Geography 970

January 31, 2010

Are Apple, Adobe, Microsoft and Google all evil?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jeremy White @ 4:08 pm

I think it’s easy to lose track of the perspective that large corporate entities can be underhanded, especially when those corporations are great at “corporate skinning.”  By corporate skinning, I mean the ability of corporations to present themselves in a particular light through marketing materials, product design and general presentational aesthetics.  Microsoft is really bad at corporate skinning and Apple is very good, but both of these companies are enormous for-profit ventures that are beholden to the stockholders and are willing to throw the consumer under the bus if the bottom line is in jeopardy.

It’s painfully obvious that Microsoft is up to no good when the anti-trust suits are filed with the systematic precision of a Swiss watch.  There are many reasons to dislike Microsoft and their products, but it’s rare to hear people talk about other tech companies with such disdain.  However, it seems as if there has been a bit more negative dialogue recently with the announcement of the iPad.  Apple recently began stepping up the counter assault by claiming that Google and Adobe are the to blame for leading consumers astray.  Apple has a history practices that would not be tolerated if they didn’t keep up appearances so well, such as suing a small hardware provider that would provide Mac clones at a reduced price, bricking unlocked iPhones through software updates, pressuring NYC to change their “big apple” logo, restricting all iPhone application sales to the App Store and making a profit of over 70% on some hardware.  Seriously, what would be the consumer reaction if Microsoft restricted the sale of all Windows Mobile applications to their own website?  Maybe consumers would react well if Microsoft accompanied the restriction with a few simple ads on white backgrounds and some clever words in an appealing font.

Adobe controls a majority of the desktop publishing market but their customer support is notoriously bad.  In a similar betrayal of the consumer, Google restricted search results for Chinese citizens, but changed its policy after receiving cyber-attacks on its own corporate infrastructure.  Changing your policy on global information rights based on your own corporate interests seems evil.  Just sayin’.

On any given day you’ll find me sitting in front of my Windows based PC, working in Photoshop while listening to iTunes and occasionally checking my iGoogle page for the latest news.  Buddha once said that “an insincere and evil friend is more to be feared than a wild beast; a wild beast may wound your body, but an evil friend will wound your mind.”  Are we placing too much trust in some corporations just because a few product designers and graphic artists keep hitting home runs?

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1 Comment »

  1. Thanks Jeremy – great post.

    Just a related follow-up…I was especially impressed to hear what sounded like a very honest appraisal from a former Microsfot VP about the inner workings (or, more to the point, internecine warfare) that has crippled Microsoft. Nonetheless, he does a great job of saying why we don’t necessarily want Microsoft to fail either: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/04/opinion/04brass.html?em

    Comment by markharrower — February 5, 2010 @ 11:41 am


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