I’m back. A quick look at some events this past week.

Well, I’m back from the “out of town” portion of my vacation. I still have a few days off and some projects planned at home, but I’ll get to blogging as well. For my first post since coming back I’ll highlight some of the stuff that went on while I was gone. This is stuff I may have written complete posts about had I been here.

If you’re wondering why the The Street’s Scott Moritz’ garbage about iPhone production being cut back — and the resulting drop in Apple stock — is not in my list, it’s because it was covered so much elsewhere. Besides, most of the coverage ends with the sentiment that they wonder why Moritz has a job, or why The Street isn’t worried about its reputation. In my opinion the reason is simple: The Street and Moritz are doing exactly what they set out to do. Indeed, it’s difficult to think otherwise when the story had such huge implications but was published on the flimsiest of evidence. I’m sure we’ll see more of this, so get used to it.

OK, on to other stuff that occurred in my absence…

Apple to introduce new iMacs (and new Macs?) on August 7.
A special media event related solely to Macs, not iPods or iPhones. Is this the long-awaited refresh (and remodel) on the iMac line? Sure. Will it also include new versions of iLife and iWork? Maybe. But what else? I’ve seen others talk of a new MacBook Pro line, or at least a MacBook Pro ultra portable.

Personally, I think if Apple wants to knock our socks off — and really see sales spike — it would be with a new “headless” iMac. In other words, expand their computer quadrant to allow a slot between the consumer (iMac) and the professional (Mac Pro) desktop models. If Apple introduces such a machine, and prices it in line with what an expandable consumer machine should cost (something they did not do with the G4 cube), there’s a 100% chance I will buy one that very day.

AT&T and eMusic ink an OTA deal.
Now you can get your obscure music for six times as much! This announcement almost made me laugh when I read it, though it may not be the dumbest mobile music deal that went down this week (see below).

I love music, and I love eMusic. I’ve been a member for a year and a half and get 40 songs a month for $10. For the rocket scientists among you, that’s 25 cents a song. A quarter. Two bits. Yes, it’s all Indie stuff, and most people will not find the music they want here. For me, since I love all kinds of music, I have no issue with this and always seem to find stuff every month. Even so, it’s primarily worth it because each song is only 25 cents. But now, thanks to AT&T and eMusic, I can get those same songs for $1.50 each. This is a deal? I can’t believe any self-respecting eMusic subscriber would go for this at all. And if you’re not a subscriber, then you’re just gonna wonder where all the music is since you can’t find all the hot songs.

Look guys, if you must charge a premium for OTA downloads (not worth it, in my opinion), than make them 50 cents each. $1.50? No.

DOS was stolen. Who knew?
Paterson was foolish to even challenge this. Does this really even need further comment?

Info Week misses again on “eleventh hour” Apple patches for iPhone.
You gotta love Info Week. Apple releases an iPhone update, but IW says it’s really just a quick rush to avoid being slammed at Black Hat. Is there anybody who didn’t know Apple would be slammed at Black Hat regardless? So Apple should now hold off on patches, releasing them only at times when they might take less perceived heat? Oh brother. The only thing that should be held back is Info Week’s Mac coverage.

Thurrott almost impressed with iTunes sales of three billion.
Paul says it’s “big news” (of course) but then as usual knocks Apple for their success. What I really love is his slamming iTunes’ “lousy” 128K AAC format. Paul doesn’t seem to understand that not all 128K encoding formats are created equal. That 128K AAC file is on par with eMusic’s 192K MP3 file.

Oh, and Paul doesn’t “prefer” the AAC format anyway. Well, yes, Paul, I can see where a Microsoft apologist would prefer things stay the same as much as possible, but the fact is AAC was developed as the successor to MP3 (it is, after all, MP4) and has specific advantages over the older format. I’m just glad Paul can “live with” AAC nonetheless.

AC/DC goes the wrong way.
It’s not just the labels with their heads up their ass. Some bands’ skulls are positioned firmly up their rectal cavities as well. If AC/DC got all their money up front, more power to them, and Verizon will be taking a bath. No one, not even the most die-hard AC/DC fan, is going to select his phone and carrier based solely on the availability of 18 albums. And you have to buy them as complete albums! (This bit alone is likely why iTunes would have no part of the deal.) Morons. I buy albums most of the time, but am in the minority. An entire generation is coming up that sees no benefit from an album whatsoever, and who can blame them?

If AC/DC is getting their money as a percentage of sales, then they’re screwed. There won’t be any, boys. Not enough to matter. It’s P2P for you, just like it is now. You shoulda gone with singles as well as albums, and used the guy that’s selling songs at the clip of one BILLION every six months. Smaller piece of a larger pie, and all that.

Microsoft asks Mac users to try iWork instead of Office.
If iWork makes Pages a bit more Word processor friendly (it’s already layout-happy), and adds a decent Spreadsheet module, is there any doubt this will get people to consider a switch? They’d need some decent interoperability, but that shouldn’t be too hard (and even Microsoft never gets it right all the time). While it can be argued Office will benefit very little from being a Universal application, it’s revealing that Microsoft is the last major player to the game if only because it exposes their MBU for what it really is: A shell.

There are many Mac users looking to go Microsoft-free. Office was one of the few bullets left in Microsoft’s Mac gun, why shoot blanks now? Stupid. If you need Office for work, just consider it one of those Windows applications you need Boot Camp for until iWork (or neoOffice) can fill that role.

Mary Jo Foley thinks Windows home server has mass appeal.
Yes, because I know my friends are always asking me about when they can get their own server and setup their own storage networks, file sharing, and print server functionality. They constantly express their desire for a new PC running more Windows software. Something that’s $800, perhaps, that they’ll need to configure, and then try to hide in a corner of a room while training their ears to ignore the sound.

I don’t know who supplies what Mary Jo is smoking, but it must be some good shit. The truth is, Mary Jo, the best home server available today is called the Airport Extreme. Plug it in and set it up as your WiFi and firewall, then plug in a USB disk (or disks), and a USB (or Ethernet) printer, and all of these items are seen on your network (Macs and PCs) without configuration. The thing is tiny, quiet, and inexpensive.

If there is a market in the home for a file/print server, this is it. Microsoft’s mindset that every tech issue requires yet another PC running yet another variant of Windows is part of their problem, and why they can’t come up with solutions anybody really wants.

Enough for now. It’s good to be back.

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5 thoughts on “I’m back. A quick look at some events this past week.

  1. Glad to see you back Tom …

    DOS was stolen … didn’t the movie Pirates Of Silicon valley hint at this?

    AC/DC deal – I like a few of their songs but who doesn’t get their songs from the bargain CD bin or freeload them from LimeWire?

    I honestly think the “I need office” days (even on the PC) are numbered. I think all people care about is a basic reader and text/numbers/image editor. Every one of my customers who asks for office … I push STRONGLY for them to use iWork or OpenOffice.

  2. Thanks for the kind words about me being back.

    Nerg, I doubt that you saw me on DF. If I’ve ever been on DF I’m not aware of it, and I don’t think Gruber is either. 🙂

  3. Nice to see you back, ‘the small wave’ is on my daily reading list after recently (couple of months ago) discovering you, I can’t remember how, but possibly via DF.

  4. Wow, I just learned that you got back from vacation via http://www.macsurfer.com! They have your latest post for the Saturday the 4th., linked under under their Analysis/Commentary/Editorial/Opinion, section.

    Macsurfer is one of those sites that I frequent religiously, every day, all-through-the-day, first thing in the morning, last thing at night, etc., and it was nice to see your latest post, posted there.

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