Youtube is usually a great place for a quick laugh while at work, or to savor illegally uploaded copywrighted material - but it also occasionally is a great source for finding documentation on computing history.
One clip worth watching is the Boston Macworld Expo in 1997 - which was the return of Steve Jobs to Apple, his shuffling of the Board of Directors and his plan to return Apple to profitability. Among his key points are focusing on the markets where Apple was still relevant (Education and Creative Professionals) , as well getting Apple innovating again - the company itself needs to “Think Different”. In short, almost like a communist government in the 60’s, Jobs outlines a “5 Year Plan” to modernize the company and catch up with the West.
I can’t think of one of my friends at Columbia College studying art who doesn’t either already have a Mac, or have plans for aquiring one as soon as possible. Steve mentions in this video that 60% of all websites are designed on Mac Hardware, and now in 2007 Mac’s are by far the defacto dev machine of choice when designing anything for the web due to their UNIX plumbing and the ability to run every browser on the market natively.
I find it interesting to watch the Macworld 97 video, where Apple was on extremely shaky ground with an uncertain future and then watch clips from this year’s conference where it seems Apple is only headed toward further forms of world domination and hightech conquest.
Something interesting to consider, is where was Microsoft during this 10 year period? With their oldest and classic competitor on the ropes, Microsoft chose not to deliver a knockout punch - instead it decided to go pick flowers or some other completely unrelated activity, while its historic nemesis rebuilt itself.
I know that cooperation was emphasized in the 97 Conference, but what Microsoft chose to do can only be described as “traditional Microsoft thinking”. That is, ignore the market, ignore your customers and overdevelop by committee thinking products designated by tradition and the insular culture at Redmond. The type of thinking that dictates, who cares what the rest of the world does, because we assume that they will all do what we tell them, use our standards and technologies as soon as we release them, that the world is ready to snap in line, repent their misguided ways, and do things the Microsoft way on release day.
What has Microsoft done in any of the area specified by Jobs? Web design with state of the art Frontpage? Edit videos with Microsoft Movie Maker?
Give me a break.
Any person in the creative fields use Microsoft products only because they are forced to by work or by budget. It is a coincidence that Adobe compiles their application suite for Windows because its a big market share, not because of any brilliant strategy by Redmond.
As a recent convert to the cult of Mac, I only regret not doing it sooner as my Macbook Pro is by far the best machine I’ve ever owned - and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for Apple 10 years from now.