Apple has announced their new MacBook Air and it’s truly a bold and revolutionary step in mobile computing. Apple has stated this is the future of MacBooks and the way all laptops should be someday. This is a pretty radical statement considering how the MacBook Air is put together. To me, this is a radical leap into cloud based computing for Apple. The machine has no optical drive, so installation of new applications will likely hinge on the also newly announced Mac OSX App Store. With limited solid state storage and no hard drive, customers will likely have to rely on cloud based storage for many of their larger files.
Gone are the days of large, powerful laptops designed to handle the work of a desktop on the road. Trends are moving toward smaller, lighter devices driven more from the power of the Net. As notebook computers eventually started to outsell desktop machines, I think we will see these smaller devices, call them NetBooks or tablets or what have you start to outsell typical notebooks. With this, I believe we will also see a resurgence of desktop machines as people give up trying to use one machine for home and mobile use. I have already made this move, as I gave up my laptop for an iMac at home and a small pc based netbook when mobile. Of course I still also have my smart phone when I want complete pocketability.
Apple had no entry in the super small and light portable and the iPad doesn’t quite substitute yet for one. The new MacBook Air fits the bill perfectly. The original Air was maligned with problems and never took off but I think this new model will see much more popularity. As with everything Apple, it’s a bit overpriced but drop dead beautiful and elegant. I think the real legacy of Steve Jobs will be the way he singularly blends cutting edge technology and art. Seth Godin always talks about making products remarkable. It’s an important lesson for all business and Apple gets an A+