Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Rob Enderle: Wrong Again

Water is wet. Fire is hot. Rob Enderle knows nothing about Apple. These constants are what ensures we get a good night’s sleep. With that in mind, he produced yet another in his anthology of turds entitled “Why Apple Suddenly Sucks“. Some choice nuggets:

I was looking at the PlayStation Vita the other day, and remembering that, had this product come out two years ago, it would have easily eclipsed the hottest product of that time — the iPad — which cost more and did far less.

I doubt this. The iPad was a huge product. Everyone was speculating and chatting about Apple’s tablet, as they had been since the rumours began several years prior. The hype around the Vita today, or the hype around similar products around the time of the iPad’s launch simply isn’t—and wasn’t—as big as the publicity of the iPad.

Steve Jobs seemed to understand better than most the need to manage perceptions. As Apple’s most influential advocate, when he said a product was wonderful, it was wonderful. From the first iPod (which kind of sucked) to the first iPhone (which really sucked as a phone), we drank his Kool-Aid by the gallon, and raved about these products.

The only reason people buy Apple products is because Steve said we should. The only reason people ever liked the iPhone was because Steve said it was good. Every person who buys an Apple product are too stupid to look elsewhere because they (we) bask in his magnificence.

This is, of course, nonsense.

Now think about tablets. The market had largely rejected them, and Steve Jobs himself initially said that folks would never buy anything without a keyboard. Then he brought out the iPad. And even though it was really just a netbook without a keyboard, folks saw the result as magical and different.

People didn’t buy it because it was an Apple product. People bought it because it ran the same touch-based OS as the iPhone and iPod touch, as opposed to its competitors which ran Windows. Competing products were basically laptops folded in half. The iPad was thinner, lighter, had longer battery life, and ran a touch-optimised operating system.

Without Steve Jobs, the magic is gone. Microsoft built Windows 8 to bridge into tablets and optimized it for that experience. People love Windows 8 because it is an iPad experience without the compromises […]

He’s just reading off the PR package now.

[…] and because Microsoft is assuring early reviewers get a positive experience by making sure they get the right hardware, software, and services wrapper. With Mountain Lion, Apple is doing the more traditional thing of just tossing the product out there.

Mountain Lion is in a developer preview stage. Windows 8 is in a public beta stage. These are completely different.

But without Steve Jobs selling the magic, folks are having a WTF moment. Instead of seeing the world through Steve’s reality distortion field, they are looking at the product critically and finding it lacking.

Nowhere does Enderle cite any early reviews of Mountain Lion, nor make any specific points as to what he thinks reviews dislike. His entire rant hinges on his unsubstantiated, unreferenced statement that 10.8 sucks. And, from what I’ve read so far, reviewers are generally enjoying it. The biggest controversy so far has predictably been Gatekeeper.

This article also relies upon his opinion that Windows 8 is amazing and beloved by reviewers. On the contrary, while the adaption of the Metro interface and the speed of the OS has been widely praised, most seem unconvinced by the combination of a desktop and tablet operating system.

David Pogue:

On a nontouch computer like a laptop or desktop PC, the beauty and grace of Metro feels like a facade that’s covering up the old Windows. It’s two operating systems to learn instead of one.

Matt Warman:

[…] it’s a weird, clunky, stupid duplication. Only Microsoft would provide an operating system with two different versions of its own web browser, available in two different places, with the same name and looks but different capabilities.

Furthermore, the two operating system updates aren’t even comparable. Windows 8’s Metro interface is a radical and interesting reconsideration of standard desktop paradigms. Mountain Lion’s name identifies its purpose as a relative of Lion. There’s no magical tablet interface, but good, solid updates throughout. Of course, Enderle doesn’t mention any of this. In his world, Mountain Lion is an utter failure (“sucks”) and Windows 8 is the future of everything. The reason this is occurring is because Steve Jobs is dead.

Rob Enderle should start flipping burgers. It’s hard to screw up as badly as he did here.