Apple continues to shine as company nears 30th year

“Silicon Valley’s historic orchards have virtually disappeared but one notable fruit still stands: Apple. As the storied company celebrates its 30th birthday in a week, Apple Computer Inc. will have brushed off its bruises from product failures and arguably misguided decisions to emerge with a shine that’s more than skin-deep. Its brand name and products – from the Mac to the iPod – resonate as both hip and innovative,” May Wong writes for The Associated Press. “Apple’s journey began in 1976 when two college dropouts – Jobs, a marketing whiz, and his friend Steve Wozniak, an engineering genius – filed partnership papers on April Fools’ Day, their eyes set on building and selling personal computers.”

“Their first product was a build-it-yourself computer kit. A year later, in 1977, the Apple II microcomputer was born. It was not the first personal computer but it was the most successful – a hit not just among engineers, but home users, too. Many credit the Apple II as the genesis of the personal computer revolution. Apple’s cultural and technological influences only grew from there,” Wong writes. “The Apple Lisa, introduced in 1983, used an innovative icon- and mouse-based graphical user interface that laid the foundation of today’s computers and replaced the previous arcane text-based systems. But the Lisa was a commercial flop: Its high price – $9,995 – sent business users to PCs from rival IBM Corp. The hugely successful – and more affordable – Apple Macintosh followed in 1984, giving birth to desktop publishing by allowing users to create their own newsletters or printed material. Microsoft eventually copied the user-friendly graphical interface and licensed its Windows software to manufacturers who copied the IBM PC. The clones proliferated while Macintosh sales were hobbled by Apple’s decision not to license its software to other hardware makers.”

“In 1996, when Apple was struggling for a foothold in the personal computing market and its efforts to upgrade its operating system were going nowhere, the company bought Jobs’ second computer company, NeXT, returning the prodigal son to the fold, and later to the helm,” Wong writes. “Jobs, whose charismatic persona is the face of Apple, led the company’s resurrection with one breakthrough after another – first with the iMac, then the slick new OS X operating system, then the iPod music player, then the market-leading online iTunes store.”

“Apple may still hold roughly only a 4 percent share of the worldwide PC market, but analysts say its current operating system set the bar for rival Microsoft with innovative features, including 3D-like imaging and a side pane for “widget” applications. Many analysts expect that Apple’s market-dominating iPod – which works with both Windows and Macintosh machines – and its new computers based on Intel Corp. chips – the same used by Windows – will help grow Apple’s slice of the PC market,” Wong writes. “No matter how well the company does with its future endeavors, many things people do today – from desktop publishing to music downloads – will long be regarded as the fruits of Apple.”

Full article here.

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  1. Actually I think the author was referring to the much-maligned Dashboard…which actually I’ve gotten used to, especially since I set my Mighty Mouse to open it when I press the side buttons.

    One of my biggest complaints about my dad-in-law’s computer is that it’s covered with icons — you can barely see the desktop wallpaper (of course he’s on a Windoze machine so there’s not much to see anyway ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”raspberry” style=”border:0;” /> ). Thanks to Dashboad and the Dock, my desktop shines bright; on the right side the only icons I have are the hard drives (main and external), my “cruise info” folder with all the documents I’m working with for my vacation planning, and a folder where I keep miscellaneous stuff until I figure out exactly where to store it as well as images I’ve captured off the Net but I haven’t decided if I like them enough to add to iPhoto. Much cleaner, especially when I have a particularly beautiful desktop photo…and with Spotlight it’s relatively easy to find stuff I need…

  2. Apple’s decline did not come from failing to license it’s operating system. It was bad business decisions and the belief that the MAC was so great that consumers would pay more. It spiralled out of control. They failed to innovate and fell behind (Sounds like what Microsoft is doing today). It was the wisdom of Gil Amelio’s crew to update the OS and bring Steve Jobs back.
    If Apple licensed it’s OS like Microsoft did, its OS would of turned out crappy just like Microsoft’s. The WINTEL alliance would have crushed the MAC and today we would all be stuck with crappy Windows machines.

  3. “Microsoft will have a special widget.

    Vista Not Responding Please Reboot”


    Microsoft would be doing their victims um, ah, users a huge service if the widget reboots your computer then opens the page for the Apple Store.

    Is it just me, or is the press piling on Microsoft today? Slashdot had three threads one after the other, discussing the announcement that 60% of the code in the consumer version of Vista would be rewritten, a link to the Forbes piece berating Vista for being user-unfriendly, and the fact that Office 2007 was going to be late.

    What’s interesting is that many posters point out one of the points made in the book “The Mythical Man Month” wherein the author states that software projects are slowed dramatically when more programmers are added late in the project. According to them, by stuffing more programmers into Vista at this late stage, Microsoft is practically guaranteeing that the ship date will slip even further.

    Redmond is being battered by bad press, and the first quarter has only just ended. 2006 is going to be a very bad year for Microsoft. The belief is already out there in the mainstream that they’re confused and unfocused, and it’s only a matter of time before Wall Street reacts to reports of ineptitude, unfounded or not.

  4. Okay Bottom pane for widgets…. Feel better now?

    Dashboard does not use a “pane” at all. Widgets can be placed anywhere on the desktop, unlike the cludgy implementation of Gadgets in Vista, which are limited to one side of the screen and must be scrolled through to get to the one you want. A half-assed copy at best.

  5. Meanwhile Apple´s stock dropped again, closing under $60.

    What is that for a drop from its high – 30%?

    Yeah, I know MDN….it´s a buying opportunity. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”tongue rolleye” style=”border:0;” />

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