Of VoIP, Macs and Intel

VoIP belongs in a bar. Or that is what many market researchers will have you believe. Their research shows as many people think VoIP is a type of Vodka as it is a type of telephony. In case you are one of these people VoIP stands for Voice over IP. Last month I wrote about this topic in the Publisher’s Outlook of Internet Telephony Magazine titled: You Say VoIP, I Say Stolichnaya.

One of the points in the article was who cares if people know what VoIP is as long as we offer them telephone services they can relate to and want. I had a bunch of feedback on this article so I suppose many people agree with me. What made me think of writing the article in the first place was reports that many people want to embark on massive campaigns explaining to the average Joe what VoIP is. I reasoned this money can be better spent on new services that Joe might actually be compelled to purchase.

I was reminded of my article today when I read an excellent article form David Lazarus titled: Intel inside — so what? Few really care — or understand — what’s inside anything. Lazarus points out that when he interviewed a number of people from programmers to models to children, they just don’t care what is inside of a Mac or anything for that matter… It just has to work.

The article which is very well written is rife with logic that seems strangely similar to the arguments I used to explain why understanding what the term VoIP means is irrelevant. On the surface you might even imagine that the article in the San Francisco Chronicle is something I agree wholeheartedly with.

As it turns out, reading it really bothers me. I am not sure why. Yes the average person doesn’t know how anything works and once we establish this point it is obvious that knowing their Macs now have Intel chips changes nothing in their minds.

I suppose the fact that the article glossed over the speed improvements an Intel chip will bring to the table is what started to get me a little annoyed. After all, speed is crucial in the world of computers. Software keeps doing more and more and if you are using the latest software you will need ever-faster computers.

In addition, Intel ships more computer CPUs than anyone so using Intel chips means you get the fastest processors at the lowest cost. I must add here that many AMD chips have an even better cost/speed ratio but we will leave them out of this article. The point is that Macs will now be cheaper, faster and better.

But having an Intel CPU must do more for us than just lower prices… Right? Absolutely. Having an Intel chip means that Macs will be able to more easily run Windows programs. Think about that for a moment. Macs that run not only an easier to use operating system than a PC but now can also easily run PC programs. Are you getting what is happening here? The biggest drawback to Macs was that they couldn’t simply run all the applications that PCs could. Perhaps now they can.

So soon it may be possible to buy a Mac where only a PC would have worked in the past.

This is a revolutionary idea. Why? Because the design of all of Apple’s products virtually without exception is better than that of other manufacturers. The closest look to Apple in the PC world is Sony but Apple is still in a class by themselves.

Many people don’t buy Macs because of the lack of software compatibility. Now this barrier is gone. How many people will buy Macs now? I think those people who care what their computers look like will switch to Macs whenever possible.

Again, if you think I am crazy, remember that sales of MP3 players didn’t really take off until Apple started to sell them in sleek little white boxes.

This development will likely change the entire computing market meaning that manufacturers in the PC world better start hiring first-rate designers. In a world where all computers can do pretty much the same thing, the computer with the best price/performance and best design is likely to be the winner in the PC wars. It looks like such a product may just be white and have a piece of fruit on it.

I think this is certainly something worth caring about, regardless of who you are.

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