New trend? High-profile columnists explain why Apple’s relevant; it’s about real innovation

Recently, two writers for widely-read publications, The Chicago Sun Times’ Andy Ihnatko and Stephen H. Wildstrom for BusinessWeek have felt the need to explain why they write about Apple and the Macintosh platform to the world at large.

“A reader asks why I write so regularly about hardware or software that only works with Macs,” Ihnatko writes. “It’s a fair question: By strict numbers, the Macintosh operating system only represents about 5 percent of the desktop industry’s users. But I put it to you that the Macintosh operating system accounts for at least 50 percent of the industry’s innovation. Apple has a consistent record of leading the way for everybody else, and what’s happening with the Mac today is usually a sneak-peek at what everybody will be using later.” Full article here.

“I’m often asked: Why do I write columns about Apple Computer products? After all, the Macintosh has considerably less than 5% of the market for personal computers, and among the business computer users who are the core of BusinessWeek’s readership, the share is even lower. Add to that the fact that secretive Apple is a difficult company to deal with — which would make it doubly easy to ignore its products,” Wildstrom writes. “That would also be very foolish of me, however. For all of its many faults, Apple is a fountain of innovation in the generally parched landscape of personal computing. That’s why its influence — what’s known as the tech industry as mindshare — vastly exceeds its market share.” Full article here.


  1. Good explanations both. I switched to Mac a year ago. Sorry it took me so long. Feels good to be awake now! Windows XP is so, ummmm… shoddy and thrown-together-feeling compared to Mac OS X.

  2. Actually, just about every desktop OS ever made compares to OS X, since OS X doesn’t advance the state of the desktop OS at all. Now, XP, with its task-based interface, that’s innovative. I’m sure Apple will rip it off eventually though, so keep paying for those upgrades, you lemming!

  3. Actually, Thurrott does work for Windows – though indirectly since Wintel products and services are the primary advertisers on his sites. Anyway, he does claim (very transparently) to own Macs. Yeah, right.

    Anyway, he sure does spend a lot of time on MDN. The question is why? His ridiculous statements about Wintel products – and uninformed misstatements about Mac – only expose his technical ineptitude and general ignorance on the topics at hand.

    I do have is site bookmarked – right next to The Onion and They’re all great comedy sites! Seriously, for a good laugh you should all check out his weekly “Short Takes” and other Wintroll propaganda. His outrageously biased remarks often remind me of the old Iraqi Information Minister, Comical Ali. YOU GO, PAUL! Long live the M$ Ministry of Misinformation!

  4. Peter, your sentence doesn’t make sense. I’ve even tried to decipher your statement using my “online/internet” translator for poor spelling, judicious use of acronymns and lack of punctuation and yet the phrase “semantic content” has no contextual meaning…. please elaborate.

  5. To “edumacated”:

    Semantic – Etymology: Greek sEmantikos significant, from sEmainein to signify, mean, from sEma sign, token

    I guess Peter’s comments went a little over your head, Paul (oops, I mean “educated”). To dumb things down for you a bit, he was implying that your comments contain nothing of value.

  6. A. I am not Paul.

    B. Etymology does not define the current meaning of a word (you jackarse.) I could give you thousands of examples where the etymology has a correlation to the current meaning of a word but is not a direct translation of such, however, you could also just pull out any dictionary and see such examples.

    C. “Semantic” means “relating to the meaning and significance of words in the context of linguistics.” “Semantic content,” as bizarre a phrase as that is, would infer that he is having a discussion of the linguistic importance of the sentence; it is not a disparaging remark towards the value of the content of the statement.

    D. This is an obvious case of persons attempting to use words that they do not understand. It’s best that if you don’t have the knowledge to use the language correctly to resort to the simple principles of K.I.S.S.: “keep it simple, stupid.” If he wanted to say that the sentence has nothing of value, he should have stated those exact words. As for “Atomic Bomb,” the only dumbing down necessary is probably that which would be needed for _you_ to understand my post.

    When so many Mac users are involved in professions stemmed from a liberal-arts background, I’d be careful not to spout useless garbage just to appear intelligent.

  7. Welcome to the linguistics forum. Today’s topic is “semantic”. As Mr. (Un)educated has taken a liking to explicit definitions (as opposed to inferred meanings) of words (and to criticizing open forum entries based on his preference), here are the relevant entries. Have fun.

    Main Entry: se?man?tic
    Pronunciation: si-‘man-tik
    Variant(s): also se?man?ti?cal /-ti-k&l/
    Function: adjective
    Etymology: Greek sEmantikos significant, from sEmainein to signify, mean, from sEma sign, token
    Date: 1894
    1 : of or relating to meaning in language
    2 : of or relating to semantics

    Main Entry: se?man?tics
    Pronunciation: si-‘man-tiks
    Function: noun plural but singular or plural in construction
    Date: 1893
    1 : the study of meanings: a : the historical and psychological study and the classification of changes in the signification of words or forms viewed as factors in linguistic development b (1) : SEMIOTIC (2) : a branch of semiotic dealing with the relations between signs and what they refer to and including theories of denotation, extension, naming, and truth
    3 a : the meaning or relationship of meanings of a sign or set of signs; especially : connotative meaning b : the language used (as in advertising or political propaganda) to achieve a desired effect on an audience especially through the use of words with novel or dual meanings

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