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Thursday, December 22, 2005

Apple commits the original sin with perfection

.... that is by offering Apple products.

Last weekend I was talking to my friend and he mentioned that Apple does not do any beta release! They do one release and that is the final release. OMG the suspense kills me! I keep a pace maker as backup.

And that is what ThinkSecret thrives on.

After I heard this, the question that popped up was why then Microsoft, with billions in its bank account and 50K plus employees in its buildings, has to go through one thousand and one releases before it delivers the final product and that too delayed. And after the release there would be at least five hundred and one service packs!

Since that conversation, I have been thinking why? So, it was time for an Apple-to-apple comparison, literally.

Apple vs. Microsoft
Apple caters to one breed, that breed is called Apple products. They have their own hardware to the bone and they have their own software to the kernel(they use a unix flavor, I think FreeBSD). Meaning, variables are all known or most of it. Everything is properitory to Apple.

Microsoft is a total softy i.e. all software nothing but software.
Microsoft's success from the very beginning relied upon "open source" hardware. You can pick up hardware from any junk yard meeting the IBM PC spec and MS product should be able to crash on it (pun intended) and be restarted! MS products run on AMD, Intel, VIA and numerous other processor manufacturer's gizmos and same goes with the memory and all the crazy "stuff" inside. And you thought only Intel was inside? Only the sofware is properitory. To meet such a wide variety it makes sense to have one thousand and one releases. And, I believe for the same reason MS also certifies hardware manufacturers for compatibility. Also, if one may have noticed that the number of times Windows is to be restarted has gone down significantly. Thanks to the multiple releases and service packs. Another point not to be ignored is the user base of MS products. We are talking over 600M desktops around the world.

I hope it makes sense. I don't know if Oracle has any beta's or they follow the Apple way, for that matter any other such manufacturers.

Also, a point to note, Google's more than half of its services are in a perpetual beta state. Should that not be the other way round since it is web service? It is all browser based, right? No, there are numerous browsers and Google caters to all browsers and they are uncountable in number. May be not. Here is a list of web browsers available. Bringing the browser compatibility takes time along with its own benchmarks on server side. Soon, Google should launch a new service list of all betas - Google Beta. Topping the list will be Google itself.