Apple’s in a rut: Wozniak

Jobs' partner speaks out on ‘worrying’ Microsoft innovation

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Apple’s in a rut: Wozniak Wozniak: I fear that Microsoft might have been sitting in their labs, trying to innovate. (Getty Images)
By  Stephen McBride Published  November 19, 2012

Apple Inc co-founder Steve Wozniak has expressed concerns over his former company's pattern of improving the products it has already released rather than introducing new gadgets to the market, as he believes Microsoft is doing.

"I've seen more of the type of innovation where you see something [and say]: 'Whoa! They really changed things drastically. Whoa! They aren't even going in the same direction as everyone else.'," Wozniak told TechCrunch at this week's TedX Brussels conference, when asked about Microsoft's innovation.

"I fear that Microsoft might have been sitting in their labs, trying to innovate," he added. "They might have been doing that for three years, while Apple was just used to cranking out the newest iPhone and falling a little behind. And that worries me greatly."

He made mention of a similar unimaginative era that marked the exit and return of the late Steve Jobs, Wozniak's Apple co-founder.

"Until Steve Jobs came back, [we were just improving products]," Wozniak said. "We just had a formula for making money, and we kept running it, making the same machines."

While having little to say on the subject of Scott Forstall's departure, or the rumours that it was precipitated by his failure to work well with others, Wozniak did talk about Jobs' legendarily harsh management style, advocating a softer approach to innovation.

"I don't believe Steve had to be as much of a real rugged b*****d, put people down, make them feel demeaned," he said. "I don't think that was necessary for Apple to have the great products and the great world that it has to this day. I hope Apple is on a trend towards being a lot more charitable, open, and really getting good ideas, but not so much by having to force good ideas out of the teams that are developing them."

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