Tuesday, September 11, 2007

You say "Apple", I hear "control"

Ever since I came out as a Mac user little over a year ago I've been very happy with this choice. Unfortunately "choice" is not really word from Apple's vocabulary. Everything related to products, music, software, public relations, technical support and so on is very tightly controlled by Apple.

I do understand that control give us the fully integrated experience we get from Mac or iPod but sometimes it's simply overdone. One of many examples could be the famous Macbook Random Shutdown problem. It took Apple way too long to even acknowledge the existence of the problem and it really upset the community of users. Sometimes the control becomes completely counterproductive: you can't simply report a problem with iTunes to Apple. You have to pick from "I bought the wrong version of a song", "I bought the same song twice" and other pre-fabricated options that blame you, the user, before you can even send message to Apple.

Larry Lessig called me once a post-communist capitalist but I don't think he was correct. I am simply looking for more balanced relationship with my computer/music player/software/media supplier. And I guess this is why I am using Ubuntu more and more. At the end of the day Ubuntu means: "I am because we are, and since we are, therefore I am"...

PS. Apparently the other possible meaning of Ubuntu is "I can’t configure Debian"...

4 comments:

stefan said...

That Lessig remark obviously was a compliment :-)

Kris Tuttle said...

Apple is very lucky. They can get away with some bad attitudes thanks to how horrible the competition is. Things like power supplies that pop and force you to go spend almost $100 a few times are minor but still frustrating. Expecially since they refuse to acknowledge the problem which is well documented in a number of forums.

I priced out a Dell today which came to about $800 versus the $1800 I just paid for a near-equivalent iMac and the $2500 the same would cost in the form of a MacBook Pro. I just can't stand to have a Dell running Vista unless it is actually free.

Ubuntu is certainly worth a try but the reality is Apple has the pleasure of demand exceeding supply and extracting high margins without always putting the customer first.

Eric said...

Wall Street Journal did not give Ubuntu the best review for folks that don't know technology like Roman Stanek does!

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB118963540721725614.html?mod=todays_us_nonsub_marketplace

STanda said...

On the choice subject... perhaps Mr. Smith conveyed Apple this message. To me Linux has too much choice in some aspects which, as it turns out according to the presentation, discourages some people from using it.

This is where as Linux and MS Windows user I am saying well done to Apple and Microsoft (at least in the desktop area).