Apple, Samsung and Microsoft

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I read a very interesting article last week explaining why Microsoft were where they are today and why they have failed to make the most of numerous technological leads that they appear to have had over the years. The gist of the article is that it is down to the way the company is run – it has become far too committee based, the geeks aren’t allowed to develop things.

Now Apple on the other hand have a very different ethos – Sir Jonny Ives has recently said that they don’t aim to make money – just the best of anything – if that is then successful, and makes money, that is a bonus.

However, my concern is that Apple may be going the way of Microsoft. Money talks and Microsoft used to be able to buy their way out of trouble – that is not an issue for them at the moment and the once most valuable company in the world is now far from being this (it’s now Apple).

Apple have always been litigious, their current ‘spat’ with Samsung is the latest in a long line of court cases. And the ruling that Samsung should pay them $1bn in damages just seems too crazy to be right. I accept that protecting your designs and technology is important but this just appears bizarre! I particularly liked part of Samsung’s response to the ruling;

“it is unfortunate that patent law can be manipulated to give one company a monopoly over rectangles with rounded corners”.

I just hope that Apple don’t get to the point that they take their eye off the development ball to sue people.

What I have seen leaked about the new iPhone looks good – but is it really going to be so much better than the current Samsung’s? What I have seen of them suggests that they may well be ahead of Apple already! Are Apple taking their eye off the ball already?


7 thoughts on “Apple, Samsung and Microsoft

    Adrian Burns (@adrianburns) said:
    August 25, 2012 at 5:55 pm

    This is the equivalent of Ford (back in the day) saying to other car manufacturers, ‘OK you can make cars too, but they mustn’t be car shaped, or have wheels, steering, windows and a combustion engine’.

    Bad times ahead for tech consumers I fear. The US patent system can, it seems, be manipulated to stifle innovation and create a monopoly.

    I read this post last night and thought it made the point perfectly:

    And to agree with and back-up your point about taking your eye off the ball once you have crushed and bullied your competitors into submission and created a monopoly… I remind you of the horror that still is, Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.

      Simon Dare responded:
      August 25, 2012 at 6:00 pm

      Letting the marketing men and bean counters take control is a bad thing in a creative environment – I fear things will go badly for Apple if they continue in this way. Every dog has its day as they say, Microsoft was the 80’s and 90’s, Apple is currently the king, but for how long?

    Adrian Burns (@adrianburns) said:
    August 25, 2012 at 6:22 pm

    I respect that any company has to protect it’s own technology, but a rectangle with rounded corners? Slide to unlock? Pinch and/or tap to zoom? Single/double tap differentiation? The list goes on. That, to me, pretty much says no one else can make a mobile device of any kind – at least not one that’s usable.

    The worry for me is, there is no end, clearly, to what can be patented. I just see this mess getting a whole lot worse before it gets better, if it ever does. It’s costing the companies involved billions. it will end up costing us, the consumer, billions. The only people who will benefit are those in the legal profession. It’s madness!

    And yes I think you’re right when you say every dog has its day. And the bottom line is, no one likes a bully. Those kind of tactics almost ruined Microsoft, so I’m amazed Apple are following in the same vein with, it seems, an even bigger iron fist – despite being one of the biggest complainants when the shoe was on the other foot.

    Honestly, if I were Apple I’d be saying: ‘Great, let them copy us. We will carry on leading and innovating, while the rest simply follow in our wake’. That’s what’s been happening for the last decade, and it’s certainly not done their bank balance or public profile any harm at all.

    Adrian Burns (@adrianburns) said:
    August 25, 2012 at 6:28 pm

    That all said… If Apple don’t stake their claim on these ridiculous patents, some other company or individual will… So in a perverse way, it could be argued they’ve had no choice. Apple, or any other company, can only do what the law allows, or even encourages, them to do… What a mess! lol 😉

      Simon Dare responded:
      August 25, 2012 at 6:33 pm

      Just wait for the appeal – if it is heard in Samsung’s back yard rather than Apples it could well go the other way – and then who would be the villain! It is a poor situation from which no one wins in my opinion!

    Adrian Burns (@adrianburns) said:
    August 25, 2012 at 6:43 pm

    There was a case very recently in South Korea where the judge decided they’d both copied off each other. And, when you think about it, that’s probably the most logical outcome. Whoever owns the patent for any given technology can argue it’s been copied – and they all own vast libraries of patents, so it’s inevitable each one will (knowingly or not) be ‘copying’ off the other. Win/Win for the legal boffs, lose/lose for the rest of the world.

      Simon Dare responded:
      August 25, 2012 at 6:44 pm

      Quite – as long as someone makes very cool tech though it should be OK!

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