It's So Confusing
Tuesday, September 2, 1997 by Dave Winer.
Apple fires its CEO, creates a new board, makes a deal with Microsoft, and is silent on licensing. Weeks go by, leaks everywhere, still Apple is officially silent.
Henry Norr, a columnist at MacWEEK, got the numbers from Dataquest, and finds that the clone vendors were not responsible for Apple's downfall.
Even if Apple had gotten all Mac sales of all the cloners over the last few years, they would still have declining sales and big losses.
Apple's press release ran this morning. Apple pays Power $100 million in Apple stock and Apple gets "the right to retain key employees with expertise in direct marketing, distribution, and engineering; Power Computing's customer database; and the license to distribute the Mac OS operating system."
Apple board member Steve Jobs says "We look forward to learning from their experience, and welcoming their customers back into the Apple family."
Apple welcomes Power customers. But these people specifically chose not to be Apple customers.
There was no mention of Power's new faster unshipped Macs, which are presumably lost in the deal. Also no mention of CHRP, the hardware design that would have finally freed the Mac OS from control by Apple.
We do know that Apple's major competitor is out of the Mac business.
Customers who value choice must be confused.
Apple is making huge changes in the structure of the Mac market. We have no clear statement from the company about licensing, or really, what the Mac OS is, and where it is going.
The Mac OS, which I want to be more free, is being more completely tied to a vague set of unstated priorities.
Apple is looking for a CEO, and along with that must come a new management structure. I was hoping that Power's management team would become the new management hierarchy at Apple. Unfortunately, in the process of doing this deal, Power's management team quit.
I had a serious cold this weekend, lots of time to think...
On Saturday, as the information about this deal was appearing on the major Mac websites, I decided to do an exercise, and pretend that I was the new CEO of Power Computing, after the deal with Apple.
It's still a good plan. I guessed that Power would have $25 million in the bank, but in fact it's $100 million. Even better.