Feeds

Woz: Microsoft's innovation lead 'worries me greatly'

Apple slipping since Steve Jobs' exit – though he was a 'real rugged bastard'

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak worries that Microsoft may now be more innovative than the product developers at his former company. He also has a few harsh words for the management style of his fellow Cupertinian cofounder, Steve Jobs.

Asked about Microsoft's innovation after he spoke at this week's TedX Brussels conference, Wozniak told TechCrunch, "I've seen more of the type of innovation where you see something: 'Whoa! They really changed things drastically. Whoa! They aren't even going in the same direction as everyone else'."

Microsoft is focusing on innovation while Apple is in a rut, Wozniak believes. "I fear that Microsoft might have been sitting in their labs, trying to innovate, with a formula: 'How do we come up with new ideas? Let's not keep doing the same things as before, just the newer versions of them'," he said. "They might have been doing that for three years, while Apple was just used to cranking out the newest iPhone and falling a little behind. And that worries me greatly."

Apple suffered in the past because of a lack of innovation, Wozniak believes, citing the years between Steve Jobs' exit and return, when the company focused on simply improving products rather that creating anything new.

"Improving is not stark, Apple-style innovation," he said. "It's not like you're creating something astounding, that you're just gasping because it's so unexpected. Until Steve Jobs came back, that's what we were doing. We just had a formula for making money, and we kept running it, making the same machines."

When asked about the recent management changes at Apple, and the reports that iOS headman Scott Forstall was shown the door because of his abrasive personality, Wozniak demurred, saying that he had no first-hand knowledge of the man and his management methods.

He did, however, comment on hard-nosed leadership in product development – namely Steve Jobs' penchant for being not only hard-nosed, but hard-assed. "I don't believe Steve had to be as much of a real rugged bastard, put people down, make them feel demeaned," he said. "I don't think that was necessary for Apple to have the great products and the great world that it has to this day."

Wozniak's vision is of a kinder, gentler Apple. "I hope Apple is on a trend towards being a lot more charitable, open, and really getting good ideas, but not so much by having to force good ideas out of the teams that are developing them." ®

Bootnote

You may doubt Wozniak's expertise concerning Microsoft's innovation and Jobs' management techniques, but there's no doubting his confidence. When TechCrunch asked if there was anything he might have done differently when he "invented the personal computer," he said he had no regrets.

"Where my head was at the time was so astute and so good at making the right decisions with the input that I had, and with the knowledge and the data and my choices that I made," he said. "Every one of them, I look back, and I know my reasons for doing it were good and right, even if they weren't what other people might have thought was the right way."

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Bono apologises for iTunes album dump
Megalomania, generosity and FEAR of irrelevance drove group to Apple deal
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
10 Top Tips For PRs Considering Whether To Phone The Register
You'll Read These And LOL Even Though They're Serious
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.