Since 1984, we’ve seen other metaphors come along. The Newton operated on a kind of notepad metaphor – or an electronic personal organizer and day planner. Now, OS X 10.7 Lion, by way of iOS, gives us another way to interact with our files and windows: Launchpad.
From there to here, the desktop has been a good transition metaphor. Take what people know (working in an office, dealing with folders) and put it on a screen. Now we’re getting more abstract as the PC industry matures, and as we add more functionality to our machines.
I use desktop computers for many hours every day. They are my profession, my hobby, and my leisure. But the pace of their software innovation that’s relevant to my everyday use has dramatically slowed. It’s not a bad thing. On the contrary, it’s great that I don’t need to constantly update and upgrade everything to maintain a stable, full-featured computing environment. This is what mature, stable products and industries are like. They work, and they’re built on decades of progress, but modern advances are infrequent and incremental.
In other words, there’s not much whiz bang happening in the personal computer world these days. It seemed, back in the PowerPC era, that we zipped from 233 Mhz to 3 Ghz in a matter of years. Since then, the only way to get more speed (as Arment mentions) is by adding an SSD drive, or maybe more RAM.
The personal computer has plateaued, argues Arment, so the focus – and, maybe most importantly, the excitement – switches to mobile computers. Not what are these devices, but what can these devices do.
This is where Apple shines. “Forget the details,” they tell us, “here’s how it makes your life better.”
According to Mindset Media, people who purchase Macs fall into what the branding company calls the “Openness 5″ personality category– which means they are more liberal, less modest and more assured of their own superiority than the population at large. Mindset Media helps companies with strong brands develop ads targeted to people based on personality traits or people’s “mindsets,” and does research to that effect.
The story goes on to say that the Apple’s brand is very appealing to folks like us.