How did Windows become ubiquitous?
A force of self-interest throughout the industry made Windows ubiquitous. Compaq and all these different vendors made Windows ubiquitous. They didn’t know how to spell software, but they wanted to put something on their machines. That made Windows ubiquitous.
So it just kind of happened.
No, it was sort of an algorithm that got set in motion when everyone’s self-interest aligned toward making this happen. And I claim that the same sort of self-interest algorithm is present on the Web. Everyone has a self-interest in making this Web ubiquitous and not having anyone own it.
Steve Jobs talking to Wired in 1996. One of so many fantastic quotes. Read the whole thing.
Ivan Cherevkoon 29 May 10
The man was, is, and will be a visionary for however long he works at Apple.
I consider Jeff Bezos and Steve Jobs people that made the age we live in. Ryan, any other people on your list?
Aaron Mon 30 May 10
Would be nice if OS X was sold to run on PCs, and that it would have good driver support. Would help to save some money for those who want the OS.
Mike Kon 30 May 10
Then you would end up with another implementation of what Windows is today..
Dima Son 30 May 10
If OS X was sold to run on PCs, so who will buy Mac Pro for 3000$ then?
Benon 30 May 10
If in this article Steves support for web is to be a democratizer and people (developers & clients) currently vote for flash for its usefulness then isn’t Steve Jobs contradicting himself by trying to create a content channel with App Store and lack of choice (democracy) for customers to choose their own experience on iPhone/iPad?
GeeIWonderon 30 May 10
Ivan: Surely Woz makes this list
Aaron/Mike: It was called OS/2. Been there. Done that.
Ben: I think in the article he’s sort of fessing up to that exact behaviour which gave a freer platform the edge in many respects. Sort of a mea culpa. And yes, it would appear he has forgotten that lesson, or if not has judged the situation to have sufficiently changed perhaps.
Ralphon 30 May 10
GeelWonder; I’d prefer to think he has forgotten. Personally I’m technology agnostic however the beuaty of the web is that it is essentially a free market. App store is so contradictory to this. If the web was the globe then App store is apartheid.
Martin Pilkingtonon 30 May 10
Aaron M: If OS X was sold for regular PCs then it would likely end up being as unstable if not more unstable as Windows due to it having the same issue of drivers but without the experience MS has in dealing with it.
It would also not be sold for $129/$29 but more likely $300-400. The main reason OS X is so cheap and so stable is because you need a Mac to run it. Apple won’t change that any more than they would licence the iPhone OS to other manufacturers
Justinon 30 May 10
Personally I think Apple sees the web and the App Store as two different beasts. The App Store isn’t trying to take over the web; rather, it’s trying to replace the concept of applications you’d install and run on a more traditional computer. Applications and the web have lived together since the beginning.
In fact, I think Apple’s mindset is that it wants to keep the Web open and unrestricted. That’s one of the reasons they’re pushing so hard against Flash (try replacing “HotJava” with “Flash” and “Microsoft” with “Adobe” in the interview) and pushing for a universal standard (HTML5). Granted, there are other, less altruistic reasons for Apple’s Flash embargo as well, but do you think they’d encourage developers to write web apps that can do almost everything App Store apps can do if they didn’t believe the web and the App Store could live together?
Ralphon 30 May 10
Justin: if that is the case why did Apple trump Adobe’s new CS5 ability to publish apps for ipad/iphone the day after CS5 launched?
Leoon 31 May 10
Shut up Steve Jobs, YOU want to own the Web!
Hugeon 31 May 10
I fail to see what is so “fantastic” about the quotes above, this is just plain common sense, we all know why Windows got so big. One more reason was also “piracy”: I know that corporate types will rarely admit to it, but the fact that Windows was so widely pirated and used for free at home, contributed greatly to it’s widespread presence at the office (where it was paid for). Think about for a second and you’ll see it is true. Microsoft profited from having Windows stolen by home users.
As for Bezos and Jobs, the list of entrepreneurs form 70-80-90 ies will not be complete without Bill Gates. No matter how much Microsoft’s products are disliked, the truth is that they changed the world too. In my opinion more than Amazon or Apple actually.
Jameson 01 Jun 10
Windows is widespread because it is a great platform to work with. Doing software development on Linux or Mac is not the same (Visual Studio anyone?). Windows and Microsoft are good about putting the developers first, keeping them in the loop, and letting them do the rest. This is why there is so much great (and even free) software available for Windows. The developers choose to work there, and the people that want and need to use it follow.
Not to say that there isn’t good software on other platforms, but on Mac you’ll be paying for it, and on Linux you’ll be wondering who supports it.
Compare this to Apple who randomly removes apps from the app store, for sketchy reasons.
DRon 01 Jun 10
My favorite quote from this interview: “The desktop computer industry is dead. Innovation has virtually ceased. Microsoft dominates with very little innovation. That’s over. Apple lost.”
David Andersenon 01 Jun 10
Developers don’t choose to work on the Win platform because Microsoft put developers first or the tools are so good. They do it because that’s where the money(market) has been. People will put up with all manner of headaches if doing so allows them to make money.
Jeff Putzon 02 Jun 10
Steve Jobs has made it an art form to make contradiction seem totally logical. He doesn’t say that his own interests are self-serving here, he only implies that they’re not so he’s off the hook and can imply that he’s kind of in a free love world.
Books can be written about whether or not Windows is a good OS, but it also ignores the fact that a ubiquitous platform prior to the proliferation of the Web was good for getting computers to every home. It was the right thing for its time.
RSon 02 Jun 10
Some commenters are looking for something negative in the quote, while I don’t see anything negative there.
Jobs is talking about how big sweeping adoption happens. What’s cool about the quote is how he describes the adoption as an algorithm set in motion by aligned self-interest. It’s a cool image to describe how something happens on a big scale, not a dig at Microsoft and not a dig at self-interest.
Jeff Putzon 02 Jun 10
So you’re saying that it’s a brilliant quote that he figured out that mass adoption is the result of people agreeing on something? I guess I don’t see why that’s brilliant.
This discussion is closed.