Never has the absence of Steve Jobs been more obvious than this week's announcement of upgrades to existing Apple computer platforms. No more special meetings for carefully chosen press friends, just a big dump of long overdue upgrades to existing systems.
Rather than go into each one of the changes and upgrades let me point you to an article in the Washington Post that summarized all of the tweaks (http://tinyurl.com/ck2mqg)
What is most notable is that Apple has focused on the desktop sector of the market which has taken such a shellacking in the past quarters. The company has also stuck to their high price points at a time when those who can afford to buy are looking for REAL deals. A commentary that I have seen on a number of other blog postings suggests that when you take the same dollar amount required for the beautifully designed and very functional Macs and look at what else is available in the market, you can get a huge boost in function and features buying a PC desktop or laptop. Apple has chosen a strange time to stick to its "Apple tax"; stimulus anyone?
Where's My Netbook?
Another curious phenomenon is the continuing lack of a serious netbook (Ultra-portable computers that are high on function, small on size and weight and very easy on the pocketbook, e.g. $400 average price point.) Given the continuing success and dominance of the iPhone in the smartphone market, it would seem to be a small step up to expand the capabilities and ease of use that has marked that device (along with iPods etc.) and move vigorously into a segment that has a price point that is accessible for most people in the market for a portable computer. Steve Jobs' arrogant, "we-don't-build-junk" mantra rings rather hollow. This wasn't the other shoe dropping that many Apple fans had hoped for and one has to wonder if the company is running low on pumps at a critical time.
PC vs. Mac...Apple still the winner
Having said all that about Apple, I must add that using Vista on my new PC just makes me appreciate the stability and functionality of the Mac OS X on my MacBook Pro. It is the one safe harbor I can return to after having to reformat one more friends PC hard drive that has been raped by virus and left for dead. I don't frankly care how much of a market share Microsoft has if its all at risk because of lousy OS.
Goodbye PC Mike, Hello Pastor Mike Wendland
On a final note, I want to wish an old friend and mentor, Mike Wendland, much success in his new career as Communications Pastor for Woodside Bible Church in Troy. The church is actually a collection of fellowships that embraces nearly 6,000 people each week. Mike will be responsible for all the communications from newsletters to video productions as well as preaching frequently. Mike Wendland, by the way, is one of the finest Bible teachers/preachers I have ever listened to. We first got to know one another through the Detroit Media Fellowship that he helped found in the 90's. It met at historic Fort St. Presbyterian Church in downtown Detroit and was initially a way of gathering the many Christians at the Free Press, Detroit News and Channel 4 TV which were right across Fort St. Interestingly, Dan Mountney, a former anchor for Channel 4 TV, left his job in the late 90's to become the communications pastor for Kensington Metro church, another booming group of congregations in Detroit's suburbs.
While I know that the congregations of Woodside will be well served by Mike's ministry, we will miss his frequently witty, insightful and always informative media reviews. God bless him as he pursues the purposeful life.