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The Surprising Statistics Behind Flash and Apple

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the math-is-hard dept.

Iphone 630

Barence writes "PC Pro's Tom Arah has dug up some statistics that cast severe doubt over Steve Jobs' assertion that Flash is the technology of the past, and Apple's iOS is the platform of the future. He quibbles with Net Applications' assertion that iOS growth is 'massive,' considering that mobile accounts for only 2.6% of web views, and the iOS share stands at only 1.1%. By comparison, Silverlight penetration now stands at 51% while 97% of web surfers have Flash installed, according to Stat Owl. 'At least when Bill Gates held the web to ransom he had the decency to first establish a dominant position,' Arah claims. 'In Steve Jobs' case, with only 1.1% market share, the would-be emperor isn't even wearing any clothes.'"

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630 comments

Oh thank god (2)

jewishbaconzombies (1861376) | more than 3 years ago | (#33656602)

Because Firefox users have no need for flash or Ad blockers do they.

Re:Oh thank god (5, Insightful)

nmb3000 (741169) | more than 3 years ago | (#33656768)

Because Firefox users have no need for flash or Ad blockers do they.

I presume you are implying that the reason people use Flash blocking tools is because all Flash content inherently needs to be blocked. This isn't true.

The overly-prevalent mindset on Slashdot that "Flash is evil", "Flash needs to die", and "Flash is only used for bad things" is just plain wrong and broken. Flash is used in many places to greatly enhance things beyond what browsers are normally capable of. Games are an obvious example, but other applications such as Google Finance and Amazon's song previews are simple but effective examples. As is usually the case, the technology itself isn't really good or bad, but what people do with it can be. And people, as a rule, are decidedly good at making technology do bad things.

This then leaves the question: Why do people block flash? Almost entirely it falls into two categories:

- Flash is used in the most perverse and annoying advertisements that contain video and audio and which load the CPU unnecessarily
- Flash has security concerns

Consider these. People champion HTML5 as some kind of messiah which will bring the end to Flash's evil reign. Okay, what would that result in? I'll give you a hint: HTML5 blockers. Why? Because soon we'll transition to:

- HTML5 is used in the most perverse and annoying advertisements that contain video and audio and which load the CPU unnecessarily
- HTML5 has security concerns [slashdot.org]

Personally, Flash doesn't really bother me, but that's largely because it can be controlled. I use NoScript, partially to block Flash, and that tamed beast can do useful work. I think most people who yearn for its demise either don't understand that the void Flash leaves behind will be filled with something (at least as "bad" as Flash, if not worse), or they're just mindless zealots regurgitating Jobs' claims.

Re:Oh thank god (1)

mark72005 (1233572) | more than 3 years ago | (#33656796)

I use a Flash blocking tool that allows me to selectively block.

No, not all Flash on the web needs to be blocked, but I would say I am not interested in seeing 9 out of 10 uses of it.

Re:Oh thank god (4, Insightful)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 3 years ago | (#33656960)

No, no. You have it all wrong.
HTML5 is going to save the internet from bloat and security problems.

Also, with HTML5, videos might play in webages if you have the appropriate codec the site's content was encoded with, and your browser can tap into it properly.

It's just like the tag which worked decades ago, but it's new and therefore magically better.

Re:Oh thank god (2, Informative)

h00manist (800926) | more than 3 years ago | (#33657024)

Flash is useful, but the implementation is not very good. There is no need to use 100% of CPU to animate a couple of little squares on a screen. Yes, maybe the flash content author sucks. But he is using Adobe stuff.

Re:Oh thank god (3, Informative)

sjames (1099) | more than 3 years ago | (#33657068)

Flash does have it's place. I use flash blocker to kill off most of the bad uses and just click the play button for the few good ones. Now if people would just avoid those tasteless flash pages for their websites. Usually I just hit the back button and try another site when I get one of those.

Oh dear... (5, Funny)

grub (11606) | more than 3 years ago | (#33656604)


How to we mark an entire story as -1, Flamebait?

Re:Oh dear... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33656632)

How to we mark an entire story as -1, Flamebait?

I don't know, I suppose the same way we mark you as -1, Fanboy

Re:Oh dear... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33657198)

Really, an article proclaims Steve Jobs to be "holding the web to ransom" because he didn't approve of using Flash on his mobile devices, and further says he is not justified because mobile devices only account for 0.xyz% of web traffic?

How is it possible to say someone is holding something for ransom, yet is not in a dominant position?

You don't need to be a fanboy of any sort to see through this troll piece.

Re:Oh dear... (4, Funny)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#33656638)

Change the Posted editor from CmdrTaco to kdawson.

Re:Oh dear... (4, Informative)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#33656950)

It doesn't matter.

They aren't the real kdawson and CmdrTaco any more.

They've been replaced by a Python script.

The script cruises the firehose every 25 minutes and takes the top-scoring article no matter how stupid, stale, or binspam it is.

Every few hours it to the next name in the Poster-bot list, to give the impression that management is keeping the staff levels up.

Re:Oh dear... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33656978)

No, this is definitely CmdrTaco.

If it were kdawson, the headline and summary would be completely made up and completely opposite of what the linked story is about.

Re:Oh dear... (1)

wilsonthecat (1043880) | more than 3 years ago | (#33656644)

It's rubbishing Steve Jobs, why would you want to do that?

Re:Oh dear... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33656654)

Cause that's not how it works. I would figure a 5 digit would know that.

Re:Oh dear... (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 3 years ago | (#33656662)

There's an app for that.

Re:Oh dear... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33656742)

There's an app for that.

But it wont pass Herr Jobs's selection criteria.

Not sent from an iPhone.

Re:Oh dear... (5, Insightful)

evil9000 (72113) | more than 3 years ago | (#33656818)

I agree.

Jobs' position is one where key technologies, such as playing video, should be done by the web browser and not held for randsom by 3rd party plugin developers who'se best interest is to put their app on every device out there. Posting articles like this only pushes the debate back afew steps.

Flash + silverlight = can play video = browser plugins = win for particular corporations with vested interests to win at any cost
HTML5 (ie iOS, firefox 4) = can play video = html5 inside webbrowser = open standards = win for all

Re:Oh dear... (0, Redundant)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#33656970)

If we'd waited for Mozilla to come up with a video player for Netscape, we'd still be waiting, or else there'd be multi-gigabyte HD-quality animated GIF files all over the web...

Re:Oh dear... (1)

stephanruby (542433) | more than 3 years ago | (#33656884)

How to we mark an entire story as -1, Flamebait?

I'm not even a fan of Steve Jobs, and yet I was thinking of implementing a more permanent [wikipedia.org] marking myself.

127.0.0.1 pcpro.co.uk # Linkbait
127.0.0.1 slashdot.org # Linkbait

hmmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33656614)

Who funded this study?

emperor isn't wearing any clothes OR (0)

Mike Da. Kristopeit (1905338) | more than 3 years ago | (#33656620)

or statistician misrepresents the truth?

If iOS is a tiny segment, then why do you care? (5, Insightful)

Brannon (221550) | more than 3 years ago | (#33656630)

How is SJ holding the web at ransom if he is in such a weak position?

Re:If iOS is a tiny segment, then why do you care? (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#33656660)

Exactly.

It's like saying "At least the local sports team had the decency to score more points than it's opponent before winning the game!" ... Doesn't winning (or holding ransom) require points (dominant positon) in the first place?

Re:If iOS is a tiny segment, then why do you care? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33656736)

I have not read the article, but I suspect he means that Jobs expects the web to move away from flash because it doesn't work with the doodads he puts out. Like, apple's mind-share is bigger than its market share.

Personally, I couldn't really give a flying eff-you-see-kay either way.

Re:If iOS is a tiny segment, then why do you care? (2, Funny)

mark72005 (1233572) | more than 3 years ago | (#33656816)

I'm confused by your sports analogy. Can I get a car analogy?

Re:If iOS is a tiny segment, then why do you care? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33657128)

I'm confused by your sports analogy. Can I get a car analogy?

Why would anyone want to use this newfangled automobile when everyone has horses.

Re:If iOS is a tiny segment, then why do you care? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33656994)

No, it's more like the local sports team declaring their recruiting and on-field strategy superior to everyone else's, and claiming all the current ways of doing those things will become obsolete.... long before the team has shown that it can win a single game with those strategies.

Re:If iOS is a tiny segment, then why do you care? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33656688)

How is SJ holding the web at ransom if he is in such a weak position?

He isn't, SJ is just trying to make it sound like he is able to hold the web ransom and making the same BS claims about Flash in an effort to hold it ransom to his whims. SJ hopes to spout enough lies about Flash so everyone will adopt his version of HTML5 (not the so far agreed upon version since nothing is completely official), and if he can make his version of HTML5 the standard it will give him a lot of power on the web that he wants to use to leverage things like the iOS to his standards to keep more competition out of the game (similar to how IE was the 'standard' in the late 90's and helped lock out others like Netscape with sites "recommending IE only").

Re:If iOS is a tiny segment, then why do you care? (2, Insightful)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#33656856)

Are there any major differences between Google's or Mozilla's HTML5 proposals and Apple's, besides video? And how can Apple leverage that? You need a dominant position already to pull that kind of stunt - no webdev, even the very incompetent ones, will write HTML that only works for less than 10% of viewers. IE had already a dominant position because of OS integration.

If someone holds the Web at ransom is Adobe itself with Flash - although less than before.

Re:If iOS is a tiny segment, then why do you care? (2, Interesting)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 3 years ago | (#33656954)

[citation needed]

Can you show me how Apple's HTML5 implementation differs from anyone elses with some actual proof, or is this just biased anti-Apple ranting, just like the entire article?

I am betting on the former, but I am willing to listen to anyone who can actually back this claim up - a fragmented HTML5 serves no one.

Re:If iOS is a tiny segment, then why do you care? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33657170)

I'm guessing you missed that whole "HTML5 webpage showcase" [slashdot.org] that only worked on Safari and many of the functions weren't part of the normal sections of HTML5, and in fact needed OSX parts. These weren't the real HTML5 standards being discussed, but Apples version, right down to the fact it needed OSX to run properly (which happened to be proprietary)

Re:If iOS is a tiny segment, then why do you care? (4, Interesting)

mysidia (191772) | more than 3 years ago | (#33656696)

He's not holding the web at ransom, he's holding iPhone and iPad users at ransom, because they are the only people this really hurts (or helps).

Except it's Stevie, so he's not making any compromises.

There is some merit to his position, by the way, but it may be at Apple's expense (depending on how much $$$ Adobe wants to license Flash)

It's not a question of how great cool or widespread the Flash technology is in general.... its a question more of cost and how suitable the implementations are available for the iOS devices.

If most Flash apps won't work anyways, there's no point in allowing a broken framework, instead of pushing the next greatest standard.

It's risky, but if Flash is not suitable for mobile platforms it WILL be a thing of the past.

The question I would have is --- why is the article presenting skewed numbers, and including PC and Netbook users?

Netbook users may be more comparable to iPad users; but it's totally ridiculous to pit PC users against iOS users, and say a technology used on the web for PC users is suitable for mobile browsing

Re:If iOS is a tiny segment, then why do you care? (3, Informative)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 3 years ago | (#33657020)

Flash is dog, dog slow on OS X right now, even with a lot of CPU grunt, and it has nothing to do with Apple "blocking access to necessary APIs" or the lack of hardware accelerated h.264 that Adobe (or others) will try to claim. It really is woeful at all animation, even when H.264 video is not involved at all. An iPhone version would just be even worse, since there just isn't the CPU grunt to cover up how poor it is. You can get away with it on a desktop machine - you have a 2GHz cpu mostly idle that can help you out with your simple flash page, but on a mobile device you actually have to make the code decent.

The biggest reason there is no Flash on iOS is performance. The HTML5 and open web are secondary concerns.

The 10.1 release of flash is much better on OS X, but it is still a terrible resource hog for no good reason. Even the Mac Silverlight player is much better. I assume MS has the same "access" to the core of OS X as Adobe do.

Re:If iOS is a tiny segment, then why do you care? (1)

quanticle (843097) | more than 3 years ago | (#33656724)

He's not. In his (and therefore Apple Computer Inc.'s) opinion, Flash is outdated and is inappropriate for mobile platforms. There's no force that's pushing people to use (or not use) Flash. The only thing is the same fanboy-ism and bandwagon following that you see everywhere else in this industry.

That said, I still disagree with the article. You can't justify claims about the future by pointing to snapshot figures. Sure, Flash has 97%+ market share *right* *now*. But, then again, Internet Explorer had 90% of the browser market share when IE5 was riding high. Microsoft's inattention (to the point of dissolving the IE team) led to that lead being erased in a matter of a few years. If Flash doesn't improve its performance on mobile devices, it could find itself in the same position as IE.

Re:If iOS is a tiny segment, then why do you care? (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#33656926)

The question is whether the real reason for them to disallow Flash is really being "outdated" and "slow" or the fact that it would bypass the AppStore and take away their 30% cut.

In fact, their recent change in policy [macrumors.com] (allowing any tool as long as it doesn't download code) seems to back up that assertion - it's fine for Flash apps to be developed for the iPhone as long as Apple gets their cut.

Re:If iOS is a tiny segment, then why do you care? (2, Insightful)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 3 years ago | (#33657066)

But you can already make a web app on iOS that bypasses the store - it was the original way apps were going to be on the iPhone in the first place, and that method of delivery has never gone away. I don;t think it has anything to do with the store and profit margins - the profit on app sales is pretty slim anyway; the store exists to sell iOS devices, not as a cash cow for Apple indirectly. The devices are where the money is.

Re:If iOS is a tiny segment, then why do you care? (4, Interesting)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 3 years ago | (#33657064)

And the statistic is highly misleading anyway. Saying that 97% of computers can run Flash doesn't tell the whole story.

First, a lot of us use tools like click2flash that report themselves AS Flash, but are NOT Flash. Why do we do this? Because we got fed up with all the idiotic Flash-based adds that make buzzing sounds at random in background windows and make us jump straight out of our chairs. These people have Flash and put up with it when necessary, but generally avoid it. Those folks are difficult to distinguish from actual Flash "users", yet they suffer a degraded experience on Flash-heavy sites, and are less likely to come back.

Second, people have Flash largely because it came preinstalled. I don't know of anyone who has actually gone out of their way to install Flash. This means that those statistics could change on a dime.

Third, it assumes that all people use the web equally. For some sites, iOS-based devices (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch) make up as much as 11% of their traffic [wordpress.com] by volume. When it comes to ad revenue, the ratings don't matter. The share matters. It doesn't matter if they make up only 1% of the total number of Internet-equipped devices. What matters is their percentage of the traffic.

Fourth, it ignores the assumption that people buying iPads and iPhones are more likely to have disposable income than people buying a random Windows PC. Thus, for many advertisers, one iPhone user is equivalent to several netbook users. Once you understand that, suddenly even a 1% share becomes much more significant, and a 10% share becomes a showstopper.

Re:If iOS is a tiny segment, then why do you care? (1)

bhcompy (1877290) | more than 3 years ago | (#33657262)

Except people are even less inclined to click on ads on mobile platforms than they are on PCs simply because mobile platforms are not conducive to concurrent browsing, fast latency, etc. So that 1% and 10% reverts back to being negligible. Not to mention that good mobile browsers don't even show ads in their zoomed in states because they zoom in on the necessary part of the screen smartly rather than forcing you to scroll around past ads.

Re:If iOS is a tiny segment, then why do you care? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33657184)

Flash already outperforms HTML5 canvas on Android [blackcj.com] , which also outperforms the iPhone 4 even more. Of course, YMWV.

Re:If iOS is a tiny segment, then why do you care? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33656812)

Because PHBs believe him. I'm fucking not kidding: people at my company are saying, "We need our website to be an iPhone store app!" even though hardly any of our users are using iPhones. (in fact, who are those iPhones users? Oh right, they themselves are a third of the iPhone traffic!)

Saying stupid shit matters if people believe it.

Re:If iOS is a tiny segment, then why do you care? (0, Troll)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 3 years ago | (#33656886)

It's the echo chamber effect. Same as the FBI hears about some subversive activity on campus. and puts 10 agents undercover, and so does the CIA, and so does DHS. Sure enough, they each separately report back that - wow - there seems to be some subversives on campus, so they each get 100 agents undercover. "The place is CRAWLING with subversives!" Next thing you know, "You can't walk 5 feet without seeing someone or something suspicious - people who don't fit in, blah blah blah".

All these people who got iPads so they can review them, or they can develop the "next big thing" ... and they're going to be obsolete in 3 months because everything we said about them was true.

Re:If iOS is a tiny segment, then why do you care? (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 3 years ago | (#33656964)

RDF affects everyone, didn't you know???

Google is the counter to the RDF, trying to entice me with shiny Chome and geek toys like Androids (wheres my girl robot??). But still, the effects of the RDF affect even these. You'll know when Google succumbs to the RDF and embraces HTML 5 over Flash

Decency? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33656634)

Trying to win an argument on its merits as opposed to by leveraging your monopoly position seems like a very decent thing to do.

Flash is dying. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33656658)

Very simple.
Proprietary (yes comment on my spelling, I'm drunk) is not the way to go.

Open source Flash or move on to other technologies, sure +/- 4 years. We'll survive.

GO HITLER.

100m facebook users are iPhone based (4, Insightful)

wilsonthecat (1043880) | more than 3 years ago | (#33656670)

I've read a recent statistic that has said that of the 500m Facebook users, 100m visit via the iPhone. So 2% of web views depends entirely on the sites you count, and whether those sites actually make money from their web presence.

Re:100m facebook users are iPhone based (5, Insightful)

Conception (212279) | more than 3 years ago | (#33656708)

Probably more correctly, iphone users use apps and not mobile safari for a lot of normal web tasks. Movies, News, Social Networking, Media, Navagation... these are all done by apps.

Re:100m facebook users are iPhone based (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33656738)

by that measure that would mean 99% or more of all iPhone owners use facebook, not very likely.

Re:100m facebook users are iPhone based (5, Informative)

compro01 (777531) | more than 3 years ago | (#33656782)

I find that figure remarkable being as there have only been about 50 million iPhones (counting all generations) sold worldwide, according to Apple's quarterly reports.

Re:100m facebook users are iPhone based (1)

wilsonthecat (1043880) | more than 3 years ago | (#33656832)

Re:100m facebook users are iPhone based (1)

exomondo (1725132) | more than 3 years ago | (#33657056)

Even they admit something's not right:

Interestingly, the last reported number of iOS users was 100 million; that's the number announced at WWDC, just back in July -- but Facebook lists more than that amount of active monthly users, so we're not sure how these numbers are being calculated.

Re:100m facebook users are iPhone based (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33656914)

iPod Touches and iPads can run the facebook app and aren't iPhones.

Re:100m facebook users are iPhone based (0, Troll)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 3 years ago | (#33657016)

I find that figure remarkable being as there have only been about 50 million iPhones (counting all generations) sold worldwide, according to Apple's quarterly reports.

Is that it?
And Stevie thinks he can contend with Nintendo in the gaming space?

I just assumed it was in the hundreds of millions.
EL OH EL.

Re:100m facebook users are iPhone based (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33657002)

I call bullshit.

iPhone sales:
By Apr 8: 50M (Official)
By Aug 31: 67M (Estimate)

Also...

"Apple has seen strong growth in sales this year, however, a significant part of new iOS device purchases are expected to have been made by people who already own one or more iOS devices. In other words, the number of active iOS users should be well below 100 million on a worldwide scale, which basically means that Apple's reach may not have increased dramatically this year."

source [infosyncworld.com]

In other words, 100 million unique logins is impossible for iphones (unless each iphone has an average of 1.5 users and _all_ of them use it w/ FB), and a hell of a stretch even for all iOS devices. I'd say it's more likely that they're counting IPs, which would make more sense because mobile devices are probably connecting to many different LANs over time.

That said, it is true that Flash performs terribly on everything but Windows PCs. Just from my own experience, Flash on a CD 1.83 Ghz Mac is comparable to a 1.3 Ghz Celeron with XP, and you can forget about almost any portable device under .9-1 Ghz. Even so, I'm not sure the solution is to lock down your platform and act like a pompous ass about it by pretending you're doing your users some huge favor.

Floppy drives anyone? (5, Insightful)

ThorGod (456163) | more than 3 years ago | (#33656680)

Back when Apple stopped shipping floppy drives with their computers just about 99% of 'manufactured' computers shipped with floppy drives. People said Apple was moving too fast. Now, a decade or so later, floppies have gone the way of the dinosaur.

There's probably quite a lot to make that analogy faulty. But I think Apple isn't holding anything randsom. They're just knowingly not supporting (what they see to be) old software.

Re:Floppy drives anyone? (0, Offtopic)

iammani (1392285) | more than 3 years ago | (#33656900)

Apple did not provide the mouse right click button either. Has the right click button disappeared too? Apple just wanted (and still wants) to be different and cares about the aesthetics more than the functionality.

And eventually the right click button will be replaced by something better. And some fanbois will claim that this was exactly why Apple did not ship the button at all.

Re:Floppy drives anyone? (0, Flamebait)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#33657006)

I can't see my right mouse button, so it can't be an aesthetic thing.

I can see several fingers that are totally useless on top of an Apple mouse, which can be operated by a stump.

So unless Apple's primary goal is accessibility for amputees, the only explanation is that Steve Jobs still clings to haptic studies done in the 80s that showed that Apple users are less confused when prevented with fewer ways to control things, while he's ignored a couple of decades' worth of feedback that Apple would sell more computers if they gave the user more control.

Re:Floppy drives anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33657038)

Less confused the first five minutes, less efficient the rest of their lives.

Re:Floppy drives anyone? (5, Informative)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 3 years ago | (#33657190)

The OS has always supported right click, since at least OS 8.6 - just plug in a 2 button mouse, or use control+click. The single button was all about lack of confusion, but it was not "enforced" if you wanted to be able to right click. So, they listened to the feedback way back when OS 8 was the new thing (in 1997) and provided right click for those that wanted it. The only way this could possibly affect Mac sales if if people didn't actually do any research before purchase and just assumed. Perhaps this is why, in 2010, people still think you cannot right click on a Mac (not that you do think that, but I have seen it on slashdot).

All current Apple mice have right click. They haven't shipped a single button mouse for some time now. The wireless ones are multitouch too.

Re:Floppy drives anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33657028)

It was replaced by something better, a touch sensitive mouse top that can be configured in varrious configurations and used as a touch interface at the same time.

Re:Floppy drives anyone? (1)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 3 years ago | (#33657114)

Apple has always provided right click, since way back in OS 8.6 or earlier (it was very definitely in OS9). Just because the mouse didn't have two buttons didn't mean you couldn't use context menus, either via control+click or via a two button mouse that you just plugged in.

The point of a single click interface (and the one button mouse) was to force a UI where everything that the computer could do *could* be done with only left click, but that didn't mean that context sensitive menus were not included, they were just optional. This is compared to a system where some menus could *only* be accessed via right click, which Apple wanted to avoid.

The dropping of a floppy drive as an obsolete component is nothing like leaving out a second mouse button.

Re:Floppy drives anyone? (2, Insightful)

blackraven14250 (902843) | more than 3 years ago | (#33656948)

Although, you have to admit the situation was different. When talking about the era of the floppy, CDs had already gained a huge amount of traction. They stopped shipping floppy drives in 1998; by then, every computer had a CD drive, and high end models were even shipping with DVD drives, two generations ahead of the floppy.

By contrast, when talking about Flash, there's nothing currently sitting with widespread adoption to usurp it. HTML5 isn't implemented fully, and nothing other than Sliverlight provides the same "total package" as Flash at the moment. It's hard to see them both ditching a technology when there's no replacement that is widespread in adoption, and that decision being good in the medium timeframe.

Re:Floppy drives anyone? (1)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | more than 3 years ago | (#33656958)

Back when Apple stopped shipping floppy drives with their computers just about 99% of 'manufactured' computers shipped with floppy drives. People said Apple was moving too fast. Now, a decade or so later, floppies have gone the way of the dinosaur.

There's probably quite a lot to make that analogy faulty. But I think Apple isn't holding anything randsom. They're just knowingly not supporting (what they see to be) old software.

Good God man!

Are your services for sale?! You have a gift!

There's some people in Washington DC that really could use your gift for spi...explaining things.

Re:Floppy drives anyone? (1)

Yaa 101 (664725) | more than 3 years ago | (#33657000)

Um, Floppies disapeared on the PC due to USB sticks, not because of Steve Jobs.

Re:Floppy drives anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33657046)

Um, noone said Steve Jobs was the cause of floppies going away, Apple is just ahead of the curve foregoing old technology.

Re:Floppy drives anyone? (1)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 3 years ago | (#33657202)

Um, Floppies disapeared on the PC due to USB sticks, not because of Steve Jobs.

The Mac was the first main stream computer to use the 3.5" disk, as opposed to the 5.25" disk.
The Mac was the first main stream computer to drop the floppy and also have USB as the only device connector. At the time the iMac came out most USB devices were Mac centric.

There are many things that Apple didn't get right (such as the Pippin), but there are things it did get right and things it partially got right, but needed to evolve first (ADB and NUBUS).

Re:Floppy drives anyone? (1, Insightful)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 3 years ago | (#33657248)

Yes, and the reason USB is so ubiquitous, was in part because Apple shipped a computer that had USB as the only interface for small/basic devices like keyboards, mice, printers etc that helped to spawn the explosion and growth of the USB peripheral market. They were not the only ones to do this; PC makers were doing it too, but they were shipping boards that had USB and the older connectors like 9 pin serial and the 4 pin kb and mouse connectors that didn't help to push USB as the hot new thing as much as the iMac did - why bother when you can just use the older connectors.

The floppy didn't die directly because of Steve Jobs, but the rise of USB sticks was partially to do with Apple as the USB connector became the de facto low bandwidth peripheral connector in the wake of the iMac (and all subsequent Macs) and the inclusion of the new port alongside the old connectors on new PC boards.

Re:Floppy drives anyone? (3, Insightful)

Nemyst (1383049) | more than 3 years ago | (#33657210)

That Apple removed floppies and they disappeared in the end only means they were 10 years too early. If I remove my DVD drive from my computer now, am I a visionary or just stupid?

Re:Floppy drives anyone? (1)

Skuld-Chan (302449) | more than 3 years ago | (#33657258)

Not everything Apple championed has become standard - localtalk, ADB, the literally dozens of video plugs they have invented, USB speakers (G4 cube - I curse you), the dozens of system buses (many of which the same, just different form factors) they have come up with etc etc. Having had a lot of macs - most of these standards are annoyances. I like choice :). I didn't like the fact that my Mac had to have a special video card (has a voltage rail to power the screen/usb plugs) - despite being based on AGP at 4x the cost.

Anyhow if you think people would still be using floppies if Apple didn't say so - whatever I guess... (I personally think the market decided this - based on the fact that floppies are slow, unreliable and have little storage compared to alternatives) The point is - if I want Dell to put a floppy drive in my PC - they will at extra cost and its my choice. Apple said fuck you - no choice you're using CD's (the iMac came out long before usb memory sticks were around, and before people had wide access to personal file servers or the internet).

Yeah it panned out, but I personally know a few people who had to buy a USB floppy drive/ZIP drive to do work.

Adobe has its work cut out (4, Interesting)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 3 years ago | (#33656698)

On the other hand, Steve Jobs was right. This [laptopmag.com] is a bigger problem for Adobe. Let them admit thet they need some help wit Flash...maybe Linus hackers can help out.

Bottom line: Flash sucks on Android big time.

Flash: irksome, slow, unnecessary (1)

kaplong! (688851) | more than 3 years ago | (#33656706)

'Installed' doesn't mean 'enabled'. Plus, 87% of all statistics are made up.

Re:Flash: irksome, slow, unnecessary (1)

fidget42 (538823) | more than 3 years ago | (#33657172)

You know, you are right. I remember reading that here [slashdot.org]

Get "Flash"! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33656712)

Will this be remembered as the "Get a horse!" mis-statement of years past?

Wrong number (4, Insightful)

funkatron (912521) | more than 3 years ago | (#33656722)

This:

mobile accounts for only 2.6% of web views, and the iOS share stands at only 1.1%.

is presumably measured over a single set time period and is not a rate of change. It says nothing about this:

iOS growth is "massive"

I have no idea what the ransom bit is on about tho. Troll?

Re:Wrong number (0, Troll)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#33657050)

A high slope in a very small number doesn't count as a massive anything.

Look at it this way, if you call Apple growing mobile click share from 0.5 to 1.1% = a 120% growth "massive", then do you call Apple decreasing its competing technologies' click share from 99.5 to 98.9% = a -0.6% descrease "massive" as well, or would you call it "puny" as the rest of us would?

Market share != quality online experience. (2, Interesting)

Reeses (5069) | more than 3 years ago | (#33656732)

Just because hundreds of millions of people have it installed, doesn't mean they like it.

Silverlight is probably closer to what Flash's market penetration would be if Flash hadn't become a compulsory install. If it weren't installed by default. SIlverlight is only installed because it blocks the path to content that people want to see. There's no SilverlightTube (yet). Few Silverlight webgames. It's only there because people want access to what it blocks.

When the day comes where it isn't assumed you need Flash player in order to be a good Internet consumer, you can expect to see it's market share plummet.

The numbers also don't account for the amount of frustration Flash causes people who have to use it. It's only been recently (version 10.1.18xxxxxx) that I can run Flash on my MacBook and not have it cripple the performance.

I think they should give it a few years and see what happens. It smells a lot like the same argument that used to be thrown against Firefox when it had only been out a little while versus. IE's market share.

Look where that wound up.

Re:Market share != quality online experience. (2, Funny)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 3 years ago | (#33656892)

Dude. Dude.

It's only been recently (version 10.1.18xxxxxx) that I can run Flash on my MacBook and not have it cripple the performance.

If you're going to try to make a point about how Flash is on the way out, it's best not to talk about how you just adopted it yourself.

Didnt' steve say "give me a flash that works", not (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33656750)

"it won't work" ?

and adobe never could come up with a flash that doesn't blow chunks (And eat mad battery)....
 

The Big Guns (1, Insightful)

Miros (734652) | more than 3 years ago | (#33656752)

At the end of the day it's going to be the FCC settling this debate. Limiting consumer choice is never a good idea when you have a strong market position (like Apple's with mobile devices). The US government tends to frown on that in the long run.

Re:The Big Guns (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#33656888)

Well, if they had any where near market majority, you may be correct. Even if Steve likes to say they ahve market dominance, that doesn't make it so.

Re:The Big Guns (3, Insightful)

FranTaylor (164577) | more than 3 years ago | (#33656894)

strong market position.

"strong" is not the criterion. "dominant" is more like it.

You can hardly claim Apple has "dominant" market position.

Re:The Big Guns (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#33657070)

I don't thik the FCC has a thing to say about video players.

The FTC, maybe, but Apple's position is hardly so dominant that it can be said to control the market for mobile computing.

Android seems to be flooding in without much interference from Apple devices. Of course, part of that is because Jobs stupidly tied his smartphones to the worst-deployed 3G network in the USA...

Re:The Big Guns (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33657242)

when you have a strong market position (like Apple's with mobile devices).

Are they up to 5% of mobile phones yet? Not to say 5% isn't a shitload of money (good for you, Apple) but "strong position" kind of overstates it.

Re:The Big Guns (2, Insightful)

mcrbids (148650) | more than 3 years ago | (#33657254)

At the end of the day it's going to be the FCC settling this debate. Limiting consumer choice is never a good idea when you have a strong market position (like Apple's with mobile devices). The US government tends to frown on that in the long run.

Imply much, say little. That's often a cheap trick to appearing insightful while being difficult to prove wrong. A common strategy to appease the slashbots and win cheap karma points. Unfortunately, your implications are just simply wrong.

1) Why would the FCC get involved? What possible business would they have in deciding whether or not Apple supports Flash? You know that the FCC is the Federal Communications Commission - they oversee Telecom and radio/TV, mostly. Did you mean the FTC?

2) Why would the FTC get involved? There's nowhere NEAR a monopoly - Android devices currently outsell iPhones, and iPhones aren't likely to explode and kill little babies, nor is there any particular misrepresentation about what the iPhone is and does. It's a smart phone that looks nice, and that's what Apple is selling.

3) Apple doesn't have a particularly commanding lead on mobile devices, see previous point - iPhones are only about 35% of the market depending on what survey you look at and when it was taken.

4) Since when does the gubbmint frown on limiting choice? Perhaps if there's a monopoly, (which there isn't) and even then, it's not limiting choice, even as a monopoly, but using your ability to distort the marketplace to prevent competition, a process called "dumping".

You'd do well to look up dumping, because even what you are implying is simply dead wrong.

Lies, damned lies, and web statistics? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33656780)

I'm really curious how Silverlight got to 51% unless it's a default install for Windows 7 or something of the sort. So far I've only seen it in the wild three times: Photosynth, the Feynmann Lectures (posted by MS...), and some random video at MSNBC or similar news site. I don't even really know what it does, so how is it at 51%? I'm really not trolling; I'm genuinely curious.

And to generalize a bit, what do statistics like this actually say? I promise you my parents don't know what Flash is, although they've probably seen plenty of irritating animated ads. The numbers they quote for Apple and Flash are on opposite ends of the spectrum, but based on their numbers for Silverlight versus the apparent usage of Silverlight, I'm having a tough time deciding what to take away from this article.

Re:Lies, damned lies, and web statistics? (4, Informative)

keytoe (91531) | more than 3 years ago | (#33656942)

So far I've only seen it in the wild three times: Photosynth, the Feynmann Lectures (posted by MS...), and some random video at MSNBC or similar news site.

You need it for Netflix streaming. I know that's the only reason I have it installed on two of my computers, and that's the only thing it's used for.

Re:Lies, damned lies, and web statistics? (2, Insightful)

blackraven14250 (902843) | more than 3 years ago | (#33656968)

Netflix uses Silverlight. That's a rather large chunk of the intentional deployment, beyond the "Oh, it's here on Windows Update, I better install it" crowd, I would imagine.

Never again (4, Funny)

seanonymous (964897) | more than 3 years ago | (#33656808)

"In Steve Jobs' case, with only 1.1% market share, the would-be emperor isn't even wearing any clothes."

Dear Slashdot,
Please do not ever make me picture Steve Jobs naked again.

Thank you.

Re:Never again (1)

funkatron (912521) | more than 3 years ago | (#33656830)

Please don't put the idea of picturing people naked into my head, I've got QI on the TV in the background.

Adobe and Apple management ethically suck (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33656874)

Over-paid, pretentious, power-mad executives who think they can cheat, deceive and manipulate the market seem to be in charge of way too much. Isn't there a cure for megalomania yet? Can't they support the community through open standards? I'm so tired of proprietary schemes that as soon as I see one, I leave.

Mr. Jobs. you're way overpaid in my opinion.

My numbers are different (5, Insightful)

zerosomething (1353609) | more than 3 years ago | (#33656880)

The university I work for has over 25 to 30 percent (5000 +) of it's staff using iOS devices. We gathered this info from our Exchange system. Students don't use Exchange so these are mostly well established professors and staff not a bunch of upstart kids. We have reason the believe the percentage of students using iOS is well over 30% if not closer to 50%. It's important to note that if you own an iOS device you also own a computer of some kind. People aren't using one device to access all content and iOS is by far the primary mobile platform if you are talking about small form factor or phones. You just can't produce stats that say otherwise. And yes Android is moving fast up the stats and they don't like Flash on it. Just think of all the Flash adds you are missing.

Re:My numbers are different (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33656980)

The university I work for

of it's staff

We have reason the believe the

all the Flash adds

Yup, you read it right, folks. Even working at a University doesn't help.. sigh.

Installed base: Worst. Stat. Ever. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33656882)

I bet if I go through my installed applications list, there's a ton of crap I don't use.

Silverlight? Yeah sure, huge installed base. I've never installed it. When I hit a site that requires it, I say "no thanks". I have yet to hit a site that was so good it broke down my resistance to installing that. I'd uninstall Flash too, but YouTube requires it. That's it. YouTube is my killer app for Flash. Whatever YouTube requires, I will probably use, unless it requires something I so despise that I decide to pull the plug on YouTube.

So to reiterate. Installed base: Worst. Stat. Ever.

You can't automaticly detect user base without being a bit more intrusive. It's user base that matters.

Note, I'm not really defending Apple's position here. I'm just saying that installed base is a flawed counter-argument.

Silverlight : p (3, Insightful)

Beardydog (716221) | more than 3 years ago | (#33656896)

Silverlight would be dead if it weren't for Netflix. I really wish they'd use something else ( although, honestly, it seems to outperform every Flash-based video service on my lower end computers ).

Re:Silverlight : p (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#33657108)

I've seen silverlight pop up in a few other places. Microsoft may be a bit dopey, but they'll get it close-enough soon enough to crack Flash's total ownership of online content, and it will be about as clunky as Flash so people really won't know much of a difference.

Re:Silverlight : p (2)

diegocg (1680514) | more than 3 years ago | (#33657148)

Well, I'm not a Netflix user, so Silverlight is certainly dead for me. I still have to find a web site that uses it. Microsoft is being succesful in getting it installed in most Windows computers (something they can't do by default because of legal concerns), but they aren't being very succesful in getting web sites to actually use it.

Quite a lot of people use meth, too (4, Informative)

scromp (148280) | more than 3 years ago | (#33656912)

Flash sucks even on real computers, I don't get why people get so worked up about this. Flash can die in a fire. A *poo* fire.

I no longer have Flash installed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33657022)

The only reason I had Flash installed was to watch video on the web. With HTML5 video support in Firefox 4 I increasingly don't need Flash. Sure, WebM support has a ways to go even on sites like YouTube but it's making sure and steady progress.

The article is seriously flawed (1)

microbee (682094) | more than 3 years ago | (#33657164)

1.1%? He didn't factor in the 100x Reality Distortion Field.

Candlesticks (1)

frnic (98517) | more than 3 years ago | (#33657218)

Who needs those pesky light bulbs Mr. Edison - over 99% of the homes and offices already have either gas lights or candles.

would-be emporer (5, Insightful)

nine-times (778537) | more than 3 years ago | (#33657224)

the would-be emperor isn't even wearing any clothes.

Maybe I'm being pedantic, but it seems like a failed attempt to be clever. "It's like the emperor's new clothes, except this time... HE ISN'T EVEN WEARING ANY CLOTHES!" He's not wearing clothes in the original story.

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