Hewlett Packard to Apple: You Win (via @techcrunch)

Let’s look back at what Steve Jobs said last March when unveiling the iPad 2:

I’ve said this before, but thought it was worth repeating: It’s in Apple’s DNA that technology alone is not enough. That it’s technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields us the result that makes our hearts sing.

And nowhere is that more true than in these post-PC devices.

And a lot of folks in this tablet market are rushing in and they’re looking at this as the next PC. The hardware and the software are done by different companies. And they’re talking about speeds and feeds just like they did with PCs.

And our experience and every bone in our body says that that is not the right approach to this. That these are post-PC devices that need to be even easier to use than a PC. That need to be even more intuitive than a PC. And where the software and the hardware and the applications need to intertwine in an even more seamless way than they do on a PC.

And we think we’re on the right track with this. We think we have the right architecture not just in silicon, but in the organization to build these kinds of products.

And so I think we stand a pretty good chance of being pretty competitive in this market. And I hope that what you’ve seen today gives you a good feel for that.

What’s perhaps most noteworthy about HP’s move today is that they, more so than any other company attacking the tablet space, seemed to have a grasp of what Jobs was talking about — undoubtedly thanks to Jon Rubinstein, the longtime Apple general leading webOS. The Post-PC device is about the combination of hardware and software all built and integrated by one company. Google doesn’t get that. RIM can’t execute. But with the Palm/webOS purchase, it seemed that HP had both the vision and resources to possibly compete with Apple.

More here: http://techcrunch.com/2011/08/18/apple-wins-without-throwing-a-punch/

On Dieter Rams, Braun, Apple and “Austere Design”

Stumbled across this article via @malbonnington. (Finding the common themes of Braun and Apple)

There’s a quote from Rams in there, saying: 

Rams put it like this: “I believe that the product should play a secondary role in the relationship with the user; that it should not permanently vie for attention, that it should leave the user freedom and leeway for his own self-assertion as an individual.” “This is why we do our utmost to give Braun products this austere beauty which remains appealing for years. We are convinced that a well-balanced, quiet, clear, neutral and simple design corresponds best to the real needs of the users.”

Just brilliant.

Woz on what makes Apple “human”

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eCQukZZ1RH4?wmode=transparent]

“The distinction between technology and humanoids. Who’s more important: Human or the technology? We had a gentleman, classical musician, that came to Apple to talk to Steve Jobs and myself in the garage. He told us that when you build a piece of technology you get to put a lot of work into it – software and hardware – to make it natural and obvious and easy to use for a human being. Then you have priced the human being at the top of the chain. If you simply put in every feature in the world and every ability and let the human being modify their normalness to learn how to use it, you place the technology higher, as the master, and the human being more as a slave. Obviously, we think of the way we don’t want the human being to be the slave, we want the human being to be the master. We want to build things around the human being as though it was the center of the universe.”

 

Dammit, Jonathan Ive! / or, on Apple design and eternity

I have an iPhone 3G. It’s kinda awesome. It used to be super-awesome. The design’s still great. But the hardware just can’t keep up any more. Sometimes it’s so frustrating to use it, I’m tempted to put it into a blender a la “Will it blend?”.

Then it occurred to me. Apple’s problem is that their modern designs – since they dropped the cute nodding iMacs – is that their products are all monoliths, like the structure in 2001, A Space Odyssey. They’re ageless. They could show up in any age, and their design would seem rooted in the eternal, rather than the temporal.

Most other manufacturer’s designs have an in-built sell-by date. Hmm.

Iphone_550x550_540x539

Why 1984 won’t be like 1984

Steve Jobs, introducing the Macintosh, and the famous commercial. I had goosebumps. Jobs has changed a lot since then. Life, I think, has changed him to be much more focused and inward and grown-up – a lot more imperious without the cockiness you see here. Enjoyed watching it, you should, too.

Hat/tip to Ashok for the link.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lSiQA6KKyJo?wmode=transparent]

[awesomeness] is next-gen tech

I wrote some time ago; that Microsoft’s next big thing will be its evolution as a gaming co. The value its XBox division can add – especially with stuff like Project Natal (below) in the pipeline – will likely supersede the value of its Office and Windows businesses combined in another 5 years.

 

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CPIbGnBQcJY&w=500&h=300]

 

Project Natal, along with Apple’s own touch and gesture-driven computing, is set to redefine the way we work. The computer, you understand, has so far been conceptualized as evolving avatars of typewriters. You sit at a desk, you work. This hasn’t – hadn’t changed for a very long time. Even laptop computers merely gave the same structure greater mobility.

The iPad is the first real computer (almost-computer? It’s going to replace the Macbook Pro I’m typing this on sooner rather than later) designed with a completely different assumption for how you seat yourself, how you work, how you think. And that’s what’s so interesting about it. There’s more interesting things going to happen over these next few months, with iOS and of course, iPhone 4.

Redefined form and a redefined interface; never-before connectivity and the cloud. Awesomeness is in,  the future’s a fascinating place to be.

 

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ad2yk6bT0Ks&w=500&h=300]

[awesomeness] is new world tech

Came across this piece on the web. Apple vs. Google’s been providing some soap opera fodder for tech journos in the past few months. Some of it’s real, some of it’s not. There was Eric Schmidt being asked to step down from the Apple board, there was Google putting out Nexus One to compete with iPhone, possibly with some patent infringement.

 

 

The reason this is really interesting, though is that it is in many ways #2 of Apple versus Microsoft. Only this time it’s different. The World’s moved on from then and the internet will ensure that systems will have to talk to each other, one way or another. I think the big thing this year will actually be the iPad and HTML5. One will define/redefine mobile computing proper like a Smartphone can’t yet do; while in the other lies the foundation of the new internet.

I don’t think Google will win this round simply because as a company it isn’t designed to do some things. The reason Wave hasn’t worked too well, is that it’s way before its time and the tech hasn’t developed to enable true collaboration – you can probably do more, and better on adobe or microsoft’s online products. The reason Buzz didn’t work was that it’s stupid, and tries to create another self-contained ecosystem, even as the industry – vis-a-vis Facebook+Twitter are understanding that you need to be more open. Buzz tries too little. The reason Open Social didn’t work was that it tried to do too much (and Buzz and Wave are probably components of that old model – one more bit of proof that it doesn’t work)

Similarly, the smartphone market will likely play out to script, between Apple and Blackberry, not Apple and any other player, simply because they are two distinctive ideologies which try to manage the experience from end-to-end. NexusOne and the other Android phones are hodgepodges – the old-world-engineering ideology of “oh isn’t it cool we can do this?” without asking the question “does the consumer give a damn?”.

More on this over the next few weeks.