back to article Microsoft conjures imaginary 'Apple Tax'

The age-old battle between Microsoft and Apple is heating up again, and this time, Redmond is cheating. On Thursday, Microsoft released a company-sponsored snark-fest written by Roger L. Kay of Endpoint Technology Associates that is, simply put, an embarrassment. This report, entitled What Price Cool? (PDF) and breathlessly …

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And more ....

There are a number of other items missing from this PC versus Mac 'value' comparison.

I'll cover these in more detail below, but how about;

1. Onward compatibility - Transitions in both hardware and OS platforms

2. Depreciation - Very important when spending large sums on IT

3. Support - Yes, both companies offer extended support schemes, but which one can you get the best free advice from

4. Reliability

5. I have to say it, Style is important. Especially when it leads to a better user experience and better productivity

1. Throughout the years, I have owned both PC's and Mac's. Generally PC's for desktops as I like to be able to customise the performance and upgrade over time, but Mac's for laptops as no laptop is easily upgradable anyway!

Through the various transitions in Hardware and OS platforms, I believe Apple manage the process much more elegantly and by working closely with developers, make technology transitions more or less painless. The only exception I have come across recently is that the G4 hardware is not fully supported by the latest iLife packages and will not be supported by Snow Leopard. This however, is not really an issue. The G4's were last sold over 3 years ago, so anyone wanting these new software features are probably close to replacing their hardware anyway. That leads nicely to my second point, depreciation, but I'll come back to that in a moment.

I can't say that MS has handled transitions well. In terms of hardware, the fact that it doesn't control the development of many of the components of a PC, makes this near impossible.

I did download the Vista upgrade advisor program prior to Vista's launch. About half of my hardware and a third of my software was not fully compatible. I would need to wait until the hardware manufacturers released updated drivers (some still have not!!) and software would need upgrading (generally at a cost). So I've stuck with XP.

2. Now, depreciation. Look on eBay at what people are selling 3 year old PC's for and what they are selling 3 year old Mac's for. In this time period, most PC's seem to have lost about 90% of their value, yet Mac's are generally selling for 40% to 60% of their original value. For example, my iBook G4 1.42 GHz, is 3 years old this month. When new, it was worth £749. I've been tracking similar spec units on eBay and they are selling for between £300 and £450. I'd be happy to get just £300 for mine as it was purchased under the home initiative programme so only cost me £420.

3. Support - Now my iBook did come with a 3yr Applecare support package, but I've never used it. I have however wondered into Apple stores to get some quick advice on upgrades, etc. The staff in Apple stores are 1st rate, and always make sure your question is answered, even if they have to 'phone a friend' in Cupertino. Contrast that to the occasions when I've needed similar help with Windows. It took 3 months and many expensive phonecalls to resolve a system crash caused by an updated Nokia phone cable driver. I couldn't just walk into a shop and ask a MS person to help me.

4. Reliability - My iBook has been bullet proof, with no system failures and the only problems I have encountered were caused by MS software (Office 2004 and Windows Media Player). Since removing WMP and updating Office 2004 many times, the system is extremely stable. Contrast that to my XP based desktop. As mentioned above, the Nokia driver and many other problems have occurred over the last few years. This is making me seriously consider an iMac for my desktop PC. The fact that it can boot into Windows to allow me to use my Windows software without needing to replace it all, is a real plus.

5. Apple Style; well I think it is much more than that. Apple obviously spend a lot of time working out how a user will use a system and it's applications. The user interface is far more intuitive and does not need the plethora of third party 'customisation' apps to make it work your way. I personally find I am more productive on a Mac than a PC. I also don't need to reach for a user manual or search google on "how do I ...". No registry hacks required, no reinstalling the OS every year or so to gain back performance lost through junk building up in said registry and other areas of the system.

So overall, I really don't see an Apple tax, but paying a little extra to get a system that actually does what I want is more than worth it. If anything, there is a MS tax, the one that taxes your brain. I've lost count of how many times I've wondered how Bill Gates became so rich on products that are "still in development". Don't get me started on Windows ME, which came installed on one of my earlier PC's!

Page one of the report said it all; Sponsor: Microsoft. Sadly Mr Kay seems to have sold his sole.

Phil

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I don't get it

Maybe if you compare one section of the market you can make Mac look cheap, but in the real world - most us just need an entry level box that does the job and for that Mac is hugely expensive.

Face it chaps the Mac is not only a "user" machine - it's also a bl00dy expensive one.

And it IS trendy - so no self respecting, sock and sandal wearing techie would ever own one.

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Jobs Horns

This time?

**and this time, Redmond is cheating.**

This time?

THIS TIME?

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Jobs Horns

Taste of their own medicine

Well if Apple didn't spout their own crap such as Safari inventing tabbed browsing, integrated RSS and virtually every other feaure that's been in other browsers for years, perhaps their rivals wouldn't feel so justified in fighting fire with fire.

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qualified disagree

I agree that article is a piece of mince, but your dell vs apple comparison isn't too great either. All you've proved is that it's possible to find systems more expensive. But the thing about PCs is that you aren't forced to buy from the one vendor. It's certainly possible to get a machine with the same spec as that apple for less

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Silver badge

Oh, another thing that Microsoft ALWAYS mentions:

TCO (Total Cost of Ownership). The need for a home user to hire somebody to keep the machine up to date with all those "patch Tuesday's" that are going to happen, just to name one.

Then again, I don't want Vista, can I get a refund?

I also have a friend who us brand new to using a Mac. With the Apple store nearby, he gets all his answers very quickly, and some instruction to boot. He is a happy customer. I doubt a Vista customer would be as happy with the service. Similar to shopping at WalMart for a PC, and Nordstroms for a Mac service wise (with the prices posted).

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Flame

Flame on

mac pro cost £1200 a year ago - single 2.8GHz quad core, i use it as my PC too - using parallels - xp disc - office home and student - cost me around £170 using ebay.

I use the mac for web design screen design, print artwork and video editing

I use the PC to let me see how things look to the rest of you (and a little Powerpoint design).

macs are machines for home users who do not wish to learn how to use a PC or professionals in the creative industries. don't get a mac if you are worried about price-points like-for-like features or value for money, get a mac if you're in the creative industry and want to get on with your work.

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Lee
Happy

Well....

at least he is consistent, EVERYTHING is good in the Microsoft world.....though saying that I willingly paid the tax and have a macbook.

However as an independent PC Shop I must say thank you to Microsoft, without them (and the scores of bugs, nasties, spyware, viruses etc) my business would have gone down the pan, "god bless them every one"

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Gates Horns

MS == BS

- "The age-old battle between Microsoft and Apple is heating up again, and this time, Redmond is cheating."

Cheating is nothing new for MS. Even when it comes to linux, MS spews out the bul***it.

Here is a blog by the same author:

http://windowsteamblog.com/blogs/windowsexperience/archive/2009/04/03/windows-on-netbook-pcs-a-year-in-review.aspx

And Ubuntu rebuttal:

http://blog.canonical.com/?p=151

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Thanks

This is the kind of aware and awake reporting I visit this site for.

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sad sad sad on both sides

I found the Apple Mac Vs Pc ads really sad and in fact they helped put me off Apple stuff, but low and behold M$ new ads just do exactly the same thing, they are also sad attempts at showing us their "truth".

Really both Apple and M$s ads are very successful at pushing me toward a different solution all together.

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not a fanboi but MS did go a bit far this time

I think MS's new laptop finder ads are the best they've had out for a while, but even I have to admit this white paper was pretty bad. The advertisements argue that if you want a lower end system then Apple makes, you can save money by not having to get the higher end features Apple shoves down your throat (for example in the first add the person finds a low density 17 inch display, if you want a 17 inch display on an Apple laptop you'll be paying for 1920x1200 resolution.) But this white paper seems really arbitrary in picking it's comparisons. Also, wouldn't everyone else agree that a Blu-Ray burner makes sense in a computer but a player only drive doesn't? I mean, computers are about creating content so burning makes sense. Reading only is like, well, a tease.

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Linux

;P

I like how the internet is just one big opinion article. If people were smart they'd be using Linux instead of the Mac. It's more secure and less elitist... unless you like being a smug person that has to have things to be happy. I'm guessing the writer of this article is one of those people.

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Gates Horns

D'ohh, what a steaming load of...

..."bollocks", I believe you call it over there.

I didn't buy a Mac because I wanted to be "cool", or to spend more money. I bought a Mac because, at the time (mid 1985), the only alternative was a honking slab of Intel iron running some wretched-assed Byzantine thing called MS-DOS, which required me to learn all kinds of weird-assed, arcane magic words and incantations and _type_ them all in, _correctly_, lest I wound up having to go back, figure out where my mistakes were, and start over. Even simple stuff like dealing with the command line required so goddamn' much _typing_ just to do things like move around the directory structure and open applications -- which, btw, MS-DOS didn't have jack shit for, for my line of work (graphic design) at the time (as opposed to Mac OS, which already had paint, photo-scanning, drawing, and page-layout apps by then).

The Mac OS GUI -- inspired by the old Xerox STAR OS, iirc -- helped me to understand how operating systems and directory structures and all the other basic nuts'n'bolts of how computers worked more easily than some clunky excuse for a UI -- which, btw, His Billness friggin' _stole_ -- which practically required me to join a priesthood in order to learn. In fact, I'll bet I wouldn't be nearly as "into" computers and digital media as I am now, if not for the Mac.

This was underscored some years later, when I was working at a design studio which was mostly Mac, but had a few Wintel desktops around, running Windoze versions of design/layout apps which had been on the Mac for years; every time I had to open and convert a client's document created in Windoze PageMaker/Illustrator or CorelDraw for export to MacOS format, the constant headache of dealing with a UI which pretended to be an intuitive GUI but which, in fact, wasn't, reminded me of what a good decision I made to buy a Mac.

As far as cost goes...I may have mentioned in a different story's comment thread that while Wintel _hardware_ may be cheaper in terms of actual cash, the time you spend getting Windoze to run properly and patching up backdoors and constantly scraping all manner of malware/spyware/adware/trojans/viruses out of it -- if billed at your local market rate for IT consulting -- probably negates all the cash savings of buying Wintel. Hey, you buy cheap, you get cheap.

As far as buying a Mac because it was cool, I suppose it was, in the sense that when I first checked out how easy to use it was, and how it "just runs", and how easy it was to create and manage my work, my first reaction was "whoa, cool!" So, fine, I guess that makes me a "fanboi", or "fanboy", or whatever.

Sorry, Microsoft; you guys fucking FAIL.

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Anonymous Coward

Details aside...

Exact specs and details aside, Kay is correct if he suggests that you pay a premium for a similarly equipped Mac over a Windows PC. He's also correct if he says that Apple's products are viewed and purchased to a great extent as fashion accessories. The point of your review should have been that he has stated the obvious.

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Joke

"Kay's next boner"? Oh my...

I'm trying *not* to picture an image of Kay's boner.

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TOC games

This is same game with total cost of ownership. The best way to respond is to simply say, as MS used to say, that MS is only cheaper if your time is worth nothing.

Also, if we are looking at a family of four, one has to look at total upgrade costs. On the Mac, the full upgrade, for up to five computers, is only marginally higher than a single home premium upgrade. In fact, upgrading two computers to Vista Home, and probably MS Windows 7, will cost likely cost more than upgrading 2-5 computers in a household to complete version of Mac OS 10.6. The same is true of iLife and iWork, which are released every year, but there is no reason to upgrade every year.

The only thing correct in the article is a choice of a Mac or PC boils down to opportunity costs. Is it necessary for you have all PCs in a house, or can a mixed environment work. I for one, if I had the child discussed i the article, would be more comfortable with a Mac that allows parental control accounts rather than paying extra for PC software that does the same things, but can be hacked and disabled by most kids.

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Boffin

Give us all a break

As anyone who has to use both Mac's & Windows PC's like I do knows first hand, for any given Mac, the cost of a Windows PC of the same feature/performance set is always lower. Having said that, almost no one buys a computer based on that any more than anyone buys a automobile on its specs. People select a computer based on what they are used to combined with some aspect of cost and legacy issues with their pre-existing hardware & software.

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Apple Tax

I haven't read this "fake article" by this guy, but it is definitely a fact that without the fancy casing, PC technology is under the hood of both Mac's and PC's. Granted, the NVidia 9400 Chipset is the difference on the Macbook front, I don't think the fancy casing or Mac OSX is worth the extra money. When Apple was using Motorola and IBM RISC tech, the argument could be made that "you get what you pay for". Since both use similar PC Tech, the premium you pay for the Aluminum case and Mac OS just isn't worth it in this economy to those of us who aren't rich. This will all be seen as we watch Apple's sales figures over the course of this year.

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Jobs Horns

Apple tax

Well, I'd add AppleCare (because Mac repair prices usually are astronomical, and while some Masc are solid as tanks, others are a tragedy), I'd configure a four-core tower with a non-Xeon part to compare with the low-range Mac Pro, I'd completely ignore Mac box aesthetics (yes, they are nice, but I'd rather have the ability to install hard disks in trays that I can extract from the front without having to open the case if I choose so, even hot-swap them if I'd like to), and I'd stop doing the stupid utilitarian vs. Rolls Royce dance, because you can be as Unibody, Titanium or whatever as you want and then give me worse WIFI reception, crappy proprietary connectors AGAIN (yes, they are sharing their miniDisplayPort tech, but nobody wanted it in the first place) and killing their own tech they convinced us to embrace.

Oh, add to that paying that yearly and a half OS X update... er... subscription?

I am a Mac user since the Classic years (and an Apple IIe user before that). Of course there has always been an Apple Premium, and of course part of it is paying for whatever they decide coolness means this or that year. Do you think the Unibody tech is about using a better part? No, it is about desperately looking for something to hook us with this time. If they were about giving us better components they wouldn't have dared to offer Combo drives for so many years, let's not talk about the supercrappy DVD writer my Mac Pro has, its noxious smells (yes, I have ono of those) or rhe lack of GPU variety.

That the OS is the best of the worst that there is out there I get: Windows can be abysmal, but that doesn't mean OS X isn't an utter mess user experience-wise and that we accept it as the Holy Blah because our expectations have become so incredibly low. That's the only reason I accept paying the premium.

(And why do you always compare things with Dell's? As much as Microsoft and others like to show their high price friends in their ads, most people can get hardware that runs circles around Apple's at Mom&Pop PCs or a big store with decent components, which is the thing to watch when one considers desktop deals)

(Horned Jobs because the RDF wore off decades ago)

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You should not be surprised!!!

I completely understand your strong reservations towards Microsoft adverts that are starting to make the rounds of late, as well as information that may not be completely accurate. Personally, I haven't seen any of them - not in our part of the world. However, I do notice that you are leaning towards being an Apple supporter and have taken the information quite personally. I am generally a Windows user (not shy about that) and considering to buy an iMac or Macbook Pro very soon to add to my technology consumption. This is becuase there are things I need in a Mac and things I need from Windows (I truly like both). I like the "cool" factor from Apple and am willing to pay any extra premium for it because that is my 'choice'. I'm also willing to continue buying Windows because of the many practicalities it provides for me and my work. Let's face it, many companies run Windows and windows software - it has a strong user base for corporates.

What I don't understand is why Apple has been on the offensive to gain market share with adverts that are clearly aimed at 'insulting' and discrediting Microsoft and Microsoft products and when the reverse (and OBVIOUSLY EXPECTED) response happens with negative attacks, it's seen as a 'historic war' by writers such as yourself who get rather hot under the collar about it? The way I see it, if you're going to insult somebody and their wares, you should expect a response in kind - that is what MS is doing because that is what Apple seems to want, a war. Therefore, if the information you're getting isn't accurate and discredits Apple, gosh... what a surprise??? I didn't hear you complaining when Apple did the same and I suppose you slept nice and warm at night. We are technology consumers - there are pros and cons to each of these vendors and if their advertising campaigns are aimed at getting at each others throat, then let it be. Ultimately we as consumers benefit when the dust settles. This battle will never end, we know that - but if you're going to go out "defending" one of these giants, do so from both sides - as a reporter should. Surely you couldn't have expected Micrsoft (of all companies) to remain quiet about Apples Ads - they had it coming...

Marsorry

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BD

And yes, I want to be able to play Blu-Ray titles.

By the way: Apple's miniDisplayPort setup won't do audio through DisplayPort, so forget it about full DP-to-HDMI converters.

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Worst... Reg...article... ever

Why on Earth are you using a top-end Dell to compare to a Mac? Dell's philosophy is closer to the Mac one than the usual PC one. Anyone who has ever supported Dell PCs knows all about the near-proprietry state of the hardware (as opposed to close to off-the-shelf hardware you get in cheaper PCs). They also know that Dell's main business is mid-range business PCs. High-end PCs are just an extra little earner on the side, and this specialisation is reflected in the price.

A better comparison would have been between the £1889 quad core Mac Pro 2.66GHz, 3Gb, 640Gb HDD and the Acer Aspire M3640 quad core 2.4GHz, 3Gb RAM, 640Gb HDD which costs under £500. Add a good graphics card and Windows 7 (almost there now!) to the Acer machine for a couple of hundred quid and you're still looking at significantly less than half the price.

The thing with Apple is that they're only good value for money if you actually need the extra oomph. A Ferrari is great value for money if you need a car that can do 200 mph and lure popstars into your bedroom. If you don't actually need those things the extra money is a waste. So it is with Apple's computers. If you don't actually need the top-end specs of the Mac Pro (which is the case for 99 out of 100 PC users) the Mac Pro is awful value for money.

Also, what the El Reg 'journalist' fails to mention is the fact that most people know someone who can help with their PC problems, thus overcoming many of the hardware reliability downsides of the PC. This isn't true for Macs - if your Mac does break (which, despite the myth, actually happens fairly commonly), you have to send it away to get it fixed, leaving you without a computer for a couple of weeks. Also there is the fact that most people are used to Windows because they use it at work already. A switch to MacOS is for most a harder change than XP to Windows 7 will be - I have used all three OSes, and as a mainly XP and occasional Vista user I find MacOS to be a lot less inuitive than Windows 7.

It is true that Microsoft's bias against Apple is considerable, but it's no worse than El Reg's bias against Microsoft.

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Typical, he "made up" his specs so you twisted yours too...

So MS finally decides to defend itself after years of Apple fud (which even you have to admit they were, to the point of being comically deluded) and instead of building up a solid rebuttal you write this? I mean, if you decided to pick a decidedly more expensive BUSINESS workstation to compete with a Mac Pro, why not go with the "boutique" level PCs? They are even more stupidly expensive PCs... However if you are a sensible person and actually look for price AND performance you would pick something like this:

Dell XPS 730x

PROCESSOR: Intel® Core™ i7-920 (2.66GHz, 8MB cache)

OPERATING SYSTEM: Windows Vista® Home Premium Service Pack 1 64-bit

OFFICE SOFTWARE: Microsoft® Office Home and Student 2007

VIDEO CARD: ATI Radeon HD 4850 512MB

MEMORY: 6GB Tri-Channel DDR3 at 1066MHZ (3x2GB DIMM)

HARD DRIVE: 640GB - SATA-II, 3GB/S, 7200RPM, 16MB Cache

OPTICAL DRIVE: Single Drive: Blu-ray Disc (BD) Combo

MONITOR: 21.5 inch Dell S2209W Full HD Widescreen Monitor

SOUND CARD: Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium (2x TOS Link)

SPEAKERS: Dell A525 30 Watt 2.1 Speakers with Subwoofer

KEYBOARD: Dell USB Consumer Multimedia Keyboard

MOUSE: Premium Optical USB Mouse

FLOPPY & MEDIA READER: Dell 19-in-1 Media Card Reader with Bluetooth 2.0

EXPANSION PORTS: 8x USB2.0, 2x 1395a, 1x eSATA, 3x PCIe16, 2x PCIe1, 1x PCI

BAYS: 4x 5.25" optical bays, 4x 3.5" internal HDD bays, 2x 3.5" external flex bays (floppy/media reader)

SECURITY SOFTWARE: McAfee Security Center with anti-virus, anti-spyware, firewall, 15-months

Dell XPS 730x $2583

Oh wait, you say it is more expensive than your Mac? May I point out the better videocard, the 6GB of memory, Bluray drive, and included LCD monitor? Should I go on? And while there is a limited discount going on at Dell until June, this pricing and sale discounts are very typical across all vendors, except Apple that is.

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Flame

Although...

The Apple "tax" is real...maybe not as described but it does exist. Apple's big hidden tax is its subscription fee it calls OS updates. The annual "let’s change a bit of shading and fluff around with a search utility" and charge another £100 for it makes MS's OS pricing seem positively cheap. I know when I did a comparison of my Mac and compared them over a ten-year period to a Windows box and on OS charges alone; keeping to Apple cost almost £1000 to Windows being £300. But that is a nature of Apple, you pay through the nose for the box originally to look cool, and to keep it up to date Apple continues to bleed you dry for it. I will not even get into the costs of Apple peripherals and upgrades, which are frankly ridiculous in prices...or even how they screw you if you need a power supply or something easily fitted yourself.

The true Apple "experience" is to be bled dry of cash, but being very fashionable while you’re bleeding.

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Go

<yawn>

Big frakkin' deal. People buy what they want to buy for their own reasons and that's that. It doesn't matter what any writer or guru says, the proof is in the [Yorkshire] pudding so to speak. They vote with their pocketbooks and Apple just hasn't gotten the money votes that count no matter what the fanboys say. Same goes for their drooling fanboy wannbe techy writers like the one here.

No matter, Apple wouldn't even be alive had it not been for the $5,000,000 infusion MS gave them a few years back, I think it was $5m ... still, no matter.

I do love a good clown act and the MS/Apple/El Reg circus is one of the very best.

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Good

Anything which puts stupid people off buying a Mac gets the thumbs up from me. The last thing the Mac platform needs is to have to pander to stupid.

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Jobs Halo

It's the user experience, stupid

Apple is expensive, but having to endure Windows software?

No thanks.

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Making the same mistake twice?

Please do some more research and try to find the cheapest vendor and not the most expensive one. But I guess thats the whole point about windows or linux right? you are not bound to one hardware vendor, you can shop around for all the best parts at the best price if you really want.

We use Dell at our office, and they have quite a good service when things break, but I can always get a pc with better specs for myself at less than half the price Dell manages to charge. Pc's at their shop must be assembled by the board of directors themselves or something.....

Bad article, making the same mistakes, that you blame Microsoft for.. Can we get some more objectivity and less 'specific company' bashing please.

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Linux

I call MS sponsored FUD!

Well, who'd a thunk it? He doesn't mention the Microsoft tax at all...

Let me help you with the Gnu / Linux version.

Any of the PCs mentioned in the MS piece, but without OS pre-installed.

Apps / AV / Office suite / OS $0.00

I'll take one of those please.

Penguin. The cute one with the "Umbongo" CD under its stubby little wing.

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Jobs Horns

Then why not allow

Here in Canada, a Mac seems much more expensive then a similarly equipped PC from Dell, HP, or whoever.

If that is not the case elsewhere then why does Apple fight so hard against competition? Between their lawyers and the DRM they added to the Mac OS to prevent it from running on regular PC's, Apple has fought very hard to force its customers to buy their hardware from Apple.

This is because Apple has huge margins on their hardware and, even with their great brand name, they would loose a lot of hardware business if their customers had choice.

(I'm not defending any of the details of the MS backed study - just the conclusion.)

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This isn't balanced reporting.

Other peoples stupidity is no excuse for your own. Stop intentionally playing stupid, PC's have a cheaper low end, because they are cheaper overall.

Being more popular means more competition, higher production numbers, cheaper production.

If this is El Reg's way to prove to the world it isn't Anti-Mac, it's really, really, stupid.

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Yawn.....

Is anyone else getting bored of this argument.... i thought the Reg was cutting edge and tongue in cheek - this certainly isn't...

old hat, boring, high horse crud

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Paris Hilton

Oh Ya...

If Mac is so nice ...so cost effective...and so simple to use why it is not the most popular machine in the world...well...may be I have missed something that most of the people know...did somebody say that Macs are for people who do not go out much and do not intercat with other beings....nah that wont be true or is it?

Paris because she is compatible and open :P

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SRS
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Roger L. Kay - Wisdom Pearl Dispenser

Endpoint Technologies' website certainly avoids any association with 'cool'. Just take a look at it - horrible. The homepage is copyrighted 2007, so they're not even very strong on details. And Roger L. Kay (President) entitles himself, without irony, as a "Wisdom Pearl Dispenser", which immediately made me think of Jacqui Smith's husband.

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Coat

Typo

Should read recalcitrant in last line but one. Mine's the one with the Merriam Webster in the pocket.

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Dead Vulture

When will you ever learn?

Yet another flame war inciting article...

When will you ever learn??

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Nice

A couple of months ago my manager and myself specified out a PC and a Mac for another manager. A 20inch iMac and a similar spec PC - the PC came out more expensive by about £100. We checked some other sites and including prebuilt PC's and one where we bought the parts.

Like for like (or close enough) always turned out a cheaper Mac.

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Ignore everything Roger Kay writes

Roger Kay is a paid Microsoft shill. "Endpoint Technologies" is his trading name for added gravitas. He babbles over-the-top MS-love drivel and somehow gets it media coverage. Just ignore him. He's also a medical genius; in January he diagnosed Steve Jobs with a return of cancer from a photograph (thus implying Apple's management is either incompetent or criminal).

The sad thing is that a great company (did I say that?) like Microsoft is so insecure that it funds this nonsense from Kay, Enderle and others. It's almost as if MS doesn't want the world to know it's ashamed of its own success.

roughlydrafted.com does a periodic dismantling of a Kay "analysis".

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Anonymous Coward

What I don't get about this whole campaign

is why Microsoft suddenly feels the need to regurgitate the entire PC vs Mac show that has is now one of the Internet's longest-running, tedious and worn out flamewars, right down to such niggly details as focusing on superseded hardware. Any day now I expect to see "There are no games for teh Mac, Macs suxxor" roll over the horizon.

Then there's great stuff like "Apple... doesn’t want to sell down market because those systems wouldn’t deliver the best experience", which seems to suggest the PC camp is happy to sell downmarket and give people a crappy experience. Vista ready, anyone?

The car analogy is a good one: FIAT don't run around putting out thinly-disguised ads alerting people to the "Mercedes Tax", whereas Mercedes do put out ads highlighting the Mercedesness of their products, because they are proud of their brand and know that it will serve to draw in the customers who are in the market for and can afford that type of product. It's telling that Microsoft has so little confidence in the Windows brand that their only selling point is price, like the owner of your nearest low-payment, easy credit terms, I'll-eat-my-hat-if-you-can-find-cheaper used car lot.

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N
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Wankers

I've tossed out all their crap & Im never going back

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Paris Hilton

Apple Taxi

No mention of the ugly, illegal hack required to get OSX dual-booting on the windows machine compared to the various legal and supported emulated / dual-boot options for the Mac ? For the putative "switcher" (in either direction) being able to hang on to a few legacy apps helps justify the transition.

PH likes lickable software and hardware.

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Flame

Opens Popcorn

This should be fun :-D

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Fairer Comparison

Ok if you want to play the biased game, I'll have to do the balanced reporting for you. For this example we shall use current available purchases from the Apple store in the UK, and the Dell store in the UK.

The Dell Studio slim is a fancy looking PC with one of Dell's best price to component quality ratios. With a quad core 2.33Ghz CPU, 3Gb RAM and a 20" display you're looking at £598.

Apple's offering is difficult to find an equivalent. The Mac Mini is similar in style, and starts at £599. However, it comes with a 2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, and NO display. It seems this is supposed to be a media PC, and they only give the option to ship it with a 24" cinema display, for £650 extra (which is ridiculous).

So, the mini is a pretty bad idea. How about the iMac. Well they start at £949, with a 20" display, 2.66Ghz Core duo processor and 3Gb RAM, which is pretty comparable I'd say. Er, so it's not so much that the PC is cheaper at the low end. It's that this cheap low end PC from Dell gives the same components as the Apple equivalent for £350 more.

I'm sorry to say, but from a cold hardware point of view, you'd have to be stupid to buy a Mac.

Yes I realise Dell's all-in-one offering is overpriced. I don't care, Apple doesn't offer any cheap alternative to its all-in-one. Dell does.

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Gates Horns

Very strange report....

I tried to configure a Dell Laptop just to the specifications of the Macbook white I recommended a friend of mine just yesterday.

I ended up with € 1300 for a Dell XPS M1330 (altough the Dell has an additional fingerprint-Reader) and about € 800 for an Inspiron 15, but this isn't really a real comparison to the Macbook because it is bigger, heavier and I couldn't order all components needed to compare it to the Macbook.

And for that "Apple Tax". If he buys VMWare Fusion and uses on of his old XP-Licenses for his old software or uses readily available OpenSource-Solutions (OpenOffice) and removes that ridiculous BlueRay-Player and substitute the Mac Pro with an iMac I end up with 767 $ Apple Tax, but with better equipped machines. Hm...

Somehow it is really pathetic when MS tries to "pay" studies...

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Thumb Up

Brilliant!

The funnest thing I have read all week, thank you!

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An Article written by a fanboi.

A google search for the exact phrase "Apple Tax" returns 489000 results.

It even has an urbandictionary reference - http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Apple+Tax

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Stop

hasn't needed to advertise

In the past Microsoft thought it did not need to advertise.

Now that has changed.

So what does Microsoft do?

Begin to lie like a used car salesman.

Microsoft management approves PR claims based not on the truth but rather the ability for deceit to get customers money from them. They have done that for years. This is just more of the same.

We do not have a monopoly.

IE is part of the OS.

The DOJ presented no admissible evidence against Microsoft.

And now this.

It is pure and simple fraud. Fraud designed to get your money. More precisely deceit designed to commit fraud and get your money from you.

Microsoft will never change.

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Linux

how about another smear ?

I tell people that linux is like OS/X, except it is for heterosexuals.

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Jobs Halo

Ugh FUD

Wow I finally made it to the end of that PR-dept pdf linked in the article, stopping only to wipe the spatters of vomit from my aluminium and cool keyboard ... one thing is clear, the author (probably not very long ago) left school after being perplexed why the "cool" kids used to make fun of him. As any fule noes being cool is not the things you do but the things you don't do. Mistaking "being cool" for "following a fad" is a deficiency of basic social understanding. I would be cool for knowing that I only ever need 1 USB port on my laptop, I would be following a fad if I thought aluminium was cool.

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