by Anton Shilov
04/30/2010 | 06:20 PM
Apple recently announced details of its world-wide developers conference and observers noticed that training sessions and labs are focused around iPhone OS, Open ES, HTML5 and other similar technologies, which means that the WWDC will be heavy on iPhone and iPad, but light on Macintosh.
For many years Apple has been losing market share until Steve Jobs returned to the company as the chief executive officer and the company introduced the iPod, which literally helped the company to rise from the ashes. But while sales of Macintosh computers have been growing along with iPod or iPhone for years, Apple is now concentrating more and more on things like iPhone or iPad. Meanwhile, Macs seem to become less innovative and Apple is slowly transforming itself into a yet another PC brand.
At the moment Apple Macintosh computers lack Blu-ray disc support, business-class capabilities, Direct 3D-based video games, USB 3.0 and may other features, which personal computers powered by Microsoft Windows operating systems do support.
Personal computer makers, namely Sony and some other companies, have been integrating Blu-ray disc readers into their systems for about four years now. However, Apple has been saying that the technology – the only high-definition format that can provide 1080p video quality with high bit-rate along with lossless audio track – is too hard to implement.
“Blu-ray is just a bag of hurt. I don’t mean from the consumer point of view. It’s great to watch movies, but the licensing is so complex… We’re waiting until things settle down, and waiting until Blu-ray takes off in the marketplace before we burden our customers with the cost of the licensing and the cost of the drives,” told Steve Jobs toldthe audience at an Apple event back in 2008.
Mr. Jobs reiterated the claim in 2010. However, by this time there are loads of personal computers that can playback Blu-ray movies without problems. Albeit, there are software limitations – Avatar and 2012 – do not play on older hardware/software players due to protection technologies and other Java-related things, loads of computers nowadays feature Blu-ray drives, but none of them come from Apple.
The vast majority of people who use personal computers today started their usage from video games like Digger, Doom, Tetris, or… S.T.A.L.K.E.R., a Microsoft Corp.’s Direct3D-based game.
It is obvious that there is a trade-off between stability of Unix-based Mac OS X and versatility of the world’s most used Windows operating system. The result is that the latest PC video games just do not work on Macintosh systems. Fortunately, Valve Software’s Steam has proposed to port hundreds of PC games to Mac. The only question is why Macintosh system holder is not truly interested in modern games?
Apple thinks they are not: modern Apple computers are equipped with moderate graphics cards at the best.
The SuperSpeed USB – or USB 3.0 – represents the pinnacle of today’s external cable connection interfaces. Many mainboards from Asustek Computers, Gigabyte and MSI actually support this kind of interconnection, so do select storage systems. Needless to say that PC makers actually use those motherboards. But they are HP, Dell, etc., but not Apple.
Loads of notebook users have been using business features of IBM/Lenovo Group ThikPad PCs for many years now, fingerprint access, remote recovery, remote update via v-Pro (not exactly a pleasure), Intel anti-theft technology. None of the aforementioned capabilities do exist on default Apple configurations, many of them even cannot be ordered.
Apple has actually done a great job: the company has created the world’s slimmest notebook, back in years the company was the only provider of terrific 30” monitor with 2560x1600 resolution, in addition, Apple has been using advanced materials for its PCs for many years now. However, without support of leading-edge technologies, quo vadis, Apple?