No News Here

Something completely ordinary is happening in the world of computing and technology. Its something that we chafe at, but largely take for granted. Time and again Apple Computer manages to step a little deeper into the limelight and make the rest of the money grubbing world look like the bunch of amateurs that they are. Thatís not to say that Apple isnít interested in making money. Of course they are. But they fight tooth and nail to devise, dare I repeat the mantra? Crafting Insanely Great Products is Appleís game. The also-rans of the world, notably the likes of Dell and Microsoft, simply take what others have done, run it through a really crappy copier, and slap a cheap label on it.

It should come as no surprise whatsoever that after all of Appleís work and negotiating to bring together all of the elements necessary for an online music store to succeed, that everyone else is looking, once again, to engage in the sincerest form of flattery. Yes, sometimes I like run-on sentences.

Apple pioneered the graphic user interface and Microsoft successfully marketed a really sloppy copy of it. Remember Appleís first attempt at a laptop? It was called the Macintosh Portable and it was a monstrous beast. They learned a lot from that first endeavor and applied that education to their original PowerBook. That paved the way for everyone else to see the light and move the keyboard away from the front edge of the thing so that youíd have a place to rest your palms. How many other laptops sported trackballs back then? Time after time Apple has delivered simple and elegant products and services, only to have the leaches of the world mimic their efforts.

Now that Apple has demonstrated that the downloading of music can be harnessed as a profitable business model, the copycats of the world are lining up and drooling all over themselves for the opportunity to abscond with Appleís thunder. The fact is that some of them will be successful. Of them, there will be at least a couple that are even more successful than Apple. And, frankly, most of them will come up short in some fashion. Witness the saga of the iPod. I do not suggest that Apple created the market but they did look at was was wrong with it and fix it. Others have copied some of Appleís improvements but none have really captured the essence of the iPod.

You can bet your bottom dollar that eventually Microsoft, and others, will announce their next innovation, that being an online store where you can buy and download music. Its just as good a wager that the ultimate product will be lacking.

Apple will have defined yet another market for others to take advantage of. Others will lay claim to how startlingly well they innovated their own offering, just as Dell claimed to bring wireless networking to the world something like two years after Apple gave birth to AirPort.

Line ëem up guys and get your copiers ready. Apple is sure to have yet another coming thing waiting in the wings. Youíll want to be at the head of the line when Jobs and company breaks yet another trail for you to follow. That wonít be news either.