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Why Apple Doesn't Blog - Vaporware

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the no-major-nelson dept.

The Internet 91

DECS writes "If anyone is still wondering why Apple does not encourage its internal developers to maintain blogs, Roughly Drafted is carrying an example of how the good intentions behind sharing information can result in unpleasant, unintended consequences." From the article: "As customers, we all want to know what's going to happen in the future, but we will also turn around and beat developers with the very information they share with us. One of the terms we hit them with is, of course, vaporware. The other thing about blogs is that written text fails to capture the full range of rich human communication. It's easy to take more offense than is necessary to the wrong choice of words. Minor and casual criticism can quickly ferment into a difficult stink, and attempts to burry it can often just make it worse. Blog entries are like emails that cc: to the entire world."

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"Apple" doesn't blog, but... (5, Informative)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 7 years ago | (#17162200)

Apple may not have an official corporate blogging outlet like some enterprises, but some Apple employees do in fact blog in a (sometimes quasi-)official capacity.

Dave Hyatt's (now WebKit's) Surfin' Safari [webkit.org] is one notable example of success, with Apple engineers being able to directly blog and communicate with end customers. It has now become a blog for all of WebKit, where other WebKit contributors - some within Apple and some not - can post as well.

Mac OS forge [macosforge.org] (and the hosted sites within it) is another recent example: Apple engineers, blogging, on servers owned and hosted by Apple. This wouldn't have happened a few years ago, and was a result of responses to community concerns about Apple's interaction with the open source community. (And no, it's still far from perfect, but the interaction is increasing, and that's a good thing.)

Both of these examples of Apple blogs are also open for comments, something some corporate "blogs" don't allow.

So are these "official Apple blogs" in every sense of the phrase, or in the vein that the article is intending to discuss? Maybe not, but it represents a lot more openness than Apple ever used to exhibit in this context. And anything greater than zero is "more open". Will Apple ever open up blogging to just anyone or blog about futures and abstract ideas? Unlikely. But there are notable exceptions to the blanket statement that "Apple doesn't blog".

Re:"Apple" doesn't blog, but... (1)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | more than 7 years ago | (#17163422)

Apple developers also post regularly to their developer mailing lists, answering people's questions.

Re:"Apple" doesn't blog, but... (2, Funny)

godawful (84526) | more than 7 years ago | (#17165020)

Let's not forget The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs [blogspot.com] , he invented the friggin' iPod!

Re:"Apple" doesn't blog, but... (1)

poopdeville (841677) | more than 7 years ago | (#17171234)

Mac OS forge (and the hosted sites within it) is another recent example: Apple engineers, blogging, on servers owned and hosted by Apple.

Nice, a new set of blogs to troll.

Apple (-1, Flamebait)

El Lobo (994537) | more than 7 years ago | (#17162310)

Apple is known to be a very closed company. In fact, everything surrounding Apple has always had this aura of "officiality" to it. To this day i would say that Apple is one of the companies that has the more conservative image to them, despite the fact that they are playing "hip" and "cool" with their products. The image projected by the company per se is not at all modern, but the one of a corporation surrounded by lawyers. Not that other companies are not the same, but Google or MS for example give a more informal image to the world.

Re:Apple (1)

hey! (33014) | more than 7 years ago | (#17162576)


Apple is known to be a very closed company.


That's an interesting assertion. A company can be "closed" in a number of different ways, and I think being somewhat secretive about product development plans is not at all unusual. Apple just gets a lot more attention in this area.

I think it's more interesting to ask how "closed" a company is with respect to information its customers or partners actually need to know. For example, ar there APIs that the Apple reserves for itself to give itself a competitive advantage? Are they open about product defects and problems? In the last case, I don't think Apple is particularly good, but it's not worse than average.

Re:Apple (1)

doom (14564) | more than 7 years ago | (#17165748)

hey! (33014) wrote:
Apple is known to be a very closed company.
That's an interesting assertion. A company can be "closed" in a number of different ways, and I think being somewhat secretive about product development plans is not at all unusual. Apple just gets a lot more attention in this area.

Apple also has a tendency to release "closed" un-hackable hardware without room for third-party extensions, it is also "closed" in that it does not license it's software to run on other hardware... and I haven't been following the story, but are they releasing any patches upstream to BSD developers, and so on?

As you point out, companies can be "closed" in a number of ways, and Apple manages to hit most of them.

Re:Apple (1)

hey! (33014) | more than 7 years ago | (#17166948)


Apple also has a tendency to release "closed" un-hackable hardware without room for third-party extensions


Really? How are Apple's tower form factor computers from the last decade been less hackable than a PC? They've got PCI slots and open bays just like any desktop. You basically have a choice, go tower if you want internal expansion, or go compact form factor and don't have room. This seems reasonable to me. There's no room for expansion in the Mini because that defeats the purpose.

Apple has been a major supporter of standards based connectivity. For years every computer they sold had SCSI. The serial ports on the early macs were RS-422, which made a lot of serial based applications more interesting. They brought us FireWire, and when the world went USB they went along with it.


It is also "closed" in that it does not license it's software to run on other hardware...


Because they are not a software company. They are a hardware company; that kind of vertical integration is anachronistic but they have no choice. They can't possibly make a living competing with Microsoft in the desktop OS market. They don't have access to the channels to do that. Dell or Gateway is not going to piss of Microsoft by selling MacOS desktops. What happened when they licensed Umax to make MacOS computers is that Umax had to sell the computers in the same channel as Apple. In other words, they have no means to expand their user base by sellig the operating system for non-Apple hardware.


I haven't been following the story, are they releasing any patches upstream to BSD developers, and so on


I don't know what you are talking about. Are you talking about the sucky way they handled their wi-fi patches a few months ago? Or some other changes to the BSD parts of the system that haven't been released to the Darwin community?

Re:Apple (1)

that this is not und (1026860) | more than 7 years ago | (#17170956)

Really? How are Apple's tower form factor computers from the last decade been less hackable than a PC? They've got PCI slots and open bays just like any desktop.

Providing PCI slots means nothing if there is not an open process that promotes driver development. And Linux and the BSD projects have proven that third party developers can incorporate support for peripherals based on PCI when there is an open interface to code to.

Plenty of us have 'dead end' Power Mac hardware with plenty of PCI slots in them. Some of us even have big boxes of PCI cards that can be plugged into these slots, if you simply want your Power Mac to consume more power.

Sure, I can run Darwin on my Beige G3 Tower if I want. Probably I can even plug in and use a few PCI cards that otherwise are completely unsupported on that hardware. That yet again shows that Apple closes out the 'hackers.'

Re:Apple (1)

hey! (33014) | more than 7 years ago | (#17175162)

Well, so far as PCI drivers are concerned, there's no question that it can be done, becuase it has been done. The fact that you can't use your PCI cards is simply a consequence of the relatively lower popularity of the MacOS platform, leaving you to a few companies like Farallon that have historically occupied a Mac niche.


Probably I can even plug in and use a few PCI cards that otherwise are completely unsupported on that hardware.


You are making my point. If the hardware was closed, then there would be no way to get those devices to work. The hardware is completely standard so fars as the PCI interface is concerned. YOu could argue that this means that the hardware is open but the software is closed. But that would be wrong too. MacOS has always been very well documented. What is missing is the desire to target MacOS. The commercial people don't think the added costs are worth the marginal sales. The non-comercial people are more interested in BSD and Linux.

In any case you can't compare BSD and Linux driver development to MacOS development, unless your argument that the only acceptable level of "openness" is to be completely open source.

The only two ways you can really argue Apple is particularly closed are (1) disclosure of product plans, (2) standing in the way of runing MacOS running on third party hardware and (3) integrating itunes with 3rd party MP3 players and (4) dealing with security issues. Of these, (1) is perfectly reasonable; (2) is maybe not ideal, but is understandable. (3) is annoying, but if you realize that Apple (contrary to the famous razor blade theory), makes nearly all its money from iPods and very little from sales in the iTunes store, it's understandable too. The only thing that they can be seriously faulted for is their handling of security issues.

I've been a severe Apple critic over the years. Their treatment of their enterprise custoemrs in the late 80s and early 90s was execrable. Their treatment of their development partners in the Copeland and OpenDoc fiascos was so callous it defines belief. Their failure to do more with HyperCard was a lost opportunity -- imagine what would have happened if they kept it up to date and provided a Flash type plug-in early on in the browser wars.

The upshot is, I've stopped thinking of them as a software company. They're a hardware company that uses software to add value to their hardware. I would never, ever invest a dollar of money or a minute in time on a project that was dependent on Apple software. I'm happy to buy their music players and use their music store.

Re:Apple (2, Insightful)

Sivaram_Velauthapill (693619) | more than 7 years ago | (#17163082)

Agree... I think most of it is due to Steve Jobs and his vision. Steve Jobs is generally very closed and attempts to have strong control. This isn't necessarily bad per se but that's Apple's corporate culture. Steve Jobs has done a great jobs as an executive but his style is rough.. Do note that I have never worked at Apple so I am not sure how rigid they really are. All I know is that their executives are very rigid and secretive (they rarely talk about future visions or potential products unless they know they are going to do something for sure)...

understatement (1)

AlgorithMan (937244) | more than 7 years ago | (#17168120)

All I know is that their executives are very rigid and secretive (they rarely talk about future visions or potential products unless they know they are going to do something for sure).
I think that's an understatement - do you remember apple even SUED apple-fans who correctly guessed what apple was planning next... it has to be a big secret, until steve HIMSELF announces it in his keynote speach - I guess because his image would suffer, if he presented something that the people already expected...

Re:understatement (1)

that this is not und (1026860) | more than 7 years ago | (#17170968)

When your marketing vehicle is strongly based in hype, you can't be letting the hype leak out before Marketing gives it's okay.

Re:Apple (3, Funny)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | more than 7 years ago | (#17163480)

You say informal, I say professional. They believe in letting their products speak for themselves and not letting company personalities or marketing messages get in the way. Contrast to Microsoft, which is all about marketing slogans like "Welcome to the social," stock-photo-ridden ads, and goofy quotes from Ballmer.

Re:Apple (1)

put_the_cat_out (961909) | more than 7 years ago | (#17164466)

I think you are mistaking two things. Apple does not like to publicly discuss its upcoming products to create an air of mystique. It has nothing to do with how formal or informal the company is. It just so happens that some of the methods used to create the mystique are the same as those used by old school corporations.

Re:Apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17166270)

You know I want to keep reading Slashdot... but seriosuly, what the hell.

This post was moderated "(Score:1, Flamebait)"?

Nothing about that post was flamebait. Just he doesn't have his had up Steve Jobs A** like the rest of the fanboys in the Slashdot Apple section.

A hint (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17162344)

As customers, we all want to know what's going to happen in the future, but we will also turn around and beat developers with the very information they share with us. One of the terms we hit them with is, of course, vaporware.

Or, more to the point, Apple doesn't want their customers waiting for the new versions that may have the features that their customers really want. Apple wants their customers buying every release; not just the realeases that have the features that the customers want.

Apple, the World's greatest marketer run by the World's greatest salesman: Steve jobs.

Re:A hint (1)

itlurksbeneath (952654) | more than 7 years ago | (#17164000)

Actually, I think they are the second greatest marketer. If they were number one, it'd be Steve with the Borg jewelry on this post instead of the happy Apple symbol.

Re:A hint (2, Insightful)

aristotle-dude (626586) | more than 7 years ago | (#17165096)

No. MSFT has the corporate market and some deluded people buy PCs at home because they think they need to be compatible with the corporate world for some reason. Back in the day, Apple used to rule the home PC market as well with the Apple II. The fact that people have PCs at home have very little to do with the effectiveness of MSFT marketing. Rather, it has everything to do with availability of games and some other niche software.

I think the GP was referring to consumer devices like the iPod and consumer macs. If you only count the retail home market, Apple is one of the top brands by marketshare for computers as well.

You said it better.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17165362)

than me. Thanks!

Re:A hint (1)

garote (682822) | more than 7 years ago | (#17177794)

Not exactly. You're right that people having PCs at home has very little to do with the effectiveness of MSFT marketing. Rather, it has everything to do with the low prices and fast development times in the world of PC hardware - and the fact that, 15-20 years ago, PCs catered to the business world FIRST, by a wide margin, and to everyone else second. You say that "deluded people" bought computers because they wanted "corporate compatibility", like that's some kind of hilarious blunder, but PCs were 1 .cheaper, 2. faster, 3. ubiquitous, and 4. ran MICROSOFT OFFICE, the killer app above all killer apps.

Maybe you would think the rise to dominance of Microsoft was driven by "games and some other niche software" if you were 12 years old at the time it was happening ...

Re:A hint (1)

Dekortage (697532) | more than 7 years ago | (#17166184)

"Or, more to the point, Apple doesn't want their customers waiting for the new versions that may have the features that their customers really want. Apple wants their customers buying every release; not just the realeases that have the features that the customers want."

Oh please. Apple does't force anyone to upgrade, not the way certain other dominant OS companies do. If you jump every time Apple releases a new software version, you are generally on the bleeding edge. Most Apple users -- heck, most computer users -- know to wait a little while and see if the thing is all it's cracked up to be.

Personal example: after OS X came out, I waited until 10.2 before migrating to it from OS 9, because 10.0 and 10.1 were simply not practical or compelling. 10.2 was stable and fast (especially 10.2.8). In fact it still runs well on two Macs in my house. The only reason I have 10.4 on my systems is because it came included. I know companies that still have Mac OS 8.6 running on a few PM7600s because of custom software that won't run on anything else -- and they run beautifully.

Finally, it's hardly computers that are limited to bleeding edge buyers. Consumer Reports and others frequently report how new car models (etc.) should generally be avoided until the manufacturer has made them for a year or two and worked out major problems.

Instead of asking... (4, Insightful)

10Ghz (453478) | more than 7 years ago | (#17162386)

"Why Apple doesn't blog?", why not ask "Why should Apple blog?". Why is it that everyone takes corporate blogs for granted these days?

So what would be the answer? "Because everybody is doing it!". "because I want to know what they are up to!". "I love Apple and I want to get constant news and articles about Apple!". Well, none of those are a valid reason for blogs, really.

Instead of asking...Soap Operas. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17162650)

Blogs are to fanboys what tabloids are to housewives.

Re:Instead of asking... (3, Insightful)

boyko.at.netqos (1024767) | more than 7 years ago | (#17162682)

Because blogs are a way to reach audiences that are not reached through traditional marketing outlets, they increase the amount of feedback you receive from your customers, and they provide a way to mine your user base for ideas.

-- Brian Boyko
-- Professional Blogger.

Blogging is, at best, a mixed bag for product dev. (2, Insightful)

FallLine (12211) | more than 7 years ago | (#17165364)

Because blogs are a way to reach audiences that are not reached through traditional marketing outlets, they increase the amount of feedback you receive from your customers, and they provide a way to mine your user base for ideas.
That is one motivating factor to use a blog. However, this is not sufficient reasoning to justify it. There are reasons not to as well.

First, if your product developers blog, they may be giving your competition advanced notice of what you are up to much sooner than you otherwise might.

Second, the bloggers do not necessarily represent the average user. In fact, in my experience those that read and respond to blogs often have widely divergent needs from the targeted customer. If your responders are largely hard-core geeks, say, they may be pushing for more advanced features instead of what the other 90% of your customers most want (e.g., usability). Advanced feature requests are rarely appropriate for a product at an early stage of development and that time is generally better spent on more fundamental issues.

Third, what someone asks for and what they actually most need as a real world customer are often very different. Having been involved in product development, it has been my experience that most people can't articulate what they most want. They often do not understand, for instance, that the current products out there are horendously and unnecessarily hard to use. Even if they "feel" frustrated with usability, they can rarely identify what frustrates them exactly, let alone propose a better way to solve it. Often times their requests actually hamper what they need (e.g., add this feature as the expense of greatly increasing UI complexity).

Lastly, I believe you can actually increase negative publicity about your product by blogging. If your blog readers are heavily exposed to your product and expect that their suggestions will be taken seriously, you have to also remember that they may represent the bulk of the first users when you launch. They may take for granted what you have already accomplished and their expectations may be out of line with what you can or will deliver. Instead what you may get for your troubles is negative publicity coming from a bunch of people that really don't represent your target base and yet these same people might serve to steer a good number of your target customers away.

I'll admit that I didn't RTFA. However, I would argue that Apple and companies like them are perhaps the best arguments not to blog. I would assert that their products are far more focused on usability (and ultimately their customers) and have tended to be far better recieved on a marginal basis than any of their competitors. If you were to read many of the modern blogs on, say, the ipod and other portable players you would get the impression that customers prefer anything but and that they really want a ton more features. In practice, most people still prefer the latest iterations of the ipod and I would argue that apple's marginal efforts are still better directed than most...

Blogging probably makes sense sometimes (depending on: the stage of development, user base, type of product, etc) but I also think there are many where it is very much counter-productive. You might argue that management might simply, say, ignore certain input, but this kind of input can also serve as a distraction for your developers and may be bad for morale.

MOD THIS UP!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17165430)

GUY makes some good pointz

Re:Instead of asking... (1)

Omestes (471991) | more than 7 years ago | (#17165974)

Erm... Thats sad... According to Google the average Blog only has 1 reader [nytimes.com] ... I don't know if that one person is really worth all the work of getting.

Seriously though, I don't Apple really needs to worry about this, there are plenty of "non-official" Apple blogs out there, probably more for Apple than any other vender.

Re:Instead of asking... (1)

Foerstner (931398) | more than 7 years ago | (#17170864)

Because blogs are a way to reach audiences that are not reached through traditional marketing outlets

Yeah, because Apple has a real problem "reaching audiences." I mean, who ever heard of an iPod? They seem to think that TV commercials and word-of-mouth alone will sell the things.

they increase the amount of feedback you receive from your customers, and they provide a way to mine your user base for ideas.

If [macrumors.com] only [mac-forums.com] there [slashdot.org] were [macworld.com] some [macnn.com] website [appleinsider.com] where [lowendmac.com] Apple [applelinks.com] could [thinksecret.com] gather [macintouch.com] user [macminute.com] opinions [macfixit.com] and [ipodlounge.com] feedback [digg.com] .

-- Brian Boyko
-- Professional Blogger.


It shows.

Re:Instead of asking... (1)

version5 (540999) | more than 7 years ago | (#17165774)

Apple should encourage blogging because openness and transparency are good things. Openness forces a company to behave ethically, which is good for customers but bad for companies. They prefer to keep their customers in the dark because it shifts the risk on to the customer, and when the customer complains, they get routed to professional "customer service" divisions whose job is to deflect criticism and insulate the developers and the rest of the company from the true impact of their decisions.

What I find troubling is that both you and the author seem to think that the only reason people are calling for openness is because they are really really excited about Apple products and just want the latest scoop. I'm not sure if I should chalk this up to stupidity or malice, but either way, its condescending. Companies routinely treat their customers with disdain, and calling for openness and transparency is way to even the playing field.

Re:Instead of asking... (1)

that this is not und (1026860) | more than 7 years ago | (#17170830)

The reason Apple doesn't blog is that they have a unique method of marketing vapour that doesn't work right if the vapours are spreading around uncontrolled. Blogging interferes with the reality distorition field. Apple's litigiousness in instances where 'the smell' has leaked out in the recent past provides evidence of this.

When you're marketing smoke and mirrors, you need a contained space to do so from.

Five minutes of my life back please (4, Insightful)

Ronald Dumsfeld (723277) | more than 7 years ago | (#17162396)

Hey look! Someone who can define Apple as uber sneaky/cool by be being secretive and not blogging more BS for him to drool over. Not forgetting the side swipe that Microsoft sells you a future they don't have, and that's vapourware.

Enough with links to blogs of people who - in Wikipedia terms - are not notable.

Re:Five minutes of my life back please (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17162896)

Given that DCES is either the owner or an active writer/participent at RoughlyDrafted, this is just hype and karma to give him web traffic. I think its time to start ignoring his stories now!

Re:Five minutes of my life back please (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17163700)

yeah more of the same. Worshiping Apples every move. He even praises things Apple does NOT do. Must be a slow news week.

Re:Five minutes of my life back please (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 7 years ago | (#17164272)

MSFT has been promising an object or database file system since 1993.

They have yet to deliver for whatever reason.

It's not technological as BEOS did it in the early 90's and then modified it for improved performance.

MSFT routinely annouces features and products and either fails to deliver or takes 5 years to do so.

Apple promises nothing up front, So when they start releasing news on a product you know for a fact that the product in question will have those features. Hence why Apple is building _____Blank rumours are so strong.

So which company would you trust more? The one who promises you stuff and fails to deliver, or the one who keeps quiet and the delivers something you never thought of before, or in a way that makes it easy to use?

Re:Five minutes of my life back please (1)

that this is not und (1026860) | more than 7 years ago | (#17170870)

It's not technological as BEOS did it in the early 90's and then modified it for improved performance.

Part of 'technological' is implementation.

Be, Inc. could 'turn on a dime' since their userbase was a small group of enthusiasts.

Why should I 'trust' either company. Both Apple and Microsoft are fronted by marketing shills who want to 'present their product in the best light.' Obviously both groups are going to hype their wares.

It isn't an either/or proposition. Thank goodness.

Like a turtle, just more cutting edge? (1)

chimachima (869508) | more than 7 years ago | (#17162418)

forgive me if I'm wrong, but as of yet, what features/functions has Apple promised us and not delivered? Aside from the whole 1984, change the world that we live in commercial, I have yet to be disappointed by Apple's products. Lawyer-vetted? Definitely. I think it's better this way so we don't have a million cooks telling them how to cook their soup.

Don't know about that (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 7 years ago | (#17162436)

Microsoft has just released Vista to companies covered by software assurance, in order to prevent lawsuits from irate business customers who were assured that Vista licensing would be included in their prepaid software contracts. Vista is supposed to be shipped to other customers in January of 2007.

I don't know if I agree with the reasoning. I have never read the SA agreement, but I'm sure it's full of legalese that absolves MS of any liability should they not deliver a new upgrade within 3 years.

i.e. "Seller (Microsoft) will offer buyer (you) a discount on new upgrades should they become available within three years and buyer wishes to purchase said upgrade."

After all, the first SA licenses were back in 2001 when XP was released. Vista is well past the 3 year window. I'm sure if some companies were very upset, there would have been a lawsuit by now.

Re:Don't know about that (2, Insightful)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 7 years ago | (#17162848)

After all, the first SA licenses were back in 2001 when XP was released. Vista is well past the 3 year window. I'm sure if some companies were very upset, there would have been a lawsuit by now.


Not necessarily. That just means no one actually ever filed suit. But potential lawsuits are not typically reported by the media unless one side or the other makes public statements about the legal threat (or there was a leak).

Hypothetical: Acme Widgets Corp. buys a SA license in 2001. Microsoft doesn't Vista deliver until late 2006. Someone at Acme notices and gets angry about it in 2004 or 2005 perhaps. They threaten to sue Microsoft. Microsoft then may make some sort of concessions to Acme Widgets Corp. Discounts on Office 2003 or Windows 2003 Server, free support for an additional year on one or more products, and maybe even cash incentives. So Acme Widgets never goes public with its plans, satisfied that it got something out of the bargain. You get the picture, I'm sure.

Its this simple (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17162440)

Without the "secrecy" apple will be no different than any other hardware/os vendor.

Dont give me this "rubbish" that transparency can be used against you, many companies are transparent to the point that othe companies can even steal their code (See Red Hat and Suse), they seem to fare ok.

It comes down to maintaining hype.

Re:Its this simple (1)

epee1221 (873140) | more than 7 years ago | (#17164516)

many companies are transparent to the point that othe companies can even steal their code (See Red Hat and Suse), they seem to fare ok.
Different business model. Last I checked, commercial Linux vendors sell Linux support, not copies of Linux or licenses to use Linux.

"Tell us what you're going to do. Then do it" (5, Interesting)

dpbsmith (263124) | more than 7 years ago | (#17162470)

At the 1996 Apple Worldwide Developer Conference, the newly-appointed head of developer relations--details of the painful 1996 WWDC are mercifully fading and her name escapes me--said that she had been talking to developers and one thing had emerged as the most important single issue in developer relations.

Developers, she said, had been begging Apple for one thing: "Tell us what you're going to do. Then do it."

Avoiding all talk of the future is a seemingly risk-averse strategy, but it carries risks of its own. If a company wants developers to be ready consistently on day one of new-product introductions, they need to have a reliable roadmap.

Accusations of vaporware are a real problem, but I at least suspect that one of the reaons why companies hate discussions of futures by technical people is that it provides a public record of changes in internal direction, inconsistent decisions by executives, etc. which can be embarrassing to the company.

Re:"Tell us what you're going to do. Then do it" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17162528)

If a company wants developers to be ready consistently on day one of new-product introductions, they need to have a reliable roadmap.
That seems to have nothing to do with employee blogging.

From the mouths of TFA: (4, Funny)

catdevnull (531283) | more than 7 years ago | (#17162484)

Quoth the article:

"...written text fails to capture the full range of rich human communication. It's easy to take more offense than is necessary to the wrong choice of words. Minor and casual criticism can quickly ferment into a difficult stink, and attempts to burry it can often just make it worse."

I'm glad that never happens here at Slashdot!

Re:From the mouths of TFA: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17162596)

My dog comes home covered with 'em. Very burry.

Re:From the mouths of TFA: (2, Funny)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 7 years ago | (#17163444)

"Minor and casual criticism can quickly ferment into a difficult stink, and attempts to burry it can often just make it worse."

Worse for everyone, worse for the northern England and Scottish readers, or for everyone but them?

See burry(3) [webster.com] and burr(n:5a,5b) [webster.com] .

Re:From the mouths of TFA: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17165040)

My mother was a saint!

Re:From the mouths of TFA: (1)

catdevnull (531283) | more than 7 years ago | (#17165710)

I failed to include the "[sic]" after "burry." After all, I just "cut and paste."

Ironically, the replies were a nice punctuation to the author's prophetic but misspelled point.

They do it to keep selling end of line products (3, Insightful)

Andy_R (114137) | more than 7 years ago | (#17162562)

I assume that Apple have always been very keen to keep new products under wraps, because that (and getting as close as possible to 'build to order') means they can sell the last few of a product that's about to be superceded, not to remove accusations of vapourware.

I'm not sure this is still a wise thing to do when they are entering new markets, as the much rumoured iPhone would do (if it exists). I need a new phone, but I'm holding off until Macworld San Franciso because of the rumours, rather than being tied in to a 12 or 18 month deal on a cometitor's product - which must be good for Apple if the rumours are true, and better if they publically said "we will ship an iPhone soon", as more people would wait.

Re:They do it to keep selling end of line products (1)

Intron (870560) | more than 7 years ago | (#17162614)

Compare this to the strategy of a certain large software company that will announce products years early in order to head off competition.

Re:They do it to keep selling end of line products (2, Funny)

blugu64 (633729) | more than 7 years ago | (#17163006)

Just so that you guys know I'll be posting a real smart-alek reply to this in about a week or so.

Re:They do it to keep selling end of line products (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17163234)

Since you're going to post one, I won't bother trying.

Re:They do it to keep selling end of line products (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17163400)

Wish I had moderator privileges today, I'd mod you up "funny" on that one!

In Short (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 7 years ago | (#17162572)

Dictionaries are wrong.

Or more to the point, Dictionaries whose definitions aren't what I think they should be are wrong.

What a Moron.

Re:In Short (1)

ozbird (127571) | more than 7 years ago | (#17162782)

Dictionaries are wrong.

... but unlike TFA's author, they spell "bury" correctly.

Re:In Short (1)

honkycat (249849) | more than 7 years ago | (#17166136)

The definition in the dictionary he quoted, while not strictly *wrong*, was certainly incomplete. As he points out, the term "vaporware" has a connotation that goes deeper than simply meaning not-yet-released. I've only ever seen it used to describe things which are not-yet-released AND which there is good reason to believe will never be released, and it usually also implies some ill intent on the part of the company who announced it. It is decidedly not a synonym for "unreleased," as the author points out, correctly in my opinion.

Quality dictionaries are occasionally wrong, and frequently incomplete, especially on technical or esoteric terms. Even the venerable Oxford English Dictionary readily admits this in its introduction.

while not exactly on topic ... (0, Offtopic)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 7 years ago | (#17162820)

What do you call vaporware that has been so vaporous over the years it becomes a joke?

I mean there are a very few that reach this lofty goal, most notably ... DukeNukemForever

Not exactly "Vaporware" anymore, more of a running joke

Re:while not exactly on topic ... (1)

itlurksbeneath (952654) | more than 7 years ago | (#17164072)

What do you call vaporware that has been so vaporous over the years it becomes a joke?

Plasmaware? Vaporware that's so diffuse, it's basic structure breaks down into a cloud of subatomic particles...

one way vs. two way street (4, Insightful)

Orp (6583) | more than 7 years ago | (#17162864)

I keep blog (what I used to call an online journal before that stupid term came about) but I disable comments. I think this would solve a lot of the problem. If developers simply want to do a brain dump every once in a while and share it with the world they should not feel obliged to turn on comments and subsequently respond to them. As a journaller from way back (junior high school) I have found journalling to be a very valuable process for collecting my thoughts and forcing myself to take stock of where I am currently at. The process itself is rewarding. But I feel no obligation to share my journalling with others (although I do in one venue, but in a self-censored way) or enable responses. I certainly see how enabling feedback/comments adds a whole new dimension to the process, but it's certainly not a necessary quality of a blog.

Re:one way vs. two way street (1)

edmicman (830206) | more than 7 years ago | (#17165698)

I would think that the whole point of an online journal / blog would be to *encourage* the two-way communication between author and readers. Otherwise, why post online - why not just write in a notebook or a text file that you keep private?

By posting anything online, I feel that an author is implicitly looking for feedback from others, whether he wishes to admit it or not.

Re:one way vs. two way street (1)

that this is not und (1026860) | more than 7 years ago | (#17170906)

Perhaps the online journal is intended as a means to propagate ideas in a 'broadcast' fashion. There is nothing wrong with that, and your notion that there should either be completely open discussion or no 'online journal' at all is ridiculous.

There is nothing inherently wrong with one-way communications.

Pre-announcing would kill the buzz (3, Interesting)

macurmudgeon (900466) | more than 7 years ago | (#17162964)

Apple gets too much attention from their current way of doing things to want to change. They probably get more blog attention from outsiders guessing what is coming out at the next conference than they would letting employees blog or pre-announcing products. Apple's policy of secrecy and Job's showmanship have been a winning combination.

vaporware distinctions (2, Interesting)

Ancient_Hacker (751168) | more than 7 years ago | (#17163030)

Perhaps we need to clarify the various flavors of vaporware, distinguished by intents and causes: (1) Deceit-o-ware: Marketing announces a "product" in order to discourage competitors, stake out mindshare, commit the partners and developers, and other dishonorable reasons. ( Taligent, others ) (2) Wish-o-ware: Developers promise to enhance a product, not realizing the current code isnt extendable. ( Copeland ) (3) Bloat-o-ware: Soo many promised features, the resulting code is too embarrasingly complex or slow to ever be released. ( Cairo, SQL file system, .NET code in the OS ) Now #1 is totally indefensible, but #2 and 3 are more likely unintended consequences of good intentions.

Re:vaporware distinctions (1)

Tankko (911999) | more than 7 years ago | (#17164194)

I think there is a 4th. research-o-ware. Companies spend time exploring different things, sometimes with no direct intent to produce a product. Companies and employees often talk about these projects at conferences, blogs, etc. Someone picks up on it and it starts to gain life as a real product. When it fails to materialize, the company is accused of vaporware.

Re:vaporware distinctions (1)

dogfriend (609723) | more than 7 years ago | (#17165618)

I was also thinking the same but only two classifications: Vaporware - the dictionary version - announced but not yet available Malicious Vaporware - which would cover #1 in your post.

Chuq Von Rospach & blogging from Apple (4, Informative)

maggard (5579) | more than 7 years ago | (#17163046)

Chuq Von Rospach, 17.5 year veteran of Apple, well known for his insights into email / usenet / web issues, did a series of blog entries on how Apple communicates. He went into, from his former privilaged position inside Apple, about how & why it communicates how it does, and what it is like being a communicator for Apple, officially & unofficially.

The postings about Apple & blogging start at Why Apple doesn't have a blogging policy (it ain't what you think....) and then goes for a few days, with responses to/from other bloggers.

Interesting stuff, insightful, and first-person from someone who was on the inside.

Not like email (1)

Pinkybum (960069) | more than 7 years ago | (#17163218)

"...Blog entries are like emails that cc: to the entire world."

No they are not because an email is sent proactively to a limited audience whereas a blog
you know the audience are people who are seeking out that communication and you the sender
do not necessarily know who the audience is.

Just thought you'd like to know (0, Troll)

Zex_Suik (951570) | more than 7 years ago | (#17163904)

Apple gives me gas.

Re:Just thought you'd like to know (1)

Guy Harris (3803) | more than 7 years ago | (#17164502)

Apple gives me gas.

Then try a different station at Caffe Macs.

Author's comments...ugh. (3, Insightful)

BlackRookSix (943957) | more than 7 years ago | (#17164434)

Hey Schroeder, don't try to be a smart ass. I did extensive research before I wrote my article and the last thing I want is some nobody to tell me that I am wrong.

Just STFU already!
Daniel Eran, RDM | Homepage | 12.08.06 - 8:48 am | #

This in response to a lengthy comment posted with plenty of meat to it as a counterpoint. This is the author's way of defending his article?

This should be filed under "Stick-Your-Tongue-Out-And-Scream-Until-The-Others -Stop-Talking" department.

Re:Author's comments...ugh. (1)

DECS (891519) | more than 7 years ago | (#17165824)

Nope, that was a fake comment posted by a reader in the same area as your followup comment taking offense:

[this was a fraud posting purporting to be from the site author but actually made by 81.169.180.248]

If it doesn't sound like Daniel Eran, it probably isn't Daniel Eran.

Re:Author's comments...ugh. (2, Insightful)

slashwritr (1009921) | more than 7 years ago | (#17168578)

You sound like Karl Malone now..."Karl Malone is going to retire because Karl Malone is tired." Seriously, talking in the third person?

Also, it's nearly impossible to figure out whether it's a Daniel Eran posting or not. A lot of your "legit" comments sound exactly like those "fake" comments--insulting and condescending. Like this one in response to VGPowerlord below:

"So go roll in Digg and leave the bits of the web that are not yet as stupid alone."

Re:Author's comments...ugh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17169558)

Bob Dole thinks this guy is an idiot.

Too busy for that... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17164702)

Perhaps they are too busy working, and don't have time to tell all you douchebags what they are up to.

As opinion goes (1)

grayman.slashdot (1024839) | more than 7 years ago | (#17165342)

Now, that was a real waste of time (reading the article), in essence what you (the author) say is that (appart of the blog an vaporware) you can simple deny anything based on what a dictionary say, Well Mr. there are a LOT of definitions and you can always find a way to explain it your way, based on a definittion in a book or dictionary, and definitions always change, as time pass.
C'mon even 0/0 now makes Nulity!!!
Well, this is what i say: Vaporware IS Vaporware, sometimes FEEL like vaporware, and if someone THINK this is vaporware then IS vaporware, at least for him,
Don't respond to this, is just my point of view, and as MY POINT OF VIEW it is correct, for me, and for many people that may think alike.
Maybe what you should write was:
Apple dont use blogs as a tool, or a tactic to gain press space,
Apple doesn't stop their employees to blog,
Apple try to keep secret their work, just until they consider is gonna make a lot of publicity and be a good thing for business,
Any thing that move, delay, change, or doesn't give or doesn't comply with a release day IS vaporware, at least during the time it fails to get released,
There is planned vaporware and not planned vaporware.

Just my opinion. Nobody cares

(}{ >

Can you really blame them? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17165848)

Apple stock went down almost $3 yesterday. Do you know why?

Because some dumbass analyst said that the iPhone-- a product that does not officially exist, has not been acknowledged as in development or even under consideration for development by anyone in Apple's employ with the authority to do so-- was going to be delayed.

How exactly does a third party announce a delay for a nonexistent product that didn't even have an ETA to begin with, and have it affect the stock price that drastically? And if that's what can happen, do you really want to encourage your employees to divulge any information beyond what's okayed by PR?

Re:Can you really blame them? (1)

demars (232969) | more than 7 years ago | (#17183080)

Although this AC has a point, keep in mind that the Apple stock price has been run up recently in part due to rumors about the iPhone's imminent introduction. This was the reason for the pullback, expectations (totally based on rumor, not on any official announcement from Apple) for the iPhone had been factored into the price of the stock, so naturally any rumor of a delay would cause a decline in the price. In my opinion, the run-up in price due to the expectation of the iPhone was just as irrational as the drop on the delay rumor. But the point is, the stock goes up as well as down on rumors and comments by analysts that are all unacknowleded by Apple.

Having said that, I applaud Apple's attitude, which is: "We won't float vaporware and make promises that may or may not be kept. We will announce when we actually have the goods." That's an admirable stance. On the other hand, you can't blame the analysts for second guessing -- that's their job. But they are going to get it wrong sometimes (often?) and it's not Apple's fault when that happens. Ditto for the stock price; it's going to fluctuate quite a bit due to investor expectations, but it isn't Apple's fault when the expectations are too high unless they stoked the expecations themselves. Yes, Apple has an interest in keeping a lock on information that could unreasonably raise expectations (like revealing details of projects like the iPhone that may eventually be marketed soon, later or possibly never), but they will never be able to prevent speculation and the concomitant effect on stock price.

Counting paragraphs until the first MS bash (1)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 7 years ago | (#17166052)

OK, when I saw the mention that this was a RoughlyDrafted article, I figured I'd do something fun: Without looking at the article, I'm going to try guessing how many paragraphs it is until the first Microsoft bash.

My guess is 5.

Now to count... Wow, I was way off. The first one (veiled insult) doesn't appear until paragraph 11.

However, I did correctly predict that it would bash Microsoft, so I was right in one respect.

I can summarize this article in one sentence: Apple doesn't blog because Microsoft sucks.

Seriously, why do you continue linking to this guy's articles? Every single one, whether it has to do with Microsoft or not, eventually devolves into an extended bash on Microsoft. Even if the information in it is incorrect. Even if it means applying double standards (one for Apple, one for Microsoft). I mean, I don't exactly love Microsoft either, but they should at least convey correct information. There's a reason why Digg users bury his stories (well, maybe not since his 60+ shill accounts [googlepages.com] came about).

Re:Counting paragraphs until the first MS bash (3, Insightful)

DECS (891519) | more than 7 years ago | (#17168400)

I appreciate feedback from readers, but it's more useful when its about actual ideas, not numerology.

Seriously, you sound like somebody watching the Daily Show saying, OMG, I know that Jon Stewart is going to make some comment about Bush... THERE, THERE IT IS!!!

As for Digg: it exists to tell weak-minded people what they already think they know. More than 80% of it is now PR fluff and other inoffensive written-for-digg articles that say nothing, and are commented on by people like yourself, who add nothing to the conversation apart from hypocrisy, impune bad motives without any proof, and generally suck.

So go roll in Digg and leave the bits of the web that are not yet as stupid alone.

Re:Counting paragraphs until the first MS bash (1)

slughead (592713) | more than 7 years ago | (#17174434)

So go roll in Digg and leave the bits of the web that are not yet as stupid alone.

You made no mention of the dig-spamming accusation (for which the author exposed some very compelling evidence).

Regardless of what you think of Digg, it isn't right to offset the votes of other users. Maybe they just don't like your writing.

I'm boycotting your site until you address this issue. I'm a writer myself, but I'm not about to 'cheat' just to get people to read my material.

Re:Counting paragraphs until the first MS bash (1)

DECS (891519) | more than 7 years ago | (#17176268)

So you are going to try me based on the "compelling evidence" of accusations scribbled in an anonymous blog, which have been repeateded in several places but never corroborated by other sources?

I plead not guilty. I haven't set up any of the accounts in his McCarthy witchhunt.

If you were a Digg user, or if you review the comments on articles submitted, you'd know that many people accused of being sybils on his list replied with "WTF? I'm just a user" You'd also know that "lackawack," or Mike Caddick, who singlehandedly mounted the personal attacks on me and my site, has no credibility. He constantly posts hateful stuff that is fact free and inflammatory.

I offered to give him space on my site to refute any errors he thought I had presented, but he refused. He has no problems with facts, he's all about faceless, anonymous name calling using fake alises. And his wild accusations are apparently convincing to people who want to believe conspircay theories that make little sense.

Digg is so full of spam that you'd have to pay attention to remember even seeing my regular articles, which were on the front page a lot. The only "gaming of Digg" was zybch Mike Caddick's campaign to "burn all the books" (his phrase) from RDM on Digg.

And quite obviously, if I were creating 50 fake accounts to drive up my articles, all Caddick would need to do is report the list to Digg and they'd all be banned, because Digg can tell who is creating accounts from where, even if they do not use this information unless somebody complains. I can assure you that Caddick was complaining about me.

He has written me scads of hate mail gibberish that makes no sense, writes to random blogs and sites trying to get them to publish his screed. Most hypocritically, he himself was originally banned from Digg for promising -- in a digg posting that's still up -- to sign up a bunch of fake accounts and bury every article ever posted from RDM, and also promised to call upon a "vigalante" newsgroup to help. He has since made good on his claim, burying enough old articles so that Digg banned any submissions from my site.

I don't want anything to do with Digg, nor anyone who would rather roll in those rather obvious bullshit.

Your accusing me of "cheating" without even looking at the facts involved. Interestingly, all of the baseless bullshit anonymous blog entries he submits get an unreasonable amount of support - apparently he's an expert at gaming various sites; I'm not. I just write.

And clearly, people who use sites like digg are gullable enough to believe everything that shows up in a headline, despite the fact that most of the articles on Digg are written-for-digg by adclick websites, positioned by astroturfers, or simply wildly inacurate. So if you'd rather bathe in that than read my site, I sure can't stop you.

Re:Counting paragraphs until the first MS bash (1)

slughead (592713) | more than 7 years ago | (#17178564)

Your accusing me of "cheating" without even looking at the facts involved. Interestingly, all of the baseless bullshit anonymous blog entries he submits get an unreasonable amount of support - apparently he's an expert at gaming various sites; I'm not. I just write.

First of all, I was asking you to address those accusations, not accusing you myself.

I looked at the facts (which is the only reason I called you on it). I looked at 5 (randomly) of the list of 60 and went back to the first 'dugg' articles. All but 1 had a higher than 50% ratio of 'AlexW' articles vs others.

All of the accounts I looked at had at least 5 of your articles as the first 5 articles 'dugg' by them. Therefore, they probably joined specifically to digg your articles, or they went back and dugg your blogs. Put another way, the oldest articles dugg by these people were all yours.

At any rate, the guy who wrote the article probably did his homework. Who goes around digging articles by mainly 1 author?

I guess they could just be fans who saw your digg censorship article and wanted to 'fight the power', but I'm wondering why you're so defensive about it. I also thought it was very suspicious that you didn't mention the digg spamming in the GP post, you also were dismissive and somewhat arrogant in your response. If you're going to feed the trolls, you may as well have some humility.

Sorry if I've accused you of something that you didn't do, I just didn't like your attitude and it made me look into it further.

Re:Counting paragraphs until the first MS bash (1)

DECS (891519) | more than 7 years ago | (#17179338)

If you look at any of the comments made by the "accused," its pretty obvous they were introduced to Digg by my site, because I used Digg's own promotional tags to encourage people to check Digg out. A handfull of people who read my site, but were not Digg users, chose to log into Digg when they saw I posted a new article, but otherwise didn't sit on Digg.

Anyone who has a website that has been on Digg knows that 1000 diggs = about 40,000 unique visits. That suggests only 1 in about 40 people Digg an article they visit. It's also obvious from comments that a large number of people digging and commenting on articles have not read the cited article, so that difference between Diggs and Visitors is even higher. Of course, as Digg users blog about articles they see on digg that are worthy of mention, other people who do not use Digg see the article, contributing to the difference.

Even if somebody set up a Digg bot collection of 50 automatic Diggs, it wouldn't result in articles that are highly rated by actual people commenting on the story. My articles not only were on the front page, but where rated highly apart from the 5 voices that sounded suspiciously like the single critic who was making such a stink about "spam" as he send out rapidfire hate mail and set up anonymous blogs about a ridiculous crisis befalling Digg because of the attention I was getting.

When some idiot makes wild claims against someone, it's time to apply a bit of critical thought to the matter to determine if the person is making a credible claim, or simply blowing hot air about nothing. He never criticized any facts I presented, it was all a smokescreen about "gaming," which he had earlier been banned for doing himself. He's also great at gettting publicity for his non-issues and personal attacks.

I guess some find such crap more entertaining than dealing with issues that matter. I find it somewhat frustrating to be working hard to write about ideas that a lot of people enjoy reading and talking about, whether they agree or not, and have it all attacked anonymously by a troll with zero credibility, with flaccid and hypocritical claims that don't matter.

That one attack keeps getting brought up again and again by people as if it is some real credible problem that I need to "address." So yeah, I am somewhat sensitive that you find anonymous bullshit more fasinating to talk about that work I researched and tried to present in an interesting and useful way -- at no profit to myself, other than being able to present a point of view that is seldom heard.

It's like developing for Linux and having SCO's claims brought up every half hour by the same two trolls who ask "Legitimate? Compelling evidence suggests it isn't! Better buy a license, or even safer, stick with Windows!!"

---

Apple iPhone Rumors Off the Hook [roughlydrafted.com]
Mere rumors of the iPhone have set Apple's stock at an all time high, doing more for Apple than the Zune has for Microsoft! Apple's silence leaves the iPhone-curious stuck with the writings of pundits, many of whom are bitter that Apple has repeatedly proven them wrong. CNET's Michael Kanellos, for example.

"the full range of rich human communication"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17166120)

The other thing about blogs is that written text fails to capture the full range of rich human communication.


I guess the folks at Apple have never read Shakespeare or Coleridge, or Sartre, or Neitze, or Kant, or Shin-eqi-unninni, or... (etc. etc. - you get the idea).

This from the folks who brought you the iPod. I guess they're as juvenile and illiterate as their target market.

Re:"the full range of rich human communication"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17166360)

The other thing about blogs is that written text fails to capture the full range of rich human communication.


I guess the folks at Apple have never read Shakespeare or Coleridge, or Sartre, or Neitze, or Kant, or Shin-eqi-unninni, or... (etc. etc. - you get the idea).

This from the folks who brought you the iPod. I guess they're as juvenile and illiterate as their target market.


Further, it can be argued that well conceived and written text is the pinnacle of human communication.

Speech writing exists as a vocation for a reason. Think of any inspirational speech you have heard and I can almost guarantee that it was written in advance.

Think of the American Declaration of Independence, The British Magna Carta, The Canadian Charter of Rights. Monumental examples of human communication, all written.

Not to degrade the value of oral traditions and histories, but written text can outlive a civilisation or culture to leave an indelible mark on human history that otherwise would have vanished into the ether.

That said, I highly doubt that weblogs ("blogs") of developers at Apple would contain material to rock the literary world. "Blogs" tend to be simple transcriptions of the daily brain farts of people so inclined to record them for public view and as such are not terribly valuable to the literary record of human culture, but that is not to say that significant writings might not occur in "blogs".

Welcome to "iCulture"! Damn it, why must everything be prefixed with an "i"? Apple: the McDonalds of the computing world. (McNuggets, McRib, McLobster... like iPod, iTunes, iMovie...)

Re:"the full range of rich human communication"? (1)

DECS (891519) | more than 7 years ago | (#17168556)

Written text conveys much less information that the same text, being read.

When you see words on a page, you invent your own thoughts as to how they were intended. When an actor reads lines from Shakespere, it's his or her job to put meaning into them, reflecting the intent and context in which those words were intended.

Any idiot can read classical literature and miss 90% of the meaning, just as any office worker can fire out an email that comes across wrong, or any blogger can type out a brain dump that readers misinterpret.

The best example is your own misunderstanding of what was written in the artlcle. Except I think your "misunderstanding" was intentional.

The Real reason why Apple doesn't promote blogging (1)

mhollis (727905) | more than 7 years ago | (#17166194)

Everyone here is talking as if Apple would be excoriated for vaporware. Vaporware is usually software, not hardware, though some hardware can be vapor -- just not usually.

The real reason why Apple doesn't promote blogging and also the real reason why Jobs is so careful to go after websites that predict (accurately sometimes) what Apple will be releasing is because Steve Jobs met and knew Adam Osbourne. While the effect [wikipedia.org] that is named after his is urban legend, Jobs is very interested in not making a suicidal marketing mistake.

Apple is primarily a hardware company. they do not want to cannibalize present sales with announcements about future developments. And hardware development takes a lot of cash.

Re:The Real reason why Apple doesn't promote blogg (1)

DECS (891519) | more than 7 years ago | (#17168460)

Preannouncements can ding current sales, but the Osborne Effect article you linked to in Wikipedia actually shows the opposite: that the OE is mostly a myth, and that plenty of examples prove that it is more often wrong than a reliable law of marketing.

I actually wrote about the Osborne Effect back when the Register was announcing how Intel Macs would kill Apple's sales before it could ever deliver them.

Why Apple won't suffer the Osborne Effect [roughlydrafted.com]

I also added notes from the article I wrote into that Wikipedia article, but they were removed to make it look like the Register itself dispelled the myth, rather than creating it.

The notes are in the Wiki history of the page you linked.

The world doesn't want the truth.

TFA: Missed Point; ATG (1)

micromuncher (171881) | more than 7 years ago | (#17166382)

Any old Apple salt knows that Apple used to be VERY KEEN on personal publishing; and letting the world know what was going on through their Advanced Technology Group. One of the ultra cool things about ATG for years was seeing the cool stuff at WWDC...

And here is where Apple got burned.

Showing the cool stuff often meant exposing research and development to ... Microsoft. There was an uncanny parallel between what was shown by the ATG at WWDC and Microsoft marketting press releases in the subsequent weeks. Microsoft won a lot of mindshare based on skunkworks stuff not developed there! And Apple management realized it.

Now before I get flagged as a troll and Apple fanboy; I'm not. I can site many examples of this from 90 to 95 - before ATG stopped presenting and was for the most part disolved. I got totally burned by OpenDoc and the phoenix of Steve.

As a side note, Microsoft still actively supports its think tank (though you rarely see anything commercial come of it), and Google lets you work on your own skunkworks 20% of your time (and get paid for it, but it belongs to Google.)

Here's one Apple developer's blog (1)

5plicer (886415) | more than 7 years ago | (#17178732)

http://ridiculousfish.com/blog/ [ridiculousfish.com]

He's member of Apple's AppKit team (i.e. he develops both the AppKit and Foundation frameworks).

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