NSFW: 'Power Users' need to shut up

I've been using a Mac for 30 years. I got my first one in 1985. I sell Macs on the weekends and write about them during the weekdays. I am, by any definition, a "power user." Yet I detest that term, and I react viscerally whenever I hear someone else use it.

So it'll be no surprise at all that I rolled my eyes this week at every proclamation from self-described "power users" who lament the direction of the new MacBook from Apple. I'm so excited about it I can barely contain myself. But then again, I was the same way about the new Mac mini when it came out last year. Because it's a great $499 computer, no matter what "power users" think.

From complaints about the Intel Core-M processor to the color choices to the decision to use USB-C, it seems that anyone with skin in the Mac game has found something to pick on regarding the new Macbook. I think it's all utter bullshit.

I think it's all utter bullshit.

The thing that spec monkeys need to remember is that most people don't care about what they care about. Most people buying new computers aren't interest in how many cores a CPU has or how many GB of RAM or storage it has. Very few of the people I sell computers to have more than a passing interest. They want to know what the computer can do. What problems it solves for them.

From that perspective, the MacBook is already a success: It provides an up to date, modern OS X Yosemite user experience. It emphasizes wireless connectivity through Wi-Fi and Bluetooth — something many consumers already have ample experience with on their iPhones and iPads. It's loaded with the software most users need to get started: Everything from a web browser to email, data management apps for contacts, calendars and so on. And it's well-integrated into an ecosystem millions of iPhone and iPad users already depend on to store their data and make it available in the cloud. iCloud, more specifically.

There's a peculiar brand of solipsism I see exhibited on the Internet almost every time I log on: The fundamental belief that if a product is not right for me, anyone who likes it must be wrong.

PC sales are slipping, but Mac sales have grown. They've consistently tracked positive growth compared to PC market share for almost a decade. But there's a ceiling on the number of people who are going to buy the Macs that are available today.

That doesn't make the PC any less relevant. I use Windows; I just recently built a custom Windows PC. There's still a lot to recommend the PC. PC manufacturers continue to sell millions of units from quarter to quarter. The market may be changing, but it's still a very viable market.

Apple has created an opportunity to sell Macs to a new audience.

Apple has only been able to sell however many Macs it's sold to a slowly increasing audience. They needed to shake the tree a bit and come up with a new way to sell Macs. More than that, Apple has created an opportunity to sell Macs to a new audience.

Smartphones existed before the iPhone. Tablets existed before the iPad. Yet Apple managed to will new markets into being for both these products by driving demand for them and by creating a satellite market of apps and accessories for them, inspiring other companies to do the same.

Ultimately, the best way to make the Mac even more successful is to create an entirely new market for the Macintosh that's never existed before. And that's precisely what Apple's doing with the new MacBook. So if it's not for you, power user, it's not for you. Doesn't matter. Lots of people are going to want it.

12-inch MacBook

Main

macOS Sierra

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