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Microsoft already on defense, cites "Apple Tax" in new emails

post #1 of 91
Thread Starter 
There's still a few hours to go before Apple takes the wraps off its new notebook line, but that hasn't stopped its rival to the north from scrambling into a defensive stance, firing off emails to its employs that bill the new systems as overpriced, underspec'd and locked down.

Gizmodo, which published excerpts from the Microsoft email, says the Redmond, Wash.-based software giant included charts comparing the feature sets of similarly priced Windows and Mac notebooks, and made repeated (eight) accusations of an "Apple Tax."

"The email is interesting: nothing they say is incorrect, but none of it is new. Most importantly, all of it misses the point completely," the gadget blog wrote. "Most Apple buyers are fully aware that they could purchase cheaper computers from another manufacturer -- after all, Apple's hardware specifications aren't exactly closely guarded secrets."

Microsoft referenced a Morgan Stanley research note from last month in which the firm cited a bruised global economy as an indicator that growth in the high-end PC would fall, leaving much of the industry's growth prospects to " the sub-$1,000 market where Apple does not play."

"Even if Apple were to drop pricing, the Apple Tax still prices Macs well outside of the sub-$1000 range," Microsoft said. "You can get a PC laptop with a bigger hard drive, more RAM, a media-card reader, more USB ports, and a bigger screen, for much less than a Mac."

The software maker simply charged Apple with offering consumers only one "significantly upgradeable Mac," the Mac Pro priced at $2799. It said consumers can "upgrade just about any Windows desktop PC" without having to drop loads of cash on new software that would be required when making the switch to Apple's computer line.

"Repurchasing software to make your Mac do all the things your PC does will cost you hundreds of dollars," the company said. "Buying a Mac means scrapping your software and buying new applications (for up to $1,100) that run on Mac, just to do what you can still easily do on a new PC with the applications you already have."

Microsoft also lambasted Apple for withholding a slew of hardware features from its Mac line that have been available on Windows PCs "for years," such as HDMI, Blu-Ray, eSATA, MediaCard Readers, built-in 3G, Fingerprint readers, and TV Tuners.

"Not only does this mean you get to use the latest and greatest now, but since it’s so easy to upgrade PCs, it also means that your computer is more future-ready…you can get today’s technology now, and tomorrow’s technology the minute its available," the company said.

Microsoft is presently enthralled in a $300 million advertising campaign aimed at cleaning up the image of Windows Vista-based PCs, which have been tarnished at the hands of Apple and its own "I'm a PC, I'm a Mac" international advertising blitz.
post #2 of 91
Yeah, and the WinTel tax is to pay for antivirus and anti-malware software on a yearly basis and slow down your brand new system by 20% right out of the box.
post #3 of 91
In a way this is entirely inappropriate: Like other PC makers, Apple makes a machine that runs Windows. For MS to attack the Mac is just like MS attacking Dell over their hardware specs and pricing.
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post #4 of 91
Dont hate the player, hate the game......

One thought he was invincible... the other thought he could fly.

They were both wrong.

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One thought he was invincible... the other thought he could fly.

They were both wrong.

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post #5 of 91
Funny how MS decides to make a comparison at the hardware level. The last time I checked MS was a software company!

Hey Redmond, where's the OS comparisons? That's right, you can't make a stand against OS X.
post #6 of 91
Unless, of course, you run Windows on that mac, then none of that buy new software crap is true. But then you would need to buy virus protection software...
My wife's company pc was down all weekend with a virus that even IT (morons!) couldn't fix.
All the while I was next to her with my Macbook Pro working away on a film score. Never ANY virus on my macs (since 1984) or virus protection for that matter.
post #7 of 91
So, it appears Microsoft is starting to worry a little bit....
post #8 of 91
redmond forgets to mention that macs come with a huge software package preoinstalled... out of the box PCs don't include that sotware... thus the original pricing of PCs must be adjusted for that... and they forget to mention resale value, and cost of ownership... a used mac is worth money after 2-3 years, a used PC is hard to sell... most people are happy to give them away for free, if there's someone who wants it, LOL...
vista = virus inside switch to apple
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vista = virus inside switch to apple
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post #9 of 91
Sounds like Microsoft is following John McCain's playbook.
The Apple Tax sound suspiciously like the gas tax holiday McBirdbrain was touting last July. They are equally amusing stunts!
post #10 of 91
Something that interests me is Microsoft's attitude towards BootCamp. At first glance you might guess that M$ would like BootCamp because of the extra retail sales it generates. But by all appearances, they're as threatened by BootCamp as they are by OS X. What's up with that?

My guess is, the last thing M$ wants is for the user to closely compare OS X with Windows, which of course BootCamp encourages. The last thing they want is for users to become educated about the genuine differences between OS X and Vista. I think "Ignorance is Bliss" is their philosophy.
post #11 of 91
They do make a few good points...
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

"Even if Apple were to drop pricing, the Apple Tax still prices Macs well outside of the sub-$1000 range," Microsoft said. "You can get a PC laptop with a bigger hard drive, more RAM, a media-card reader, more USB ports, and a bigger screen, for much less than a Mac.

And there's also...
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Microsoft also lambasted Apple for withholding a slew of hardware features from its Mac line that have been available on Windows PCs "for years," such as HDMI, Blu-Ray, eSATA, MediaCard Readers, built-in 3G, Fingerprint readers, and TV Tuners.

These things also make them thick and unsightly. Although I agree that Windows owns features v price...they need to make their OS more user-friendly, computers better looking and more powerful (oh wait, they don't have control over that), cut out all the bloatware, and what about those viruses and the "Windoze tax"(ie anti-virus software). Until then it's OS X for me.

Also what about the cost of people having to upgrade their software for Vista? Hypocrites!!
post #12 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTel View Post

Yeah, and the WinTel tax is to pay for antivirus and anti-malware software on a yearly basis and slow down your brand new system by 20% right out of the box.

That's right, and let's not forget the Windows Server Client Access License Tax!!!
Gosh... what a rip off!
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post #13 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by AHeneen View Post

They do make a few good points...

Also what about the cost of people having to upgrade their software for Vista? Hypocrites!!

I can count on only one hand the number of software titles that work on XP and not vista. Nothing but FUD here.

Look, I'm an apple fanboy, but if this mornings rumors all prove to be true, I'm afraid I'm going to look at the PC market for a new laptop. I'm not paying a premium and only getting an aluminum case in return on the low end.
post #14 of 91
"Microsoft is presently enthralled in a $300 million advertising campaign"

I think the writer needs to look up the word "enthralled" in the dictionary.
post #15 of 91
MS sounds, frankly, terrified. Wow.

They also conveniently forget that you don't have to "re-purchase" any software when moving from a PC to a Mac, since Macs run Windows these days. Only bummer is that you'll have to buy a copy of Winblows.

They do make a good point that Apple doesn't have much of a presence in the sub-$1000 market, though. I'd like to see Apple change that myself, and compete more in at least the upper reaches of that market. I'm hoping that the event today is the beginning of that process.

...
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Cut-copy-paste, MMS, landscape keyboard, video-recording, voice-calling, and more... FINALLY
To the 'We Didn't Need It' Crowd/Apple Apologista Squad : Wrong again, lol
Thanks for listening to your...
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post #16 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

made repeated (eight) accusations of an "Apple Tax."

Just Like the Mc Cain tactics- Do they really think everyone is that dumb?
post #17 of 91
Microsoft talks about "PCs" and their products supporting the future. That is a complete joke.

Take a look at the XBox. Many models did not support HDMI when it was a STANDARD. The machine came with a last generation optical drive. Microsoft supported HD-DVD when it was CLEARLY not going to win the great HD wars of 2007.

Microsofts concept of value added is to put 3 pop-up windows asking if you are sure you want to do something instead of fixing the security holes in their software.

IF they are correct and Blu-Ray is not an option, I will be forced to acquire a VAIO as I can not wait until Jan for a new notebook.
post #18 of 91
As much as I hate MS, I have to admit they make some valid points, many of the same things that have been said even by people who are generally apple supporters.

Apple does mark BTO extras like ram and HD way up, they don't offer much in the way of choice, and they mostly ignore the lower priced end of the market, particularly for anyone looking for a reasonable machine with any expansion.

Yeah, I know it takes us back to the midtower. But with the failure of two of the USB ports on my mini, I am reminded that I would easily be able to work around that instead of having to buy another USB hub or go days without the machine while it's in the shop, if I had the option of buying a machine with even basic expansion instead of a closed system.

I'd love to see apple wise up someday, but I'm not getting my hopes up.
post #19 of 91
Man you guys already hit all the main points. M$ is a software company, whos software runs on all newer Apple computers, so I'm not sure why they feel so threatened by another hardware maker.

Because of Bootcamp, it is actually much easier to switch to mac than vice versa. You can essentially use your mac as a windows pc, and slowly over time upgrade software for your mac (or even better, completely switch to OSX immediately, and use the excellent included software and supplement your other applications with open source versions, which are both abundant and very good quality in most cases), but you never lose the ability to run your old PC-only applications. So the only additional cost when buying a mac is that of windows XP (because we all know vista is crap).

If you are a a long time mac user, switching to a PC is ridiculously expensive, because all that Mac-only software becomes scrap, and you are forced to immediately upgrade to windows versions (or again use open source, though I'll admit I'm not familiar with the quality of open source windows apps), so you have to add those prices onto the cost of the computer.
post #20 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Microsoft said. "You can get a PC laptop with a bigger hard drive, more RAM, a media-card reader, more USB ports, and a bigger screen, for much less than a Mac."

Riiiight! Ugly plastic cases that twitch and crackle with every move, painted plastics that eventually expose the case's underlying color, 1995 style slot-loading DVD players, latches hanging off of the tops of monitors, ugly bottoms with dents and screws, falling batteries, silkscreen printed keyboards. Yuck!

I hardly use my DVD drive, why would I need more holes in my laptop for card-readers? If I need to transfer pics, I'll plugin my camera.
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post #21 of 91
It's true - you can get more gadgets for the PC, and some day Apple will have to compete in that area... when MS is competing in the OS area.

Right now, the overall experience with Vista is so underwhelming that no one can get past it.

I switched to Mac about a year ago, and I can say that my desire for the 'bleeding edge' was over ridden by the desire for something that worked. A great deal of us first-gen computer users (think TRS-80 and C-64) have moved on to living happy lives that don't involve planning a weekend to 'clean up my hard drive', or 'reinstall windows'.

I like MS - they are innovators in many spaces... MS Office elevated office software to too high a level really. Their development tools run many of the PC client apps in businesses. But, as the world goes Web 2.0 or whatever you want to call it, people want the OS to be 'out of the way'.

Look for a completely different OS from MS... similar to the OSX transformation... where it will all be new and the old WIN32 will be supported in virtualization. This will allow MS the clean sheet of paper they need to make the next step in OS evolution... It's too bad they are 5 years behind as the competition would be good.
post #22 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by belunos View Post

...Look, I'm an apple fanboy, ...I'm not paying a premium and only getting an aluminum case in return on the low end.

You're the worst fanboy ever !!

You get a lot more than a case when you buy a Mac. I can't go back to Windows because of the virus stuff alone. Plus unix makes managing web servers much easier. iLife, which is free. Support at the Apple Store. No PC maker has support at the mall...

There's more than the case.
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post #23 of 91
Why doesn't MS start pushing Windows to Intel Mac users?

"I'm a Mac."
"and I'm also a PC.
"If you are a PC and thinking about switching to Mac, I'm here to tell you that you can still run all your Windows software simply by purchasing and installing a new copy (re: more money for us) of Windows Vista, the greatest operating system on the planet (cough, cough)."

(John Hodgman and Justin Long merge/morph into one character, something like Russell Crowe with a leg missing)

"Windows on Mac...
Isn't it about time we all played together nice?"
post #24 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by bloggerblog View Post

Riiiight! Ugly plastic cases that twitch and crackle with every move, painted plastics that eventually expose the case's underlying color, 1995 style slot-loading DVD players, latches hanging off of the tops of monitors, ugly bottoms with dents and screws, falling batteries, silkscreen printed keyboards. Yuck!

I hardly use my DVD drive, why would I need more holes in my laptop for card-readers? If I need to transfer pics, I'll plugin my camera.

You know, for half the price or less I'm willing to deal with "ugly". Sorry, but I'd much rather spend my cash and get a bigger monitor, better specs, or more features than pay more just for "pretty". For me, the only reason to buy mac hardware is because it's the only legit way to get OSX.
post #25 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by amac4me View Post

Funny how MS decides to make a comparison at the hardware level. The last time I checked MS was a software company!

Hey Redmond, where's the OS comparisons? That's right, you can't make a stand against OS X.

...... and even funnier (possibly the Funnest) is the fact that MS has never been shy about completely trashing your current configuration of hardware. Every time they come out with a new version of their OS, you need new everything including printers. So to say NOW that you can live your hardware now and only upgrade what you need in the future is just silly. In the past, every time MS told us the future had arrived, we needed a brand new PC. Now, the future for Vista has NOT arrived.... mostly because of the same reason.
post #26 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by wbrasington View Post

...... and even funnier (possibly the Funnest) is the fact that MS has never been shy about completely trashing your current configuration of hardware. Every time they come out with a new version of their OS, you need new everything including printers. So to say NOW that you can live your hardware now and only upgrade what you need in the future is just silly. In the past, every time MS told us the future had arrived, we needed a brand new PC. Now, the future for Vista has NOT arrived.... mostly because of the same reason.

That's a good point. My G5 from 2004 still feels far more responsive than any of the Windows machines in the house from the same time frame. I have no plans to retire it.

When I ran Windows I felt the need to reinstall at least once a year just to start fresh. No so with my Macs.
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post #27 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Buying a Mac means scrapping your software and buying new applications (for up to $1,100) that run on Mac, just to do what you can still easily do on a new PC with the applications you already have.

Never mind the fact boot camp/virtualization negates this comment, where on earth did they get that random "up to $1,100" figure from?
post #28 of 91
post #29 of 91
""The email is interesting: nothing they say is incorrect, but none of it is new. Most importantly, all of it misses the point completely," the gadget blog wrote."

Just like Microsoft technical support!!!!
post #30 of 91
Different people value computers in different ways.

If you buy a computer as a box of hardware only, then you would always buy a PC.

But, if a Mac can do the things you want, then you save so much time and effort with a Mac, that can never be bought back with the money saved on a cheap PC.

Many of the most important software concepts were invented in the 70s and forgotten in the 80s.

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Many of the most important software concepts were invented in the 70s and forgotten in the 80s.

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post #31 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

The software maker ... said ... "Buying a Mac means scrapping your software and buying new applications (for up to $1,100) that run on Mac, just to do what you can still easily do on a new PC with the applications you already have. "

A heart-rending apology for the crushing weight of inertia.
post #32 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by delreyjones View Post

Something that interests me is Microsoft's attitude towards BootCamp. At first glance you might guess that M$ would like BootCamp because of the extra retail sales it generates. But by all appearances, they're as threatened by BootCamp as they are by OS X. What's up with that?

My guess is, the last thing M$ wants is for the user to closely compare OS X with Windows, which of course BootCamp encourages. The last thing they want is for users to become educated about the genuine differences between OS X and Vista. I think "Ignorance is Bliss" is their philosophy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmnikricket View Post

Man you guys already hit all the main points. M$ is a software company, whos software runs on all newer Apple computers, so I'm not sure why they feel so threatened by another hardware maker.

Because of Bootcamp, it is actually much easier to switch to mac than vice versa. You can essentially use your mac as a windows pc, and slowly over time upgrade software for your mac (or even better, completely switch to OSX immediately, and use the excellent included software and supplement your other applications with open source versions, which are both abundant and very good quality in most cases), but you never lose the ability to run your old PC-only applications. So the only additional cost when buying a mac is that of windows XP (because we all know vista is crap).

If you are a a long time mac user, switching to a PC is ridiculously expensive, because all that Mac-only software becomes scrap, and you are forced to immediately upgrade to windows versions (or again use open source, though I'll admit I'm not familiar with the quality of open source windows apps), so you have to add those prices onto the cost of the computer.

The reason Microsoft are spooked is that they've seen Apple's slice of the PC market go from 2% to over %8 over a few years largely as a result of a stable (relative to windows) operating system that doesn't get viruses. Microsoft probably recognise that Apple aren't only in the hardware game: they're also in to software and that OS X offers better stability and better yet no viruses. So if the hardware becomes more popular Microsoft could become marginalised, Boot Camp or not.

Attacking on the hardware side rather than on the software side leaves windows unexposed to a counter-attack.
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post #33 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by belunos View Post

Look, I'm an apple fanboy, but if this mornings rumors all prove to be true, I'm afraid I'm going to look at the PC market for a new laptop. I'm not paying a premium and only getting an aluminum case in return on the low end.

Or you can buy one of the current models from Apple or a reseller for a savings. (they still have much better specs than most PCs out there).
post #34 of 91
This email from MicroSoft, is just like everything else they release.
Not enough for me to be interested on it's first release, maybe when they release a 2nd version possibly a SP II for this email to correct certain "issues".... then I'll pay attention.
post #35 of 91
AAHAHAHAHAHAHAH they shittting their pans, that's what's happening.
Apple had me at scrolling
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Apple had me at scrolling
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post #36 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by zunx View Post

M$, what are YOU scared of?
Perhaps the Mac experience? Get a Mac, it just works! The horrible Windows and M$ experience?

Think you'll find Apple have dropped the Get a Mac, it just works slogan since it no longer does just work. For me OS X is more buggy than Vista.
post #37 of 91
Microsoft are under attack from three directions and, whichever way they turn, they have someone behind them eating their lunch.

The unix variants, like Ubuntu, are saying: Replace Windows with unix.
Apple are saying: Buy the whole integrated package from us.
Google are saying: Who needs a client anyway?

Microsoft are alive and kicking, but they are looking increasingly befuddled by a fast moving business.

Many of the most important software concepts were invented in the 70s and forgotten in the 80s.

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Many of the most important software concepts were invented in the 70s and forgotten in the 80s.

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post #38 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by kim kap sol View Post

Microsoft

that was cheesier than rick roll
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post #39 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by PXT View Post

Microsoft are under attack from three directions and, whichever way they turn, they have someone behind them eating their lunch.

The unix variants, like Ubuntu, are saying: Replace Windows with unix.
Apple are saying: Buy the whole integrated package from us.
Google are saying: Who needs a client anyway?

Microsoft are alive and kicking, but they are looking increasingly befuddled by a fast moving business.

Good one PXT. It would be nice if AI had a way to rate posts. Instead of just blocking people.
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post #40 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by bloggerblog View Post

Riiiight! Ugly plastic cases that twitch and crackle with every move, painted plastics that eventually expose the case's underlying color, 1995 style slot-loading DVD players, latches hanging off of the tops of monitors, ugly bottoms with dents and screws, falling batteries, silkscreen printed keyboards. Yuck!

I hardly use my DVD drive, why would I need more holes in my laptop for card-readers? If I need to transfer pics, I'll plugin my camera.

Riiight... here's where we que the sarcasm:

because Apple's plastic coated iPhones and Macbooks have never cracked...

and Apple's white Macbooks have never stained...

and combo drives are fantastic

and we all, of course, look at the bottoms of our laptops every chance we get...

and Apple manufactures its own batteries...

and chicklet keys are pleasing and aesthetic.


I think I made my point.
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