Armchair CEO: Apple
Wednesday, September 24, 2003
Rotten Apples

MacFixIt - Troubleshooting Solution for the Macintosh

Sometimes ease-of-use will kick you in the nuts and leave your computer crying in its sleep mode.

Case in point, Apple's latest .release fiasco. Having been a victim of a previous screwup (some 10.2.x update fried my battery by overcharging it-- and as I speak my iBook's battery is trying to charge, despite being plugged in all night and being BRAND NEW), I'm glad I didn't "update" this time. In fact, I almost did, but something in my head told me to wait and make sure there weren't problems.

Now, imagine if I were an IT guy at a company. Isn't this exactly the kind of thing that Microsoft has to guard against? That is, a reluctance to apply a patch because of the fear it will do more harm than good? Yep. And Apple, in the midst of trying to build an enterprise strategy, is rapidly developing that fear in the minds of everyday Mac users. Brilliant.

Worse, the update killed ethernet for some people (Apple claims a "small number") which means when a fix is posted, how will they get it? No doubt some people who aren't so technically savvy are sitting at home right now wondering why in the hell they bought a mac, when their uncle's eMachine is chugging right along in Windows 98... Even worse yet is that those people, upon reviewing their documentation, are figuring they're just going to have to shell out $50 to call Apple for the fix (which can be accomplished with a Jaguar CD and some patience).

At least calling Apple is an infinitely more pleasant experience than calling Microsoft. Or even Dell for that matter.

Case in point, if you ever have a problem with Windows on a brand-new PC, Microsoft will refer you to the manufacturer because the OS is an "OEM" version (meaning it came with the PC). But the PC manufacturer will refer you to Microsoft because *they* made the OS!!! A business where I worked once lost days of use for a new Dell because of this "circular logic."

That's when Apple's whole widget philosophy makes sense, lousy updates or no.

Powered by Blogger