Since almost no one noticed a product unveiling at Apple last week, or, at least, one aspect of said event, I feel called to step up, and weigh in. Apple, some may have noticed, announced that it was designing the silicon for the new iPad, as well as writing the OS and the core applications. One august journal proclaimed “a new direction” for Apple.
Us iGeezers just say “Huh?” We remember the first Mac, and most all subsequent Macs until Motorola et al. dropped the PowerPC chip – Apple software, wed to Apple hardware, with Apple apps for frosting – the complete Apple lock-in (or attempted lock-in) – not exactly a resounding success, judging by the vast number of PCs in the world now enrolled in botnets.
This, really folks, is Vintage Steve, doing what he did in 1984, except with the added touch of trying to also control the means of all future media distribution thrown in for good measure.
Don’t get me wrong: I own a little Apple stock, and I wish the company all the success in the world. And it’s not that Mr. Jobs has been standing still for 26 years. In that time he has been able to, for example, revolutionize music delivery.
And I think he’s right that, these days, people are not averse to lock-in, just so it works, and works smoothly and elegantly a la iTunes. My digital life is a patchwork of devices, places, protocols, cords, tethers and messy complexity. My iPhone already has knocked a couple degrees of cruft off that needless confusion and iPad stands poised to move the ‘simplify’ needle another few notches out of the red ‘Hopeless’ zone, and, possibly, much further. Apple, the ‘benign Microsoft?’ Probably not…