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Oh, and there are two more things…

I finally got to watch the QuickTime replay of Steve Jobs delivering his Keynote Address at Macworld Expo San Francisco, as I said that I would, earlier. The disappointment of the audience was palpable, when Mr. Jobs did not do his “oh, and there’s one more thing…” bit at the end of the address, before Randy Newman performed.

There are two more things that deserve mention, beside the positioning of the MacBook Air with regard to the MacBook and MacBook Pro product lines (it was clear from Steve’s address that MacBook Air is meant to be a third notebook product line, at least for now). Those other two things are “things” that have earned further investigation from me, as a potential consumer.

The first is Time Capsule. Time Capsule is an automatic wireless backup device in 500 GB and 1 TB varieties that is also a full-featured 802.11n Wi-Fi base station. It might make a lot of sense for my 802.11n base station to be a wireless backup device.

The second is, of course, the Apple TV (“Take 2” according to Jobs) biome of the Apple ecosystem. Apple folks, if the Apple TV is really a Take 2 (and I believe that it is), PLEASE make it more findable on the Apple web pages! It may just be my fatigue tonight, but I had to search for the device by name to find technical details (the device is easily found in the Apple Store online). There need to be more obvious hyperlinks or linked images. I say “biome” because Apple TV is (or can be) central to the new iTunes movie rentals (“regular” and HD) deals that Apple has concluded with ALL of the major movie studios, beginning with 20th Century Fox, whose Chairman and CEO shared the stage with Steve during part of the Keynote Address. I say “ecosystem” because Apple understands the relationship and integration of hardware, software, and services (better than any other company that I know). You have heard of “bundled software?’ I know (very well) of other companies with “bungled software,” software that they may have acquired during mergers and acquisition, but software whose “fit” with their existing products they did not understand. Not so with Apple… sometimes, as with Apple TV, it takes a second try to “get it right,” but I  think that Apple has, this time (if we can find it on the web pages). Jobs described the situation perfectly when he noted that Intel, like Apple, is an “engineering-driven” company. Engineering-driven companies do not always listen closely enough to their customers ahead of time, sometimes because the product is revolutionary. Apple has the additional burden of the secrecy imposed to protect its innovation in a highly competitive environment. Secrecy makes it harder to “get it right” the first time. Another example is the “cube” which was introduced while I was a Netscape guy based at Apple in Cupertino. Although the cube was not successful, its “guts” looked very much the same as the “guts” of a rounded snowball of an iMac that succeeded it, and was very successful. The Apple TV, in combination with the truly phenomenal accomplishment of successful deals with all of the major movie studios, should make for a very successful system of hardware, software, and services.

-Bill at Cheshire Cat Photo  

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