Massive head starts

Since I can’t comment on daringfireball (heck, that’s half the reason for this blog existing…):

History is on Microsoft’s side here—we know what happened the last time Apple had a massive head start.

(Gizmodo or Engadget gushing over Windows Phone 7 Series inevitable victory over the iPhone.)

Not to be a smug dick here, but wasn’t the last time Apple had a massive head start over Microsoft the iPod? Speaking of which, no word on whether Windows Mobile 7 phones will support PlaysForSure.

(Gruber’s response)

To which, I’d like to add—and to what “massive head start” was the first “smug dick” referring? Apple’s dominance of the PC industry? Never happened. Not even the Apple II in its heyday dominated its market. Perhaps its vice-like grip on the Enterprise? Oh no, wait, that was IBM—Microsoft’s partner. Apple’s entry into the home computer industry? Microsoft was founded in 1975, Apple in 1976.

  • Neal

    I would imagine he meant the head start Apple had in GUI OS development in the mid 80s. But as Gruber has already written, that analogy is not relavent at all. Microsoft leveraged their monopoly in the PC OS market with DOS to push Windows. They don’t have that same advantage in the Mobile market.

  • If, as you suggest, he’s referring to Apple’s lead in GUI OS development, then Microsoft never caught up (although they greatly narrowed the gap, to be sure), so that seems unlikely. It seems quite clear that the supposed lead was in [imagined] market share, not technical — or other — virtues.

  • Neal

    Possibly, but I don’t think it’s all that clear. Most tech pundits believed MS caught up to Apple in OS design with Windows 95. Apple users know that’s not true, that’s the general perception. So when pundits refer to the mythical head start, some mean market share while others mean technical advantage, but never specify which because in their minds it’s obvious. Both are wrong, and we can both agree the writer is showing his ignorance here.

  • Neal: fair enough. Most tech pundits are wrong most of the time, after all — and we certainly can’t expect Gizmodo/Engadget to be any less wrong any less often. My take on the Windows Phone 7 Series launch gushing vs. iPad dissing is that it’s going to be very funny in retrospect.