Robert McLaws: Windows Edition

Blogging about Windows since before Vista became a bad word

Apple Clearly Cannot Ship Anything Right

Any loyal reader of my blog knows that I have a severe disdain for Apple. But many of my readers incorrectly assume that the disdain stems from some kind of religious zealotry, or that I’ve never actually used Apple products. It actually stems from the fact that I started my computing career as a huge Apple fan, and my “uncrashable” computer crashed one too many times within a 24 hour period while working on a critical project. I got tired of the outright lies about Apple products security, stability, and reliability… so I gave Steve Jobs the finger and never looked back.

I do, however, always watch with great interest whenever Apple tries to launch a product. Because lately they have been unable to do so without failing on a massive scale, and for some reason, the mainstream press doesn’t seem to care. MobileOpportunity’s Michael Mace seems to have the reason pegged:

The second problem is that Apple's skill at PR has somehow turned into an excuse for reporters not to do their jobs. The implied message in the CNET article is, "if you don't put on a spectacle, the press will ignore your products." Excuse me, but isn't the press's job to dig out the real value and separate it from the hype? Don't we pay you (or sit through your ads) to look past the PR and fancy speeches and advise us on what really matters? If we just wanted someone to echo the latest hype, we could get all our news from blogs.

It’s too bad that, instead of using fact and investigation as a differentiation between it and blogs, CNET has instead given every reporter at least one blog, from which to spew forth all manner of editorial speculation (AKA feeding the hype machine). Need more proof?

Now I understand why Steve Jobs said the original iPhone would be a closed system because “you need it to work when you need it to work.” It wasn’t that developers in general are incapable of writing robust software that doesn’t crash the hardware (which most Windows Mobile developers have been doing for a while now), it’s that *Apple’s* developers are incapable of writing software that doesn’t crash the hardware. Right out the gate, the App Store suffers from problems that could have easily been fixed with a String.Trim(), or god forbid, some try-catch error handling around calls to a server. And why does every iTunes release have to be followed-up with a .1 point release?

Apple wouldn’t know quality control if it was first in line for the “Steve Jobs Circle-Jerk.”

You wanna know the most ironic part of the iPhone 3G launch? The only part that ran smoothly was the purchase process before activation, which apparently was powered by Microsoft. Go figure.

Case in point, Firmware 2.0.1 is already being tested, just 4 days after release. Par for the Apple course.

Posted on Jul 14 2008, 03:20 PM by Robert McLaws
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  • Menge said:

    I'm sorry, but this is so biased.

    OS X Leopard is hardly a failure. At the beginning of this year, just a few months after Leopard's introducition, over 20% of the installed user base was already on Leopard. The file bug you mentioned has been there for a long time, even before Leopard and if I'm not mistaken, has been fixed. Yes it was a stupid bug. But that hardly qualifies it as a "failure"

    The iTunes Music Store, again, is hardly a failure. It's the most popular online music sales service deployed and it's still growing. iTunes being buggy... well... lots of people seem to have lots of bugs with it. I personally have no problems. But that doesn't make it a saint :)

    The App Store is still too early in its life to be judged as a failure. Seriously. Four days?. Just like any other new system that quickly becomes popular, it's being exploited by bad people. I don't know what Apple's going to do about that. But I sure hope that those who exploit it get banned from it and that Apple takes some action to avoid those issues again.

    About the iPhone launch: not a failure at all! Come on! First weekend: 1 million units? I bet that a lot of systems would be overwhelmed (which is what caused the *temporary* iBricks you mention). They probably didn't foresee this kind of demand. And to make your argument even more invalid, the bricks were temporary. Everyone who had their phone bricked could easily activate it later on in the same day.

    And the IE part. That wasn't Apple's fault. Vodafone's credit check website was badly built, so it only ran on IE. So that one was supposed to be a jab at IE's lack of standards AND at Vodafone's cheapness ;)

    July 14, 2008 4:00 PM
  • Jeremy said:


    you're just another apple fan. I personally tried to buy a 3G iphone only to wait in line for 3 or 4 hours cause the whole system was down. If you think this recent iphone launch was not a failure, then you too are biased.

    July 14, 2008 5:37 PM
  • anon said:

    Menge, are you illiterate? He's clearly not talking about sales and commercial success but rather Apple's inability to launch a product without problems or at least not major ones.

    It's amazing that someone is dumb enough to have missed that, the complete point of this story. You're an idiot.

    July 14, 2008 6:17 PM
  • JoeM said:

    So true,  can't believe how lazy the News Media has gotten.

    Also interesting that I have not seen any news media report the issues Apple is having.   They are all claiming, that there are no problems.  How sad.

    July 14, 2008 7:26 PM
  • Aaron said:

    Robert how about users having problems with Windows activation and genuine software checking? Xbox 360 the largest hardware warranty extension in history?

    Im a .Net developer who uses a Mac for personal use so I live between both camps, and to see an MS fan having a dig at Apple for quality is just laughable. Mac fans are just as bad for having an obnoxious superiority complex. But MS fans have no right whatsoever to have a go at other companies when it comes to quality given MS's track-record.

    And I saw plenty of worldwide bad press about the iTunes server problems, not sure how you missed any of it.

    July 14, 2008 9:03 PM
  • Adrian said:

    Oh my, I haven't laughed so much in ages.  If you'd seen the number of crashed Windows mobile devices we see on an endless basis you might take the selectively rosy glasses off.  But keep it up Mr Antiapple, we need the laughs

    July 14, 2008 9:41 PM
  • Throzz said:

    Oh,What would I do without this page. It's hilarious! And yes it's realy terrible that the moment you get your apple product from store to your house there is .1 version of software waiting in web. Damn this apple for being so responsive to customer bug feedback... Ofcourse microsoft products are bug-free so there is no need for .1 versions ;) Keep the good work Robert at keeping us entertained.

    July 15, 2008 6:07 AM
  • Menge said:

    @Jeremy: Not an Apple fan. Most of my computers are Windows-based, actually ;) You should've read my post better. I never said that there wasn't downtime. I just said that it was temporary and that it sold a crapload. if you were to watch Spiderman on its premiere night, you'd probably wait in line for a ton of time or even not see the movie at all that day. In my opinion, that qualifies as a success.

    @anon: Shush, man. I know it's the internet and no-one can kick your ass for being a bad-mouth, but you should try not being one anyway. It's called good manners.

    Respect the site. Robert always got us interesting news regarding the Windows side of things.

    July 15, 2008 12:07 PM
  • Throzz,

    If they had managed beta programs and any kind of quality control whatsoever, they might not have a new version waiting for you by the time you get home on launch day.

    Just a thought.

    July 15, 2008 6:33 PM
  • Bryan said:

    What's that about not forseeing selling 1 million units in 3 days?  What crap!  Last year when they launched the original iPhone it was done primarily in the USA, and many months later limited availability within Europe.  The iPhone 3G is the phone they should have released last year, instead they release a nice phone and then release a slightly souped up version and call it gold.

    I don't go so far as to call its releases a failure though.  

    Robert is spot on the money about Apple's poor quality.  I think we are seeing this in greater quantity as time goes on, how many major patches do they have to release to get things right.  In the case of Microsoft's Windows platform they at least have the excuse that their software is run on an open computing platform and that their extensive testing may not capture everything, but in the case of Apple they control their hardware and the operating system so I fail to understand why their testing procedures let so many things slip through.  

    July 18, 2008 9:13 AM
  • Throzz said:

    I know, I know, Apple products are of such a low quality (at least in comparison to microsoft's) and they're totally lacking of beta testing that what you originally receive in store is just a mere beta :) On the other hand are absolutely tested and 100% working microsoft's products that don't need any .1 updates (because they are so great).

    July 20, 2008 3:45 AM
  • Seawolf said:

    I do believe his point was not that they were low quality but that they do tend to have glaring issues.

    Myself....I don't care what Apple does or doesn't do, so they can do whatever they like.  Last Apple product I used was an Apple 2+ when I was eight years old or sommat.

    July 22, 2008 12:34 AM