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Friday, December 01, 2006

Is Apple the new "geek"?

As I type this blog entry in my new MacBook Pro, I'm thinking that Mac is the new "geek".
Apple products have become more and more attractive to those of us that have worked or played with computers since a young age. It's no longer only for the Advertising/Design or Publishing industry. Macs are getting affordable and they are becoming viable alternatives when the time comes to upgrade your home or work computer.

The "there's no games for Mac" line is old, many geeks have a console which, let's be frank, can play most of the games quite comfortably, even if you don't have an HD ready TV.

In the past, geeks were kept away from the Mac because there was no real console market, you needed a windows desktop to have a decent set of games to choose from. That's not the case anymore.

Another reason for geeks to be kept away from the Mac in the past was that Operating Systems were relatively easy to understand (if you were into those kind of things) and with Linux we had all kinds of flexibility in how we would use our OS. Again, that's not the case anymore, OS's are complicated enough today and not all geeks are willing to spend their nights hacking away at Linux to make all their gadgets integrate perfectly with their computer.

Then there's the "home entertainment" angle. If you wanted to "backup" your music and videos you needed to use open-source/shareware software on Windows or Linux and a set of command line tools. Not now. Apple is investing a lot in making their products a decent choice for those of us that prefer to watch movies at home or have a sizeable music collection.

Then comes the Web. Some time ago the Web was something that you consulted to search for some information but mostly as a reference to static information, now the Web is in all of the things we do. You pay your bills, you do your holiday shopping, you share your photos, your write your blog, you event have full-blown
desktop applications on the web and mail clients with lots of space. Let's be honest, unless you need to use Office-proprietary features or some "fat" software (like photoshop or other heavy/pro editing software) you don't need a Windows-compatible desktop.

This is all helped by the fact that Internet Explorer is slowly loosing market share and that most of the web today is standards compliant, and not using any Microsoft proprietary extensions. Well... almost.

In fact, the web has already released the "geeks" from the Microsoft grip. Those of us that develop software for the web don't need to use Windows at all (unless you use .NET of course :).

Lately I've been seeing more and more people with Macs, this is especially noticeable in software development gatherings where I've seen Macs taking the upper hand in the Windows/Apple battle for the laptop (I'm not the only one either).

So, it seems that all the things are in place for us to start seeing a world where people will really have a choice of computer OS. That can only be good, right? :)

The geeks in the past have set the direction by adopting Linux and making it the operating system of choice. Can they do the same with Mac OS X and Apple computers?

at 07:22
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