Terrence O’Brien writes on the Switched web site that there is an endÂ reason why the business media have such a crush on Apple, its products, and its leader, Steve Jobs — the backlash when things start to go wrong will give them even more to write about.
O’Brien wrote, “Though the tech site CNET gives Apple’s OSX operating system only slightly higher marks than Windows Vista, articles on the site routinely talk about Vista as if it were an STD. Engadget posted a 30 year retrospective of Apple, when doing the same for Dell or HP would be considered absurd. Remember the original iMac? Or iBook? Those candy-colored fashion PCs that were underpowered, overpriced and ran the ridiculously outdated OS 9? When released, they were heralded as a new era for computing.
“Think for a minute about what everyone’s attitudes toward Apple would be if history had forked in the other direction and made Apple the big dog instead of Microsoft. Everyone complains about how restrictive and oppressive Microsoft is, but take a good hard look at Apple’s lock on the iPod and iTunes. Look at its refusal to open up iPhone to third-party applications. Why are these crimes excusable when lesser offenses committed by Microsoft are met with the contempt of just about the entire Internet? We don’t want to sound like Microsoft evangelists here, because we’re certainly not (see our coverage of the Zune). We just like to wonder what the world would be like if Apple and Microsoft switched places. Imagine how impressed the media would be with Microsoft’s underdog operating system that runs on any computer, unlike Apple’s locked operating system, which requires the purchase of an Apple computer.
“The iPhone is a big moment for Apple, and not just because of all the money and market share it’ll earn. This isn’t like the Apple TV or Mac Mini where no one cares if it lives or dies. If the iPhone is a long-term success, it’ll catapult Apple into a new stratosphere; it’ll prove that all of this positive press and public good will is deserved. If it fails, however, we’re sensing a backlash the likes of which Apple has never experienced, and from which it may never recover.”
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