Woz: spin off iPod, Intel Macs ‘like consorting with enemy,’ Microsoft is ‘Darth Vader’

“After being all but written off by the tech industry in the mid ’90s, Apple Computer Inc. has made a startling resurgence. But that doesn’t mean its latest strategies sit well with Woz,” Peter Nowak writes for The Globe and Mail. “Being super rich often results in the acquisition of some strange hobbies, and Mr. Wozniak was in New Zealand recently for a four-on-four polo tournament played on two-wheeled, self-balancing Segway gyroscopic scooters.”

MacDailyNews Take: Being a super-eccentric nerd king doesn’t hurt either.

Nowak continues, “[Apple’s switch to Intel from PowerPC] ‘is like consorting with the enemy. We’ve had this long history of saying the enemy is the big black-hatted guys, and they kind of represent evil. We are different, and by being different we’re better,’ Wozniak says. ‘All of a sudden we’re the same in this hardware regard, so it’s a little hard to swallow your words from the past.’ Still, the switch to Intel is a necessary one from an engineering standpoint, he said, because Apple needed a way to improve performance per watt. Mr. Wozniak would have liked Apple to continue using Motorola processors, but ‘Intel just did a very good logic design.'”

“Mr. Wozniak has mixed feelings about the iPod as well. The success of the devices has been fantastic for Apple, diversifying a company previously dependent on one product. But iPods are also distracting Apple from its focus on computing, he said, and the company might be better served by spinning off the business. Since iPods have their own operating systems, software and processor, ‘there’s a different group working on it anyway,’ he said. ‘We’re a computer company, and we really think computers. Spinning off a separate division makes a whole lot of sense,'” Nowak writes. “Mr. Wozniak couldn’t resist taking a shot at his long-time nemesis. ‘Microsoft wants to get out of the whole image of the big, black Darth Vader evil guy,’ he said. ‘Innovation is probably going on within the company, because any time you put smart engineers in places eventually they wind up talking and innovating no matter how much you try to hold them back. I hope Microsoft improves and becomes more like Apple.'”

More in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Note: Woz is not an Apple insider and is more than a bit removed from the company’s overall strategy, which is driven by Steve Jobs. Woz is out doing his own thing and that’s fine. If he wants to comment on Apple, that’s his prerogative; it’s always interesting. Woz’s website is also an interesting place. If you haven’t stopped by recently: http://www.woz.org/

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Related article:
Apple creates new division for iPod to be led by Jon Rubenstein – May 19, 2004

44 Comments

  1. Apple shouldn’t spin off the iPod because the iPod adds to Apple’s name recognition and that will also be good for the Mac. The company name is Apple Computer and as people see that more often, they will think about Macs. The kep is to make sure the full name is used often in conjunction with the iPod to get that computer recognition from people. That’s when a “halo” effect could truly make a major impact.

  2. Jar Jar did have an army. It was made up of strange looking poor communicators. They inexplicably won conflicts despite their opposition being far more technically advanced.

    Sounds like a bunch of MCSEs to me.

  3. Woz said…

    ” We are different, and by being different we’re better,”.

    Well, I can think of a lot of people who fit that “different” label, and simply being “different” doesn’t make some-one or some-thing “better”.

    “Doing something (a M$ branded mp3 player) weaker and somehow trying to use your size and market power . . . that’s just not good [enough] if you don’t turn out something superior.”

    Well, why doesn’t M$ just make it… “different”, therefore making it “better”.

    I think there’s a reason WOZ is in the wings these days.

    MW: CASE, as in Nut Case

  4. Woz continues to get a free pass when comenting on Apple. I guess he has earned it. In the early days I ranked him ahead of Steve in importance-sadly his comments over the past year or two has changed my opinion.

    APPLE STILL IS FOCUSED ON COMPUTERS (WOZ) AND THEY WILL BE INTERSECTING WITH IPOD AND DIGITAL HOME MEDIA AT A FASTER PACE SOON.

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