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Apple the New Enemy?

Anyone who's read this newsletter for any length of time knows that I have a love/hate (or at least a like/dislike) view of Apple. I see its machines as expensive and proprietary, but admit they're cool and work pretty darn well.

I'm not alone in finding fault with Apple, especially as it exerts more and more control over all of its products. Switched.com columnist Terrence O'Brien makes a similar argument, claiming that Apple is far more proprietary than Microsoft.

The analysis is detailed, thorough and spot-on. It's not just the OS and bundled apps that are the problem, but control of content through tools like iTunes, as well. And Apple exerts Saddam-type control of third-party apps on the iPhone.

Most dramatically, O'Brien claims, "Apple is a bunch of jerks." One example of jerkiness, I absolutely agree with. I spent nearly 20 years as a reporter, trying to tell the world what tech companies were going to do before they did it. I broke many stories about Microsoft and it never once complained about these disclosures, nor did Microsoft ever threaten. In fact, I won a Computer Press Association award for helping break a story about flaws in MS-DOS 6.0 (shows how long I've been doing this, eh?). Microsoft didn't complain. It sent me a fruit basket!

Apple, on the other hand, sues reporters that pre-disclose product plans. Given that, it's hard to explain why so much of the press treats Steve Jobs like some kind of tech god.

Posted by Doug Barney on August 07, 2009


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