and now we all hate [insert name here]

December 29, 2010


google vs appleHaving bought an iPad for a research project recently I’ve been using it as an alternative to carrying a stack of paper documents to meetings at work. As long as there’s internet access in the meeting room (and where isn’t there?) I can drop the docs I need on to dropbox or Google docs and easily access and edit them as needed. Plus the battery will outlast even all day meetings. Nice use of the iPad and saves a load of paper into the bargain.

I never expected the amount of hate that the iPad would generate however; comments of “it’s only a big f****ng iPod” and “F****ng iPad” when on the way between meetings made me stop and think. When was the last time a piece of technology generated such hate? The comments spat and shouted at the “b****d Apple fanboy” had the venom I’ve only previously heard from racists about ethnic minorities or football “fans” about other teams fans. Where does it come from?

Maybe it’s all about success, and hating it. Back when the only real mainstream computer in town was a PC running Windows it was all about Microsoft, and in particular Bill Gates. Anyone who used Windows a lot would have some sympathy for complaints about the the BSOD and obscure error messages and any organisation that is happy to include this message in their OS probably ought to consider hiring public relations staff as well as software engineers. I’ve thrown enough PCs out of my office window to understand these frustrations. Really I have. Can’t say I ever abused anyone in the street for using Word though.

I’m now starting to wonder though if frustration is the whole story. I mean, look at the amount of hatred Apple generates. Apple is, on some counts, now the US’s largest computer manufacturer. If tech-hate is really mainly success-hate it is perhaps unsurprising that Apple and Steve Jobs are now deemed worthy targets as MS and Bill Gates were previously. Wherereas previously Apple were the good guy against the giant corporation (Microsoft) they have now become the giant corporation. Google for while looked like becoming the new Robin Hood figure but is now starting to look like the big brother to cap them all.

There are of course good and worthy reasons to disapprove of Microsoft, Google and Apple: all are huge companies and, in common with almost all huge profitable companies, all have activities and history that are questionable. Maybe the current personalisation of bad feeling is because the ground upon which the competition is now being fought has changed. The war of words has shifted from PC Guy and Mac Guy to Android mobile user vs iOS mobile user. Searching online forums for useful info on iOS or Android hardware and software takes you right to the heart of the issue. There is a lot of real anger about which type of smartphone you have in your pocket. Anger. Venom spitting, red faced, furious abuse being directed to and from those siding with iOS or Android.

Shame they can’t find something more worthwhile to get angry about.

(Windows, OSX, iOS and Android user)


  1. I think there is a hatred of whatever is doing well or succeeding in the technoworld we live in; but also there is a hatred of what people don’t understand or want to understand.

    A lot of people I know hate Twitter, despite its success and increasingly widespread use. I ask why, and they ask me what it’s for, or what the point of using it is. The most common response is “I don’t need to know what Stephen Fry had for breakfast every day!”

    Because Twitter is so flexible and can be useful for so many purposes, it can be hard to define to someone who has never used it, or at least never used it for a purpose. And because you can’t explain how THEY might find it useful, they dismiss it. I think the same is true of the iPad. What is it for? Well, potentially a lot. It was built for nothing specific, but instead for lots of different things, which lots of other things can already do seperately from each other. I don’t think people understand the point of it for that reason, so they “hate” it. I must admit that an iPad doesn’t really appeal to me either but I’ve never used one. I was a smartphone skeptic until I got mine and was instantly converted!

    • I think you’re probably right Alex, but as to the Android vs iOS war, I understand the ‘open’/closed debate and it’s at the root of the things I find frustrating with Apple products, however most of the real bitterness is from people who really don’t understand the differences and seem to jump on a random product to evangelise about. Irritatingly personal. As for the iPad I’ve found it really useful (and nice to use) for some things and immensely frustrating for others. I’m looking forward to the next generation of tablets as there’s a lot it could do that it doesn’t.

  2. I hate the whole tribal warfare thing within the world of computing. Especially now it’s spread away from the desktop and into our pockets. But admit I am slightly guilty of it from time to time.

    I’ve generally steered clear of Apple products. I see them as more substance over style, but to be fair they always manage to bring us something we didn’t even know we needed.

    I also went through a phase of avoiding M$ at all costs but understandably this is impossible. Trying to live with out Apple or Micro$oft was to do with the whole Gratis/Libre thing (I’d hate to have to bring Linux into this) But needing to use these platforms on a day to day basis means your morals have to go out the window.

    At the end of the day, if it does it’s job and makes your life easier, what’s the problem?

  3. Damn it’s all started all over again with lawsuits and more bomb throwing in the forums. Check out the comments to this article

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