Obama the Mac User

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It has been known for awhile that Barack Obama is a Mac user, but now that he has been elected as our next president, what will this mean for the future of computing in this country? Will government and schools be more open to alternatives to Microsoft? Will the powerful Microsoft Lobbyists finally get put in their place? Will the trend continue towards open standards, instead of Microsoft’s proprietary crap?

From TUAW : The unnofficial Apple Weblog:

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In what could be a sign of things to come, Hunter Biden was pictured on Election Night showing Vice President-Elect Joe Biden something on a MacBook Air. Biden also appears to be holding an iPhone 3G with a sticker on the back. Biden was apparently observing something on screen, while President-Elect Barack Obama celebrated in the background with another staffer. The MacBook Air appeared to be connected to a USB 3G network adapter.

The Obama administration could become the most technologically-savvy presidency so far. The President-Elect’s transition team has already put up change.gov, a website developed by Blue State Digital, the same firm that created Obama’s campaign website. Obama’s administration promises to be the first to include a Chief Technology Officer, and he supports net neutrality.

Obama has been photographed during his campaign using an iPhone. A Newsweek article in Feburary noted that Michelle Obama bought then-Senator Obama and their children each a MacBook, so they could stay in touch during the long campaign.

Yes, we can add the team to the growing list of world leaders using Apple products.

From Wired.com :

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Here’s an interesting factoid you probably didn’t know about our tech-savvy president-elect: He’s a Mac user, according to Telegraph, who compiled a list of 50 facts you might not know about Barack Obama.

And knowing that Obama’s a Mac user, it’s highly likely that his chat client of choice is iChat. Michelle Obama told People magazine that the one gadget her husband would never leave at home is a webcam, which he uses to stay in touch with her and the kids whenever he’s traveling. iChat’s the best Mac app for video chatting, and it’s the easiest to use, too

And this older piece (note the reference to Gore) from Roughly Drafted Magazine :

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Obama and Apple.
Barack Obama’s campaign has casually referenced Apple directly or indirectly on a number of occasions. Last year, supporter Phil de Vellis edited Apple’s legendary 1984 Mac ad to portray opponent Hillary Clinton as Big Brother. The Obama campaign did not sanction the video, but it did cast Obama as a challenger that “thinks different.”

In January, Obama appeared on David Letterman to recite a series of comical campaign promises including, “I won’t let Apple release the new and improved iPod the day after you bought the previous model.” Again, Obama was merely referencing the popularity of the iPod rather than endorsing it, but more recently Fake Steve Jobs pointed out that Obama was captured on camera consulting his iPhone (McCain has a Motorola RAZR).

More significantly, Obama said last fall that Apple board member Al Gore could play a key role in his administration if Gore were interested in doing so, and even left the door open to possibly naming Gore as his running mate. Apple itself has remained relatively political neutral, with no campaign donations of record to either Obama or McCain, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. As a company, Apple has regularly presented presidential debates in iTunes without any political bias.

While CEO Steve Jobs served as an adviser to Democratic candidate John Kerry in 2004, he has made few political donations recently. Last year, Jobs described Gore as an ideal but reluctant candidate, telling Newsweek, “We have dug ourselves into a 20-foot hole, and we need somebody who knows how to build a ladder. Al’s the guy. Like many others, I have tried my best to convince him. So far, no luck.” Jobs hasn’t made similar comments in support Obama.

Here is that appearance on Letterman :

What do you think? Will Obama’s computing platform of choice have an impact on the country?

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