Each of these cults correspond to one of the two antagonists in the age of
Reformation. In the realm of the Apple Macintosh, as in Catholic Europe,
worshipers peer devoutly into screens filled with "icons." All is sound and
imagery and Appledom. Even words look like decorative filigrees in exotic
typefaces. The greatest icon of all, the inviolable Apple itself, stands in
the dominate position at the upper-left corner of the screen. A central
corporate headquarters decrees the form of all rites and practices.
Infalliable doctrine issues from one executive officer whose selection occurs
in a sealed boardroom. Should anyone in his curia question his powers, the
offender is excommunicated into outer darkness. The expelled heretic founds
a new company, mutters obscurely of the coming age and the next computer,
then disappears into silence, taking his stockholders with him. The mother
company forbids financial competition as sternly as it stifles ideological
competition; if you want to use computer programs that conform to Apple's
orthodoxy, you must buy a computer made and sold by Apple itself.
- -- Edward Mendelson, "The New Republic", February 22, 1988