an apple world
I remember 15 years ago when Apple ran some playful ads 'welcoming' Microsoft to concepts like the recycle bin and file names with more than 8 characters related to the release of Windows 95. For the Windows world, 95 was an impressive event, ('Start Me Up') and I think it's one of the core steps along the path to one central mechanism for interfacing with electronics, in the phrasing of today, of convergence.
These are a couple of my favorite Apple ads
Apple executives certainly made the 1990s an interesting time to be a Mac user, but I've never quite related to the 'Mac vs. PC' debate for two main reasons. First, it's a matter of personal preference. If you like Windows, fabulous. Computers should be a source of help and fun, not stress and disappointment. Second, it's a little like 'boxers vs. briefs' or 'Republicans vs. Democrats' - it's an artificial dichotomy that restricts the picture rather than providing insightful answers. 'Computers' are more than a big box that sits under your desk, and Apple gets that as much as any company on the planet.
I've been an Apple user since before Macs and Wintel machines. Companies like IBM, Microsoft, and Intel have been business competitors of Apple, but they've also been business partners of Apple. And if you want to know about me, don't ask about rock bands from the 80s or TV shows from the 90s or politics in the 00s. The single biggest influence, or connection, you might say, would be with Apple. It means to me what 'muscle cars' meant to prior generations of Americans, and I'm very grateful to have grown up in the 'interesting times' of the PC wars and the browser wars and the smartphone wars and whatnot.
I've spent the past two months of my life basically getting my work ready for rolling out a major upgrade investing in our IT infrastructure. I would love of course to simply buy everyone iMacs and run Mac OS X server, but I don't have any moral qualms about that not being an option. I've sold plenty of Apple gear over the years; enthusiastic customers are far better marketers than the paid staff of an organization. I know Microsoft gives lots of IT peeps job security. Heck, my brother is a well-compensated Microsoftie. Unless I go run Apple one day, he is by far going to pursue the most financially lucrative career of all of us.
But the comment I find myself coming back to today, as we're nearing the end of this upgrade, is the invocation of another song, a classic from the opening of Independence Day, itself a classic product placement before companies were quite so direct about that.
I think with Windows 7, It's the End of the World As We Know It. It took a decade and a half, with fits and starts along the way, but I think the convergence between Mac OS and Windows is complete. There's not much more to do. Everyone today is buying a Mac. Apple produced superior products and has had what I think is a permanent impact on how we interact with technology.
I feel fine. I wonder how Windows folks feel. Deep down, are they a little embarrassed that the eye candy and user interface won out over complexity and features and customization? Sure, Windows still has that stuff underneath the hood. But most Microsoft customers these days aren't even interested in learning how to change the oil.