The Northern Spy — Left Shoe, Right Shoe

Apple’s recent product announcements have a one-shoe ring. True, Macworld saw a redesigned iMac (with an already heavy back order book), the new iPhoto software, and an iBook with a 14 inch screen. The iPod is also doing well. and today’s announcement of a desktop Mac speed bump will satisfy others whose heeds are more to the heavy-duty side. I may buy one of the latter myself.

But it’s not enough beef, not by a longshot. On the desktop, the new machines are only slightly better than the top of the line iMac, and bring little new technology to the table other than the video card. Despite a better throughput, the specs SOUND tinny beside current W*nt*l offerings.

What’s missing? On the desktop, the G5 running up to 1.6G and with faster firewire. In the NOC, a pizza-box-thin G5 MacOS X server that can be rack mounted by the score. There’s still no PDA/eBookreader, so the digital hub is missing a spoke.

In fact, the whole desktop affair has “stopgap” written all over it. Weren’t the G5’s ready after all? Did something go wrong twixt chip production and box assembly?

Apple needs to make a credible entry into the server business. After all, the quirky, insecure, and unreliable MS offerings are rapidly losing out to Linux. Apple should be soaking up this market.

Meanwhile, since no one has gotten the PDA/eBookreader concept right yet there’s a pile of money to be made. Why not by Apple?

Finally, the current products aren’t enough to spell market share breakthrough. So, watch the major shows in early spring, perhaps just before May’s WWDC. Apple has surely has the other shoe poised to drop.

–The Northern Spy

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About the Author

Rick Sutcliffe

Opinions expressed here are entirely the author's own, and no endorsement is implied by any community or organization to which he may be attached. Rick Sutcliffe, (a. k. a. The Northern Spy) is professor of Computing Science and Mathematics at Canada's Trinity Western University. He has been involved as a member or consultant with the boards of several community and organizations, and participated in developing industry standards at the national and international level. He is a co-author of the Modula-2 programming language R10 dialect. He is a long time technology author and has written two textbooks and nine alternate history SF novels, one named best ePublished SF novel for 2003. His columns have appeared in numerous magazines and newspapers (paper and online), and he's a regular speaker at churches, schools, academic meetings, and conferences. He and his wife Joyce have lived in the Aldergrove/Bradner area of BC since 1972.