updated 03:15 pm EST, Thu February 23, 2006
Woz on iPod, Mactels
Although it ha been 21 years since he officially worked for Apple, Steve Wozniak still maintains a keen interest in the goings-on of the company. In a recent interview from New Zealand with globeandmail, Woz--who is still on the Apple payroll "just out of loyalty" (and health insurance)--is quoted as being somewhat apprehensive about the iPod and Apple's recent switch to Intel processors. "It's like consorting with the enemy. We've had this long history of saying the enemy is the big black-hatted guys, and they kind of represent evil. We are different, and by being different we're better," says Wozniak. "All of a sudden we're the same in this hardware regard, so it's a little hard to swallow your words from the past."
Wozniak admitted that the switch was necessary from an engineering veiwpoint, as Apple needed to find a way to increase performance per watt, but he reportedly still has "some questions as to how much it's needed."
Wozniak also thinks that perhaps the iPod should be a spin-off of Apple, noting in the interview that the iPod has its own operating system, software, and processor. "We're a computer company, and we really think computers. Spinning off a separate division makes a whole lot of sense." Wozniak pointed to the success of Apple's two computers-- the Apple II and the Macintosh- that it made in the 1980s, and the fact that the two units "were in separate units and didn't interact much."
In response to recent vows of iPod comeptition from companies such as Microsoft, Wozniak said in the article that "they better do it excellent, excellent, excellent because the iPod sure is... Micorsoft wants to get out of the whole image of the big, black Darth Vader evil guy. Innovation is probably going on within the company, because any time you put smart engineers in places eventually they wind up talking and innovating no tter how much you try to hold them back."
"I hope Microsoft improves and becomes more like Apple."