Apple CEO Steve Jobs is "delivering on the digital dream", according to Forrester Research CEO George Colony.
The history of the technology industry reflects the fortunes of two men: Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, and Colony is impressed at the fortunes and success of Jobs, who he calls "The Digitizer".
He looks at Jobs' past: being kicked out of Apple in the late 1980s and NeXT's failure to establish powerful marketshare – after this he saw that "Jobs was a non-factor, a has-been from the bygone years of homebrew whimsicality, stuck in an era of corporate, enterprise-focused technology," Colony writes.
Not so today. Jobs is achieving where many fail. "The original dream of using digital technology to change the way we live our lives is being fulfilled not by Microsoft and Bill Gates but by… Steve Jobs. He has revolutionized the film industry with Pixar. He is the prime mover in the transformation of the music industry. The most successful portable music player by far was his idea. The iLife software suite is an amazing set of integrated applications for controlling music, arranging and storing photos, capturing and editing videos, making movies. GarageBand, Apple's newest software for recording, editing, and arranging music, is drawing a fresh new generation to Apple."
While Sony, IBM, Intel and Microsoft appear less compelling, "Jobs is delivering inspired, compelling digital alternatives to the old analogue world".
The analyst adds: "The guy has the creativity of Sergei and Larry at Google, the experience of Michael Dell, and the connections and persuasiveness of Carly Fiorina."
Looking forward, he forecasts Apple becoming more firmly established in consumer electronics, and forecasts new products with the focus of an iPod for new markets. The analysts also predicts that Apple may one day support Linux, as well as Unix, straight out of the box.
Ending his piece, the writer looks at the fates of many of the personalities that have helped to drive the industry. "There aren't many return engagements," he observes, calling Jobs' fortunes "an amazing odyssey".