Murphy's Law: The iPad and Chrome OS Restrict Much, Change Little



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I see a lot of parallelism between the whole PC vs Apple ordeal and the competition in the video game system market. When Sony and Microsoft were racing to build bigger, faster, and more complex video game environments (i.e. PC developers/manufacturers), along came a revival of Nintendo with their Wii system (i.e. Apple). It challenged the paradigm by creating a simple to use interface and limiting the complexity of the user experience.

 The result of the video game war was the hardcore gamers remained loyal to their Sony/Microsoft setups while many casual gamers and non-gamers transitioned to using the Wii. I don't see the Wii causing Sony and Microsoft to abandon ship, so why should we expect PC manfacturers to do the same?

Apple products have their target customers who want a frilly user interface with easy access to their Facebook page and the ability to Photoshop their head onto supermodel bodies. I think manufacturers realize that there is still a chunk of consumers who expect a little more out of their computers. I don't suspect that they will continue to alienate their power-user customers....we just might have to wait a little longer.



 Apple, Google, and Microsoft walk into a room: there are two bats on the ground. Who comes out alive? 



    Microsoft and Google, thats a given, Apple is a follower not a leader,  their crappy inferior over priced copies, are junk.  



You do bring up some valid points, however, I think arguing that the companies are "forcing" this onto the consumers is inaccurate.

Sure to the author or most of MaximumPC readership the offerings are "forced" leaving us with few options; which most of us dislike...otherwise this site would be call "MaximumMAC".

In fact, is it not the consumers that are driving this change and not the corporations? How is Apple capable of maintaining such high earnings year in and year out, even in times of "hard economic times" by selling electronics that are more expensive then most of its competitors? Their business model is firmly placed on "fewer option" and "tighter control" because with these two things they are able to control the uswer environment/experience. That is how they are able to make commercials that say "Mac's just works". It's not hard to get something with 10 moving parts to work versus something with the option of 10,000 moving parts. many of you were frustrated at first when Office 2007 came out and they changed the the often do you think you'll ever see Mac make that big of a change? Im pretty sure those little red, yellow, green buttons at the top will never change.

In the last 10 years Apple has shown that their business model works and that there is a huge market for this. Apparently other companies have finally started to realize this and starting to emulate it. Sadly, the enthusiast market gets often over-ruled by the mass market.

 In the end, we can all be comforated by the fact that we (the MaximuPC readership) is not daughnted or confused by a 5+ button mouse and can continue laughing at the "slower" crowd with their 1 button albeit "nice looking, but easy to use" mouse.


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You make it sound as if consumers don't have any control at all. Sure Apple designed the Ipad but the decision did not come out of a vaccum where no consumer voice was heard. Consumers pretty much voiced their appreciation for the Iphone with millions of units sold. So  it was only natural that Apple try to sell a bigger Iphone.

Now if the Ipad fails to sell like the Apple TV, Sega Dreamcast, or 1965 Opel Kadett, then consumers would have voiced their say again. The Opel Kadett is a great example because at the time Car and Driver wrote a searing review while bemoaning that the Kadett represented the bleak future of the automobile, much like what your are doing today. Thankfully that did not come to pass.

It is also a false assumption that Apple, Google, and Microsoft will be the only players in the game. If the 3 of them fail to deliver what consumers want or if a 4th party comes up with something revolutionary then one or all of them might be gone in 20 years. Look at the list of the largest corporations in america during the 80's and you will see that a shocking percentage of them have disappeared. The percetage goes even higher if you look 50 years. Ever heard of The Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company? They were the Walmart of the 50's.

If you are not competative, it doesn't matter how large you are now, you can die.




 That is one of the biggest ways that a consumer can voice their opinion about a product. Companies rarely if ever listen to consumers. And if they do, it's responded with a condisending pat on the head and "Well, what do you know? You're only the end user! Here, this is what you want. Trust us. We know better than you."

If there are 2 products available, say an iPad and a Netbook, you can voice your opinion for one or the other buy spending money on one or the other! Cost, features, useability are a few of the major contributing factors as to whether or not a consumer spends their money on your product, or someone else's.

And then there's the brand name. You could produce a box full of shit, but if it's got a label that people know and love, the'll buy it in droves and claim that it's the best smelling box of shit ever producted! Even if someone else produces a box of shit that costs less, performs better, and is of greater value to the consumer. Just look at Sony. They made really good entertainment components (TV, recievers, stereos, etc). Then their products took a nose dive and were crap. Bad reviews left right and centre, yet people still bought them. Why? Because of the name.

Unfortunetly, the same can, and will most likely be with the iPad. It's an Apple product, therefore it is the best thing ever created! No one can say otherwise, and if they do they are lieing or are just a damned fool!

Apple is a helluva marketer, but a shitty innovator/inventer!


-= I don't want to be dead, I want to be alive! Or... a cowboy! =-



And besides, innovation is sometimes lost (just look at the iPod Touch XL... sorry, iPad).



I like your article.  You've made very valid points.  I think the objective of Google though, like Apple is to simplify the product thus making it more reliable.  It's almost the old PC vs Mac argument.  Mac's are great I will admit but how much can you customize one.  That I believe is my sole purpose for never buying a Mac if I have anything to do with it.  I love stripping down my PC and putting new components in it and trying out different OS's weather it be Windows or a Linux distro.  I find it a challenge to create a new purpose for something that it was never intended to do.

 It's smart that they are narrowing there focus.  My grandma uses her computer religiously and hates it when I update it because its not the same.  This will be a benefit to users like her.

 At the same time you would probably loss users like me, who like to McGyver a new purpose for everything. 



I was just bemoaning the loss of control with my boss over lunch yesterday. We were discussing the iPad in particular and I had mentioned that I was hopeful that other vendors would be bringing more to the table than a closed ecosystem, minimalist tablet. Granted, they do perform the tasks they were designed to do quite well, but lets be honest, it's a glorified iPhone. Apple is cashing in with this design by making it all about the App store. And the cattle are going with it because "Hey, there's an App for that!"



Change Little? LOL hopeful.

are you interested in Job Descriptions ?




The problem is that 90% of computer users don't need nor care. The device needs to be functional at getting specific tasks done. If it can do that with a minimal learning curve, it's gold. Most people just don't want to futz around with things and don't see (or care) about the pitfalls of such closed systems. They just want to surf, email, etc.

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