Apple's legal arm asked Microsoft to pull its ongoing series of Laptop Hunter ads, according to one Microsoft exec. On Wednesday, at Microsoft's Worldwide Partner Conference 2009 (WPC09), the company's COO, Kevin Turner, gave a traditional partner-stroking talk that alternated between thanking and exhorting the assembled …
Which is more probable - that someone in the Apple legal department, instead of contacting the Federal Trade Commission (the most probable step) or sending a letter to the Microsoft Legal Department (the "nice" option before writing to the FTC), calls up the Chief Operating Officer of Microsoft and whines about their inaccurate commercials - or that the Chief Operating Officer of Microsoft is lying in order to try and boost support for their products?
Heck, even giving him the benefit of the doubt, it's much more probable that someone at Microsoft actually called the COO as a prank...
Keep running them
Microsoft should keep running them. Mac's are nice if you're rich, but over priced if you're not. Naturally those who have them will argue that fact. Why over pay for something that is "stylish" when you can get more for less by thinking out of the box. Typing this on a dual booting Acer laptop that runs Vista and Ubuntu. Won't be buying an Apple or a "Pear" any time soon to run either Windoez or Mac OS
I hate macs /troll
I couldn't watch the I'm mac commercials, they made me so angry. They were outright lying (at the very least expanding the truth) about everything they said. Hate me if you want, but vista isn't THAT bad of a product (it could have been better).
I waited and waited for a response from Redmond Marketing, and then they came out with that Seinfeld CRAP. I hope someone got fired over that.
I'm glad they came out with these ads. They make sense, they're true, and best, it hits Apple in their most vulnerable spot.
/i'm not trying to troll
//i'm a pc
If buying a mac associates me with someone called Justin then I think I'll stay mac free.
On topic, Apple have a valid point, MS are not only mis-informing about the price but are also comparing a DELL 13" laptop with a 15" MacBook.
First it was twitter's underwear
Now it's apple's panties. Is ElReg developing a knicker fetish? If so, the average age of your readership will drop another 5 or 6 years, and Sarah will go apoplectic when moderating ;-)
That said, ALL advertising is misleading. It's not designed to accurately display the goods/services being pushed, but rather to display the goods/services being pushed in a light that'll convince the GreatUnwashed to purchase said goods/services.
 I'd have said "have a stroke", but that would probably not pass moderation ...
@Cirby: Though Apple and Microsoft in the public eye are bitter enemies, lets not forget there are numerous microsoft products for Apple, and their CEOs regulary appear on each others stages. This is more of two highly competitive collegues trying to best each other than two comanies hoping the other dies. Though a call to the FCC and FTC would likey have had these comemrcials yanked, possbilt with fines attached, Apple had the coutest to "ask" they be removed now that pricing was in fact in line. Though, this could easily be a microsoft prank as there's no counter from Apple yet....
@Eric: Price compare a machine from Apple and any equivalent machine you can get in a retail store. Apple is in line, and often CHEAPER. No, there's no $500 mac notebook, but there's no $11,000 deisel powerd utility truck either. The mac is not sold to be a generic web surfing laptop, its sold to be a machine to edit video, manage tens of thousands of images, and display your life for others to see. You can't do that on a piece of plastic crap with a $500 price tag. Look at a Dell Studio 14". the closest config possible is $1179 to Apple's $1049, and the apple has better specs and features (and in internal CD drive). Sure, the Dell STARTS at $579, but with crap components, no bluetooth, Home Basic, Wireless G, a 2 hr battery, and no optical drive at all. Bringing it up to Apples specs (and bumping the drive in the apple to a 250GB to match) makes the dell cost more, and that's not including having to buy a few hundred dollars in photo and video software the mac comes with free.
@reality: In the US, adds like this are "questionable" and the FTC rarely acts. In other nations, failure to make a DIRECT feature comparison on price would be illegal, and serious fines for microsoft's commercials would be sent flying. in other countries, simply comparing yourself to anyone is illegal, you can only speak to your own stats and prices and leave the consumer to check for themselves. Fact is, compaying a 15" pro series macbook with a dozen more features and faster compnents to a 13" plastic POS for $780, especially when the price displayed in the commercial is $400 higher than accurate pricing today, Microsoft will either comply, or the media attention will have the FTC looking into it without Apple's insistance directly. (especially when their suppoosed "random" people have turned up in at least one commercial to be actors, and they're clearly "paid" for their performance, and are aware it;s a promotion and aware of the vendor in question).
Getting Mac users' panties in a wad is about as hard as getting to spend a night in Paris.
Just to complete the MS shenanegans going on here...
The machine that apple sell that's comparable to the XPS laptop that they buy in the comercial is actually the MacBook -- which is only $999, so yeh, there's a deal of lying going on from MS here. Not forgetting ofc that the person in question here could have got a student discount from apple, meaning it's only $949, and gets an iPod Touch thrown in for free.
Apple isn't such a bad deal after all.
The Real Poop
Stevie J called his mamma first but she told him to stop whining and grow up. So he called Bill G. (you remember him, he gave Apple $5M to stay alive) but Bill was out being a good guy so he then called the Microsoft receptionist. The dear lady just didn't know what to do so she transferred him.
Poor old Stevie J is just a basketball being passed hand to hand while they decide what they'll do as the ad campaign continues.
Classic corporate clown act.
I'm a PC
And I run Linux. For $50 less than the Windows one.
Journalism at the Reg continues to slip. Panties in a bunch with no mention as to what kind of panties they were. Something suitably metrosexual I'll wager.
I love stories like this. Why? As much as MS have their faults Macs are just the same but for more money you can have shiny cases and non-removable batteries while remaining thousands of times more pretentious than anyone else.
Even U2 are selling CrackBerries now.
Shouldn't that be "knickers in a twist"?
Your new British->American dictionary tells me that "panties in a bunch" is the American version.
And yes, I'm a Mac. Those "unscripted" laptop hunter ads are the bees knees. I always need a good laugh, and they're pretty good for that. But then so are the I'm a Mac ads. Knowing that they make a Windoze fanboy (or fanboi) mad is extra icing on the cake.
Oh yeah, I'm an American too.
If you compare a 13" Dell with a 13" Macbook, guess what. The prices are so close as to make no real difference. Added bonus for the Mac, it doesn't come with that steaming pile of crap known as Vista. That alone is worth at least $200 to me.
"But these are adverts, an artistic form in which truth takes a back seat to impact."
As are press releases. I suspect the phone dialog was fabricated. We are talking about the creator and master of FUD here.
OS/2 was FUDed to death, as was Novell. Both great products. Netscape got FUDded and look where we are with IE. Thank god Mozilla lives on. Word Perfect got FUDded. Many people thought it was far superior to Word at the time. Linux got FUDded but recovered. Had it not been FUDded, it may be further along in overall usage.
FUD is Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt for those that haven't read about it.
Why do people get angry?
I've seen the laptop hunter ads. They are the best ads out of Redmond in years. Good for them.
As for people like Ben Lambert getting angry at the Mac ads? I can understand maybe if you didn't find them funny, but angry? How could they make you angry?
Overall the Apple ads are more entertaining, but the MS ads might have more impacts with hard numbers (however questionable they may be.)
Just don't understand how the Apple ads could make someone angry... Fail because Ben Lambert must take things too seriously.
Kevin, Kevin, Kevin...
Kevin (is it just me, or does the name Kevin perfectly embody Microsoft),
Please remember that people buy Microsoft products because they have to. But people buy Apple products because they want to...
Homeless Frank vs Humourless Steve(s)
Hard to believe anyone would be influenced by the MS ads except on price, which just confirms Apple's better market image.
The Apple campaign was quite persuasive.
But the parody is in a league of its own compared to either Apple or MS. If I was hiring at those companies' ad agencies I'd be looking at the talents behind Frank.
Apples and Oranges (Sorry)
Comparing Dell with Apple is like comparing a Perodua Myvi with a Mini. Sure the Perodua will get you to the shops every week, but it's cheap, nasty, plasticky, rattly, squeaky, badly made and above all uninspiring. If you have to have a laptop just to get the job done then a Dell will be fine. If, however you want something well designed and well made that will last and inspire you, buy the Apple.
I'm not even talking particularly about software here, personally I prefer Linux because it's easier to create the user interface you want. Rather than have somebody else's idea of the perfect GUI thrust upon you. Nor am I particularly having a go at Microsoft, you can get quality hardware to run Windows, but not at bargain basement prices.
As such Microsoft's advertisement is a crock of shit. "This Perodua Myvi has four wheels and an engine, so does this Mini. The Perodua is £4000 cheaper. Therefore the Perodua is a better buy." Yeah right.
OK, so you'll have to search around to find a decent notebook without Windoze pre-installed, but chances are, if you do, you may be able to get it significantly cheaper than one with. And you don't get half the HDD filled up with 30 day trial versions of software designed to make the "Software Bundle" look impressive.
If you want cheap buy a PC. All the rest is rationalization.
I am a Homebuilt Linux
I put together my own boxes. This means that I get a far better system for considerably less than what I would pay for a system put together by some marketing dork.
Yes, I have one Winblows box on my network. That is used for gaming and that is all it is used for. Everything else is done on a Linux box, including the second hand laptop next to my bed.
I'm not a fan of MS or Apple
But, the point of the MS ads seems to be that you have a greater selection of laptops (specifically) in the under $1000 price range when you look at windows machines vs apples, and, that due to that increased competition, the hardware >in that range< is better value for money than on the apple side.
After reading all the people saying "oh this is so true" and "this is total BS, MS are lying liars" I figured I'd do some non-scientific investigation. Simply, taking the lead from one of MS's ads (the one with the kid), I looked at prices that Best Buy has for both.
In the under $1000 range ONLY.
Mac has 1 computer in this range. a Apple® - MacBook® with 13.3" Display - White for $999.99.
MS runners have 5 computers in this range (in laptops, only, not counting netbooks). They range from $929.99 to $999.99.
So it looks like the claim of greater range of competition is accurate. So, next I looked at the variety of hardware involved.
The cheapest of the MS laptops has the same size screen, faster CPU, double the memory, over double the hard drive space. Both have Nvidia graphics chips, however I'm not certain on the relative strengths of each. Both end with Ms, so they are both meant for mobile use (no surprise) the mac one is a GeForce 9400M, while the Samsung one is a 105M.
Looking at the remainder of the MS laptops, it seems that they all, predictably, have better stats in one or more ways, than the cheapest of their ilk... and thus better than the mac.
Thus the assertion that you can get better value for money in low end laptops when buying MS-running hardware than a Mac holds true. But we all already knew that, I think.
Now, to the prices displayed. I only recall one actual price displayed on the commercials that I've seen. It could be that I was just unobservant, however I only recall them showing the register once... it had a price of $699 on it as they were saying that the total came out to be less than $1000 for everything. This is slightly misleading, I suppose, however, they didn't actually directly say that the laptop cost $699... any more than apple ads directly say that ALL PCs are virus ridden hell-traps of permanent drudgery, so I'll give them the same pass that apple gets: you're both a bunch of marketing liars <shrug> welcome to the pack with every other major company.
Mac are inferioir grossly over price generic x86 hardware in a shiny plastic case
It does not matter how many false advertising Ads Apple gets. That fact will never change.
idiots with a IQ in the lower single digit get a Mac. For the reste of us there is PC With CHOICE AND COMPETITION.
I am too tech savy to be con into buying ANY apple products.
"I am too tech savy to be con into buying ANY apple products."
And obviously too tech savvy to be able to spell or type in English. Keep your PC. Enjoy.
I use Windows, but lets run the Apple Elimination with a PC... using Linux..
"Hi, I'm a Mac"
"And I'm a PC (running Linux) there are tons and tons of PC's out there (all capable of running a wide variety of Linux) so I brought them along to find the one thats best for her"
"Whistle - thats a lot of PC (shit, consumer choice and not locked down?)"
"So what do you want?"
"Well I want a computer with a big screen"
"Ok, small screen computer, beat it"
"Well I want a fast processor"
"Ok, slow PC's beat it (even though Linux doesn't really need a fast processor, and hey, its Linux, you could have a PC running in SMP with 4 CPU's, real CPU's too! Hell, you can even turn off one of the CPU's and remove it, whilst the OS is still running - apparently)"
"I just need something that just works, without crashing, or viruses or a ton of headaches"
"What the fuck? Are you stupid or something? Do you actually have the first iota of knowledge about a computer? The OS generally is a stable as hell and doesn't crash, its the applications that crash. But hey, I'm running Ubuntu, it just works, is stable and yeah, how many more viruses does the Mac have compared to Linux? Wait, Mac, why are you leaving? Oh you have viruses, sorry dude"
Moral of the story, Linux guys get all the girls.....
PC's are cheaper but my time is worth more
I'm myself, am a big UNIX/Linux user so I run Linux on a couple second hand laptops from IBM or HP. For the most part, these laptops work fine.
For my family, I switched from a so so PC hardware running Windows to a iMac. Working in IT all day long (Storage Admin working on EMC/HDS/IBM gear) I just got tired of coming home and working on the PC regarding some stupid issue. Of course it didn't happen every day but enough to drive me crazy. So I decided to get a iMac for my family to use. I suppose if I got better hardware on my family PC running Windows I might not have had as many issues, but the iMac has turn out to be solid.
the world has been screaming out for a direct between Apple and major PC brands
for example, comparing Apple lappies to similar models from Dell, Tosh, HP/Compaq, Asus, Acer
http://reviews.cnet.com/4520-10442_7-6511774-1.html is a good start, with lots of benchmarks, but not very recent
http://www.macworld.com/article/139901/2009/04/mac_windows_1000.html is newer, but about the MacBook, and doesn't list any bookmarks
worth spending a bit of time on it yourself, really, isn't it?
Truth in advertising...
Of course, *none* of these advertisements can be run in any country with even rudimentary "Truth in Advertising" laws.
Only in the barbarian lands, thankfully, is such drek broadcast.
As sure as night follows day...
...as continual as the changing of the seasons or the tide of the seas, the eternal computer platform whining continues.
(It helps if you learn to treat it as background noise. A bit like tinnitus, but less pleasant.)
Lauren can be *my* PC anyday....
No, I don't really know what that means:
IT Angle: I bought a laptop with linux pre-installed on it. It's not perfect (no computer would be, really), but I love it.
I'm too lazy and CHEAP to own a PC.
As RichyS said earlier, 'Please remember that people buy Microsoft products because they have to. But people buy Apple products because they want to...'
I want quality not choices! VMware rules!
<QUOTE>And obviously too tech savvy to be able to spell or type in English.</QUOTE>
Ad hominem arguments are much lower on any scale than bad spelling or grammar.
Ad hominem arguments based on bad spelling and grammar are even lower than that.
Keep your Mac. Don't care if you enjoy or not, but you sound so smug I suspect you do.
When it comes to inaccurate adverts...
Nothing really compares to some of the bullshit and FUD apple spew in their advertising.
Yeah, what he said.
Microsoft is basically lying that these people are "normal people". They're actors, paid to select a Windows running product. Which is ok, but they shouldn't lie and pretend that they are, in fact, "people on the street". Apple might stretch things in their ads, but they don't outright lie in them.
As for prices: when you compare apples to apples, Apple prices are in line (except for what they charge for memory, that's a total and utter rip off). It's when you start comparing Apple to rotting unidentified biological matter that Microsoft and their shills get to say that Apple is "way overpriced".
the "I'm a Mac" ads were irritating
Ads are supposed to make you want to buy the product.
All those did was make Mac owners look like smug tossers whilst telling PC owners they were idiots.
Hardly a good way to pitch your product to either target audience.
I am pretty sure teh customer can make up there own mind
Speaking of which running Tri boot system (was bored one day) with Xp / Unbunto / Mac os x
the pot and the kettle
As said before Apple are pretty good at lying. Security through obscurity is not security.
As for price, last I checked, for a PC with X hardware you pay least if you make it, about 80-500 more to get it pre made with windows at the same spec and the same difference again for a mac.. Back when a slightly OCed E6700 gave you a desktop processor money couldn't buy I built a system for about £1400, my friend spent the same amount on a mac, got ram that was one step down, a processor one step down, instead of a HD2900 graphics card it had the midrange card which was about 40% of the cost and performance ... Even with those price cuts, I imagine PCs with equivalent spec are faster. The price cut will have done a lot to help but in the end you pay a LOT for OSX. Microsoft should just post edit the videos and be done with it.
I have to agree about the Mac vs PC ads, they were bad enough in the UK (Dave, Rob, what were you thinking?) but I was on holiday in the US and saw one of the ads on the TV, it seemed like they were just saying that Bill Gates, and therefore by extension all Windows users were socially retarded idiots and that Steve Jobs and therefore by extension any Mac user was the coolest thing since James Bond. I was quite shocked.
I generally speaking detest any of the new form of advertising whereby direct specific comparisons are place on the major competitor, you know the stuff: At Tesco X costs Y, but at Asda it costs Z, it just makes me think that everything else is not comparible. If a product can't sell itself and needs its competition to be sold, it's probably not that good.
For once, I'm completely with Microsoft on this one - they should keep running the ads. Macs are overpriced. End of.
What's wrong with quality AND choice?
If I can choose to assemble my own computer (with any OS), with quality products, what's wrong with that?
Why is there so much animosity between fans of different OSs? Why are there fans of OSs?!?!?
This guy has already lied about those ads being "unscripted," why believe anything else he says?
That phonecall never happened. Legal departments don't just "ring up companies" and ask them to halt advertising campaigns.
The MS nutjob is a liar.
Re: the "I'm a Mac" ads were irritating
"All those did was make Mac owners look like smug..."
They got something right then, eh?
This is the thing that gets me about Apple product owners. They feel the overwhelming need to gab on about their purchase. Presumably as an attempt to offset the fact that they've just paid a good wad for it.
But what do they say about their shiny white gadget? They say it's _so_ easy to use, looks _great_ and is so _stable_ and _immune_ to viruses.
My experience? I've no love for the iPod wheel and Macs don't have a delete key. 'Easy to use' is a matter of opinion, based on what you're used to as much as anything else. What they really mean is 'they do things for you'. Looks are a matter of opinion & a decent looking laptop or phone is not hard to find these days. And I've not had a virus since the days of surfing without anti-virus in Win95. Can't remember the last crash I had in XP. Vista might well drag it's heels sometimes, but (to me) it seems to be even less likely to actually fall over than XP.
Apple owners _choose_ to buy Apple, yes. But their choice is to pay up so they _don't have to choose_. Windows users just accept that MS is a totally sufficient de facto standard (in the vast majority of cases). Linux users are either doing very specialist tasks or using it based on an ideology - even the splendid Linux Mint is not up to spec compared to XP/Vista for many users.
the only point of interest . .
. . . is that Apple lowered their notebook prices after the laptop hunter ads started running, making them even more misleading. Perhaps not a response triggered by the ads; just as likely MS knew Apple would reduce prices this year and got in first.
The funny thing about it is that Macbooks are also PC's, and plenty of PC laptops are more expensive than Macbooks. So logically the ads are simply telling us that if your primary interest is sticker price, Apple don't make the bendy plastic notebook you'll be getting, with undersized battery, subsidized by nagware, with a cut down Home version of the OS.
And, sensitive Microtards everywhere, the "I'm a Mac" ads didn't tell you you are stupid; you're not: the actors represent the computers, not their owners. The ads point out the many stupid things about your computer, starting with the fact that it's on permanent energy sapping antivirus medication.
@Mectron, John Molloy, Geoffrey W
Oh for the love of Pete. I was going to stay out of this one, because Mac vs PC discussions always devolve into religeous flame wars, but really.
Geoffrey, you can't attack one side of an argument for making an ad-hom attack in response to an ad-hom attack. And yes, "idiots with a IQ in the lower single digit get a Mac" is an ad-hom attack, and it *is* grammatically incorrect. If (Mectron) you're going to insult me, please try to get it right.
John, he's right. And there's several better ways to point out the holes in Mectron's arguments; such as for example the fact that my Macbook's case is made of solid aluminium, presenting a rather more solid form-factor than the average Dell. Or the fact that a Mac *is* a personal computer, and is such is *part* of the competition.
Yes, I have a Macbook. However I'm typing this on my office desktop PC, which like my home desktop runs Windows. Vista here, W7RC at home. I'm also personally responsible for several Linux (mastly Debian, one Ubuntu) servers, so I feel sufficiently to say the following:
Windows historically presents a pretty bad user interface. This has been improved with W7 and Vista, although Vista screwed the pooch with UAC (which has been toned down in W7). The downside to that is that the old familiarity has gone away. Popular Linux window managers (both Gnome and KDE) make me grimace; other WMs tend to be insufficiently well-featured. OSX provides a wonderful UI - it is widely acknowledged that Apple are the masters at this - and being based on BSD it allows me to Get Shit Done(tm) in the same way that Linux does. However, yes, the hardware is overpriced.
Basically, it boils down to what you can afford. Windows is okay because it's familiar (up until recently, anyway) and is much better from a stibility perspective than it used to be; Linux is stable, powerful and very customiseable if you've got the time and inclination to learn; and OSX is stable at the cost of expensive hardware, powerful and very easy to use.
There. Now can we please learn to live and let live?..
The only time I bought a laptop with Windows on it was because I intended to reformat the disk and put Linux on it. I've still got that laptop and it's still good enough for the job because of the lack of bloat.
"And, in a number of spots, Long gets the girl"
should be "Long gets the boy" as crApple is just a fashion accessory for gay folks
"Moral of the story, Linux guys get all the girls..."
wishful thinking, its more like "gets action from his girly hands..."
Dahling, if you want to be the next Webster, you have to really try harder than that
"My experience? I've no love for the iPod wheel and Macs don't have a delete key. 'Easy to use' is a matter of opinion, based on what you're used to as much as anything else."
I like the iPod wheel. It sure beats having 8 or 9 seperate buttons like my last MP3 player (which for the record ended up full of fluff from my pocket and volume up stopped working)
That's just by-the-by.
The real point in my reply is to point out that Macs DO have a FUCKING delete key.
I'm tired of hearing this lame old duck being quacked. Some Mac laptops don't have one but then my PC laptop doesn't have a numloc key, so what? If you've got more than one hand (and one brain cell) you can easily press the 'fn' key..!
Just for the record, I "grew up" with DEC Alphas, Solaris boxen and HP unix machines (as well as Amigas lol). When I got my first Windows PC it was like getting kicked repeatedly in the nuts. Not much has changed except that their shoes are now a little more polished (and you can get games - big wow). That pretty much says it all about your "ease of use" argument, doesn't it?
I use Linux (CentOS and Red hat flavours), Windows XP, Solaris 10, and Mac OSX at work - I have 5 screens _and_ still need a KVM! - and each have their advantages/failings. Based on my experience with them all four years ago when I had to pay out _my_ money for a laptop I ditched Windows and bought a G4 Mac.
It was the best choice I made.That was OS X 10.3, and since then it's performed faultlessly and reliably, and the upgrades to later OS versions - it's now on 10.5 - have actually made it run faster. You can't say that about a PC, especuially if you're doing video work. At the same time it has a better UI than linux (OK, subjective statement, YMMV), but still has the BSD underpinnings that made setting it up and running it as a XAMP server a piece of piss. Plus it gets all the command line tools linux developers take for granted.
Cost to buy might have been more than a Windows PC, but for TCO I think my Mac has nothing to prove.
- Geek's Guide to Britain Kingston's aviation empire: From industry firsts to Airfix heroes
- Analysis Happy 2nd birthday, Windows 8 and Surface: Anatomy of a disaster
- Review Vulture trails claw across Lenovo's touchy N20p Chromebook
- Adobe spies on readers: EVERY DRM page turn leaked to base over SSL
- Analysis The future health of the internet comes down to ONE simple question…