Armchair CEO: Apple
Wednesday, August 13, 2003
Silly Billy and the $4 billion question

The question of the week at Spymac was: are you going to renew your .Mac service?

See here:
Apple .Mac Welcome

And of course, I'm no different. I am absolutely going to renew my .Mac! WHY?

Well, for one, it paid for itself the first year (which was $50 at the time, now it'll be $100). Apple gave us several dozen free iPhoto prints, which added up to the total cost of .Mac for that year.

Even without that I have Virex to protect my computer from the (admittedly small) risk of virus infection. I also have an excellent backup system-- which I could fully automate.

But the most used components: webmail (in sync with my app-based mail), free homepages that are easy to put together, and iSync.

Let's talk about that. I read an interesting interview with Bill Gates a few weeks ago wherein the wunderkind was referring to the "ability to access your data anywhere, anytime." Yeah, that's a nice concept, but I have yet to see it happen from Microsoft. And yet, here's little old Apple, with barely 1/10th the R&D budget of the software behemoth, and they manage to actually get the much-vaunted "web services" to work...

iSync not only allows you to synchronize your iCal (calendar software) and Address Book with online counterparts and Palms and certain cell phones, but also creates a web-accessible syncronized version of your bookmarks (only in Apple's Safari browser).

What's interesting is that I heard someone talk about how great Apple's stuff is, but they didn't "want to buy everything from them." Well, if it works?

But realistically, you *don't* buy everything from Apple. What you get from them is tight integration of product, because it's the advantage of a one-source supplier.

Anyone see the irony here? Microsoft claims the same thing.

I think in 10 years, all of this will be moot. With technologies like XML, and an application that can run any OS on any iron, "integration" will more likely be left to the app writer. Or apps will just work in the background, and documents will be the center of our universe. That's the way it should be...

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