11 January 2006

Macworld 06

The true Mac fanatics were a bit disappointed that their fearless leader, Steve Jobs, didn't announce a completely unexpected and never-before-imaginable new product when he gave his keynote yesterday at the Macworld Expo yesterday morning. I, too, would have liked to have seen the rumored updated Mac Mini with an Intel chip in it (the Viiv chip, if you care), that will also serve as a DVR. But no worries: Steve is going to revolutionise your living room, it will just take a bit longer, and I think he wants to have the stage again for a separate event that shows how (and a new media cycle to cover this event). Plus, I think the 13.3 inch widescreen Intel iBook (MacBook?) is also on its way in a bit.

Unrealised rumors aside, there is much good news coming from San Francisco:
  1. Apple is making so much money on iPods - they sold 14 million over the holidays - that they'll have the time do their Tivo-killing App the right way.
  2. They are making the transition to Intel seamless, and the press has already changed their tune on this – from thinking it might derail Apple's success to seeing it as part of that successs. The new Intel iMac is already shipping, and the Intel MacBook Pro (note the new name) is just about ready to go. This is impressive when you consider the engineering required to switch the entire platform from one processor architecture to another. And one will never again have to hear Macs are slower than PCs'. Ever.
  3. Apple software keeps getting better, giving folks more reasons to run OS X over Windows. iLife 06 with iWeb is very cool indeed, and iWeb may lead this blogger to abandon blogger. While word is that iWork 06 gives us a version of Pages that will make it even easier to stop using MS Word. The new Pages is said to have endnote capability and track changes, the two showstoppers for academics like me. I've been using Pages as my main Word Processor since the autumn, and it's a nice App.
  4. With hardware based on Intel chipsets (and motherboards), it will be only a short period of time before you can run Windows XP and XP programs on your mac. Toss in the glory and goodness of Tiger and iLife and iWork, and it might actually be possible for Apple to increase market share just a bit and solidify their position in said market.
In other words, by the end of 2006 there will be no reason not to buy a Mac.


dan said...

"And one will never again have to hear Macs are slower than PCs'. Ever."

Haha, yes, I think this has been a major impediment in potential converts -- PC users think they're comparing apples to apples, and so it is hard to justify paying hundreds of dollars more for, what in PC terms, equates to a mid-to-low range processor speed. Just looking at the numbers, it would appear that you can get a lot more computer for equal or less money compared to Macs.

Is it me, or has Mac really accelerated updates in its software suite? I think that Windows has been forced to respond: their OS & software interfaces have definitely become more Mac-like, a trend that, it seems, will continue with the release of Vista & Office 12.

I think that the success of the iPod has/will continue to equate to a new surge of Mac converts. (I know someone who, last year, having never used a Mac, bought an iBook because she wanted the "free" iPod that came with it). The lure of the iPod hardware + the iTunes software is a major step toward the holy land of Appledom.

Macs + Intel will be an interesting development, indeed. But I wonder, as a non Mac user, if the leveling of the playing field, so to speak, will have a negative impact to the Mac brand even while it makes conversion less problematic? That is, if one currently chooses Macs because they are superior machines, does this make them more like PCs, and thus, more even -- less superior? Will the OS & Software functionality suffer, stay the same, or improve with the conversion to Intel?

Ruth said...

Personally, I'm worried about the apparent ditching of the 12'' powerbook. I love the small size for travel -- and I shelled out for a big monitor when I'm at home, which a 15'' screen is just going to block the bottom of. Hell -- I'd be happy to see a return of the Newton. A mini is irrelevant to me as a desktop machine, but I'd love to see Apple move into the subnotebook realm.

Tarn said...

oh, and while we're AppleDreaming right now, I'd like to see a tablet -- I absolutely fell in love with the IBM tablet/notebook over the break in LA, and I'm dying for an apple version...

sageblue said...

About the updating of software--Apple is going off, since iLife '05 is barely walking, and now they're pitching iLife '06...with no discount for iLife '05 users. And people are pissed.

Thankfully, I didn't jump right in with iLife, so now can happily and blissfully apply my education discount and get it...as soon as Sam tells me I should.

I'm still holding off on iWork...