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by: Bernard Teo

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Sat 12 Nov 2005


Category : Commentary/prescience.txt

I was following a particular hit, looking through my server log. It's a search through the weblog for the keyword "Wheelock", and it returned three hits, a couple of which I found interesting given what's happening now.

First, "Will we get an AppleStore?". I said it's a no-brainer (in a phrase that's already dated). Plus, what are they waiting for? Well, we still aren't going to get one, not the ones run by Apple anyway, but we are going to get the largest 3rd-party-run Apple retail centre in this part of Asia, in about a week's time. That store will open at The Orchard Cineleisure, which is probably the best place in Singapore to open such a store, and that's something to look forward to.

Next, "Dull as Dell". Well, Dell's looking not too bright these days, but what caught my eye were these paragraphs in the article:

I was at the Sakae Sushi joint next to the AppleCentre at Wheelock. My favourite table is where I can just look across at the action.

It was the iPod Live launch. And I'm thinking of the comment by Richard Lim ("Got Singapore") on Sunday that these hand-held devices are going to get ever more powerful and the next natural progression we're going to see is video.

Now who's going to be able to build that? Not the kids at Sim Lim Square snapping up their own PCs, looking for the cheapest deal. Not even Dell.

I believe that the future favours makers of integrated products. Products that show a tight integration between hardware and software. In all the dark years of Apple's troubles, I still believed they were right. They were criticised for not licensing out their operating system, leaving the field open for Bill Gates and Windows. But what if, having known all that, Apple would still have done what they did. It's in their DNA to build the hardware with the software, as one indivisible whole.

So they did. The video iPod has now come to pass. Should we be surprised? Let's move on and look at the next paragraph,

Now back again to Dell. Just what have they done? They've not made the pie any bigger. Instead, they've just grabbed more and more slices to themselves, bleeding the competition dry in a painful price war. What the PC user loses is the innovation that Andy Grove talked about that would have made more out of the processor.

So what did Andy Grove talk about?

In "Co-opetition" by Brandenburger and Nalebuff, Intel's Andy Grove made a rather surprising comment about the other half of the Wintel duopoly, "Microsoft doesn't share the same sense of urgency [to come up with an improved PC]. The typical PC doesn't push the limits of our processors ... It's simply not as good as it should be, and that's not good for our customers."

So, who then has been pushing the limits, and what could that mean?

But we all know who's always been pushing at the limits of technology. Perhaps it should not be surprising if, one fine day, Mac users are going to be using Intel chips. After all, by several accounts including Andy Grove's, he and Steve Jobs have kept up a rather friendly dialogue all these years. When the migration to OS X is complete, soon, things may get even more interesting.

That sent a chill down my spine. Written on 16th June 2003. Am I clairvoyant, or what?

We're looking ahead to the first MacTels - Macs on Intel chips - probably as early as January.

We're probably going to be able to run Windows at native speed on these machines. They're going to be the only machines that cover all the bases (Mac OS X, Linux and Windows). They're going to be sexy as hell. They're going to be cheaper even than Dells, or in any case, provide unprecedented value for money.

And, when we're done crossing over, we'll get to run Mac OS X on those other ordinary PCs.

No, I'm not dreaming. Or being inconsistent. Because, by that time, things are really going to be different...

Posted at 1:20PM UTC | permalink

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