Those funny guys at Apple! It’s just a laugh a minute over there.

In Mac OS 10.5 “Leopard,” this is the image used to represent each Windows computer on a network. It’s an old CRT monitor displaying a Blue Screen Of Death, the screen that Windows 98 displays after a hardware failure or catastrophic driver crash forces the computer to shut down unexpectedly. (Later versions of Windows can blue-screen too, but the display chosen by Apple for its funny joke comes from Windows 98, if memory serves.) Ha ha! Isn’t that great!

Smug arrogance is ugly, especially when it’s not deserved. (Many early experiences with Mac OS 10.5 are not going very well and there is currently a furor about dangerous security problems in Leopard.)

For that matter, it’s just an ugly design choice for a company whose reputation is built on its supposedly elegant designs. Do they believe all Mac users in offices are hoping for some condescending humor every single time they browse the office network?

After a few more articles like this and this, I expect Apple to hasten to explain that it’s a mistake, an oversight, a harmless prank never meant to see the light of day. Yeah, sure. That’s it.

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