Gruber: During the ’90s, Apple’s hardware and software both withered. Aesthetically, Macs were simply better-looking beige boxes, sold in an ever-more-confusing matrix of products (look no further than Wikipedia’s entry on Performas). Apple was perennially struggling to achieve CPU parity with Intel’s x86 chips. On the software side, Mac OS was aging, Apple’s attempts at next-generation operating systems all ended in abject failure, and then came Windows 95.
Their hardware was un-sexy, slow, and confusingly marketed. Their OS was technically deficient (remember “cooperative multitasking”?) and just plain looked old next to Windows 95. In short, Apple’s design had faltered across the board.