Thoughts from the Stevenote

This morning, while working on other things, I watched the Quicktime playback of the WWDC keynote.

Some thoughts:

Wow, look up “underwhelmed” in the dictionary, and I think you would have seen the Leopard Mail demo. All those developers were really excited that they could use stationery to add flowers and pictures to their outgoing emails. I could tell. They were just showing it on the inside. Same with “notes.” Like I always say, if it’s one thing those geeks want…it’s eye candy.

The MacPro looks amazing. I’m relieved that I’m not in “buy now” mode, though. Two days ago you could get an Apple pro desktop from Apple for under $2K. Now the default is $2,400 and the best you can do is strip it down to $2,174 by going for a smaller hard drive and slightly slower processor. Talk about all or nothing. I certainly didn’t appreciate the comparison to similarly decked PC. That’s not the point, people. You are not going to convince me to buy a BMW or Mercedes by pricing out a Porsche with the same features. At that point, to that customer, price isn’t the issue. If my budget for a desktop is under $2K, as it is for many except hard-core gamers, eliminating options is not good. Your economy car doesn’t necessarily have to be comfortable, it just has to be there if you have less than 5% market share and that bothers you. If you’re willing to say, “hey, we’re Porsche and we don’t care what Toyota is doing” that’s another story. Pick your angle and stick with it…can’t play both sides.

Leopard does look cool. I hope my G5 has enough juice to run it when it comes out. I like the screen sharing in iChat. Time Machine looks great (how much compression? How big an external drive will I need to back up data plus endless revisions?) Mail 3.0? ::yawn:: The world uses Outlook. That isn’t going to change any time soon. Talk to me about how I will be able to exist seamlessly in that world and still play with the froo-froo frills. Until then, wake me when it’s something worth talking about.

It’s nice to be able to go to the Apple home page again. I’ve been avoiding it (going directly to when needed) because of those annoying commercials set to auto-play on the front page. Note to Apple: Let me drool over Leopard and MacPro in peace and quiet…I really don’t need to announce to the office (or house) that’s what I’m doing, okay?


5 responses to “Thoughts from the Stevenote”

  1. I think it’s fair to consider the mini and the iMac “desktop” machines and they fall in the under $2k range.

  2. Not quite the same thing, Pat. The mini and iMac are targeted at a different audience. If I want to use an external monitor, have lots of RAM and a fast hard drive I would only look to the Pro desktop line which is now far more expensive than it used to be.

    Personally, it doesn’t bother me since when I buy I tend to get as much as I can afford, but my point is that Apple shouldn’t even mention price at this point in their demos. They can’t compete on price, they shouldn’t even try.

  3. Judy, the Apple desktops have three markets: under $1k, under $2k, and over $2k. Apple has computers in each of those niches.

    Just because you want a “Pro” computer for $1800 doesn’t mean Apple has “missed” the market. You want something you can’t have – something Apple can’t – or won’t – sell you. I want a $199 60 GB video iPod. Guess what? That I can’t buy one doesn’t mean Apple’s missed the mark.

    And clearly, they can compete on price, as the keynote showed. But they have to compare similar feature sets, or else it’s the old apples and oranges routine.

  4. Like I said, last week Apple had their top-of-the-line form factor available in 3 models, with the “lowest” at just under $2K. This week, they don’t. Last week if I had just $2K to spend, I could consider the Pro desktop line. This week, that’s not an option.

    This isn’t about wanting a $199 60 GB video iPod or a $599 MacPro or G5. Did Apple *ever* offer their top-of-the-line iPod for $199? No. Did Apple ever offer a version of their Pro desktop for $2K? Yes. Last week.

    Times change, prices evolve. I get that. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing. If I were buying a new desktop now I’d be spending at the higher end anyway. But by eliminating the 3 tiered choice and pushing the default to what used to be the higher end, Apple is moving their pro desktop line to a new level that they haven’t done in quite some time.

    There used to be a thin line between the high-end iMac and the low-end PowerMac. Now the gap in between is wider, and that’s likely intentional.

  5. <SOAPBOX>

    The world uses Outlook.

    Oh, Judy, Judy, Judy… some of us have seen the light (and viruses/malware/spyware/trojans/…) and have switched over to the Open Source alternatives, which are better (IMO) and much less prone to viruses, etc.

    As for email, I use Thunderbird, going on two years now. It is my belief, backed up with some experience talking to end users & family-inlaws, that they really don’t care what they use, as long as it works. These people could probably easily switch to an open source alternative; and I believe that these are a bulk of the Windows users.

    Of course, then there are Windows power-users who need (want) all of the bells & whistles, and want them integrated, now! Although I think Open Source is getting there, and is getting closer with each migration away from a costly Windows setup (and associated virus attacks), it *is* hard to compete (in terms of marketing) with a world corporation as intimidating as Microsoft.


    As for Leopard, it will be nice to have multiple desktops on the Mac. It’s been standard on Linux distros for a while, and so I’m very happy to see “Spaces” coming to the Mac. It looks like this is just another innovation M$ will have to catchup on 🙂