Posted by Ibis Itiberê S Luzia:
I’m editing this down a little for size; also, as some folks may not be aware of the way comments are handled here, they’re inline with my own stuff. I certainly do disagree with most of Ibis’ points, and will respond to them later. [RB]

Rainer Brockerhoff wrote:

Yesterday was a historical day…

Hi there everybody:

It’s a point of no return in Apple’s history. Opinions in Mac community are well diversified about the impact that the “shift” anounced yesterday by Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs will cause on Apple’s brand life but one may conclude without margin for error that this is not an ordinary shift: this is one of the most important facts in Apple’s history if not in the computer history. And there’s no return for it. It’s decisive. Apple’s future will be based on that decision and if Steve Jobs failed or were successfull this will have a profound and massive impact in the plaftorm.

In my particular opinion Steve Jobs is acting more based on his particular flames, instinct and anger than on racional beliefs. Reasons for that are numerous.

He passed over almost everything the company promoted in the past. What about the “megahertz” myth? What about the “switcher” campaign? Now Apple switched. Apple computer no longer exists: now it could well be labeled “Apple Software”. Would anyone point out a reason to buy a Mac (Not “Mac’ anymore, now they are only Apple’s PCs) instead of a chinese PC now?

Steve emporwement to do such a decision comes from his respectability among investors and stock houlders as he pratically saved the company from the “ashes” in 1997. His return for Apple in this year saved the company from bankrupt. Is he killing Apple now? I think so. His “ego” and his personal image as a modern “cult” popstar (the “popstar” CEO) gave him a certain “aura” of a rock star instead of a CEO actually. His famous ad campaigns, his original “youth” style wearing a kind of a jeans-shirt “uniform” on his worldwide famous “keynotes” (he invented the “keynote” as a pop event. The world “stops” to hear what he decided as he would be a kind of a genious), his success in cinema industry with Pixar, his passion for marketing and his adoration as the “major CEO in the world” gave him power to make any decision in the company. Apple is almost a Jobs company. Oh well, may stock holders have a certain “weight” on companie’s decisions but this weight is merely a political issue. Jobs words aways prevaled in the end. Nobody is “nuts” enough to pass through his misteryous ways of taking certain decisions. A reason rises for that: almost 90% of the time he is right.

But he is human. And as a human he can take wrong decisions, errors, can fall sick (as he recently did for sure) and can make silly decisions also. As he did when he conceived the “abajour” Mac or the “cube” Mac, for example. Or when he insisted that the magahertz affair were only an “irracional” impression when in fact it wasn’t. He insisted that PC’s CPUs where inferior compaired to the “RISC” architeture. He insisted that people would love to buy Macintoshes only because they were qualitative superior compaired to ordinary PCs manufactered in Taiwan or China. Now Macs no longer exists and there is only Apple’s PC (with “Intel Inside” logo, which is still worst). We are now “PC users” not “Macintosh users’ anymore. And with such decision Jobs make all of us be viewed as a “stupied idiot community” who passed years trying to evangelise people to use Mac. We were wrong and PC users were wright. Why would we have to follow what Jobs says if he has no word? He has no commitment other than that with his own passions and self conflcts. If I were a hardware developer for the Apple platform or if I were a software developer I would be seriously anger with Jobs decision now. He has no idea about the commitment that people which uses the Macintosh has with its products.

He did this because he is a capitalist and he wants more profits and at the end Apple is a company and companies exists to give profits for their stock holders right? Wrong. Whith this decision he is killing one of the only computer makers in the market that were profitable on an arena where 1% of profit is a common place. The HP’s dilema with Carly Fiorina was exactly that. HP imagined that leading the PC market would be the goal to achieve wealthy and profitability and the results were disastrous for the company. Popular PCs have only one argument: price. If Apple imagined that selling cheappier Macs is a good business they are terribly wrong. Now HP is no longer looking for prices and is slowly trying to return to rise its prices in order to have profit which is the reason for any company to exist. Popular/Gray PCs market is dominated by low profile companies which employ people with the worlds slower salaries (they’re almost slaves), receive govern incentives (pays almost no taxes), has no respect for patents and no concern with integration and quality. Apple can survive in this market? No. Apple argument to sell expensive hardware is over. Apple will face the terrible destin of Silycon Graphics and HP who tried to increase market share and lost the business.

Jobs found arguments over share holders trying to seduce them to increase market share and this was enough. He believes he can sell Mac OS X (if Apple doesn’t sell Mac OS now they will crash) for ordinary PCs also in the future and kill Windows from the market. It’s also a particular revenge against Bill Gates, who passed him off in the past. It’s no secret that they hate eachother. Gates despised and ridicularised Apple for a long time a Jobs felt this humiliation as the “inventor” of the personal computer. And Jobs believes it’s your last chance to make his greatest whish became true. IBM PowerPC issue is only an excuse to persue his major desire. Everything could be used as a perfect plausible argument to sustain his obstinated campaign to kill Microsoft from the market he created more than three decades ago. And he joined “Intel” in this crusade, which is also very angry with Microsoft because Gates company adopted AMD as a partner. IBM and Motorola will live without Apple and they felt almost nothing with Apple shift to Intel. IBM is more concerned with the corporative market and now is embracing the game market with the CELL project with Sony and Motorola is one of the greatest chip makers in the world. But for Intel, Apple represents a great chance to sustain its market in face of AMD’s threat.

The other good reason to think it is bad business for Apple is the well known “Osborne effect”. Osbourne passed a long time promoting a future computer that would be much better than the actual and sales stoped because people started to wait for the “future” computer and the future computer never come.

Bad news for Linux. They will have a serious competitor now and I think they are not prepaired for this.

Platform independence? It’s possible if now we think Apple is only a software house which still sells computers for heritage reasons. If Apple hiden from everyone for all of this time that they had an x86 version of their system why not think they have plans or possibly still alfa versions of their systems for almost all CPUs in the market? Thinking in that direction it’s very plausible to conclude that will be possible to run Mac OS X in almost every machine in the near future. What about the CELL? If it goes as good as it was predicted by IBM and Sony for sure Apple will be on that. Whith Sony as a partner sustaining sales with CELL machines (mostly PlayStation consoles) IBM will have the so dreamed “manufacturing scale” argument to make it sheappier and commercially available to be credited for a “popular PC” desktop. And with the velocity and performance it’s believed it will achieve for certain Apple as an old PowerPC software developer (CELL are PowerPC based) will consider to have it. And so we could see a new “shift” that will have no reason to be treated a “shift” since Apple will be seen as an ordinary software developer only. And software developers usually sell their solutions for various hardware solutions.

Great question that rises: is it a good business to be only a software maker and not a computer maker anymore? I don’t believe. We can’t forget that the main Apple’s product today is not a software, is the iPod which is a gadget or a hardware peripheral. Software makers suffer from piracy and it’s a serious threat for Apple’s aims. Even Microsoft, which grew with piracy as a market oportunity felt the enormous mistake they commited not fighting piracy before. Now they have no argument to sell Windows for home users because 70% of the PC’s in the world run pirated versions of Windows. It’s late for Microsoft to fight piracy. Can Apple fight piracy? For sure no. They can’t. And Apple will lost profits for piracy as it will became each time easyer to piracy and “hack” DRMs and Mac OS X license codes. They can even “dongle” the Mac OS X, it will make no difference.

Thats because all of this I feel betrayed by Apple and Jobs specially. I feel like the husband who discovered was betrayed for a long time and was not awaire. I feel I was silly and stupied to believe Apple had commitment with its loyal legion of users. I feel I was treated as a “cadle” by a person whose ego and selfish are greater than his inteligence or reason.

At least but not at last I have only on thing to say: Shame on you Apple. Sad, very sad. Apple, rest in peace.

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