Knight Ridder: Macintosh at 20 ‘continues to be a wonder of modern design’

“The Mac also was — and continues to be — a wonder of modern design, a machine that invited, rather than intimidated, its users. Apple co-founder Steve Jobs dubbed the Mac the computer ‘for the rest of us,’ and it quickly became the PC of choice for graphic designers and educators,” Wendy Tanaka writes for Knight Ridder Newspapers. “And users quickly became passionate about it.”

“Yet the Mac never won over the business world, and Apple’s refusal for many years to license its operating-system software to other computer manufacturers limited its reach. Rival Microsoft Corp., meanwhile, was putting its MS-DOS system, and eventually its Mac-like Windows system, into PCs made not just by IBM, but also by Compaq and many other makers of IBM ‘clones,'” Tanaka writes. “So Apple’s market share reached into double digits in the mid-1980s, but shrank into the lower single digits as Microsoft improved its Windows operating system in the 1990s.”

Tanaka writes, “Apple ‘had the best technology. They just thought that would turn in their favor, eventually,’ said Rod Bare of Morningstar, the Chicago-based mutual fund research company.

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Perhaps it will still eventually turn in their favor? We weren’t aware there was a time limit.


  1. Didn’t I see this news somewhere already?
    It is strange that Apple is so quiet about this anniversery thing.
    When do we get invitation to the birthday party??

  2. I disagree. At what point in Apple’s history will people come to the conclusion that market share isn’t everything? They’ve been “about to go out of business” almost as long as the Mac has been around, yet here they are, still profitable. As long as they stay profitable the only real danger is that software developers will no longer release software for the Mac. While their quarterly market share is going down, the number of users is growing, and most software vendors have used their total number of users, over 25 million worldwide, as a gauge as opposed to market share which doesn’t provide an accurate picture of the potential for profitability. Apple will never be Microsoft, and more importantly, I don’t think they even want to be. I’m so tired of hearing people (especially journalists, analysts, and MS apologists) say that there are only two places you can be: On top, or out of business. Apple is neither and they’re doing just fine.

  3. It is very uncharacteristic of Steve Jobs to let the upcoming Super Bowl on Mac’s 20th anniversary to pass so quietly, especially after such an award-winning original ad. Perhaps, in a new level of marketing stealth, Apple purchased air time during the Super Bowl via Pepsi. It doesn’t seem like a quantum leap of design to create a G5 iMac utilizing the new, 24.5 watt, 90 nanometer, G5 CPU.

    Perhaps the evil side of me wouldn’t mind seeing the final 10 seconds the the commercial spot showing the “panther and longhorn” video from Jobs’ previous keynote, with a voice over “The 64-bit power and speed of a Panther today… or wait several years for a Longhorn in 2006. Where do you want to be?” But, that would be much too crude for Steve. With his hints in his latest keynote address, I am very sure he’ll come up with something jaw-dropping very soon!

  4. Marketshare is meaningless. What is important is standards. The industry better wake up and figure out that balkanizing every possible document and media format only serves Microsoft. Right now, with a flip of a bit, Microsoft can take control of just about anything they want. Apple and the rest of the technology companies need to work against this. Things like Real, for instance. What is their problem? Apple has a lead with their DRM and AAC. Go for it, join in, and create the best experience possible for your users. Don’t try to create a competing standard. That doesn’t help anyone.

    Everyone is fighting everyone else and MS wins with little or no effort because they control the desktop.

  5. The funny thing is while the mac’s market share has continued to shrink, things have only gotten better for the mac over the last several years. Where’s the argument that decreasing share has really had a negative impact on the viability of the platform? The mac platform is stronger than ever.

    Somebody needs to come up with a strong argument here – not a lot of worry wort conjecture about the need for developer support yada yada. F**king explain how things are so great WITH SHARE DECLINING.

    One of these days the Conventional Wisdom will shift to thinking, “Well it’s been 20 years since the mac had a tiny share and gosh, they didn’t go anywhere.” I give it about another couple of years. YOu have to understand the dynamics of this in the media and public consciousness – apple share is so small now (when thrown in with the glorified typewriters sitting in offices around the world) that it isn’t news anymore that apple’s share has declined from 1.87 percent to 1.85 percent. Soon, it will appear that nothing much is happening on share, but the mac is still there.

  6. Well, Macs use a different kind of gas, so to speak, than PCs. While PCs run on Electricity, Macs use elecTRIcity! And While the Mac OS intreprets programming code as 0’s and 1’s, Windows intreprets the code as 1’s and 0’s. And until Apple adhere’s to the same industry standards as Microsoft, my company will never put a bid out for Macs.

    ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”tongue laugh” style=”border:0;” />

  7. Then your company will be missing out on an opportunity to save a lot of money on support. As for your comment on Macs and PCs using different kinds of gas, I’ll just say, I have the only Mac in an all PC building. I can access the network, printers, servers, etc. easier than the PC users, and there’s nothing that they can do which I cannot. How exactly does your arguement fit in there? Answer: it doesn’t. That’s an old, irrelevant, and baseless arguement. I highly suggest you do some more homework on the subject. Maybe you could inform your employer of you findings and be lucky enough to get to use a Mac.

  8. How come these articles never talk about all the IBM clone companies that went out of business over the last 20 years while Apple is still around, and profitable!

  9. [Everyone is fighting everyone else and M$ wins with little or no effort because they control the desktop.]

    The players that aren’t M$, try to position themselves to be the next big dog – BEFORE they’ve got rid of the current big dog.

    Bill’s divide and conquer works soooooo easy against them, it’s pathetic.

  10. “Apple will never be Microsoft, and more importantly, I don’t think they even want to be. I’m so tired of hearing people (especially journalists, analysts, and MS apologists) say that there are only two places you can be: On top, or out of business. Apple is neither and they’re doing just fine.” – ndelc

    You are so right. With these people, you think that they really want one brand of cereals, one brand of cars, one brand of soft drink, cell phone etc. What a boring world they live in. In case they have not noticed, the world is interesting because of the different cultures, animals, plants, etc. and certainly evolution requires diversity.

    If they get their wish, you can be certain that 20 years from now, Microsoft will still be working on Longhorn. Hey, without something to copy from, how can they innovate? ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” />

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.