John Gruber has a somewhat contrarian point of view as to why Apple is not making the same mistake with RealNetwork’s Harmony that they did with Microsoft’s DOS.
I’m here to tell you this is utter bunk. Apple’s position with the iPod is significantly different — and much stronger — than their position with Macintosh 20 years ago. There are admittedly a few similarities, first and foremost of which is that both products are much better designed than any competing product. Second, uh, they both use 12-point Chicago as the system font. (Except for the Mini, which uses Espy Sans, the Newton’s system font.)
The gist of my parlay argument is that the biggest difference between Apple and Microsoft — and the biggest reason for Microsoft’s lucrative monopolies in operating systems and office software — is that Microsoft built upon their previous successes, and Apple did not. Windows parlayed off MS-DOS, and Office parlayed off Windows. The Macintosh didn’t parlay off anything.