When Apple introduced the first iMac 14 years ago, it looked like no other computer in the world. It came in a variety of flavors (colors). And it single handily saved Apple Computer from extinction. It also was the laughing stock of anybody outside of the graphic arts community, college students and the super cool. It was the target of disdain from all in corporate America who couldn’t believe that people in the advertising industry could design great ads on these ridiculous looking “toys.”
Oh my, how things have changed. Through the most savvy, ingenious marketing scheme ever devised, Steve Jobs and Apple called the play-action, faked the run and threw the bomb. But this pass was up there for so long, it took 14 long years to land. On its way, it recreated the music industry with the iPod, re-invented smart phones with the iPhone and then created a category (tablets) that others had only dabbled in with the iPad. But what Apple really was doing was much more sublime. By getting everybody in business to fall in love with their technology products (after all, what successful business person does not own an iPod, iPhone and iPad?), they prepped the market for the final play.
Apple made an announcement today that should surprise no one. First of all, it proves that Apple will continue to innovate with or without Steve Jobs. Second, it is the obvious fait accomplis to all of these Apple tools we’ve just mentioned. Today, even the greatest Apple skeptic owns several Apple products and understands the operating nuances of all of them. So, the time is right to hit and hit hard. Introducing Mountain Lion, the new Apple operating system that will be loaded on to all Mac computers come this Summer. What will make Mountain Lion different? The real question is what will make Mountain Lion the same! It will now share many of the same features that we have all become accustomed to using on our iPhones and iPads, namely a beautiful touch screen device that will share much of the same functionality as Apple’s other devices. Want that type larger? Pinch it open. Want it smaller? Squeeze it down.
Just as Adobe brilliantly took over the graphic arts software market single handily by bundling Photoshop, InDesign, Dreamweaver, Illustrator, Flash and Acrobat into one super-charged Creative Suite, Apple will have now done the same in their world. I remember when Adobe first introduced InDesign. They were going up against the behemoth Quark Express. Every graphic designer since the beginning of time (or at least since the early 90s) had learned digital graphic design on Quark. It was the horse, the stud, the designis maximus of every graphic design professional. When Adobe introduced InDesign, their pitch was “doesn’t it make sense to have all of your graphics software built on the same platform so it will all be integrated in one beautiful package?” It made sense but the 1.0 version of InDesign had issues. But soon enough, Adobe improved the product and within 10 years InDesign has become the dominant design software in the world. In fact, it is difficult to find a graphic designer today that is still using Quark.
That same logic is what Apple is using in introducing Mountain Lion. “Doesn’t it make sense that your phone, pad, pod and computer should all work together in technology harmony?”
The answer is “Yes, it does.”
It has been interesting watching the expressions of my mostly PC clients as their attitudes toward Apple and the Mac have changed over the years. It used to be an audible laugh when I would open up my Mac at a meeting. In later years, the laugh became a smirk. Now it is a smile as their world is changing right before their eyes.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I bring you your new computer. Introducing iMac with Mountain Lion.
Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/kramchang/99256322/ via Creative Commons