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Comment: Apple and Microsoft: Paternalistic in their own ways

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Apple and Microsoft: Paternalistic in their own ways

MS Word was written for the Mac, the "computer for the rest of us."

Both companies assumed: you can't type, you can't spell, You want the computer/software to make most decisions, and make grammatical corrections for you.

It was so bad that I used WordPerfect 5.1 for DOS until my employer used Y2k as an excuse to force its removal. MS Word menus are still an awful time-wasting mess.

Word and all the MS programs assume they know better, to the point that autocorrect (defaulted on) will change your contracting party names, and "correct" the case on a license plate number. It's crazy-making authoritarian (and patronizing) software.

Apple //, et. al., were "closed" systems, making DOS the worldwide winner (no thanks to IBM), purely by accident, as it stiffled innovation on Apple computers. The more Apple tried to control their product, the more the inability to control their product gave the advantage to DOS. IBM's feeble attempt at control (the IBM PCjr had incompatible ports to keep adult from buying it for themselves), only hurt them.

IBM was too big and too slow to take advantage, and lost out to lots of smaller upstarts using DOS and building their own hardware. (IBM: "Color? We make business machines. We don't need color.")

The whole thing was a lesson in market forces, and the same will happen to governments. Systems with freedom built in are more flexible, and survive change better. Apple could chose to harness innovation by allowing developers in, or they can keep playing this game until they become the next IBM PC.

What do you think?