Fashion site thinks differently for Mac

A long-awaited, trendy fashion site--Boo.com--is inaccessible to some shoppers using one of the most fashionable computers around: Apple's Macintosh.

Jeff Pelline Staff Writer, CNET News.com
Jeff Pelline is editor of CNET News.com. Jeff promises to buy a Toyota Prius once hybrid cars are allowed in the carpool lane with solo drivers.
Jeff Pelline
2 min read
A long-awaited, trendy fashion site opened today, but for now its doors are closed to some shoppers using one of the most fashionable computers around: Apple's Macintosh.

Boo.com--promoted in the fashion world as a cutting-edge e-commerce site--carries chic brands such as FuBu and Helly Hansen and touts itself as using "the world's most sophisticated virtual shopping technology."

But an unusual message on its newly launched Web site cautions: "If you use a Mac, you may experience some problems, so please be patient, we are fixing them."

Apple's iMac is a fashion statement in its own right, with its decidedly un-PC colors such as "tangerine" and "blueberry." Sales are surging, though computers that use Microsoft's Windows operating system still dominate by a long shot, so making online services available with Mac software is a lingering problem. One example: a Mac version of Disney's Blast--an online product for children--took much longer than expected to be introduced.

Technical bugs exist for some Mac users when they try to navigate and make purchases on the site, said Luke Alvarez, Boo.com's chief development officer. As a result, some Mac users may not be able to buy goods at Boo.com, he said.

"We regret it and are totally committed to the Mac platform," Alvarez said in an interview from London, where Boo.com is based. The company hopes to fix the bugs by the end of the week, he added.

The site also warns, "The wonders of Boo.com must be viewed with Java installed," a reference to programming technology from Sun Microsystems.

Boo.com said customers can rotate any product 360 degrees and that clothes can be "tried on" with a virtual mannequin. A virtual sales assistant, Miss Boo, can help consumers navigate the site.

It is supported by 24-hour, multilingual call centers dubbed the "Boocrew." Free delivery is promised within five days.

Investors include Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy chairman Bernard Arnault, the Bennetton family, and Goldman Sachs.