The Macalope Weekly: Executive suite

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Three executives, three stories. First, a Dell executive does what Dell executives do, talking out of orifices not meant for such purposes. Then, it’s the moment you’ve been waiting for as Eric Schmidt’s magical six months are up! Finally, 50 years from now we’ll still be asking ourselves “Will Steve Jobs be remembered?”

How are you going to keep them down on the farm…

… when they’ve seen the bright lights of the big city?

Ah, the Macalope loves it when a Dell executive steps forward and says something dumb about Apple; it makes the horny one’s job easier.

“Dell chief hits out at ‘shiny’ iPad” (tip o’ the antlers to Adrian Kingsley-Hughes)

Shiny things are apparently bad. What’s good is dull black. Please, stop enjoying your computing experience and get serious. Put hope aside.

Dell Australia managing director Joe Kremer refuses to give up the tablet computing race, claiming that “shiny” devices like Apple’s iPad are too difficult for business to support.

What is easy to support are nonexistent Dell tablets running Windows 8. Those are really easy to support. You hardly have to do anything! Don’t buy iPads! Wait for our Windows-based tablet that we’ll ship more than two years after the iPad! It’s so much better!

Referring to the iPad, Mr Kremer told a media and analyst briefing in Sydney on Wednesday: “People might be attracted to some of these shiny devices but technology departments can’t afford to support them.

“If you are giving a presentation and something fails on the software side it might take four days to get it up and running again. I don’t think this race has been run yet.”

Translation: “I have never used or even seen an iPad before and I have no idea how they work, so I’ll assume they work like the pieces of crap we sell.”

Read more…

Despite resistance from some technology departments, the iPad has been a big hit with senior executives and a growing number of companies have issued them to board members so that they don’t have to carry reams of paper around with them.

But, boy, it sure is a problem when they, uh, go down and, er, you can’t give a presentation for, uh, four days?

Has that ever happened even once?

While he would not be drawn on the likely uptake of Windows 8 among the business community when it is launched later this year, Mr Kremer said there was significant pent-up demand among customers who had skipped the previous two releases of the software and were still running their computers on Windows XP.

And what businesses are likely to do is finally pull the trigger on Windows 7, because Windows 8 is too much of a change to take on now, what with a continued softness in the economy and enemy planets deliberately passing between us and the sun, depriving us of its life-giving rays.

It’s pretty obvious that Dell is just playing to its competitive advantage here. And that would be spreading manure.

Pencils down!

That’s it, kids! We’re calling it!

Yes, it’s been six months since Google CEO Eric “Cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs” Schmidt told us that, in six months, developers would be shipping on Android first.

Aaaaaaaaand they are not.

Wow! Who could have called that?

Oh, that’s right! We all did! Give yourself a pat on the back!

OK, that’s enough. Don’t overdo it. It wasn’t that hard.

Back in December, the Macalope translated Schmidt’s Nostradumbassisms thusly (Macworld Insider link):

Shorter Schmidt: “Do you smell burnt toast?”

And the Macalope stands by that assessment.

Anyone not smelling burnt toast knew that this situation was not going to turn around in six months. And MG Siegler backs up the fact that this hasn’t happened.

In the hearts and minds of top app developers, it’s iOS first and Android second—or not at all.

The same is true for the vast majority of new startups—I talk with dozens each week. The refrain: iOS first. Android second. Down the road. At some point. Maybe.

And if you don’t believe Siegler, a study by Flurry backs him up.

Nearly seven of every 10 apps being created in the first quarter of 2012 were for the iOS platform, with the remaining three going to Android, according to new data released today by research firm Flurry Analytics. iOS generates twice as many apps as Android despite Google’s mobile operating system commanding 50.8 percent of the smartphone market compared with Apple’s 31.4 percent, according to ComScore data release last week.

Google either doesn’t know how to fix this problem or has completely lost control of the situation. Or both.

Well, yes, it’s got to be both. Android is a fragmented platform with a user base that doesn’t buy a lot of apps. Carriers control their ecosystem and carriers have no interest in providing software updates, so users get abandoned on Outdated Release Island.

If you’re living in Google Fantasy Land (worst theme park ever), you might think that shipping a few Nexus phones and tablets will magically cure the problem. That might improve some aspects, but it’ll make others worse. Finally, it can’t help Google’s case if even its market-share advantage is slipping, which it may be, at least in the U.S.

Someone at Google needs to tell Schmidt it’s under-promise and over-deliver. Not the other way around. We’ll check on Schmidt’s prediction that most TVs would ship with Google TV in a few weeks but—SPOILER ALERT—that’ll be wrong, too.

Saturday Special: I got your legacy right here

It’s some nine months after the man’s death and people are still trying to belittle Steve Jobs’s legacy. That’s probably the surest sign that his legacy will be lasting.

Author and cultivator of the eccentric-chic look Malcolm Gladwell feels that, 50 years from now, people will still remember Bill Gates, while Steve Jobs… well, let’s let Gladwell speak for himself:

And of the great entrepreneurs of this era, people will have forgotten Steve Jobs. Who’s Steve Jobs again?


OK, we had this argument last fall after Jobs passed away and it’s an incredibly stupid one. It’s so stupid that the fact that Gladwell is engaged in it seriously puts his purported intellect in doubt.

No one can really tell how history will remember Steve Jobs, not even Mr. Seriously With That Hair? It’s like trying to predict fashion trends or smartphone market share or Katy Perry. You can’t! They’re flighty and may change on a whim!

If the Macalope had to guess, he’d say Jobs will be remembered, perhaps not as much as Henry Ford or Walt Disney, but at least as much as Frank Lloyd Wright or Akira Kurosawa. The personal computer revolution was not carried out by one person, but Jobs contributed more than any other single individual, the caterwauling of free software nuts and more mainstream Apple haters notwithstanding.

The Verge’s Vlad Savov thinks Gladwell may be being deliberately controversial.

Though his language feels tongue-in-cheek, Gladwell’s broader point is about the fact that we’re idolizing businessmen for their money-making aptitude, whereas their long-term legacy will actually depend on the broader impact they had on the world.

Well, that’s exactly the point. Jobs’s impact goes far beyond the amount of money he made. That Gladwell can’t see that is a little odd.

It’s certainly true that Gates will be remembered for contributions other than his business acumen and frumpy sweaters. His impact on the third world is significant and, for whatever reason, Jobs eschewed personal philanthropy. But you don’t have to be a philanthropist to have a legacy. Gladwell seems to want Jobs to have been something he wasn’t, but that doesn’t mean he won’t be remembered for his own contributions.

Certainly he’ll be long remembered on Internet message boards of firing fetishists. No one could doubt that.

[Editors’ Note: Each week the Macalope skewers the worst of the week’s coverage of Apple and other technology companies. In addition to being a mythical beast, the Macalope is not an employee of Macworld. As a result, the Macalope is always free to criticize any media organization. Even ours.]

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