Things change. Those days are gone and perhaps the world is a better place because Apple moved beyond the Mac and advanced the state of the art with iPhone and iPad, and integrated our devices in ways that only Steve Jobs envisioned decades ago. Today, the company is Apple Inc. and the nemesis is not IBM or Microsoft. It’s the U.S. government.
Along the way from riches to rags and back to riches again, Apple kept moving the bar forward by adding more capability to the Mac (remember Wi-Fi, no floppy disk, SSDs instead of HDDs, no SuperDrive), and expanded our computing horizons with the iPhone and iPad.
If I were running Apple, I would milk the Macintosh for all it’s worth — and get busy on the next great thing. The PC wars are over. Done. Microsoft won a long time ago.
As our lives moved ever more online it was Apple that recognized privacy and security were issues we should care about even before we knew we should care about them. Remember FileVault on OS X? It’s inside System Preferences, inside Security & Privacy. Think of iPhone-like automatic encryption of Mac files; encryption that cannot be cracked without a password. Apple did that back on OS X 10.3 Panther, circa 2003.
Did the government make any noise about that level of personal and private security back in 2003? “The Mac? Pfft! Apple lost to Microsoft so who cares?”
Now Apple is the world’s largest technology company, a gadget maker with a billion customers, and each of them have devices which can be locked down so tight that the government has to take Apple to court to gain access.
I’ve always wanted to own and control the primary technology in everything we do.
Life was so much simpler when Apple was the Mac, the nemesis was Microsoft, RISC vs. CISC was a thing, and the coolest new Apple products were portable music players, and the only controversy was whether or not the iPod and iTunes would ever show up on Windows.
Those days are gone. Today, governments everywhere want Apple to make access to secure data on iPhones as simple as authorities clicking on a few buttons in an app. Thankfully, Apple has respectfully declined, but this is a series of ongoing battles in a war; a struggle for power between the forces of good and evil, and based on how governments treat their citizens and the rights to privacy and personal security, I’m not always sure who the good guys are.
It’s better to be a pirate than to join the Navy.
This ongoing ware between Apple and the forces of evil (whether they be terrorists, hackers, criminals, or government officials) has been brewing for many years. FileVault exists for a reason. Because Apple sometimes knows what customers want and need even before they want it or need it.
It’s really hard to design products by focus groups. A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them
How Apple got into this battle with various government agencies is obvious. Apple’s DNA, reinvigorated by Steve Jobs and advanced by Tim Cook, makes the company Think Different™ and that means the company easily fits into the role of giant slayer.
Slay away, Apple. Slay away.