July 11, 2008
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January '03

Somehow, I misplaced this weblog's pages from January 2003. I finally got around to grabbing them from an old backup — going way back to the TiBook era — and pasting them back here.

Notable, perhaps, is the Apple strategy note on the introduction of Keynote and Safari, two projects that were initially regarded as absurd. It's five years later, and boy was I right: not only did Apple get Microsoft's knife away from Apple's throat, the consensus seems to be that they kicked the knife pretty much out the window. Jobs gets the credit, the the Keynote and Safari teams deserve statues at One Infinite Loop.

Apple is telling everyone that, if they have to, they'll build a word processor that will replace Word and a spreadsheet that will replace Excel. They don't want to do this; if they did, they'd just launch the products. Keynote and Safari don't gore Microsoft's ox; they attack dead markets where there's no money to be made. They demonstrate capability without starting a war.

Apple is also making sure they can pull it off. If they can't -- if this is Cyberdog all over again -- it's just a footnote like the Cube. Management wants to be sure that, if total war breaks out, their weapons go boom. If they do, fine: Apple has deterrence. If they don't -- if Keynote and Safari turn out badly -- then management knows to avoid war at any cost.

So, today they launch the iPhone 2. They have everybody running huge ad campaigns to catch them; Verizon is buying space in the Boston Globe from wall to wall, Microsoft just announced a huge campaign on the theme that Vista is not really that bad. They roll out a new synchronization service at the same time. People get glitches; they complain on Twitter that if another company had these glitches, everyone would be complaining.

Remember when everyone left Apple for dead on the side of the road?