Slug: wrong-choice-bzzzt Date: 2001-01-18 Title: Wrong Choice? Bzzzt layout: post
Dave thinks Apple made the wrong choice in buying NeXT Computer back in late 1996, and basing Mac OS X on it.
"What if Apple had done the deal with Be instead? Oy. They made the wrong friggin choice. There, I said it. "
I totally do not believe this. Be had its opportunity. Apple looked at the technologies involved, it looked at the histories of the two companies, and it looked at what each brought to the table. Sure, there was more to it, but Apple made its choice, and I think it was the right one.
1) Would Jean-Louis have had the success turning around Apple that Steve Jobs has had? Steve may be an ass sometimes, but he's a veritable icon (in the Catholic sense) in the Mac community.
1a) Would JLG have created the iMac? No. We'd all be using dual-proc G3's right now, and there'd be half as many of us.
2) Does JLG understand the consumer market? No. Steve does.
3) Be concentrated on media markets, an area Apple already owns. NeXT brought experience in the enterprise market - and very sucessful experience at that. We're just beginning to see what that's going to mean for Apple.
4) Be's UI was a toyed-up clone of the Mac UI. NeXT's was due for a face-lift anyway, paving the way for Aqua. If Apple had bought Be, Aqua would never have happened. Was Gil Amelio going to push Apple to create something that took people's breath away? Hahahahahahaa… Contrary to Dave's opinion, Mac users will move to Aqua, as long as it just works. Having used Mac OS X for months now, I can say that it took me (a LONG time Mac user) exactly one day to "get" the new UI.
Dave also says the release dates are going to slip on Mac OS X - they may slip some, but believe me, Dave, OS X is ready for the desktop. I just spent a week at MacWorld, and it was packed, every day. There was never a time when there wasn't a line at every Mac OS X box there. 75% of the booths there had a "coming to Mac OS X" poster on them.
Update: Dave's reader's, per his own survey, seem to agree with me.