Are Mac fans mellowing out? Two writers seem to think so in recent opinion pieces?
David Colker of the Los Angeles Times
writes that Mac users have lost some of the “fervor” of the past, though he thinks our devotion remains. He opines that two factors have contributed to a diminishment of the intensity of feeling Mac fans had in the mid-1990s, when the Mac was facing tough times. Colker said that non-Apple computer manufacturers that were briefly granted licenses to produce Mac clones stirred much of the fervor of the mid-1990s up. And the clones were, for all practical purposes, killed by Apple co-founder Steve Jobs when he took over control of the company again in 1996.
“And the disdain for rival Microsoft’s Windows operating system was dealt a blow when that company’s famed founder, Bill Gates, helped save Apple in 1997 by pouring $150 million into the company,” Colker said. “Gates also promised that Microsoft would greatly increase its commitment to turn out quality software for Macs.”
Of course, if the “fervor” that the writer speaks of is gone, it may be for the best. He says part of the “diminished feeling” among Mac users is that, at the recent Macworld Expo in San Francisco, we no longer felt like members of an endangered species.
Meanwhile, a ZDNet writer agrees that we Mac users are less zealot-y than in years past. In a
story Lee Schlesinger writes, “certain proponents of particular operating systems are like adherents to some religions — their way is the right way, and don’t you dare attack it.”
Though he describes the Mac as a “fringe platform within IT organizations,” Schlesinger writes that Mac users tend to be more relaxed about their status.
“Maybe it’s a holdover from Apple’s counterculture roots,” he said. “Remember the computer ‘for the rest of us’ and the 1984 Super Bowl commercial? Apple has always tried to appeal to a mellower crowd.”
So who are the groups that “rise up shouting when their favorite platforms come in for criticism”? Schlesinger said it’s the users of Linux, the Palm OS, and possibly the Be OS.
“Linux and Palm OS are both good operating environments, but both have distinct drawbacks. Most expert users of both platforms, if they took a dispassionate look, could probably outline those drawbacks better than anyone else,” he writes. “But the moment they hear a discouraging word, some of these OS partisans get lathered up and have to fight back — even if no one was really challenging them.”
So are you a “mellow” Mac user? Hey, this reporter can live with that description.