In past years, Apple was on a downward spiral, but now the Mac is back on the right track. The interim CEO, Steve Jobs, has brought them from expected quarterly losses to a first-quarter net income of some $150 million. The question still remains: Is Apple back to stay? With the Windows-driven world of today, can Apple assert itself to claim market share? Apple’s stunning new hardware, user-friendly operating system, and drive for incredible new technology will not only compare Apple to traditional PC and software makers but will stun the rest of the computer world along the way. On July 21, 1999, PC Data released a report stating that the iMac, Apple’s entry-level personal computer, was the best-selling retail and mail-order computer in the month of June. There are a number of different reasons why this computer beat out all other PCs on the market. One reason is the new and exciting colors in which the iMac is being offered.
Instead of offering the traditional color beige like Dell or Gateway, the iMac comes in a variety of colors including strawberry, blueberry, grape, tangerine, and lime. Another notable feature of the iMac is its speed compared to other computers in its class. According to the BYTEmark integer test, the 333-MHz G3 processor in the iMac is almost twice as fast as the 500-MHz Intel Pentium III found in professional computers today. It’s important to note that the iMac is not the only computer offered by Apple; they also have a line of professional personal computers called the G3 series.
These computers are the fastest personal computers on the market today, beating other computers such as the Gateway 550-MHz Pentium III PC. Another main reason the iMac is such a big success and Apple, in general, is coming back is their operating system called MacOS. Its number one feature is its user-friendliness. Apple computers, such as the iMac, are called plug-and-play computers.
This means that you can plug a device into your computer, like a zip drive, and it will work without the need to install drivers like Windows-based computers require. Another success for the Macintosh Operating System is the Sherlock searching device, which is an effective way to search the Internet using multiple search engines simultaneously. This feature is essential because it eliminates the need to search engine hop to find a particular topic, as other computer users have to do. Instead, it can be done in one simple location that is easy to use.
The Windows operating system has no feature comparable to the Sherlock search engine. The new MacOS is equipped with speech recognition, a feature that no other operating system has. A person can ask the computer, What time is it?” and receive an answer. The most popular operating system, Windows, has no comparable feature. Several reasons attribute to Apple’s comeback, including their dedication to driving technology further than any other personal computer company. One of the fantastic new technologies is the Airport networking device developed by Lucent Technologies specifically for the Apple iBook.
This is a wireless networking system that allows you to travel up to 150 feet away from the base station. No other computer maker, such as Dell or Micron, has a technology like this on the market as of today. Another incredible advancement by Apple is the new Quicktime TV. This brings you live, streaming television transmission over the Internet. Its competition, Real Player, has a much lower quality of picture than the Quicktime program does. In addition to the great new technologies being introduced and supported, there is continued excellence for graphics in the industry.
Apple has always supported graphical software and hardware, but the continued vision of where the industry is going with software titles like Adobe Photoshop and Apple’s new Final Cut Pro surpasses anything the rest of the computer and software makers have to offer. Another push for the advancement of PC technology by Apple is the newly adopted USB port. Universal Serial Bus is the technology that will eventually overtake the serial port. It is much faster and easier to use than the serial port.
Apple recognized the USB technology immediately and adopted it, but Microsoft had to release a second edition of its operating system to fully support this new groundbreaking tool. The new Macintosh operating systems are showing great support for the futuristic programming language of Java. Eventually, the Java programming language will control devices such as washers, dryers, stoves, and televisions. Windows is just starting to support future uses of Java. Apple’s ad campaign is based on the two words Think Different”, and I believe they are even taking these words home to Apple. With new technologies being introduced rapidly and iMac sales at an all-time high, Apple is not backing down. With this pulse on the personal computer industry, Apple will continue to forge ahead with more growth and revenues.
With this Apple, it is likely to become a major player again in the personal computing industry.