My view of the Apple announcements

Ernest Prabhakar (
Wed, 6 Aug 97 17:40:09 -0700

Hi all,

I figured the FoRK Voyeurs (Foyeurs?) would be interested in my spin on
the story. Bob's already written his piece, so he doesn't need my bits.

I got to Apple at 5:58 AM. I was actually in a good mood, since I had
been woken up at 5 AM by a phone call from my girl in Russia. There
aren't many good ways to be woken up at 5 AM, but that was definitely one
of them...

The Town Hall at Apple was almost full, which I think comes out to a few
hundred people. It occurred to me that Gil Amelio would have trouble
getting that many for a 6 PM talk, never mind 6 AM. MY main reason for
being there (rather than the 9 AM rerun) is that I didn't want to hear any
heart-rending partial news after the fact while driving to work.

It was amazing to see the crowds reception of Steve. The introduction guy
(Chris Crawford?) said something like, "A man who almost needs no
introduction" and the crowd starting roaring, and it was sort of
anticlimactic when he finally introduced Steve.

By crowd, I mean the one at MacWorld. The fun part was that Steve would
say something, the crowd would react to that, and then the Hall (at
Cupertino) would react to the crowd.

The Hall only reacted directly to two statements:
- when Steve announced the new board, everyone cheered
- when Steve announced Larry, everyone booed
(then laughed when Steve asked, 'was that a boo?')
Nobody clapped when Steve asked to thank the outgoing board.

For the record, I am excited by the new board. It was interesting to
have him pick the two most interesting software companies that are
completely safe from Microsoft (CA and Novell aren't really interesting).
As a finance guy in my day job, I like having two Wall Street
heavyweights - I'd love to sell them a corporate performance measurement
job. I do wonder if Intuit will revisit developing Quicken for the Mac
(I'd heard they stopped).

The high point for me was the things he didn't say. For example, after
announcing the MS deal (very well done, BTW), he said, "We need to stop
thinking it is wrong if others succeed. If we do badly, it is our fault,
not theirs." I -really- hoped that was an Intro to announcing a
licensing pact with cloners. However, it was only talking about Microsoft
again. The statement "Apple + Microsoft = 100% of the desktop market, so
we can set the standards" was a little chilling, but effectively true (I'd
say 95%, actually, if you include all desktops; Bob says 92%). Could
make things interesting with JavaSoft...

It was also amusing that the cover page said "partners" but he only
introduced one partner. Further, he entirely skipped the last section on
"New Products." For my part, I was very grateful. While an NC strategy
would have been fun, I'd just as soon Steve not make big public statements
about what Apple woud do. Not only does it give our new CEO (and
probably Chairman) room to make decisions when he comes, it gives the
troops (and me in particular) room to flesh out what makes sense. In
contrast to Gil Amelio's statement about "supporting all current shipping
Macintoshes", including the infamous NuBus-based PB 1400.

And for the record, I think it is great that Steve is stressing Mac OS,
and didn't even mention Rhapsody. I think we can do our job better if
we're out of the limelight, and Apple will do better if people are focused
on Mac OS 8. Don't worry, we won't disappear (even if I do :-)


-- Ernie P.

Ernest Prabhakar
Rhapsody Product Marketing Manager (until Aug 15th)
Email:   Phone:(408) 974-3075  Fax:  (408) 777-0751</nofill>