Apple CEO Steve Jobs is not averse to a bit of late night email banter with tech bloggers, outlining his vision and understanding of 'freedom' in a late-night email exchange this week.
Jobs was responding to an email criticising the marketing campaign for the new Apple iPad, which he received late on Friday evening from Gawker writer Ryan Tate.
The heated email exchange is telling for a number of reasons. It reveals Jobs' thoughts about and attitudes to online pornography and his musings on what Bob Dylan might think of Apple's 'revolution' with the new iPad tablet PC.
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For his part, Tate admitted to being mildly intoxicated when he saw an iPad TV advert late on Friday evening which claimed the iPad to be such a 'revolution'.
"If Dylan was 20 today, how would he feel about your company? Would he think the iPad had the faintest thing to do with 'revolution'? Revolutions are about freedom", Tate mailed Jobs after seeing red.
Traditional PC folks' world slipping away?
Remarkably, Jobs replied three hours later, telling the Gawker writer: "Yep, freedom from programs that steal your private data. Freedom from programs that trash your battery. Freedom from porn.
"Yep, freedom. The times they are a changin' and some traditional PC folks feel like their world is slipping away. It is."
Jobs goes on to make some further quite telling observations on internet porn, informing Tate that he "might care more when you have kids", and also has the following to say about the differences between Microsoft and Apple:
"Microsoft had (has) every right to enforce whatever rules for their platform that they want. If people don't like it, they can write for another platform, which some did. Or they can buy another platform, which some did.
"As for us, we're just doing what we can to try and make (and preserve) the user experience we envision. You can disagree with us, but our motives are pure."
Somewhat annoyingly, Jobs then goes and spoils it a little (much to the disappointment of Apple's PR department, no doubt), by signing off with the following brattish-sounding remark:
"By the way, what have you done that's so great? Do you create anything, or just criticize others work and belittle their motivations?"
To be fair, Tate admits, following the email exchange with Jobs, that: "Rare is the CEO who will spar one-on-one with customers and bloggers like this. Jobs deserves big credit for breaking the mold of the typical American executive, and not just because his company makes such hugely superior products: Jobs not only built and then rebuilt his company around some very strong opinions about digital life, but he's willing to defend them in public. Vigorously. Bluntly. At two in the morning on a weekend."
You can read the entire exchange over on Valleywag. And you can see the TV ad spot that so riled Tate right below these words: