The Mac’s path over the last 30 years has hardly been a straight one. Under the surface, the operating system that runs it is completely different from the original, thanks to Apple’s acquisition of Next (and, oh yeah, Steve Jobs) in 1996. It debuted as a desktop computer, and now more than two-thirds of all Macs are laptops.
In his article, Snell interviewed several Apple executives, including Bud Tribble, Apple’s Vice President of Software Technology. Tibble worked on the original Macintosh team, and said:
An incredible amount of thought and creativity went into the original Mac metaphor. So there are some extremely strong threads of DNA that have lasted for 30 years. The sign of the strength of them and the underlying principles behind them—that the Mac should be easily approachable and learnable by just looking at it, that it should bend to the will of the person and not bend the person’s will to the technology—those underlying threads also apply to our other products.
Tribble goes on to say that instead of distracting the company from the Mac, the iPhone has only fueled innovation for the desktop:
That cross-pollination of ideas, the fact that the [Mac and iOS] teams are the same team, has propelled the Mac further than I had hoped for.
While some would disagree with that, I don’t think Apple could have made something like the MacBook Air or even the new Mac Pro without lessons its learned making iOS hardware.
The future of the Mac is intertwined with the future of iOS, and I believe Apple when it says both platforms are here to say.