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[MacHACers] MacHACers: Evangelism: Apple turnaround is a Jobs well done

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  • Ron Ustach
    - *The views expressed are the individual s and are not the views or policies of Raytheon or Hughes.* - This is nice. Thanks to Pete Johnson for forwarding
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 27, 1998
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      *The views expressed are the individual's and are not the views or
      policies of Raytheon or Hughes.*
      This is nice. Thanks to Pete Johnson for forwarding this to me. - Ron

      ---------------- Begin Forwarded Message ----------------

      From Computerworld magazine (

      Apple turnaround is a Jobs well done
      Bill Laberis

      I can count on one hand -- without affecting my typing speed -- the number
      of times I've praised a computer industry executive in an open forum. That
      said, the IT community owes a debt of gratitude to Apple's mercurial and
      dogged interim CEO, Steve Jobs.

      No, I don't expect any of you will put a hold on the 400-MHz Pentium IIs
      you've ordered for your corporate users in favor of Apple's snazzy new
      IMac. Nor do Apple and Jobs' rise from the ashes necessarily mean that
      Apple will regain what used to be a strong niche presence in the
      (though I wouldn't bet against it, either).

      If nothing else, the birth of the IMac means there's still a force out
      there that can compete against the staid Intel-based PC world -- albeit in
      the consumer space for the time being. Real innovation in the PC space is
      alive and well. And where competition and innovation thrive, consumers (at
      home or in the enterprise) benefit.

      People such as Bill Gates and Intel's Andy Grove surely don't
      Steve Jobs. While he didn't invent the graphical user interface, he made
      usable for millions of consumers years before the Wintel duopoly could.

      It wasn't Jobs who set Apple on its recently reversed skid as much as his
      successor John Sculley, who refused to broadly license Macintosh
      technology. Sculley was succeeded by the hapless, bumbling Gil Amelio, who
      appeared to personally drive the final nail into Apple's coffin -- never
      mind his apologia of a memoir or his claim [CW, July 27] that the
      present resurgence is a result of an Amelio grand plan.

      This is still an industry in which ego and individual drive -- as well as
      innovation -- count. Jobs' unflinching confidence, even his showmanship,
      have keyed a resurgence of optimism at Apple and among its formerly
      distraught dealers. The IMac itself sports the first truly distinctive
      basic design changes to the PC in years, while staying loyal to its
      ease-of-use pedigree. I guarantee you will end up supporting them in your
      users' home offices.

      By contrast, what innovations can you cite in the Intel PC business, other
      than those owing to Moore's Law? Dell, the fastest-growing PC maker in the
      past five years, doesn't so much make PCs as assemble and market them.
      innovation in the PC market is directed at imitating Dell's brilliant
      distribution strategy. Now the Wintel crowd has to at least wonder what
      Jobs might have in mind beyond the IMac. In a world of bloated inventories
      and thin profit margins, Apple sits atop a pile of IMac advance orders --
      for a floppy disk-less, odd-looking machine that sells for $1,299, no

      True, some order-makers are Apple diehards fired by pent-up demand. But
      most "Mac nuts" aren't nuts at all: They're just people who believe the
      Macintosh was the best, most complete, friendliest PC available. What does
      Jobs know that the Wintel world doesn't?

      I'm not suggesting that Jobs' vision includes trying to replace the PC as
      the corporate standard, or even mounting any kind of enterprise attack. I
      do believe that Apple's re-entry into the computer market with a viable
      attractive offering will be a wake-up call to a PC industry that has grown
      sleepy in that company's absence.

      And for that, you should drop Jobs an E-mail and say thanks.

      Editor in chief at Computerworld from 1986 to 1996, Laberis is now
      president of Bill Laberis Associates, a consulting and publishing company
      in Holliston, Mass. His Internet address is bill@....
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