The Subculture War

by Judd Spitzer, 6/18/05
Staff Writer, The Mac Guild

Put anything in plastic and place a lowercase "i" in front of the product and you have yourself a market winner. Many who watch the buyers of Apple products believe that Apple can sell anything to its loyal fans of the iMac and iPod. This is one supposition that seems to not be so isolated to a core group of Apple-aficionados, but a new wave of people in a subculture war.

Like the Dali Lama of the computer world, Steve Jobs return from isolation to take control of his former company and polish that Apple in an attempt to return it to its glory days. He was able to promote Mac OS X and the PowerPC in ways that he was unable to do with his NeXT computer. Followers of the Cult of Jobs felt as if they were all asked to drink Kool-Aid at the announcement of this Apple-Intel, gasp, MacPentium machine running Mac OS X.

The tech pundits continue to debate and speculate what Apple will do next. I've heard everything from a possible merger of Apple and Intel, to the unofficial support Mac OS X on non-Apple hardware to subvert Microsoft's OS market share. Where is Apple going?

In the subculture war, Apple fans surely want Steve Jobs to be able to rule the computer world. The hope is that the world sees the Mac in the same rose-colored glasses that Mac users see it in. That is to say, with style, ease of use, ergonomically correct, and innovative.

But what is the Jedi Master of this subculture war up to? He has made strategic alliances with Hollywood, and record companies. Many industries watchers believe that the Cult of Apple will continue with entertainment on demand. We are on the edge of downloading legal movies, DVDs, to our Mac. I mention this possibility because the culture of the Apple of today isn't about competing in the computer world. It is about selling you a product that does something for you easily, such as download and manage your music, help you produce home movies, or get that musical composition out in no time.

This is the subculture war! MacUsers get it; their Macs are tools to accomplish greater tasks, trouble free. Windows users don't get it, because they fully expect computers to be hard. The Windows generation does not understand what UNIX is, and how it can provide a rock solid operating system base. The Windows develop is afraid of the term Open Source.

Think about that famous Apple 1984 Superbowl commercial, where the runner throws the hammer at the large Screen. Now imagine that instead of Big Brother on the screen, it is Bill Gates saying that you can only run Windows on your PC, then the lady throws the hammer at the screen, and the caption reads, "Today you have a choice÷ Mac OS X÷ on Intel"

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