Dvorak on Mac Versus Windows

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Date: Thursday, September 9th, 2004, 12:51
Category: Archive

Just like the politicians I can’t tell if John is trying to mislead or if he just doesn’t know any better in his article “Tipping Point or Sticking Point?” But unsupported statements like this can’t go unchallenged. Click through to read more…


Just like the politicians I can’t tell if John is trying to mislead or if he just doesn’t know any better in his article “Tipping Point or Sticking Point?” But unsupported statements like this can’t go unchallenged.
For those who didn’t read the article, John is ranting about two “myths” regarding the failure of superior technology. The first is Beta vs VHS to which he ASSUMES the reason beta failed is because of recording time. The second is of course Mac vs PC (and he throws in Linux) to which he assumes the quantity of software and price to be the real reasons.
Below is my response:
To assume that the sole reason Beta lost was because of recording time is way over the top. Yes that could have been an issue but cite proof that recording time was the primary decision maker for VCR buyers. I can’t prove what caused VHS to beat out BETA or Windows to beat out the mac but I have a theory that I would like to share with you.
The basic premise is, good enough is fine for most people!
Here is my support for this theory (and yes it is just a theory)
Back in the 80 and early 90’s, if you asked people about using the Mac vs PC’s they would tell you that GUI’s are slow and inefficient, not that there was not enough software. They would say that “Nobody gets fired by going with big blue” meaning that because the PC was backed by IBM it was the correct choice for business. They would even tell you that it would be damaging to their long term employment to learn Word and Excel instead of using the industry standards Lotus 123 and WordPerfect.
But today we see all of the “excuses” used to avoid switching to the mac were just that. This is because of ignorance at the time and people having a vested interest in the choices the had already made. People who use PC’s had tried Windows and other GUI’s that were slow and cumbersome and made assumptions about how the Mac must work. Then in the 90’s Microsoft finally made some products that were “good enough”. Windows 3 and 3.1 were bad but in comparison to what PC users experienced it was so much better that it was “good enough” to keep people from moving to Mac. Windows 95 extended the “good enough” model.
Just like the politicians I can’t tell if John is trying to mislead or if he just doesn’t know any better in his article “Tipping Point or Sticking Point?” But unsupported statements like this can’t go unchallenged.
Today, we see another good enough product about to kill a superior product. I would argue that TiVo is the best PVR available today. Better remote, better interface, more advanced features. Someone please try to prove me wrong. But few people know how great TiVo is. What they know is how current recording devices work and they simply can’t imagine how much better a PVR could be. Before TiVo really gets it’s head of steam up, cable companies have started coming out with their own products. These products are not as feature rich, stable or easy to use as TiVo but compared to a VCR they are definitely “Good Enough” to keep people from trying something new.
Oh, and BTW: I would argue that most people don’t care or even want 50 word processors and 30 spreadsheets and 25 photo editors etc. They just want the best software for each task they do. Today, whether or not they know it, in many consumer use areas, Apple is delivering the best of breed applications bundled with their systems.
Here is hoping that more people decide that Good Enough just isn’t.

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