My Fundamentally Flawed Response

John Gruber hardly needs anyone to defend what he has written or agree with him online to help his argument. Especially here, a blog where no one will even see it. But I would like to add something in response of Aaron Holesgrove’s post at Business Insider to John’s Daring Fireball post.

There is no need to go point for point to respond like Aaron decided to, and what I feel needs to be said is less a response to the article and more inspired by the article and it is something I have felt for a while and while I am typing this, yes, I believe this point is obvious. But not to PC defenders.

Up until a few years ago, Microsoft had a 90% plus share of the computer market. They no longer do. Why is that, you ask? Well, it is quite simple. The market that Microsoft has dominated, they still continue to dominate, but they, and their most avid supporters, refuse to realize that what they consider the ‘Computer’ has been redefined with out asking or permission.

Microsoft still dominates the market of towers under desks churning away at spreadsheets and word processing documents all day. They still control the market of glorified calculators and typewriters. And honestly, that is great, because with out calculators and word processors, a lot of work would come to a halt. And if you ignore quality, and the actual cost of your time and effort to keep PCs working, they still win most of the spec wars.

And you know what, I was right there with you for many years, reading specs and comparing bullet points. I used to get into heated arguments online about how stupid the idea of cost per Gigaflop was when the G5 Macs were first introduced. And I loved deciding if I was going to go with the Abit/Intel combo on my motherboard, or if it was time to try an Asus/AMD combination.

But, while everyone was speculating wether or not this was the release that Microsoft was really going to get rid of DOS, Apple quietly moved on. They changed the game and showed everyone that there was great power in simplicity and beauty. Apple products are considered toys because PC users can’t imagine that things can be simple and powerful.

You code the word ‘Slow’ into dozens of languages around the world and the Mac uses an image of a turtle. You say, ha it’s for kids. It’s a drawing of a turtle. Someone who puts a little more thought into things might see that Apple found a single image that the entire world will recognize and interpret as slow and, while simple, found a much more simple, powerful and elegant way to say the same thing.

To draw an image of a person and have them be recognizable is easy, but what if you were challenged to capture everything about that person, and make them just as recognizable, in as few strokes as possible. In the end, the drawing itself may look very simple, but let me assure you, the work and skill going into making it seem so simple, would be anything but. Somewhere in that poorly written thought, I think, is the Mac.

Feel free to continue to dismiss an entire platform as a toy, it won’t hurt our productivity. And it sure doesn’t seem to hurt sales.

BTW, I did once go with the ASUS/AMD and just wasn’t satisfied. During that time, I also forgot the thermal grease once and fried the chip, too.