A Big Garage

What’s so cool about GarageBand is that it exemplifies the market that Apple is going after. People who want to use their computers to make cool things. People who want to be producers, not just consumers. If it’s possible to distill into a single thought what it is that makes Apple Apple, and what has made the Macintosh so enduringly popular, that’s it.

That’s why Apple’s industry-wide PC market share numbers are nearly meaningless. The vast majority of Wintel PCs are used as little more than modern-day typewriters. They’re just office equipment.

PC pundits pound their heads against the wall, asking why, if Apple only sells a small percentage of computers, the company receives such a disproportionate amount of media attention. The answer is simply that they’re selling the best computers, to the most interesting people. Maybe it is only two percent of the total PC market, but it’s the most interesting two percent.

The only slow segment of the keynote was the presentation from Roz Ho and the Microsoft Mac BU on their upcoming Office 2004. The relative silence of the keynote audience during their segment was telling. It’s not because Mac users are biased against Microsoft, it’s just that spreadsheets are fucking boring. Wildly, insanely profitable for Microsoft? Yes. But boring.

Compared to being able to make your own movies and music, it’s hard to get excited about easier print previews in Excel.

Like any sweeping generalization, of course there are exceptions. There are some very talented people doing creative work on Windows. There are self-professed die-hard Mac lovers who are complete dullards.

But GarageBand epitomizes what’s different and better about the Mac. Everyone wants it, and there’s nothing like it for any other platform.

Other Keynote Notes

  • Jobs absolutely killed.

  • I told you Rob Enderle was a jackass. The iPod Minis are, of course, hard-drive based.

  • The whole point of the iPod Mini isn’t that it’s cheaper. It’s that it’s smaller. The initial consensus seems to be that it’s too expensive — but that was also the initial consensus for the original iPod.

  • Nice to see Apple address iPhoto’s performance problems. I was waiting for someone at Virginia Tech to say that iPhoto 2 was a bit slow even on their G5 cluster.

  • But what happened to iPhoto 3?