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June 22nd, 1999

Editorial
MacWorld Expo Impressions: Apple Manufactures The Future!
by Michael Munger
By now, most of us have seen either the news or the keynote itself. Now that the reports are in, it is time to start analyzing all of this. iBook, AirPort, Mac OS 9, QuickTime TV -- what does it all mean?

Apple used to be ahead of its time, but now, more than ever, the computer giant has become a dangerous manufacturer of operating systems and hardware that is also manufacturing the future. Apple shows that it can face the world and might be able to control much more as its technologies continue to become standards.

iBook, QuickTime TV

The two main keys to this are the iBook and QuickTime TV. The former is a very important development for Apple. There were good portables before, but none was aimed at consumers as much as the iBook is. Its cheap price, US$1599, makes it affordable to the masses (even me!) and can help it to take a chunk of the portable market that Apple has never before had. This is all new for them, and can certainly compare this to the iMac situation. The iBook will not only affect Apple's profits but Apple's entire presence in the world of computing as well.

The second key is QuickTime TV. Internet streaming started to develop in the last few years by pioneers such as RealNetworks, but RealNetworks never did what QuickTime TV will do. What is it? QTV, as it is called, offers topnotch broadcasting on the Internet with great convenience for the user and content provider. A free server for the "TV station" and the QuickTime Player for the user make it easy for anybody to offer or view the broadcast. Add major content providers like Disney, Fox, BBC, etc., a large worldwide network of servers from Apple's partner Akamai, and others will soon hurry in. This is a winning combination against whom I think other companies will find it difficult to compete.

The big thing about the iBook and QuickTime TV is that they are so good they will allow Apple to make serious inroads against their competitors. You cannot find a product as good as the iBook on the PC side, let alone for such a good price, and RealNetworks cannot compete with QuickTime as a standard that is invading the streaming and broadcasting world. These two technologies will change everything and open new doors for Apple while taking them even closer to their consumers. They also give the company more control over what is going on in the computer industry.

Wireless networking, AirPort

I said Apple is manufacturing the future, and Airport is the best possible example of this. Imagine all the possibilities behind it. Imagine yourself with an iBook at the office, wirelessly connecting to your Ethernet network to get out to the Internet. Have a meeting 2 floors below your office? No problem, just pick up your iBook and off you go! You can even do a big download in the elevator on your way down while swapping files with your colleague's computer who is sitting in his office hardwired to the network! Voila! Mr. Jobs referred to the iBook as an "iMac to Go" but he could also have called it "Convenience to Go."

Conclusions

Apple's share of the computing pie may become much bigger with the release of these new products and technologies. With both hardware and software, Apple is in a fantastic position to reach more buyers than ever. Combined with its Internet presence, the company will certainly reach new heights.

However, there is one condition to all of this. The Internet needs to remain as wild and free as it is now. As you can realize with QuickTime TV, the iBook and the AirPort, the Internet is one of the most important keys to Apple's success. The Net helps bring Apple its bread and butter, and it is a fact that its loyal consumers rely on it too. Apple's future depends on its Internet presence, and with it, the company we all admire can prosper for years and years... as long as it corrects a few existing problems.

Back to The Mac Observer For More Mac News!


Michael Munger started using Macs in 1994 in college, and since then, never looked back at PCs.

Michael started contributing publicly to the Mac community when he co-founded MacSoldiers in May 1998, where he was Assistant Editor and Columnist. In addition, he has contributed to sites like MacPlaza and ResExcellence, providing his own customizations to the Macintosh user interface. Many of his interface goodies and a few tutorials can be found at www.cyberboss.net, his personal Web site. Currently he writes On The Flip Side for The Mac Observer.

One of the funniest things he did online was to threaten to spank the MacAddict staff! (Sept. 98 issue of MacAddict magazine, page 13). So if you don't behave... beware.



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