385) | more than 8 years ago | (#14786049)

No, the question was "Should we have done it?" The answer was obviously "yes". Of course you'll have some headaches along the way, seeing that you need to rewrite all of your software and make a PPC emulator for the meantime, but if you only have X watts to get performance out of, you'd best be using the most effecient chip available, especially if you're about at your power draw limit.

Re:How is he questioning the move to Intel? (1)

PetiePooo (606423) | more than 8 years ago | (#14786159)

"Still, the switch to Intel is a necessary one from an engineering standpoint, he said, because Apple needed a way to improve performance per watt. Mr. Wozniak would have liked Apple to continue using Motorola processors, but "Intel just did a very good logic design.""

Sounds like sound logic to me. No questioning there at all.


Read on a little further.. like the next paragraph.

Engineering related considerations aside, he still seems reluctant about joining the Intel camp. "If it wasn't needed, I would say we shouldn't do it. And I still have some questions as to how much it's needed."

Hmmm... selective quotations. Do you live in Redmond?

Woz is a good man (4, Interesting)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 8 years ago | (#14785841)

Ever since I read Linzmayer's Apple Confidential [amazon.com] , I've felt a little sorry for Steve Wozniak. Here's a man who was used by Steve Jobs to launch a brand and didn't even get justly compensated, and then he essentially gets forced out of his own company in a way much worse than Jobs' infamous departure.

But then I realized that, in spite of his lesser success and his challenges, Woz is probably a much happier man. Anyone who gives as much as he does to charity and cares as much about having disadvantaged kids must have a lot of inner peace.

He has more than enough (1)

maynard (3337) | more than 8 years ago | (#14785935)

I mean, how many millions does one need to retire? He'll never want for food or shelter. He spends his days teaching children, tinkering on personal projects, and being a daddy. As you pointed out, who is happier: Jobs or Wozniak? I bet Wozniak.

Re:He has more than enough (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14786077)

As you pointed out, who is happier: Jobs or Wozniak? I bet Wozniak.

Why can't they both happy? There is more than one way to live a good life. From what I have read and seen (TV bio) about Woz, he is a very happy and centered person. One of his greatest loves is teaching computer science to kids and his money allows him to do that. PS. He still has lots and lots of money.

Re:Woz is a good man (5, Interesting)

jcr (53032) | more than 8 years ago | (#14785937)

Here's a man who was used by Steve Jobs to launch a brand and didn't even get justly compensated

Woz made hundreds of millions of dollars. Without Jobs, he wouldn't have even left HP.

-jcr

Re:Woz is a good man (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14786034)

Steve Jobs is evil. Perhaps he put his evil to motivate Steve Wozniak to doing things for him, but he's still evil.

Re:Woz is a good man (4, Funny)

jcr (53032) | more than 8 years ago | (#14786045)

Steve Jobs is evil.

Aww.... What did he do, steal your girlfriend?

-jcr

Re:Woz is a good man (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14786154)

Yes, he stole my girlfriend. I was tired of being a heterosexual female and decided to start having sexual relationships with women. Unfortunately Steve Jobs, along with stealing credit for other people's work, stole away my girlfriend. He had dislodged the sand he usually has in his vagina and I could no longer compete. Just another day in being an intellectually-bankrupt faux-libertarian for JCR.

Re:Woz is a good man (5, Interesting)

osgeek (239988) | more than 8 years ago | (#14786204)

Exactly. The engineer in us all wants Woz to be the much-put-upon hero of the story, but looking at what Jobs and Woz did professionally *after* they were ousted is very telling. Woz tried his hand at a number of enterprises... none of which I can recall. I wonder why?

Jobs, on the other hand, started NeXT; and though we can bicker somewhat about its market success, it was eventually sold to Apple for $400M and was extraordinarily innovative for its time. Afterward, Jobs was the single-most-responsible reason why Apple had its turn-around. He brought Pixar to its successful heights. He envisioned, brought about, and championed changes to the way we think about computer styling, music players, and animated entertainment.

Wozniak sounds like a really nice guy. He was a brilliant engineer, no doubt. However, the real force behind his rise to success was the marketing brilliance of Steve Jobs. Jobs financially made Woz what he is today, and Woz should really be nothing but grateful. Slashdot probably is not the most receptive crowd to such heresy, but it is the truth.

I'd put it this way (1)

hey! (33014) | more than 8 years ago | (#14786307)

once the fire is going the tinder doesn't need the spark anymore.

Re:Woz is a good man (1)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | more than 8 years ago | (#14785947)

Woz is a good man

The "wakka wakka wakka!" guy, right? He always cracks me up.

Re:Woz is a good man (1)

Golias (176380) | more than 8 years ago | (#14786070)

Yeah, I feel really sorry for Woz, the way he only became a millionaire for something he had fun building in his garage to scratch his own personal itch at the time.

Thank goodness an evil Steve Jobs type of person hasn't come along to exploit the outcome of my hobbies like that, leaving me living exactly the same life I have now, except with lots and lots more money.

Re:Woz is a good man (1)

iocat (572367) | more than 8 years ago | (#14786136)

Woz one time said something like "way before I got rich, I learned to get stressed out about things." I think he's pretty happy. I think he enjoyed the pranks and fun of working at Apple as much as the engineering, and when it ceased to be fun, he just went on to other things. I think the US Festivals were as satisfying for him in some ways as the Apple II development, and his educational work has been really satisfying to him as well. I met Woz once in a social context, and got the impression that he got more of a kick and more satisfaction out of having a rad non-red laser pointer than a really driven perfectionist (like, say Steve Jobs) has received from, say, owning Pixar. Not at all saying Steve Jobs is unhappy (I have no idea), but Woz seems to be pretty happy.

Re:Woz is a good man (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14786227)

Here's a man who was used by Steve Jobs to launch a brand and didn't even get justly compensated, and then he essentially gets forced out of his own company in a way much worse than Jobs' infamous departure.

Well here's the thing, Woz seems to be doing okay for himself and isn't bitter about it. Maybe it's the pervailance of greed in our society, but I'm surprised at how many people throw a fit if they only get $x million instead of $x million + 1. We all get cheated, and do what we can at the time, but dwelling on that stuff will turn you into a bitter unhappy person.

Woz was adimate that he only get paid as much as every other engineer at Apple after their big success. That doesn't sound like the policy of a desparate man who needs money, so I think Woz feels financially safe.

Re:Woz is a good man (1)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 8 years ago | (#14786279)

Here's a man who was used by Steve Jobs to launch a brand and didn't even get justly compensated

But what did he do that was so unique? He designed a computer using off-the-shelf parts, which had already been done by Altair. Apple's innovation was to attach a keyboard and monitor and sell it pre-assembled. If Wozniak and Jobs hadn't done it, somebody else would have certainly come up with this same obvious idea within a matter of months.

Technically, the Apple II was basically equivalent to many of the ordinary microcomputer systems sold in the 70s, most of which were designed by unsung anonymous engineers who only ended up with a few $thousand in salary. Most of the Apple II's perceived value over its competitors was derived from Jobs' reality distortion field and the bragging rights to say "we thought of it a few weeks before anyone else did".

Do we really want clones? (2, Interesting)

mldkfa (689415) | more than 8 years ago | (#14785843)

I don't really understand what Woz means by saying that her hopes intel becomes more like Apple. Would we really just want 1 kind of machine? Does he want Microsoft to only licence their software to hardware vendors that only make PC's that are white boxes? Does he want Microsoft to take out support for obsolete hardware everytime they upgrade their operating system? I mean innovation is one thing. But Microsoft already has shown that people don't really need pretty bozes; they want something that will mostly work with all their software and hardware that they have sitting around.

Re:Do we really want clones? (2, Funny)

smaerd (954708) | more than 8 years ago | (#14785876)

Obi Wan: I have something of yours. [Opens old chest and brings out a white box-like thing]
Luke: An iPOD?!
Obi Wan: Yes, it used to be your father's before he turned evil and worked for Microsoft.
Luke: You knew my father?
Obi Wan: Yes, I fought with your father in the Clone Wars....

Re:Do we really want clones? (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 8 years ago | (#14785969)

I don't really understand what Woz means by saying that her hopes intel becomes more like Apple.

Check again.. He said that about Microsoft, not Intel.

-jcr

Re:Do we really want clones? (1)

mldkfa (689415) | more than 8 years ago | (#14786013)

Err yes, I meant that. Just a misstype.

Re:Do we really want clones? (1)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 8 years ago | (#14786018)

I don't really understand what Woz means by saying that her hopes intel becomes more like Apple.

Easy! Because having a human (clone or not) is infinite times better than having a borg! :P

Re:Do we really want clones? (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 8 years ago | (#14786181)

Does he want Microsoft to only licence their software to hardware vendors that only make PC's that are white boxes?

Where do you think this [xbox.com] is headed?

Ah the Woz.. (2, Interesting)

fussili (720463) | more than 8 years ago | (#14785848)

I'd be interested in seeing what direction he'd take the iPod in if he had the chance. Judging by his involvement in the Danger Inc Hiptop, he's big into small internet communication devices and who wouldn't like a WiFi iPod with a web browser? That screen is becoming bigger all the time.

Right now people seem to be straining to turn the iPod into an Input device, or at least to give it that capability. I'd be very interested to see what the Woz could do with it.

Re:Ah the Woz.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14785971)

who wouldn't like a WiFi iPod with a web browser?

Me. Just fix the damn music playback, get rid of ridiculous video, and stop adding extraneous bullshit that doesn't belong in a music player!

Re:Ah the Woz.. (1)

poot_rootbeer (188613) | more than 8 years ago | (#14786317)

Judging by his involvement in the Danger Inc Hiptop

How much involvement does he have, really? I know he sits on Danger's advisory board, but I would imagine that if he had much of a hands-on role, a few really nasty bugs in the Hiptop API would have been history a long time ago.

Spinning off iPod (1)

stiggle (649614) | more than 8 years ago | (#14785851)

I can see this happening as a result of the Apple-v-Apple court case next month. That way Apple can get out of the Music business leave it all to the iDivision.

Re:Spinning off iPod (1)

c0dedude (587568) | more than 8 years ago | (#14785884)

Yeah, right. It's where they're getting their highest margins, have a kick-ass marketshare (why don't we see phrasing like that in yearly reports? They'd be so much more interesting), AND it carries a halo effect, causing people to buy other apple stuff. Fun fact about business: Don't spin off your cash cow. Woz is out of his mind if he thinks Apple will spin off the ipod; however, he is an engineer, not an exec.

Re:Spinning off iPod (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 8 years ago | (#14785960)

Just create a second company. Call one of them Apple, the other iPod. Both opwned by a parent company. Administratively it's a minor change, legally they're two separate companies. (presumably. IANAL)

Another "Fun fact about business" (1)

brunes69 (86786) | more than 8 years ago | (#14786055)

.. you don't know shit about it.

Companies spin-off their larger profit makers all the time. It is called 'unlocking value'. Basically if one division of a company is vastly outpserforming the others, then it makes good financial sense to spin it off, so that the shares of both seperate companies more accuratly reflect their marketplace, instead of one division pullling another one down.

Look at Viacom spinning off CBS for example, or Wendy's spinning off it's cash-cow Tim hortons subsidiary.

It would not be unreasonable to suggest Apple spin off it's iTunes music store, since it fits right into this category.

Re:Another "Fun fact about business" (1)

xpyr (743763) | more than 8 years ago | (#14786086)

It would not be unreasonable to suggest Apple spin off it's iTunes music store, since it fits right into this category.

Um unless you've been paying attention, the itunes music store isn't a money maker at all. They barely break even with it. Jobs has said publicly that the itunes music store is used to sell ipods.

Re:Another "Fun fact about business" (1)

brunes69 (86786) | more than 8 years ago | (#14786112)

Thanks for making my point for me.

Re:Another "Fun fact about business" (2, Interesting)

orac2 (88688) | more than 8 years ago | (#14786289)

The problem with that approach -- as fashionable as it may (and I think it's popularity may have peaked) -- is that after you've finished spinning off every highly profitable division of your company, all you're left with are the unprofitable or marginally-profitable divisions, plus some nasty overheads, which is not normally a recipie for staying in buisiness. The parent organization closing up shop ideally wouldn't matter too much, except that some of those unprofitable or marginal divisions can often be important for the long term profitability of all those currently high-performing divisions/spin-offs, as customer experience suffers because of integration or legacy support issues, or the well of innovation dries up (R&D divisions are rarely profit centers in themselves) and there's less room for experimentation. Also, without the easily-accessed combined financial resources of the whole, spun-off divisions can find themselves without the reserves needed to weather temporary downturns. Unlocking value is a great short term strategy, but I'm not so sure it makes sense for companies planning for the long haul, such as Apple, especially when Apple's branding and premium pricing relies so heavily on integration and a seamless user experience.

Innovate? (2, Insightful)

bhirsch (785803) | more than 8 years ago | (#14785859)

Apple's innovation would seem more related to its marketing than its engineering.

Re:Innovate? (1)

Steve Cowan (525271) | more than 8 years ago | (#14785922)

Troll much?

Re:Innovate? (1)

bhirsch (785803) | more than 8 years ago | (#14785970)

What do you attribute Apple's success to?

Re:Innovate? (1)

CallFinalClass (801589) | more than 8 years ago | (#14786115)

You made the assertion, with no data or even a thought process to back it up. If you had, and it was logical, perhaps you wouldn't have been labeled a troll. It's up to you, bhirsch, to defend your statements, not up to anyone else to prove you wrong.

Re:Innovate? (1)

2nd Post! (213333) | more than 8 years ago | (#14786209)

1) Designing a better Jukebox in 2000; true, they got the basics from C&Gs SoundJam, but they have added strong features to it over the years, to the point that now everyone takes for granted the things Apple added. Being free helps too. In order to get Sony SonicStage you have to buy a Sony MP3 player. In order to get Creative Lab's MediaSource you have to buy a Zen or MuVo.
  A) Smart Playlist support (database driven)
  B) Integrated ripping, cataloging, and indexing
  c) Live search
  D) External MP3 synchronization (as far back as Creative Nomad Jukebox in 2000)
  E) Free (compared to MusicMatch or Xing or Creative or Sony)

2) Designing a better MP3 player in 2001; they didn't do it first, but they did do it better.
  A) Denser: the Nomad was physically larger, the smaller Rio PMP held much less
  B) Faster: the Nomad and Rio uploaded at USB1 speed, or 1mb/s, while the iPod could hit 16mb/s
  C) Simpler: the comparable Nomad had 11 buttons and required two hands; the iPod only had 5 buttons and could be used with one hand
  D) Faster: the use of the iTunes index meant you could keep the entire music index in memory (it had 32mb!) instead of crawling through the harddrive
  E) Simpler: the use of iTunes meant synchronization was simple: Plug in and 10 minutes later all 5gb was full, while on a Nomad it would take a couple hours

Since then they have done four things to stay in the lead:

A) Made iPods cheaper (Compare $499 for 5gb in 2001 vs $299 for 30gb in 2006)
B) Made iPods more powerful (Compare MP3 in 2001 vs AAC, video, and pictures in 2006)
C) Made iPods smaller (Compare the G1 vs G5 iPods; half the thickness)
D) Added new models (nano and shuffle, mini, color)
E) Continued improving the iTunes experience, as listed above

All the others added these features after Apple; if they had done so before, perhaps they would be number one instead? Creative added their Zen Micro after the iPod mini. They added the Zen after the iPod, with several laptop HD based MP3 players in the interim (still too big!). The Vision:M is still bigger than an iPod with Video, despite similar specs.

Re:Innovate? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14786162)

I don't see this as a troll. There's no huge difference between them and dell for example whose hardware is made by samsung to the best of my knowledge.

It's an intel mobo with an intel proc. Their graphics cards/hard disks etc are standard fare (below standard when you consider how much you're paying in the higher price range).

For some, it's OS X, which is a nice gui on top of a tuned BSD so not especially innovative, for most it's "Oh, look, shiny!".

Re:Innovate? (0, Redundant)

2nd Post! (213333) | more than 8 years ago | (#14786258)

Actually, Dell's discontinued DJ was made by Creative. From another post, my rebuttal as to why the iPod is successful:

1) Designing a better Jukebox in 2000; true, they got the basics from C&Gs SoundJam, but they have added strong features to it over the years, to the point that now everyone takes for granted the things Apple added. Being free helps too. In order to get Sony SonicStage you have to buy a Sony MP3 player. In order to get Creative Lab's MediaSource you have to buy a Zen or MuVo.
  A) Smart Playlist support (database driven)
  B) Integrated ripping, cataloging, and indexing
  c) Live search
  D) External MP3 synchronization (as far back as Creative Nomad Jukebox in 2000)
  E) Free (compared to MusicMatch or Xing or Creative or Sony)

2) Designing a better MP3 player in 2001; they didn't do it first, but they did do it better.
  A) Denser: the Nomad was physically larger, the smaller Rio PMP held much less
  B) Faster: the Nomad and Rio uploaded at USB1 speed, or 1mb/s, while the iPod could hit 16mb/s
  C) Simpler: the comparable Nomad had 11 buttons and required two hands; the iPod only had 5 buttons and could be used with one hand
  D) Faster: the use of the iTunes index meant you could keep the entire music index in memory (it had 32mb!) instead of crawling through the harddrive
  E) Simpler: the use of iTunes meant synchronization was simple: Plug in and 10 minutes later all 5gb was full, while on a Nomad it would take a couple hours

Since then they have done four things to stay in the lead:

A) Made iPods cheaper (Compare $499 for 5gb in 2001 vs $299 for 30gb in 2006)
B) Made iPods more powerful (Compare MP3 in 2001 vs AAC, video, and pictures in 2006)
C) Made iPods smaller (Compare the G1 vs G5 iPods; half the thickness)
D) Added new models (nano and shuffle, mini, color)
E) Continued improving the iTunes experience, as listed above

All the others added these features after Apple; if they had done so before, perhaps they would be number one instead? Creative added their Zen Micro after the iPod mini. They added the Zen after the iPod, with several laptop HD based MP3 players in the interim (still too big!). The Vision:M is still bigger than an iPod with Video, despite similar specs.

Engineers (1)

jimbolauski (882977) | more than 8 years ago | (#14785861)

As with all companies there is a magic ratio between the engineers who make the money and the buisness types who end up stifiling the engineers with extra paperwork, goals, and all the other crap they were tought in school. Microsoft execs finaly realize that the only way to keep their dominance in the market is to be an innovator instead of just copying others ideas.

Re:Engineers (2, Interesting)

defile (1059) | more than 8 years ago | (#14785995)

Except in limited cases, big companies don't innovate on their own. It's too freaking expensive, which makes it even riskier than it is for the garage/basement innovators.

It's a much better strategy for big companies to acquire small innovative companies.

Hey "Woz"! (-1, Flamebait)

bazmail (764941) | more than 8 years ago | (#14785862)

Apple sucks.
All the demi-gods ever involved with it suck.

Get a life people.

Re:Hey "Woz"! (1)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | more than 8 years ago | (#14785972)

Can I have yours? I'm just positive you get the chicks all day long...

Re:Hey "Woz"! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14786083)

He just got a few seconds of your life, isn't that the point of a troll?

And now I've lost a few of mine. Never mind, I would have just wasted them anyway.

-Hans Moleman

Innovate? MS? (-1, Troll)

ElitistWhiner (79961) | more than 8 years ago | (#14785905)

MS innovates on 2nd or 3rd generation technologies. It doesn't generate new technologies or advance the art by risking a 1st generation bet.

Apple innovates on technology gaps filling the need for 1st generation solutions to problems defined as weak bridges to the consumer. There is no culture at MS for forging those technological innovations that bridge the divide between markets.

Apple sees itself as a marketer, merchant and abstracts those bridges into interfaces that enable Apple to own the layer above the technology charging a gateway fee onto the marketplace floor.

MS is not motivated to serve the needs of anybody but their own self-interest in maintaining the Windows dominance on the desktop. Apple has no such arbitrary restriction on service to the customer. Apple will meet the customer where needed most.

why? (2, Insightful)

Mike_ya (911105) | more than 8 years ago | (#14785954)

He hopes his "long-time nemesis" improves and becomes more like Apple? Why?

Does he realize that if Microsoft improves their image and becomes more like Apple it is only going to hurt Apple?

Guess someone has some MS stock that he wants to see go up.

Re:why? (1)

Moofie (22272) | more than 8 years ago | (#14786004)

If you assume it's a zero-sum game, you're right. Since it's not, you're not.

Re:why? (1)

DJCacophony (832334) | more than 8 years ago | (#14786169)

It is. The average person will either buy microsoft or apple, not both.

Re:why? (1)

Moofie (22272) | more than 8 years ago | (#14786276)

Huh? How many Windows users have iPods? How many Mac users use Microsoft software? You're vastly oversimplifying.

Re:why? (1)

FluffyWithTeeth (890188) | more than 8 years ago | (#14786024)

Because he wants to see the market move on and evolve. Woz really doesn't give a shit what happens to Apple; whatever happens he still has craploads of money, and a life he can live peacefully and well.

Re:why? (2, Insightful)

PFI_Optix (936301) | more than 8 years ago | (#14786040)

Or maybe, just maybe, he has an interest in seeing the field improved by greater, more innovative, competition.

I'd like to see Microsoft become more like Apple. I'd like to see Apple become more like Google (yeah yeah China blah blah blah). The fact is, all the big companies have some excellent traits, and each could stand to learn something from the others. And the more they take these lessons to heart, the better their products get, and the more we benefit from it. Have you considered the possibility that what he wants is for everyone to have the better computer experience that would come from such innovation?

Re:why? (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 8 years ago | (#14786085)

He hopes his "long-time nemesis" improves and becomes more like Apple? Why?

To alleviate the suffering of their customers, perhaps?

Hell, I'd love to see Microsoft come up with something I could stand to use, besides a mouse.

-jcr

Re:why? (1)

jtwronski (465067) | more than 8 years ago | (#14786237)

Hell, I'd love to see Microsoft come up with something I could stand to use, besides a mouse


They "make" pretty good keyboards too.

Testing New Technologies (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 8 years ago | (#14785996)

Mr. Wozniak was in New Zealand recently for a four-on-four polo tournament played on two-wheeled, self-balancing Segway gyroscopic scooters.

Would have been a great way to test new collision-advoidance systems.

spinning off the wrong part? (2)

DeveloperAdvantage (923539) | more than 8 years ago | (#14786060)

But iPods are also distracting Apple from its focus on computing, he said, and the company might be better served by spinning off the business.

Given the huge success of the iPod, perhaps a better strategy would be to spin off the computing business.

Would you like fries with your words? (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 8 years ago | (#14786069)

"All of a sudden we're the same in this hardware regard, so it's a little hard to swallow your words from the past."

Somehow Steve Jobs never seems to have that problem.

No one ever wants to hold him to account for past pronouncements.

Calling BS (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 8 years ago | (#14786106)

Still, the switch to Intel is a necessary one from an engineering standpoint, he said, because Apple needed a way to improve performance per watt. Mr. Wozniak would have liked Apple to continue using Motorola processors, but "Intel just did a very good logic design."

I call Bullshit!

Apple may have needed to improve performance, but not necessarily performance per watt.

And if performance was their sole concern -- not even considering price -- then there was AMD.

Woz, sorry, but you spouting Intel slogans to justify this decision sounds like spin to me.

Re:Calling BS (2, Insightful)

Yahweh Doesn't Exist (906833) | more than 8 years ago | (#14786353)

>Apple may have needed to improve performance, but not necessarily performance per watt

laptops. heard of them?

Exactly! (5, Insightful)

Mad Ogre (564694) | more than 8 years ago | (#14786172)

I hope Microsoft becomes more like Apple too... and build a decent OS on a solid Unix core.

Apple... (3, Insightful)

jaweekes (938376) | more than 8 years ago | (#14786183)

Apple has always been a "consumer" company, not a business player. When I see graphs of computer sales it makes me laugh, as Apple's market is almost purely non-business and "% of computer sales" means nothing to them. Look at the "% of computer sales to home users" and you will see that Apple is making vast in-roads in its target audience.

Microsoft, Dell, HP and the rest target anyone with a pulse, which in my mind makes it less attractive. Apple's best move was the IPod because it not only makes wads of money, but increases the consumer's awareness of the whole Apple brand as a consumer company, and so the consumers are more likely to buy an Apple Mac if their IPod works well for them, then a Windows based computer which is made by HP, runs Microsoft, and runs Napster which getting support for is a nightmare (no, it's a hardware problem, no it's Windows at fault, etc...). My 2 cents...

YAY! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14786184)

"Microsoft wants to get out of the whole image of the big, black Darth Vader evil guy," he said.

Yay! I know someone The Woz knows!
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