Microsoft has been on a roll, taking its fight to Apple with a trio of Laptop Hunter commercials. The commercials were designed by Crispin Porter+Bogusky that show average Joes (or Janes) looking for laptops and choosing PCs over Macs, while casting aspersions on the Macs in a purportedly unbiased independent study. The first ad, with Laptop Hunter Lauren, still has yet to be surpassed in popularity, but all the commercials resonate on some level with customers who are less willing to pay the luxury prices associated with Apple-brand models.
However, Apple and its supporters won't go down quietly. Business Week's Arik Hesseldahl, along with an Apple spokesperson have called out the Windows supporters in the tech community arguing that they don't understand quality and economics, and that they are picking inferior machines. He writes, "Yes, $699 beats the $2,800 you'd pay for a Mac with a 17-in. screen. But when it comes to PCs, there's still a great deal more to buy."
He says that antivirus software needed to protect PCs against "nasty viruses, worms, and other malware lurking on the Internet" is another $50/year in expenses. He says that Lauren will end up paying $150 over 3 years for such protection. He writes, "No need for antivirus on the Mac."
Of course, Apple recently recommended its users purchase an antivirus program and the platform is becoming increasingly vulnerable to application level exploits, so this isn't entirely accurate, but that doesn't stop Mr. Hesseldahl as he tacks on more charges. He equates an out-of-warranty service with Best Buy's Geek Squad ($129) with a free diagnosis at the Genius Bar in Apple's retail stores.
He tacks on more fees for the iLife software suite. He says that Lauren's machine comes with Muvee Reveal ($80) and CyberLink DVD suite ($104), but that there's lots missing. He says a PC equivalent of iLife would also require a copy of Adobe Photoshop Elements with Photoshop.com Plus membership ($140), Sonic Solutions' Roxio Creator 2009 ($100) and the Garage Band-equivalent Cubase Sequel ($100).
He adds up these extras ($619), with the cost of the computer ($699), and writes, "Add it all up and it's not hard to imagine Lauren's $699 computer costing something closer to $1,500."
While the math is a bit curious he does offer some technically accurate points, arguing that features like battery life (8 hrs. versus 2.5 hrs. for the HP, by his estimates) and superior screen make the 17-inch MacBook Pro (his model of choice) more than worth the $1,000+ difference between it and the Windows notebook with his extras tacked on.
He concludes, "Even if Lauren doesn't care about pixels and multimedia software, her machine still doesn't measure up when it comes to overall consumer satisfaction. No less an authority than Consumer Reports rated Lauren's computer fourth in a class of six with 17- to 18-in. displays. The MacBook Pro was tops, despite its higher price."
And to top it off, he gets word from Apple itself blasting the new commercials. An Apple spokesperson, Bill Evans, comments, "A PC is no bargain when it doesn't do what you want. The one thing that both Apple and Microsoft can agree on is that everyone thinks the Mac is cool. With its great designs and advanced software, nothing matches it at any price."
Microsoft declined to respond to Apple's statement.
Mr. Hesseldahl concludes with more select comments, stating, "Microsoft and its hardware partners wouldn't have to make this case had they focused less in the past decade on driving prices down and more on quality.... PC makers in the Windows camp have done everything possible to make their products progressively worse by cutting corners to save pennies per unit and boost sales volume. There's good reason Apple is seeing healthy profits while grabbing market share. It refuses to budge on quality and so charges a higher price. Rather than running ads that seem clever at first but really aren't, the Windows guys ought to take the hint and just build better computers."
quote: And how much for Mac OS again ? Oh wait its 129.99
quote: he always posts bullsh1t here
quote: Apple zealot? Who, you are?
quote: Like Waaa, a hidden one who loves his MacBook and caresses it secretly but pretends to be objective here.
quote: he bashes zealots, not Apple
quote: We have been down this road, you know I am correct
quote: I will say that many of your posts seem to have been downrated for no reason, but I would also like to say that Chicko was lying. Apple advertises it for $129. That's a fucking fact
quote: If it can't autodetect it I don't know of any other way to get it to work. I'm sure there probably is, but I'm also sure it's probably not very simple to do either.
quote: the MSRP for Vista Ultimate is $319.95
quote: Windows Vista Ultimate Retail $399
quote: 2 years ago
quote: if you don't like it done to you
quote: Saying that Vista is somehow more user friendly or simple than OS X is a lie, I know 'cause I use both.
quote: and dont bring Ubuntu up, its not even the same level.
quote: For my money, I'm going with Ubuntu.And don't give me this, "Mac sux because its expensive" and then turn around and say that "Ubuntu sux because it doesn't do what I want it to do."
quote: A PC is no bargain when it doesn't do what you want.
quote: That made me laugh, considering most programs I use don't have an MACOS version
quote: I think he does make some decent points about battery life and the screen (he leaves off the aluminum body, probably another perk), but I personally feel that doesn't justify the +$2,000 price increase.
quote: Plus, yes, Apple does not assume that it's customers are technically proficient.
quote: 1318, and tax? and shipping if you order cds? and who is installing all this?
quote: Best Buy Geek Squad? There only useful function is to send your computer out for warranty repair, something you could do yourself! Unless you are totally uninformed about computers/security you probably know close to as much as a lot of them. If you are that uninformed, ask your buddy who knows about computers to catch you up to speed.
quote: I think you're living in la-la-land. Apple support is horrific. Most people who buy an Apple will be going to GS anyway, as there are no Genius Bar's available to the majority of the population.
quote: Welcome to the conversation
quote: That was absolutely the most pointless, useless, and most unfunny post I have EVER read on DT. and that is saying something. Congratulations.
quote: Instead of focusing on direct competition with Apple (I mean you, Zune!) they somehow decided to reply to Apple commercials that were targeting Dell, HP and all the other OEMs.
quote: Are you referring to the Apple commercials that say that Vista is a poor OS with a myriad of problems???? I might be an ignorant PC user but those seemed to be aimed squarely at Microsoft. I don't remember any characters named Dell or HP in those commercials. Reality distortion field indeed.
quote: Are you referring to the Apple commercials that say that Vista is a poor OS with a myriad of problems?
quote: Did they just admit that Apple was right bashing them or what?
quote: I don't think any of them feel remotely threatened by Apple
quote: Because I sure as hell don't
quote: You don't, I do, he does, she doesn't, so what? Use financial numbers, not your personal stories about your friends and stuff.
quote: In 1988, Apple released its first UNIX-based OS, A/UX, which was a UNIX operating system with the Mac OS look and feel. It was not very competitive for its time, due in part to the crowded Unix market. A/UX had most of its success in sales to the U.S. government, where UNIX was a requirement that Mac OS could not meet. Mac OS X later incorporporated code from the UNIX-based NeXTStep after Steve Jobs rejoined Apple in 1996.
quote: ...He says that Lauren's machine comes with Muvee Reveal ($80) and CyberLink DVD suite ($104)
quote: Give me 2 grand and I'll show you a REAL dream machine
quote: all this guy is saying, is that for the amount of money you drop on a MBP laptop, you could very well go and build a more powerful desktop with alot more options
quote: don't defend Apple
quote: people that have a need for a gaming platform
quote: It's a niche market.
quote: TIBURON, CA-November 18, 2008-Jon Peddie Research (JPR), the industry's research and consulting firm for graphics and multimedia, today announced estimated worldwide PC gaming hardware shipments and regional; market share out to 2012 – the growth is an amazing:* The Enthusiast segment has a worldwide CAGR of 9%* The Performance segment will have a CAGR of 19%* The mainstream segment’s CAGR is 21%
quote: "enthusiast" PC sellers
quote: We were talking about percentages of people playing games on a PC
quote: I work for Newegg and I know just how much people spend on PC gaming and related hardware. If you want to talk total money for total amounts of hardware Apple definitely doesn't win on that account.
quote: I posted facts
quote: Apple overcharges for it's products. How else do you explain a smaller market share making more money than a larger market share?
quote: only provides like a 10% performance increase
quote: No vents on the bottom doesn't make your cooling better. It just means the vents are not on the bottom
quote: PC Gaming isn't a 'niche' market
quote: I don't get it
quote: I'm just saying that bashing niche markets and their buyers is stupid
quote: who needs expensive gaming PCs these days? It's a niche market.
quote: I still know more people who own them than people I know who own Macs
quote: It's because you're a gamer too.
quote: Similar minded people stick together, you know.
quote: I still know of no one who has a Mac
quote: You must be a loner :))
quote: $2000+ for a desktop pc, which can handily whoop any Mac's ass in performance, is expensive but a MBP for almost $3k is what? Cheap?
quote: notebook for $1k or less that is comporable to the highest priced MBP in performance
quote: TextPerformance is not the only metric people use when choosing a notebook.
quote: Price is and has always been the bottom line for the majority
quote: People that let their possessions determine their identity are known as tools as well, to the people that let their actions determine their identity. Tools like you Pirks.
quote: Performance is not the only metric people use when choosing a notebook.
quote: The main metric is price
quote: Put the crack pipe down.
quote: Put the crack pipe down
quote: Got anything else to add for a change?
quote: Well that's not particularly what I had in mind
quote: kudos for your relentless unwarrented and unwavering support for Apple products
quote: I don't see where he was lying about an Apple product
quote: I don't see where I was relentlessly unwarrantedly and unwaveringly defending an Apple product either
quote: Do I really need to copy & paste about 90% of your posts in this forum?
quote: Kudos for your relentless unwarranted and unwavering lies about Apple products.
quote: where I have even formed an opinion about Apple products, let alone lied about them?
quote: Where have I relentlessly unwarrantedly and unwaveringly defended an Apple product?
quote: .Perhaps by posting the same thing about 50 times