A long (LONG) time ago, I was in a Computer City around Kirkland, Washington. It was around the corner from the famous Zazzo Productions empire. Anyway, so here I am wandering the aisles looking to replace my Epson MX-80 printer and picking up a box of 3.5 diskettes when I come across an elderly women with, I believe, her grandson.
This is the conversation which I’ll remember forever. It’s not verbatim, but you’ll get the point.
Kid: “This is a cool Microsoft mouse!”
Grandma: “We’re not buying that, they are a bad company.”
This was right around the time of all the DOJ, Monopoly, Janet Reno and the Ham Sandwich nonsense. I went back to the office and said to my best friend, “Our underdog status: buh bye.”
Grandma (literally) was pissed. The mainstream was not happy with Microsoft and this was a company low point, at least from my perspective.
I was reminded of this while reading all the Apple yanks Google’s Voice app stuff. One particular blog post you should read is this one, giving you a blow by blow conversation with the Apple Borg. It pretty much says it all.
Today, most non-echo chamber people “love” Apple. Really. Even my Ex-BlackBerry using daughter (who should know better) loves her iPhone. She puts up with lots, doesn’t care about Google’s app (sorry Vic) and so it goes.
Like Jeff Jarvis and the Dell adventure years back, we know how this movie will end: with Grandma. Someday (which is coming) Grandma will sneer at an AT&T (or Rogers) sales guy when he offers up an iPhone for sale. Then you’ve got trouble.
Put another way: Om Malik and Michael Arrington bailing on their iPhones could arguably be classified as a mediocre emergency. It’s a little erosion that doesn’t get enough attention until becomes a serious problem.
There’s a good reason why airplanes get x-rays on a scheduled basis. Finding mediocre emergencies like microscopic airframe cracks beats a wing falling off in flight any day.
Note: I was just kidding about the Epson MX-80 printer. I’m sure I was replacing a LaserJet.
Bonus Fun Facts: For those of you keeping score at home, a Google search of “Borg” preceded by our favorite three tech companies reveals the following:
“Microsoft Borg” – 22,800 hits (Bing says 5,890,00)
“Google Borg” – 7,680 hits (Bing says 5,910,00)
“Apple Borg” – 1,940 hits (Bing says 195!)