Life on the mobile edge: Revenge of the fanboys

Some people get really ticked off when you say their robot baby is ugly

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That's OK -- I can take it! After all, I hardly hold my punches when I criticize something.

One common theme is to call me a fanboy, especially in regards to Apple products. Typical comments along these lines include:

  • From "Philip Gould": "I think his post is primarily designed as a troll to inflame people by a Apple fan boy who really does not like Microsoft or its products"
  • From "DatDarkOne": "This time without a doubt, you have managed to show that you have no credibility. That you actually posted an article without doing proper research is amazing. I've tried to give you the benefit of a doubt with the whole Apple bias thing. But to basically lie about your platform's opponent, that is just too low."
  • From "Dajunga": "Galen, for a while you were slowly but surely becoming a joke. Now you're pretty much all the way there. Have you taken a look at the comments on your work? No, it's not a coincidence. You've lost all credibility."
  • From "Strykr": "You, sir, are an idiot. You write this 'review' as though the update was supposed to fix every little problem. Never was that supposed to be the case. Do you work for Apple?"
  • From "Steve__S" as a backhanded compliment: "I'm shocked ... a well reasoned and fairly accurate overview of the tablet market by Galen Gruman. Nicely done. Much better than his usual 'work.'"

Another class of comment cites my stint at Macworld as evidence that I am biased against all things not Apple. Ironically, I was hired at Macworld in 1991 explicitly because I was not a fanboy and thus could help connect the Mac aficionados to the rest of the world. I was viewed with some suspicion when I joined; in fact, David Pogue, the current New York Times technology columnist and then a Macworld columnist, would refer to me as "Mr. DOS Head." People took great pity on me because I did not understand SCSI.

Nonetheless, I rose to become executive editor in 1994, leaving in 1998 (around the time Steve Jobs came back) after losing faith in Apple's ability to save the Mac. Never mind where else I've worked since I began my career in 1984: a CBS newsfeed project called ExtraVision, IEEE Software, Computerworld, Upside, Third Age, M-Business, and of course InfoWorld. And I've written for PC World, CIO magazine, and many others.

As any reader knows, my favorite of the mobile technology bunch is Apple's iOS, which I believe has revolutionized in a very good way the boring personal computer industry. Anyone who knows my history with Apple understands that it's been a strained one, so my "love" for Apple is actually a "love" for (most of) its Mac and iOS products. That "love" is conditional: I've had major issues with Apple's products and technology in the late 1990s, and if Apple lost its edge, I'd shift my affections. And if other companies come up with great technology, I have enough "love" to go around. It's not monogamy, lifetime or even serial!

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