Steve Jobs: The Continuing Legacy

Michael Vizard
Slide Show

The Legacy of
Steve Jobs

For Steve Jobs, it was about creating magical products - things that were as much a part of his fancy as they were part of the real world.

I'm not a Mac enthusiast. In fact, my daily world pretty much revolves around Windows notebooks and Google Android devices. I'm not particularly emotionally attached to any of them the way most people who favor Macs are, but as a practical matter I tend to gravitate to the platforms where the most applications can be found.

That doesn't mean I don't appreciate the elegance of the Macintosh. I live in a split household where certain members of the family remind me on a daily basis about the superiority of all-things Apple.

None of that stops me from appreciating what Steve Job and his colleagues at Apple have meant not only to the IT industry, but the average person as well. Apple has consistently led the way forward. Arguably, Apple has been the research and development lab for the entire industry given the fact that every Windows PC or tablet computing device borrows heavily from Apple products in one way or another.

But as significant as all that may be, the lasting legacy of Steve Jobs may turn out to be what is still to come. Case in point, Vidyo coincidentally announced today that it is shipping a videoconferencing application for the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch. Given the fact that the product always came first with Jobs, I think it's fair to say he would appreciate the potential impact that videoconferencing is going to have on the way we use these devices in the near future. Obviously, Apple is already heading down this direction with its FaceTime videoconferencing application.

But the real point is that the combination of tablet devices, next-generation wireless networks and videoconferencing will change the way we communicate as a species in the years the ahead. When you think about how profound that is likely to be, it makes the development of graphical and touchscreen user interfaces seem like a footnote.

That's not to say that Steve Jobs didn't do great things; it just means that the full import of what he has contributed to the advancement of humanity has yet to really be fully appreciated.

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