Nurse, More Spin Control! (11/26/02)

Ahhh, that trusty ol' Naked Mole Rat: always good for a heaping helping of Quark dirt. For days, now, we'd been hearing various intriguing but maddeningly vague mutterings among folks in the publishing industry to the effect that something somewhat disturbing was up with the makers of QuarkXPress-- and especially with the biggest of the bigwigs at the Denver-based firm-- but no one seemed to want to tell us exactly what was giving everyone the willies. Well, the Rat has finally shed a little light on the subject, and we're pleased to discover that Quark is really living up to its promise as a solid source of drama these days.

You may recall that it was only a month ago that Macworld UK was reporting that Quark was hightailing it out of the United Kingdom, in part because CEO Fred Ebrahimi "does not like the Macintosh platform"-- which all made perfect sense because, as we all know, the UK is such a bastion of incurable Mac fanatics. (Or something.) Now, it didn't take long for Quark to get its spin control in gear; no, the company was not leaving the UK, and Mr. Ebrahimi's alleged dislike of Macs was "hearsay." So what at first looked like a juicy chunk of Mac-flavored melodrama turned out to be nothing at all. Right?

Well, sure-- except that Ebrahimi just addressed a crowd of publishing professionals at an "executive summary" in the Big Apple last week, and apparently he came off as the poster child and celebrity spokesperson for Crazy-Frosted Insanity Flakes. It seems that Fred's presentation about Quark's future direction (the "pending integration of Quark Publishing System and Digital Media System within a framework of Microsoft's .Net and SQL Server technologies") was notably lacking any mention whatsoever of support for Mac OS X-- which is perhaps not entirely surprising given the fact that QuarkXPress is one of the last major Mac apps still shipping in a Classic-only incarnation, but still, you can imagine that these assembled publishing pros were a little anxious about what exactly Fred's presentation implied.

So get this: when they asked him about Mac OS X support, Ebrahimi reportedly totally lost it. Nutty Fred insisted that "the Macintosh platform is shrinking" and "publishing is dying," and is said to have counseled all those present who were "dissatisfied with Quark's Mac commitment" to "switch to something else"-- but also warned that switching to Adobe's InDesign would be "committing suicide." Attendees were reportedly rather shocked by this behavior, which, if we're imagining this correctly, sounds to us rather like one of those infamous behind-closed-doors Jobsian outbursts, only minus the warmth. Yeek. Stay tuned, drama hounds, because it sounds to us like Fred Ebrahimi's the one to watch...

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The above scene was taken from the 11/26/02 episode:

November 26, 2002: Apple posts two new Switch ads-- both starring Santa Claus. Now that's a celebrity! Meanwhile, David Coursey shamelessly shills for the Mac as Apple prepares to open its 51st retail store, and the CEO of Quark may have gotten a little goofy at an industry gathering last week...

Other scenes from that episode:

  • 3862: Ho, Ho, Ho... Har, Har, Har (11/26/02)   Strap on those novelty reindeer antlers and pour yourself a tall glass of Silk Nog, because the holiday season is officially upon us. How do we know? No, it's got nothing to do with the number of days until Thanksgiving or the first instance of white and fluffy precipitation accumulating on the garden gnomes; this year we know that the holidays are upon us because, as faithful viewer el jacko first pointed out, Apple has posted two new Switch ads featuring Will Ferrell as "S. Claus"...

  • 3863: Still Extending Its Reach (11/26/02)   Speaking of Switch ads, how come former-Windoid-turned-Machead David Coursey hasn't done one yet? After all, when he gave the Mac a shot earlier this year, he began a rapid transformation from one of those dime-a-dozen anti-Mac tech columnists into a guy who now practically gushes over All Things Apple...

Or view the entire episode as originally broadcast...

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