BusinessWeek: Upping the 'hassle factor'

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Apple's desire to shore up its bottom line is resulting in some Microsoftian, annoying tactics, Alex Salkever, technology editor for BusinessWeek Online, writes in the latest Byte of the Apple column at Business Week Online . (Regular "Byte of the Apple" columnist Charles Haddad is on temporary leave.)

Salkever says that once upon a time, buying a Mac was worry and hassle-free and that the overall cost of owning an Apple system was low. No more. The hassle factor has been upped in the following ways, Salkever opines:

  • Having to spend US$29 to upgrade QuickTime to QuickTime Pro for things such as catching a streaming video of Apple CEO Steve Jobs' keynote address. "It really bugged me that Apple would ask me to pay $29 to watch a high-res feed of what's essentially a nice infomercial," Salkever says.
  • Using the "bait and switch" tactic of charging $49 for iLife. Of course, you can download iMovie, iTunes, and iPhoto for free. "I'm just confused about what I will and won't be paying for in the future, in light of Apple's zigging and zagging," Salkever writes. "As an Apple user, I hate uncertainty -- it's why I bought a Mac. Equally important, will Apple's otherwise handy software-update function stop bugging me about these updates if I decide not to pay for them?"
  • The "infamous" .Mac in which the once-free iTools evolved into a subscription-only service. "I don't want to pay $100 per year for something I would hardly use, the same way that I don't want to pay for a package of additional cable channels that I would never watch," Salkever expounds. He also doesn't like .Mac's "annoying" pop-up alerts and "software that takes control of your preference settings."
  • This story, "BusinessWeek: Upping the 'hassle factor'" was originally published by PCWorld.

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