Today, I think I'm resolved on the whole issue. I believe the Macintosh has enough entrenchment and enough momentum in enough markets to keep Macintosh technologies alive almost indefinitely. And I believe two of the areas in which this is most true are graphics/image manipulation and gaming -- a couple of areas in which the publishers of this newsletter have no small amounts of experience, investment or success.
John Dvorak, long-time industry expert and wise guy, says one of the things keeping the Macintosh alive is that almost any Macintosh runs Adobe's Photoshop application faster and better than almost any equivalently configured PC running Microsoft Windows (or UNIX System software, for that matter). And a quick perusal of Ambrosia's offerings will show almost anyone how easy it is to find really killer games for almost any Macintosh system, old or new. (I'm still loving Malestrom on my ol' Quadra 630, myself!)
Clearly, there are a lot of things Apple could do (or not do) that would significantly affect the future of the Macintosh. But you know what? The Mac's now bigger than Apple. Consider that Power Computing, Umax, Motorola and IBM are expected to all be shipping Mac-compatible clones Real Soon Now, prices on Macs are falling, and no significant supplier of Macintosh software's abandoned us yet, and you've got a market with some momentum on your hands.
Even Microsoft, the Colossus of Redmond, has formed a product group devoted to the Macintosh. At Macworld Expo in San Francisco in January, Microsoft said its Mac group is the largest single group of Mac developers outside Apple itself -- and say what you want about Microsoft, they're not traditionally known for throwing large amounts of money down rat-holes (the early relationship with IBM around OS/2 and the first few iterations of Microsoft Network notwithstanding).
So am I worried about Apple? A bit, but then, I don't own any Apple stock, so my worries are more limited than those of some folks. Am I worried about the future of the Macintosh? Not a bit. Not as long as folks like Ambrosia and its loyal fans and customers are still growing and thriving. And what should YOU be doing?
Ed Note -- Michael Dortch is Director of Special Projects for NetGuide Magazine, a publication of CMP Media Inc. He's been thinking, writing and talking about computers and networks (as well as using them!) for more than 20 years, and welcomes e-mail from Ambrosia Times readers at firstname.lastname@example.org or just medortch for America Online subscribers.