Apple is the new IBM

I've been reflecting on the recent tour de force developer conference held by Apple called the WWDC. In it CEO Tim Cook and his team presented a sweeping overhaul of the software systems that power the iPhone, iPad and Mac computers. I say computers, because these phones we carry are powerful computers in nice friendly packages. 

Since Steve Jobs' death Apple seemed to be running on fumes. A new phone, a new Mac, etc., but nothing new or powerful or innovative was presented to us technologists since Jobs sadly left the scene. Util now that is. WWDC was a ground breaking event that unveiled new and powerful software that proves that we're clearly in a  post-Jobs Apple era and that era looks bright indeed. 

The details are unimportant, but  few points. Apple has changed its spots when it comes to 3rd party access to the Apple operating systems. Once closed and limited  it's now open and agnostic. Android's lead in this key area evaporated instantly. Apple also has doubled down on the cloud as the technology to link their devices. Historically the cloud has been a blind spot and a weakness. If they deliver on their promises it could become a key strength. 

And last - they remain miles behind Windows on the desktop with only 80 million Macs world wide vs 1.2 billion Windows machines. I've always found the Mac desktop a mismash of styles and UX and wondered why people like it so much. No more. With the latest release the UX has been fixed. It's now as neat and tidy and coherent as their gorgeous hardware. I might even buy a Mac now!

In a stroke then, Apple has unified and opened their platforms in a way not seen since the heyday of IBM in the 1970's. A time when IBM made billions selling hardware and gave the software away for free. (Hey - just like Apple does!)  If they can pull it off and deliver as advertised it's a computing revolution. 

I can't wait to see Microsoft and Google's response!