The following screenshots were taken from the Internet Archive’s records for Apple and Microsoft. Take a look at how both companies have changed over time:
The internet archive didn’t have any records for Apple in 1996, so you’re seeing Apple’s 1997 website next to Microsoft’s 1996 website.
Apple adopts a drastically simplified, center-aligned design. Microsoft ditches the yellow sidebar.
Apple promotes the colorful iMac. If you watched any TV or movies during that time, you’d think it was the only computer ever made. Microsoft pushes IE5, which will give Netscape a run for its money (if only there were money in the browser market).
Apple adopts a top navigation bar. Genius! Microsoft looks about the same.
Microsoft adds some more saturated color, and further expands the little rounded corner swoop thing.
Microsoft adds more blue and takes away all other colors. Apple experiments with a blue version of their logo.
Apple adopts their grayscale logo.
Apple uses some strange reasoning in their promo headline that makes me think “Wow, the rest of my life can suck now”. Microsoft makes some major changes, dropping the “Microsoft Home | MSN Home | Subscribe | Manage Your Profile” navigation menu, and adding some serious color and much clearer calls to action.
iPod frenzy and Microsoft tries to be more warm and fuzzy.
The year that the Mac vs. PC ads started, reflected in the smug headline on Apple’s website.
Apple continues to rock the giant header, and Microsoft finally adopts a center-aligned design. I’m fond of center-alignment on just about everything but Wikipedia and web apps.
That’s all until next year! Post your thoughts, critiques, or comments below.Connect with me on Google+