Apple 2.0

Covering the business that Steve Jobs built

Microsoft's grinning robots

September 28, 2009: 1:32 PM ET
Charlie Brooker. Photo: The Guardian.

Charlie Brooker. Photo: The Guardian.

One of the disadvantages of reading American newspapers is that you don't get Charlie Brooker delivered to your doorstep.

Brooker is a British comedian and, as everyone who reads The Guardian knows, the author of the Screen Burn column that appears in G2 every Monday. He's also Britain's funniest and most enthusiastic Apple (AAPL) basher -- an honorific he secured with a Feb. 5, 2007 column that included this classic paragraph:

"I hate Macs. I have always hated Macs. I hate people who use Macs. I even hate people who don't use Macs but sometimes wish they did. Macs are glorified Fisher-Price activity centres for adults; computers for scaredy cats too nervous to learn how proper computers work; computers for people who earnestly believe in feng shui." (link)

Now, in Monday's Guardian, he offers a sort of bookend to that 2007 column -- a companion piece in which he reveals his true feelings about Microsoft (MSFT) Windows. He still hates Macs and Mac users, but it's not as if thinks Windows is so great. In fact, he writes:

"I know Windows is awful. Everyone knows Windows is awful. Windows is like the faint smell of piss in a subway: it's there, and there's nothing you can do about it. OK, OK: I know other operating systems are available. But their advocates seem even creepier, snootier and more insistent than Mac owners. The harder they try to convince me, the more I'm repelled. To them, I'm a sheep. And they're right. I'm a helpless, stupid, lazy sheep. I'm also a masochist. And that's why I continue to use Windows – horrible Windows – even though I hate every second of it. It's grim, it's slow, everything's badly designed and nothing really works properly: using Windows is like living in a communist bloc nation circa 1981. And I wouldn't change it for the world, because I'm an abject bloody idiot and I hate myself, and this is what I deserve: to be┬ásentenced to Windows for life."

What has set Brooker off are those Windows 7 Launch Party videos we wrote about last week. (See Microsoft's lamest idea yet.)

By now, it seems, dozens of tech writer have taken pot shots at Redmond's house party campaign -- including one clever video editor who, by bleeping some key words, turned it into something that actually swings. (See here.)

Anybody can poke fun of Microsoft, but nobody does it better than Charlie Brooker.

Monday's column is entitled "Microsoft's grinning robots or the Brotherhood of the Mac. Which is worse?" To read it, click here.

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About This Author
Philip Elmer-Dewitt
Philip Elmer-DeWitt
Editor, Apple 2.0, Fortune

Philip Elmer-DeWitt has been following Apple since 1982, first for Time Magazine, and now on the Web for Fortune.com.

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