Demoted

Today’s was a jam-packed keynote. Apple announced a lot of news; there is much to talk and think about. But the key line was when Steve Jobs, describing iCloud replacing iTunes as your digital hub, said, “We’re going to demote the PC and the Mac to just be a device.”

iCloud is the new iTunes. The tethered digital hub is dead; long live the wireless digital hub. Apple sees iCloud as shaping the next ten years the way the iTunes-on-your-Mac/PC digital hub shaped the last ten.

This is a fundamentally different vision for the coming decade than Google’s. In both cases, your data is in the cloud, and you can access it from anywhere with a network connection. But Google’s vision is about software you run in a web browser. Apple’s is about native apps you run on devices. Apple is as committed to native apps — on the desktop, tablet, and handheld — as it has ever been.

Google’s frame is the browser window. Apple’s frame is the screen. That’s what we’ll remember about today’s keynote ten years from now.

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