Get flash to fully experience Pearltrees
Today's Apple releases weren't all about new products: Apple has discontinued its spartan, entry-level plastic MacBook. With the MacBook Air selling so well, and starting at the same $999 price, Apple has apparently decided to scrap the MacBook entirely in favor of the tiny 11" laptop. The white MacBook began life as the iBook, Apple's consumer-grade laptop introduced in 1999 that was the first Apple machine to come with WiFi wireless networking. The colorful laptop was revised in 2003 with an all-white polycarbonate shell, and Apple changed its name to MacBook in 2006 when it switched from PowerPC to Intel processors. The most recent MacBook design, last updated in 2009 , featured a white unibody shell. Apple bumped the specs slightly over the last two years, but its ho-hum performance barely justified its $999 price tag.
“At this point, I’m thinking Apple should just replace the standard MacBook with the Air.” Yes, I just quoted myself. But I have a good reason. I wrote that on October 21 of last year , after one day of playing with the just-released new MacBook Air. Today, 9 months later, Apple is listening. The MacBook is dead.
In Mac OS X 10.7, known as Lion, went with the “shake things up” philosophy. It follows an old Apple pattern of embracing what’s cool and progressive, and ruthlessly jettisoning what it considers antiquated. That’s great if you love stuff that’s cool and progressive, and not so great if you hate people moving your cheese.
Mac OS X 10.7 was first shown to the public in October 2010. The presentation was understated, especially compared to the bold rhetoric that accompanied the launches of the iPhone ("Apple reinvents the phone") and the iPad ("a magical and revolutionary device at an unbelievable price"). Instead, Steve Jobs simply called the new operating system "a sneak peek at where we're going with Mac OS X." Behind Jobs, the screen listed the seven previous major releases of Mac OS X: Cheetah , Puma , Jaguar , Panther , Tiger , Leopard , and Snow Leopard . Such brief retrospectives are de rigueur at major Mac OS X announcements, but long-time Apple watchers might have felt a slight tingle this time.
Say goodbye to the plastic MacBook: it's no more. The $999 11.6-inch MacBook Air is Apple's only entry-level machine now -- and with the bump to a 1.6GHz Core i5 processor , it's probably just as capable as the old 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo MacBook. It's sad, in its way, but it makes sense: we've actually been wondering why anyone would spend $999 on the white plastic MacBook with last-gen parts ever since the $1,199 13-inch MacBook Pro was updated. We'll see if Cupertino decides to re-use the "MacBook" moniker again sometime down the line, but for now your choices are all Pro vs Air.
Ten years ago, I was not a Mac user. I had never owned a Mac. I thought I probably would never own a Mac. I was a Windows guy all the way. Sure, Windows Me sucked, but Windows 95 and 98 were solid. And we were on the verge of Windows XP.
My head started hurting after the first hour of using Mac OS X Lion. Two words: inverted scrolling. That’s correct — Lion’s default scrolling behavior is to scroll down when you swipe up on your multitouch mouse, and to scroll up when you swipe down, just like you would on an iPad. This modification in scrolling clearly illustrates Apple’s ambition with Mac OS X Lion, which was to make the Mac operating system more like the mega-popular iOS software powering not just the iPad, but also the iPhone and the iPod Touch. Apple CEO Steve Jobs previously said the company was learning lessons from the iPad and rolling them into its desktop operating system.