More thoughts on the future of the Mac
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More thoughts on the future of the Mac

Last week I devoted several columns to what I perceive as the future of the Mac. I've asked my "MacNews" compadres to offer their thoughts. And here they are...

Scott Alexander says:

"Five years -- that's a long time in technology. There's the obvious stuff like speed, speed, and more speed. There are a lot of directions I could go here; for example practical 3D displays with multi-touch and then move to my perennial favorite home servers (my newest term for that is now 'femtocloud' -- owing to the popular cloud mentality and the AT&T home cell phone access points).

"However, I think that I'll focus on improving the ability of the Mac devices to work better together. I was completely awed by the idea represented by a single act in the blockbuster 'Avatar' movie where one of the characters was working on what appeared to be a normal desktop workstation (with an admittedly was cool display) when he 'grabbed' the data he was working on and dragged it from the screen on the desk to the screen on the portable computing tablet he picked up. It was seamless and made complete sense. It was the embodiment of something I've been trying to get done in a much more modest way in my home office. I would like to see the Mac, whether is be iOS or mOS (Mac OS), be able to share data between devices much more readily.

"If I'm building out a document, in Pages, on my desktop Mac, I want to be able to much more quickly and seamlessly move that document between my various devices (iPod touch, iPhone, iPad, iMac, MacBook) with a very simple single action. I want to get past the idea of saving the document to a shared place, then moving to my next device, logging in to that shared place, opening the document/application, editing it, saving it, starting over again. Currently WebDAV services like iDisk are the closest that comes to that, but I need more storage and less hassle in setting it up and getting it to work.

"I think that to get that service to work and for me to be happy with the privacy and flexibility of the system, we have to get back to the femtocloud provided by a Mac-based home server designed for the purpose. One of the reasons is for storage and other is for at least the illusion of greater privacy. As to storage, the same old story continues to unfold faster than on-line service like MoblieMe can keep up. Take a look at the new Seagate 3TB External Drive. For $250 I can add 3TB's of data to a femtocell server based in my home. Can I possibly do that with an Internet based cloud server? I seriously doubt it. And can you imagine trying to upload 3TB's of data over even the best American ISP bandwidth speeds?

"So -- better integration and a femtocloud server to sum it up."

Greg Mills says:

"Expect Macs with GPS so at least laptops will have 'locate my Mac.'

"Despite cheaper hard drive prices, expect flash memory for speed and a push for using the cloud instead of on-board memory

"The Mac OS will support iOS apps as developer tools do now.

"Apple may replace Intel chips with their own.

"Touch screen Macs.

"The app store will expanded to post Mac OS third party programs

-- Greg Mills

Frank Petrie says:

"I always felt that the MacBook Air not a serious product but a proof of concept. I think that Apple will take what they've learned from the iPad and apply it to the MBA. They'll replace the keyboard with a touchscreen keyboard and an area for moving the cursed/drawing/etc., and a 15-inch touchscreen on the back of the lid. It'll have more power and flexibility for the enterprise market."

Your thoughts? Send 'em to me at

-- Dennis Sellers


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