Wednesday, July 17, 2002

Macworld NY Stopped by the Mac store in the Cambridgeside Galleria this morning to see what His Steveness had to say about Macs. Three major things: OS X.2, .Mac, no G5s.

I'm glad Apple decided to focus on the very real performance issues with OS X. All the eye-candy slows the GUI down and results in a performance inferior to OS 9 (at least on my Pismo) and is reason enough not to switch. Jaguar (Jag-wire) seems to fix that, and I'll probably buy new hardware once it comes out. Moreovoer, Rendevous strikes me as being one of those killer technologies that change the way we think about computing, and I am *very* excited about having it on my machine.

Apple has also decided to charge $100/year for the previously free iTools services. I think that charging for these services is correct, but the pricing is wrong. Unless you make more money on a product than it costs you to offer it, you probably shouldn't be offering it, so if customers find iTools useful they should be willing to pay for it as .Mac. Moreover, customers paying for services directly means that the vendor has to care about the customer experience, which is not a bad thing in this world of crappy software. But Apple should have been more flexible than $100/year or else -- it could have garnered more subscribers than it will.

Finally, although Apple upgraded the iMac, the G4 tower remains the same. These two machines are so close that too many customers are trading down is too attractive. Reducing the power of the iMac is out, which means Apple needs to raise the bar on its high-end machine. That did not happen this expo.

I'd also like to mention how neat I think Apple's consumer facing web services are in Sherlock 3. Web services are infrastructure, and no one buys infrastructure, so it's wonderful to see someone (Apple) thinking hard about applications that make life better for end users to drive web services adoption.


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