Brett Sher's Profile

  • Dec 03, 2008
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Latest comments made by: Brett Sher

  • Despite their success with the iPod, I doubt that Apple will ever dominate the market for smart phones, personal computers, and especially business computers. While they certainly stand to gain significantly in all three areas, market-share increases will stall at a point well shy of monopoly. Apple tends to limit features and configurations to those most commonly needed, and caters to upscale customers willing to pay for ease of use and elegance. Apple can't be all things to all people, nor should they try. There will always be customers who want complete flexibility, or have needs that Apple refuses to address. Some people will always resist a solution that relies on a single hardware supplier. Others are attracted to the cheapest cost products even if they have to add their own labor and expertise to get them working satisfactorily. And there is much inertia, as people tend to keep using the technology they are most familiar with regardless of the potential benefits of switching to Apple. Some people will simply avoid Apple out of principle as they perceive the company as arrogant and its users to be hoodwinked zealots. So while I don't fear Apple becoming the next Microsoft, I do look forward to Apple earning the respect and rewards they are entitled to.
    Brett Sher had this to say on Mar 17, 2008 Posts: 7
    I'm Not Convinced Apple Domination Is a Good Idea
  • "My only beef with the trackpad of the MacBook Pro is that it is exactly the same size as of the previous version, unlike the MacBook Air trackpad which has been made significantly larger to facilitate the use of Multi-Touch gestures. Why wasn’t the MacBook Pro trackpad given the same treatment?" Perhaps because there isn't room in the current form factor for a larger trackpad while retaining both a built-in DVD drive and standard 2.5" notebook hard drive --neither of which the Air has). Regarding the omitted remote control: "Maybe the next version of the MacBooks will ship with the battery bays empty in the standard configuration and batteries available as an optional $199 accessory." Oh, come on. The remote can hardly be equated with a battery. Although you may use it frequently, the remote is not an essential device for most computer users. Even less so on a small-screened notebook computer that is likely to be used within arm's reach. Why should everyone have to pay for a device that most of us will never use?
    Brett Sher had this to say on Feb 28, 2008 Posts: 7
    Taking Stock of the MacBook Updates
  • The iPod Hi-Fi did a few things better than most competing "mini" sound systems: It played louder, deeper, and with less distortion and overall coloration. Apparently, this wasn't enough to offset its other shortcomings. Apple could have refined the design with a 2.0 product, but I think they didn't want to compete directly with the 3rd-party manufacturers who have since released systems with improved sound.
    Brett Sher had this to say on Dec 03, 2007 Posts: 7
    The iPod Hi-Fi - It's a Swing, and A Miss!
  • I guess what you are saying is that if Windows users didn't already see the merit of switching to Tiger, than nothing new in Leopard would change their mind. (That is if they share your values.) While you can argue that Leopard has no earth-shattering new features (Tiger already had the wow factor that Vista was missing ), Apple did make lots of small improvements that make using a Mac even nicer. For some, new additions like data detectors, spaces, screen sharing or Time Machine will be godsends. Speed improvements to Finder and Spotlight were long overdue. I don't expect Apple to change the entire computing paradigm with each system release. It would only be disruptive. I believe that there are plenty of potential switchers (and owners of older Macs) who were anxiously waiting for Leopard's release in order to have it come pre-installed on their new Macs. For them Leopard will make the difference. As you say, developers will build on the improved foundation, and we can expect great new applications for the Mac. Ultimately it's the applications that will drive upgrades.
    Brett Sher had this to say on Nov 02, 2007 Posts: 7
    Mac OS X Leopard: Just a Pretty Vista Knockoff
  • I strongly disagree. To call an iPhone a Mac is to create expectations that the iPhone can never fulfill. While the iPhone runs a form of OS-X, the user interface is different enough from the Mac's UI that it is absurd to call it a Mac. You can't load a standard Mac application on the iPhone, nor would it make sense to, as the mouseless/cursorless iPhone UI is not suited for it.
    Brett Sher had this to say on Oct 24, 2007 Posts: 7
    Everyone Uses a Mac Nowadays
  • Here's the worst case (perfect storm) scenaro: 1) Apple goes out of business or closes the iTMS without making provision for customers to migrate their music to unauthorized hardware. 2) You haven't made CD-R audio backups of your music. 3) Your authorized hardware eventually fails and is unrepairable. #1 and #3 are beyond your control. #1 is a long shot, but IF it came to pass, this could actually lead to some good outcomes. The public outrage would be sufficent as to forever destroy the future market for DRM'd music. In addition, I suspect that law would be quickly enacted allowing consumers to use whatever means necessary to crack the DRM on purchased music. Providing tools and services for doing this would also be legalized.
    Brett Sher had this to say on Oct 17, 2007 Posts: 7
    Do You Really Own Your Music?
  • Your article makes an excellent point. Most people won't be aware they don't own their music until it is too late. Unlike music subscription services, iTunes doesn't continuously "phone home" to enable downloaded tracks. Once a device is authorized for your account, it stays that way. If the iTunes store shut down tomorrow, your DRM'd tracks would continue to play on the authorized computers and iPods that they now do. But *only* those authorized devices... and there's the rub. iTunes users should already be backing up their purchased music library in case their hard disc fails. But the backed up files are still tied to the authorized devices. In order to fully preserve their investment, people should be using iTunes to burn plain audio CDs of all their purchased music. It's a lot of work, but if the worst comes to happen, these CDs could be re-ripped and loaded onto other devices without restriction (albeit with some audio degradation from recompression). Keep in mind that iTunes provides no similar capability for backing up non-DRM'd versions of purchased videos. By the way, call me old-school, but I don't buy digital downloads (with or without DRM). I prefer purchasing physical media which is full-fidelity, tangible, collectable, and resalable. Perhaps if the price dropped by a factor of 10, I'd consider downloads a reasonable value.
    Brett Sher had this to say on Oct 16, 2007 Posts: 7
    Do You Really Own Your Music?