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End of 'Get a Mac,' end of an era

Apple has removed all Get a Mac ads from its site, redirecting visitors to a more prosaic explanation of the Mac's benefits. What next?

You knew it had to happen some time. But now that the time has come, it's hard not to feel sad. According to MacRumors, and confirmed by a visit to the Apple site, the company has removed the "Get a Mac" ads from its site and now transfers visitors to a more prosaic "Why You'll Love a Mac" area.

Actor Justin Long had rather let the horse pull away from the cart last month, when he floated the idea that the "Get a Mac" campaign was done.

Still, the removal of the ads from the site does feel a little like the removal of a president's statues from an Eastern European city's main square in preparation for the introduction of a new regime.

As Google showed with such unusually biting vigor this week, it now considers Apple its Darth Vader, something that seems to consign the Apple/Microsoft contretemps to the level of a mere old-school video game.

Just three minutes into the keynote speech given by Google's Vic Gundotra at the Google I/O conference, Gundotra touted Google's openness, contrasting it with images from "1984" and offering the idea that Apple (unnamed, but very much unmistakable) represented a "Draconian future, a future where one man, one company, one device, one carrier would be our only choice."

It is not impossible to envision that Apple might, at some future time, attempt to adorn Google with a little humor-filled scorn in its advertising. However, Google is a slightly harder target than was Microsoft, especially in the times of Vista. (I have embedded one lovely spot from that time.)

The "Get a Mac" campaign was truly one of the great, consistent pieces of work of the modern era, one that showed you can denigrate with style and use deft humor to lower your opponent to within one inch of humiliation.

At a time when Apple seems to have become a little more conservative with its TV advertising (preferring to preserve its more original thoughts for product placements, such as those featuring Stephen Colbert), the sheer giggle-grizzled joy of "Get a Mac" will be missed.