The Lite Side

Niners to Xers: Apple's Switch Campaign for Mac Users

- 2003.05.13

Be it known that three new terms are going to be coined in this article, and you are henceforth obligated to use them whenever possible:

  • Niners are people still booting in OS 9.
  • Xers (pronounced "tenors") are people who boot in X but use classic applications.
  • XORs are users who only use X native applications and leave Classic turned off. That is, they use X exclusively.

Get it?


You're such a geek.

If you thought that was clever, wait until you read the Lite Side's future history of Apple's next switch campaign.

Niners to Xers

June 20, 2003

Apple initiates its "Niners to Xers" campaign to encourage Mac OS 9 users to switch to OS X. Among the incentives Apple devises for old-timers to make the switch are:

  • $50 on X rebate for proof that you've recycled your pre-G3 computer.
  • New "service fee" makes OS 7.5.5 available by CD-only for $50; OS 8 is $90, and OS 8.6 is "unavailable."
  • New ad campaign features old Niners talking about crashes, freezes, multitasking, and other previously "verboten" topics.

June 20, 2003

MacSurfer posts over 1,400 different articles on the topic, a new record. Among these:

  • Cnet: Apple computer begins trolling for users at the bottom of the barrel
  • Macworld: Apple begins recruiting Mac Enthusiasts
  • Wired: Bobbing for Apples: Apple is so desperate for new X users it's spamming its own customers
  • PC World: Frantic Apple offers rebate for older machines
  • LEM: The new X with rebate value equation: Is selling out worth it?
  • Mac Observer: Idiots at Cnet and Wired Just Don't Get it
  • Forbes: Will Apple's latest gambit bring more core users?
  • Think Secret: Ad campaign we predicted six months ago debuts - badly
  • Seattle Times: I really like the iPod
  • O'Reilly Network: Why isn't iTunes available for the PC?

June 21, 2003

  • Cnet: Apple's latest bribe falls flat
  • Macworld: Trade in your low-end machine while you can
  • Wired: Someone should slap Steve Jobs upside the head
  • PC World: X recruitment effort doomed to failure because of small market share
  • IDG: Apple's market share falls to 0.3 percent, all in Berkeley
  • Seattle Times: Explaining why X is not Windows to your mother
  • CNN: Apple's desperate gamble: Will it pay off?
  • PC World: Dell adopts Apple upgrade plan
  • LEM: They can have my OS 9 when they pry it from my cold, dead CPU

June 22, 2003:

  • LEM: Since when is OS 9 "old"?
  • Wired: Some weirdoes decide to switch to X despite lame ad campaign
  • CNet: Apple is doomed - get over it
  • PC World: We're switching to X when it's PC compatible
  • Fox News: Apple finally shoots itself in its own left wing

June 23, 2003

  • LEM: Fifteen more dumb things Microsoft plans to do with OS 9
  • Wired: People who read Wired aren't falling for Apple's bruised ad campaign
  • Mac Night Owl: Not Just Yet - Niners Make a Stand

August 10, 2003

  • Cnet: Whatever happened to the big X upgrade?

August 24, 2003

  • LEM: What? What? Hah? Whaddaya mean, it was just a dream?

What OS do you want to use today?

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