Copying taste without understanding design

Rob Beschizza in What the Vaio Z says about Sony’s little design problem, a brilliant article on the difference between taste and design:

Apple competitors are obsessed with copying Apple’s tastes without copying its central design habit, which is solving a problem and then refining the solution until the problem changes.

This is also what makes the HP Envy such a bizarre rip-off of the Macbook Pro. It all reminds me of that scene in Armageddon where the Bruce Willis character blows up at the contractors who tried to build an oil drill he designed:

Let me get this straight. You had me pulled off my oil rig, flown half way around the world, you stole my drill design, couldn’t read the plans right, and did a piss poor job of putting it together!

I can image hearing those same words coming out of Steve Jobs’s mouth if he could see the Sony Vaio Z and the HP Envy.