It certainly appears that Apple is hell-bent on innovation. My thinking is that in the vaccum of faster CPUs they are working very hard on the software that will put OS X on the map (as if it wasn't already).
However while I was watching the keynote @ Apple Canada it occurred to me (out loud, my fellow keynote attendees in my vicinity heard me say this) that they are planning for the ultimate seperation and non-reliance of Microsoft.
What I mean by this is look at the two apps they released: Safari and Keynote. These are direct replacements of Internet Explorer and PowerPoint.
I have a denifite feeling we're going to see a word processor and spreadsheet program in the not too distant future. The fact the long-rumored AppleWorks upgrade has still not surfaced and the release of Keynote is a clear indication they are taking a seperate application suite like Office.
I'll be first to speculate we'll see some more apps like by the time the next MacWorld San Fran next year.
Also, it certainly appears to me that the 12" PowerBook G4 has custom-designed for the Japanese market. They love small PowerBooks, look how the PowerBook 2400 is such a coveted item over there and to a more recent extent, the iBook. have you seen the number of mods they do to their machines? They're crazy for them!
The US market seems to like bigger things (Hmmvees, Navigrators?, Expeditions, Sony 16" VAIOS, etc...) so they come out with the 17" model. Over in Japan where Apple has a huge market share the 12" inch model seems to be "just for them".
I love my 12" iBook to death, dare I say more than the 400Mhz TiBook I used to have.
Anyone else care to speculate on this? Am I way off base?
I agree with you on most points there, except I think they may release the new AppleWorks (Or suite) at the next MW (If they show up!)
I also think that with the problems that they had with MacWorld NY/Boston that Apple may just do their own show and ditch MW (IMO), after all, people will follow apple.
How does this affect Apple's deal with Microsoft? Will IE still be bundled with future versions of OSX? Apple does need to do something to make Appleworks more competitive, but Office is still the choice for many.
As much as I hate to say it, I think if Apple wants to convert PC users they need Microsoft.
You may be right MacGenius, or you may be wrong. Apple is definitely bringing out more software that goes head to head with other software vendors. What about iPhoto iMovie, and Final Cut Pro, doesn't that compete with Adobe's products some. On the other hand there was an anouncement that the Demo of MS-Office was going to be pre-installed on every Mac, doesn't sound like MS is out just yet. Steve made a note of Office being one of the Mac OS X apps there. Also, as sjd stated, Office is the standard. If you want to bring PC converts over, they feel at home and less nervous if they know there's a version of Office for the Mac and it works well with the PC version.
I think Apple just wants to have an alternative for Mac users. There's no reason you can't have a competing product and steal some of MS's marketshare. MS isn't going to worry about losing a couple percentages of marketshare. A couple of percentages is nothing to them, but a big deal to Apple.
My thought is Apple is finally becoming more of a software company.
We all know that Apple is expected to introduce new hardware at MWE, and so they did. But I was very pleasantly suprised at all the application news, and what I see as a renewed focus on the users (vs the hardware).
Apple has been buying up SW and SW firms quite agressively lately (OSX, Shake, Final Cut Pro, iTunes, etc are derived from these aquisitions) so I don't think there is less market choice with the Apple branded apps.
Should the iApp competitors be spurred to improve their offerings, there is no doubt that they will incorporate those same changes into their x86 code, so I see an upside for developers. It seems strange to argue Apple is being "too innovative", but that is the essence of some developer's arguements.
Finally, a MWE where we can enjoy the new products without feeling we need to buy new HW (at least if it's 2 or fewer years old). That's fine with me, I want to use my current Mac for 3 or more years, like I used to be able to do. It leaves room in the budget for software.
You could conclude that Safari (based on Open Source code) was released to deflect some criticism with regard to the megahertz wars, or you could conclude that Apple was frustrated with the almost complete lack of focus on MS's part with regard to Explorer. I know I had expected a version 6 from MS sometime in the last 12 months, which is still nowhere to be seen.
MS Office is essentially a business app, and back when Word 4-5 was current, ClarisWorks 3-4 was a very credible alternative for the rest of us. Just because MS is an agressive competitor doesn't mean Apple should be passive; it's the users who eventually determine what software gets used by the majority, and that should be based on the products merits.
As long as business uses x86 there will be a need for Office, and that is essentially the raison d'etre of the MS MacBU. Microsoft makes enourmous profits from it's Office apps, and the Mac version is no exception.
One bonus for MS is that Apple's versions help deflect the "ugly monopoly" critics; as for Apple I'm sure we will see Explorer on the HDs of new Macs for quite some time yet (which also helps keep Apple from having to defend itself as a monopoly, although the proprietary HW provides a conveniently strong defense).
Apple also threw MS a bone at MWE (as noted in an earlier post), announcing that the OfficeX test drive will be installed on all new Macs.
TechTV's the Screen Savers said yesterday that "Apple is on a rampage to switch" users to Mac, so there is no doubt many others would agree you, as does at least one journalist: Forbes Magazine
As for the Japanese market, well Apple has always done well there (ranks #1 in sales, as it has for many years) and the new Powebooks won't change that. Did you know that more than 4 of every 10 mp3 players sold in Japan last year were iPods?
(warning, pessimism, from a recent Switcher): I have never seen anything reliably or accurately convert Office documents to another format, and especially not vice versa, and especially not with something that runs on another OS. I don't see any reason to hope for such a thing except maybe 3-5 years from now. It's such a difficult and inherently boring feature. I think Apple will have to pay, sue, whatever, to keep MS Office on X alive, because it validates the whole platform.
I've never had any problem with MS docs, and I've never had any of the MS Office apps on my Mac prior to a year ago.
6 years ago my first PPC Mac came with a bundled copy of MacLinkPlus and with the occasional upgrade it's worked perfectly for me. In fact, it works as well or better than MS's own apps do (unsupported features don't translate x-platform with them either. Currently you can't use all of OfficeX's features if you want it to open on Windows, but if you avoid the Mac-only ones it works fine).
Microsoft won't abandon Office (after all, they ported it from Mac to Windows when Win3.1 came out) as it's part of their strategy to keep users off Linux for x86, which is the real focus of MS right now.
I to was at the Apple Keynote in Markham yesterday and it is indeed aparent that Apple wants to move away from the MS relationship that they once depended on. I do think it would be bad business for them to totally remove the relationship between them and MS.
In this, I never think they would be able to offer an AppleWorks type of app that has the same ability as the of Office and would affect the business market of the Mac is MS cancelled office. You would most certainly see the loss of the Mac altogether.
I see Apple offering an assortment of applications that compete on the same level as MS, but I am sure that for the next while at least, IE will still be the defualt browser on the Mac Platform since safari is still quite buggy and not up to par with plug in capabilties and feature set as that of the IE experience.
In my humble opinion, if they offer products that compete on the same level, it can only force MS to drop the price of their overpriced apps on the Mac platform thereby attracting more customers and also force the engineers there to develop better and much more stable apps for the platform as well that are more streamlined and diversified than new competitors.
I think that the nice thing with the X11 window system they released yesterday will be nice with the complete integration of open office right out ot the box. Something that I am sure MS is looking at and cringing at right about now. FREE competitor that has the aqua look and feel and works with the MS file formats. Not a good sign.
I really like the way all the applications are able to tie into one another as well. It would be super nice if their next version of AW tied into the meta files on the other apps so that a user could pull up a window with music, photos, movies and drag and drop them into their documents.
Does anyone know if Keynote works on this same metafile system for integrating music photos and whatnot into someones presentation? That would be killer.
Now, what happened to the rendezvous enabled iTunes that we were shown at the keynot in July where a user can see any of the other users playlists on the network? This is something that I am looking forward to. Sharing data without the ability to steal that data.
All in all, a nice keynote in my opinon, and I think I will be trading in my PB 800 for the new 17" PB 1GHz [img]smile.gif[/img]
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"I think that the nice thing with the X11 window system they released yesterday will be nice with the complete integration of open office right out ot the box. Something that I am sure MS is looking at and cringing at right about now. FREE competitor that has the aqua look and feel and works with the MS file
formats. Not a good sign."
I doubt anyone at Microsoft is cringing over the release of X11 for Mac OS X. X11 on its own won't give you Aqua widgets; X11 apps on Mac OS X are going to look the way they look on Unix. Take a look at XEmacs, for example:
Plus, X11 applications aren't going to be well-behaved Mac OS X applications. As jwz said, "...if I were to switch to MacOS, wouldn't the whole point of that exercise be so that I could stop inflicting the X Windows Disaster upon myself?"
Of course, having X11 is useful if you *have* to have your favourite Unix editor kicking around, but I'm sort of scared that this will kill efforts to modify software to take advantage of Mac OS X, because developers can get away with doing a simple port.