I had a realization a few days ago about why Apple (may have) dropped the DVD-ROM and DVD Video features on most of its computers as standard feature.
Apple is pushing its "digital hub" concept and showing us slides of the Mac in the center, acting as a hub or middle ware, for digital media devices like MP3 players, DV cameras and DVD players.
The Mac has several current software products that link different devices together through the Mac hardware (USB/FireWire) like iMovie which takes a DV Camerais footage and allows you to edit it and make something useful. With iDVD you can make a DVD Video that can be played on a "consumer" DVD player.
Did no one notice that Steve Jobs put the shiny new DVD he made with iDVD in a consumer DVD player?
The Mac is becoming the intermediary between the different digital devices that are becoming all the rage now. Therefore the inclusion of DVD-ROM instead of a CD-RW (to bridge the MP3 world to the Audio CD world through a Mac) is not as bad in Appleis view of the third age of computing.
For nearly the same cost as a computer DVD-ROM you can get a decent consumer DVD player, plug into the TV which most likely has a much larger screen size than most Macs and watch DVD movies - about the only thing for which DVD has really taken off at this point.
DVD-ROM discs are very scarce primarily because the critical mass needed to make DVD-ROM distribution economical versus the costs of manufacturing has not really happened yet.
Maybe in a year or so with Compaq and Gateway offering DVD-ROM as options, and Apple adding back DVD-ROM as an iMac BTO option (like with the G4) will DVD-ROM be widespread enough to make economical sense for large-volume software distribution. Even then, many people wonit need a DVDis capacious storage and most would rather watch a DVD Video on a larger TV/stereo.
I see where Apple is going, I understand why they made the decisions they made. DVD is simply not as critical as its being made to be in light of Appleis new strategy. DVD was added to the G4 as a BTO, it can be added to the iMac as well if Apple gets enough pressure.
The Digital Hub concept is where Apple is going and iTunes, iMovie, iDVD and the new hardware with CD-RW by default makes it a reality.
Tim Mityok is the President of Public Access Software.