Wired has an interesting article comparing the way things are done at Apple and how that differs from other Silicon Valley companies. The article focuses quite a bit on Steve Jobs’ management style and business philosophy.
It is a pretty balanced, interesting read, even if the author does echo the complete B.S. about the iPod and iTunes being inextricably tied to each other (a favorite lie of tech journalism).
Ironically, Kahney makes an interesting point towards the end of the article:
Amazon’s Kindle e-reader provides seamless access to a proprietary selection of downloadable books, much as the iTunes Music Store provides direct access to an Apple-curated storefront. And the Nintendo Wii, the Sony PlayStation 3, and the Xbox360 each offer users access to self-contained online marketplaces for downloading games and special features.
The iTunes music (and video) store is nothing more than an add-on to the iPod (and AppleTV). It’s a part of the system. (Although, I can use iTunes completely independently from my iPod, and can play non-iTunes purchased music on my iPod.) It’s funny how people don’t attack Nintendo for not making games downloaded from the Virtual Console playable on a Sony PlayStation; it would be ridiculous to suggest that they should. It’s ironic that iTunes is way more open than any of the other services mentioned in the previous paragraph, yet somehow people (tech journalists) can’t bash Apple enough for making the iPod and iTunes work together.
I give Kahney and Wired credit, though; it’s a rare thing in the world of tech journalism to admit when you’re wrong (especially when it comes to Apple). In a sidebar to the main article, they do just that.