The Mac is Here to Stay

By Greg Raven
Volume 5 no. 12 (December 1987), page 22

Call me an information junkie, but in addition to all the Mac magazines I receive I am also on the mailing list for a large number of non-Mac computer magazines. Usually the articles deal with matters about which I couldn’t care less. Lately, however, I have noticed a distinct trend in these magazines towards including news that pertains to the Macintosh.

The most stunning example of this is the November 1987 Byte magazine. Traditionally almost exclusively devoted to IBM goings-on, in the November issue articles relating to the Mac, the Motorola 68000 processor, or some other germaine topic seem to appear on nearly every page. There are even some Mac advertisers. Glory be! You may want to purchase a copy and frame it.

Computer Reseller News is a newsweekly that occasionally carries stories of interest to us Mac users. The October 12 Computer Reseller News, for example, has a rather large article in it under the headline, “Apple Surpasses IBM In August Dollar Share.” This they follow up in the October 19 CRN with another story and two line graphs showing not only the higher dollar share, but the higher unit share, as well.

CRN was also the first to print the story that General Motors’ Electronic Data Systems was going to purchase 10,000 Macs, making it the largest single installation of Macs in the world (they already have between 6,000 and 8,000 Macs).

By now, CRN was really warming up. One article that tells the results of a survey of Fortune 1000 businesses carries the headline, “Increased Interest In Apple Witnessed In Corporate Market.”

Because of its readership (computer resellers as opposed to end users), CRN has also recently carried stories about two large distributors, Microamerica and Micro D, who have vowed to battle it out for the lion’s share of the Mac action. This may or may not mean much to you and me, but the underlying message is that the Mac market is now big enough that major distributors such as these are ready to go to the wall to assure their presence in the market. This I see as a very good sign.

More good news can be found in the pages of the October 1987 Mini-Micro Systems. In spite of its name, MMS is dominated by news of mini and supermicro computers. I tell you this so you better understand the import of the Optotech ad on the inside cover of the magazine that specifically mentions the Macintosh as a computer they support with their 400-megabyte optical memory drives.

But it doesn’t end there. One of the first articles in the magazine, which deals with a new 20-megabyte 3½ inch floppy drive, again specifically mentions the Macintosh as a computer for which these drives will be available. Yikes!

Obviously suffering from a MacAttack of gargantuan proportions, MMS finishes off in their new products section with blurbs on both the General Computer Personal LaserPrinter, and Nissho Electronics’ LN-2248 high-speed Postscript laser printer, which uses a 68020 chip, six megabytes of RAM, a floating-point coprocessor, and a graphics processor to print 22 pages per minute at 480 dpi, all for only $24,000.

Last but not least, both CRN and Computer & Software News prominently featured stories about our very own Sun Computers receiving the President’s small business award.

Although the number of articles that mention the Mac are still far fewer than those that deal with IBM, and although you can still pick up a magazine with an “in-depth” article on computer graphics or desktop publishing and find that the Mac has been completely ignored, instances of this are lessening. Macintosh Today, MacUser, MacWorld, Macazine, and others that exclusively cover the Mac scene needn’t worry that these non-Mac magazines will steal away their readers. But the appearance of Mac-related stories in the non-Mac press is one clear signal that the Mac is finally making it in the minds of corporate America.