'Been There, Done That,' Say Apple Folks Bored By Win95 Publicity
Aug. 25, 1995
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) - Ho hum.
While much of the computer world went giddy over the release of Microsoft's Windows 95, Apple Computer Inc.'s employees and customers yawned. And laughed.
Apple's Macintosh system for years has boasted many of the spiffy features appearing in the Windows upgrade, the Apple faithful pointed out as the long-awaited and much-touted program hit the stores on Thursday.
"We've been passing out buttons and T-shirts that say 'Windows 95 equals Macintosh 89,'" said Michael Mace, head of marketing for the Macintosh.
Outside Apple's headquarters in Cupertino, Calif., it was hard to escape Windows 95, a major revision of Microsoft's operating system for the industry-dominating IBM-type personal computers.
But it was business as usual at Apple.
"It's been pretty relaxed. If anything, there's a sense of relief _ because now we're competing with a shipping product rather than a marketing marshmallow," Mace said.
Employees shared jokes about Microsoft's campaign, which features the Rolling Stones' song "Start Me Up."
"They're saying if you're honest about using Windows, it should have been 'Nineteenth Nervous Breakdown,' 'Under My Thumb,' ... (Can't Get No) Satisfaction," Mace said.
But Apple, for all its apparent nonchalance, hasn't been ignoring Windows 95, which narrows the Macintosh's ease-of-use advantage.
It recently introduced new, entry-level Macintosh computers based on the speedy PowerPC microprocessor. Next week, it will unveil its first notebook computers with the chip.
And Apple is waging a communications counterattack against the avalanche of Windows 95 advertising and news coverage, including television commercials beginning Thursday. The company hopes to convince computer buyers of the Mac's superiority to PCs running Windows.
"Been There ... Done That," is Apple's theme.
Macintosh users also weren't paying much attention to the Windows 95 rollout _ except to criticize Microsoft _ said Lance Kelly, manager of the Sunnyvale, Calif., ComputerWare, a local chain selling only Macintoshes.
"It's been a nonevent," he said. "No one's saying, 'Gee, I'm going to get a PC because my Mac is obsolete.'"
Apple adherents concede that Windows 95 is a nice upgrade for IBM-type PCs. But they insist _ and industry analysts generally agree _ that the Mac hardware and software are a better "platform."
Despite its reputation and loyal customers, Apple has only 8.3 percent of the worldwide market, dominated by PCs with Intel Corp. chips and Microsoft software. Some industry analysts have said Apple is unlikely to boost its share, particularly if Windows 95 catches on.
But Mace and Apple users insist their humorous response to the Microsoft rollout isn't empty bravado.
"We're used to being written off every time there's a major Microsoft introduction," Mace said.