Apple executives talk about 30 years of the Mac and its future


The Mac celebrates it 30th anniversary tomorrow. To honor this milestone, Jason Snell of Macworld sat down with Apple’s Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller, Vice President of Software Technology Bud Tribble, and Apple Senior Vice President of Software Engineering Craig Federighi to talk about the Mac and its future.All three executives were bullish on the future of the Mac, pointing out that the 30-year-old platform has been rejuvenated by the success of the iPhone. The trio also took the time to point out that the Mac has its own unique DNA and is not destined to be an extension of iOS. Here are some of the salient quotes from the interview:

Phil Schiller: “Every company that made computers when we started the Mac, they’re all gone,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing, in an interview on Apple’s Cupertino campus Thursday. “We’re the only one left. We’re still doing it, and growing faster than the rest of the PC industry because of that willingness to reinvent ourselves over and over.”

Bud Tribble: “An incredible amount of thought and creativity went into the original Mac metaphor,” Tribble said. “So there are some extremely strong threads of DNA that have lasted for 30 years. The sign of the strength of them and the underlying principles behind them—that the Mac should be easily approachable and learnable by just looking at it, that it should bend to the will of the person and not bend the person’s will to the technology—those underlying threads also apply to our other products.”

Craig Federighi: “The reason OS X has a different interface than iOS isn’t because one came after the other or because this one’s old and this one’s new,” Federighi said. Instead, it’s because using a mouse and keyboard just isn’t the same as tapping with your finger. “This device,” Federighi said, pointing at a MacBook Air screen, “has been honed over 30 years to be optimal” for keyboards and mice.”

You can read the entire interview on Macworld. While it touches on the influence of the iPhone and iPad, the interview is a a retrospective on the Mac and does not address the tougher questions of the cannibalzation of Mac sales by the iPad and the looming threat posed by Chromebooks.  What you do think of the Mac’s future? Is it here to stay or will be displaced by smaller, more versatile machines?

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