Apple Computers was assuming the mantle of protecting computer users from such dire consequences should IBM be successful. IBM and later Microsoft were the bad guys that Apple Computers sought to present itself as the counter to for better computing. Information should be freely exchanged as Wozniak then thought and still thinks today. Today, Apple doesn’t have a fall guy, a straw man to direct its website against. Nothing like such opposition can be recognized today. IBM is out of the PC market with its PC business now in the hands of the Chinese.
Microsoft certainly is a threat but in the late 1990s Apple entered into patent cross-licensing and technical agreements with Microsoft. This blunted the blade of Apple even for the Apple cultists who live still in the revolutionary PC all-things-new-and-better world of the late 1970s and into the 1980s. A great store of website potential material for image building thus ended. Certainly the language of the present site is not adversarial. The language of the web site, within what it emphasizes, has key words identical to what are used in recent Apple press releases.
Matches between words in the releases and what appears on the website are in italics below. These releases are mostly about one product and its modifications and accessories. That product is not a computer, it is the iPod. Steve Jobs admires their achieving sales of one million videos for Apple iPods (iTunes, par. 2). There is podcasting support and an iTunes Music Store. This is part of the commendable, in Apple eyes, contribution to the digital music revolution. After all, Apple profit quadrupled on the strong iPod sales and the corporation reported net income rose to $430 million, or 50 cents per share (Apple Profit, par. 5).
So it is understandable that iPods should be featured in a major way at the website. In a recent quarter, the iPods accounted for nearly a third of that quarter’s revenue; Macintosh computers, Apple’s historical product, accounted for about 44 percent with 1. 2 million units sold (Apple Profit, par. 8). They have had about $14 billion in revenue for that quarter. The Macs were getting significant updates. But the iPods now have one thousand accessories as authorized by Apple. And then there is the revolutionary iPod nano that works seamlessly with the iTunes store.
The nanos have stunning and innovative design, are a hot simple and elegant item and many are on backorder. Steve Jobs announced three thousand podcasts are available for quick and easy use with an iPod (Apple Takes Podcasting, par. 2). The iPods are not all there is to the website. Other products such as the Mac OS (operating system) X Tiger has mention. Of significance here, and what may very well mute the old combative rhetoric vs Microsoft, is that this OS has Microsoft developers support and Microsoft Office products users can search, share, and manage information.
Microsoft maintains a Macintosh business unit. Lesser known products like one for dealing with audio are revolutionary, stunning and innovative. Better known products and the iPods and the Macs are being marketed, says Apple’s main marketer, Phil Schiller, to three groups – the established users, new clients, and Microsoft Windows switchers. Schiller sees the new clients especially coming from biosciences and genetics research. He maintains that over half the computers used in schools are Apple computers (Salkever, par. 15). But education is not a now a prominent tab at the Apple website.
Education was once one of the key information areas of the Apple website. In 1998 the Apple website had dark wide margins with a central stripe of text and graphics. There was a horizontal strip for news and small tabs at bottom that were to be clicked on to take the user to subsidiary pages for that tab topic. It had educational features, products were as a category in the background, developers had a tab, and there was a where to buy tab. The emblematic apple icon was there, though small, in the right corner boundary (webthrower).