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Comment on "Apple's Secret Ingredient"
by Blain — Sep 04
Good article, "amusing" flame war, but this secret ingredient seems to be more than fearlessness.

I'm going to punt in regards to declaring minor and major releases. I will note that Win2K is NT5.0, and XP is NT5.1, according to system versions. I will also note that MacOS 7.7 was renamed MacOS 8.0. I will finally note that I still have an advertisement CD for Copland, and it plays in Classic on 10.4 just fine.

Microsoft is fearless in its own right, as its attitude in the US antitrust trial is any indication, or in Xbox, or Zune, etc. This is not always a good thing or a bad thing.

Apple *has* had missteps due to fearlessness, and was able to admit fault in these. Cube cracks. Lack of CDR drives. The great G4 speed dump.

My theory is that Jobs did say it outright: he experienced life. He went the road less travelled. Calligraphy. Travelling. Being fired. He quoted the Whole Earth Catalog (I'm unable to get the exact quote) to "Stay hungry". A hungry life is not a complacent and well-sheltered one.

Look at the big names at Microsoft, and you'll notice that they're all management, and possibly software. That's it. Look at Apple past and present, and you'll see not only that, but artists and researchers. Atkinson. Kare. Kay. Raskin. Ive. Tevanian.

True, I know more Apple than MS in terms of people, but there is an artistic element, signs of varied backgrounds and viewpoints. More importantly, that those in Apple that have not programmed but designed toilet seats are listened to and are influential in the process.

Microsoft does have a R&D division. One of the finest in the world. But I'd wager almost nothing from there is ever payed attention to. They could even make a great, new, OS that would be suited to a small device. But it won't happen.

Microsoft's leadership has been raised with only the Dos/windows hammer, and have not been varied enough to try other things. All the world's a nail.

That, in my view, is the difference.
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