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  (Source: Reuters)

In a new commercial Microsoft blasts Apple, saying that an iPod costs $30,000 to "fill", while a Zune costs only $15 to fill.  (Source: YouTube)
Microsoft has fired more shots at its long-time rival

First there were Microsoft's "Laptop Hunters" commercials with Lauren, Giampaolo, and Lisa (and more recently, Sheila), which featured average Joes and Janes directing criticism against Apple’s pricing and instead picking PCs.  Next, Apple fired back with new ads in its popular "Get a Mac" series, poking fun at PC's supposed "bugs" and "crashes", as well as showing off new Mac features.  Now Microsoft has fired back at Apple with its most blatant attack ad yet.

The new ad is entitled "Financial Planner", which features a man by the name of Wes Moss -- a “certified financial planner”, according to Microsoft -- who breaks down what he sees as the differences between iTunes and the Zune Pass.

Mr. Moss says that it would cost $30,000 USD to fill a 120 GB iPod with songs from iTunes.  He says that a similar capacity Zune could be filled for only a $15 monthly subscription, using Zune Pass.  Key to his logic is that Zune Pass allows users to temporarily download as many songs as they want for the month, though they only get to keep 10 songs a month.

Ars Technica had some interesting counterpoints to this argument.  According to their calculations, at a rate of 10 songs per month, it would take 250 years to fill up the Zune with Zune Pass songs you can keep.  Assuming you could somehow live this long, perhaps via the upcoming wonders of nanomedicine, it would cost you $44,000 USD in today's money.  It would take approximately 166 years to pay $33,000 USD going the Zune Pass road.

So who has the better service, Apple or Microsoft?  It really depends on how you look at it.  If you want to use your music service as a means to sample music, Zune Pass is arguably better.  If you want to purchase music to keep, though, and you don't mind not getting physical goodies that come with CDs or records, iTunes is arguably the best buy.  And of course, some will take the forbidden third road -- piracy.

 To view Microsoft's new commercial for yourself, click here.





"There's no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance." -- Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer













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