My case in point is the apparent human need to compare and contrast which seems to pit us against one another in some sort of war where we jump from battle to battle. Let me start with Microsoft vs. Apple, or, the Mac vs. Windows.
Losers, Winners, Whiners
For more years than I care to count there was this battle between Microsoft and Apple that involved customers of each camp.
Windows users hated Apple and the Mac and called them cult members and fanatics. Mac users hated Windows and PCs and Microsoft. It was Apple vs. The World of PCs.
For the most part, those days are gone. Even Steve Jobs said Microsoft won, so get over it already. What Apple did from then on is a textbook study in resilience.
The Mac’s marketshare increased steadily in the 21st century, and while nowhere near Windows’ dominance, became the most adored and profitable personal computer line on the planet. Microsoft slumbered.
Meanwhile, Apple moved away from the hatred of Microsoft and Windows and started working on the next great thing, which actually became plural– iTunes, iPod, iTunes Store, iPhone, iPhone App Store, iPad, a seamless ecosystem of wonderful digital devices.
Just when it seemed as if the world was falling in love with Apple, again, along came a spoiler, an antagonist which copied much of the iPhone’s interface, and made it freely available to most of Apple’s smartphone competitors.
And, that created yet another war, but this time it was Apple vs. Google, and iOS vs. Android OS, and iPhone and iPad against Samsung, Microsoft, Nokia, BlackBerry and every other company vying for a position the mobile device arena.
I’m convinced these battles of business are actually a reflection of humanity. We seem to have an inherent need to hate something or someone, while touting our own choices as the best of all possible worlds.
We see the same tit for tat in online forums for computers, networking, automobiles, smartphones, PCs, tablets, operating systems, as well as health remedies, politics, and religion. Our connection to the online world seems to amplify our need to voice opinions which often vilify those of whom we may disagree.
Why can’t we all get along? Indeed.
Whether we use a Mac or a PC, an iPhone or a Galaxy S 3, or BlackBerry or Kindle Fire HD or iPad, we have certain commonalities, both good and bad. We’re instantly connected to each other and that breeds friction, taking sides, and quickly voiced opinions which are all to easy to share with the entire world.
It may seem as if it’s always Apple against the world, but it’s really more of us against each other.
Worse, some of us in the industry of technical punditry seem to take glee in stoking the fires of controversy whenever possible, facts, common sense, and reasonable arguments be damned. Sometimes it’s fun, and other times it’s just vented hatred and anger.
My vow for the new year is to make the comparisons more fun, delightfully barbed, and pleasantly palatable to cook what needs to be heated without inflaming the reader.