Macworld 2008…

Time Capsule

So it’s been and gone. This year’s Macworld was amazing and slightly-less-than-amazing in equal amounts.

The problem that Steve Jobs faces now is that Apple announcements seriously affect the share price. This is partly Apple’s fault, but at one point in the past it was worse, because Apple attended various trade shows, the date of which was out of their control, and they had to have a ‘whizz-bang’ product at every one.

Now, at least, Apple has 2 main shows, the WWDC, which announces (generally) software and pro-hardware related items, and Macworld which (again generally) announce consumer hardware and software.

Notice that Apple announced the Mac Pro update, before Macworld because it doesn’t fit at Macworld. Notice also the ‘one-more-thing’ was just a musician, not a product.Steve has to back off from the hype that ‘one-more-thing’ has become famous for.

Product expectation at Apple from its users has now reached ridiculous levels and cannot be sustained in the long term, and believe me, Apple is in this for the long term. 

As I said, all this hype is Apple’s fault, but they can now be seen to be in the midst of managing these expectations.

On the one hand we have loyal users and bloggers in the media who whip everyone into a pre-event frenzy, but post-event are reasonable in their critique of the products announced.

However, on the other hand we have a group of rabid anti-Apple bloggers and journalists, who also whip everyone into a frenzy, but for different and more sinister ends.Witness the drivel that the likes of Enderle, Dvorak (who seems to have calmed down a bit), and the lesser known (globally at least, but well known in the UK), Jack Schofield who blogs for the guardian (http://blogs.guardian.co.uk/technology/).

They either bless us with faint praise (pretend to actually like Apple, but…), or (in Jack’s case) are still stuck in 1997 and are seemingly quiet when Apple has good news (no mention of their last stellar quarter), but all over us like a fly on sh*t when they can extract something negative out of say, the MacBookAir.

Which brings us to Macworld 2008.

Out of all the announcements the MacBookAir seems to be a ‘good’ product (not great). I think Apple purposely produce products like this that stir up differences in opinions.

Any publicity is good publicity Jack, so blog all you want please.

My stand-out product at Macworld however was the ‘Time Capsule’.

Of course, the likes of Jack Schofield remark that this product isn’t revolutionary, you can create it yourself with the right hardware and know-how.

Much as in the same way you can create anything that Apple produces, if you’re a narrow-minded Windows user with 10 years+ experience in how Windows and technology works.

But as we all know, that misses the point completely. Windows users like this cannot be reached with the ‘just plug it in and it works’ mind set.

The point here is that Time Machine ONLY works with Time Capsule. You can’t use Time Machine wirelessly with just any hardware.

This facility was present in builds of Leopard but was pulled at the last minute. Reasons for this are that Apple wants to sell a lot of Time Capsule’s, or that using third party hard drives just cannot be made to work reliably.

I think it’s a bit of both personally, but it comes back to the  ‘just plug it in and it works’ angle.It goes beyond ‘plug-and-play’, because ‘plug-and-play’ actually means, ‘Install Drivers, Restart, Configure, Plug It In, Hope It Plays, If Not Try Again‘, at least on Windows, I know, I work next a Windows based IT department that do this daily.

I think I’ve just discovered a new buzz word for Windows –  INDRCPIIHIPINTA!

Don’t think it will catch on though, do you?

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