The future can be such a pain because it never seems to get here on time. For those of us who have more of it, the past can be a pain, too, as it seems to linger around forever.
The Mac was once the center of Apple. Today, the Mac seems to be an afterthought in Cupertino. Is the Mac a dying breed, or simply in the middle of a vast sea of change? One tech writer says goodbye to the Mac. Another says goodbye to the Mac you know.
RIP Mac? Or, Phoenix Mac?
This is a story of two perspectives on the same topic, our beloved Mac. Daniel Lyons (the man behind Fake Steve), Newsweek writer, says, RIP, Macintosh. In wonderful first person prose to the Mac he loved, Lyons says it’s over between Apple and the Mac.
As proof, Lyons points to Apple’s developer’s conference, the WWDC 2010, which was all about everything but the Mac.
WWDC was the platform to introduce the iPhone 4, and the new iOS 4 operating system for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. The Mac? Not so much as a word from Apple honcho Steve Jobs about the Mac.
To hear Daniel Lyons tell it, the Mac is on life support, waiting for last rights, and a nice ceremony at the top of the hill in the Cupertino cemetary.
On the other hand, writing in The Motley Fool, Tim Beyers says simply, Say Goodbye To The Mac You Know. Both missives have a solid ‘goodbye’ as the main theme, but only one offers hope for a Mac future.
Here’s how it’s playing out. The iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch get Apple’s new A4 chip (designed somewhat by Apple) and run Apple’s new iOS which delivers apps via Apple’s highly touted and somewhat controversial and very successful App Store.
What’s not to like? It all just works. Just like the Mac. Except the Mac is Mac OS X and Intel Inside. Could it be that on the way to the Apple Convergence Party™…
What’s interesting here is the convergence. The iPhone and iPad share a common architecture (iOS4 and A4). I think the Mac is next. After all, what reason could Apple have for not moving all of its hardware portfolio to a common platform after having done it so many times before?
Whoa. Look at that again. The Mac is next. Say goodbye to the Mac we know and love. Long live the Mac. The Mac, Phoenix-like, re-emerges from the ashes as simply another iDevice on Apple’s iKeychain.
But, but, but, doesn’t the Mac need to keep Windows at bay? Doesn’t the Mac need to be the David to Microsoft’s Goliath? In order to love our Macs don’t we need something to hate? Don’t we need to Think Different? And don’t we need Intel Inside?
I know what you’re thinking. The day the Mac dies is the day they pull my MacBook Pro from my cold dead hands. That’s not what Beyers is saying. It’s more of a Dr. Who-like transformation of what we know as today’s Mac to the real Mac of the 21st century—more powerful than handheld devices, of course, yet smoothly, seamlessly, lovingly crafted as another attraction within the digital Disneyworld of iDevices created by the re-born Steve Jobs.
Think about it. This idea is no longer far-fetched. It may be inevitable.
Apple’s handheld iDevices already have more applications, more developers, more revenue, more profit, more attention from Apple—more of everything than the Mac, except a long, glorious, and prosperous history.
If Daniel Lyons is correct, the Mac is dead, and we just haven’t been notified. If Beyers is correct, what we know of the world of Mac will undergo yet another miraculous trans-morphing to the future. Apple has the experience and expertise to pull it off. The Mac crossed over to Motorola’s PowerPC chips back in the 1990s. It crossed again to Mac OS X in the early 21st century. Then again from PPC to Intel chips just a few short years ago.
What’s next? iOS 5 for Mac?