Is Apple Growing a New Backbone?

2002 – Could it be that Apple is undergoing a radical mutation and growing a new backbone?

Consider the evidence: While proclaiming Internet Explorer his browser of choice and Microsoft Office X a thing of beauty, Steve Jobs recently blasted Redmond for its proposed settlement in several antitrust lawsuits. Declaring he was “mystified” over a settlement that would essentially give Microsoft control over yet another market segment, this was the first sign in years that anyone from Apple Computer had anything negative to say about Bill & Co.

A special message to Windows users: Welcome

Now we have A special message to Windows Users: Welcome right there on Apple’s site. Reminiscent of Apple’s old 75 Advantages series (written before the return of Steve Jobs to the company), this one-page fact sheet debunks such well-known “facts” as “Everyone uses Windows” and “Macs aren’t compatible.”

My favorite is the one about the amount of software available for Macs. “With 15,000 programs available,” I tell Wintel users, “exactly how many hard drives will you need to install it all?” When you think about it, it’s pretty clear the average user only uses five or six programs: a Web browser, a word processor, a spreadsheet, an email client, maybe an accounting program, and maybe one of Apple’s new iSpokes: iMovie, iTunes, iPhoto.

Beyond that only gamers dare to tread.

If present trends continue, we might even see an Apple TV commercial exploiting one of the other many advantages Mac users enjoy: The ability to emulate every major OS, fast processor speed on graphics apps, reliability and high resale value of hardware, and ease of use (gosh!). It sure would be a nice change from the 60s flashbacks and rude airline passengers we’ve seen lately (could that guy even get on a plane these days with all that gear?)

I’ve written before that Apple should recruit iMovie users to make ads for the company; probably because they don’t want all the losers floating around the Web, the company will never actually do it. But now, maybe, just maybe, Apple is preparing to take the mantle for itself and stand up for itself the way we have been standing up for them all these years. Sure would be nice to have a little backup.

Apple doesn’t solicit – or even acknowledge – submissions for ideas on products or advertising; this strict policy is what protects them from doodlers who think they’ve foreseen the future. (What’s the old saw about giving a million monkeys a million pencils, and sooner or later one of them will draw an iMac?)

Here’s an idea for a commercial series: The lonely Mac user in an office of Wintels is the only one who can send email after a nasty virus attack. The technician in a Wintel office carries a TiBook with several flavors of Connectix’s Windows emulators on it to reduce his carrying load. An iPod user saves the day at a dance when the CD player breaks. Visitors in a home comment on the lovely coffee table books – only to discover they were made using iPhoto

And every commercial ends with a tagline like: Apple. The core of your digital world.

Keep up the good work, Apple. We old timers are encouraged.

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