The story starts in december 2008 when I was having heaps of connectivity troubles with our Windows Vista 'Home' PC. It let to a lot of complaints from my girlfriend and me having to give her a lot of time consuming support. The practical solution, and one of my best gadget investments ever, was to buy her a MacBook. The Apple completely changed her computer usage, just because sleep mode works and the startup wait was about 2 seconds to get a Wifi connection. All she wants is to email, surf the web and sometimes IM. In the past she would email every other day, now multiple times a day, whenever there are 2 minutes of spare time.
I maintain the software updates of her Mac and usually I hold off for a while and use my own Mac to test first. In recent months I also delayed the update to Safari 4, due to some known compatibility issues with our internet banking. Last week I updated her Mac to the latest 10.5.8 Max OS-X release that includes also Safari 4. The whole week, every day again, she keeps telling me how happy she is that the internet is on immediately. She hasn't noticed the change to Safari 4, but the disappearance of the 2 seconds delay for a Wifi connection are very noticeable for her. In her own words: It's all about speed.
Now what can we learn from this? We spend hours, days, weeks analyzing all the upcoming new features of our new gadgets that we forget what is really important for the average user. I'm pretty sure that a lot more is written about Safari 4 as is about the improved Wifi connection. It's like the Google What is a browser? videos. Who cares..
Note: A month after the MacBook purchase, the early beta of Windows 7 solved most of the connectivity problem. However Microsoft still doesn't come close to the Apple instant on feature.
Image Credit: John Talbot