eWeek tech writer Jason Brooks says in a new column that Apple’s announcements at the recent Macworld Conference & Expo in San Francisco shows the company has moved “boldly and rationally forward.” And he encourages the company to take even more assertive steps in offering alternatives to Microsoft.
“The hardware and software announcements at Macworld demonstrate that Steve and Co. are on the right track, playing to their strengths in product design and brand equity, and taking advantage of the open-source world to shore up their weaknesses,” he writes.
He praises the Safari Web browser and Keynote presentation software. Will these products intensify the already-heated Apple-Microsoft rivalry? Brooks thinks so but notes that “the Redmond that recently vanquished the DOJ in court can’t be expected to look out for Apple’s interests.” And if Microsoft gets so mad it decides to kill Office for the Mac, Brooks thinks Apple could release its own line of office applications. (Of course, others think that a lack of new version of Office for Mac OS X would be a major blow against Apple, especially in the business-enterprise markets).
The writer thinks Safari was pretty much a necessity for Apple, but thinks that it needs more user-friendly features such as tabbed browsing and continued improvement based on user feedback. Brooks also thinks that Apple should take the controversial step of porting Mac OS X to x86.
“I’ve written about this before, and been showered with objections. For instance, many will say that it’s Apple’s control of hardware and software that makes the Mac what it is, and that OS X running on a garden-variety Dell box can’t substitute for a shiny new iMac,” said Brooks. “That’s certainly true, but I’d argue that those who buy the shiny new iMacs now will continue to buy them, and that OS X on x86 would only bring more users, such as do-it-yourselfers and business types, into the fold — along with $129 or so per copy for Apple’s coffers.”