The saddest party ever

I’m not playing dumb here: I really don’t know why Microsoft is so defensive about Apple. Despite Apple’s inroads in market share (including, apparently, 91% of the $1000-plus PC market), Windows is still by far the dominant OS on computers worldwide. Windows 7 will probably sell more copies in the first day than any Mac OS upgrade does in its first month, just by virtue of shipping with new PCs. (But don’t quote me on that. I’d love to be proven egregiously wrong.)

Sure, most of Microsoft’s success over the years has come by copying Apple, or by acquiring other innovators. But still, some of the things Microsoft has been doing lately seem so reflexive, so derivative, so defensive, so… desperate. The “I’m a PC” ads and today’s news about hiring away Apple Store employees are just the tip of the iceberg.

And then, courtesy of the Nerdery, we have this: perhaps the saddest statement of all. One would be inclined to think this is a joke. But the production values and the quality of the acting (enthusiasm!) suggest it has to be legit. Begging the question: WHY? SWEET JESUS, WHY???

Believe it or not, I actually am enthusiastic about Windows 7. I probably won’t buy it on release day, but I almost definitely will buy it before my Windows 7 RC license expires next June. Still, who the hell is going to throw a party like this? And who would come to it, other than to give them a wedgie?

Come to think of it, after watching this video, I almost want to give myself a wedgie. But it was all worth it for what comes at 5:43. Priceless.

But just in case I haven’t adequately dissuaded you (and you know who you are), here’s how you can host your own.

Arial vs. Helvetica: a cheat sheet

Stoking the flames of the ongoing (mixed-metaphor) battle between Arial and Helvetica comes this cheat sheet courtesy of the ragbag. (Found via swissmiss via… wait for it… Daring Fireball, surprise!)

This guide hits all of the key differences I go by (the capital R and G; the lowercase a), and a few I hadn’t previously noticed.

Arial vs. Helvetica

The best part of the whole thing, though, is something I discovered in a comment on the swissmiss post: Helvetica, the Shirt. Sweet. Every one of these is bound to piss someone off, albeit for a different reason: the one actually in Helvetica will enrage those who hate Helvetica on principle (it’s overused, it’s not really neutral, it is really neutral, etc. etc.), while the one in Arial will piss off the Helvetica lovers (including myself), if they bother to look closely enough to see the differences.

The one in Cooper Black… well, I don’t know; for me that font will always be associated with Garfield in the early ’80s. I actually like Cooper Black in a cheesy, retro sort of way. But I think the point is probably that Helvetica is so neutral, or at least aspires to be, whereas Cooper Black is the epitome of a font with a personality of its own. (Well, OK, that title probably really belongs to Rosewood, but Cooper is at least a somewhat versatile.)

And then, of course, there’s the one in Comic Sans, which we will never speak of again.