Average Joe Still in the Dark About Macs

2004: I heard the most interesting Mac comment the other day. It goes like this:

“There are two types of Macs. Those that have crashed and those that are going to crash.”

Mac Scope

I was pretty astounded when I heard this one. I mean, really, I was completely taken aback. Not because it’s perfectly true (all Mac have crashed or will crash), but because he made it should like Macs crash all the time. Crazy.

The gent who told me this is, by all measures, intelligent and well educated. He’s surely not the sharpest IT knife in the drawer, but still, he has a good idea of what’s going on. In fact, he claims that he’d be a Linux guy if it ran Microsoft Office.

Let’s ignore the fact that there are Linux alternatives to Office that open Office docs without a problem. It’s clear that, contrary to what this gent claims regarding switching to Linux, he’s really just, at best, average with computers. He knows how to install applications. He knows how to sort of set up a home network – provided wizards and helpful friends are at his disposal. His expertise pretty much ends there.

What makes it all the more disturbing is that he has such an amazing lack of awareness about the Mac and progress that’s been made over the last few years. For all I know, others turn to this fellow for PC advice, and what he’s dispensing is actively preventing folks from reaching a better computing experience.

I’m wondering how typical this attitude is. I’ve more or less laid off the evangelism in the last few years. If people want to drive the Yugo that is Windows, that’s perfectly okay with me. With Apple generating a healthy bottom line and moving into new markets, I don’t feel a real need to try to convince people that there is a Better Way.

But if the average Joe is still in the dark regarding the Mac and its performance improvements over the last few years, maybe I should be touting the glory of the Mac a bit more.

Then again, I consider advertising Apple’s job. Why, after a great hardware and software run, is the average Joe still completely out to lunch concerning computing choices?

This leads me back to some familiar ground. I firmly believe that Apple undersells Mac OS X. I think their ads should be more hard-hitting and, instead of focusing on the beautiful exteriors, should focus on their reliability and stability.

There are plenty of ways that Apple could attack Microsoft. Fewer viruses, for one, might make the average Joe sit up and take notice. Easier set up might also be worth a head turn or two.

What about fewer crashes and troubleshooting? These were lightly touched on in the “Real People” ad campaign, but I still think that Apple could really benefit by pushing them harder.

There are serious advantages to owning a Mac, and the general public should be made aware of them.

Am I evangelizing? Oh dear. Backsliding again.