I'm often perceived as a Microsoft toadie or zealot. Nothing could be further from the truth.
The fact is, I like and use Apple products. I've written positive things about the iPod, and the Windows Supersite (the most popular Windows site of its kind in the known universe) is full of great reviews of great Apple products.
It's Steve Jobs I can't stand.
Jobs is the walking embodiment of everything that is both right and wrong with Apple. I'll give him credit where credit's due: He's a great showman, and even something of a visionary, although that vision usually involves taking other people's ideas and making them better.
What gets me about Jobs is that he's a jerk. Stories about Jobs are legendary. From parking in handicapped spots to firing people randomly in elevators, the guy just comes across like a know-it-all prick, sorry.
If you need proof of the hubris of this guy, just take a look at how he pissed people off during the last round of new product introductions. Jobs took the stage to introduce a new iMac and an update to the company's previously excellent iLife software.
Jobs spoke in grand terms about the company's redesign of the iMac, as if it was anything more than a minor update. Never mind that the new glossy screen is a complete disaster for anyone working in a brightly-lit corporate environment. The company doesn't offer you an alternative. Steve knows best.
Then, he demonstrated the new re-write of the company's venerable "iMovie" program, which has raised the ire of Mac fans worldwide by basically eliminating all the advanced functions that were previously available. Even über-zealots like David Pogue are complaining. Loudly.
Next, Jobs fussed that "some people still like to make DVDs". Yes, you heard it right. Steve Jobs thinks DVDs are a dying technology. News flash, Steve: Wal*Mart sells more DVDs in a single day than the sales figures for AppleTV all year. Jobs is so convinced that DVDs are dead that he had his engineers remove the ability to insert chapter stops in iMovie.
Then, he introduced a crappy paper-thin wireless keyboard that eliminates basics like the numeric keypad. What is it with Jobs' obsession with being thin? Will somebody please give this guy a hamburger?
Apple apologists are legion, but luckily, many of the Apple fanatics are starting to see Jobs for what he really is, finally. The fact is, Apple does make some fantastic software and hardware. But everything is subject to the whim of Steve Jobs, so when Apple decides to drop features that people really like (such as matte screens on iMacs, or advanced features in iMovie), there aren't any developers or hardware manufacturers that can help fill that niche. The "Apple Faithful" are basically told, "you'll eat every bean and pea on your plate*. And you'll like it."
That's why the Microsoft ecosystem is just better. Obviously.
* Say it out loud. It sounds funnier than it reads.