The company’s substantial market share dissipated in the 1990s as the personal computer (PC) market shifted towards PCs that were IBM-compatible when Microsoft started running its Windows operating system (Windows) instead of the outdated and cumbersome MS-DOS operating system (MS-DOS). For many serious computer enthusiasts, Windows was seen as a rip-off of Apple’s operating system, compliments of Mr Gates. That did not stop Bill’s appetite; The Microsoft Internet Explorer Internet browser (Internet Explorer) is another rip-off – this time with Netscape as the victim. y2k aesthetic clothing

In 1988, Apple sued Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard for infringement of its copyrighted GUI, citing the use of rectangular, overlapping and resizable windows. Unfortunately for PC users worldwide, the case was decided against Apple after four years, as were later appeals. I say unfortunately because the world would have been a better place if Apple had been allowed to become the dominant desktop computer. Imagine what life would have been like if we had the iPod, iMac and iPhone 10 years earlier!

In 1998, Apple consolidated multiple consumer-level desktop models into the “Bondi Blue” iMac G3 all-in-one, which was a massive sales success and revitalised the Macintosh brand. One of the first products made under CEO Steve Jobs since he left the company in the mid-1980s, it brought Apple back into profitability. Its translucent blue plastic case, later in many other colours, is considered an industrial design hallmark of the late 1990s. By introducing colour, Steve Jobs shifted the paradigm from Henry Ford’s (Gates/Dell) famous statement that you could have any colour as long as it was black (grey) to any colour you wanted. Companies treated Apple Macs as a fashion accessory. Receptionists displayed iMacs on their desks, regardless of the suicide blonde (dyed by her own hand) receptionist’s own computer literacy.

Apple’s focus on design has allowed each of its subsequent products to create a distinctive identity, and Steve Jobs famously declared that “the back of our computer looks better than the front of anyone else’s.” The iMac was recognisable on television, in films and in print. This increased Apple’s brand awareness and embedded the iMac in popular culture.