Alternate Option
Thoughts from me.
Friday, June 10, 2005 10:21 am
Apple’s home runs
I’ve had some more time to think about the new Apple Intel get-together. There is a lot of buzz on the Internet of course. Some pertinent questions, for example: “should I pay for my ordered PowerBook?”. Difficult question, but probably already answered in triplicate somewhere else on the Internet by now.

My thought for the day: When Apple defines its aims clearly, they usually cope with home runs quite well.

Well known are the transitions in chips and operating systems. Mentioned in the previous post are the axing of the floppy, SCSI, ADB. There was the sudden move to music, and moving from strength to strength in that regard. QuickTime continues to kick goals, continually incorporating new codecs. Don’t forget the overhauling of “classic networking” in favour of Open Transport many years ago.

It’s the small stuff and the follow through where Apple stumbles. When Apple gets half hearted about maintaining a product—it is double-plus-aggravating.

Few examples: The continual removal of 68k code from Mac OS 8/9 was a drawn-out process never really completed. Maintenance of AppleWorks, Sherlock, Mail.app junk mail capabilities, iSync compatible devices, MRJ (Java) compatibility, Safari compatibility… Anyone remember Apple iTools’ KidSafe feature where webpages continually needed to be whitelisted?

All these that require some element of ongoing maintenance were never really done properly—just waiting for the next “home run” solution. Which sometimes involves axing the product.

Further examples: Adding 3rd party printer support via GIMP; and adding MSN/Yahoo! messenger compatibility via Jabber.

On the whole, I like Apple’s approach, and it does seem to work for some people—if it didn’t I would be using something else.

I don’t doubt that Apple will get Mac OS X for Intel out lickety-split. And hopefully most things will fall into the can be solved by an all-encompassing solution camp. The things that don’t though… will be aggravating.

Continued next post…

[posted with ecto]

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