The rivalry between Apple and Microsoft is well known. Perhaps the only better known conflict is that in the Middle East.
Even though I have always been a PC owner, I will admit that Apple has some really quality products. The iPod has changed my life. The iPad seems pretty cool. My wife’s Apple seems to run smoother and freeze far less often than my PC (that’s why I’m writing this on it right now).
Microsoft is often criticized for its attempts to monopolize markets. I, for one, am frustrated every time I have to tell my computer that I don’t want Windows Media Player to be my default music player. It reminds me of a scene from 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Dave, are you aware that you don’t have Windows Media Player set as your default music player?
Yes, HAL, I know.
I could switch that over for you, Dave.
You ask me that every time I boot up, HAL. I’m running iTunes.
I’m not sure that’s a good idea, Dave. Why don’t you just let me switch it to Windows Media Player?
No, HAL, I want iTunes.
I’m sorry, Dave, I can’t hear you. I’m going to switch it to Windows Media Player. We both know it’s for the best.
It’s the little things that frustrate me about Microsoft. The constant effort to change my default settings. The fact that the little system tray at the bottom of the screen is constantly running about a dozen programs whose purpose is a complete mystery to me. The fact that if I leave my computer on for twenty-four hours, it hides all my desktop icons and becomes unresponsive, allowing me to do nothing but helplessly maneuver the mouse pointer around the screen with nothing to click on. I consider this the operating system equivalent of taking your ball and going home. These are the things that have me seriously considering switching over to a Mac whenever the time comes to buy a new desktop.
But, there is one category where I will give Microsoft the nod over Apple. Not the Flash Player debate, that’s a whole different issue. It’s something far more basic but gets my respect.
I give Bill Gates more nerd props than Steve Jobs.
You know damn well that anybody who has spent as much time as the two of them dealing with computers is a complete geek. Before there was anywhere near a million dollars in either of their pockets, there were thousands upon thousands of hours spent in solitude, more than likely in a darkened basement without any female interaction, because we all know talking to mom doesn’t count.
With this in mind, just look at the two of them. Bill Gates still looks like a geek. I imagine he had the same haircut in the seventies. He wears sweaters. He’s sort of hunched over. I would believe his glasses were military issue if he looked like he could have ever been anywhere close to the sort of physical shape needed to get into any branch of the military. He still sounds like a nerd.
Take Steve Jobs on the other hand. He’s got the rimless glasses. He does the whole non-collared shirt thing all the time. Shaves his head, yet grows facial hair. All signs of trying to hide the geek inside.
It’s shameless, really. He’s tried to deny who he is on an aesthetic level. He’s the geek who was sort of likeable until he gained a little popularity and suddenly acted like a complete douche. He’s Patrick Dempsey in Can’t Buy Me Love.
Steve, I love your products, but you suck at this. It’s not working. You don’t look cool, you just look like a geek who is trying to look cool. Give it up. Not that you need the money but if you start wearing dress shirts and khakis, maybe with the occasional Star Trek tie to spice things up a bit, I will go out and buy a Mac tomorrow.
Until then, I have to seriously consider sticking with a PC.