and it gets better...
* Responding to a heckler who told him "that he didn't know
*anything" about fixing Apple's
* problems, Jobs said that in many ways the heckler was
*probably right, adding "you've got to
* start with the customer experience and work back to the
*technology - not the other way
* around. I've probably made this mistake more than anybody,
*and I've got the scar tissue to
* prove it."
By Rick LePage (firstname.lastname@example.org)
San Jose, Calif. - It was a homecoming of sorts this morning
for Steve Jobs, the mercurial
co-founder of Apple, on the closing day of the company's
Worldwide Developers Conference.
Jobs' speech, billed as a "fireside chat," was widely
anticipated by the crowd of developers,
Apple employees and other Mac faithful, and Jobs disappointed
almost no one.
Jobs made no formal presentation; instead he spent more than
an hour taking questions from the
crowd. The questions ranged from OpenDoc technology to Mac OS
Jobs said Apple's biggest problem was that it had "suffered
for years from lousy engineering
management" and that the things the company was doing now -
simplifying hardware and the
operating systems strategy - were putting the company back on
He cautioned that "Apple has not turned around; they're in
the process of turning around" and
there was still a lot of work to be done.
OpenDoc was the focus of more than one question. Jobs
apologized for being "one of the people
who put a bullet in your technology," but added that Apple
needed to focus, "and focusing is
about saying no," he said.
OpenDoc might have been good technology, but "the rest of the
world wasn't going to use
OpenDoc anyway, so why should Apple do it?"
Responding to a question about development opportunities for
Rhapsody, Jobs said, "Microsoft
hasn't committed to port its productivity suite to Rhapsody -
what are you waiting for? ...
Adobe has not to my knowledge committed to porting Photoshop.
"I don't want Apple to be perceived as different; I think
it's important that Apple is perceived as
better," Jobs said.
One topic - the dominance of Microsoft Corp. and Intel Corp.
over the computer industry -
kept coming up, but Jobs quickly dismissed the talk. "The day
we started Apple, IBM was more
powerful than Microsoft and Intel are today. Should we have
stopped? Should I have nudged
Woz and told him we shouldn't do this?" he said. "No, we were
too stupid to know anything or
"I think it is incredibly stupid for us to believe that for
Apple to survive, Microsoft has to fail,"
Stressing repeatedly that he "doesn't make the decisions [at
Apple]," Jobs said that his view of
the Mac OS clone market was that the company should back off
on the hardware and sell the
software. "Let them [the clone manufacturers] design their
own hardware," he said.
Jobs said that he had "been advocating that Apple eliminate
the license on the hardware and raise
the price [of the OS] to a reasonable number based on volume."
Responding to a heckler who told him "that he didn't know
anything" about fixing Apple's
problems, Jobs said that in many ways the heckler was
probably right, adding "you've got to
start with the customer experience and work back to the
technology - not the other way
around. I've probably made this mistake more than anybody,
and I've got the scar tissue to
After Jobs' session, Apple Executive Vice President for
Marketing Guerrino DeLuca wrapped
up the official WWDC speechifying.
DeLuca stressed that Apple was working hard to fix its
problems and present a clear, concise
strategy for moving forward, and that he felt the company had
made good progress toward
achieving that goal.
The executive also showed more commitments that Apple was
executing on its plans. DeLuca
claimed that, out of 440 applications tested on Rhapsody's
Blue Box Mac OS compatibility
layer, only four applications failed to run.
DeLuca also added to the Rhapsody milestone chart by demoing
the full Rhapsody workspace
and desktop running on a PowerPC-based Mac, pointing out that
this engineering had been
accomplished only three days before. He also said that the
Rhapsody team had gotten
QuickTime up and running in the yellow Box on the same day.
Summing up, DeLuca said that Apple had made its choices: a
dual OS strategy centered now on
the Mac OS and in the future on Rhapsody; a focus on core
strengths in graphics, multimedia
and user interface; simplified hardware options; and better
management. Now, DeLuca told the
crowd of developers, it "is your turn to make choices."
People like Apple and would like them to succeed,
but that doesn't mean they will succeed. - Bill Gates
That's OK. He'll burn in hell. - Steve Jobs
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