CNBC’s Jim Goldman: Dan ‘Fake Steve Jobs’ Lyons and his ‘real bad argument’

“As I read Dan Lyons’ Newsweek tome this week about the evolving Big Bad Apple and how it is becoming a Microsoft monopolist in training, it struck me as odd. And bordering on unfair,” Jim Goldman writes for CNBC. “Full disclosure: I loved Fake Steve. But there’s something in Lyons’ real voice as an Apple wag that just rings hollow.”

“He writes that not long ago, Apple was a niche player. But today it’s a mega player so powerful that smaller competitors are forced to live on its scraps to survive. Wait a second! It’s not as if Apple paid some magical fee and instantly became what it is today. The company slaved and sweat and innovated and built a better musical mousetrap (thank you iPod) and millions beat a path to Cupertino. Apple indeed became powerful and successful but because it earned it,” Goldman writes.

MacDailyNews Take: Unlike Microsoft, which, if you will remember, used a poorly written contract signed by an unprepared sugared water salesbozo to poorly rip-off Apple the last time the Cupertino-based innovator slaved and sweat and innovated and built a better musical mousetrap, the Macintosh.

Goldman continues, “Lyons suggests that innovations in AppleTV, as an example, are leading to the demise of a smaller competitor called Vudu, which had been “winning rave reviews” for its competing product. In January, he writes, “Apple struck back,” expanding its own movie catalog, lowering its prices, and (*gasp) improving its product, leading — Lyons surmises — to Vudu layoffs. Huh? Did Apple do something wrong there?”

MacDailyNews Take: Of course not. Lyons is just being his usual R.A. self. This time with a particularly amateurish, highly-flawed “argument” to boot.

Goldman continues, “Is Lyons suggesting that innovating, that economic Darwinism, is somehow bad? I thought this was America.”

Lyons “compares iPod/iPhone and their exclusive connection to the iTunes digital media store to Microsoft’s operating system and its control of the applications that run on it. This is a red herring at its finest: Microsoft achieved its monopoly through arm-twisting and predatory behavior,” Goldman writes. “Apple enjoys massive digital music market share not because it threatened all of us to buy an iPod, but because it had the foresight and influence to build an easy-to-use, convenient and fairly priced online store to go along with it.”

Goldman writes, “I think Lyons simply misses the point: ‘want to’ versus ‘have to.’ Apple customers ‘want to.’ Microsoft customers ‘have to.’ Well, it was ‘have to’ until, ironically, Apple came along.”

Full article – highly recommended – here.

MacDailyNews Take: It’s nice to see that others are noticing Lyons for what he is, too. If you haven’t yet bookmarked Jim Goldman’s Tech Check over on CNBC.com, please do so now. His articles about Apple Inc. are usually fair, interesting, and informative; in other words, everything that Dan R.A. Lyons’ scribbles aren’t.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Mike in Helsinki” for the heads up.]

29 Comments

  1. MDN:

    You forget (and I hope I’m remembering correctly) that Gates essentially tricked Gary Kildall into selling the OS (that became DOS) for next to nothing, when he knew he was signing on to supply IBM with it.

    If it wasn’t for that little trick, MS would long be history.

    Microsoft never cared about quality, aesthetics or the user experience. Money first and money last.

  2. I think it’s fair to say that when any company becomes big and a success, then there are potential issues when they come to expand into other markets as to how they leverage their existing markets and any unfair advantage that may give them, and Apple certainly shouldn’t be immune from them just because their products are good. Abuse of a monopoly, irrespective of how deserved, is still abuse and should be monitored appropriately. Apple and Microsoft are completely different in regards to how they’ve achieved their success and how they expanded.

  3. Since one jerk or another on here always has to throw in a political comment, I thought I would toss one in too. Make sure this November that you don’t vote.

    There, that should do it. This party Duopoly gives always gives us the same situation. In the last 30 years can believe that on 16 were productive with change.

    And for those that don’t know, those would be the Reagan and Clinton years.

  4. <i>”You forget (and I hope I’m remembering correctly) that Gates essentially tricked Gary Kildall into selling the OS (that became DOS) for next to nothing, when he knew he was signing on to supply IBM with it.”<./i>

    Pretty obvious you have no idea what you are talking about. Kildale’s CP/M had nothign to do with MSDOS or Bill Gates. Gates bought his (QDOS) off of Seatle Computers…

    Another Big Bad Mac Expert who rants without having the slightest idea what he is talking about…

  5. Yeah, he tried to trick Gary Kildall into selling CP/M for next to nothing, but Kildall wasn’t available at the time (was out flying an airplane I believe), so Gates bought QDOS instead.

    Either way, Kildall lost out big time.

    Some of us “Big Bad Mac Experts” do actually know what we’re talking about. So, the guy above got two stories confused. No need to be a jerk about it. Plenty of Big Bad Windows Experts don’t know their *** from a hole in the ground, so what’s your point?

    MDN: along… can’t we all just get along?

  6. “Yeah, he tried to trick Gary Kildall into selling CP/M for next to nothing, but Kildall wasn’t available at the time (was out flying an airplane I believe), “

    Ahhh, stillno. No one tried to “trick” Kildall into anything. Kildall’s wife refused to sign the NDA, but it was Gates who in fact tried to HELP Digital, suggesting CP/M 86 to IBM…

    In the end, Kildall offered his OS to IBM at $240 a copy compared to MSDOS’s $40…

    Guess that amounts to a “trick” in the fanboys mind…

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