I installed an OSX skin to my PC laptop using Stardockís WindowBlinds last week. Tom sent me an IM when I told him this and asked, ďDo you feel 100% more creative now?Ē
Frankly, no, I donít, but I think thatís because I donít have the Aqua scrollbars. That must be the reason. Stardock wants me to pay for Window Blinds before I get that particular feature skinned. IF the scrollbars were skinned, though, Iím sure my creativity levels would sky rocket to unprecedented levels. Such is Appleís power.
What is it about Apple that makes us feel this way?
Apple, Apple, Apple Ö What can I say? Over the years they’ve built scores of brilliant designs that have helped define the course of what computers are and should be but a curious thing has happened in the last few years. Apple has slowly transformed from a plucky young company to a glossy ad-driven behemoth. Before I offer my analysis, let me preface it by saying that Apple still employs some great designers (Ive et. al.), and that some excellent products are still being made.
Unfortunately, the companion to these products are their ad campaigns, which while brilliant from the marketing perspective, tend to distort reality in ways that are pretty distasteful. For example, iTunes music store.
I was really excited about this idea, since any model of music distribution which gives musicians a more direct channel to listeners holds the promise of the rise of the indies: (me!). Besides greater access to independents, it also held the possibility of a better breakdown of profits (instead of the 2-8% that bands typically get from labels). In their ad campaign, Apple also brandished these possibilities and invited a boatload of popular artists to all chant along. They will sell 100 million songs(!) in one year!! We’re changing the music biz! We’ll help artists and the consumer and the music industry and…!
Wait. The economic model is the same. Artists still get what they always got even though the physical channel has become electronic (and cheaper). Where do the savings go? Well they are mostly funneled off to the record company — the one party in this whole equation that I don’t care to pay more tribute to. Hm. 100 million songs though. That sounds huge. That’s going to change the world! Well… here is how much 100 million songs change the world:
Alright, so the word on the street is that this week’s strip is pretty esoteric. The dude in panel 3 is Jonathan Ive, who heads up Apple’s industrial design group. He’s worked on designs for the G5, iPod, and gumdrop iMac among others, and was recently named designer of the year by London’s Design Museum. Despite the press, he is described as “accessible and friendly, almost egoless”. Thus the strip.
Anyway, hopefully it’s a lot funnier now that I wrote a paragraph to explain it… no? Rats.
I’m living in the UK, but thegoodtomchi is in the states and well, I did for a time so even though I’m Canadian, I’ll wish you all a happy turkey day. Any excuse to have good food is a good excuse.
Now, in the last thread, we got some discussion going about a potential Mac Tablet and Chris mentioned that Steve Jobs doesn’t like the tablet form factor. He claims is (to paraphrase):
“It turns out people want keyboards. When Apple first started out, ‘People couldn’t type’. We look at the tablet and we think it’s going to fail. Tablets appeal to rich guys with plenty of other PCs and devices already … And people accuse us of niche markets.”