Reuters report on Apple sets off our bias alert (updated 3:41pm)

“Unlike most personal computers that run on the Microsoft Windows operating system, Apple computers are based on a proprietary Macintosh platform,” as reported by Reuters here:

If you believe the sentence quoted above is questionable, please direct your questions to Reuters via this contact form.

Also in the same article, Reuters fail to report that the US$1999 Power Mac is a dual 1.25 gigahertz G4, by omitting the “dual.”

UPDATE: 11:53am: It’s spreading already, as Reuters does so well, the Houston Chronicle has picked it up:

UPDATE: 11:54am: Now Forbes has it, too:

UPDATE: 12:15pm: CNN Money picks it up:

UPDATE: 12:17pm: It has spread to India:

UPDATE: 3:41pm: Reuter’s fixes questionable line in Apple Power Mac story: MacDailyNews story. Reuters fixed it at 1:05pm EST.


  1. Holy crap, Batman! What, exaclty, do Reuters think Microsoft Windows is? Not proprietary, it seems? Never mind – I’ll ask their editors with a nice concise email… Biased bastards!

  2. I agree it’s a badly worded sentence that reads very poorly. However, the Macintosh platform IS proprietary. Apple is the only company making Macintosh computers, right?

    While Windows is owned by Microsoft, the platform “most personal computers” can be any x86 hardware capable of supporting the OS, NOT a proprietary platform.

  3. Actually, when that article referenced “proprietary platform”, they were talking about Apple’s HARDWARE platform, and they’d be right. You can of course run Windows on most any PC that has the minimum requirements (or thereabouts). But with Mac OS X, it’s Apple hardware, only.

    The article is remiss in not mentioning the dual mid level mac and no mention of the top end Mac. Plus, their bias causes them to ignore the facts that Apple’s loss could ALSO be attributed to their agressive brick and mortar retail efforts, as well as their R&D budget, which is the highest of all computer manufacturers, by percentage of their gross revenues. Also, plant closures sure sounds ominous by itself, but taken in context of much of the computer industry outsourcing manufacturing, it’s a non-issue.

  4. The story is accurate. The Mac hardware platform is proprietary, and the x86 platform is not. Please don’t harass Reuters over this and make Mac users look bad.

  5. “…as well as their R&D budget, which is the highest of all computer manufacturers, by percentage of their gross revenues…”

    While I’m glad you carefully qualified that statement, in fact, I’ll bet anything that’s not true either. The problem is that most computer companies don’t actually release that information to the public, so it’s interesting that a statement like that can even be made.

    I’m willing to bet there are computer companies out there with very small revenues who are spending most of their money on R&D – ONO Computers for one would be a good example – trying to build a very small PC based wearable computer which can clip on the belt, but still has a 4″ VGA LCD screen.

    Apple may innovate in their choices of technology to include with their computers – and they may innovate in their case designs, but under the hood, they’re way behind the curve both in terms of horsepower and design.

    There is definitely more innovation in OSX than in their hardware, but a lot of it is grafting bits and pieces of NextStep, MacOS 9 and BSD together into a sort of Frankensteinian hulk.

    I can see how that takes a lot of R&D dollars, yep.

  6. What’s with this “proprietary” thing? As far as I’m concerned, if I get sued for creating a clone of an OS or a CPU, then that OS and/or CPU is proprietary. Which version of Windows is open source? The fact that it’s ubiquitous does not keep it from being proprietary (i.e., closed.) In fact, give the existence of Darwin, I’d have to call OS X much less “proprietary” than Windows.

  7. Nice hunka sarcasm, there, Jeff Lewis. I see you provided no more hard fact to support your rebuttal of my post than you did with your wild guess about companies like ONO Computers (and they are…?). Heh, I shouldn’t diss ONO, really, and I hope they put out a great wearable computer (that would easily show more value than Apple’s new ridiculous iPod jacket). But really, I should have referred to the MAJOR companies in the computing world in my post. I would agree with you that there are probably lots of minor startups struggling to make ends meet while developing a new product.

    HOWEVER, your sarcasm deserves no less than a whack on yer peepee. So, from CNN.COM’s financial pages I submit this quote:

    “In the past quarterly report, Apple spent 8 percent of its revenue on research and development, versus R&D spending of just 5.4 percent for Hewlett-Packard and 1.3 percent for Dell.”

    I suppose all that 1.3% from Dell went into that “ground breaking” PocketPC of theirs?


    Now, do you want to hazard a guess as to Gateway’s-or even Sony’s PC subsidiary’s-R&D budget? You go find those figures for them and we’ll see. But, of the MAJOR and RELEVANT GIANTS of computing, I bet Apple is even beating eMachines, gosh darnit! 😀

    As always, PC bigots such as yourself always look at half the picture (it seems that MacAddicts aren’t the only ones wearing rose colored glasses). You simply look to Apple’s hardware side and conveniently ignore their OS and software products… WHICH IS REALLY WHAT APPLE IS ALL ABOUT! Mac OS X is the BEST OS out there, and Apple’s software products are extremely well designed. If you haven’t tried them, you are unable to offer a valid opinion of them (yes, I use XP. For fun. Just to see how deeply it sucks). If you asked EVERY Mac user you saw whether they would choose to live on a desert island with EITHER a beige computer running Mac OS or a snazzy looking Apple computer running Windows, guess what the answer would be, to a man (or woman)?

    Here is the CNN.COM article:

    Thank you. DRIVE THROUGH!

  8. Strange that the article says that the computer runs on the operating system, rather than the operating system runs on the computer. Both Mac and PC hardware can run a variety of operating systems, but only Apple can build a computer that runs Mac OS X. x86 and PowerPC computers, as well as hardware platforms using other chips, are available from a variety of vendors.

  9. Mellifluous wrote:

    “What’s with this “proprietary” thing? As far as I’m concerned, if I get sued for creating a clone of an OS or a CPU, then that OS and/or CPU is proprietary. Which version of Windows is open source?”

    I write:
    But, the use of the word “platform” refers to the computer on which the OS runs. You can walk into any ma & pa corner PC store and bolt together a platform that will run Windows (and Linux), but you can ONLY run Mac OS on Apple built hardware (I have seen websites where folks have built Mac OS boxes from the ground up by scrounging for used mobos on the internet, but that’s hardly the norm). Ego, the PLATFORM IS proprietary.

    As for Darwin, sure it’s open source, but if you look at this page: ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

    We don’t want Linux.

    No matter how cheap it is.

  10. No hardware innovation? Open Firmware rather than BIOS (like Sun) to allow Firewire booting, 802.11g, IEEE-1394 (Firewire)—this counts for nothing? Maybe the new iMac’s arm-mounted flat-panel screen is merely design innovation, but I think it’s certainly a “hardware” innovation. And let’s not forget the dropping of the floppy disk years ago. The PowerPC chip itself is a collaboration between Motorola, IBM, and Apple, and Apple has been designing a lot of the bus interfaces on the motherboard to maximize performance. I don’t think the Altivec instruction set didn’t come from IBM. Apple spends well over 10 times as much money on R&D as Dell, and its vertical integration allows it to build machines that are significntly different inside than commodity PCs. I mean, MICROSOFT does more hardware innovation than Dell (tablet PCs).

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