The times are definitely changing. Not only has Apple revived the Mac, they managed to change the shape of portable media players, then smart phones. Now they’re doing it with tablets.
With Apple forging ahead at lightning speed, rivals are struggling to keep up. The personal computing landscape is about to undergo a dramatic change. Is it the end of the Mac as personal computer?
Goodbye, Mac And PC
After the Mac was launched in 1984 it took Microsoft another 10 years to create a worthy competitor in Windows 95. After Apple’s iPhone shook the cell phone industry, it took only a few years for rivals to provide worthy competition.
Less than one year after the iPad took the tablet market by storm, a band of strong competitors are poised just over the tech industry horizon.
If the tablet is the true personal computer of the future, what of the Mac and PC?
Smaller, lighter, faster, more powerful Macs are on the way, of course. But the handwriting is on the proverbial wall. The latest line of MacBook Air models are not much larger, thicker, heavier than the first generation iPad. The Mac is evolving.
We can only expect future Mac models to be ever lighter, ever faster, and ever more powerful, even as the Mac OS user experience appears to gravitate toward the iOS experience of the iPhone and iPad.
Mac OS X Lion, Meet iOS For Mac
Apple’s so-called iDevices are touch centric. So is the Mac’s trackpad (notebook models), and the Magic Mouse and Magic Trackpad. Touch, or what looks like it can be touched, is the future for Mac OS X.
Mac OS X Lion may be the last Mac OS as we know the Mac OS. iOS for Mac could find its way to smaller, lighter, yet very fast and powerful Macs of next year or the year after, but soon. Yes, the Mac is evolving.
Mac apps will still be more complex, more capable than iDevice apps, but how long will it be before mobile device apps do 90-percent of what desktop or notebook computers do now?
The PC Landscape Change
Since the mid-1980s, the dominant duo of Microsoft Windows and Intel Inside ruled personal computing. Until the late 1990s and co-founder Steve Jobs return, Apple was considered on life support and near death.
My, how that landscape has changed.
In 2011, non-Intel chips populate the most popular mobile devices—smart phones and tablets. The hottest selling smart phones and tablets don’t have a Windows label. Microsoft and Intel are afterthoughts, struggling to compete in a rapidly changing and highly mobile device marketplace.
It should be obvious that Intel does not have a product that competes well in the mobile arena. The same can be said for Microsoft’s ubiquitous Windows—ubiquitous except on popular smart phones and tablets.
Even the future of Windows is in doubt. Google announced a lightweight notebook operating system for PC makers. HP announced webOS for smart phones and tablets and future HP notebooks.
Unlike Microsoft and Intel, Apple has made (and is making) the transformation from desktop and laptop to ever lighter notebooks, to the most popular line of smart phones and tablets. This happened within a four year time frame (the iPhone was announced in early 2007).
Say Goodbye To Your Mac
That Mac you’re using? It’s a dinosaur. And Apple wants it that way. Next year’s Macs will be lighter, faster, smaller, and more powerful yet will even look like Apple’s iDevices. Instead of leaving the Mac behind, Apple has found a way to transform the Mac brand and make it viable while other brands lose their value in the ever changing mobile market.
Goodbye, Mac and PC. We hardly knew ye. Look closely at the iPad. And say hello to the Mac of the 21st century.