Apple disses the desktop again during keynote

Call me paranoid, but I fear that Apple is giving the Mac the bum's rush.

What did the Mac do to deserve this? Lately it seems as if Apple management is giving its Macintosh platform short shrift, instead favoring its younger, sexier mobile devices, also known as the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.

The latest affront occurred Monday during Steve Jobs' Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) keynote. Apple's CEO used most of his two-hour stage time to talk up the new iPhone 4--no surprise there. But he failed to mention that Apple was also launching Safari 5, the latest version of the company's Web browser that comes with every Mac.

Jobs spent the first 30 minutes of his keynote talking up trendier developments that impact fewer users than an updated Safari, including new Netflix and Farmville apps for the iPhone. (True, the WWDC is a developers' conference, and Jobs was working the room. But, as his iPhone 4 presentation shows, he was also speaking to the tech world at large.)

What, not even a mention of Safari 5, the gateway to the Internet for millions of Mac devotees? Call me paranoid, but I fear that Apple is giving the Mac the bum's rush.

Other recent examples of a maligned Mac:

Jobs at last week's Wall Street Journal D conference: Steve tells the Journal's Walt Mossberg that the personal computer is on the wane, and that mobile devices are the future. Interestingly, Jobs includes the Mac in his death-of-the-PC prediction.

No more Mac category at design awards: Cupertino has dropped the Mac software category from its annual Apple Design Awards. At the 2010 WWDC, the awards will go to the top iPhone and iPad apps only. Feel the burn, Mac developers.

Apple is a 'mobile devices company.' Jobs' team has made it perfectly clear in shareholder and analyst meetings, as well as during recent product launches, that Apple is focusing on mobile gadgets. While that strategy may include the MacBook laptop, the Mac desktop is definitely the odd device out.

What do you think? Does the Mac have a future?

Contact Jeff Bertolucci via Twitter (@jbertolucci) or at jbertolucci.blogspot.com.

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Jeff Bertolucci

PC World (US online)
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