You are tap-tap-typing away on your PowerBook at a local coffee shop. A guy a few tables over keeps glancing your way. Whenever you look up from your web-surfing the guy looks away or pretends interest in his latte.
After a few more rounds of eye-tag, and just when you are frustrated enough to walk over to him and ask him whatis on his mind, he gets up, comes over to you, points to your PowerBook and asks, "Mac user, huh?"
You smile inwardly because the encounter you are having is not with a wire-crossed practitioner of an alternative lifestyle looking for a partner, but with one of an increasingly open group of Mac voyeur: PC users or Microsoft fans who are very interested in all things Apple.
Apparently, Mac voyeurs are not uncommon, according to a new article by Leander Kahney at Wired News. These Mac fans can be found in the most peculiar places, like Microsoft, for instance. According to Mr. Kahney, they are coming out of the closet, and are pursuing their interest in Apple openly. From the article:
"There is a whole culture of Mac users at Microsoft," Pryor (a director of Windows platform evangelism at Microsoft) said. "We are geeks and we like cool technology, regardless if we made it or not. Many of us used Macs since we were kids and never stopped, even if Windows paid the bills."
Of course, itis no secret hundreds of Mac fanatics work at Microsoft. Itis just that most of them are in the Mac Business Unit, which turns out things like the Office suite. But the Mac unit is a semi-independent operation based in Silicon Valley, hundreds of miles from the corporate headquarters in Redmond, Washington, where it is obviously impolitic to rave about Macs.
Pryor doesnit work at the Mac Business Unit. Heis one of the brains behind Microsoftis new experiment in blogging, Channel 9, which is starting to bring several of Microsoftis Mac fanatics out of the woodwork.
David Vaskevitch, one of Bill Gatesi senior lieutenants and the chief technology officer of Microsoftis business platform, recently raved about his iPod at a conference.
"I live in Seattle and know a lot of Microsoft people," said Phillip Torrone, director of product development for advertising company Fallon Worldwide. "Lots have Macs. I see tons of Microsoft people at the Seattle Apple stores. Iive heard Microsoft people admire and talk about Apple a lot, and sport iPods.... I think a lot of Microsoft people want Microsoft to be more like Apple, at least in terms of warm fuzzy brand."
Thereis more in the full article at Wire News, and we recommend it as a very interesting read.