I will establish my opinion right here: Apple makes great computers and a fantastic operating system. I am one of those Microsoft-bashing Windows haters.
One thing that Apple doesn’t seem to be able to get right is the promotion of their own record of innovation. A few examples: never did they promote the fact that they invented the PDA, for the most part, with the Newton. You never saw a commercial bragging about being the first to include USB on a computer and the first to eliminate the floppy drive. [Dell has been trumpeting their recent decision to drop the floppy, 5 years after Apple did it first.] Apple was also the first to include wireless networking in their computers, and introduced the AirPort long before the current book in WiFi. [Again, Dell claimed they were first… long after.]
I was pleased this morning to read an article [via Macintouch] by Bob Cringely about “The Next Next Big Thing,” where he sets the record straight and gives credit to Apple for igniting the WiFi revolution:
WiFi exists primarily thanks to Apple Computer, which years ago proposed to the Federal Communications Commission that certain radio frequencies in the 2.4 to 5.8 gigahertz range be allocated for unlicensed data communication. Today those frequencies are available for people to do pretty much anything as long as they stay below a certain power output and make nice-nice with the neighbors. Apple intended to use the frequencies for wireless local area networks and introduced its AirPort product line several years ago to do just that. AirPort allowed computers to link with one another within a radius of 50 meters, sharing data at speeds up to 11 megabits per second.