RIP Steve Jobs

Today the world lost a great man with the sad passing of Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple Computers.

I’m no Apple fanboy – in fact over the past few years I’ve increasingly stopped using their products as they’ve become more and more locked into their own ecosystem. I prefer something more open in nature.

But there’s no denying that their products are things of beauty. That they have pushed the boundaries of manufacturing and user experience to new levels. Much of this is due to the drive and vision of Steve Jobs.

It always amazes me that no other PC manufacturer has realised that there is a market for well designed, aesthetically beautiful products. Instead they produce wave after wave of machines covered in stickers and logos, and filled to the brim with crapware. Apple, under Steve Jobs’ leadership, has thrown down a design gauntlet. Unfortunately the rest of the computer world has chosen to walk away from it.

There will be obituaries, reminiscences and retrospectives about Steve Jobs tenure at Apple, but for me the thing that best sums up his influence is this parody video:

I still wish he hadn’t killed off the Newton, though. I wonder just how much more advanced the new iPhone would be if Apple hadn’t wandered away from the portable PDA-like device market for a few years.

I’m sure his influence will be felt within Apple for many years to come — but I can only hope that influence will spread. The computer industry needs people like Steve who understand that technology isn’t just about specifications, it’s about people.