Carping was heard from only one familiar corner.
As the iMac garnered kudos, Bill Gates assured a gathering of financial analysts visiting Microsoft that this would be a passing fad.
"The one thing Apple's providing now is leadership in colors,"
Gates said as he pointed to a Windows- based PC that he jokingly had painted red.
"It won't take long for us to catch up with that, I don't think."
Jobs was furious, and he told a reporter that Gates,
the man he had publicly decried for being completely devoid of taste,
was clueless about what made the iMac so much more appealing than other computers.
"The thing that our competitors are missing is that they think it's about fashion,
and they think it's about surface appearance," he said.
"They say, We'll slap a little color on this piece of junk computer, and we'll have one, too."
The iMac went on sale in August 1998 for $1,299.
It sold 278,000 units in its first six weeks, and would sell 800,000 by the end of the year,
making it the fastest-selling computer in Apple history.
Most notably, 32% of the sales went to people who were buying a computer for the first time,
and another 12% to people who had been using Windows machines.