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iPontificateStuff That Crossed My Mind

by - November 4th, 2004

At a certain point, usually after the night terrors start, I realize I absolutely have to write a column about Some Great Topic. And when I haven't been creative enough to think of Some Great Topic, rather than deal with night terrors, I like to go with Stuff That Crossed My Mind.

Item Number One: Knee-Jerk Reviews

The usual complaints that I hear whenever Apple releases any new product are really getting old. If it is big, it should be smaller. If it is really small, then it is too portable and could be a security risk. If the ports are on the side, they are ugly and should be on the back. If the ports are on the back, that's inconvenient; they should be on the side.

A lot of reviewers like to give themselves brownie points for deconstructing a product and disguising that as thoughtful analysis. Case in point: the new iMac G5. I don't know how many reviews I read from both the mainstream press and bloggers alike complaining that the Bluetooth module, and the companion wireless keyboard and mouse, are optional upgrades that combined, add US$100 to the overall cost.

Knee-jerk reaction, I say! Had the iMac included the wireless goodies, even at that same price point, many of those same people would have "thoughtfully analyzed" the situation, and concluded that the Bluetooth keyboard and mouse are nice, but couldn't Apple have included the option of the standard keyboard and mouse as a cost-saving measure?

People, give Apple some credit for thinking these things through and maybe even conducting some focus groups to see what best suits the needs of their customers. Apple is not perfect, but give it a little thought before you start whining.

Just finding fault and being contrary is not being a critical reviewer, having a good argument doesn't simply mean disagreeing with someone.

Now, off of that soapbox and on to the next!

Item Number Two: iPod Photo Thoughts

Will the iPod Photo be a success? Hell, yes. The screen alone will hook a lot buyers. And a whole lot of people who have been exposed to the iPod and now "get it," will really see the usefulness of portable photos. Friends, grandparents, wedding planners, and anyone else who has a desire to share photos will see the value of this device. An overwhelming number of people I have discussed this with think it is a great idea. Already, the buzz is starting about what a powerful, cool Keynote presentation device an iPod Photo would be.

Extremely cool, in a nerdy sort of way.

I knew it wouldn't take long before talk of iPhoto being Apple's next great Windows app started popping up all over the Internet.

My response: No way.

Our own esteemed editor-in-chief, Bryan Chaffin, made a couple of good points when asked by CIO-Today about this. He mentioned that some of iPhotos neatest tricks were tied closely to OS X technologies, making Windows development trickier.

I think there is another reason as well. Remember when Steve Jobs first introduced the iPod and iTunes, way back when? He mentioned that Windows users could use an iPod, but with Musicmatch Jukebox instead, and it would not be as good an experience as using an iPod with a Mac. Back then, iPod was seen as a way to sell Macs.

Those days are gone, because the iPod took off and became a force of its own, and because the iTunes Music Store required identical software on both platforms for the best experience. A better experience sells more songs and more importantly more iPods. Hence, iTunes for Windows.

There is no similar motivation for Apple to create iPhoto for Windows. There is no great money maker built-in. Sony, Canon, and Nikon sell great digital cameras, so Apple isn't going there. Apple isn't getting rich selling prints of digital photos; that serves to make OS X have more value, which is what the entire iLife suite is designed to do.

Besides, Apple must create a better user experience on the Mac. That is what will encourage Windows users to consider a Mac more seriously. The argument that if Apple creates the best software for Windows, then Windows users will be inclined to consider a Mac based on the quality of their "Apple for Windows" software, is just plain wrong.

All Apple will be doing is creating a better user experience for Windows users, discouraging the adoption of another OS that is no longer superior in a given area.

You heard it here first. There will be no iPhoto for Windows. Besides, Windows users already have that killer "My Photos Folder".

Sweet.

is an Idiot. He is the co-founder of IWS Interactive, a New York (and now Houston) based development company for Macintosh. Now he spends his time writing about, developing for, and getting clients to buy Macs. Oh, yeah, and he recently had a kid. So his days are filled with taking care of little Jack, then playing with his Mac. He wouldn't have it any other way.

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