Your Views: The Mac at 50…

What will the Mac look like a quarter of a century from now?

Apple celebrated the 25th birthday of the Mac last week.

We asked you what you thought the Mac might look like at 50. Here's a selection of your crystal ball-gazing thoughts on whether the Mac will be nifty at 50 or just consigned to the history books.

"We'd all rather have our kneecaps screwed to the dining room table than use Windows," according to Graham.

He added: "Frankly I don't care what it looks like. If it is just as reliable (one fault in 20 years of Mac usage) as it always has been, that's what matters. If it looks cool as well that's great."

"I'm confidently expecting I'll just be picking up voice activated signals from the air as I move around by the time Mac is 50. We've owned pretty much every model since the 512k (which traveled across the Atlantic twice with us and is still in the attic, along with many of its successors)," wrote long-term Mac fan Kathryn.

Kathryn's future will certainly continue to be Mac-shaped, as she added: "Broke off designing a garden on my new MacBook to write this - husband beside me is working at stats for an academic paper on his Air. On the dining table, the kitten is attempting to re-programme an iMac. Our offices - including the kids offices/studies depending on age - are all Mac equippedI suppose there must be a reason people buy PCs but I can't for the life of me work out what it is. Have tried them - those are in the attic too."

More of the same please

Peter has been a Mac devotee since 1985. He said: "The Mac OS' strength has always been in stability, sensible upgrades and reliability when most needed. How often do our businesses, by default using Windows, crash or freeze when under a time pressure for a document or calculation?" A fair point indeed Peter.

So how can Apple evolve the Mac for the better, using the above as a solid foundation? Peter provided a long list of suggestions, with a handful of choice samples being: "retaining a 'with it' image such as people noticing the style and visibility of an iconic product in keeping with the times; maintaining a resistance to virus infections; less reliance on Microsoft products but nevertheless having an interface that accepts their products; reintroducing (at give-away rates) machines to schools to educate the masses on the Mac benefits; encouraging the business software houses to provide a Mac OS-based alternative towards an all-Mac environment."

The Mac in a Sci-Fi world

"By then I reckon that we will all have chips in our brains, hard-wired through some bio-neural interface. Not only will we be permanently logged into a truly worldwide net, with holographic maps of a 4D space to navigate around, we will be able to use our enhanced brain power to access any information we desire, calculate complex calculations on the fly and contact anyone anywhere in an instant," mused Steve, who added that he thinks most people who make predictions about the future turn out to be wrong.

He added: "If this is the case then the Mac will not exist, at least not in a recognisable form. No, instead, Apple may be around (perhaps not Steve Jobs, though I hope so) but will be a software and chipcompany of some kind, providing enhanced services and data access for those who can afford it... Get back to me in 50 years and see how close I am."

John concluded our call for blue-sky thinking by saying: "In 50 years, I will not be around but if I were I would expect to switch on the power and speak something like this: Go to my last page in InDesign and when I'm finished move over to Photoshop pausing only if I have an important marked email to read. Remind me on the way through the day of these break times.'"

Then reality came and rained on his parade: "Well we can all dream until we have to pay the bill."

Take a look at our feature to find out what the top 10 moments in Mac history are.

And if you're wondering who might replace Steve Jobs at Apple when he takes his medical leave, look no further than our feature that tells you what you need to know.

Maggie Holland

Maggie has been a journalist since 1999, starting her career as an editorial assistant on then-weekly magazine Computing, before working her way up to senior reporter level. In 2006, just weeks before ITPro was launched, Maggie joined Dennis Publishing as a reporter. Having worked her way up to editor of ITPro, she was appointed group editor of CloudPro and ITPro in April 2012. She became the editorial director and took responsibility for ChannelPro, in 2016.

Her areas of particular interest, aside from cloud, include management and C-level issues, the business value of technology, green and environmental issues and careers to name but a few.