Thursday, March 3, 2011

Post PC world

Engadget's chief envangelist, he who leans towards Apple, has just posted an editorial.

It is a bit of a surprise to me, as you all (whoever you are) know my bemusement of his gushing over shiny aluminium. Perhaps it's like sobering up after a drunken party, his piece wasn't about the High Priest or the new uni-cast aluminium block. It was the future that Apple is looking to.

(Incidentally, Mr Topolsky sounded like he was sobering up after drinking in all the Apple ambrosia when he describe the iPad 2 as "an iteration on an already existing product". Actually what I felt too.)

Post PC. What does it really mean?

The PC world which actually includes Apple was defined by the machines that people work on. Built, sold and marketed by geeks (no offence since I revel in geek-dom) it was all about how more powerful this machine compared to that other one. Apple in a way did move away from, but could not avoid it. (Remember PowerPC).

Apple's vision is summarized in the last bit of the March 2nd Keynote. Standing at the corner of Technology Street and Liberal Arts Avenue, it wants to bring easy access to technology for everyone.
In principle, I do agree that technology should not get in the way and the iOS platform has achieved it more successfully than others. Most of humanity won't and won't want to understand Ghz, Mb/s or Ram, they want to write a blog, call someone face to face, make their photos look better and even make music easily by themselves. No need to call some genius to make it work.

In real life, however, the geek is still needed. Take for example a piano, the physical non virtual version. It is an amazing piece of tech back then too, and you still need a tuner. The iPad is no different, why else they have geniuses populating the various temples of glass around the world.

While admirable the philosophy of no specs no tech, I suspect Apple is also hiding behind this to deflect accusation of charging a premium for a lower spec machine compared to the others in the PC world. If specs were not to be an issue, why stress on the A5 chip, the doubling of processing power and 9 times graphic capability. (The keynote would have been much much shorter and all about apps.)

The competition should fight more on the human experience with their machine. Apple being a provider of hardware and software makes it easier to produce something coherent. But there are others who don't like to play in a walled garden, so the PC world is still thriving. Mere humanity is making up the numbers for Apple... for now.

PS: Echoing a comment on some forum, in this post-PC world, why the heck do we still need to connect the magical devices to a PC with a umbilicus cord to do basic stuff like transferring music and video files. Worse is iTunes is the only portal possible. Not my favourite app.

No comments:

Post a Comment