Eleanor McHugh (feyeleanor) wrote,
Eleanor McHugh

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Digital Convergence

I've just finished watching Steve Jobs' keynote from Macworld and am once more impressed by the focus that Apple can maintain on how technology fits into the lives of real people. Both Microsoft and the Linux lobby really need to take note of that, because whilst they both produce some interesting innovations I find it incredibly difficult to see how either fits into my life beyond word processing and computer games. And considering that I'm probably an alpha geek, I think that says a lot about the relevance of those systems to the real world.

Time Capsule is intriguing - especially as I've recently been looking at a wireless gateway/storage solution from Freecom. I'd really like to see an option for serving web content direct from it and possibly hosting an email server too - with more people on broadband these are becoming popular home server options and Apple could use their knack for elegant interfaces to make something consumer-friendly.

It's particularly nice to see the iPhone using positioning data to integrate with google maps and the inclusion of a decent mail application on the iPod Touch makes one much more attractive to me. Admittedly I'd really like to be able to justify an iPhone but the running costs still put me off, and I could live with only picking up e-mail and web pages at wifi hotspots. Also the introduction of the notes widget is opening up the possibilities of using both products as full-fledged PDAs: I bet I'm not the only Newton owner who salivates at that thought ;)

I wish Apple the best of luck with the new iTunes movie rental business as the pricing model seems fair and it's an interesting rethink of previous ways of offering video on demand. We occasionally use Virgin's VoD service but I can see Apple's offering making that redundant when they launch in the UK.

The only thing I'm slightly disappointed by is the failure of the rumoured MacTouch to materialise - come on guys, TabletPC-compatible touchscreens already work with OS X so why give us the TabletMac that so many of us would love to see. Sure it's not going to be a big seller compared to the MacBook, but there's enough of a market to keep several of the larger PC vendors interested and without a doubt a MacTouch could have the same impact as the iPhone has in the smartphone market.

Still I guess the MacBook Air addressed a fairly well-established need for an executive laptop that slips effortlessly into a chic designer briefcase. Admittedly that 13.3" screen is too big to fit in my handbag so I'll be sticking with the PC alternatives for the time being, but credit where credit is due - it's the coolest bit of kit I've seen in a long time. Intel have done a fantastic job shrinking the Core 2 processor die by 60%, but just as incredible is how small Apple have made the logic board. Most people though are mainly going to be struck by the "woot!!! Look at how slim the damn thing is. It looks like touching it should punch holes in the casing!" reaction that watching Steve pick it up on stage caused. Now just imagine an 11.1" version with a touch screen using multi-touch. Bye bye nasty trackpad, hello iPhone simplicity. I'd even be willing to live with an extra fraction of an inch thickness if necessary to house the same size battery...

Yay for another year of my fave tech company making brilliant new shiny toys >8D

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