Apple’s Mac mini offers longtime Windows users a low-risk way to try exceptionally elegant Mac OS X

“Today’s theme is elegant underdogs: the devices or solutions that don’t lead their markets but are in many ways more admirable than the ones that do,” James Fallows writes for The New York Times. “For years the Apple Macintosh has defined this category. Indeed, the Mac’s business history illustrates important changes in the role of the tech also-ran. From the mid-1980’s through the late 1990’s – a period that started with the widening use of Windows and ran through the widening use of the Internet – the pressures toward standardization created not just market leaders but also all-dominating market leviathans. Consider word-processing software: through the 80’s and early 90’s, there were a dozen contenders. Now, for practical purposes, there is only Microsoft Word.”

Fallows writes, “This era of mass extinction happened to coincide with the first 15 years of the Mac’s life. That it did not go the way of other innovative early computers like the Victor 9000 or the Xerox Star is testimony to the tremendous appeal of the Mac’s design and the resulting fanaticism of its customer base. (Mac users, no angry e-mail messages, please. I mean this as a compliment.) And in the last five years, some breathing room appeared. Every new approach that managed to survive – Adobe document formats, Palm and now BlackBerry mobile devices, FireFox and other browsers, Linux, and Internet-based computing from the likes of Yahoo and Google – suggested that an ever more diverse tech ecosystem was becoming possible.”

Fallows writes, “This has created a new opportunity for the Mac, which Apple Computer has maximized with an exceptionally elegant offering, the Mac mini. On the market since early this year, it is the first device to give longtime PC users a low-risk way to try that enticing other path.”

More in the full article where Fallows also covers that other elegant underdog, TiVo, among others here.

The new Mac Mini. Still starting at $499. Free shipping from The Apple Store.

Related MacDailyNews articles:
Mossberg: Switching from Windows to Mac – software not an expensive proposition – September 30, 2005
Switching from Windows to Mac is easy and liberating – September 14, 2005
More would switch from Windows to Mac if Apple advertised more effectively – September 04, 2005
Windows to Mac switch like repeatedly getting whacked in the face with baseball bat of common sense – September 01, 2005
Students and teachers: going Mac could save you money on software – August 23, 2005
Mossberg offers resources for Windows users interested in switching to Apple Mac – August 18, 2005
Switching from Windows to Mac? Save money by asking to ‘crossgrade’ your software – April 13, 2005
Apple posts QuickTime movies of Mac OS X Tiger features in action – April 13, 2005
Windows users’ questions and concerns answered about Windows to Mac switch – July 27, 2005
Switching from Windows to Mac easier than you think – June 26, 2005


  1. Well, I totally agree with this statement. I used to be a 100% Mac guy, switched to PCs about 13 years ago, and JUST (5 minutes ago) connected my Mac mini.

    I got a KVM, and use my Logitech keyboard and mouse. I am looking forward to a lot of fun with my new mini.

  2. When I open some MDN articles in tabs and then some other site’s articles–like I do every afternoon–MDN tabs pop forward when it’s done loading in Safari!

    Usually this happens just as I’m hitting the Close command, so instead of the other page closing, the MDN page I’ve never read closes again. Or it happens just as I enter a URL in another tab, so the URL replaces MDN and MDN goes away.

    Why do this??

    It’s massively annoying. MORE annoying than the popunder ads, because at least those don’t stop me from reading MDN’s content.

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