Sorry, Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL ) . I won't be buying a new Mac this year.
It's not that your products have lost their allure. Not completely, anyway. (I'm somewhat dismayed by what TechCrunch's MG Siegler found in testing the new 27-inch iMacs.)
I'm not buying because I don't need to replace my three-and-a-half-year-old MacBook Pro. Google's (Nasdaq: GOOG ) giving me all the horsepower I need.
On Cloud Mac
I've adopted Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Reader for RSS feeds, even Google Voice, which I use in combination with Skype to save on calls. In each case, I've dumped extraneous software that was crippling my Mac.
Upgrading to Snow Leopard has also helped, but I'm not entirely in the clear. My system's hard drive is slowly dying, furthering the already-strong argument for solid-state storage technology from Intel (Nasdaq: INTC ) and STEC (Nasdaq: STEC ) , among others.
My Mac wasn't built for a solid-state drive, but demand for these newer drives has forced down prices for high-capacity magnetic drives from the likes of Seagate Technology (NYSE: STX ) and Western Digital (NYSE: WDC ) . That's my next upgrade; a 500-gigabyte drive should cost less than $300 and fit snugly inside my MacBook Pro.
Ahead of the curve
I'm in the minority, apparently. Fortune reports that Kaufman Bros. analyst Shaw Wu says Apple should report a "blowout" first quarter due to outsized iPhone sales around the globe, and "strong momentum" in Mac sales.
But I'm not the only one turning to the cloud to trick out my Mac. Travel writer and photographer Tim Shisler uses Firefox and Gmail in place of Apple's Safari and Mail.
"[I] usually do not have my computer with me most times when traveling so would rather use the browser application since everything is there, and I like the web interface more than Mail," Shisler says.
Musician Jon Siddle says he has a MacBook Pro almost as old as mine, and he's been using Google Apps most of that time. Gmail and Google Calendar are his favored Web productivity tools, followed by Brizzly for social media.
I'm with Shisler and Siddle. I'm still a fan, Apple -- just not enough of a fan to buy a new Mac when I don't need one. Ask me again in three years. My MacBook Pro might finally be ready for retirement then.
Will 2010 see more Mac users turning to the cloud? Please vote in the poll below. You can also leave us a comment to explain your thinking or offer an alternative view.
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