news of 2004-09-30

Accepting your island... (Editorial)

Apple will ship Tiger in the first half of 2005. And 10.5 at the end of 2006, probably. Our beloved OS will get better. But it won't conquer Windows. Here's why...

First and foremost: Mac OS X has been better than Windows in many aspects ever since it was first released. Apple has kept improving its features, polished the interface (and keeps polishing it, apparently) and added new features (and will do so). Yet, even the long wait for Longhorn doesn't make businesses and home users switch. The iPod is creating some switchers, the new iMac and the gorgeous PowerBooks and iBooks are turning heads as well. Yet a big landslide just ain't happening.
The UN*X folks have shown much more appreciation for the solid base and availability of big-brand applications (like Adobe's, Macromedia's and Microsoft's) that Mac OS X has going for it. We've read lots of comments, we've seen SUN workstation owners adopting PowerBooks and iBooks, we've seen O'Reilly adopting the Mac in General, which is a good sign. However: That's a relatively small group, and only part of it has actually made the switch. Others still prefer a good old PC dual booting into Windows and Linux or emulating Windows' APIs on Linux. Safer bet, they say - and they're not locking themselves into Apple's hardware (although that can run Linux, too).
Apple has to 'accept their island', as I've put it in the title of this column. And it probably already has. They won't conquer Windows in the few years ahead until Longhorn. They probably won't even reach the 5 percent mark again they once had. Or the 10 percent mark. Apple will continue to struggle with market share. Now, market share is not as important, because Apple is financially well and will continue to sell Macs to its island, so we're happy. But conquering those other 95 percent, as Steve's once put it, is a task for decades rather than years. And I'm alright with that.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-09-30 at 11:51 CET ]
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Everyone colours MP3 players now, so...

After Creative and Toshiba (and possibly more that I don't know of), now Sony says they're going to ape Apple colouring some MP3 players. And that's good for Apple, although it'll probably mean 'good-bye' to iPod minis' colours...

Let's rewrap up what happened after Apple had coloured their iMacs. How did that play out? Apple created the five colours for the iMac and everyone started to use those translucent colour schemes for basically everything. And just when it started to show, Apple went Indigo and White for the iMacs. (I know about Dalmatian and Flower Power, but let's just slip that under the rug, since they were a mishap...)
Will we now see the same? I certainly hope so. The original iPod is an icon, and even if all other MP3 players become white, you'll still notice an iPod instantly. But the mini? Let it come in two shades of brushed metal: A lighter and a darker version. And let the other players try to sell 'something pink'. ;)
Should Apple be afraid? I think not. It's quite a simple marketing effect that's happening. Something 'bright and new' can be a hit, the followers won't be - and it's the leader that will change the tune. And Apple, after all, is the leader here.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-09-30 at 11:38 CET ]
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Five new iTMS countries in Europe

In October, five new European countries will get access to iTMS. While I hope that Switzerland is among them, I kinda know that it won't be. But hope dies last, doesn't it. ;)

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-09-30 at 09:19 CET ]
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