Steve Wozniak ready for return to Apple
If only that other Steve would ask
Steve Wozniak – Apple cofounder, former phone phreak, chief scientist at SSD startup Fusion-io, renowned prankster, Segway-polo pioneer, education philanthropist, and Dancing with the Stars contestant – has told Reuters that he's willing to add another chapter to his storied career: a return to Apple.
"I'd consider it, yeah," he told an interviewer who asked if he would be willing to "play a more active role" at Apple if approached by Jobs & Co.
The interview took place in Brighton, where Wozniak is attending the SQLbits conference to present awards to winners of the "Crappy Code Games" in conjunction with his position at Fusion-io, a sponsor of the conference.
The always-avuncular Wozniak also told the interviewer of his bona fides. "There's just an awful lot I know about Apple products and competing products that has some relevance, some meaning," he said.
But although he has a high degree of admiration of Apple products – "The products, one after another, quality and hits" – Wozniak does see some room for improvement. Questioning Apple's philosophy of closed systems, he said: "My thinking is that Apple could be more open and not lose sales."
He quickly added, however, that "I'm sure they're making the right decisions for the right reasons for Apple."
We're assuming that latter statement is a reflection of Wozniak's true feelings, and not merely an attempt to butter up his former – and possibly future? – boss: an even more renowned Cupertinian cofounder who also goes by "Steve". ®
You want to make proper use of the Woz's skills? Get Microsoft to set up a multi-billion-dollar arm's-length skunkworks and give the whole thing to the Wox to oversee. Five years later, Microsoft will have bleeding edge, relevant products implementing completely radical design philosophies that leave all competitors in their dust.
Not because Woz dreamt them up himself, but because he is absolutely the right man for the job of fostering a community of hackers, tinkers and blue-sky thinkers such as you would want at a proper skunkworks.When life hands you a Wozniak…you make prototypes. ;)
Spoken like a...
Spoken like a true fanboi. "I don't mind that BIG COMPANY controls my device after I paid for it."
Hitler was pretty successful for a while.
I think it's a good thing to be less successful than him. It would all depend on your operational definition of success.
Change with the Other Steve
But that is the point. It could just be that Woz would probably ease down on the control freakery imposed by Jobs; Woz had always been more of the "open" school, while Jobs was responsible for the Apple closedness and the "oooh shiny" stupidity, like having the first Macs lacking a cooling fan.
Maybe Woz could be a much better successor to Jobs!
"I don't mind that the iOS is restricted. It's got quality control."
Users bitten by the ongoing inability of Apple programmers to code a robust summer/wintertime changeover routine might disagree with you here. Getting it wrong once is bad enough, getting it wrong half a year later makes me think their quality control reputation is as much down to slick marketeering and fault-blindness amongst the Apple faithful as it is down to genuine engineering ability.
"Just because they make an Apple A5 does not mean it is not the same chip found in most other phones"
It might be the same processing core (or, at least, from the same family) as in other devices, but it's not the same chip. Do any other devices use the A5? Do any other devices use a chip which is in every way (physical size, electrical specs, performance, programming model etc) equivalent?
Using proprietary/custom hardware in itself isn't a bad thing if that's the only way to achieve the desired price/performance goal. When it does become a bad thing is when the proprietary nature of the hardware allows the company to control who has access to the device. Did Apple really need to make so many little tweaks in the way the dock connector behaves from one iteration of iPod/Phone to the next, or were they just out to frustrate manufacturers and users of third-party devices?