Not So Bright Future for the Mac

I'm sad to say that I had a revelation last week. Actually, it would be more appropriate, or more accurate, to say that I was served a revelation. No, before you begin to wonder, there weren't any law enforcement officials involved.

My day job is at a rather large telecommunications company. I'm told the value of the company is upwards of six billion dollars and I find that to be a pretty conservative estimate. Suffice it to say, the company owns a lot of stuff.

Last week, we hosted a meeting with our CIO who came out to chat about various topics. The meeting was a rather typical arrangement in which he talked about the acronym of the month, and the processes around them. All in all, it was something of a snoozer. So much of it just doesn't make it down to our level.

After the meetings he took the traditional tour through our work area as our acting director pointed out which team was which and who did what. Opportunity was knocking and I put no effort at all into resisting it. I just so happened to have my Big AlBook with me. It was perched on a portable keyboard stand. I nudged it out into the aisle a little farther so that the Apple emblazoned top was aimed in his direction.

At first I didn't think he was going to notice it. But just as I thought he and his lackeys were going to move along, he cast his gaze upon my functional work of art, headed over in my direction and asked, "Is that the one from the commercial?"

I suppose this proves that Apple's advertising dollars aren't entirely going to waste.

Personally, I thought it was very cool that he knew about this particular piece of hardware and wanted to get a closer look. The biggest surprise was yet to come though. He positively began to brag to his lackey about just how awesome a work of art and engineering the Big AlBook is. He was particularly impressed by they function of the track pad. The comment he made was how much better it was than what HP delivered. I've not tried the HP laptops but I gather from him that Apple's execution is very smooth and well behaved and HP's is very herky-jerky.

I was almost stunned into silence by his appreciation of my PowerBook. Anyone who knows me will tell you that its not often that you manage to get that reaction out of me. It was all I could do to talk up the ambient light sensors under the speaker grill that managed the illuminated keyboard. They were pretty impressed by that too.

To sum up my sordid little tale, the man loved it. He did comment that Steve Jobs is a little closer to crazy than your average CEO, but many people seem to hold that opinion of the iSteve. It is, after all, part of his charm.

Now for the bad news. Here we have the Chief Information Officer of a major telecommunications company raving about the flat out superiority of my Apple PowerBook. What do you think his corporate strategy is? You guessed it and it can be nicely summed up in one, nauseating word: Microsoft. We're all over XP and .Net and C# and any/everything else turned out by that bastion of third rate operating systems.

What can we learn from this encounter? Simply that as so many of us have said, it doesn't matter how insanely great Apple's products are. The so-called leaders are nothing more than corporate lemmings doing what they think everyone else is doing. In spite of their claim to living up to the highest ethical standards, they don't think twice about climbing onto the coattails of a corporation that has been convicted of repeatedly violating Federal laws. Despite the dubious wisdom of lumping their corporate systems in with what that previously mentioned everyone is doing, and exposing them to the vast majority of security exploits, they charge ahead on a course that sees their support costs climbing rather than declining.

Logic just isn't a variable in the equation.

That doesn't bode well for the MacOS, now does it?