When I first began using a Mac in the 1980s, I didn’t look at the company as a potential money machine. For well over a decade, my decision was often attacked by PC-using critics. They told me there wasn’t any useful software for a Mac, at the same time I was generating content with Adobe Illustrator, QuarkXPress and Microsoft Word. They told me that Macs weren’t easy to use at the same time they were struggling with their DOS and Windows boxes trying to manage what were, to me, simple tasks.
By the mid-1990s, you might have thought, with a fair amount of justification, that Apple was on the ropes and a possible takeover target for another company that would quickly merge and kill its unique character. You might have thought that Apple’s executives weren’t really sure what made Macs different as they introduced more and more models with insignificant differences you could barely tell apart. The aging Mac OS was becoming increasingly unstable. With the arrival of the first really usable version of Windows, Windows 95, more and more app developers decided to ditch the Mac and embrace what they felt to be a platform with more potential.
Through it all, Windows didn’t strike me as any better actually. The interface was sort of Mac-like in a clumsy way, and performing even basic setups took at least twice as many steps with less predictable results. But since apps available on both platforms more or less worked the same, though looking less pretty on a PC, I suppose most people wouldn’t notice so much of a difference once things were set up properly.
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