Help! Wait! Stop! Define "desktop"!

31 May

Microsoft PressPass is pleased to announce that Microsoft Delivers First Desktop Designed Exclusively for Mac Users. It elaborates: “Ultimate desktop performance, comfort and design to meet Mac users’ needs.”

At which point I’m thinking, “What is this ‘desktop’ of which you speak?” Generally, people use the word “desktop” to refer to either the wallpapered, icon-littered expanse on their computer screens, or the hunk of machinery that sits on or under their desks.

If you’re a Mac user, this translates to either (a) the Macintosh operating system, or (b) an Apple computer. If Microsoft is building operating systems designed for Mac users, or has gotten into the hardware business and is cranking out PCs that run the Mac OS, then this is MAJOR news indeed.

So what, specifically, has Microsoft delivered? The lead paragraph ought to explain everything.

“Microsoft Corp. today announced the availability of the Wireless Laser Desktop for Mac, its first Mac-specific desktop complete with a stylish wireless Comfort Curve Keyboard and a wireless High Definition laser mouse.”

A laser desktop? And it comes complete with a keyboard and a mouse? So if I open the box that this product comes in, I will find:

  1. A desktop
  2. A keyboard
  3. A mouse

Right? Hmm. Let’s continue.

“With this new desktop set, the Microsoft Hardware division combines comfortable design with High Definition technology to deliver the ultimate in cutting-edge performance, luxury and style to any Mac user. The futuristic silver finish complements the Mac design to make a mark on any desktop while providing the freedom of wireless control.”

Okay, now it’s a desktop “set”. (Not to be confused with the classic Tracy-Hepburn movie Desk Set.) At this point I’m guessing that this is a bundle of peripherals that plug into the Mac, but I’m not 100% sure because I still don’t know what they mean by “desktop”. I scroll quickly through the press release, hoping for a photo. Nope.

What’s worse is that part about how it will make a mark on any desktop. WTF? I thought it WAS a desktop! STOP USING THE WORD DESKTOP NOW, PRESS RELEASE.

It’s not until we get to the third paragraph that the press release – quoting Scott Erickson, director of product management and marketing for the Macintosh Business Unit at Microsoft – admits that it’s just talking about the release of a new keyboard and mouse.

Damn, guys! Why didn’t you say so at the very beginning? Don’t you know how people read things on the Web?

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One Response to “Help! Wait! Stop! Define "desktop"!”

  1. Never teh Bride June 8, 2006 at 8:22 am #

    When I think of desktops, I think of the flat thing that my coffee and my plush Peep are sitting on. Sometimes I put my feet on it!

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