Thursday, October 6, 2011

Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs passed away Wednesday, Oct. 5 at age 56. Fortune looks back at how he changed the way we think about and use technology forever, putting his own stamp on everything from the personal computer to the music industry.

!0 ways He chanGed ThE WORld 
For Jobs, how a product looked, felt and responded trumped raw technical specifications. While PC makers chased after faster processor speeds, Jobs pursued clever, minimalist design.

One ex-Apple employee remembers sitting in a meeting with Jobs, who was mulling over the appeal of Mini Coopers. (An old coworker of his sold them at the time.)
"He finally decided they were cool because they were small," he says. "Steve said that's when he knew Apple had to get really good at metal. Most computer makers at the time were all using plastic, but he knew to get smaller, you had to get metal really, really well."
The move paid off: Apple's titanium-turned-aluminum notebooks became bestsellers. The most recent MacBook Air models have been held up as examples of the ideal intersection of design, price and performance. 
The new millennium was all about a rapid shift to digital content delivery, a disruption that sent music publishers scrambling to preserve their downward-spiraling bottom lines as millions of users downloaded music illegally via services like Napster.
Apple launched iTunes in 2003. A digital content service that charged for music, its ease-of-use and tight integration with the popular iPod proved irresistible to consumers. Now, iTunes is the largest online music retailer in the world, with over 200 million registered users who have downloaded 15 billion songs. The fall 2011 launch of a cloud-based iTunes service should only further cement that standing.

The PC
 It's easy to forget, but Jobs and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak helped popularize the very idea of the personal computer with the Apple II, a mass-produced 8-bit computer encased in plastic that became one of the most successful PCs of the 1980s. It revolutionized the way people work. Much has happened since -- not least the rise of Windows-based computers -- but Mac sales continue to climb. In fact, Mac sales for the September 2011 quarter are expected to come in between 4.4 million and 4.6 million, a new record.

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