I remember a time when the Mac was the laughing stock of the computer industry. It had “no software” (unless you compared it to, say, Amigas, Ataris, or other ‘toy’ computers). The market share was decreasing (but still large enough that companies in other markets would kill for it). Worst of all, there were virtually no games for it (shudder). Those that came were half-decent ports of peecee games – and usually six to twenty-four months late.
Those were the dark ages. Interestingly enough, that was a year and a half ago. Boy, things really do move in this business. But I’m losing it – this is the past, and I want to address the future.
So what has happened since then, and what can we expect from Apple? Well, it’s gaining money instead of bleeding, and it has the industry’s admiration (instead of the opposite).
First off, there’s the iMac. To say the least, this is a computer that Mac fans should remember, since it saved Apple – if not its economy (what I hear, they sell it with a rather small margin), then its face. The launch of the iMac was the beginning of something new. Hey, these days you even get to choose which color you want!
Next up is the professional desktop computer. If any three computers have been shown off in the computer magazines, it’s the iMac, Silicon Graphic’s new (it runs WinDoesNT, shudder), and a Power Mac G3.
What do I love best about the G3? Well, it’s not the design. (It looks kinda nice, but it could have looked nicer.) It is the raw speed and power that lies within: A blazing G3 (and it doesn’t even run very hot, compared to certain other brands), snappy hard drive (and, mind you, Ultra ATA is a lot cheaper than SCSI), and so on. They made a beast, and people are beginning to notice.
Last off, there’s the PowerBook line. I haven’t seen that many reactions to it lately; what I remember most is that it is too large and heavy, but do I care? Not a bit. It’s at least twice as fast as those Pentium-based toasters. And it’s very, very stylish.
As you probably know, Apple has really made its product line amazingly good. But the best goodies, in my opinion, are those yet to come.
To boot, there’s a new consumer portable. It looks good. Oh yes it does. As a matter of fact, I wouldn’t be too surprised if it turned the whole laptop paradigm upside-down – and sideways as well.
As for the three current product lines, I’d say “evolution.” They will get better and better, but just incrementally. Until the G4, that is – can you say “performance”? Well, that certainly is another story(see G4s and More in issue #3).
Best of all, we will have Mac OS X. Probably before Windows 2000, and much, much more stable. Oh, and did I mention it will be usable as well?
The future looks good. Now, if I only had enough money to buy me a G3 – or even better, a G4 with Mac OS X preinstalled….
Janko Luin is the leader of the Swedish Steve Jobs Fan Club. They had a great turnout for their first annual meeting. Both members showed up.