Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Apple, the New Microsoft?

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the rolling-stone-obviously-an-authority-on-this dept.

Microsoft 703

VE3OGG writes "Apple, the ultimate source of cool. The marketers of slick. The next 'evil empire'? While it might sound goofy at first, Rolling Stone magazine is running an article that summarizes some very interesting points that detail how Apple could become the next technology bad guy. Among the reasons given: Apple's call to be rid of DRM (while continuing to use it in iTunes); Apple's perceived arrogance when they warned consumers not to upgrade to Vista, while not rushing to fix the problem themselves; and Apple's seemingly unstoppable market dominance in the form of the iPod. The iPhone featured heavily as well, a product that is months from release but steals the press from more competitive products. What do you think, could Apple eventually take the place of Microsoft?"

cancel ×

703 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

No, because... (0, Troll)

kilf (135983) | more than 7 years ago | (#17953686)

Apple products don't suck, and Microsoft ones do.

Thats funny... (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17953748)

You said "Apple products" and "dont suck" in the same sentence.

Re:No, because... (4, Informative)

sBox (512691) | more than 7 years ago | (#17953752)

No. Apple lost in the 80s out of arrogance, cost and lack of a critical app (Lotus 1-2-3?). Why do people think they won't do it again?

Exactly! (0, Troll)

daninaustin (985354) | more than 7 years ago | (#17953756)

Microsoft mice are great (and I hate Apple mice) , but beyond that Microsoft stuff is pretty much crap.

Re:No, because... (2)

pebs (654334) | more than 7 years ago | (#17953782)

Apple products don't suck, and Microsoft ones do.

Exactly. I've found Microsoft's products to suck ever since using Windows 3.0 (MS-DOS versions were not bad, although nothing particularly great either). Every Windows version after that sucked, though it got slightly better with Win2k.

Apple's products may be a bit overrated and a little too restrictive, but their actual quality doesn't suck like Microsoft's software does.

Re:No, because... (1)

NATIK (836405) | more than 7 years ago | (#17954088)

It's a matter of what you want, for me the restrictive nature of Apple products is exactly what makes them suck more then Microsoft products (though only by a tiny amount) both are very restrictive but Apples moreso. I hate being told by my computer what I need to do, especially when I know its advice is wrong so I prefer not to use a system that does that.

Re:No, because... (3, Interesting)

HappySqurriel (1010623) | more than 7 years ago | (#17953946)

Microsoft didn't always suck ...
Neither did Sony ...

There are two problems that large companies tend to face which make them evil, the grow too big and one hand of the company doesn't know what the other hand is doing, and they get success too quickly which leads to hubris. The interesting thing is that the companies that survive the eventual fall (Nintendo, IBM) tend to recover and don't make the same mistakes again ...

Re:No, because... (0, Troll)

eno2001 (527078) | more than 7 years ago | (#17954070)

They might recover and not make the same mistakes again, but they also become largely irrelevant. IBM and Nontendo are perfect examples.

Re:No, because... (4, Interesting)

thewldisntenuff (778302) | more than 7 years ago | (#17954220)

Did you just say "largely irrelevant" in regards to IBM and Nintendo?

IBM makes the chips that powers all of these new consoles and is still a big name in computing.

Nintendo has created a frenzy around another handheld machine and the Wii, which is killing Sony thus far, and has really revolutionized the way people play video games.

"...largely irrelevant"? Not a chance.

Re:No, because... (1)

dthable (163749) | more than 7 years ago | (#17954326)

Not to mention that IBM holds more patents and spends more on research than any other company.

Re:No, because... (2, Informative)

HappySqurriel (1010623) | more than 7 years ago | (#17954334)

You also forgot to mention that Nintendo is the largest videogame publisher in the World, and has remained in the #1 spot for handheld videogame market for over 15 years (Gameboy, Gameboy Color, GBA, Nintendo DS).

Re:No, because... (2, Funny)

timster (32400) | more than 7 years ago | (#17954072)

Microsoft didn't always suck ...

Back in the day, using Microsoft BASIC on a C-64, I was pretty happy. Since then it's been downhill.

Re:No, because... (4, Insightful)

Nastard (124180) | more than 7 years ago | (#17954314)

I'm glad you mentioned Sony, since I believe that if anyone is poised to take over the "most hated" title, it's them.

Sony, like Microsoft, acts in such a way that it's tough to believe they even like their customers. They are quick to adopt restrictions, slow to correct their mistakes, and want to be in all markets, even when it puts the company at odds with itself.

Apple, on the other hand, is very careful not to enter new markets unless it feels it genuinely has something to contribute. More importantly, they dislike restrictions, as evidenced by their reasonable DRM in iTunes and lack of CD key for OS X. They assume that their customers are good, honest people. Sony and Microsoft like to assume that their customers are criminals.

Interestingly, where other companies try to give their customers what they ask for, Apple instead tries to give them what they really want. Some people hate this, but it's working very well for Apple.

Also, Apple has already made their huge, almost company-ending mistakes. They've bounced back better than anyone could have thought. I'd say they've earned the success and attention they're getting.

Re:No, because... (1)

superangrybrit (600375) | more than 7 years ago | (#17953994)

Apple product do suck. They suck the money outta wallets pretty fast.

Won't take the place of MS... but competition... (4, Insightful)

betelgeuse68 (230611) | more than 7 years ago | (#17953688)

But competition is good... since Lord knows, MS needs it.

-M

Why DRM and Locks on Apple Stores are Dumb, Jobs (1, Redundant)

Einstein45 (1062040) | more than 7 years ago | (#17954266)

A friend emailed me this:

Why DRM and Locks on Apple Stores are Dumb
by Steven Jobs
http://www.apple.com/hotnews/thoughtsonmusic/ [apple.com]

With the stunning global success of Apple's iPod music player and iTunes online music store, some have called for Apple to "open" the digital rights management (DRM) system that Apple uses to protect its music against theft, so that music purchased from iTunes can be played on digital devices purchased from other companies, and protected music purchased from other online music stores can play on iPods.
Imagine a world where every online store sells DRM-free music, software, movies, and video games encoded in open licensable formats. In such a world, any player or console can play music or games purchased from any store, and any store can sell music, movies, and games which are playable on all players. This is clearly the best alternative for consumers, and Apple would embrace it in a heartbeat. If the big four music companies, and software companies, and Hollywood studios, and video game companies, would license Apple their music, movies, video games, and software without the requirement that it be protected with a DRM, we would switch to selling only DRM-free music, movies, and games on our iTunes store, and DRM-free software in our stores. Every iPod ever made will play this DRM-free music and movies, and we shall give them away for free, along with our trendy iBooks.
In order to lead this initiative, Pixar will begin offering all of its movies for download upon the Apple website, in DRM-free formats, which one can rip, mix, and burn on any device. The record companies caused the Napsterization of the recording industry by being too slow to give their content away for free, and in order to thwart pirates, Hollywood must beat them to the punch.
        Software too shall be given away for free in DRM-free formats. Final Cut Pro and the Mac OS X will lead the charge. One of most burdensome characteristics of software is that if the customer loses the box with the license key, the customer must purchase an entire new copy to install the software on a second device. This is "unfair play," und thus all software shall henceforth be released license-free, along with its source code. Now that both Macs and PCs run on Intel architectures, it makes sense that all software should be able to run on all devices.
        Just as the musician shall voluntarily give up their rights to their music in this brave new world, Apple will be releasing all of its patents and trademarks for the public good. Citizens are encouraged to show up to Apple with video cameras, walk around, attend meetings, and post the videos to youtube, as information wants to be free.
        DRM has failed. The problem, of course, is that there are many smart people in the world, some with a lot of time on their hands, who love to discover such secrets and publish a way for everyone to get free (and stolen) music. They are often successful in doing just that, so any company trying to protect content using a DRM must frequently update it with new and harder to discover secrets. We cannot win. Nor can car security systems nor digital security for banks triumph, as brilliant hackers shall forever share secrets about cracking these burdensome entities on the internet. So often it is that customers, forced to buy cars with locks, find themselves locked out of their very own cars!
Starting next week, Apple employees will be forbidden from locking their cars, and the bank DRM that protects my back-dated stock options shall be removed, as no security system can be superior to hackers, and it is a mark of hubris before Zeus himself to even try. Locks are being removed from Apple stores, so come on by and get your free iPod for your free music, along with a free black turtleneck.
        A brave new day is dawning, so drop on by the Apple site to download the following Pixar movies and software in DRM-free formats: The Incredibles, Toy Story, Finding Nemo, A Bug's Life, Cars, and Final Cut Pro. We might have an option for you to pay, or you can use your friend's DRM-free version on your Zune.

http://artsentrepreneuship.com/ [artsentrepreneuship.com]

At least it will look better (4, Funny)

jurt1235 (834677) | more than 7 years ago | (#17953708)

Someone had to say it

Re:At least it will look better (1)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 7 years ago | (#17953974)

Yeah, I gotta go with that sentiment too. A 20-year Apple monopoly can't get much worse than the 20-year MS monopoly.

No (-1, Troll)

appleguru (1030562) | more than 7 years ago | (#17953712)

No. M$ will always remain the corporate evil center of the world.

Re:No (2, Insightful)

The_Wilschon (782534) | more than 7 years ago | (#17953734)

Just like IBM.

Sure, why not? (2, Insightful)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 7 years ago | (#17953736)

AT&T used to be the big evil empire. Then it was IBM. Microsoft took over for IBM. Sure why not have Apple take over for Microsoft as most hated company? So who came before AT&T? Standard Oil?

Re:Sure, why not? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17954024)

United Fruit!

Re:Sure, why not? (0, Offtopic)

Daemonstar (84116) | more than 7 years ago | (#17954056)

Ma Bell should be in there somewhere. If anyone doesn't think so, try starting up a local phone company in a Bell region and see how fast they drain your money and time. :P

Re:Sure, why not? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17954284)

at&t == ma bell

Re:Sure, why not? (1)

Gr8Apes (679165) | more than 7 years ago | (#17954058)

Standard Oil for sure. But they've been replaced by Exxon-Mobil.

AT&T has been replaced by... AT&T...

IBM still exists, and they're working hard to replace themselves by offering the black-box approach with a couple of consultants to make it work for your business.

MS... well, if Vista doesn't dethrone them [auckland.ac.nz] , nothing will.

Apple? They have a monopoly? On what? They're merely an online distributor for content "owned" and controlled by RIAA entities (I'm not a paying customer, although some of their free content is ok). iPods (I own 2)? Not a chance, any MP3 player will do. I just happen to like the iPod better for the way I use mine, but there's no anti-competitive reason to buy one. Their Macs? They're great, and a decent deal for the money, if they happen to meet your requirements (for those that continue along the fallacy of them being more expensive, I priced out identical systems from HP, Dell, and Apple by feature. Apple was cheaper, not even accounting for the better software)

On the one hand I wish Apple would sell OSX for general purpose PCs. Even for only a small subset of supported peripheral hardware. They could charge for the help calls, with 1 or 2 included in the original OS price. It would shock MS to the core, as they cannot pull the only product that matters due to anti-monopoly agreements already (Office).

Then we might see new competition in the OS/Software space, and maybe get rid of this boat-anchor Vista is trying to bring to the party.

Penultimate, eh? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17953738)

Vocabulary is obviously not your strong suit.

Re:Penultimate, eh? (1)

homey of my owney (975234) | more than 7 years ago | (#17953858)

Well, the end IS near...

Wrong Word (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17953746)

Penultimate means next to last, is that what you meant?

Duh (5, Insightful)

TomorrowPlusX (571956) | more than 7 years ago | (#17953762)

If it weren't for Microsoft, Apple would be Microsoft.

Re:Duh (2, Interesting)

Bryansix (761547) | more than 7 years ago | (#17954260)

Exactly! Apple is only hindered in it's evil nature by the amount of market share it has. Look at their lame "I'm better then you" campaign they launched on the PC. Every single argument was a straw man. It was complete and utter bullshit. Then you have the lip service to non-DRM music while their own product locks you into their own service. It's totally hypocritical how Apple acts.

iFone (1)

cpearson (809811) | more than 7 years ago | (#17953764)

Focusing just on Apple's pipeline they are going to be in for some hard times ahead. Apple's iPhone is far to restricted to be adopted. Someone else will produce an iPhone killer before the iPhone even catches on.

Vista Forum - become a community member [vistahelpforum.com]

tell me about it (4, Funny)

User 956 (568564) | more than 7 years ago | (#17953880)

Focusing just on Apple's pipeline they are going to be in for some hard times ahead. Apple's iPhone is far to restricted to be adopted.

No kidding. While it may have wireless, it has less space than a Nomad. Lame.

MS will always dominate. (1, Funny)

bluesuns (1053174) | more than 7 years ago | (#17953774)

MS, as said above, will always dominate the market. Their OS is destined to reign somewhat supremely over the industry. Apple has the market on MP3 plays though, but I doubt they will have an increase in mac users any time soon.

Re:MS will always dominate. (1)

johnfink (810028) | more than 7 years ago | (#17954230)

MS, as said above, will always dominate the market.
Sounds suspiciously like someone else...

640K ought to be enough for anybody.
The jig is up, Bill. We know it's you.

Re:MS will always dominate. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17954276)

Are you shpongled?

Apple should have died. I hate the way that just by using lots of tacky transluscent plastic and prefixing names with a vowel they've won over lots of people in media and entertainment who know nothing about computers.

Its possible (0)

NDPTAL85 (260093) | more than 7 years ago | (#17953778)

Yes Apple could become the next Microsoft.... DAH DAH DAHHHHHHH!!!

But Apple actually makes things people want to buy so it won't be that bad afterall.

WOMP WOMP!

Re:Its possible (1)

Stewie241 (1035724) | more than 7 years ago | (#17953906)

Yeah... no one ever wanted to buy Windows... (wait a minute...) If Microsoft never made anything people wanted to buy, well... no one would have bought it. Not an MS fan either, but am also weary of Apple (and Google for that matter) and giving any corporation too much control. Would have felt a lot less uneasy if Apple had of published specs for the operation of the Ipod DB so others could design by spec instead of having to rely on guesses... Notice Apple hasn't made it possible for ANY other company to produce music players that play music from the Apple store. This is corporate nature - we have what we have because of MS. MS has brought the PC forward in many ways, but there is a lot of crap that comes along with that. Apple will do the same thing. Ian

Re:Its possible (4, Insightful)

poot_rootbeer (188613) | more than 7 years ago | (#17954116)

If Microsoft never made anything people wanted to buy, well... no one would have bought it.

What was the last boxed retail Microsoft software you bought? For me I think it was MS-DOS 6.22. Everything since has come pre-installed on a new computer when I purchased it. It's not so much that I chose to buy it, as I didn't choose not to buy it.

Not a bad distribution channel to have, if you can get it.

Re:Its possible (1)

cyfer2000 (548592) | more than 7 years ago | (#17953960)

So it doesn't need to be so bad after all.

So what if they do... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17953780)

Really, who cares if Apple replaces Microsoft as top bad guy. The way I see it, it would just be a shuffle in the standings for largest evil empire, but Microsoft will still be around, evil as ever...

Microsoft wouldn't be evil as a small company (1)

iamacat (583406) | more than 7 years ago | (#17953788)

Office and Visual Studio are actually allright. The very problem is that MS dominates the market and doesn't have to compete in technology, customer service or public image. It would be great if Apple also gets some decent competition in music arena.

Re:Microsoft wouldn't be evil as a small company (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17953886)

Your spelling is not "allright".

Re:Microsoft wouldn't be evil as a small company (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17954008)

dumbass

Just alright? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17954106)

Why did it take TWO FUCKING DECADES to manage to make software that barely qualifies as adequate? They were evil when they were small, and nothing changed when they got big. They never tried to compete on any honest grounds in their entire history.

No (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17953798)

We all know that Google will be the next Microsoft.

Re:No (4, Insightful)

Mobile Mineral (675157) | more than 7 years ago | (#17954010)

Google already is the next Microsoft. We just don't all know it yet.

Apple and Microsoft are buddies ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17953808)

Microsoft has long known that they can't get 100% market share. Apple has historically been their safe little place for people to think they're cool by not buying Microsoft (but still running office and IE). Microsoft even prevented Apple from going bankrupt back in 1997 with a massive investement. Yep. Microsoft once owned Apple. (I know I'll catch hell for pointing it out, so flame away fanboys).

The only legitimate alternative to Microsoft is Linux.

Rolling Stone gave up that right to codemn... (1)

monkeyboythom (796957) | more than 7 years ago | (#17953816)

others when they themselves started pimping for brand marketing.

I think it was about the same time MTV stopped showing music videos.

Who is the ultimate source? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17953818)

If Apple is the penultimate source of cool, who is the ultimate?

Re:Who is the ultimate source? (4, Insightful)

east coast (590680) | more than 7 years ago | (#17953944)

If Apple is the penultimate source of cool, who is the ultimate?

Miles Davis?

Re:Who is the ultimate source? (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 7 years ago | (#17954080)

Duh, people who use cool words like penultimate!

anyone can be MS (2, Insightful)

finlandia1869 (1001985) | more than 7 years ago | (#17953860)

Um...any company that gains an overwhelmingly dominant market position can be Microsoft in that area. Once a company has totally squashed the competition, there's nothing left to do but play defense against potential rivals. That is a disincentive for innovation, good customer service, good value for money, etc.

Competition is good, all else being equal.

Uh, who cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17953872)

The useful question is how to stop having such a simple-minded view of life, not whom to direct your witless hostility at, to distract yourself from the emptiness of your dorkish life, next.

It's about time. (1, Funny)

Creeping_Dread (1046692) | more than 7 years ago | (#17953874)

I've been hating Apple for months now! I can't understand how everyone else can't despise how ubiquitous the ipod has become. I'm prepared to personally stoke the fires of hatred for Apple.

Re:It's about time. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17954038)

Then don't buy an iPod. Do you think it's reasonable to hate Apple just because their product is successful? Do you think it makes you look thoughtful, or childish?

Re:It's about time. (3, Funny)

jotok (728554) | more than 7 years ago | (#17954178)

I can't understand how everyone else can't despise how ubiquitous the ipod has become.

Totally. Hating something because it's popular makes perfect sense.

Re:It's about time. (1)

Creeping_Dread (1046692) | more than 7 years ago | (#17954342)

Yes! Together we can spread the hatred!

That word doesn't mean what you think it means... (2, Informative)

X43B (577258) | more than 7 years ago | (#17953876)

"Apple, the penultimate source of cool"

So Apple is second to last in coolness?

Re:That word doesn't mean what you think it means. (1)

IANAAC (692242) | more than 7 years ago | (#17953996)

Welcome to slashdot.

Yes, I know you've been around longer than I have.

does anybody want a peanut? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17954042)

That word doesn't mean what you think it means...

Re:That word doesn't mean what you think it means. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17954182)

It irks me when people use penultimate in place of ultimate thinking it's some intelligent way of saying "super-ultimate."

Re:That word doesn't mean what you think it means. (3, Informative)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 7 years ago | (#17954192)

"Apple, the penultimate source of cool"

So Apple is second to last in coolness?

No, they are the closest thing to the ultimate in coolness as you can get.

It doesn't mean what you think it does either. :-P

Cheers

Come on people, this is a COMPANY.. (4, Insightful)

Geek_3.3 (768699) | more than 7 years ago | (#17953888)

...NOT a freakin non-profit agency. (although a few of those suck too)

Apple's sole purpose, if you boiled everything down, is to make money. Never forget that. And to address the question at hand, sure, apple can be the next M$. Google can be the next M$. M$ can be deregulated, broken-up, then reformed into the NEW M$ and be the "next M$."

Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely. It's only a matter of time (and regulation).

(although apple's stuff is purdy, i suppose ;-)

penultimate? (1, Interesting)

TrappedByMyself (861094) | more than 7 years ago | (#17953892)

Apple, the penultimate source of cool.

So who will the last source of cool be? I'm confused.
Or is someone trying too hard to use big words again?

Re:penultimate? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17953992)

My thoughts exactly.

Re:penultimate? (1)

ZERO1ZERO (948669) | more than 7 years ago | (#17954304)

Right On!, brother

Apple users opt in (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17953894)

Apple will never be the next Microsoft, because the majority of Apple users opt-in to their platform and products by paying a price premium.

The majority of Microsoft users suffer a mediocre product because they don't know or don't care, or are unwilling to pay the price (of money, to buy Apple, or of time and expertise, to run Linux).

"Penultimate" is the penultimate misused word. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17953910)

The first being... ?

Apple has always been like Microsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17953912)

Two companies just competing for our bucks and using their natural monopolies for their own ends and us deciding what we will accept with our dollars.

Nothing to see here.

Slashdot continues slide into the superfluous.

No, but not from lack of trying... (5, Insightful)

GBC (981160) | more than 7 years ago | (#17953922)

Apple's products are generally of a much higher quality than those of Microsoft which gives them a pass from most geeks. However, they have shown, both through their actions and the actions of Steve Jobs, that they are no better than Microsoft the company in how they behave.

Some examples off the top of my head - legal action against bloggers, iPhone trade mark, stock options, treatment of Woz.

If anything, they are able to get away with actions which would be considered unforgivable were they committed by Microsoft. The only reason they are not considered as evil is due to their size - except in the case of music downloads, they are not in a monopoly position.

Apple are a very big company (albeit smaller than Microsoft) and have been for many years. To pretend they are otherwise is naive to say the least.

Re:No, but not from lack of trying... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17954218)

If anything, they are able to get away with actions which would be considered unforgivable were they committed by Microsoft.

The other side of the coin is that they are chastised for actions that Microsoft gets a pass on because Microsoft does those things so often nobody cares anymore.

iDunno... (1)

Nybble's Byte (321886) | more than 7 years ago | (#17953970)

But if they come out with the iChair then Steve Ballmer had better worry.

What about DVDs? (2, Interesting)

sluke (26350) | more than 7 years ago | (#17953982)

I noticed that they called Apple the largest purveyor of DRM technology. I thought that far more DVD's had been sold than songs from iTunes. Is there something I'm missing that makes DVD's free of DRM or is this just a case of Apple having DRM that's not broken too badly? I know that here in the USA it's just as illegal (thanks DMCA) to get around one as the other.

Doesn't make sense. (1)

igotmybfg (525391) | more than 7 years ago | (#17954004)

Among the reasons given: Apple's call to be rid of DRM (while continuing to use it in iTunes);
My understanding is that they are still using it because their deal with the record companies, who actually own the rights to the music, won't let them sell it without DRM. If some of the labels don't require DRM, then Apple should definitely not require it either, though.

Apple's perceived arrogance when they warned consumers not to upgrade to Vista, while not rushing to fix the problem themselves;
This is unfair... many other applications and devices don't work with Vista, either. And I say that Microsoft, as the provider of the OS, has at least a partial responsibility to ensure that stuff works with it. And anyway, according to this [apple.com] Apple website, fix will be coming up soon (and some limited subset of the iTunes functionality seems to be working anyway).

Re:Doesn't make sense. (2, Insightful)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 7 years ago | (#17954108)

My understanding is that they are still using it because their deal with the record companies, who actually own the rights to the music, won't let them sell it without DRM. If some of the labels don't require DRM, then Apple should definitely not require it either, though.

As DVD Jon pointed out in a /. article yesterday, there are an assload of indie artists who would love to sell their music DRM-less on iTunes right now. Apple could allow this right now, and have it be completely transparent. Right now it's Apple that requires DRM on everything in iTunes, they just turn around and blame it on the media companies.

Re:Doesn't make sense. (3, Informative)

chill (34294) | more than 7 years ago | (#17954202)

My understanding is that they are still using it because their deal with the record companies, who actually own the rights to the music, won't let them sell it without DRM. If some of the labels don't require DRM, then Apple should definitely not require it either, though.

Only the Big 4, and EMI is wavering. Apple sells other music from publishers who not only don't require DRM, but actually sell plain MP3s on other sites.

For example, Loreena McKennitt is available thru iTunes, in FairPlay wrapped evilness. However, head on over to her website and you can purchase her music direct, in MP3, AAC and even FLAC.

From the site [quinlanroad.com] : "What is the difference between these Loreena McKennitt downloads and those offered by other digital download companies such as iTunes?
A: Our files are Digital Rights Management free and are therefore compatible with most digital devices, playable on most audio programs and can be burned to CD."

Apple, The first Microsoft, more likely (1)

NATIK (836405) | more than 7 years ago | (#17954012)

Anyone who knows history knows Apple pioneered alot of Microsofts methods, I have always said that both are equally evil, Apple just have a smaller marketshare and thus evades notice most of the time.

Yes Apple Can Beat MS in the short Run (1)

BoRegardless (721219) | more than 7 years ago | (#17954014)

But once Ballmer is out and the OS division and Application division become two separate public software companies, then we will find out what the engineers can deliver for an OS.

Apple has always been the bad guy (2, Informative)

abefij (921027) | more than 7 years ago | (#17954018)

Apple has always been super proprietary in everything they do. These guys are the ultimate control freaks and always have been. They could have beat Microsoft the first time around if they weren't locking hardware and sofware developers out of their platform. Want to tweak your os/x gui? Apple keeps breaking the interface with each update _on purpose_ in order to freeze out customization apps. Backward compatibility through the Apple line is less than stellar, and explains some of their past troubles with regard to market share. MS on the other hand have had some rational people in their midst who have always seen to it that backwards compatability rules. They almost never break backward compatability for any reason, and when they do it is because it is nearly technically impossible to keep. I can still run my DOS apps in XP.

I saw this movie.. (1)

TheSuperlative (897959) | more than 7 years ago | (#17954020)

I saw that movie where the kid worked at a Microsoft-like company and his friends were killed for their code by direct order from the Bill Gates-like guy.

Anyway, having seen it, I am going to choose not to say anything about this article. I like my life and code just the way they are.

Re:I saw this movie.. (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 7 years ago | (#17954164)

You are thinking of the movie "Anti-Trust".

http://imdb.com/title/tt0218817/ [imdb.com]

Apple can't be (2, Interesting)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 7 years ago | (#17954036)

As long as they follow their business model they've always had - tying software to hardware - they'll never achieve enough market penetration to be Microsoft. For consumer level stuff, if iTunes becomes too cumbersome, people will move on. It's yet to face any serious competition, when it does, it won't seem like such an unstoppable force.

They could have very microsoft-ish market share if they'd sell OS/X for commodity hardware. I'd install it tomorrow if I could (i mean could in a supported way, not a hacky-half-assed way). But they won't, so they're pretty much irrelevant to me as a company. They've never factored into any buying decisions I've been a part of in the business world - I'm sure some businesses love Macs and are all Apple this and Apple that, but that's the exception that proves the rule.

They'll always remain as a sort of a curiosity. A proprietary platform in a world where hardware and the OS is a commodity. As people move towards internet based productivity apps, and towards cheaper purposed appliances for other things (gaming, media), the whole Mac vs PC thing will become less and less relevant. We already talked about this in the "future of OS's" story today - with virtualization, and other technologies, we'll be able to focus on the applications, and less attention to the chunk of code between the hardware and the application.

Bottom line; they just don't have the clout, and never will - short of a total remake of their company from the ground up.

What scares me... (1)

Dread_ed (260158) | more than 7 years ago | (#17954068)

Thanks to the nifty Apple/PC personified commercials I now know that all Apples come with an integrated video camera right in the monitor.

Well thats just fucking nifty. Maybe I am just paranoid, but having a video camera trained on me whenever I use the computer is disquieting.

I definitely don't need some snazzy Appl-ey hacker writing some code that lets remote useres watch me get all pissed off when I PK'ed playing WoW. And in my more intimate moments I already have to contend with ceiling cat.

Thanks, but no thanks. I read 1984 and it was a little bleak for me.

Re:What scares me... (-1, Troll)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 7 years ago | (#17954240)

I'll tell you which one of those commercials bugged me. Actually, they all bug me, they insult my intelligence, and I want to punch the metrosexual anthropomorphic Mac right in his smug faggy little trendy mczippershirt ironically-listens-to-duran-duran face, but I digress..

The one where "PC" has this bodyguard standing there, and Mac is dissing him (in his smug hip "I'm really being nice" way) for needing a firewall. The whole time the bodyguard is asking "do you want to allow this, yes or no?"

Does OS/X not ship with a firewall? Yes [apple.com] , it does, and it's functionally quite similar to the one in XP. Isn't that just basic common sense for any computer on the internet?

I dunno, it just struck me as especially stupid. But then the "cult of Apple" always has. Faster than light, just works, all that bumper sticker bullshit.

Re:What scares me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17954278)

You do know that there is a little green light that goes on whenever power to the camera is enabled, right?

Also, a simple piece of paper can cover the lens, for those who are too paranoid to trust the little green light.

Re:What scares me... (1)

SetupWeasel (54062) | more than 7 years ago | (#17954302)

But if you watched those same commercials, you would know that Apples don't get viruses... ever. And that everything works right out of the box with no setup other than plugging in the cord. And that Windows cannot speak to Japanese made cameras. And that the "iLife" suite does everything you would ever want to do with a computer as well as you want to do it.

Re:What scares me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17954348)

That is why tape was created, on a Windows PC to hold the camera on and on
a Mac to tape the camera iris shut!

I find the commercial more than amusing because of this very fact. ;)

DRM (2, Insightful)

KFW (3689) | more than 7 years ago | (#17954074)

I'm not sure how the statement "Apple's call to be rid of DRM (while continuing to use it in iTunes)..." fits in with this theme. Sure, the motives for Steve suddenly deciding that DRM is bad may be suspect, but at least Apple is moving in the right direction. Right now, they couldn't drop DRM if they wanted to for the vast majority of their catalog - they are bound by their contracts with the record labels. It would be nice to see them drop DRM from bands who would like to release DRM free music (e.g. BNL).

/K

The article is FUD ... (5, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 7 years ago | (#17954084)

So, Apple is bad because they continue to use DRM on the iTunes store. Brilliant. It can't be because, oh, I don't know, that the media companies would absolutely freak out if Apple unilaterally dropped DRM. They can't -- they would end up in court I suspect.

Warning their customers that their software doesn't run on Vista is a nice thing to do for their customers. As we've seen in other stories, lots of other software won't run on Vista either. Heck, some of Micosoft's own software won't run on Vista from what I've heard.

And, from the last point in the summary, it is entirely possible that people like the iPod because it's a good product, and the iTunes software makes it easy to use. The iTunes music store is also nice, because it was quite literally, the first legal place to buy digital music. DRM or not.

It is possible that at some point in the future Apple could become a big evil company. But, none of the things to suggest that in the article summary are anything more than FUD and sensationalism.

Cheers

Beh. (1, Troll)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 7 years ago | (#17954102)

Let me break it down for you all.

Apple sells overpriced plastic boxes with lock-in that is done in such a way that it somehow doesn't grab the attention of the clueless sheep that use it.

Microsoft does not deliver what they promise in their software, and abuses their position at the top in an attempt to retain their peak; little do they know that if they slacked up a bit and let someone else grab a little more market share, people wouldn't be making as many death threats against them.

Linux provides people with total control over their systems while making the most simple of tasks take ten times longer than they should; since Linux has become more mainstream, an increase of hair loss due to pulling has become apparent as well.

There is no "good" option. There is only a "not quite as bad" option. All you fanboys need to stop stroking your egos and let people use whatever the fuck they want.

Penultimate? (1)

wramsdel (463149) | more than 7 years ago | (#17954118)

Damn straight. Everyone who's anyone knows that the one true source of cool is The Fonz. Apple couldn't hope to compete. Can Apple walk into a room, whack the jukebox, and make it play music? Hell no...they had to come up with the iPod as a workaround.

Amusing Premise, Moronic Reasons (5, Insightful)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 7 years ago | (#17954130)

Lets look at these one at a time:

Apple's call to be rid of DRM (while continuing to use it in iTunes);

Apple is selling music players and needs a way to get music to users easily so they will buy said music players. The providers of said music are a cartel convicted of abuse multiple times. The cartel required DRM and Apple pushed back on how restrictive it is and prices. Does anyone think it would be better if Apple refused to do business with them and let Microsoft dominate the DRM market? Apple needed to be there to stop MS from using the incompatibility of DRM'd songs against their OS offering. There is nothing hypocritical about saying it would be better for everyone (except the RIAA) if DRM was no more, either voluntarily or by law. Does anyone complain that OpenOffice reads and writes .doc files, all while they talk about how bad it is people are locked in that format?

Apple's perceived arrogance when they warned consumers not to upgrade to Vista, while not rushing to fix the problem themselves;

Perceived arrogance? Some people think Apple was arrogant when they apologized for their software not working and recommended people hold off upgrades? Can you tell me the name of a software vendor that isn't cautioning customers to wait until things stabilize, because I'll happily stop doing business with the irresponsible twits.

...and Apple's seemingly unstoppable market dominance in the form of the iPod.

They have about 70% which is the minimum share where some governments start investigating possible antitrust issues due to dominance. Compare this to MS's 90% and multiple convictions for abuse. Some of Apple's actions are antitrust abuse if they have enough market share, but all in markets where MS already is abusing their monopoly and the governments have declined to stop them. Two wrongs don't make a right, but two monopolies battling one another is a lot better than one screwing consumers as hard as possible.

The iPhone featured heavily as well, aproduct[sic] that is months from release but steals the press from more competitive products.

Ummm... umm... what? Apple released pictures and discussed a cool upcoming new device and people paid attention and this is somehow indicative of Apple becoming an evil empire? I like it when companies come out with cool toys. I hate it when they come out with crap that no one likes but everyone has to use anyway.

Could Apple suddenly gain a dominant position in the market and then abuse that position? Well, it is vaguely possible, but the items listed are no reason to think it might be likely. If they do that, and we all suffer as a result I'll complain my head off, but one nice thing Apple has done to date is avoided any lock-in that keeps me from migrating all my hardware and files to another platform like Linux. Until they do that, I'm not about to lose any sleep over the danger of Apple, when the danger of MS has never been stopped and shows no signs of slowing.

The Rolling Stone - the NEW source for IT info... (1)

mmell (832646) | more than 7 years ago | (#17954158)

NOT!

I don't think I can post a response long enough to ennumerate all the reasons why it ain't happenin'. I'll just hit the heights . . .

1) Nobody was there before MicroSoft. IBM could've been, but they misjudged terribly the actual scope and nature of the PC market (incidentally, even IBM wasn't there first - anybody remember Heath Z80's or Commodore's PET?). Apple can't just walk to the top of the hill - they have to displace the current king o' the hill first.

2) Microsoft's products may have always been iffy when it comes to QC, but so much of what they did was cutting edge - even when they were copying the competition! I have a friend who swears that M$ Word was the first WYSIWYG word processor, but I'd swear I saw a Macintosh doing it before M$ got to market. Either way, M$'s WYSIWYG office products and their flight simulator were hailed as revolutionary when they hit the market - because they were. Individual users and even business users accepted egregious mistakes and shortcomings because the new software was cool!

3) Microsoft's upper management - from Mr. B. Gates on down - have always had a clear vision: business first, cool tech second (or further down?). We Linux types tend to point out the results of this kind of thinking (buggy software, vulnerable OS's, exploits which cause a "what were they thinking" response), but we often fail to observe the results of this kind of thinking (checked the price of M$ stock lately? How 'bout the company's net worth? Mr. Gates' net worth?).

4) Even though most individuals tend to view DRM as evil (necessary or not is a subject for another debate), MicroSoft puts it in everything they make. Why? Because big business is where the big bucks are at; and big businesses love things that'll perpetuate their business model (see: patents), even when it's outmoded, superannuated and ineffective. Apple may be willing to play ball with DRM as a necessary evil, but MicroSoft has not only embraced DRM but even looks poised to marry it. It doesn't matter what a few hundred thousand geeks decide to do with their individual desktop dollars - big business makes us the monetary minority in a huge way.

The remaining dozen or so reasons why Apple will not be able to displace Microsoft (in the forseeable future) are left as an exercise for the reader to find.

what are they smoking over there? (1)

aonaran (15651) | more than 7 years ago | (#17954224)

I don't understand why Rolling Stone would think Apple is calling for removal of the DRM requirements and still planning to use it themselves.

I think it was pretty clear that Jobs was calling for the end of DRM so Apple wouldn't have to use it themselves, thus making the iTunes store much more attractive. The biggest complaint they get is that the DRM is inconvenient.

Stealing is better! (1)

Sir Holo (531007) | more than 7 years ago | (#17954234)

In Rolling Stone's penultimate world, making things consumers actually want gets you labeled a monopolist bully, rather than, say, stealing everything from your competitors, pushing unfair agreements, and trying to put everyone else out of business.

Of course, we are talking about a magazine that covers the pop music industry, so I can see where they might get confused.

Apple would be worse if they were in MS's position (1)

jdcool88 (954991) | more than 7 years ago | (#17954248)

Think about it. Which would you really rather have: having [almost] no choice in operating system, or having to use solely proprietary hardware?

Ridiculous notion. This is good! (1)

sam_paris (919837) | more than 7 years ago | (#17954294)

Hmm, for once in its lifetime Apple is actually getting competitive and people are complaining about it?

I think the people moaning about Apple doing well don't realise that competition is good for the consumer. If Apple was doing less well all it would mean is that Microsoft would try even less hard than normal and all the Windows users would be in an even worse situation.

In my humble opinion, the one thing that Apple has always done well and that Microsoft has generally failed on, is ease-of-use and making things fun to use. Again, in my opinion, this still is the case. I enjoy using my ipod, my macbook pro and the software contained on these deviced. However, were Microsoft to make software that was easier to use and more enjoyable to use, I would switch without a mutter. I understand i'm just a consumer and that being a "fanboy" doesnt really make any sense at all..

The Catch 22 of Apple (1, Interesting)

d3xt3r (527989) | more than 7 years ago | (#17954312)

Apple right now is, for all intents and purposes, a minority player in the computer arena. The popularity of the iPod plus the feature set of OS X is attracting customers to the Mac product line, but Apple isn't a threat, yet. However, that doesn't mean their isn't room for concern. Apple's latest OS is built on the free, open source FreeBSD [freebsd.org] user land. Their web browser's rendering engine is based on KHTML, an open source toolkit developed in Konqueror [konqueror.org] . But Apple hasn't given much back to the community. Even what they are required by law to give back (enhancements to KHTML) has been done in large dumps rather than providing useful contribution to the Konqueror development team.

Why does any of this matter? It matters because it illustrates Apple's intent. Apple, just like MS, doesn't want to play nice, support open software or even standards. Apple sells DRM'd media on a closed platform that can only be played with Apple software and devices (iPod).

But the Catch 22 is, do you support them? Recently I've been encouraging friends and family to move to the Mac, and for now I still think it's a good idea. Why? Because Microsoft is still the number one bad guy and platform diversity will take away power from them. I think we should all be mindful of Apple's practices but their own arrogance will never allow them to be so dominant that they will be a threat. For instance, Apple demands that you use their platform to run their media and their OS. When new device X comes out that's more popular than the iPod, it will force Apple to support the device for have iTunes become irrelevant. Apple's choice not to allow their OS to be run on commodity hardware will hinder them from market dominance. I've long believed that the illusion of choice is part of what helped MS become a monopoly. People when their buying computers think, "should i get an HP, a Dell or an IBM?" When really all their getting is a Windows box.

Additionally, the shift away from traditional computing to the internet will also hinder Apple from being the next MS or Big Blue. Personally, I'm more worried about Google than Apple

Stupid Article (1)

aJester (954798) | more than 7 years ago | (#17954344)

Boy. What is it with the media these days. Anything that even remotely references Apple seem to have a Negative Connotation.

It is as if Apple just cannot catch a break since New Year.
Think about it.
Steve says remove DRM. At first blush, one would think the Media would run with it and the public opinion will have the masses in street demanding that DRM be killed.
Guess what, there is a spate of Netagive articles all over the Net.
And curiously enough, it does NOT come from RIAA.
But from everybody else.
Now, instead of crying for the death of DRM , the public is debating that "Steve must have been lying" ... OR "why not open FairPlay".

The iPhone is introduced. After the initial few days, all sorts of negative articles seem to appear out of nowhere. And the phone isn't even released...

I wonder if there is a single source behind all the negativity....

Jes
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>