Past isn’t prologue: Apple isn’t today’s Microsoft


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Remember how iOS versus Android was just like the Mac versus Windows? Well, if you loved that old hit… you’re probably reading the wrong column. But pundits have a new spin on it that still makes no sense: Apple is Microsoft!

See, they were Apple and got trounced by Microsoft and they were going to be Apple again but this time get trounced by Google but instead they’re Microsoft. It all makes sense when you read this pamphlet and relinquish all your worldly possessions.

Writing for the Forbes contributor network and incurable myopia clinic, Adam Hartung describes “Tim Cook's 'Ballmer-ization' Of Apple.” (Tip o’ the antlers to @JonyIveParody.)

OK, the finger-touch thing with Bono was certainly awkward, but not this awkward. If Cook wants to Ballmer-ize Apple he’s going to have to turn it up a notch.

A little history: Back in 2013, Hartung was explaining “Why Apple Investors Should Worry”. Wait, is it “explaining” if you’re wrong? Well, whatever, he wrote that. He wrote that when shares of AAPL were at $69 (nice). AAPL is currently trading at almost twice that today. So. There’s that.

The Forbes contributor network’s tagline should be “caveat lector”. Or “You could do so much better, honey.”

…today's Apple, and the Apple emerging for the future, is absolutely not the Apple which brought investors to this dance. That Apple was all about innovation.

Translation: I do not have a pair of AirPods nor have I ever spoken with anyone who owns one.

That Apple was built by Steve Jobs. Today's Apple has been remade by Tim Cook, and it is an entirely different company.

They actually only make canned soup now. And no one has even noticed.

Analysts further like Apple's likely expansion into India… Do you remember when, just before filing for bankruptcy, Krispy Kreme was going to keep up its valuation by expanding into China?

Yes, indeed, Apple is just like a company that filed for bankruptcy. Nailed it.

Overall, doesn't this sound a lot like Microsoft?

Facile comparisons can be purchased in bulk at Ned’s Facile Comparison Shack off Route 66 in Springfield, IL.

Bill Gates founded a company that revolutionized computing with low-cost software on low-cast hardware…


Once this market was created, and pretty much monopolized by Microsoft CEO Gates turned the reigns over to CEO Steve Ballmer.

Just as Apple, er, monopolized… uh… um…

Hey, you know what’s great? Elephant ears. Fried dough with powdered sugar? Yummy.

Today all one hears about at Apple is growing the installed base. Maximizing sales of iPhones. And then selling everyone services. Oh yeah, the Apple Watch came out.  Sort of flopped.

“Sort of” in Hartung’s use here is apparently some kind of short hand for “this next thing is wrong but I want to say it anyway so I have to qualify it.” Because the Apple Watch sort of actually did not flop. It sort of actually has done better than the Amazon Echo which pundits are falling over themselves to declare a success that Apple must respond to.

Hartung wants you to think Apple Pay is a failure, too. It’s not. And the fact that Apple ships Apple Music for Android belies his contention that Apple’s solely milking its existing customer base.

Genius bar experiences aren't always great.

How is this different from a Microsoft Store experience? Hard to tell because no one has had a Microsoft Store experience.

And now, in accordance with FCC regulations, the Macalope must say “Zing.”


In a telling AdAge column one long-time Apple user discusses how he had two iPhones fail…

Anecdotes that support a preconception are always extremely insightful and “telling”. (The Macalope tackled that AdAge piece here.) As opposed to “data” which is inconvenient in its willingness to submit to a decided-upon narrative and itchy like a burlap sack.

Apple faces challenges like any company. But its challenges are its own, as tempting as easy comparisons to the past are.

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