In case you've been living under a rock the past few days, and haven't heard about what was unveiled at Macworld yesterday, Apple debuted a new "computer for the masses," the Mac Mini. ''We want to bring even more people into the digital revolution," Jobs said. For years, people have been clamoring for that elusive $500 Mac. The failed Cube only made the demand greater. "Give us a Cube we can afford!" the people screamed. And now we have one. The new Mac mini (note the lowercase 'mini' just like the iPod) is positioned to be the ultimate switcher Mac. People who have already paid $300 - $400 for a way cool iPod will have a MUCH easier time buying a new Mac, a computer with none of the spyware or virus headaches of their Windows PCs, a computer that is as cool, or cooler than the iPod they love, when the WHOLE computer is only one or two hundred dollars more than what they paid for their iPod. I love it. I'm hoping this will boost the number of Mac users, and the number of potential users for our products.
Dvorak, Thurrott and the like can go on and on about how the Mac share is shrinking, but I'm telling you, from an anecdotal standpoint, the Mac market, even without the mini, was poised for a jump in market share. People are switching. People are fed up with having to be system admins at home just to read their email and browse the web. I personally know a lot of people, people who are PC users and have never owned a Mac, that are already switching. They are fed up, and the Mac is just too GOOD. Now, with the mini, I know even MORE people who are ready to take the Mac plunge. It's happening people. Ignore the Mac naysayers, they don't know nearly as much as they think they do. I even want one, just because it's COOL! You have to figure that there are more than a few current Mac users who will buy these as a second machine as well.
In addition, Apple released the iPod shuffle. At first blush, well you might think, "why would anyone want an MP3 player without a display?" If you look at it the way I did, you can see why: "I own an iPod (actually 2, a first gen and a 3rd gen) and really, my iPod is too big and too expensive for me to want to take it to the gym, or for a walk, etc. I have an old Rio, tiny thing with tiny storage which uses an AA battery, that I sometimes used, but it just wasn't an iPod, didn't have AAC support and took BATTERIES, rather than being rechargeable. For me, the shuffle is the perfect companion to my iPod. It's the iPod for when I don't NEED 20 GB of music. And only $99 to start? Brilliant.
Finally, proving yet another rumor to be true, Apple unveiled iWork. The new Pages application looks great. I'm hoping that it's SO good that it helps improve our documentation here. We essentially fight with the current available applications to try and do what we want. This new application looks like it may make things easier.
Things are certainly looking brighter in the Mac universe after yesterday aren't they?