Sunday, March 15, 2015

Everything Has It's Time It Seems

Believe it or not, back in the day, the Apple II was the business platform standard. No, no seriously, back in the early 80s the Apple dominated the business computing market, and all of the cool business software was made for the Apple platform. The entire industry was jealous of them, and for a couple of years anyway Apple showcased the COMDEX computer show, because it was the must see computer. Then of course IBM decided to set up its computers by the door, while Apple (the brilliant Steve Jobs’ idea) always had its computers in the back with “APPLE” emblazoned on the wall. The IBM guys presented such a good show that nobody even bothered to walk back to Apple, and 20 years of mediocrity followed for Apple.

This is a good test model for those that don’t quite understand computers and why one platform of anything dominates over another platform. Down the line Commodore came out with the VIC-20 and then later on with the Commodore 64, and priced under $200 it completely dominated the home market for years. That is until it didn’t. Commodore, Atari, Tandy all fought for the home PC market and had pretty good success. The Atari computers actually were great little game coding consoles, Tandy really took off in public school computer labs, and of course again the Commodore 64 held all sales records for many years. Apple really just stuck to its guns and made an expensive hybrid of sorts, part business part educational. IBM continued to dominate the business market, and Microsoft kinda stole that thunder from them over the years.

Well Atari failed first I think, then Tandy gave up, and started trying to sell Microsoft based PCs in its Radio Shack stores. I think we all know how that has ended up for them. Commodore came out with Amiga which for a few more years were the go to computer for graphics, but that small market niche, and the ever cheapening Microsoft based PCs finally did them in. This of course was where I had to jump off the Amiga ship and got my first 386 PC. Windows 3.1 was ok, DOS (disk operating system) was understandable, and the Macintosh was still Applecentric overpriced play toys in my eyes. Actually they still are but I will get to that in a bit.

The game that Microsoft used to play is now the game that Apple plays, and I don’t think Microsoft saw it coming. I know I sure didn’t, but then again even today it doesn’t really matter to me or affect my life. I have a Linux laptop, a Windows Desktop, a couple of Android tablets, a Windows tablet, and of course my Android phone. All the pig snouted people above me at work use Apple everything and the rest of us get a Windows Laptop or Desktop. I formulated my opinion a long time ago when 32 bit operating systems were coming along that you can get things done or you can wait. I had adopted IBMs OS2 (and then Warp) and sat idly by wondering why everyone else was buying the kool aid from Microsoft that theirs would be better “someday” and the Apple people of course just thought theirs was 32 bit and it wasn’t until well after Microsoft threw out Windows 95.

Now of course the implementation of a 32 bit operating system by Microsoft came a lot earlier with the Windows NT system, but OS/2 2.0 had been 32 bit since 1992. Think about that, but from 1992 to 1995 people waited and waited and waited. In the end of course OS2 went the way of the Dodo bird and I had to go to Windows, but it fascinated me, the whole wait for what we want approach. Apple’s genius was in going after the MP3 market and cornering it with the iPod. Then the iPod Touch got everyone jazzed for an iPhone. Now Microsoft, Samsung, Google, et al sit around wondering why people hold off on buying their smart watches because Apple has been promising the mother of all smart watches. It might be but I have enjoyed my Samsung Gear for quite a while now, and have no intention to jump ship. Even with the new advanced features and convenience of items like the Surface, you still see people waiting for the next MacBook, which won’t even have a touch screen. When that becomes a big deal you will see Apple make an announcement that they are working on it, and boom, people will wait.

Theoretically I get it. I am not complaining, I am just curious as to what makes it so worth it to wait. The learning curve isn’t all that. I guess I am a liberty sort of guy. I never bought into Mac because I wasn’t going to be tied down by one manufacturer. I hate iTunes, and I refuse to use it for anything. I had an iPod that was a good piece of equipment, but no matter who makes compatible music devices for it, you would always be forced back to iTunes. I refused (and will forever I assume) to use an iPhone for the same reason. I am happy with my Android devices because if I get pissed at the manufacturer there are dozens more to choose from and I don’t have to start over again. Same with my PCs. In the end I could be missing out, but I feel pretty good about my chances that I am not.