why did I buy a Mac?

September 3, 2008 at 11:20 pm | Posted in Technology Trends | 2 Comments
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By almost any measure, the Mac buzz and adoption seems to be rising, thanks in part to people like me who have bought one after years and years of being in the PC world.

The commercials are good, but the commercials have been good for a long, long time.

The iPod and iPhone are good, but that had nothing to do with my decision. (in fact, I LOATHE iTunes)

From a product differential standpoint, I would argue that the Mac has held even greater differentiation in times past than it does now.

I have known all of this for at least 15 years, but I only now bought a Mac. I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about why because I believe there is a larger business dynamic involved.

I think I bought a Mac primarily because the personal computer (both Mac and PC) is becoming largely irrelevant to my “personal” (read: at home, non-work) computing, which actually freed me to make a more specialized purchase.

See, when I bought my Mac, I was kinda worried about all of my Windows apps. But then I realized that my work laptop is never more than 4 feet away and when I thought about what I did that was dependent upon Windows that wasn’t work related, it didn’t seem like much.

Turns out I was right.  I didn’t miss hardly any of my Windows apps when I made the switch. In fact, I was downright stunned at how much time I spent in my Flock browser more than anywhere else. I haven’t used a fat-client email program for personal use in years. I am using Google calendar more as of late. When I do need to read a Microsoft Office doc (which is getting less and less frequent in personal use) I just open it in OpenOffice and I get by just fine.

Because I no longer *needed* the personal computer for “personal” home use, I was free to make a purchase based on a specialized need–in my case, making DVDs of the kids. I think equally so, users who have wanted to try and find out what all this Mac stuff was about, are now more free to try it without worrying that they will be cut off from the lifeblood of apps that they use regularly. Facebook, MySpace, Gmail, Yahoo Mail, Twitter, OpenOffice, Adobe PDF files, YouTube… none of them care what OS you run.

If I’m representative of a larger market demographic, then this is a shift that is going to continue to have large market and technology implications. More to think about on this one…

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apple’s little monopoly?

June 22, 2008 at 3:11 pm | Posted in Technology Trends | 12 Comments
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I know, MSFT is the evil empire. Apple is the loose-hangin’, freedom lovin’, artistic genius company that will save us from the Orwellian future that MSFT will lead us to. So, to be a non-conformist, I bought a Mac last week. An iMac to be specific. Seriously, the real reason is that I was tired of fighting my video editing programs. After a week of being on my iMac… now I’m tired of fighting my NEW video editing programs.

There are things I like about the Mac over the PC. No doubt. But as my friend put it, there is a bit of “the Emperor’s New Clothes” going on in Mac world, let me tell ya. Bad on me for not doing my homework better, but turns out that Apple is using a bit of its proprietary leverage on its customers to wrench them into upgrades. Do a search on “iMovie 08” and “chapters” as an example. Or “Final Cut Express 4” and “soundtrack”. Mac has evidently taken to REMOVING lots of key functionality from “upgrade” releases, but fear not, they are still available in the higher-end packages, which cost significantly more.

So right now I’m left with a really lame movie making package (iMovie) that omits even some of the most basic functionality like creating chapters. I know I can do it in Garage Band, but c’mon… seriously. I mean, CHAPTERS! We’re not talking about making Star Wars here, just some home videos that allow easy navigation. Used to be in the old iMovie, but not in the new version.

I could go site some other examples, but the bottom line is this: Mac users are so loyal to the goodness in their products that they really put up with a lot of stuff that I’m not sure Apple could get away with if there were more competition in terms of software on the Mac. But because most everything is so proprietary, it seems they can get away with it. It seems to me, a newcomer, that they are definitely exercising their “monopoly” over their base. Not saying this is a bad thing, but coming into it with a fresh set of eyes, it looks that way from here.

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