John Markoff is making the most of his Macworld interview with Steve Jobs, his last perhaps with the Apple CEO.
Putting the iPhone hype in perspective, he points out today that the Macintosh computer:
… was received with the same kind of wild hyperbole that greeted the iPhone this week. But a year later, the shortcomings of the first-generation Macintosh cost Mr. Jobs his job at the company he founded nine years earlier with a high school friend, Stephen Wozniak.
In light of the iPhone’s closed appliance-style design, it is worth recounting the Mac’s early history because of the potential parallel pitfalls that Mr. Jobs and his company may face.
During the Markoff interview, Jobs also shrugged off the federal investigation of his backdated stock options and blamed the media for distorting the story.
“It’s raised questions,” he was quoted as saying in Markoff’s Wednesday story, “but some of the journalism has been so off the mark. But I know the truth. It’s painful to read some of this stuff, but I know it’s kind of ridiculous and will pass.”
That flip attitude apparently didn’t go over well with regulators investigating the options scandal. What may be their response appeared in a Wall Street Journal story today that says the SEC and federal prosecutors are “actively investigating” Jobs’ backdated options.
Jobs ought to ask Bill Gates and Martha Stewart what happens when you’re flip with the feds.