Waiting for the Apple next shoe to drop!

September 8, 2009

With 10.6 out the focus in no longer on the operating system.
The focus is on the “way it all works together” – the operating is systems just one part of the platform – and Apple is for now the only one who does it all. Computer hardware, operating systems, major applications, cloud services, web-portal, hand held devices.
And there are many more parts that Apple has that are significant:
• WebObjects – the most mature framework for providing web-services
• Micropayment System – iTune music store is probably the biggest micropayment system on the web (maybe Amazon or Google Adsense are as big? but even Microsoft is not in the same league)
• Relationships with all the other players – wireless carriers, semi-conductors, major software developers, music industry, motion picture industry, and now the game industry.
OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard is just the first step of a what I believe to be Apple pulling all these together and laying the foundation for much more interesting and yes eye popping integrated products / features in the near future.

The 9/9/09 event will probably have a new iTunes, will it be a 64bit OSX 10.6 app? Will it (when run on 10.6 as it will still need to maintain compatibility with 10.5/ Win XP) have some new cool stuff built on the new capabilities of 10.6)?  You can be sure it will take more advantage of the cloud and extend their iTunes store franchise.

We still have iLife and IWorks (not to mention Logic and Final Cut) in their next versions that will take advantage of cool stuff made possible by the “cleaning up” done in 10.6 and they are much bigger income streams / product differentiators than the operating system these days.  Apple not only makes some money on these products but once they have you using them / knowing them / building your life-workflow around them, you are a Mac person as the friction to change to Linux or Windows go way up!

And then there is the the mobile device integration thing!  The iPod Touch / iPhone as a remote control for your computer or application or House is still in it’s infancy, the larger tablet will only move this further along.  Image your mobile device being the interface for things that have no controls a black box (or silver and silver in the case of Apple TV), now imagine then working through the cloud. This is where it’s all going. Apple and the rest of us only see the tip of the iceberg, this is the foundation of the future.

OSX obviously needed some re-architechting to lay the foundation of all this, remember OSX is the operating system of much more ethan the Mac now, it is the bases of the current and next generation of mobile devices and as such the bases for app fronted cloud services. Webobjects which is the bases for all of Apple innovation (the Apple Store, ITunes and mobile me are all built on webobjects) was done before anyone at Next or Apple full understood it’s significance, but it gave them the tools to build the future. OSX is the same they are building the basic architecture of the future.


Fun with Upgrading your computer

August 8, 2009

With all the talk of upgrades here is some of the fun stuff floating around the web:

Apple’s upgrade path from fake Steve:

From: The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs

From: The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs

Walt’s version from: Deciphering Windows 7 Upgrades: The Official Chart:

Windows 7 Upgrade paths that can kill!

Windows 7 Upgrade paths that can kill!

The MS response by Ed Bott Microsoft blunders with a confusing Windows 7 upgrade chart:

The MS response

The MS response

Just for fun here are some old charts on the web about upgrades

An old HP Unix upgrade chart HP Tru64 UNIX Version 5.1B-2 and Higher: Patch Kit Installation Instructions

HP Unit Chart

HP Unit Chart

It is always easy to make fun of Vista!

Vista was no easy path

Vista was no easy path

MS makes it interesting (or difficult):

What version of Vista can I upgrade to from XP?

What version of Vista can I upgrade to from XP?

From April Survey: 84% won’t upgrade to Windows 7 in the next year:

In addition to Mac OS X, enterprises are looking at a rainbow of Unix alternatives, as shown in the chart

In addition to Mac OS X, enterprises are looking at a rainbow of Unix alternatives, as shown in the chart

From http://karchesky.com/comics/stochastic/operating-system-chart/

What is the best OS for you?(December 7th, 2008)

What is the best OS for you?(December 7th, 2008)

Other charts I found looking around:

The Mac is better at all but Porn

The Mac is better at all but Porn

Believe it or not, YouTube has been inaccessible in any corner of the world for about an hour.

Believe it or not, YouTube has been inaccessible in any corner of the world for about an hour.

The Joy of Tech! 2007

The Joy of Tech! 2007

Computer Hardware Chart (July 20th, 2009)

Computer Hardware Chart (July 20th, 2009)

Unix Family Treee

Unix Family Tree

IT guys love flow charts - from Oracle

IT guys love flow charts - from Oracle

Migration from SBS or NT 4.0 to Windows Server 2003 or SBS 2003 is not a simple one!

Migration from SBS or NT 4.0 to Windows Server 2003 or SBS 2003 is not a simple one!

Lets not forget Linux

Lets not forget Linux

From the www.itjungle.com (love the name)

Doubling up the core counts to a maximum of 32 cores in the Power 570 did not change the upgrade paths, as you can see:

Doubling up the core counts to a maximum of 32 cores in the Power 570 did not change the upgrade paths, as you can see:

All in good fun!


Why marketing is more than features and price!

March 29, 2009

This article tells the story of why marketing is about selling value not price, better than I can:  check out Microsoft advertisements could help Apple sell computers at http://tech.blorge.com/Structure:%20/2009/03/29/microsoft-advertisements-could-help-apple-sell-computers/.

How can a company like Microsoft do such bad marketing?  It must be due to  marketing by committee. Marketing to be successful must express a vision and and must speak to the targeted customer.  When you have a committee running marketing they rarely can even agree / identify the target and the natural result is the messaging is neutered until it is totally ineffective.

This plays out over and over agin, especially in technology companies (the pro audio market is very similar).  The product managers who drive marketing live in a world that is based on:

Features, specifications, tech terms and price performance ratios – all which are relevant to the development process (but again still no replacement for vision – see any coverage of Steve Jobs).

But the focus on getting the most product data into the marketing (print, online or PR) only makes the product less interesting to the customers.  Speaking about
Why they would want the product ,
What it does for them, and
How it will make them better / cooler / happier,

Is the messaging you need to develop to produce effective marketing.


AT&T Fails The SXSW iPhone Test

March 15, 2009

Ok does everyone who has an iPhone hate ATT?  Everyone I know loves the iPhone and hates their service. WHile I am sure that this does vary somewhat by location (some cities ATT is great I hear) I have yet to experience this.  I travel a fair bit and ATT seems to suck everywhere.

AT&T Fails The SXSW iPhone Test (T, AAPL).

The story above shows that ATT (and most carries to some extent) fail at big events.  The worst was this past Macworld where everyone had an iPhone and even simple txt messages took hours to be delivered.


Apple Moves to the Cloud

November 9, 2008

Understanding what is driving Apple to succeed and the direction that the CE world is moving, is all about integrating devices with the cloud/back-end.

Most people don’t understand that Apple is the leading integrator of cloud computer interface.  They have been working on this long before anyone understood the significance of the cloud.  Actually before the term “cloud” was even a glint in most Internet / computer / IT industry pundits eyes.  It dates back to before Steve Jobs re-joined Apple, back to the days of NeXT (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NeXT) where the concept of building an infrastructure / framework for using the web as a back-end for client computer was created.

WebObjects (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WebObjects) was the fundamental building blocks for the original Dell ecommerce site back in 1996 (NeXT Software’s WebObjects Adds “Muscle” to Dell Computer’s New Internet Computer Store; WebObjects Provides World’s Largest Direct Marketer of Computers with Seamless Integration of Legacy Data and Improved Site Management).  After Steve Job’s triumphant return to Apple, WebObjects matured and it became the back bone of the Apple site, from there it grew into the back bone of the Apple store and the iTunes music store and then mac.com.  Today, this technology is the basis of Mobile Me and the iPhone app store. (WebObjects was originally released by NeXT Computer in March 1996, but was acquired by Apple Inc. with their acquisition of NeXT in December of that year. –

Webobjects goes back to NeXt

Webobjects goes back to NeXt

NeXT also developed WebObjects, one of the first enterprise web application frameworks. WebObjects never became very popular because of its initial high price of $50,000 but remains a prominent early example of a web server based on dynamic page generation rather than static content. Apple purchased NeXT on December 20, 1996 for $429 million,[2] and much of the current Mac OS X system is built on the OPENSTEP foundation.[3] WebObjects is now bundled with Mac OS X Server and Xcode.)

 

Apple using webobjects based technology is what makes Apple the “cloud” leader (even more sophisticated and better positioned than Google the perceived leader of the cloud). Apple gets that the “cloud” is more than stuff stored in data centers on the web. Cloud computing is about the integration with vast amounts of data stored for you remotely and accessed by a client.

Apple gets this on a level that others, even the vaulted Google, don’t understand or have failed to master. There is more to cloud computing than having stuff accessed through a browser. It is about the seamless integration between the clients and the cloud – And people work with the clients not the cloud. Rim is further along this path than Microsoft or Google, and Apple is light years ahead.

The success of the iPod is based on an advanced “cloud” model, where the computer application and “music player” (iPod) are connected to the cloud. This is done in a way where the user doesn’t know or care that it lives in the cloud.  They know that it (iTunes / IPod) is easy to use and works – webobjects and the cloud are not even perceived as part of the iPod experience. This is the best example I know of Arthur C. Clarke’s third “law” of prediction: Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

 

Apple iTunes Cloud Architecture

Apple iTunes Cloud Architecture

Arguably this the most used “Cloud” application environment on the web.  (The iTunes Store is a software-based online digital media store operated by Apple Inc. Opening as the iTunes Music Store on April 282003, it proved the viability of online music sales and is now the number-one music vendor in the United States.[1] As of June 2008, the store has sold 5 billion songs,[2] accounting for more than 70% of worldwide online digital music sales and making the service the largest legal music retailer.[3] Most downloaded files come with restrictions on their use, enforced by FairPlay, Apple’s version of digital rights management. However, iTunes has begun a retroactive shift into selling DRM-free music.)

More to come in follow up articles. 

Some links to look at:

Apple WebObjects product page

WODev – a WikiWikiWeb site for the WebObjects developers

Full acquisition/merger contract between Apple and NeXT

 

http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Programming:WebObjects/Overview/History

Web application framework

Thanks for reading let me know what you think.
Ken