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Limbaugh could sell new Mac
The Hill ^ | 1/26/05 | David Hill

Posted on 01/26/2005 5:22:19 PM PST by Vermonter

Limbaugh could sell new Mac

This week, Apple Computer is launching a campaign to sell a new product, the $499 Mac Mini, that portends to transform the world in a way the original Mac didn’t. But Republicans will be needed for the campaign to succeed.

To put this in context, you need to read Revolution in the Valley, Andy Hertzfeld’s new book about the making of the original Mac in the 1980s. Hertzfeld points out that the initial target price for the first Mac was $500. But by the time it was launched in 1984, the price had ballooned to $2,495.

Many of the Mac’s creators felt betrayed. All initial design goals had centered on Everyman, but instead of a computer that changed the world, the Mac became a niche machine mainly for artisans and limousine liberals who could afford one. The rest of us bought commodity PCs. Fewer than one in 20 computers sold or used today to cruise the Internet is a Mac.

The Mac Mini could rectify this. But will it? Will a low price tag and terrific design alone entice a mass market to buy this new product? I’m not so sure. Apple’s image may still be an impediment to Mac sales.

To research this column, I read lots of discussion boards all across the Internet, and it’s evident that politics still play a role in computer purchases. Just as there are red states and blue states, there are also Mac Democrats and PC Republicans. These battles were especially nasty after Apple went public with its politics and added Al Gore to its board of directors.

Apple’s leader, Steve Jobs, seems to have sensed last year that his company was getting too “political.” He backed off some of his campaigning for John Kerry and cryptically signaled to The Wall Street Journal’s Walt Mossberg in an interview that he understands the problem.

“People have said that I shouldn’t get involved politically because probably half our customers are Republicans — maybe a little less ... [but] I do point out that there are more Democrats than Mac users so I’m going to just stay away from all that political stuff because that was just a personal thing,” Jobs said.

There are, in fact, devoted Republican Macintosh users, but that is not the perception. So Apple desperately needs to introduce a replacement image to achieve the original Mac’s vision. There would be no better way to do this than to add a Republican or two to Apple’s board of directors. Mac users such as Karl Rove or Arnold Schwarzenegger adviser Mike Murphy would be possibilities, but Rush Limbaugh is the most obvious choice. Rush is an ardent Mac evangelist and knows a thing or two about marketing. Even if Limbaugh is not put on Apple’s board, the company should market through his daily radio program, paying Rush to tout his favorite computer the same way he builds mattress sales for Select Comfort.

Hertzfeld’s book says the team that created the original Mac had a spirit of “urgency, ambition, passion for excellence, artistic pride, and irreverent humor.” That sounds just like Rush Limbaugh to me. I know that if Rush had been a board member in 1984, he’d have had the guts to back the famous Big Brother Super Bowl ad that Apple’s then-timorous board abandoned.

Apple marketers also need to understand that restoration of their brand’s image in conservative and Republican circles can resonate with various factions of the party. I have already read favorable gun-owner comments about the Mac Mini on the discussion boards of Ted Nugent’s populist United Sportsmen of America website. James Dobson and his Focus on the Family might be intrigued by a computer that is affordable for young families and not subject to porno pop-up ads. And business Republicans will be impressed by the seamless integration of the Mac’s OS X operating system with corporate networks.

The Republican Party is a big tent. Apple should come on in.

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Editorial; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: apple; limbaugh; mac
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To: The Great RJ

Microsoft has been making and marketing software for the Mac since Microsoft began.

Microsoft Office for the Mac is not a port of the Windows version, as far as I know, even though the programs operate similarly and produce compatible documents.

I use both versions, and for my money, the Mac version- Office 2004 for the Mac- is better looking, and better functioning.

So your comment about Apple succeding better "integrating the Microsoft software into its platform" is uninformed and WAAAAAY off the mark.

Apple offers a machine with far superior software/hardware integration out of the box thatn you are likely to manage with an army of IT types.

Try your sons machine... I think you will find it a revelation. And just wait until he gets the new OSX 10.4 software loaded on it in a couple months....

You'll be drooling.

21 posted on 01/26/2005 5:44:24 PM PST by John Valentine
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To: wagglebee

Rush has been quietly promoting Macs for years. He mentions them because he uses them and likes them.

22 posted on 01/26/2005 5:45:59 PM PST by Vermonter
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To: Political Junkie Too
I remember that call. A woman, right? And she was flabbergasted.

I agree that Steve Jobs and the Apple board are way too "Blue State" to ever acccept Limbaugh as a spokesman, no matter how much they'd gain from it. It would be a smart move, but being liberal is not a smart move to begin with.

23 posted on 01/26/2005 5:47:23 PM PST by Alas Babylon!
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To: wagglebee
"Rush has been almost single-handedly responsible for the success of the Select Comfort mattresses, Snapple beverages and the Hotwire travel site, not to mention being the savior of AM radio and the "voice" of conservativism."

And I won't even begin to tell you how he's helped me with my "problem."

24 posted on 01/26/2005 5:48:26 PM PST by billorites (freepo ergo sum)
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To: rs79bm
$899.00 Dell. Probably a couple thousand less than you would pay for a Mac of similiar quality and speed.

Um, no. A G5 iMac is $1300, for example.

25 posted on 01/26/2005 5:49:42 PM PST by ThinkDifferent (These pretzels are making me thirsty)
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To: Vermonter
The assumption is that you have one laying around from the PC you are upgrading from


26 posted on 01/26/2005 5:50:58 PM PST by balrog666 (A myth by any other name is still inane.)
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To: Vermonter
We discussed the concept of Rush as an Apple spokesman recently. Rush already does what amounts to free advertising for the Mac, but if Apple hired him, they would have to include a liberal figure in the ad too. So I don't think that will happen. Instead, I'd rather see a business icon like Lou Gerstner added to the board of directors.

The best idea would be for Apple and Steve Jobs to avoid politics altogether. But for the record, Jobs does favor some conservative concepts, like school vouchers and home schooling.

27 posted on 01/26/2005 5:51:48 PM PST by HAL9000 (Spreading terrorist beheading propaganda videos is an Act of Treason!)
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To: Vermonter

Rush would have welcomed Apple ads for years but Steve would not buy Limbaugh's show. I always thought Steve was extremely short sighted and let his inane politics get in the way of business. God knows, Gore isn't selling any Macs. If truth be told, Gore does keep a low profile when it comes to Mac
evangelism. Wasn't it the Clintom Justice Department that went after MSFT?
I know Rush was not a supporter of that move either.

28 posted on 01/26/2005 5:52:26 PM PST by Orion27
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To: Vermonter
I was a big Mac booster and user, but to upgrade meant buying a completely new computer. Then there was the Mac clones, which I came close to buying, but Jobs bought them first.
29 posted on 01/26/2005 5:53:39 PM PST by razorback-bert (An ASC-American)
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To: Orion27

Is Algore still on Apple's board of directors?

30 posted on 01/26/2005 5:56:05 PM PST by John Thornton ("Appeasers always hope that the crocodile will eat them last." Winston Churchill)
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To: wagglebee

I am a firm believer in Select Comfort beds!

Well worth the cost.

31 posted on 01/26/2005 5:56:29 PM PST by ambrose (.)
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To: ThinkDifferent

"James Dobson and his Focus on the Family might be intrigued by a computer that is affordable for young families and not subject to porno pop-up ads."

I already have one and it's not a Mac. Just get a generic PC and add the Firefox browser.

32 posted on 01/26/2005 5:57:16 PM PST by Right Wing Assault (Wish me a Merry Christmas (for '05)! I won't report you to the ACLU.)
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To: Orion27

I'm sure Gore's placement on Apple's board was Jobs' way of making sure Gore didn't have to panhandle for lunch money

33 posted on 01/26/2005 5:57:33 PM PST by Vermonter
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To: Stars N Stripes

Commodore 64 anybody? Too bad the apple 2c isnt still around

34 posted on 01/26/2005 5:58:23 PM PST by aft_lizard (This space waiting for a post election epiphany)
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To: Vermonter

It needs to grow it's percentage of the market and so ar only ipod had done that.

I think they are more or less doomed.

35 posted on 01/26/2005 5:58:31 PM PST by A CA Guy (God Bless America, God bless and keep safe our fighting men and women.)
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To: ambrose

"I am a firm believer in Select Comfort beds!"

Pardon my asking, but is your bed populated by one or two people? The reason I ask is that I have heard some people complain that there is a rigid foam thing between the two occupants and it is not comfortable to roll over onto. Know anything about that? I don't need competition from any rigid things.

36 posted on 01/26/2005 6:00:02 PM PST by Right Wing Assault (Wish me a Merry Christmas (for '05)! I won't report you to the ACLU.)
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To: aft_lizard

Actually, I one of each somewhere in the garage... How pathetic is that :)

37 posted on 01/26/2005 6:02:37 PM PST by Stars N Stripes (That's about it. A Tourette's Syndrome adolescent who just discovered The Chomsky Reader. That's all)
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To: SedVictaCatoni
It's even cooler when you realize that it's about the same size as a hardback book and almost perfectly silent. No more huge, whirring PC tower.

Hey! Computers are supposed to hum and whir and have all sorts of wires and blinking lights... Even a faint smell of ozone...


Call me old-fashioned.

38 posted on 01/26/2005 6:03:22 PM PST by Chemist_Geek ("Drill, R&D, and conserve" should be our watchwords! Energy independence for America!)
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To: SedVictaCatoni

"Since 1997. Any USB peripheral will work on a Mac."

Yep, they give you two ports, one for the keyboard( they don't give you ), and one for the USB port expander you will need to attach anything other then the mouse ( that they don't give you )

... and just try to load the USB drivers from those mini-CD's via the slot drive ...

Want the DVD burner ? - add another $100

With the 1.4 Ghz and 80 Gig drive upgrade, you're up to about $700 ....

Whatever happened to that all-in-one that looked like a table lamp ?

39 posted on 01/26/2005 6:03:25 PM PST by RS (They'll get my warped sense of humor when they pry it out of my cold, dead neurons...)
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To: A CA Guy
I think they are more or less doomed.

That tunes been playing for about 15 years

40 posted on 01/26/2005 6:03:32 PM PST by Vermonter
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