Isn’t it ironic that after several years sloughing through, just as the Mac
and Mac OS are finally making timid but noticeable inroads in
market shares, one of the most acclaimed MacWorld keynotes in years is a
presentation that doesn’t mention either even once in two hours?
To be honest, I’m surprised that the Apple fans are not more angry about
that. I can certainly understand the excitement that the iPhone is
generating, even though some dark spots are beginning to emerge now that the
Jobs distortion field is wearing off, and it is indisputable that Apple has once
again proven that their sense of innovation is very much alive. But if I
were a long-time Apple fan, I would probably worry that the focus in Cupertino
is slowly switching to everything that is not Mac-related: iPod, iPhone,
iTV and probably more consumer electronic devices to be created in the next few
years. The switch from Apple Computer Inc. to simply "Apple Inc" has to
taste bitter to Mac OS lovers. Maybe next year’s conference should be
Interestingly, even the most fanatical and devout fans were taken by
surprise, including the notoriously loudmouth and bigot John Gruber, who made
predictions for Mac World, two of which being iTV and iPhone (which we
already knew about) and the other ten about the Mac. All of them wrong.
No matter how good Mac OS is, it’s still a bit behind Windows, and just as
the gap is finally closing, not only is Windows about to receive a major upgrade
that is going to set it back as the undisputed number one user interface /
operating system , but it looks like as if it is approaching the final mile, Apple
is suddenly feeling a pain in its lungs as it is slowly realizing that you don’t
win a race by making bursts of accelerations only when the public is watching, but by maintaining a steady and sustained pace throughout the entire event.
To me, this year’s MacWorld’s was both about Apple showing everyone that it
is now a force to be reckoned with in the consumer electronics space and at the
same time, raising the white flag in the computer and OS field and finally
conceding that Mac OS will always be an also-ran. But it’s okay because
its users are so fanatical about the Cupertino company that they will probably
keep buying and upgrading whenever they are told to, and I have no doubt on
their ability to maintain their condescending and superior attitude toward
everyone else no matter what.
And besides, despite its last minute slip, Mac OS still beat Linux, so
there’s at least that.