It's spring break in Oregon this week and I am with my daughters today. After a brief stop at Cinnabon we found ourselves at the Apple store at Washington Square in Tigard. Are these Apple Stores ever not busy?! The stores (all sizes) are like exhibits at MOMA and top to bottom they are just a joy to visit. Both of my daughters found the small spherical upholstered balls and in no time were (quietly) content playing games while I discussed and then bought a new MacBook and some additional ram for it. What a great machine.
It's been a while since I paid close attention to Macintosh. Since You Software morphed into Attensa last year and spun off our Macintosh assets to the newly revitalized "You Software" I have been heads down in Outlook. I have a long history with Macintosh as a founder of The Tartan Group (Publishing the first graphical user interface builder "Prototyper",) then Now Software (Now Up-to-Date/Now Contact), and more recently Extensis (Adobe Plugins, XTensions, Suitcase, Portfolio MaskPro, etc.) So, now that the mini-resume is done, let me just say, Wow! It's nice to be back. (P.S. You Software has been truly revitalized and my brother, Eric Barnes, and an engineer I have known and worked with for a dozen years or so, Colin Gray, have teamed up and are back at work making these award winning products top-notch once again!)
The Apple WorldWide Developer's Conference is later this year than normal I'm told. August! Microsoft has talked a lot about RSS (Vista/IE/Office) and while they have demonstrated much and early versions of Outlook, IE7 and Vista are all functional - don't expect Apple to sit on their hands. I am guessing something very similar to NetNewsWire in standard issue in a bevy of features to be rolled out at WWDC. RSS will probably get a dedicated new app but given Jobs' direct involvement in UI design and the obvious nature of reading RSS I'll bet that it will go into the mail application and into .mac online in the same way - as an activity consistent with email. Power Users will no doubt still want the other benefits of third party apps like NetNewsWire, Endo, NewsFire and others I am sure.
What sucks about it is that these announcements usually come with no warning. Remember Sherlock and Gadgets. Apple blindsided those guys. At the end of the day though, and you have to admit, Apple has included so much basic capability into the OS and the defacto apps that it is becoming more and more compelling to new users. And folks like me who just got back.
P.S. Apple's links on RSS