The Cold War (Windows vs Mac)
Posted: July 17, 2006
If you keep up on world politics, you might see the same trend I do in terms of a new cold war being on the horizon. This one is going to involve not only the US and Russia (who is reverting back to their old Soviet ways … although the same might be said about the US, but that’s another story altogether), its going to involve China as well as some other regional players.
But I’m no historian or political buff, and my concern is not the upcoming cold war, it’s more about the fact that we can only handle one cold war at a time. That means that we need to end the cold war that has been plaguing us for the better part of the past 20 years: The Mac vs. PC Cold War.
As you read this, keep in mind that I hold a bias. I’ve been on a Mac since day 1 … it made sense back then and it makes sense now. I’m a designer, and Apple targeted people like me in the late 80s and early 90s. So we adopted and have stuck with a good thing. I USED to see the benefits of a PC, but to tell you the truth those benefits have been dwindling.
Windows OS has been pretty much copying the Mac OS since it created ‘Windows’ (Macs had folders and Windows since the beginning … in all fairness though, Apple pretty much copied this from Xerox) and the truth of the matter is that the simplicity of an Apple computer in terms of the EXPERIENCE you have with it is invaluable. You can literally plug and play right out of the box. No video cards, no speakers to hook up, no wizards to run, etc. And the software that comes with a Mac is CRAZY-easy to use due to the clarity of the UI design.
I can hear the die-hard PC users’ blood boiling now and THIS is exactly what we need to work on. Take a deep breath and keep reading because I think I’m getting somewhere with this:
I think that Apple has dug its own grave in terms of positioning itself as just plain better than the rest … to go back to my cold war analogy, PCs are the utilitarian, Constructivists of post revolution Soviet Union (no bells and whistles; beauty comes after functionality if it comes at all; the workers are important, but not as important as the ‘machine’ [more Stalin than Lenin in this case]). Whereas Apple has positioned itself as just SO much cooler than the rest; more appealing to the younger crowd; … the James Dean … or more appropriately, the JFK of the computing world.
Apple’s latest campaign is a great example of this attitude: http://www.apple.com/getamac) and they continue to thrive on that rift.
SO let me say this: Hey Steve Jobs … that’s not nice … it may ALL be true, but you’ve gotta let it go. We’re living through tough times right now and its my opinion that we all have to come together … be a uniter not a divider (like ‘W’). The times they are a changing and I suggest that you reach out to our PC using friends and tear down that wall. Maybe start by taking the lead from Warren Buffet and donate some of your billions to a new Gates foundation: The Gates Foundation for a world with better user experiences. Now more than ever, the world desperately needs it!