|Mac OS X is not going to be a killer app. Period.|
It doesn't need to be a killer app. It needs to drive hardware sales to increase Apple revenues, and to drive high-end hardware sales to increase margins. It will do that. Mac OS X screams on fast hardware, and actually runs nearly twice as fast on dual processor machines. On the rumored 16-processor server boxes, it will run Apache and other standard web server software extremely well.
Maybe Apple should merge with Handspring or Palm, and use the stong cash flow and cash on hand to invest in new platforms and new revenue streams.
The problem with that logic is that Apple's problem has nothing to do with insufficient cash on hand. Apple is swimming in cash. Almost all of the value of a share of Apple stock is its cash hoard. So I don't really see the point of a merger, unless it is to acquire strategic technologies.
What Apple needs to do is to stop hoarding its cash, and to develop and release good products regularly. Whether those products are hardware or software, consumer or enterprise, electronic or stuffed-animal, is immaterial. They just have to invest in their own R&D and corporate development rather than sitting on cash.
Why the hell didn't Apple bid on Metrowerks when Motorola was pursuing them? Almost every piece of commercial software for the Mac OS platform is developed in CodeWarrior. Apple's Corporate Development team was considering a Metrowerks purchase, when the whole department was suddenly Steved.
Why don't they get a CEO who isn't spending his time micromanaging the campus architecture for a whole different corporation? Pixar deserves a full-time CEO too!
My sincere hope is that Apple has been investing, albeit covertly, in real corporate development. It has certainly been their style recently to keep new developments under wraps as long as possible.
They did buy Astarte, months ago, and we haven't heard a peep about that, so maybe something will be announced one day. Unless that whole company got Steved after the purchase.
We know that Apple is opening retail stores and that they hired the guy who masterminded the Sony Metreon as Retail Outlet Czar.
There was that Help Wanted posting on their web site for a hardware engineer who knows both wireless protocols and Firewire. I hope there is something interesting behind that position.
By the way, the word on the street is that they just offered all of their Select and Premiere developers up to five hardware purchases at discount prices. My hunch is that they plan to release something tasty at MacWorld, and they have to try to get rid of these old models now because nobody will want them after MacWorld. This would be a nice change from the present arrangement, where for months their best-selling machine has been the discontinued 400 MHz G4 model.