Dave Winer is not someone you want dissing your product. Dave has 9,000 people subscribed to his blog on Google Reader, and who knows how many other readers are out there. Dave Winer is extremely influential, not only on his own, but he's great friends with Robert Scoble, Mike Arrington, and countless other "A" listers that will certainly vouch for him and spread his word.
Dave brought his Mac into the Apple store because the hard drive fried on him. After the service was completed, when he asked for the old hard drive back, the Apple Store associate told him that he could not have it back, and that part of what he signed on the repair agreement was that Apple gets to keep his old hard drive.
On top of that, when he started reading the fine print, he noticed that the hard drive that they replaced on his machine, may or may not be refurbished. It cost him $160 bucks. $160 bucks for a possibly used 80GB 5400 RPM 2.5 hard drive. Rip-off.
Also, what if Apple isn't careful with his old hard drive. What if someone gets a hold of the drive, and grabs his online banking password, or some of his source code?
What I don't get is why Apple hasn't learned from their mistakes. Why did PC's become popular over the Macs? Because the OS and the and the hardware are tied together. This just exacerbates this issue. Apple should be doing whatever it takes to make sure that their customers don't walk away feeling like they are wishing they'd got a PC.
Most Apple customers go out of their way to move to the Mac OS to begin with. They deal with incompatible file formats from the majority PC users, a browser that isn't supported as well by developers, and often an overly complicated process when switching from the PC. Apple is lucky to have them in the first place.
I would not buy Apple stock right now. I really think we're going to see a huge shift in the way people behave towards Apple. And I think this snafu with Dave Winer will accelerate that if they leave him dissatisfied. Dave's got a lot of reach, and could swing a huge number of people's perceptions of Apple in a much different direction (after all, I'm blogging about it right now, which means that a whopping 20 more people are going to hear about it).
And it all boils down to customers feeling like they did in the 90's, locked into expensive hardware with the OS that they liked. No matter what, people will always abandon a product that doesn't give them choices, despite how beautiful it looks.