Abandon Text!

W. H. Auden once said: "Poems are not finished; they are abandoned." I have been abandoning writing projects for many years, since only the pressure of deadline and high expectations ever got me to finish, or even start, anything of merit. This blog is an attempt to create a more consistent, self-directed writing habit. Hopefully a direction and voice will emerge.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

One front closes in the OS wars

Ah, remember the day when people debated hotly over the virtues of Windows versus the Macintosh operating system? Well, those days never really went away, but most of us forgot about it completely, because the only people who were buying Macs were graphic designers, academics, and consumers who liked the pretty white boxes. There is hardly anything left of the original MacOS, since it was scrapped for a GUI shell on top of FreeBSD. But the Brand that is Apple has lived on, and found rebirth in a new generation of devices, not the least of which was the iPod.

The iPod has taught Apple (and the rest of the world, in the process) that you can survive if you have a great brand, and that brands are mostly about image. The Mac faithful did not particularly care that their OS was quietly replaced -- it still looked like the same thing to them. Especially that gleaming white hardware and playful colors. There is nothing particularly hard about making a good MP3 player, either -- but that sleek white box, with the simplest interface imaginable, has been a killer look.

Now, the transformation of Apple from an OS company to a naked brand is complete, because now you can run Windows on a Mac. Apple released a free program that lets you set up a Windows partition on a Mac. Walter Mossberg (of course) gave it a huge spread, and Apple's stock jumped 10% on the news. It's as if Apple was saying: "Ok, fine, we'll give up trying to convince you our software is better. Because all you really want is that pretty box and a the smug, self-righteous brand, right?"


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