Here’s a testament to Steve Jobs’ influence on the industry: a snapshot of the tech news aggregator site Techmeme, with the stories about Steve Jobs, his resignation and Apple highlighted. As I wrote this post, the answer to the question on everyone’s mind, the “Tim Cook: Apple is Not Going to Change” story, became the headliner.
Also notable: at the bottom of the story pile: a story about Microsoft. The Techmeme page used to be peppered with them, but they’ve become increasingly rare over the past couple of years. If it weren’t for the sponsored BizSpark articles in the right-hand-side column, there’d be times throughout the day when there were no Microsoft-related stories at all. In the meantime, I can’t recall ever checking into Techmeme and not finding an Apple-related story.
Keep in mind that this is all based on casual observation and not from carefully logging the contents of Techmeme over the past few years. However, I’m there fairly often as a practitioner of the Global Nerdy technique for using Techmeme to drive more people to your blog.
Courtesy of Edible Apple, here’s Apple co-founder Steve Jobs giving the finger to the IBM logo in a photo that appears to date from “sometime in the early 80s.”
If you weren’t around or too young to remember those times, the rivalry wasn’t between Apple and Microsoft (in fact, the AppleSoft BASIC in the Apple ][ series of computers was produced under a Microsoft license), but between Apple and IBM, who introduced their Personal Computer, a.k.a. “PC” in 1981. We knew that this rivalry would become quite fierce when Apple fired the first PR salvo with this ad welcoming IBM to the personal computer industry, whose big players at the time were Apple, Radio Shack and Commodore:
I can’t remember if it was former Apple Evangelist (and one of my role models) Guy Kawasaki or former Apple UI guru Bruce “Tog” Tognazzini who made the astute observation that the PC was the responsibility of IBM’s “Entry-Level Systems” division, which it implied that the PC was something you’d use until you decided that you wanted a real computer.
Apple’s relationship with IBM has always been a little bit rocky, first with the rivalry and then with their ill-fated alliance in the 1990s. This alliance produced only one thing I would consider a “semi-success” – the PowerPC chip, which was completely dumped by the end of 2006 – and a number of flops that came from the Taligent and Kaleida projects, including “Pink”, “Blue” and ScriptX (which, unlike Pink and Blue, actually made it to the :half-baked” stage; I actually got to noodle with during my early days at Mackerel Interactive Multimedia). The alliance, which was meant to counter the threat of an increasingly powerful Microsoft never quite made sense to me, nor did it to Guy Kawasaki, who once likened it to two people getting married because they hate the same person.
The nature of the IBM/Apple relationship lives on in the current legal battle between IBM and Apple over Mark Papermaster’s hire, which is why I’m sure Edible Apple found the photo interesting.
On the off chance you hadn’t heard, Steve Job’s WWDC Keynote address takes place this afternoon at 1 p.m. Eastern. Silicon Alley Insider will be liveblogging it as will MacRumors. You might also do well to check Summize, who will be working with Twitter to help it through the expected WWDC chatter-fest.