Last week i found myself wondering whether Apple aren’t the Catholic Church to Microsoft’s C of E. Think about it. Unloved and uninspiring as the Anglican Church may be, people have historically relied on it to do the necessary business of baptising, marrying and burying them. Ditto Microsoft for office work.
The Catholic Church does the same stuff as the C of E but somehow comes across as slicker and more opulent and also – in Britain at any rate – has a certain underdog glamour. The religion of oppressed Irish peasants and all that. Ditto Apple in comparison with Microsoft. Their stuff costs more but is stylish. And somehow – or so it’s implied – choosing Apple means you’re a bit of a maverick, rather than a company bod.
Like the Catholic Church (in the past if not now) and unlike the C of E, Apple succeed in inspiring fanatical loyalty in their believers. Indeed this is where these thoughts of mine originated. In a fit of optimism last week i decided to upgrade the operating system on my iPhone to the latest version, ios4. Not only did i lose my contacts, settings, passwords and data but i also discovered that my backup had been overwritten by another backup, apparently initiated spontaneously by iTunes.
Nightmare, but not especially amazing. I’ve had plenty of IT disasters before. What was amazing were the attitudes on display in answers to the desperate pleas for help that had been posted by people who’d gone down this road before me (and suffered similar data losses). Over and over again these sinners were admonished for having the temerity to suggest that Apple hadn’t tested the upgrade properly for the older 3G iPhone, for daring to suggest that an Apple backup is perhaps not all it should be and for in any way suggesting that Steve Jobs is not the Son of God. OK, i made that last one up.
The more i think about it the more it all makes sense. Linux users, of course, are the Protestants of IT, ranging from Methodists (Ubuntu) to crazy holy rollers (obscure distro of your choice).