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(Time) — Apple is fond of saying that its Macs “just work.” That’s a relative term, of course. Macs do indeed deliver the smoothest integration of software, hardware and services in the computer business, with a record for reliability that most big makers of Windows PCs can’t touch. But these days, it’s Apple’s iPhone and iPad that set the standard for seamless simplicity. Compared with them, Macs are mere personal computers, complicated by features that aren’t absolutely necessary, parts that are prone to failure and interfaces that aren’t instantly comprehensible to clueless newbies.  That’s one way of looking at things. And judging from last week’s press conference at Apple headquarters in Cupertino, Calif., it’s the direction that the company’s own thinking is going. M.C. Steve Jobs explained that the event’s title, “Back to the Mac,” referred to borrowing good ideas from the iPhone and iPad and taking them to Macs.

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