Heaven forbid that I link to Slashdot, but heck, it has its moments. Throwing Out Software That Works, they say.
Basically, Marco Arment, an intelligent blogger with a massive Apple lust, posted this article about how Apple is making change and stuff.
Do we define success in terms of market impact? As the writer of a blog with the word "Linux" in it, I'd have to say I disagree there, but then again, it's not exactly as if I'm in the market in the first place.
Dave Winer posted this response.
Do I agree? More or less, sure. My thougths are more directed toward Marco's original post to begin with.
I look at the iPad, and I say, "Well, why?" There's no reason for it. My laptop already works. On the software scale, he's right: it's too locked down. But even on the hardware scale, I don't see the point. We already have fully functional hardware. No, what we have is not too complicated. It's just fine*. Let's talk when we get to some actual innovation (which, sorry to say, touch screens are most definitely not).
Talk to me when we have operating systems that make me more productive than I already am on my Debian desktop. I can do anything I want in a few button presses, with ease. Everything works like it should. It's stable, easy, and clean. If you can come up with something better, it better be a damn near miracle of computer science.
Hey, if you like the iPad, whoo hoo. But lets not throw what we already have out the window just because Apple's making money. Their power is one that barely needs to be stated, so it's not like their market influence was a surprise to anyone. Apple could release an elephant in a pink tutu for their iPhone 5 and everyone will start copying it anyway. Instead, let's let Apple be Apple, and focus on making something, you know, worth upgrading to. Here's a hint: a copy of Apple's schtick is not something worth upgrading to.
This is why I don't buy a smart phone. This is why I don't want a tablet. The market is mumbo jumbo that jumps at any new idea because it's NEW, not because it's BETTER. Apple's a fine company, I won't dispute their quality. But really, do we need to chase after every new gadget? Do we need to throw everything out just to build it back up again?
We're so busy chasing after something NEW that the marketing department can sell to the masses that we forget why we use technology in the first place. Maybe where we are right now is just fine.
*I've discussed before the odd fear some of the population have of computers and technology. While this is certainly notable and it's fine for some markets to chase after it, a product built around a fear of technology does not make a great product by default. I fully expect, as generations roll past, the computing world to reject its old ways of thinking once we remove the consumers who fear change and learning. What this will mean on an innovation scale remains to be seen.