Dear Technology Section Editor: Ten ways you know your tech journalists should be switched from covering Apple Inc. to say, Microsoft or RIM

Dear Technology Section Editor ,
Mainstream Media Publication,
Anytown, Anywhere

Dear Sir/Madam,

After many years of observing your publication in operation and as it attempts to make the transition to a digital news flow, may I offer the following reasons why some of your syndicated, featured, or freelance writers, be they journalists or bloggers or members of the kommentariat at large, may cause you to shift their fields of interest. Or:

Ten ways you know your tech journalists should be switched from covering Apple Inc. to say, Microsoft or RIM:

1. They refer to any success Apple enjoys as being due to its legions of “iSheep”, “fanbois” or cult believers who will indiscriminantly buy anything Apple due to Apple’s vast marketing budget and prowess. They will perhaps give a very brief mention to design and production qualities, but keep the focus on slavish followers.

2. They damn Apple for not having the courage to enter the enterprise market and compete head to head with Microsoft, thus revealing they haven’t seen or heard Steve Jobs’ metaphors of trucks and cars, and a post-PC world, nor do they understand the term “flight to the bottom”.

3. They rabbit on about “market share” and how low is Apple’s with respect to the desktop OS, while conveniently ignoring Apple’s quarterly profits, growth and customer satisfaction surveys. Oh, and its market share with respect to the iOS-powered devices.

4. They hold up examples of failed Apple products as to why Apple might fail with its next rumoured product… “remember the Pippin, the Newton, The Cube? See, Apple doesn’t get it right always….”

5. They admonish Apple for releasing or spreading rumours there will be a product “soon” but one which Steve Jobs said Apple would never do. This is used  as an example of Apple’s lack of trustworthiness, but bald-faced lying. iPod Video 5th gen., anyone?

6. They report on how worried Apple should be because they really believe RIM is about to turn the corner and blow the tech world out of the water with the next Blackberry with its new OS. Or Microsoft will do it with Windows 8, or Nokia will… you get the picture.

7. They do “exclusive” product review “showdowns” between vapourware products no one has been able to put side by side e.g. “Who will win? We compare Microsoft’s Surface RT versus Apple’s iPad 7 inch.”

8. In predicting Apple’s future, they can’t help themselves from referring to Microsoft “saving” Apple from oblivion at the time of Steve Jobs’ return in 1997, with an investment of $150 million in non-voting stock, thus perpetuating demonstrably untrue folklore.

9. They include current quotes from Steve Wozniak about contemporary Apple issues like design, functionality or competitiveness, things he would be best to leave alone for oh…  the past 20 years, and the next 20 to come.

10. They continually present you with articles about Apple which are lists of ten things Apple could do differently, should be doing, are not doing, are doing worse than anyone else, etc., etc. And they spread all ten over 5 pages to demonstrate how they are truly clickwhores, which badly reflects on your publication.

These are my ten. Dear Reader, I’m sure I’ve missed a few… can you assist with your own, and assist Dear Editor out of this dilemma?

6 responses to “Dear Technology Section Editor: Ten ways you know your tech journalists should be switched from covering Apple Inc. to say, Microsoft or RIM

  1. Nice try. They get more hits from placing MS writers on the Mac beat.

  2. pkadamAdamChew

    One of the facts you didn’t mention is these guys always claimed they have tons of Apple gadgets and they loved them dearly.

    • Ah yes – the “now don’t think I’m an Apple hater, I have an iPad and an iPhone and I bought a Mac Plus in 1988…but…”
      Good pick up!

  3. Hi Les,
    Great blog. I found it via a link from TUAW to your most recent Keynote post. I completely agree with your position on the sorry state of PowerPoint based presentations, and I look forward to improving my own presentations based on what I learn here.

    The specific reason I am commenting on this story concerns the 1997 MS stock buy in your eighth point (which you call “demonstrably untrue folklore”). As far as I can tell the popular understanding of this event is completely consistent with the account provided in Isaacson’s book. I seem to recall that the facts of the event were even summarized in a quote from Steve himself. Furthermore, Apple’s precarious financial position at the time (90 days from bankruptcy) was also covered. Assuming that the book’s accounting of the incident is accurate, it seems to me that a statement that MS saved Apple in 1997 with a $150 million cash infusion is not demonstrably untrue folklore. The use of the word “saved” might be an exaggeration of the situation, but that’s it.

    If I’m wrong, please correct me.

    By the way, I certainly take issue with the relevance of the incident to any current story on Apple. It’s little more than an interesting footnote to history.


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