Comments on: Leopard Isn’t The Problem Official blog of Red Sweater Software Mon, 09 Apr 2018 14:17:15 +0000 hourly 1 By: Chad Fri, 20 Apr 2007 23:29:58 +0000 The gist of this article is something that I’m concerned about with ANY company, not just Apple. If a company becomes too large and spreads itself out into too many directions, it will never properly excel in any of those areas.

Microsoft is a perfect example of such gluttony. Microsoft wasn’t content with taking over operating systems and office software, but they also decided to extend into TV, hardware, server systems, games & console, music players, etc., etc. Due to their vast marketing power, influence, and bank account, they can force themselves into pretty much any market they desire. The XBox has done OK, as long as you don’t mind that it has lost BILLIONS of dollars. How many other companies could sustain such a business by losing billions of dollars? Perhaps it would have been a wonderful thing for Microsoft to have been broken up. It might have caused some people to truly re-evaluate a lot of the MS products and decide if the product was really worth keeping or not.

Any company, including Apple, should look at themselves and see if what they are doing is the right thing? Should they try things just because they can? Is it best that Apple is developing Final Cut Studio, or would it be better handled by a third party? What if the iPod division created its own company?

While a larger company will have more resources to put into their projects, stretching into far too many directions is not so different from a smaller company. A company with 5 employees won’t be able to sufficiently sustain 10 projects, nearly as well as they could by maintaining and improving upon just 2 or 3.

Hopefully, Apple just misjudged how long it would take Leopard to get out the door. Yes, there has been a several month delay, but at least it isn’t suffering the delay problems of Vista, Copland, or even the first version of Mac OS X.

By: Ronald Frarck Wed, 18 Apr 2007 20:52:19 +0000 I see another alternative that makes sense. At WWDC 06 Apple announced 10.5 Leopard but didn’t reveal any secret features, saying that they want to keep them under wraps for fear that Redmond would copy them. Outside Time Machine Apple didn’ reveal much else. Why? What if Apple wasn’t sure that they could actually finish the so called secret features prior to a spring release? What if these secret features have become stable enough, but no quite ready for prime time? A four month delay may be what Apple needs to finish it off the so called secret features. Apple’s software engineers have come to the conclusion that they can deliver a product that was intended to be feature complete , but just needs more time. Thats why no secret features were revealed. If I’m right, Apple will reveal these features at WWDC 07 in June.

By: RB Tue, 17 Apr 2007 17:39:44 +0000 Tim Buchheim,

Well put!

Steve has made so much fun of M$’s Vista delays that someone had to give him cover so that he would not have to publically admit that he too had missed a shipping date.

By: Chris Tue, 17 Apr 2007 15:06:23 +0000 I should note I’ve also heard multiple times from Apple managers that they’re not allowed to increase their headcount despite glaring and justifiable needs. It’s getting a bit ridiculous. You don’t want the obesity of Copland, but the extreme inverse is malnutrition…

By: Chris Tue, 17 Apr 2007 15:00:49 +0000 Well, it’s nice that Google is dispersing geographically.

On the subject of Leopard, I think this is insightful, at least up until the concluding paragraph, which seems a bit off the rails:

By: Tim Buchheim Mon, 16 Apr 2007 21:53:02 +0000 Based on my experience with Leopard seeds, I’d say that they’re just running late and blaming the iPhone so they can say something other than “We’re late.”

Tiger was also running late, but they released what was done as 10.4.0, and it showed. I was shocked when the 10.4.0 GM was announced.. it still had lots of bugs. Look how many big bug fixes showed up in 10.4.1 and 10.4.2 .. if they’d waited for it to be done rather than sticking with their marketing plan, it would have been another two months before Tiger’s release.

I think they’re smart to wait for it to be more stable .. there’s going to be a lot of comparison with Vista so they need Leopard to be rock solid. Plus, it will probably help both the iPhone and Leopard not to be released at the same time. Spreading out the releases will likely result in more press for both. I think Apple had been trying to get Leopard ready quick because of Vista, but now that Vista has ended up being less popular than expected, some of the pressure is off so they’re willing to delay the release in order to make it better.

By: charles Mon, 16 Apr 2007 20:01:36 +0000 About spreading out engineering over several centers:

Google CEO

When you divisionalize you wind up with no cooperation across divisions?

So it may very well be that we will hit such limits. Let me give you an example of where our model will break down.

The model that I’ve just described completely breaks down when you have a large amount of international engineering — which we intend to do. So I project that everything I’ve just told you is going to break down.

Why does it break down when you have so much international engineering?

Time zones. You can’t get everybody — even on conference calls you can’t get everybody in a virtual room to build a consensus. So if you go through, we have a big operation in India, Zurich, we’re considering engineering in a whole bunch of other places in Europe, of course you have a very successful group in New York and Kirkland and Santa Monica already. So you now span time zones such that you can’t fundamentally do an integrated meeting in that sense.

Why do it, given the downside?

Well, because we want the best talent all around the world. There’s an enormous amount of programming talent in China, we want that talent to work at Google. And the fact is they want to work in China, they actually like China, it’s their home, or the U.S. won’t allow them in. So we have to adapt, just to be very clear here, we have to adapt the culture that I’m describing with this international development focus.

It’s relatively easy to see how to manage international sales because sales is organized pretty much hierarchically. You have a country manager and you have somebody who runs all of Europe and somebody who runs Japan, somebody runs Asia, and we have that, and that’s traditional.

Engineering, however, is done in this odd consensus way, right, unusual, and it’s never been done with the kind of engineering, international engineering scale that we’re proposing. It’s a problem to be solved.

By: Duff Mon, 16 Apr 2007 09:18:49 +0000 p.s. what you said about a coupon to collect leopard when it is completed would be an awesome idea and would definitely encourage switchers or potential switchers to change, i know i would take that opportunity if i didn’t think that a completely revamped line of desktops and macbooks… um… laptops, were nipping at leopards heels!

By: Duff Mon, 16 Apr 2007 09:07:22 +0000 the only thing i can see wrong in this arguement is that the iphone is new, therefore every line of code has to be written or ported, the iphone 2 (whatever you want to call it) won’t come with a completely rewritten os, instead it’ll build on the one they already have, therefore not taking as long to write the code for! and i think that the team has been working on the os for the phone just because it is coming close to release and there are a few bugs, it would be exactly the same for os x if there was nothing more important, there is no ONE team for this, and ONE team for that. the people who write the code in the ipod would also write code for os x and the iphone and even the a-tv, if necessary. that is how all of apple’s products work so well together, because they are a small company where everyone has some insight into other departments, because they work in/with that other department! this is maybe the reason that the company is small, so there aren’t individual teams working on everything seperatily, therefore not producing as much, but of a higher quality. i believe this is the problem with microsoft, they have some of the best programs ever, but everything they come up with, regardless of whether it could take the market or not, doesn’t work seamlessly with every other product of theirs. this can sometimes be attributed to third party hardware, but if they have such a huge employee base, why do they have difficultly. it has nothing to do with how many people you employ, just how well intergrated into your business each of them is! i believe apple employs the best people they can find for each field. and they keep it small so that it all works! and remember apple is a completely vertical business. shouldn’t microsoft that has partners to help it, be able to do a better job than apple?
they are not blaming the iphone, they are telling you the truth about why one of their products will be late, that or the true reason is a complete secret that no one knows about, they have an os x already, and they want to get the iphone out on time, because they currently have no product that fits into that catagory. if you ask me, tiger can quite easily hold its ground against vista. i also think that there is more to this picture than what we know! how do we know that the iphone and os x are the only things being delivered this year, what about the ipod? its their 30th year celebration… could there be something else in the works that we don’t know about? maybe that is what’s truly holding os x up!

By: Steve W Mon, 16 Apr 2007 03:24:25 +0000 Apple should announce it’s second quarter results to the financial community this Wednesday. Those results will either exacerbate or negate the impact of this delay. That’s why Wall St. hasn’t reacted yet. That is probably why Apple made the announcement now.

Apple introduced the new Mac Pro this week. Some potential buyers probably planned to wait until June and the release of Leopard. Apple probably announced the Leopard delay to discourage waiting. It is probably these fence sitters that are most upset about the delay.