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Dave Nagel
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Creative Mac
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OPINION SEPTEMBER 18 , 2000
Talkin' Smack: This Headline Currently in Beta

The OS X fiasco in perspective

by David Nagel
Executive Producer
[email protected]

The price of handling sure has gone up in the last week. When Apple announced it would be selling the public beta of OS X for "a nominal fee" to cover manufacturing, shipping and handling, I never suspected it would amount to $29.95. After all, the cost to manufacture a CD is $0.60. The cost of shipping a 7.5 oz. package is about $1.87. This means that whoever's handling the "handling" aspect of Apple's "shipping and handling" is really ripping them off—to the tune of about $27.48 per unit.

And I just don't think that's fair to Apple. Here's Apple trying to put out the best operating system on the market, and along comes some handling company (mob-owned, no doubt) to ruin everything. I'm sure we'll see a big hit to Apple's bottom line in their next quarterly report owing to these exorbitant handling charges they're being forced to pay to these mobsters.

I say we all try to support Apple by driving up to Cupertino to pick up our CDs in person at their will-call window so they don't have to keep paying extortion money to the Mafia.

I know I don't have any proof that the Mafia's scamming Apple, but surely power hasn't driven Steve Jobs insane enough to voluntarily charge users $30 for nominally functional software that expires in six months.

Has it?

Maybe so. He is, after all, charging PowerBook customers $1,800 more for a 500 MHz PowerBook than a 466 MHz iBook. (For the record, that's about $53 per megaHertz.)

On the other hand, buying an iBook does force you to own something that looks like a giant green sucker, reflecting the feeling you might have when the G4 PowerBooks arrive.

"G4 PowerBooks?" you query. "What do you mean, 'G4 PowerBooks.'"

Well, I don't have any kind of inside knowledge, except that guy in Apple R&D who keeps sending me e-mails about Apple's forthcoming products, but, if I were to take a guess, I'd say January at the latest. You can't sell an iBook for half the price of a comparable PowerBook and expect people to keep buying PowerBooks (unless those people are Tim "PowerBooks are expandable" Wilson, author of our weekly PowerBook propaganda column entitled "Road® Hog™.")

Plus, we already know we can stick a G4 chip into a machine that uses no fans (the G4 Cube), so what are the barriers to delivery? Just manufacturing time, my friends, and a nice little forum for an announcement of that magnitude. Say Macworld in January?

You know, Macworld—the place where Steve Jobs WON'T be announcing the commercial release of OS X because it's being delayed until the second quarter ... again. (Note that the expiration of the OS X beta license sets the beta's epiration at the first commercial release OS X or May 31, 2000, whichever comes first. At this point, I'm not sure which one will.)

But, hey, I'm still waiting for Rhapsody.

Dave Nagel is the producer of Creative Mac; host of the Creative Mac, Adobe InDesign, Adobe LiveMotion and Synthetik Studio Artist WWUGs; and executive producer of Creative Mac, DCC Designer, DCC Workstation, Digital DTP, Digital Pro Sound, Digital Webcast, Hollywood Industry, Plug-in Central, Presentation Master, ProAudio.net and Video Systems sites. All are part of the Digital Media Net family of online industry hubs.

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