Pirates and pioneers

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Technology
May 16th, 2003 • 12:08 am

David Zeiler has a good little read of an article over at SunSpot.net on Apple’s innovative prowess and Microsoft’s “good enough” products:

Pirates and pioneers” by David Zeiler, SunSpot.net

It’s particularly interesting to hear about Tim O’Reilly’s views of Apple and its position in the computer industry. Tim O’Reilly, who was interviewed for the column, is the founder and president of O’Reilly & Associates, the computer book publisher, which has become an essential purveyor of Mac OS X-specific books in the past couple of years:

It’s clear that a commodity hardware business model with standard parts and multiple players works better than a proprietary business model,” O’Reilly said, comparing Apple’s plight to that of Betamax and VHS, where the former’s superior technology lost out to the widely adopted standard… “What’s remarkable is that Apple has survived and prospered despite being incompatible with an industry standard and overwhelming market share”…

The Betamax/VHS analogy is getting a bit tired, and tends to resuscitate fears that Apple could suffer the same eventual fate — but what’s just as remarkable to me these days is how O’Reilly manages to make money producing so many Mac OS X-specific books. I guess that small market share does translate INTO significant books sales just the same!

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