April Is The Cruellest Month (7/27/01)

When we think of Mac-hostile media outlets, the San Jose Mercury News doesn't usually spring immediately to mind-- but hey, everyone's capable of a little Mac-bashing now and again, right? So why not kick off the weekend with a heaping helping of FUD courtesy of an article jam-packed with 100% of your recommended daily allowance of Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt? (Many thanks to faithful viewer Sandy for pointing it out to us; it's not easy to come off as apoplectic with rage via email. Neat trick.)

It's not so much that author Jon Fortt isn't making a few valid points-- it's more a question of focus than anything else. For instance, he posits that the Mac offers "a frustrating experience"-- if you "must regularly collaborate with Windows users." When you see an article with a title like "Mac platform good to a point," you should already know what sort of ride you're about to take. And when said article leads off with the sentence "The operating system battle is over and Apple lost to Microsoft," well, maybe there's a teensy bit of bias showing through, there. (Not that we're opposed to bias, mind you; we just happen to be biased in the right direction.)

By the time he gets around to waxing majestic about how Windows XP will be oodles better than Mac OS X primarily because XP will have "built-in instant messaging capabilities that the Mac platform can't yet match" (!), it's not hard to guess which team Jon is rooting for (though at times the article feels less like that of a Windows apologist than that of a Mac fan having a really bad day). But our primary interest in Jon's article isn't its platform bias; Mac-bashing articles are a dime a dozen, after all. The thing that threw us for a loop was his claim that "Apple tells us not to expect the company to sell computers that boot directly into OS X until around April 2002."

April 2002? Does anyone know where he got that date? As far as we knew, Apple was still planning to make the switch this summer, presumably when 10.1 finally makes it out the door in September. We know, we know-- we should know far better than to trust any facts spouted forth by someone who insists that "right now is a particularly risky time, strategically, to buy a Mac" because Macs come with Mac OS X but boot by default into Mac OS 9 (so, what, it's less strategically risky to buy a Wintel when Windows XP isn't yet shipping at all?), but we admit, this April 2002 thing is intriguing. If it's really going to take another nine months for Apple to switch to Mac OS X as its default OS, then chalk up yet another advantage that Windows XP has over the Mac. Along with that awesome built-in instant messaging that's going to take the world by storm.

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The above scene was taken from the 7/27/01 episode:

July 27, 2001: This is way the AtAT DSL Saga ends-- not with a bang, but a howl of laughter. Meanwhile, TechTV apparently tries to disprove Steve's G4-vs.-P4 bake-off from last week, but doesn't have much luck, and an article in the Mercury News claims that Mac OS X won't be the default Mac operating system until April of next year...

Other scenes from that episode:

  • 3203: We Love Perfect Endings (7/27/01)   Okay, this isn't strictly Apple-related, per se, but heck, it's Friday-- and we just have to fill you in on a simply marvelous update to the Great DSL Saga. "But AtAT," we hear you ask, "didn't the Great DSL Saga wind to a close nearly three weeks ago, when you physically shipped your server to Parsippany, New Jersey while temporarily broadcasting the show from a PowerBook until the real deal was up and functioning on its new, fast pipe?"...

  • 3204: It Is A Tale Told By An Idiot (7/27/01)   Those of you who caught last week's Stevenote as broadcast by TechTV already know that the network isn't exactly the most Mac-friendly group out there. We were fortunate enough (or unfortunate enough, depending on your opinion of the keynote itself) to be in the audience live and in person, so we missed the TechTV running commentary, but we're told it was delightfully entertaining-- to people who enjoy the sound of idiots yammering over Steve's entire spiel...

Or view the entire episode as originally broadcast...

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