I got this email from Apple Support about my Apple ID. That’s not surprising since their developer site may (or may not) have been breached last Thursday (see here for details).
It was a little more surprising since I’m not an Apple developer and don’t have an Apple ID – but hell, I’m not going to argue; they might sue me.
But, despite the fear of being sued, I would suggest that Apple spends a little time on its grammar and style checker. The spelling’s not bad, but it doesn’t seem to understand the relationship between full-stops (or American periods) and spaces.
Oh, and that sentence. “We need your help in order to not be frozen your account,” is decidedly not Anglo-Saxon in structure.
So, Apple, until you can improve things, I don’t think I’m going to bother with you. But one last thing. Although you’ve got the link “update Now >” looking quite reasonable, I do suggest you change the name of your support site hidden beneath it. http:// e-kosmetyczka.waw . pl/404.html could almost look like a scam site.
Cult of Android, the online antidote to the online Cult of Mac, announced on 13 September, “Ladies and gentlemen, I wish I was making this up, but unfortunately I’m not… They’ve actually filed a lawsuit against an online Polish grocery site…”
Cult of Android’s Vincent Messina was, of course, writing about Apple Inc. Fresh from a colossal victory against rival mobile colossus Samsung, it was reported that Apple’s lawyers had now targeted an online Polish grocer called A.pl. ‘A’ is the first letter of the alphabet. .pl is the web suffix for Poland. A marketing argument is thus that A.pl will appear very near the top of any alphabetic listing of online grocers in Poland.
The problem, however, seems to be that A.pl sells apples; and that’s getting perilously close to trading off. But worse than that, A.pl has (had, it seems to have removed it), a picture of an apple; and A.pl’s apple looks too similar to Apple’s apple for Apple’s lawyers.
Two days earlier, Reuters had summarized the argument. “‘Apple brand is widely recognized and the company says that A.pl, by using the name that sounds similar, is using Apple’s reputation,’ patent office spokesman Adam Taukert said.”
“A.pl chief executive Radoslaw Celinski said: ‘The accusation is ludicrous’.”
Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, who is famous for having a different and more liberal attitude towards patents, said, “I hate it.” He was, however, talking about Apple’s victory over Samsung. His views on Apple Vs A.pl are not yet known.
Back on 7 August I suggested that Microsoft’s plan for its own tablet was a big mistake (A Microsoft-made tablet? Big mistake). I may have been wrong – but only if it is part of a completely new and wider strategy.
Let’s look at the Big 4: Apple, Google, Microsoft and The User.
Microsoft’s strategy is built on the predominance and continued dominance of the PC. Without the PC there is only a small Microsoft – and the PC is in decline, and possibly a terminal decline. Microsoft’s strategy is in decline.
Apple’s strategy is built around owning everything, both hardware and software – and charging an obscene price for that monopoly. So far it has worked very successfully; but if you listen to the undercurrents from The User there is growing User dismay over both the price of that monopoly, and the frequency with which loyal subjects are asked to dump existing product and buy new product. Apple’s strategy is at the apex, and the only way is down (with a slight delay when it dumps OS/X in favour of desktop iOS).
Google’s strategy is to base everything in the cloud, and to own the cloud. This makes distribution very, very cheap, and upgrades cheap, seamless and invisible to the User. Google is proving very, very successful in this strategy.
But what about The User? The User’s strategy is to demand everything now, preferably free (but at least very cheap), anywhere and anytime. Microsoft provides none of this. Apple provides some, but not much, of this. Google provides it all.
So on current strategies, Microsoft is doomed, Apple will decline while Google will grow and thrive. (Incidentally, Amazon seems to have seen the writing, and I rather suspect that all three will have to watch out for Amazon in a few years time.)
But what if Microsoft has also finally come to its senses? What if the Microsoft tablet is not just a one-off foray into hardware, but part of a completely new strategy aimed at combining Apple’s hardware/software monopoly approach with Google’s cloud efficiency?
There are growing rumours that Microsoft is about to switch from, say, 3-yearly Windows releases to yearly releases. This makes no sense whatsoever under the current strategy. Expecting users to buy a new operating system every year won’t wash. Unless…
Let’s say that the MS plan is not new operating systems delivered in box or on disk, but new downloads delivered from the cloud just as its current patches are delivered every second Tuesday of the month. This model would require something like an annual license for the OS rather than a fixed price for the box. If that license were around £25 per year (preferably less), few users could say that use of Windows for just £2 per month is excessive. Let’s now take that to the logical conclusion: Windows and Office both migrate to the cloud and are both upgraded or patched on a continuous basis, as and when required, and paid for on a low-cost rolling license.
So Microsoft’s new strategy could be to own both hardware and software – starting with its own tablet but moving into phones (perhaps by buying Nokia?) and desktops (perhaps by buying Dell or Acer, or even building new from scratch?) – in mimicry of Apple; and then maintaining its software in and distributing from the cloud in mimicry of Google. Such a strategy would combine the best of all possible worlds; and while it is by no means certain that Microsoft could do it, if successful it could reverse the decline of Microsoft.