Steve Jobs made the biggest mistake in history?

Discussion in 'Apple, Inc and Tech Industry' started by aaquib, Nov 5, 2009.

  1. aaquib macrumors 65816


    Sep 11, 2007
    Toronto, Canada
    A friend of mine doesn't believe Steve Jobs is a successful business man because he created the biggest mistake ever by letting Microsoft take over the industry and take away so much money and market share from Apple. I was boasting about how Steve Jobs is the best business man in the world while Steve Ballmer just runs around screaming and he claimed that the 1 mistake Steve Jobs made caused him to lose over $3B in profits every year. Help in combating his argument?
  2. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    Ask him how many people want Windows on their phone.
  3. ClassicII macrumors 6502


    Sep 21, 2009
    Chicago, IL
    Microsoft stock price $28.41
    Apple stock price $194.18

    Phones? how about those zunes hehe
  4. felt. macrumors 6502a

    Mar 13, 2008
    are you trolling? or is your of you are :)
  5. Theclamshell macrumors 68030

    Mar 2, 2009
    anyone with a net worth of 5.1 billion is successful
  6. aaquib thread starter macrumors 65816


    Sep 11, 2007
    Toronto, Canada
    I think I've been here too long to be accused of that.
  7. mac2x macrumors 65816

    Sep 19, 2009

    I could think of a lot of fun things to do with 5.1 billion. :)
  8. Techhie macrumors 65816


    Dec 7, 2008
    The hub of stupidity
    I don't think it's a question of wether they let MS gain market share. They fought hard with lawsuits, very hard.
  9. notjustjay macrumors 603


    Sep 19, 2003
    Canada, eh?
    Hindsight being 20/20 and all, who knows what would have happened if Steve Jobs hadn't made that mistake? Who's to say it would have been a better world at all?

    Maybe Apple would be the dominant computer platform, maybe Steve Jobs would be the world's richest man, but do you think we'd still be running OS X on Core 2 Duos? Would Apple have as much power as it does in terms of iPod, iTunes, iPhone?

    Without Microsoft, would intel have been spurred on to create all the technology that it did? Would intel even still be around today if Apple were the dominant platform? Without Windows and OS X egging each other on, would our current-day Apple OS be anywhere near what we have now?

    Would Apple be the big evil conglomerate corporation, and would we all be rallying behind Microsoft as they battle to take down the giant? Would we be the ones with blind allegiances?

    Who knows.
  10. Nermal Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 7, 2002
    New Zealand
    I seriously believe that if Apple were "in power", things would be worse than with Microsoft in charge. Apple is a total control freak, whereas Microsoft just wants money.
  11. Bill Gates macrumors 68020

    Bill Gates

    Jun 21, 2006
    My thoughts exactly. :apple:
  12. NT1440 macrumors G5


    May 18, 2008
    I'm deeply saddened that anyone could consider a business issue the biggest mistake in history...
  13. flopticalcube macrumors G4


    Sep 7, 2006
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    CEO of the Decade (according to Fortune). He has probably made many mistakes but he has also done very well. I doubt he could have done very much to stop MS.
  14. MikhailT macrumors 601

    Nov 12, 2007
    Microsoft is a convicted monopolist, taking over an industry by force isn't by itself a single metric to determine the success of the company or its CEO.

    Apple got to this point without forcing anybody and was led by Steve Jobs and that was what made Steve Jobs the CEO of the decade.

    Did your friend not realize that during the period of time where Steve Jobs was not CEO, Apple was on the brink of total failure? Once Steve Jobs came back, Apple started to recover to the point that it is now. Can he say the same for Steve Ballmer or Gates? Take them out, it wouldn't bring them to failure, maybe in some parallel universe it would made decisions that would lead to Windows being much better than it is now. Nobody knows but most people recongize Steve Jobs as the man that made Apple the way it is now. Not Gates or Ballmer, they both may have started MS but I don't think of them for any major successful stuff that came out of MS. XBOX 360? I don't think of Gates or Ballmer. iPod, iPhone, OS X and many other things, I think of Steve Jobs, he doesn't have to actually invent but make the decision to make them.
  15. slu macrumors 68000


    Sep 15, 2004
    Both are very successful. They both feed off each other, which is good for all of us. Who cares?
  16. bruinsrme macrumors 603


    Oct 26, 2008

    that is an interesting question.
    Where would IBM be today and what would their business model look like.
  17. notjustjay macrumors 603


    Sep 19, 2003
    Canada, eh?
    Just look at how far technology has come in the last 20 or 30 years. Virtually everything is a computer of some sort -- your watch, your TV, your toaster. Everything is interlinked. They're selling TVs now that can show you YouTube videos. It's crazy what technologies we have access to now, and we have them because of how the computing industry evolved.

    Personally, I think Google is going to be the one to watch for the next while ;)
  18. Buzz Bumble Guest

    Oct 19, 2008
    New Zealand
    Apple has never been interested in market share, and their bank balance proves them right.

    Apple is like Jaguar or Porsche - they sell quality products at a (slightly) higher price.

    Microsoft is like Hyundai or Kia - they sell cheap garbage to the masses.

  19. jaw04005 macrumors 601


    Aug 19, 2003
    Never, huh?

    1. You’re referring to Apple post-1997 and operating system marketshare.
    2. Apple post-1997 is still very interested in marketshare — just in music players and phones.
    3. What’s Apple’s bank balance have to do with anything? They have more cash on hand now than companies 10x their size.

    By the way, contrary to popular belief — John Sculley is the Apple CEO that signed the agreement which gave Microsoft permission to copy the Mac GUI for Windows 1.0. Jobs had already been stripped of power by then.

    Here’s the original letter sent by Bill Gates.

    You should watch “Triumph of the Nerds” the PBS documentary.
  20. bruinsrme macrumors 603


    Oct 26, 2008
    What cheap garbage is MS selling?
    A number of people on MR say MS software is overpriced?

    Help me understand please
  21. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    Your friend doesn't even know the historical facts.

    1. Steve Jobs was ousted from Apple when Apple lost its market share.
    2. Microsoft used anti-competitive practices to obtain their market share. That is a fact, backed up by US government anti-trust criminal action findings.

    That is extremely mis-guided view. Without Apple there will be status quo: main frames, text based prompts, clunky unintuitive devices.

    Apple popularized:

    Personal Computer
    Portable digital media player that people want to use
    Phone that doesn't need a 100 page manual
  22. JFreak macrumors 68040


    Jul 11, 2003
    Tampere, Finland
    I'm sorry, it should've read "expensive garbage".
  23. belvdr macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2005
    No longer logging into MR
    Success is defined by the goals the individual sets. Those goals don't necessarily have to be monetarily driven either. If my goal is to keep my family in a warm home and provide them loving care, then I feel I am succeeding. However, if those goals were changed to becoming a multimillionaire, then I am still working on it (or failed). Honestly, setting a monetary goal is good for budgeting, but in terms of success, I don't believe it's a good idea.
  24. rdowns macrumors Penryn


    Jul 11, 2003
    I think IBM handing the OS market to Microsoft was probably the biggest mistake in the PC industry.
  25. MisterMe macrumors G4


    Jul 17, 2002
    This question is replete with ignorance of history—and current events.

    Prior to the IBM PC, there were many personal computer manufacturers and a few large ones. However, there was no dominant manufacturer. IBM became dominant because businesses purchased IBM PCs in carload lots. Microsoft gained its dominance by supplying the primary OS for the IBM PC. Microsoft entered into this agreement even though it did not have a product to sell. Microsoft duped Seattle Microsystems out of its Q-DOS which it rechristened PC-DOS/MS-DOS. The other Microsoft victim in this story was Intergalactic Digital Research and its CEO, Gary Kildall, whose CP/M was the inspiration for Q-DOS. Apple was not in the conversation.

    Windows became dominant by following-on from MS-DOS. IBM went on to become another victim when Microsoft double-crossed it with MS/PC-OS/2.

    Steve Jobs and Apple, Inc. are successful by any measure. As has already been pointed out, Steve Jobs is a billionaire. His computer company is only one of two pioneering personal computer companies to survive to this day. Such stalwarts as Tandy-Radio Shack, IBM, Texas Instruments, and Commodore are long gone.

    A review of the business section of today's newspaper reveals that Microsoft is having to reduce its workforce. Apple is not only successful; it is ascendant.

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