Cringely: This week changed the world of high tech forever

“It’s an expression made popular in Silicon Valley years ago by Andy Grove of Intel: ‘inflection point.’ It’s that abrupt elbow in a graph of growth or decline when the new technology or paradigm truly kicks in, and suddenly there is no going back. From that moment, the new stuff takes off and the old stuff goes into rapid decline, whether it is a new standard of modem, a new video game, a new microprocessor family, or just a new idea. I think we’ve just hit such an inflection point and — though most of us still don’t realize it — the personal computer, video game, and electronic entertainment businesses will never be the same,” Robert X. Cringely writes for PBS.

There are three pieces to this puzzle, according to Cringely:
• Microsoft’s Xbox 360 signals Microsoft’s move to undercut their hardware OEMs (Dell and other box assemblers) by building a Microsoft PC.
• Google’s beta Google Web Accelerator which could “change things forever.”
• New information about Apple’s still unannounced movie download service.

The results of this week’s developments? Cringley writes, “Apple takes over video and movies… Google threatens to take control of, well, everything. And Microsoft? Microsoft kicks the dog.”

Full article here.

Related MacDailyNews articles:
Microsoft Xbox 360 ‘inspired’ by many of Apple Computer’s ideas – May 13, 2005
Apple releases DVD Player 4.6 with HD-DVD support – May 11, 2005
Now with integrated video support, will Apple’s iTunes soon become iLiving Room? – May 10, 2005
Apple releases iTunes 4.8; now supports QuickTime video along with contact, calendar transfers – May 09, 2005

22 Comments

  1. I don’t see the Xbox 360 as a sign that Microshit will start building PCs. I’m sure that they know that building crappy software is their forte, and they should leave the task of building crappy hardware to Michael Dell, Gateway, etc.

    Seriously, I can’t see them basing any new PC design on the Xbox 360 since it uses the PowerPC as opposed to Intel or AMD crap.

    MW = Leaders. As in, “Microsoft will never be leaders.”

  2. As I said, when I first heard of the XBox… M$ wants a subscription service… get a PC into every home by way of a Trojan horse (i.e. XBox). It’ll be a subsription service like the phone company or cable… except it will ALL go to M$… because they will offer those services in addition to computing…

    Hmm, Gas $160.00… Electricity $200.00… M$ 150.00 per month from all of us…

    Today M$ makes most of it’s money from corporate situations like OS licencing, Office etc. The home market is small… If they can retain the market in enterprise and tap into the world of subscription, they’ll be set.

    All IMHO

    Jb

  3. Personally, I’ve been under the impression lately that Microsoft could be much more Apple-like (blasphemy, I know, even at the mere mention of the concept) were they to develop the hardware specifically tailored to their OS.
    Maybe then they could wrangle in the problems they have with configurations and compatibilities with every single component made on earth.
    What is the XBOX but a big-mini? A couple different I/O ports and a lower price point… oh, and of course an inferior OS, but really when you break it down, this is definitely a trojan horse, much in the same line as the mini…

  4. What many people don’t know is that Microsoft for a LOONG time was forbidden to make hardware. I’m not sure if it was legal from the government or legal due to contract obligations, but one of the first things Microsoft HAD to do in order to get folks off their back was to shop around the Xbox to all the PC box makers.

    Of course, they all said no, not interested, we’re making plenty enough with what we’ve got.

    BUT, now that they’d made the offer, they can always say,”We tried to get people on board to make it but since they didn’t we had to do it ourselves.” Gone is required compatibility with older apps, gone are archaic architectures put in place to just for legacy compatibility, gone is the reliance on a bunch of penny pinching “relatives” that want to build with cheap parts… And, since they control everything, gone is the required “alliance” with Intel.

    The Xbox not only looks like an Apple invention, it brings Microsoft closer to an Apple way of “controlling the entire widget.” I feel for the PC box makers. They’ll always sell big boring boxes to businesses, but the home (where a lot of the growth happens) will belong to Apple and the Xbox.

  5. As [a][href=http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=301462]this[/a] (I hope that’s how it works) article shows, Apple is preparing the ground for a video store almost incrementally.

    Having tried it, a video is given the same capability as a music track: you can put it into playlist and you can assign metadata using Get Info.

    Take this capability, add in Apple’s HD Showcase minisite (go look at the Batman trailer or the NASA footage for some impressive HD footage) and you’re left with the unmistakable impression that the Movie Store is coming sooner rather than later.

  6. One thing is for sure, with the Xbox being PowerPC-based, the transition from Xbox to Mac OS will be much shorter and easier than from Xbox to Windows.

    …and you know there are already a room filled with geeks working on installing OS X into the new Xbox.

  7. Oops…

    One thing is for sure, with the Xbox being PowerPC-based, the transition of game software from Xbox to Mac OS will be much shorter and easier than from Xbox to Windows, IF the software developers don’t have a blind eye towards Mac users.

    …and you know there are already a room filled with geeks working on installing OS X into the new Xbox.

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