Get Your Irony Here (10/6/99)

There's something that's just really gratifying about instances in which Apple's competitors are discovered to have used Apple products in the course of company business. Usually it's little things that are perfectly understandable, like finding that the animated GIFs on Microsoft's web site were created with GIFmaker, a Mac-only utility. (It didn't take Microsoft long to pull those graphics once word got out, believe us.) Since Macs are used heavily in graphic design and advertising, it's perfectly understandable that Microsoft would hire a Mac-using third party for the preparation of their marketing materials. Heck, it's even reasonable to think that Microsoft's own in-house marketing folks would be allowed to eschew Windows in favor of a platform that lets them get their work done properly.

But as faithful viewer Rob Vestrum points out, Microsoft's Windows empire may be showing signs of collapse from within. A MacInTouch special report notes something verrrry interesting (and highly amusing) about Microsoft's annual report, which was posted publicly to the company's web site: it was written on a Mac. Perhaps you recall the uproar from several months back, when it was discovered that Microsoft Word 98 documents often contain a lot more than just what was written-- they can contain a unique ID traceable to a particular computer (which is how the author of the infamous "Melissa" virus got caught), and even snippets of private data from other unrelated files. In this case, though, the type of data hidden in the Microsoft annual report isn't even terribly controversial: it's a revision history of the document, complete with file paths. But that data makes it clear that the whole report was written using "Word 98 for Macintosh" on a Mac with a hard disk named "Kerry Leimer Jay's G3."

Now, Microsoft using Macs for graphics work is one thing, but to run Word? Surely they could have used Windows for that. If Microsoft's now using Macs for tasks as mundane as basic office productivity, then that doesn't say much about Windows. Or, rather, it says a lot about Windows. ;-)

SceneLink (1829)
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The above scene was taken from the 10/6/99 episode:

October 6, 1999: iMacs are just $599 with CompuServe strings attached, while prepares to give away a million "free" iMacs as well. Meanwhile, another longtime Mac critic publicly ponders switching to an iMac due to Windows-induced trauma, and Microsoft's dirty little secret comes to light: their annual report was written on a Mac...

Other scenes from that episode:

  • 1827: Strings For Everyone (10/6/99)   So Apple's finally got a sub-$1000 home computer: the new iMac, available now (for our viewers who aren't fluent in Jobsian, that means "in three weeks or so") for just $999. In fact, if you're the type that thrives on marketingspeak, you could even call the iMac a $599 computer; as noted by Jobs at Tuesday's unveiling and in an Apple press release, customers who buy an iMac at CompUSA or J & R ComputerWorld can sign up for three years of CompuServe Internet service get a $400 rebate...

  • 1828: All Signs Point To Yes (10/6/99)   Oh, sure, you may laugh at the scary-looking folks who wander around downtown carrying signs that say "The End Is Nigh." Heck, we laugh at them too, because who says "nigh" anymore? But we're no longer convinced that the whole world-is-gonna-end-on-January-1st-2000 fad is such a crazy idea anymore...

Or view the entire episode as originally broadcast...

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