Apple WWDC: Socks for Christmas

Written by Tim Haight

I'm VP of Technology Services for CGNET. I love to travel and do IT strategic planning.

June 3, 2014

ipod-Socks-400x320My inner child cried after the keynote at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC). He was looking for a new toy to dream about. He got sensible corporate strategy.

Disappointment makes you think. To be fair to Apple, focusing on making life easier for developers plus making the Mac, iPhone and iPad play together better are great strategic moves. I see the three product groups as territory on a game board. The object of the game is to occupy as much territory as possible, and keeping your major areas connected is essential.

On the other hand, the best move is one that combines offense with defense. Perhaps, in the long run, Apple’s new Swift programming language achieves that. After all, all those apps, and more to come, are Apple’s greatest edge. But it still feels like socks for Christmas.

Connecting the groups is good for Apple. If there ever were a time to push the Mac, it’s now, when so many people dislike Windows 8.x.x.x.  Tying that to the iPhone and the iPad almost works for me, but not quite. I can’t go anywhere without my iPhone, and I’m using my iPad more than ever. But even with Office 365 available for the Mac, I’m just not ready to learn another PC operating system. It’s not just the commands; it’s the connectivity and every other irritating little detail in my Windows-based work world.

Apple can do fine without people like me, I suppose. A lot of home users and new users aren’t bound by corporate standards, and a few aren’t as lazy as I am. But my inner child honestly doesn’t care about how Mom felt giving me those socks.

But Hope Springs Eternal

What I’m going to do is go online and buy one of those brain-wave headsets I saw at the Maker Faire. $99.95 to connect your brain to your smartphone with at least 26 apps! It’s a dream I may even be able to measure!

As for the big picture, here’s where I think we are today. With the biggest product announcements coming from the NSA (although they never officially appointed Edward Snowden Director of Marketing), we are in a new era. Things are either impossibly big, like brontobytes, or hopefully not impossibly small, like all those booths at the Maker Faire. In between are corporations acting like corporations, which is getting old.

So maybe Apple is right. If there was hope at WWDC, in must lie in the proles, oops, developers.

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