Newsletter #446 Preview: Apple Looks Ahead, While Microsoft Looks Back

June 15th, 2008

Apple has a long history of spinning on a dime. A couple of years back, for example, they tossed out a best-selling design for the iPod nano and introduced an all-new version. Almost any other company on the planet would have pushed the existing configuration until well past its prime and even beyond.

Upgrades over the years to the iMac line have thrown away the mold, and delivered very different and often unexpected case designs. Take a look at the pear-shaped original, its successor with the articulated arm and lamp-style base, and the current iteration, which is basically a slimline computer display that just happens to have a powerful personal computer inside.

Whatever you thought about the Cube, it was surely a pace-setting product that I said, at the time, belonged in a museum. Today, it is considered a failed product, but one where Apple tested and prodded and tried to deliver something that was as much a work of art as a functional computing appliance.

No, I haven’t forgotten how the Cube resembles its NeXT-based forebear.

Even after the Cube died, Apple couldn’t let go. The Mac mini is essentially regarded as resembling half a Cube, and its slim rectangular case was also extended to the AirPort Extreme, Time Capsule, and even Apple TV.

Story continued in this week’s Tech Night Owl Newsletter.

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