“We’ve been living, for the past couple years, in Apple’s world, a time and place in which the normal rules of commerce no longer seem to apply to the once much-beaten-down firm. The company has seen an extraordinary string of hits recently. The iPod is bigger than Jesus. Apple is literally selling these things faster than it can make them. Now, for the first time in almost two decades, there’s a good — great — feeling attached to the Apple brand, a haze of optimism that is unlike the sensation we feel for all but the most cherished of consumer tech products,” Farhad Manjoo writes for Salon.
“So, perchance to dream: After iPod, can Apple make a comeback in the world of personal computers? On Jan. 22, the company began shipping the Mac Mini, a diminutive entry-level machine aimed at Windows people. The computer is tiny, beautiful and, at $499, cheap; already, it’s receiving generally positive praise from reviewers,” Manjoo writes. “What happens now? The entire effort could fizzle, certainly. Apple releases nice Macs all the time that never spark in the Windows world. There is a theory, though, that this go-round might be different, that the moment may be ripe for the Mac Mini to take off. The landscape of the personal computer market has altered. In recent years, the home computer has increasingly become a digital entertainment center; people use it for the Web, they use it for e-mail, and they use it for photos, movies and music.”
“The Mac is not just good at these few tasks: It’s the best there is. There’s simply no arguing that Apple’s built-in software and operating system make for the single most powerful photo, music and movie system you can buy. But the things that the Mac is good at make up just one part of the story. There’s a flip side — the increasingly obvious failings of PCs running Microsoft Windows. Among Windows users, there’s a rising feeling — accounted for mostly by anecdotes and not all that well-measured, but nevertheless important — that the system is becoming too hard to maintain. Talk to experts at computer security firms and they’ll give you some pretty scary straight talk about how spyware, adware and viruses are just killing the user experience on an ordinary Windows PC,” Manjoo writes.
“It’s not unusual for people to throw out their year-old Windows computers because they’ve become just too clogged with bad junk, says Richard Stiennon, vice president of threat research at the anti-spyware firm Webroot. The Mac, in contrast, simply doesn’t suffer such afflictions,” Manjoo writes.
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MacDailyNews Clarity Alert: We didn’t write the line, “The iPod is bigger than Jesus,” Farhad Manjoo wrote it in the Salon article.