Chances of a word perfect 'Hamlet'? Zero...US academics have conducted research into the well-known phenomenon of 'Shakespeare's Monkeys' – which claims an infinite number of monkeys using an infinite number of typewriters would eventually write the complete works of the Bard – and have discovered it would not hold true if the primates were typing on an Apple Mac.
Scientists at the University of Utah conducted experiments using 20 primates over a three-month period and found that their subjects largely shunned the four Macs running OS X in favour of keyboards attached to four machines running Windows XP.
The closest thing to a Shakespearian line typed on the Macs was 'Ham', which the scientists recorded as three correct characters from the title of Hamlet, however, one machine running Windows XP recorded "It is the green-eyed m" – 22 correct characters from the text of tragedy Othello.
Dr Johan Klaas from the department of behavioural studies at the University of Utah, told silicon.com: "We were surprised by the results. The majority of the primates we used appeared to be far more comfortable using Windows."
"The correct character comparison of 22 to three suggests the primates were more than seven times more confident on Windows-based machines," he added.
Klaas told silicon.com that 124 keyboards were replaced during the 90-day experiment after they were damaged in various ways – from being beaten against the ground to being covered in faeces.
The primates' dislike of the Mac keyboard appeared even to manifest itself here too, with the destroyed keyboard count numbering 93 to 31 in favour of those attached to the Windows machines.
Klaas told silicon.com: "Whatever people say about infinite outcomes and infinite possibilities this research makes me think monkeys would never write the entire works of Shakespeare using a Mac."
"But," added Klaas, "they'd sure break a lot of keyboards trying."
The most commonly opened application was also on the Windows PCs with the primates appearing to develop a fondness for Outlook.