Thursday, November 10, 2011

Apple's Re-birth

Post-Steve Jobs death, there have of course been many articles that discuss Apple's comeback. They tend to date it to the introduction of the iMac or the first iPod. I think they are overlooking an important event.

The thing that is amazing to me is that in the last 10 years, the Mac went from being viewed as the sissy computer, to the darling of the geeks. I remember when that happened. It was an overnight phenomenon. It occurred when they introduced OS/X. OS/X was based on the venerable, and venerated, BSD Unix. It was a gigantic, amazing leap. It gave the Mac a terrific technical foundation on which to build all the cool stuff and eye candy. Getting all those thought leaders to embrace Mac was, in my opinion, an essential ingredient in the Apple comeback.

Ironically, even this part of the story does loop back to Steve Jobs. The transition to OS/X was by far the smoothest new OS rollout I can recall. The likely reason? OS/X was created from NextStep, the commercially unsuccessful, but widely praised, OS that had been created at NEXT Computing--where Steve Jobs went after he got booted out of Apple.

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