In the book The Future of the Internet and How to Stop It by Jonathan Zittrain, the claim that consumers are increasingly leaving PC is made. The exact quote is as follows: “consumers find themselves frustrated by PCs at a time when a variety of information appliances are arising as substitutes for the activities they value most. Digital video recorders, mobile phones, BlackBerries, and videogame consoles will offer safer and more consistent experiences. Consumers will increasingly abandon the PC for these alternatives, or they will demand that the PC itself be appliancized” (Zittrain, 57). There is no question of whether or not technology is changing; it is evolving all around us. For an example outside of the computer, cars are changing over from being purely fueled on oil to becoming hybrid. The question rather, is how big corporations, such as PC, can handle the changing market and demand. Will these changes be too drastic for them to meet or can companies adapt to meet the new demands? The belief that consumers choose products based on their own will and are independent of external influences is commonly known as “the myth of sovereign consumer choice” (Strangelove, 29). The myth originates from a conservative ideology that “the influence of the marketplace stops where the skin of the consumer starts” (29) or in other words that advertising does not affect us internally. Although this might sound good on paper, in reality this is simply not the case. Advertising plays an intricate part in consumers’ choice, regardless of whether they are aware of it or not. In the case of PC and Mac, the average consumer is bombarded by advertisements, mostly that of Mac. Over the past few years, they have launched a Mac vs. PC ad which preaches that the Mac user is unique and individualistic while the PC user is dull and boring. This campaign, not surprisingly, has been extremely effective. With Macs development of the IPod, alongside its new designs for the personal and laptop computers and its impressive advertising campaign, the day and age of the Personal PC appears to be disappearing more rapidly than ever. So how does PC battle this “uniqueness” war that Mac has waged upon them? Bill Gates, head of Windows, says “Computers will enable the kinds of goods that are mass-produced today to be custom made for particular customers … Often the customized item will cost no more than a mass-produced one would. In many product categories, mass customization will replace mass production, just as a few generations ago mass production largely replaced made – to – order” (Strangelove, 38). What does this mean? Well, instead of replicating Mac’s idea to battle over advertisements on who is more unique, Gates is saying that not only are they unique, but they customize their computers to your needs. Instead of just saying that they are different than Mac, they are saying that hardly any of their computers are the same. It is an idea known as the theory of mass customization (39). The same techniques have been used by McDonalds and Burger King in order to appear to have consumer uniqueness. As Burger King says “have it your way” (39). Have it your way; “ok, I would like a whopper with gumballs, fish sticks, and caviar on it please. Oh, you don’t have that? Then take the poster down.” “Consumers will increasingly abandon PC” (Zittrain, 57). Will the most successful company in human history, one which has dominated the computer industry since its original development in 1981really just be abandoned by their customers? Most likely, this will not be the case. Currently, millions of programs throughout the world can only be operated on a PC. My father is a PHD in Astronomy and now currently builds cameras for various telescopes being placed throughout our planet as well as our Earth’s orbit. Much of the work he does is completely reliant on the software which he runs for modeling his work and such. The software he runs only operates with Windows. Therefore, until the company which produces the software he uses decides to switch to Mac, on a professional level he will always be a PC user. This directly impacts his personal life, however, because he has a home office as well. It does not make sense for him to own a Mac if he is constantly having to be doing work on a PC. Also, for him the mere change of the lay-out from the one he is used to causes annoyance. The fact that he can only use Windows for his work has molded him, and in turn my family, into a solely PC user. “Microsoft’s business model for PC operating systems has remained unchanged from the founding days of DOS through the Windows of today: the company sells each copy of the operating system at a profit … As is typical for products that benefit from network externalities, having others write useful code associated with Windows, whether a new game, business application, or utility, makes Windows more valuable.” (Zittrain, 58). Windows values, in other words, are not necessarily in the software which they produce, but rather in the use value of being able to run certain programs and applications. This is different than Microsoft’s take with their video game system Xbox 360. They use a tactic that is also used in selling men’s razors. “Give them the razor, sell them the blades.” (Zittrain, 58). In other words, PC is making all of their money from the Xbox on the games that it runs as well as other applications for the computer. As a matter of fact “Microsoft loses money on every Xbox it sells” (58). Like a drug dealer, Microsoft is trying to get you hooked. Then, once you are hooked, they try and exploit you for every penny your worth. As an Xbox 360 user, it is clear that this is the case. The system is useless without the games, so you have to go out and buy them. Ah, but once you have the games you are still not done. The games, first of all, have online multiplayer capabilities, but that costs ten dollars a month. The only point of some of the games though, is to play online. So this basically is a necessity. Once you’ve paid this you are pretty much the clear to play; that is unless you want to play the most recently updated version of the game. In which case, you must pay once more for the update on the game. In total, you can be paying for up to five different things in order to play your video game. The applications on the Xbox are where the money is being made for windows. So why, if Windows utilizes these methods of applications on Xbox have they not been doing so with the PC? PC holds the beat to a different song. It is becoming clearer as the technology evolves that PC is different. Mac (creators of the Ipod, Iphone, etc..) has become a dominant force in the personal computer rivalry while windows target business computer software and games. The capability to have your cell phone, MP3 player, and computer manufactured, with high quality, by the same company (Mac) really seems to appeal to people. In everyday life, people want to have gadgets that are compatible with other forms of technology as well as are easy to use. This is the exact message that Mac portrays in their advertisements and is the idea that the average person will associate with Mac. Technology is changing: how often do we hear this in our day and age? The reason why is because it is true. Zittrain’s claim, however, that “consumers will increasingly abandon the PC” (Zittrain, 57) is not the case. The Mac vs. PC battle has opened many eyes in the world of computers. Mac has resurrected one of the champions of the personal computer. PC, however, must now find its place in the world. Their development of video games (the Xbox 360) has not been matched. Although they do lose money on the systems that they sell, the profits they make off the games and applications has made them a frontrunner in the video game race. Along with this, PC will not vanish anytime soon because of its deep bound routes with businesses. Millions of business all over the world depend on PC to run the programs they need to keep their companies up and running. Will the consumer of the personal computer abandon the PC in the future? Yes, this could very well be the case. When an unmatched competitor like Mac exists, it would appear as though PC will lose the battle. However, each company will eventually become ever more experienced in their respective field, and eventually fill their own niches, or at least until another competitor arises.