Is Apple all that innovative??

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by petee, Dec 19, 2002.

  1. petee macrumors newbie

    Aug 23, 2002
    Asheboro, North Carolina
    I have been quietly lurking at this website for several months now and have been listening to the "winblows' bashing and the swooning accolades to Apple. The arguments go something like this: Apple is all about innovation. Or, yeah, the Wintel computers are fast but crash every few days (minutes, seconds, etc.). Or, Wintel has no innovation... it steals everything from Apple. And finally, with the rumors of Apple going over to AMD platforms, Apple is a hardware company and would go belly up if it were to switch to a X86 platform.

    I'm not sure I buy any of these arguments. Some of them seem very contradictory. Apple's computer (soundcard, vid card, ram, basically all But the processor and monitor is OEM stuff that is available for PC)are better because they are optimized for their software. Not sure where the idea came from that the Microsoft is NOT optimized for the various hardware out there. (Oh yeah they did create a nice interface that Microsoft stole from them but get over it... it was years ago.) As far as innovation. Yes Apple has some nice designs, but they hardly invented the PC, the MP3 player, CD-burning etc. Yes, they made them easier for some people but I really see no true innovation other than nice designs, easier use, and a salesman with a PT Branum-like sales pitch (18 gigaflops!!) Yes, Windows was pretty terrible with 95 and a couple of interations of their software, but Mac NEVER had a bad OS? I thought that X was pretty awful when it first came out. Its is much better now and very nice and stable, but so what... so is Windows XP home and Pro.

    I will say that iApps are great. they are very easy to use and functional... but so are a myriad of third party software for Windows.

    So my question is: Why Apple? What can I do on my iMac that I can't do on my Compaq? Nothing except work slower on some applications and NOT play games. Even if the games were available, the slow-as-molasses graphics card will make it a lesson in futility. It seems that true innovation is happening in the computer world in general but is made for the PC world because, hey if your going to invest millions of $$$ in research and risk, who are you going to sell to, a company with 3-4% marketshare of 90+% marketshare. I think that Apple really missed the boat by not going to an X86 platform. Marginalization is never a good thing and I would argue that Apple would have ceased being in the news if Steve had not of come back. The only reason its in the news now is that Steve holds these very big, very expensive Conventions to WOW the world with a very cool, very nice design around a product that is hoh hum.

    Just my random thoughts about computers. I can't wait for the just-deserved flaming. (I'm getting my marshmellows out now.
  2. zarathustra macrumors 6502a


    Jul 16, 2002
    Philadelphia, PA
    Flame bait.

    Unless you have valid points to discuss with us, we should ignore you. I personally will not convince you of Apple's innovation, because it's throwing pearls before swine - you seem to have made up your mind about Apple sucking. If it is true that you lurk around macrumors, you should have seen links and discussions about hardware, software and overall computer philosophy being pioneered by Apple and it's engineers.

    I hope you enjoy playing in your wast sandbox of windows compatible machines - I have living to do on my personal caribbean island called a Macintosh.
  3. saabmp3 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 22, 2002
    Tacoma, WA
    Apple doesn't really innovate hardware. They have said themselves that they are a software company now. A couple of years ago they were making proprietary hardware and software to go with it. Now a days their using much more standard stuff in the industry.

    I actualyl switched from my 1.8 GHz PC to my 667 PB (I was using both for 2 months) for the exact opposite reason. I can work faster on my PB than I can on my desktop. This might be because of the fact that the apple is a laptop, but mostly it's due to everything working when I need it it. On old PC's there was a 25% chance that something was going to break on the compute at a key moment and I was going to have to fix it. That just doesn't happen on my mac. I don't have much of a better explination for it than that. That is why I use my mac as my main (and basically only) machine now.

    As for the gaming aspect. I don't play games. I have a UT server loaded on it for other people in my dorm to use, but that really it. The games that I would ever want are avaible for it, so I have no complaints there, but you have your right.

    Finally, I don't think you should get flamed for this. It is actually a very honnest question. There are alot of people who are very gung-ho on using a mac just for the fact of it. Then there are people like you who question it. If there is a good answer, then I hope you'll do the intelligent thing and atleast consider the mac for what it's good for.

  4. MacBandit macrumors 604


    Aug 9, 2002
    Springfield, OR (Home of the Simpsons)
    Talking about real inovations. You can thank Apple for not only windows but the mouse as well. Recent innovations that I can think of off the top of my head include firewire and Rendezvous. Also anyone who doesn't think the case the PowerMacs are in isn't innovative needs to have there head examined. There are more but I don't have time at the moment to list them.
  5. Megaquad macrumors 6502a

    Jul 12, 2001
    Dude I wish you luck, hope you're gonna survive all that upcoming flaming :D

    Just tell me something, do you own a mac?

    Here are some things that make OSX better machine then windows.

    -i can easy see when is some application launching, when is launching when is working etc. all that with dock, it gets little confusing with that task bar
    -all that shareware and freeware software on win are poisoning whole system, slowing it down, making all kinds of stupid ads, and register-me windows pop-up when starting-up computer
    -some of those apps can plague the whole system and most people never know how to fix it
    -mac software is much cleaner with more intuitive interface

    Whole windows eventually get slow and unstable after some time, and then reinstallation of windows is required. Don't tell it's not true, I've seen pc's with win xp that cannot launch IE, and when I installed alternate browser, mozilla, it couldnt launch after a while and it screwed whole system when launched.

    -bad multitasking, when having multiple applications and doing stuff between them, you cant touch anything, it gets unresponsive

    -all that driver ****e.. on mac everything is plug&play, no configuring million video drivers, searching drivers for every new connected device

    -no decent app for listening music, hehe

    -almost every single app for windows, is so messed up, you cant understand how is it working, why is it working like that? so many confusing options, not even a one standard application layout
    all those menus and "multimedia" application disasters with scattered options.
    -many applications have so many unnecessary options and stupid annoying god damn wizards
    and windows ask you "do you want to do that, or that, or that?" all the time

    -no visible distinctions on windows between desktop and applications, yes you know which app is in front but something more is really needed - mac has application named in menu bar along with menu's, menu bar is one of the best things in mac os

    -windows have no true drag and drop, you have to uninstall most stuff and you dont understand where or how did they get installed
    it is really really annoying

    -no microsoft's dirty tactics, their stupid names
    -no disgusting software, like some of them built-in with windows
    -no style, everything is ugly, and it goes beyond uglyness - its like somebody throw all those interface elements without thinking how it's going to look and feel

    -i dont feel happy in front of pc
    i cant check my mail feeling happy, chat with people, especially I cant do something creative with it
  6. DeadlyBreakfast macrumors regular

    Aug 26, 2002
    In a dark corner somewhere. Help me..
    Ok...I'll chime in on this one a little....

    Being a recent switcher and someone who works on / around computers every day as a programmer and IT Manager and also has been fiddlin' with computers since the Vic20 / Sinclair Days. (Yes...I'll admit it...I've seen Tron and watch it every chance I get :) )

    Over the past few days I've tried to step out of my own shoes and really see what I do with the computers I use.

    Its pretty simple:

    I work on and around PC's for the most part all day long. I always have my new , trusty iBook with me to plug in when I need to diagnose a network issue or go to a meeting. I keep the iBook around and use some of the NICE freeware that available for the Mac to record my billable hours. iCal keeps me in check with my schedule and I use the to do list to record all of the changes that I need to make to whatever sofware I am working on , be it a bug fix , user request, etc etc. I use my iBook at home with the AirPort card because it truly is a laptop. Its battery life is awsome. The sleep mode rules. Its like the Commodore 64 days. Open it and its on. I dont shut it down. Ever. Never had to reboot. Ever.
    I like to use VPC on it (Currently 5.0 but cant wait to try 6.0 with the speed improvements) to code. If windows crashes I dont have to reboot the whole dam comp...I just restart VPC. That in and of itself in invaulable to me and my customers (since they are footin the bill).

    My PC's at home. I play games on them. Surf the web (unless I want to get mobile in my home) A little HTML / Graphic stuff for websites but thats pretty much it any more.

    Bottom line : I fiddle with PC's ....I get work done on my Apple.
  7. Mr. Anderson Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

    Nov 1, 2001
    And the inovation has filtered out across the industries.

    Look at the color options for the original iMac. I've seen everything from cell phones to toys to medical equipment start using different colors, semi-opaque plastic, etc.

    True this is not necessarilly a 'technical' inovation, but it shows the effect Apple has had. Thinking outside the box and not stick with the status quo. Dell lets all the other companies do the innovation and take the tech and mass produce it to make it cheap.

    It would be a much duller world with out Apple around.

  8. Chaszmyr macrumors 601


    Aug 9, 2002
    Re: Is Apple all that innovative??

    It's not all about what you can or can't do. The fact is, both PCs and Macs are extremely useful tools. And yes, PCs can technically do more than Macs. So why do I use a Mac now? Because I spend 8-10 hours a day with my computer, and if I am using a Mac I enjoy that time, and if I am using a PC I don't. A big part of it is about OS Stability, but thats not even all. Macs are also just so beautiful it makes them more enjoyable to use; just like most people would rather have art hanging on their office walls than blank walls.
  9. gbojim macrumors 6502

    Jan 30, 2002
    Re: Is Apple all that innovative??

    No flames from me. However, Apple did indeed invent the PC assuming you mean "Personal Computer" as opposed to the later arriving IBM system.
  10. electric macrumors regular

    Oct 14, 2002
    San Francisco, CA
    For me it's love,

    I love my Mac’s, They have personality, I have names for them, I feel happy when I use them. I have one Windows machine somewhere in the house but it's just a box with components in it. Mac's don't scream but neither do I when I use them.

    I really don't think there is much innovation in any industry now.... Music, Film, Tech. The computer and it's gadgets have already been invented, what we need now is a computer that works all the time, is intuitive and is visually appealing and I think Apple is at the top of the list. The bottom line is this: I want a computer that works! I don’t want a project!
  11. lmalave macrumors 68000


    Nov 8, 2002
    Chinatown NYC
    "but they hardly invented the PC"

    Ummm...what?!!? Actually, Apple DID invent the PC (you do know PC stands for "Personal Computer", right?) But granted, that was 25 years ago. Maybe you meant to say Apple didn't invent the computer? Apple built the first computer that was truly a home PC and not some built-it-yourself hobby kit. And keep in mind, this was YEARS before IBM introduced its PCs to the business world.

    As for more recent advancements: as a longtime Windows user but someone who really learned to use computers at college on Unix machines, I have to say OS X is an amazing achievement. Think about the fact that so many companies over decades have tried but failed miserably to build a Unix with even a good (and forget great) GUI - and I'm including in this group all the miserable new Linux variants. OS X is really a small miracle, and if Apple can get some decent hardware behind it, I really think they can pose a much bigger threat to Microsoft, especially as Linux starts taking over the server side of things (I envision a future with many Linux servers and many Mac OS X desktops).

    And look at Windows. MS spent years trying to rid themselves of a bloated, antiquated DOS/Windows OS and XP is is the best they could come up with? On the surface XP is faster, prettier, and has more features than previous Windows, but it's still ugly and bloated on the inside compared to relative simplicity and transparency of Unix.

    And I don't think you should so easily dismiss design innovations! At this point the PC market is "mature" meaning that practically everybody already has a PC so now consumers are starting to look at different, specific features rather than basic performance. Kind of like how Ford dominated the auto industry in the 20's and 30's: its cars were boring, but they were cheap and people were just getting used to the idea of driving anyway. Then along came GM with a slew of innovative designs and within a few years had surpassed Ford's seemingly unassailable market share. Did GM make faster cars? No, cars were already as fast as they needed to be, much like computers now. Rather, GM focused on usability and comfort, and providing a broad range of car designs to appeal to the various major segments of the market. Apple is absolutely correct to focus on design - it's an enduring core strength that will ensure its long-term success no matter what happens in the PC marketplace.
  12. Nipsy macrumors 65816


    Jan 19, 2002
    Some things Apple invents (or is co inventor, or very early to market):
    FireWire (now common everywhere)
    PDA/Netwon (now prolific as Palm/PocketPC)
    Digital Cameras (Quicktakes were on the market long before other consumer cameras)
    AppleTalk (reborn as Rendezvous...networking for granny)
    Multiple Monitors (had 'em since the mid 80's, available to Windows in the mid 90's)

    Some things Apple perfects:
    LCDs (Apple has done much to make the LCD commonplace for other manufacturers)
    MP3 players (iPod is undeniably the best MP3 player anywhere)
    The computer case (remember beige? I don't)

    Some things Apple does better:
    Wintel, nothing - Apple, Appletalk
    Wintel, 10bt - Apple, 100bt
    Wintel, 100bt, - Apple 1000bt
    Bootable OS CDs
    CDRW introduction
    CDRW integration
    DVDR introduction
    DVDR integration
    UNIX on the desktop...Lin(ux/dows) still can't make that one fly
    UI, interface design, and usability...there's a reason others copy from Apple
    Security (market share be damned, it has always been harder to infiltrate a MacOS system than a Windows installation)

    Now, to address some of your points:
    Computers are functionally 99% identical. You can edit photos, burn cds, write code, and store files on all modern OSes.

    Cars are aslo functionally 99% identical. You can go places, stop, turn left, and put things in the trunk of all modern cars.

    With that said, MBZ will always have a place in a market where more Fords are sold. Apple will always have a place in in a primarily Wintel market.

    Furthermore, a Mustang may indeed be faster than a S500 coupe, but many would not want the Mustang.

    Some of us will always vote with our wallets & our keystrokes in favor of a more expensive elegance.

    (Sorry to the regulars for the repeat analogy)

    As for OSes, OSX was slow when it came out, but it was bulletproof, and very difficult to break. OS 9 is still much beloved, OS8 was probably a low point, OS 7 was pretty damn good in 7.5+ builds, and OS 6.0.4, and its predecessors were all better than the M$ offerings that they contended with. M$ has made some atrocious OSes (WinME being the worst). Apple has made some lackluster OSes (8).

    OSX is a really amazing departure from Apple's history, and a budding work in progress. XP is NT 6. I am thankful that M$ has finally abandoned the 3.1/9* codebase.

    I see innovation in a different light than you do. CPUs & GPUs will get faster, hard drives will get bigger, monitors will get slimmer by themselves. This is not innovation, just evolution.

    Apple will invent protocols like FireWire, popularize DVD writers so they get cheaper for everyone, perfect the MP3 player, continue to shift the industry to new technologies (like the LCD), make beauty a part of computing, strive to make the network admin obsolete (sorry network admins), and do it with a robust and secure, and fast maturing UNIX OS.

    So, in the end, Apple shapes the industry more than everyone except Microsoft, and no one complains about Apple's progresses.

    While Microsoft is innovating your privacy straight to marketers and politicians, Apple says no. When Apple innovates, and subsequently refines, the GUI OS, M$ says yes.

    When Microsoft innovates new Licensing 6.0, Apple says no. When Apple says LCDs are better, the industry says yes.

    When M$ innovates its browser and messenger and email and media player so deeply that they can never be removed, Apple says no. When Apple innovates wireless networking, the industry says yes.

    When Microsoft innovates "Plug and Play", Apple chuckles, and makes it WORK!

    Whether you like it or not Apple has made uncommon technologies common, you can thank Apple, directly or indirectly for the popularity of:
    The Gui
    CD/DVD Writers
    LCD screens
    Stylish computers
    Digital Cameras
  13. Flickta macrumors 6502

    Nov 20, 2002
    Born in USSR
    There are innovations in the PC world. Sticky menus and contextual menus came from W******* and copy paste also... This is about the interface pieces. And, you know, if we are speaking about an interface, we face a problem: Everyone was a "thief". It is just like writing books - you can't come up with truly revolutional ideas. Reading classics, reading the Bible - you learn. And then - just let these ideas change and develop in your mind.

    What is truly innovative in Apple, is an ability to make people LOVE and cherish their machines. Macs are not like a disposable consumer goods of our days - they are more like a family ONLY Horses, swords and what not of the past - They are just... Well, enough of that stuff. I think, it is obvious.
  14. Nipsy macrumors 65816


    Jan 19, 2002
    It's been a long time since I used my Mac 128, but I think we had Copy, Cut and Paste from the beginning...I could be wrong.
  15. backspinner macrumors 6502a

    Apr 29, 2002
    * colorsync
    * more than 2 hours battery life
    * working sleep mode
    * industry strength security
    * ical, itunes, imovie, idvd, iphoto, isync
    * fcp
    * firewire
    * quicktime
    * hassle free airport
    * usable system/app scripting applescript
    * just working mail, sherlock, addressbook

    * newton
    * quicktake

    * windows gui
    * mouse
    * popularisation of flat panels, dvd writers, usb
  16. pimentoLoaf macrumors 68000


    Dec 30, 2001
    The SimCity Deli
    :( System 7.5.3 :(

    Practically everything crashed (often for no apparent reason) back in the mid-90's. It was patches atop patches atop patches. Whether MacWrite or FileMaker or HyperCard or various games, my computer wouldn't stay operating for more than a few hours.

    os9.2.2's Extension Manager should still be replaced with Conflict Catcher -- if only to figure out all the li'l drivers and other things that clog memory with that os. A certain geneaology program was written on a PC, and the extensions load piles of Windows 95/98 code for generating the MS GUI (graphical user interface). (MS used to make an add-on to Visual C++ to port Windows programs to Mac.)

    Apple puts much of the GUI stuff in ROM, whereas Wintel machines must load it from the hard drive. (This is why Linux can't use most built-in modems, as much of the modem code is tied up with Windows.) So, Apple systems are much more flexible -- though programmers with PC experience don't know this.

    Used to be a big argument involving memory allocation and deallocation several years ago. PC folk wrote their own code on a program by program basis, whilst Apple people were encouraged to use ROM code. Lots of programs still don't deallocate memory after quitting -- occasionally, IE will tell me (under osX) that I don't have enough system RAM to load webgraphics, though I have 640mb in the laptop (an iBook, and it's maxxed out).
  17. Flickta macrumors 6502

    Nov 20, 2002
    Born in USSR
    I mean copy and paste actually copying and pasting files... Has it been a long time since you used OS X?
  18. Megaquad macrumors 6502a

    Jul 12, 2001
    You are saying Apple popularized CDRW?
    Infact, Apple was lagging behind, while every PC out there had CD burner for a long time Apple was advertising iMacs with SLOW (even then) CDRW drives.
    Even today, Apple has slowest optical drives availabled on market built into their computers.
  19. zarathustra macrumors 6502a


    Jul 16, 2002
    Philadelphia, PA
    I do know that the Lisa had copy paste - not only that, but you could cut a graph, and paste it into the word processor! Also, the GEOS for the Apple II featured to the best of my knowledge a copy/paste command.
  20. zarathustra macrumors 6502a


    Jul 16, 2002
    Philadelphia, PA
    There were Apple branded external SCSI burners way before it became commonplace on the Intel side of the fence. Also, in a broader sense, Steve Jobs' company, NeXT produced a little machine that tried to replace the floppy with a MO drive. Was it 240 MB? I don't remember, but this was back when a 200 MB hard drive was a luxury.
  21. Flickta macrumors 6502

    Nov 20, 2002
    Born in USSR
    I've been using MacOs 7.5.3 till the year 2000, and it was not more unstable than 9.1 or Win ANY... And in Classic system you are more of aking than that of a guest like in X
  22. rainman::|:| macrumors 603


    Feb 2, 2002
    You guys forgot the set-top-box in the list of Apple firsts. The pippin, like the Newton, was way ahead of it's time, but is now everywhere (WebTV). they invented, with the pippin, a video game console that had the physical ability to connect to networks/the internet years before even video game companies did!
    Apple also had the first computer with true TV integration (MacTV, only desktop to be released domestically in black), the first computer with built-in high quality speakers (TAM, Bose system) and i might add the first computer with built-in LCD with that same computer. I believe Apple had the first laptops with IR built in, as well as the first battery-powered portable inkjet printer, but i could be wrong on those counts.

    You obviously don't know a THING you're talking about, even the one "bone" you threw apple was wrong-- Apple didn't actually create the GUI, they simply brought it to the market first (thank Xerox stupidity for that one). But yes, Apple did invent the first PC, as their press bio used to state "Apple ignited the personal computer revolution in the 70's"...

  23. AmbitiousLemon Moderator emeritus


    Nov 28, 2001
    down in Fraggle Rock
    i dont care much for the mac vs pc argument, but on a historical note i thought it should be pointed out that although Zerox invented the GUI, Apple invented the metaphor for the modern GUI that has been used since the Lisa until today. Also Apple purchased the conecpt of a GUI from Xerox (Xerox didnt think it was a good marketable idea) with Apple stock. Many people note that Xerox invented the GUI, claiming just as windows stole form Apple, Apple stole from Xerox. The fact that Apple purchased the GUI from Xerox, and indeed used little more than the GUI concept, is actually greater fuel for the fire that MS stole something form Apple (since Apple had to purchase the right to create its own GUI, why could MS copy the entire GUI metaphor without any compensation?). I know this has little to do with the current debate, but the Xerox-Apple connection came up, and I know many people confuse the facts around teh situation. thought it might be a good time t straighten things out a bit.
  24. petee thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 23, 2002
    Asheboro, North Carolina
    Ok Sorry: When I said "didn't invent the PC I included the homebuilt (like the one my dad and I built when I was a kid... you can't get anymore "personal" than your own built PC with DOS.)

    From this thread, I have heard many "innovations" touted, some dubious (CDRW/DVD writers invented by Apple???) or some thing more evolutionary in nature like Firewire or use of the LCD monitor. Or the "I just turn it on and it works... look if this were really true and Macs never experienced problems than Apple would need no tech support. (And I have had many troubles with past Macs that made my wintel friends pee their pants with laughter.) I can get that on a PC also if I get it from a trusted white box distro. Then there are the "I just feel happy working with it arguments. As a psychologist I find those arguments most interesting, but I can feel happy working on a PC when playing games, surfing the internet, or smoking pot (its not the "thing" I am working on but the content of what I am doing that makes me happy)

    My questioning of Mac innovation is thusly: Why are we so quick to defend this company? We (and I do include myself in this despite my heretical linie of questions) bestow God-like attributes to Steve, the software, and hardware. Despite the fact that Steve is a salesman (and a very good one), the software functionally no different than Windows (I know that it is Unix and all the goodnes that it entails but the interface is functionally no different than Windows... Call it a Dock or a Taskbar its semantics), and the hardware is either a slow CPU or parts available to the windows market except more expensive and obsolete.

    It seems that Macs are more religion than productivity tool. I believe that this has been covered in other forums. It doesn't matter what the Wintel world comes out with, it somehow rips off Apple, or is inferior, or ugly, or... I am very suspicious of religion in any form, especially one that centers around a "deity" whose bottom line is money and number of units sold per quarter. I can't forget that Apple would probably sell me air if they thought that they could get away with it (remeber the .mac?).

    Why I like my iMac (for those who still think I should be burned). Beauty on my desk, easy to use apps, plug 'n play, and complete lack of Palladium or DSM "stuff" on my computer. Is it worth $1900-2000 to me... hmmm tricky. Very Tricky.

    I guess I am saying that I don't believe that Apple is as innovative as I would like to believe. Yes, Apple brought to the masses some very useful things but hardly invented them. So what is it about the Apple that makes me love it, hate it, want to defend it to the death?? hmmm must be the blueberry imac flavored kool-aid I drank a couple of years ago.

    Thank you all for your responses.. you were most kind and gentle.
  25. Roger1 macrumors 65816


    Jun 3, 2002
    As a psychologist I find those arguments most interesting,

    So what's the name of your thesis??:D

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