Blog Post

Has Apple gone too far?

Apple and Microsoft have always had quite a rivalry. And up until now it seemed to be in good taste. Steve would make small comments here and there during various keynotes poking fun at Microsoft and Bill…well Bill never really had anything to poke fun at.

But after seeing multiple banners at WWDC taking direct jabs at Microsoft, I feel like Apple might be pushing it. It’s one thing to make a comment in a keynote, and it’s another to have huge banners at the APPLE Developer conference that specifically target Microsoft.

Do you think Apple has gone too far with the Microsoft jabs?

42 Responses to “Has Apple gone too far?”

  1. Nah. We’re all adults here. And maybe Microsoft needs a kick in the shins– if it motivates them to improve their products, we all benefit. Really.

    In any case, Apple isn’t saying anything that the Microsofties themselves aren’t saying. Except maybe for Ballmer, who appears to be living in a different space-time continuum.

  2. Louis Wheeler

    I felt the Stevenote was a disappointment, but I have a slightly different take. It seems to me that Steve Jobs was expecting some competition from Vista. All the banners imply this, so what was delivered fell flat. “Is this all there is?” is a common reaction.

    I’m happy that Apple is becoming confrontational; Apple has taken a lot of abuse from Microsoft over the years. Now, Microsoft’s quick, sloppy and bloated coding has caught up with it. Microsoft is being forced to reinvent itself, something that Apple did with Mac OSX six years ago. Microsoft is not finding the experience easy. It has been forced to give up WINFX and is merely trying to deliver WINXP sp. 4. And it is late doing that.

    Meanwhile, Apple has been forging ahead. I’m assuming that it has plenty of things to show, but it can’t spoil the surprise. The question is when Vista will be delivered. There is only an 80% chance that Microsoft will release Vista in January. Will Steve give up waiting for it and release Leopard at MacWorld? I’m expecting upgrades to Core 2 Duo for its notebook and consumer line for the Christmas rush. So, the whole line will be 64 bit and very fast. It is possible that Vista will wait until summer. There is no special need for its release before then. So, will Steve wait that long? I hope not. Even if it does spoil the surprise.

  3. Bob Jones

    They might be funny if Apple, like everybody, hadn’t taken good ideas from other OS’. They all do it, no one team can think of everything – a little copying and improving never hurt anybody.

  4. I don’t think they’ve gone too far. Apple’s market share is still miniscule in comparison to Microsoft’s. Apple’s market share is close to 5%. I think a lot of people hold them to unrealistic standards when it comes to the computer industry. They are still the little guy when it comes to operating systems. Sure, they manufacture just as many computers as just about any other major manufacturer, but they also have an alternative operating system they’re competing directly with Microsoft.

    Microsoft has the lion’s market share, so if they said some comments like the ones in the posters, it might be viewed in bad taste. Heck, if the market shares were just more equal, or even if Apple had a 20 or 25% market share, it might be bad taste.

    But with only 5% market share, I think Apple has the right to poke a little fun at Microsoft. I mean, it’s not like they’re going to steal another 5% with those banners or anything. It’s nothing more than a little humor to help sell people who are already Mac fanatics.

    And personally, I love ’em. I’ve tried Vista, and personally think that Leopard will run circles around it. It’s slow, clunky and a serious memory hogg. Most of the new features that’ll actually make their way into Vista are blatant copies of OSX – features that have been in OSX for years. If anything, they’re just pointing out officially what the blogosphere has been saying for months.

  5. Yes and no.

    No. It didn’t go too far because everything that Apple said was absolutely true, and part of me was really glad they said it.

    Yes. My fear is MS’s capacity to strike back (not through better products but through vicious retaliation). For better or worse (it’s for worse), MS controls most of the software business. I am not so much worried about the bloated ugly mess that is Windows, but rather the bloated ugly mess that is Office. For example, I recently convinced my work to upgrade our CPUs from old Windows machines to new Intel Solo Mac minis. However, the switch was contingent upon the fact that Office is compatible between both platforms. If MS decides to kill Office for Mac, the Mac is screwed. Like it or not (and I don’t), MS Office is the standard out there.

    I know there is money for MS to be made in Office for Mac. And I know they just signed a five-year deal with Apple. But have you noticed the trend lately? Every time MS comes around, they’re killing another Mac Program. First, it was IE (OK no loss there), then WMP (it sucked for the Mac but I would have rather they fixed it than dump it on Telestream), and now it’s Virtual PC. I fear that as Apple goes more and more for the jugular against MS, MS can just respond by killing Office for Mac six years from now–and, assuming Office is still the standard, that would be a big blow for the Mac platform, even if Apple has contingency plans for a fully compatible alternative.

  6. Not. At. All.

    Apple should do it and Microsoft deserves every jab it gets.

    I think its obvious to everybody that Vista is an OS X knock-off. Apple felt so threatened that MS will continue to rip them off that they kept some stuff under wraps. That alone is enough for Apple to rip on Microsoft.

    I also agree with Roger: The WWDC is for developers, most of these developers are already mac zealots. Steve Jobs is like the head coach giving the pre-game speech before they go out and take the field. Steve Jobs wants to get his team pumped up and legitimately attacking Microsoft is a good way of doing that.

  7. That’s for shure! Taking into account, that Apple haven’t shown even a single innovation of their new OS, that campaign sounds like as if they have no arguments against Vista, but the slander.

  8. I think they went a tad over the line, especially with that “copy cat” one.

    Apple does have a superior product. And I’m glad that they finally released a new powerful desktop machine – I’ve been getting very sick of all the pandering to the ipod crowd while dismissing the creative industry; the industry who has kept Apple afloat for MANY years. Apple’s relationship with Adobe is strained, so why taunt Microsoft? If either of these companies decided to drop Apple, Apple would be gone in a heartbeat. If that happens, we’ll see how arrogant Apple still is.

  9. No.

    Like Jason mentioned above, Apple did this last year, and maybe even the year before. It’s nothing new.

    However, I don’t think they’ve become too arrogant. It’s all in good fun. Note that they don’t use language like this in their mass market consumer advertising (the I’m a PC/I’m a Mac campaign is as far as they’ll go). WWDC is for developers–a lot of whom who are almost zealots and are lapping up the direct jabs at Microsoft.

  10. FriedCPU

    WWDC is apples conference, its their keynote, and … its their banners, obviously they thought the developers attending had a sense of humour, shame about the various blogs on the internet that don’t.

  11. hackand

    How can Apple be arrogant? Apple’s the small company here, MS has all the bucks and power, if they were talking like this it would be arrogant, but Apple is just poking fun at the big guy.

    Also I think Steve was so hard on Vista yesterday because he’s really getting pissed at MS for copying them so much. To me, he has all the right to be pissed.

  12. Sure it’s all very tongue-in-cheek but it’s also very juvenile. Plus, Apple certainly doesn’t make perfect software and it certainly doesn’t make perfect hardware. I expected Apple to be a little more creative in their banner design. Making fun of Vista isn’t exactly innovative. Plus, the “Redmond has a cat, too. A copycat” was a tad too much for my taste.

  13. I don’t know why Apple pulled out the same, snarky thing again a year after they’ve already done it. They did the same thing with Tiger, remember? It’s getting old. The poster slogans, IMHO, weren’t even that funny.

    This shows that Apple is starting to get arrogant, and we all know what happens when the protagonist in any story gets too arrogant…

  14. welcher

    Yeah, I think so. With the release of the Mac Pro yesterday, I’m finally ready to switch, but I feel pretty confident that I won’t be an active member of the community. A number of the blogs are embarassing in their constant MS bashing, and then this whole WWDC thing yesterday. It’s just very off-putting. It all seems so grade-school.

    I’m going to love my Mac. Just not some of the folks who use them.

  15. No way. I switched a year ago and OSX is a superior product to anything Windows can throw out. It will always be better… unless people start leaving MS alone and go after Apple… then we’ll be virus-fighters again.

  16. Dave: Yes, Virutal Desktops have been out for a while, but who cares. They took something that has been out for a while, and made it cooler. While we haven’t used it yet, it looks like it’s much better than most of the other Virutal Desktops out there, as you can see everything on each screen, drag and drop between them, and they added that little bit of Apple Flair to it. As I said, we haven’t seen it in full action yet, but it’s one thing to copy directly off of something, it’s another to take something pre-existing, and make it better. Innovation can be brand new, or it can be changing something.

  17. SubHero

    Concquer. But do not triumph.

    They went way out of line in my opinion. Sounds like the “Welcome, IBM. Seriously”-attitude. And we all know how that ended.

  18. I would have laughed harder at the “copycat” sign if he hadn’t annouced features in Leopard that are straight copies from other OSes – virtual desktops… been there.

  19. Well, it was all in fun. People have been complaining for years that Apple has not really pushed the message that they innovate beyond what Windows does. Now, they have catchy, smarmy slogans for people to chuckle and relate to and a new group of sensitive whiners complain about that?

    Since when have people started wondering if we made Vista cry?

    After the success Apple has had for the past couple of years with the progressing maturity of OS X, they can be forgiven for some immaturity in gloating a bit. MS and others certainly didn’t mind putting in the jabs in the late 90s when Apple was on its knees…