Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Apple Crashing the Party

Proving that demo crashes / problems are not just a Microsoft-thang, Jobs crashed during his demo today at MacWorld. Per the entry over at Engadget:

9:21am - Spotlight just instantly searched 250,000 files, can sort by people. 9:22am - Spotlight offers searching within Corbis images. 9:23am - Steve just crashed Spotlight photo viewer! "Well, that’s why we have backup systems here." Force quit and recovered.

One of the more recent comments here:

The problem isn't the failure per se but MSFT's reputation for being buggy which such failures reinforce. Had it been Apple or someone else, many folks would have given them a pass.

And that seems to be coming to, ah, pass. I found a few entries noting the crash but zero amount of relishing in Apple software tanking so publicly. Interesting. However, of all the people in the world, I trust Steve Jobs to be with at least one less employee tomorrow thanks to today's crash.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

It is true Microsoft is often held to a higher standard, in situations like this. I've always thought this is partially due to Microsoft's huge fortune - after all, if Microsoft can't "afford" to do things right, pay for the appropriate quality dev and quality test time, then who else can?

I always think of it as a simple correlation: quality inversely related to profit. Given Microsoft's huge profits, it always seems to me they should crank up the quality. Of course, this assumes the goal is to produce the highest quality software possible, which would in turn instill confidence in people for all the various products. But, it appears the goal is to make as much money as as possible thus software is released with defects.

Spare me any lectures on the tryanny of being a public company or the fact all software has problems. Microsoft is extremely profitable and should have loftier goals.

That's what I see the apparent double standard in Microsoft's versus Apple's demo problems.

Anonymous said...

John Walker

At CES or at MacWorld, things happen during demos no matter what you do to prep for it. I'm sure that both the Microsoft guys and the Mac guys extensively tested the demos to make sure they worked well. Sometimes, especially regarding new technology, things happen. Have a look at the below link for an explanation from one of the hands-on people at the MS CES demo.

http://blog.seanalexander.com/PermaLink,guid,586bac82-e272-44f7-a439-a3d1e6176aef.aspx

It can happen to the best, as we saw today.

Anonymous said...

Big difference. Jobs was demonstrating un-released, non-production software. Gates was demoing stuff that MS has released into the wild.

Anonymous said...

Jobs had a backup, Gates didn't.

Anonymous said...

I don't see what your point is. It was a pre-release app on a pre-release operating system. He recovered very quickly and DID have a back-up. Gates just slunk back in his seat, looking increasingly like Stephen Hawking, but sans the brain. BTW, Jobs, who runs the company, was doing the demo, remind me what Gates was doing, oh, what? Taking to a late night TV host? Sheesh. Give it up.

Anonymous said...

MSFT built the company on the methodology of get a modest effort out intially, gather feedback, incorporate it over numerous releases and eventually end up with a comprehensive/solid product. That worked historically but my sense is that folks are increasingly fed up with this approach. They want insanely great (to use Jobs term) from the get go vs [effectively] successive betas. This is esp true of Corporates where deployment costs are huge. MSFT seems either unable or unwilling to acknowledge this change and adapt accordingly. Indeed, even Longhorn with its ridiculous timeline seems likely to follow a similar path and I saw Gates quoted recently reinforcing this [historical] approach. In that latter case I believe it was re Search and we all saw how well that first attempt was received [insert collective yawn].

Anonymous said...

First of all, this wasn't "MicrosoftWorld" we're talking about. It was CES... Bill Gates was a guest speaker, not the host. And I doubt having Conan there was his idea. Although personally I thought it was pretty cool.

Second, there weren't any crashes. IR interference with the remote doesn't qualify as a "crash." A five second delay in the internet connection isn't a "crash." The "blue screen" during the Forza demo wasn't a crash. It was a development build and the "blue screen" is just part of the XDK debugger. That screen doesn't even exist in retail hardware.

Michael said...

Geez, people. So what? Get back to work. A demo crashed. It happens all the time.

Ever had a light bulb go out? The idea that electrons in computers are passing at mind-boggling speeds across metals encased in silicon while arguing with magnetic fields over which way to go is enough to make my head explode.

Move on already...

Anonymous said...

The big difference is that Jobs was working on a BETA of Tiger and Gates had a finished version!

Anonymous said...

I think the important differentiator here is that, MSFT's mission or value (at least when it originlly started) was to put a desktop computer on everyone's desk - making computing easier, with software. In no where, it said to create the best software in the universe, nor about creating reliable software. Even though now, the mission is about helping people to realize their potential through MSFT's software, but the core value remains the same. So, it's not surprising that bugs, and BSOD pops out left, centre, right.

Apple on the other end, they need the quality as the edge to differentiate them, and trying to increase their market share. MSFT is just riding on its sheer presence, and saying "if you don't like our software, too bad, cuz you can't find anything anywhere else"

Anonymous said...

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/2002155249_mslayoffs20.html

bruce said...

That kind of things always happend, im sure that microsoft people, like mac people have tested so many times the demo versions, but it can still happends that the soft go down in a presentation