This morning’s WSJ is running a great story on Page 1 of the Marketplace section entitled Apple is Now Showing some Real Substance behind the Pretty Case, which talks about the recent development of Safari and Keynote as well as assumung that there are apps to handle word processing and spreadsheets on the way. The software efforts are being matched by other companies as well as noted by the return of QuickBooks which had been killed in 1997 but returned at the end of last year.
While I don’t agree author Lee Gomez about his idea for Apple to release hardware that would fit the beige special category, I can’t help but agree with the idea that Apple is here now and very strong despite what the nay-sayers feel. The software and hardware combos they offer today are simply the best for most computing applications. Sure there are PC only apps, but those things (whatever they are) could be converted or re-developed if and when the Mac audience grows. I believe that the experience is the best for handling digital media, content creation, email and web content as well as educational applications. Games is an easy target for where things are lacking compared to PCs but that is just fine for now. Mainstream computing is not high end PC gaming. It is, however manipulating digital photos, listening to MP3 tracks and of course sending email about the new web site you made with all that great stuff within a matter of minutes thanks to Apple’s ease of use and software genius.
Apple these days is in the unique and enviable position of appealing simultaneously to computer users at both ends of the usage spectrum. The first is the home user, someone who just wants to surf the Net and read e-mail. Not long ago, home users would have been crazy for considering a Macintosh. Now, they are crazy if they don’t.
The second is the technically minded user, who likes the new Mac because it’s based on software called FreeBSD, a kissing cousin to Linux. Apple says the Linux-on-the-desktop movement is stalling, which would once again make the Apple ecosystem the gathering place for people disinclined to like Mr. Gates.