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Comment Everyone will complain... (Score 1) 272

Everyone will complain, but if I asked you to name one consumer tech company that does things most differently than any other, you'd say Apple. Why should Apple not enjoy the protection of these differences--which clearly make them very successful? I don't have a solution in particular here, but it's hard to claim that Apple has nothing to pursue here.

Comment Re:I left Linux for OS X... (Score 1) 867

I loved Gentoo, and in fact, I used it for longer than any of the other distros. But I didn't switch to OS X because I couldn't figure it out. Once I had everything configured to my liking, which, of course, takes quite a while on Gentoo, I didn't have a problem with the OS or how it performed on my system.

The problem was that I couldn't go to a store and buy anything. Hardware would only work if it's an extremely common type of hardware with standard drivers.

Buy a new wireless headset? The software to make it work (beyond just playing audio) is Win/Mac only.
I bought an iPhone before Android even existed. Software is Win/Mac only.
I don't like GIMP. I much prefer PhotoShop. Win/Mac only.
I like watching Netflix on my laptop. Win/Mac only.
I bought a Jawbone bluetooth for my phone. I can only configure it and change settings with Win/Mac software.
Something new, like Spotify comes out? Win/Mac only (although they have an unsupported Linux client nowadays)

It's random things like that that turned me off from Linux over time.

(And before anyone says it, using Windows in a VM would defeat the purpose, IMHO. And WINE, while nice, isn't foolproof either).

Comment I left Linux for OS X... (Score 5, Interesting) 867

Mandrake -> Red Hat -> Xandros -> Gentoo -> OS X...

I love Linux and all, but the mainstream support of OS X combined with UNIX under the hood made the Mac the best platform for me. Sure, it's much more expensive, but I don't mind the additional money... after all, I am on my computer all the time anyway. I might as well spend the cash for the one I like best.

Comment Re:AT&T is missing out here... (Score 1) 220

When Verizon got the iPhone, I was still in a contract with AT&T. By the time it was time to upgrade, Verizon had already promised the world to new iPhone customers with its unlimited data plan offerings, and then they turned around and forced everyone off of the plans. At least AT&T hasn't done that. And now that Sprint is an available carrier, I have a contract with AT&T again.

Comment AT&T is missing out here... (Score 4, Insightful) 220

Am I reading this right?

AT&T institutes a policy that is so terrible, it has created a perception in the public that it might even be illegal. So instead of coming up with better ways to satisfy your customers, AT&T decides to defend their terrible policies by insisting "yes, this is legal!"? It's like the entire point went right over your heads. Where on Earth is your PR team?

Your customers all know that "data is data" and there's no technical reason to disallow FaceTime on all your old plans (you know those plans all of your long-time LOYAL customers are on). Your customers know that you are simply placing arbitrary restrictions on those data plans to creating a differentiating factor in your shared data plans. We are not stupid.

I switched to AT&T when the first iPhone was released, and I have stayed on board even after Apple has added new carriers, despite the fact that over time AT&T has gotten worse and worse about my unlimited data plan. Apple and the extremely Apple loyal fanbase has helped AT&T in creating the near-duopoly mobile carrier market we have today. Apple hit it big with the iPhone because, like all of their products, they go above and beyond to make elegant products, take care of their customers in any way they can, and foster the greatest experiences possible for their platform. If you provided the same experience as a carrier, you would have the iPhone market completely cornered. But instead you sacrifice all that potential just to squeeze more money out of the people who remain on your network. That's poor planning and, simply put, you're all stupid for it.

Comment Re:What break? (Score 5, Insightful) 300

You're thinking too much like a techie. Regardless of whether the new market was carved out of excellent tech or excellent marketing, Apple is still carving new markets. If the iPad didn't exist, do you think the tablet market would look anything like it does today? No? Then Apple pretty much created a new market.

Comment Re:Check your receipt (Score 1) 543

This is going to depend on individual store policy. At the store I work at, we attempt to sell the client the PC Setup, and if they don't want the service and that's all the stock we have left, we give it to them for free.

Some stores are obviously more shady than others. It's up to individual store management.

I would never ring up a client's PC purchase and scan the PC Setup SKU without discussing it with the client first.

Comment Re:Aggressive Upsell (Score 1) 543

Not only that, but they up the price by about $80. Granted, getting the recovery disks (THAT I SHOULD ALREADY BE GETTING) almost makes this worthwhile, but I'm gonna be irritated if I have to uninstall even *more* crap.

I went to BB to look at an HP G4-1117DX and all they had were the ones with this treatment.

Part of this service is the removal of the "crap." The only new software they install is the antivirus software that you choose.

Comment They charge for this (Score 4, Interesting) 543

I work at Geek Squad.

Before I worked here, I abhorred the Geek Squad. But I needed a job, so I took this one. It's not really that bad.

Tons of people actually want this service. They pay $100 for us to turn on the computer for the first time, go through the Windows out-of-box experience, uninstall the Norton/McAfee 30-day trial, install 1-year (or more) Trend Micro/Kaspersky/Webroot of their choosing, burn recovery discs (since the OEMs don't include them anymore), and install all Windows updates.

All this takes about 2-3 hours and we use automated software to do this stuff.

We "preset" computers as well, meaning we take them out of the box, perform all of these services, and then rebox them up and badge them as "Set up by a Geek Squad Agent." We are only supposed to pre-set up a certain percentage of our stock, however, a lot of what we agents call "cowboy managers" (managers who break standard corporate operating procedure) make agents set up 50% or more of the stock, hoping that people will be more inclined to purchase setups if they are already performed and they're all that's left.

A lot of times at my store we give away the presets because the client doesn't want to pay and the preset stock is all that's left. It sounds to me like you got one of the preset units and they never charged you for it.

By the way, the only two types of tape available in the entire store are "Inspected by Best Buy" tape and "Geek Squad Priority" tape. The tape says "Inspected by Best Buy" because it indicates that Best Buy is the one who sealed the box last. It doesn't mean that the presetup process is an "inspection."

Given the high demand by some to buy their computers pre-set up, I don't think it's such a horrible service anymore. Some people are just stupid and want to turn on the computer for the first time and just click IE. The out of box experience, as silly as it sounds, can be confusing to many users, and they would rather walk out the door knowing that the antivirus is installed properly, even if that isn't hard to do at all.

Before you go hating on Best Buy, keep in mind that margins in PCs are extremely low. Best Buy _loses_ money if you buy a non-Apple computer without any Geek Squad services. This is called selling a "brick." The PC sales market is extremely cut-throat. Office Depot makes its money by hoping you never send in a rebate or send it in incorrectly. Best Buy makes its money by attaching services. Without this, the price of buying a computer from these stores would go up.

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