Wednesday, January 10, 2007

iForgot Who iAm

It's been fun to read the various news articles and blog entries about the Computer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas this week as well as Macworld in San Francisco. You might wonder why Apple would decide to host its conference at the same time as CES, but then all you have to do is ask yourself what the biggest consumer electronics announcement of the week was - that's right, the iPhone and iTV. In addition, Apple dropped the word "Computer" from their corporate name this week.

Clearly, Steve Jobs and Apple are moving the standard markers for the company and are seemingly successful in doing so. If the pundits are right about what the future will bring for IT managers - consumer electronics, applications, and sensibilities into the corporate environment - then, Apple may simply be on the vanguard of that movement. Still, the phrase "stick to the knitting" comes to mind, meaning businesses should normally stay with the brands and business for which they have become known. In Apple's case, that would be personal computers for the "creative" and "artsy" end of the market.

Whatever opinion you might have about Apple and its future, consumer electronics is obviously changing our vocabulary. There was a recent comical example of that on the television hit drama House in which the character played by John Larroquette wakes from a coma and is reading about something he has never seen before, something called an "iPod" (which he pronounced with a short i).

Even if you've never been in a coma, even if you've merely been asleep for a few hours, chances are something new in consumer electronics has happened overnight that your teenagers can tell you about. My sons, for instance, stay up much later than do I each evening. In the morning, when I drive them to school or university, they usually have something new to tell me about from listening to a podcast or watching a technology show on digital television. It's a rare morning now, when I can surprise them or I don't hear a new word entering our vocabulary drawn from that massive realm of consumer electronics.

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