I've been reading lots and lots and lots of commentary about the new Mac Air, and they always seem to go along the theme of, "I don't want to like it, and it has all these issues, but I somehow can't help myself and now I'm so happy."
Apple has this amazing ability to infuse people with the opposite of buyer's remorse.
The funniest write-up, as so often is the case, comes from Guy Kawasaki, the title pretty much sums it up: Into Thin Air: How I Spent $5,000 on Air and Made Fifty-Year Old Women Swoon
The thing that has gotten almost no write-up, however, is Apple's new "One to One" service. Most people that write about technology on the Interwebs love hardware, especially the latest, skinniest, most powerful, whatever. I love all that stuff, too, but for this post I'm trying to look at the bigger picture.
Most folks actually don't care about technology. Most folks just use the IT department in their corporation to provide them the tools they need to do their job, even if they grumble about it.
Of course, the world is changing fast, and the number of people who work for big organizations continues to drop. We are becoming a free-agent nation.
What Apple has figured out is that free agents want an IT department, too. And what they want is not just some kind of service plan to fix the hardware if it breaks, what they want is someone who will show them how to use the tools to do the stuff they want to do. But nobody likes paying by the hour for that.
So, the really genius thing that Apple has done is said, "OK, we'll be your full service IT staff for $99 a year. You can use us as often as you like, just make an appointment."
Of course, then people are coming into the stores more often, buying more stuff, etc., but I think the genius of this product from Apple is that the company has decided it wants to be the single-source IT vendor to the Free-Agent Nation. Brilliant.