Remember those "I'm A Mac, and I'm a PC" television commercials from the mid-2000s, with the actors Justin Long representing the hip, knowledgeable Mac computer and John Hodgman representing the stodgy, nerdy PC?
Well, keep Hodgman in mind as you watch this, an Apple promotional video from 1996 that pits the Mac operating system against Microsoft's sensationally popular Windows 95. The clip, though old, was highlighted in a recent post on Boing Boing and labeled as "hideous"; we're more interested in the way that the unidentified narrator so closely resembles, in many aspects, the PC character we'd come to know and (perhaps) love in a decade:
(Also foreshadowed in the video: Siri! Well, not really, but the female voice assistant is intriguing, especially given the attention that Apple's current female voice assistant receives).
You might remember that in 1996, Steve Jobs had not yet returned to Apple; the company was being run by short-lived CEO Gil Amelio (who, in fact, brought back Jobs as an adviser that year and would be replaced by Jobs in 1997). Also in 1996: One share of Apple (AAPL) stock could be had for about $5; the stock opened Wednesday morning just under $650.00.
If you'd invested in 1996, in other words, your house would probably have a car elevator by now; though, really, could anyone have foreseen Apple's remarkable comeback based on the above advertisement?
Now, to be fair, Apple's TV commercials of today do emphasize many of the same advantages -- voice control, ease-of-use, power -- as this one does; nowadays, however, they do so with a bit more -- how shall we say? -- panache.