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Woz criticizes Apple\'s mainstream software

updated 07:15 pm EST, Thu December 8, 2005

Woz on Apple software

Steve Wozniak -- co-founder of Apple and a man many consider to be the father of the personal computer -- said in a recent interview that he's not impressed with a lot of the software from major companies like Apple and Microsoft. "The big companies, Microsoft, Apple and AOL, they tend to turn out the , you know, software-wise," he said. "I get third-party stuff and it's almost always just better, cleaner and more understandable. It works better and does what you'd expect." Woz would like to see companies take a more humanist approach to software design. "I would try to take us back to the early Macintosh, the failed Lisa-type thinking of philosophies that the human is the center of the world and the computer gets designed around that person, with very good understanding of here is how people live their lives."

by MacNN Staff





  1. msuper69

    Joined: Dec 1969




    For example, the iLife Suite is far and away in a league of it's own. No other platform has anything as easy to use, well-integrated and flat out FUN.

    Sure there are bugs in Apple's software. So what? They get fixed usually in the next release. But Apple's software is still better than anybody else's even taking into account the bugs.

  1. beeble

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Or maybe...

    Or maybe be innovative and show people that there is a better way to live their life, a la iTunes or iPhoto. Instead of iPhoto, Woz seems to think it would be better have an app catalog what's in that shoe box of photos of yours and for digital, print it out, put it in the shoe box and then catalog it in iPhoto.

    The same with iTunes. Make a CD playing app or an app to listen to regular radio or make an app that makes your CD collection collect dust without missing the music, time shifted radio (Podcasts), etc. I would have to say that the iLife suite of software is perhaps some of the most innovative software ever created. Which is why it's from Apple. No one else could ever come up with this because there isn't a pro creativity culture at other major software companies like there is at Apple with the possible exception of Adobe (and that's certainly open for debate).

    I have to disagree with Woz lumping Apple in with M$. He doesn't provide a single example to back up his claim but just says everything is bad. It sounds to me like he's getting a bit old and doesn't want to learn new things as new horizons are opened with new software and hardware capabilities. That's fine. I don't have a problem with that, but slamming Apple like he did because he doesn't want them or anyone else to advance and take advantage of new technology is just silly.

    Sorry Woz. You're a great guy, everything I've heard about you makes be think so and one day I hope to meet you and thank you for creating my favourite computer company, but I couldn't disagree with you more on this view of yours.

  1. driven

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Wow ....

    Woz sounds a bit bitter to me.

    I like ya dude, but take a trip to Bora Bora and get some sun and a mai tai.

  1. HowieDI2

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I disagree...

    I don't think Woz should lump Apple into that criticism. Apple has always put the user first and Apple also has a rapid upgrade cycle that constantly improves upon the software with each new version.

  1. Smurfman

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Getting a little senile?

    I think Woz may be getting a little senile. Apple, comparatively speaking, has some of the best software out there in the categories they are in.

    Sure, it could always be better and more "human oriented", but it cannot be beat by most other software in the same category for Windows, Apple or Linux (especially anywhere near the price range).

    Good grief... what drugs are you on Woz?? What exactly do you have in mind? Be specific. Map out a strategy of where you think the software industry should be headed (in regards to innovation).

    It's funny, first he says he "gets the worst software from Apple", and then a couple paragraphs later he says this... "... I do not go criticizing Apple very much at all. I mean, no, I love every part of the Apple world. You can look with your eyes and just see that it always has - every version of Macintosh, including the PowerBooks - the most beautiful product quality and they generally tend to lead the others in terms of qualities you like -- thinness, size of screen, pixels on the screen. The whole world of Apple works together."

    I guess he likes the hardware but not the software... in any regard, he seems to contradict himself. Strange article. I hope he writes a book of exactly what he would want in an Operating System. Personally, I would like to see more Artificial Intelligence (AI) in OS X (hopefully not becoming self-aware ;-). Having our own little OS X HAL would be pretty cool. As long as he/she was nice.

  1. m4rtin

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Woz is a legend

    So many people are so quick to defend Apple without reservation. Stop for a second to think about Woz's points. Apple are good but they could be better. The shareware/3rd party apps often are better. They are often also half-inched and incorporated into Apple's own software.

  1. macimmortal

    Joined: Dec 1969


    This is messed up...

    ...did the spirit of Jef Raskin step into Woz's body and possess him? Substitute Jef Raskin for Woz in that story and tell me I'm not right.

  1. boomw

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Amen m4rtin

    I am pretty much your average Mac zealot; still, I have had problems with OS X since the Public Beta. The near abandonment of the desktop metaphor in favor of the Finder is one example. The tiny-tiny type used in FCP, Motion, and other pro apps. Echoing m4rtin, iTunes, Sherlock, Widgets, Logic, etc, started their lives as third-party apps. So, Woz makes a good point. Sometimes people need to remember that Apple has two dads. Nothing against Steve, but sometimes I wish Woz had joint custody.

  1. LouZer

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: wtf?

    Sure there are bugs in Apple's software. So what? They get fixed usually in the next release. But Apple's software is still better than anybody else's even taking into account the bugs.

    I agree! WTF? So what that there are bugs? They fix it in the next $50 release? Great! Sounds just like how Intuit sells quicken updates.

    And Apple has serious problems with UI and HI issues. They seem to just make stuff up as the go along. You'd be surprised how many people, just starting with iTunes, don't realize there's a browse button in the top-right that shows you the albums/artists/genre links. They've started doing the "windows" no-no of putting commands only in pop-up menus. They keep changing their UI, with brushed metal to brushed metal/no borders (latest ugly iTunes look), to different buttons then any other app (Mail), iPhoto, whose toolbar is on the BOTTOM of the screen (huh?). Need I go on?

    (Oh, I know, I'm just a troll whose whining and bashing apple. None of my comments could have any validity, since they dare not say that Apple and Jobs are God. Nevertheless, ignore them if you want, it doesn't make them true.)

    BTW, I'm not saying there's a ton of better software out there, I'm just saying Apple could be doing a whole lot better with the UI to make things easy to use AND consistent.

  1. Raccoon

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I think

    That Apple is very inovative with it's physical designs but very creative with software.

    it's not very hard to listen to customers, ie; look hard at 3rd party software and expand on that with a team of programmers.

    So in a way, I agree with Woz. But this is what I think seperates Apple from Microsoft.. They (Apple) actually listen too their customers and make changes, much like Firefox does with windows using folks in mind.

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