Apple’s new niche


While Apple has been in the news a lot lately, most of the attention has been on iPod and iTunes, which, though cool, can only really be classified as the side dish to the main course.

Garnering less attention is all the innovation Apple has been putting into its line of computers and software, steadily increasing market share and elevating its reputation in the PC-heavy marketplace.

Kendra Mazzei of Burnt Stew Computer Solutions, Whistler’s source for all things Apple, got a front row at the last Apple Channel Camp in Cuppertino, California, and says big things are on the horizon.

“In the past people have associated Macs with the creative side of things and PC’s with business, but with the integration of Office into Macs — and the fact that the new Intel chips can run Windows as well as OSX — that doesn’t make sense,” she said, adding that the only areas where PCs currently have an advantage are gaming and accounting.

“Everything has been made a lot easier, in particular networking. The whole Apple networking system has been created so you don’t need an in-house IT networking person, once it’s set up it just runs seamlessly.”

Offices that previously used PCs because of their networking ability are now using Macs. Not only are they more intuitive than PCs, and easier to use, but they also offer businesses an added level of security when it comes to viruses.

“Basically the underlying theme is that if people have a question of why Mac verus Windows, you only have to say the word ‘virus’,” said Mazzei. “To date there are no public viruses for Macs. I can’t tell you the amount of service time I spend with Windows clients battling viruses.”

The camp was seven days, from 8 in the morning to 5 p.m. every night. The first few days were spent on Apple’s creativity software — namely the Aperture photo organizing and editing program, and on the Final Cut Pro video editing suite of programs — followed by courses on networking, problem solving, and other high level topics.

There was still a large amount of secrecy about Leopard, the next update to the OSX operating system being released in the New Year, but Mazzei was assured by developers that it isn’t a small update but a major overhaul of what is already considered to be the best operating systems out there by a long mile.

Some of the features have already been announced, including a component called Time Machine that provides a backup of files and allows users to browse backwards through time to see what the computer was used for and when.

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