Greg Walsh


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To Mac Media--Get Over it!

Thursday July 18, 2002

Estimated Reading Time: 1 minutes

p class='bodyText'>After watching Steve Jobs' keynote speech at Macworld, many Mac media Web sites decided that they were "underwhelmed" by what they saw. "everything we saw, we've seen before, months ago at the first Jaguar preview" one said about the new Mac OS as their less than objective reviews downplayed Apple's announcements. Apple is continuing to innovate in ways that the tech elite takes for granted.

Wanton emotional memories like "we remember the days when the Mac was a platform, not just the product of a single company" just make no sense in today's economy. It's a computer, maybe a lifestyle, but it's not an Orthodox religion. The changes in Apple's strategy aren't personally directed at anyone. They're just trying to make money while pushing new ideas of computing and laying the groundwork for the future of computer experiences.

Apple unveiled a couple of new tools like iSync and iCal that will be available in Mac OS X 10.2. iSync is just a pretty common tool to synchronize contacts between devices. More importantly, iCal is "a new calendar program with built-in Internet sharing that lets business users, consumers and educators manage multiple calendars, share them over the Internet and automatically keep them updated." I can make a calendar, publish it on the web, and let people subscribe to it or I can subscribe to theirs and present their calendars as a different color in mine. ummm, did Apple just bring collaborative computing to everyday people? I think they did.

I downplayed iSync because what it does isn't as important as how it does it. Utilizing native OS support of wireless networking standard Bluetooth and network configuration standard Rendezvous, Apple is really laying the ground work for pervasive computing, personal wireless networks, and instant-on connectivity. When my computer can configure it self to a new network, like when I visit a client, or my mobile phone becomes my computer's modem without wires or flipping a switch, something great is happening in technology.

Finally, the new .Mac service that was unveiled has a lot of promise. Not everybody has their own web servers or simple e-mail without tons of ads. The idea that a mom can take digital pictures of her kids, mix those with video of a school play, lay down a soundtrack, and upload it to the internet with little or no technical skill is an amazing feat by Apple. Will everyone want to subscribe to a $99 a year service for email and hosting, probably not, but, it will definitely be valuable for a bunch of people. (My guess is the price point will change before the end of September and be lowered)

The Mac media needs to remember that not everyone reads rumor sites and these simple yet effective tools that Apple is rolling out will actually help those that aren't tech savvy. I was impressed by what Apple is able to innovate within the constrains of the economy and make baby steps to tomorrow's ubiquitous technologies.