Love or loathe Bill Gates, one must admit—the man is a part of technology history. His lifetime accomplishments are many.
Which makes it all the more inexplicable that his inner Santos insists on some outlandish resume embellishment.
Weighing in on AI with his blog article, The Age of AI has begun, Bill puts AI in context. He sees it as one of two revolutionary demos he’s seen in his lifetime. This is how he describes the first.
“[It] was in 1980, when I was introduced to a graphical user interface—the forerunner of every modern operating system, including Windows. I sat with the person who had shown me the demo, a brilliant programmer named Charles Simonyi, and we immediately started brainstorming about all the things we could do with such a user-friendly approach to computing. Charles eventually joined Microsoft, Windows became the backbone of Microsoft, and the thinking we did after that demo helped set the company’s agenda for the next 15 years.”
Impressive! Who else but Bill Gates could spot the potential in this graphical interface thing and develop the software to help us do all that amazing future-y stuff?
Oh, right. That other guy. Steve something-or-other, was it?
This calls for some serious fact checking. So I now turn to our dependable old friend, Reality.
Everyone loves a good story. Some people need a good story.
Tim Cook, for example. When Jony Ive decided to leave Apple in June 2019, Tim’s job was to reassure Wall Street that the departure of Steve Jobs’ spiritual partner was only a superficial wound.
The goal was believability, not transparency. After all, this is business. Very, very big business.
And so a story was spun.
Let’s give Tim credit for manufacturing a credible and effective tale. Then let’s wonder why no one ever poked holes in it.
Allow me to speak on behalf of the world’s 27-inch iMac owners:
THIS IS AN OUTRAGE!
Ah. Good. Had to get that out of my system. Honestly, I have never been so appalled at an Apple strategy. Between the launch of Mac Studio and the simultaneous death of iMac 27, we who have so patiently waited for an Apple Silicon-powered 27-inch iMac are suddenly left with only two options.
We can hang onto our aging computers and simply hope that a new iMac 27 will one day appear. Or we can spend more than double the cost of a typical new iMac 27 for a Mac Studio + Studio Display.
There are only two ways to explain what Apple is doing. It is either failing the transparency test miserably, or it is blatantly committing an act of corporate greed. Sadly, “all of the above” is also a possibility.
As a rookie copywriter struggling with headlines, my mentors warned me about two unforgivable sins.
One was trying too hard to be cool. The other was stooping to such overused tricks as puns and rhymes.
I rarely think about those days anymore, but every so often a headline grabs me by the throat and demands to be ridiculed. I, of course, am happy to oblige.
It happened right after the recent Apple event when I visited apple.com to learn more about the new iPhones.
Six years ago, Apple removed the Apple Store tab from its website.
No longer was there a central store-like place to visit online. Instead, each individual product page had its own Buy button.
File this under “Great Ideas That Aren’t So Great When You Really Think About Them.”
First, the new setup was counterintuitive. When we humans want to buy something, we instinctively look for a “store.”
Second, the online and offline Apple Stores were two sides of the same coin. One was simply the virtual version of the other. Suddenly that parallel was gone.
Imagine if the physical Apple Stores replicated the “improved” online buying experience.
One thing Apple unveiled in its recent Spring Forward event was enough to make me believe in miracles.
After nearly six frustrating years—six years!—one of the company’s most inexplicable design blunders was finally corrected.
Hello, new Siri Remote.
The shock got me digging into the past to examine Apple’s track record when it comes to fixing things that need fixing. Sorry to say, it isn’t pretty.
Here’s a look back at the more notable Apple mistakes—and how long they went uncorrected.
Criticizing Apple intro events is one of life’s great pleasures. It’s so easy, anyone can play.
“Where’s the magic?” “Where are the surprises?” “The humor?” “Why so glossy and slick?”
If you’re looking for a culprit, you know where to find him. Tim Cook is responsible for every bit of the content. He’s proven himself guilty of one major crime: he isn’t Steve Jobs.
So, yeah, these things are flawed—but they are hardly useless.
Yikes! Intel has launched a new anti-Mac campaign. The nerve of those people—they signed Apple’s “I’m a Mac” guy to attack his former employer. This is war!
Actually, it’s only the latest battle in the Mac vs. PC war that’s raged for 38 years. It’s a war being waged on three fronts—technology, marketing and culture.
And guess what. Through all these years, Apple has almost always been the aggressor. Only rarely has the PC side felt threatened enough to push back.
So, what do we make of Intel’s new campaign? Hold that thought, because it’s best judged in the context of history—and a juicy history it is.
I might overlook some important moments, but I’ll give it my best shot.
All hail the M1 processor!
No question, Apple Silicon is a very big deal. But—it’s an even bigger deal in the context of Apple history. Monolithic even.
Cue the 2001: A Space Odyssey metaphor.
In the movie, an enigmatic Monolith is discovered beneath the surface of the moon. Planted by extraterrestrials eons ago, it’s actually a marker of human evolution. When exposed to the sun, it emits a signal to notify its makers that humankind is no longer bound to this earth.
The M1 chip is Apple’s very own Monolith. Exposed to the world, it sends a signal that Apple, after decades of evolution, has reached an epochal milestone.
To explain, a little archaeological dig is in order…
Life can be so cruel.
Pity poor Apple. All year, its products compete head-to-head against those from other tech companies. But when its big holiday ad goes up, it must compete with itself—forever haunted by the Ghost of Great Apple Holiday Ads Past.
So how does the 2020 Tierra Whack ad compare?
Not particularly well. Thank you for the entertainment, Apple, but you forgot the parts that made your previous holiday ads so memorable.
You didn’t relate to the joys and sorrows that come with being human. You didn’t express the joy you get by helping people connect emotionally. You didn’t celebrate your core values, which are so relevant during the holiday season.