Apple Computer, Inc was founded on April 1, 1976, by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak.
Their first computers, Apple I and Apple II - while crude - initiated the personal computing craze - the idea that a computer would be useful in every home.
Apple became a hit, going on to release many more versions of the computer. But...
In the 1980s, Microsoft's MS-DOS took the market by storm, sales took a hit, and Steve Jobs signed his resignation. (returning shortly after his new line of NeXT computers flopped)
Releasing at least a couple of new operating systems each year, each of the four additional "10th" operating systems features almost comical new content such as a calendar when you press the F11 key (Dashboard), new (but only a variation of old) visual styles, and other efficient (but generally inapplicable) bells and whistles similar to content that can downloaded directly onto a Windows XP platform (ie. See Google.com for a OSX4 Spotlight equivalent). You can easily count the new features on the fingers of your hands.
To keep from "copying" Microsoft, Apple is often left with second-best. Copying the minimize/maximize/close buttons of Windows 95, they throw them awkwardly on the left. They're use an annoying drifting "dock" instead of a clean and well-organized taskbar, and Apple users are left with the Ctrl-click while PC users simply click the right mouse button.
Apple struggles with pricing and creating a market for all consumers: You can purchase a Mac Mini for only $499, but Apple's cheapest display sells for $799. It is also hindered due to a lack of developer support. (In fact, Microsoft is the largest developer of Apple software other than Apple itself). Often software is released for Mac months after the PC release.
Sales dwindling, Apple is now shifting it's primary focus from computers to the digital music market. (see iPod)
Today, Apple computers are primarily used in schools (as the software is severely fool-proofed and Apple offers a hefty educational discount), and as movie props.
Prices shown in USD.
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