"Can't innovate any more, my ass"

In the late 1990s I became quite obsessed with a brilliant wee program called WindowBlinds, which enabled you to replace the Windows UI with whatever you wanted.

My PC spent some time being a Mac, and being a BeOS box, and being a made-up machine from the future - but for all my fiddling I couldn't change the important thing: it's not how a product looks that matters, but how it works. WindowBlinds could change the former, but not the latter.

I was reminded of WindowBlinds today when I watched Apple's WWDC 2013 keynote presentation. On the face of it, iOS 7 looks like a reskin, but there's much more to it than that.

One month later there's a brand new and completely unexpected-looking Mac Pro (wags have already dubbed it the iBin and the Tube), a whole new version of iOS, a new version of OS X, Haswell MacBook Airs, a music discovery app, iWork for iCloud, new versions of iWork (for the desktop) and iOS for cars. As Phil Schiller put it: "Can't innovate any more my ass."

What was interesting about the keynote wasn't just the products or Apple's obvious confidence, though. The politics were interesting too. Android received plenty of kickings, but with the exception of the inevitable Windows 8 dig Microsoft escaped relatively unscathed - and when Tim Cook unleashed Tim's World of Numbers as he so loves to do, the numbers were used to hammer Google, not Microsoft.

By an amazing coincidence, Apple's partner for Siri's web search results turned out to be not Google, but Bing. I might be reading too much into things, but I felt that Apple's relationship with Facebook showed signs of cooling too.

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