Tag Archives: mac

25 Years of Mac

This is the keynote in which Steve Jobs introduced the Mac and the famous 1984 ad directed by Ridley Scott. The ad would be aired only once during the Super Bowl, and cost Apple $1.5 million.

The original Macintosh was released on 24 January 1984. Known as Macintosh 128k, it was priced at $2495 and powered with a Motorola 68000 microprocessor. The Macintosh brought a true disruption to computer user interfaces, with revolutionary applications at the time as MacPaint, to draw with a mouse, or MacWrite, the first WYSIWYG word processor. You can have a feel of it with the demo of the first Macintosh by Steve Jobs in January 1984:

Read/WriteWeb has a nice compilation of pictures of all Macs until today. It is a great overview of computer history through Apple machines.

Last quarter Apple shipped $2.52 Macs enjoying one of its sweetest moments as the icon brand for consumer computers.

Steve, get well soon!

Coolness Vs. Openness

Mac, coolness: the choice of the artist and the MBA. Style, simplicity, less features but works flawlessly, usability on the top, identify with brand, price premium. The right brain decides.

Ubuntu, openness: the choice of the engineer and the geek. Features, features, features, beta versions, open to add more features, open to develop and install applications, works on any HW, lowest cost. The choice of the left brain. Microsoft would fall in this category as well. It is far from being open source, but the independence of HW platform, openness for developers to write applications, easy install and uninstall of applications, and market dominance, make Microsoft a choice for the pragmatic, emotional phobias aside.

When openness meets coolness: Google and Android

Even Mike Arrington and BusinessWeek contribute to the hype of the iPhone 3G, set to beat even the most optimistic expectations. The right brain has made its choice, there is no handset as cool as the iPhone: MultiTouch, great web browsing, email, youtube, an iPod inside and the guarantee to be the envy of your buddies. But the left brain says: wait, what apps will you be able to install except those sold by App Store? at what price? no copy and paste, only h264 video, only syncs with iTunes, no flash memory card slot, no 3G video calls, no keyboard and forced to a two year contract with the operator…

And here is where Google appears. Google flagship is also simplicity, things that just work (even if Beta…), a brand comparable to Apple (for the moment), and a flavor of openness.  Android combines an open platform with the revolutionary concept the iPhone brought, only that you have an army of developers and a variety of handset HW so that you can pick which of the shortcomings of iPhone you want to fix in your Android.

Will you run for the iPhone 3G or wait to see what Android is capable? I admit it, I am an engineer, I will wait.

Mac and iPhone also popular in Enterprises

Apple success in the consumer market, with Macs winning market share positioned as high-end stylish computers and iPhones revolutionizing mobile phones, might extend to enterprises too. BusinessWeek reports in detail about this trend in The Mac in the Gray Flannel Suit.

Mac’s move to Intel CPUs is paying back. Apart for the cost decrease, it enables Mac computers to run Windows. Better yet with virtualization supported by Macs, switching between Windows and Mac OS on the same computer is a matter of a click. This is like a “safety net” for companies scared to entirely break with Microsoft. With Windows support, and more and more enterprise applications running on the web (or as SaaS), Macs are beginning to be seen as an option for companies, that is also very well received by employees.

iPhone email capabilities are also appealing business users as an alternative to RIM’s Blackberry, with the advantage that they can use iPhones for both work and entertainment. A NY Times article this week analyzes the threat that Apple supposes to RIM.

Although in terms of market share in enterprise, Apple penetration in computers and mobile email is still very small compared to Microsoft and RIM, the power of Apple’s brand and their iconic, trend-setting products are not to be disregarded.

Vista sucks. Ubuntu or Mac OS X?

Just google “Vista sucks” and you get 2.5 million results. It is now unanimous: Vista is slow, unstable and annoying. Apart from my Commodore 64 and the OS/2 Warp of my days in IBM I have always used Windows: 3.11, 95, 98, 2000, XP and now Vista. So if I divorce now from Microsoft, where can I go? and will I be able to survive without Windows?

For consumers that use the computer for Internet browsing, email, watching movies, listening to music (and Sync iPod), video-conference with the family, store and slide-show pictures, and produce video clips of the kids, is there a reason not to switch to Mac? A Mac can do all that, and probably far better than Windows. On top of that, a Mac is stylish. Whether an iMac or Mac mini in the living room, or a Macbook at Starbucks, you will be the envy of your friends (specially of those do not dare to get free from Windows).

Ubuntu is the other option. Open Source. You belong to a community with a cause: freedom and putting innovation at the service of the society. Let others build on top of what you have done. If you are a developer, master Unix, and love the share philosophy, there is no other option than Linux. Less fashion than Mac, but higher ideals. If you are not a geek but can not afford a Mac,  probably you can survive with Ubuntu for a basic use: Web, email, movies, music and pictures. For a more advanced use, you will need some Unix training first. Matt Assay’s post, Ubuntu, it’s time now, might convince you though.

Mac gains ground on consumers

Apple has presented results for the past quarter. Apple shipped 2.3 million Mac computers in the quarter, 51 percent year-on-year growth, with a revenue increase of 54 percent. iPod sales were flat compared to last year with 10.6 million units sold. More financial details on GigaOm or TechCrunch.

Mac is quickly taking market share from Windows. Today iMac is clearly the most stylish computer for home, and MacBook is the most desired laptop for personal use. In any Starbucks one can see the increasing number of MacBooks. Apple was never a threat to Microsoft in the past, but with more and more open standards, and easily portable applications, Apple is quickly gaining ground as the computer for home (and for Starbucks). Mac is no longer a niche product but a high-end choice for consumer computers.

Steve Jobs said that “… people are really noticing the difference between Mac OS X and Windows to a greater degree than ever before. The more people understand that there is an alternative, the more people are choosing a Mac.”

On the iPod side, apart from reaching market maturity, iPods sales might be stalling due to the wait-for-the-iPhone effect, with people delaying their older iPods renovation, waiting for iPhone to be available in their markets, or simply for the 3G iPhone. Still, sales of iPhone were relatively soft; 1.7 million units in Q1 for a target of 10 million in 2008. Again buyers maybe waiting for the 3G version, or for the price to come down…