History repeating itself: Apple could learn from Microsoft’s past

They say that those who do not study history are doomed to repeat it. They don’t say what happens to those who just audit history.

Writing for the Forbes contributor network and Easy-Bake Oven Cake School, Dan Runkevicius says “Watch Out, Apple. The Same Mistake Destroyed Microsoft In 1998.” (Tip o’ the antlers to Sam.)

Repeatedly stepping on a rake and having it smash you in the face? Being the dean of Self-Owns University, a for-profit college?

So, in 1998, the U.S. Department of Justice ordered a break up of Microsoft’s monopoly. In the end, Microsoft reached a settlement, but it had lost most of its powers in computer software.

What does that mean? It lost the ability to make and sell software to large corporations? It lost electricity?

Judge: “You are no longer allowed to use ones and zeroes! From here on out it’s threes and fours for you!”

Microsoft: “But, your honor, computers don’t run on…”

Judge: “Ah-tut-tut-tut! THREES AND FOURS!”

I’m sharing this story because Apple is recklessly following in Microsoft’s footsteps.

The Macalope agrees that Apple is headed toward the same kind of confrontation Microsoft faced in the early 2000s, and it’s not a confrontation that doesn’t present a lot of challenges. Still, that wasn’t the biggest cause of Microsoft’s woes in the early part of the 2000s. What hurt Microsoft in the early 2000s was bad management.