Microsoft's anti-Mac pricing campaign takes to the web

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
In a new series of web ads, Microsoft portrays two slot machines, one ringing up a Mac with bits of garbage, and the other presenting a cheaper generic PC along with the Zune, Xbox 360, and other things buyers could get with the money they'd save with the PC.



The banner ads are part of Microsoft's new ad campaign promoting cheap hardware, which includes new TV spots contrasting Macs with generic PCs entirely on price. There's not much mention of why the generic PCs are so much cheaper than the Macs they are contrasted with, nor any mention of software expenses.



Microsoft hardware?



Microsoft's new focus on cheap hardware prices is particularly interesting given the fact that the company has been unable to profitably market its own hardware devices outside of its Microsoft-branded keyboards and mice that it bundles with many new PCs as part of its Windows software licensing.



The company has spent billions on the Xbox 360, which is even now only barely clearing a hardware profit before considering the hardware repairs that have plagued the game console. With the Zune, Microsoft has been completely unable to create any impact within the market for MP3 players dominated by Apple's iPod.



Selling software with hardware, and vice versa



Microsoft is a software-centric company. It has long sold its software using cheap hardware. However, Microsoft's software isn't cheap. Retail upgrades for Windows are nearly twice as expensive as Mac OS X, and infinitely more expensive than Linux, which can be obtained for free.



While the need for software compatibility with Windows has long rendered Microsoft's operating system monopoly untouchable, the emergence of new computers that rely more on the web and email have broken that hold. Ubuntu markets a low cost distribution of Linux to PC makers exploiting that new market.







Apple has added sophisticated music, photo, and movie editing software to its web and email offerings, positioning the company's Macs as not just a suitable alternative to Windows PCs, but also more useful and valuable option right out of the box. That pits Apple's business model of selling hardware with cheap software directly opposite to Microsoft's business of selling its software on cheap hardware.







What happened to "Total Cost of Ownership"?



Macs not only bundle in free software missing on the PC side, but also offer personalized support in Apple's retail stores, which is free to those who don't mind standing around waiting for an available genius, and very cheap to users who want a regular One-on-One membership that allows them to visit the stores for virtually unlimited advice and training sessions.



If Microsoft portrayed the software and support expenses of generic Windows PCs into its slot machine graphics, the results would be less flattering.





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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 279
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,848member
    Sock it to 'em, AI!
  • Reply 2 of 279
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    Eeeww-all that Microshit that's like the garbage door opening on Let's Make a Deal.



    Let the bashing begin!!!!
  • Reply 3 of 279
    charlesscharless Posts: 301member
    Doesn't AI already have a front-page article on MS's new ads?



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    What happened to "Total Cost of Ownership"?



    Macs have a higher TCO as well. When components in a PC become outdated or you need a new feature like USB 3.0 or eSATA or something else that didn't come with the machine, you can upgrade it for the price of a cheap PCI or ExpressCard add-on. With Macs, you have to throw the computer away and get a brand new one at full price, unless the Mac is one of the extremely overpriced "Pro" models.



    They cost more up front, and they don't last as long. It's unfortunate that OS X can't legally run on anything else.
  • Reply 4 of 279
    I can't wait to see how Apple responds to this, if at all.



    My bet? Apple will ignore this campaign.



    Thoughts?



    (Btw, I am convinced teckstud is Ballmer).
  • Reply 5 of 279
    Isn't the definition of insanity doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results? In which case Balmer can add Insane to Idiot and Gasbag on his list of personality traits. I mean, if Microsoft really wants to promote their junk (product) as low cost, shouldn't they sell it in KMart and Wallmart? And maybe Dollar Store? I suspect they will be that desperate soon.



    Gordon
  • Reply 6 of 279
    Here's the new campaign in a nutshell: "Microsoft, we sell cheap crap!"



    Good luck with that.
  • Reply 7 of 279
    virgil-tb2virgil-tb2 Posts: 1,416member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by CharlesS View Post


    ... Macs have a higher TCO as well. When components in a PC become outdated or you need a new feature like USB 3.0 or eSATA or something else that didn't come with the machine, you can upgrade it for the price of a cheap PCI or ExpressCard add-on. With Macs, you have to throw the computer away and get a brand new one at full price, unless the Mac is one of the extremely overpriced "Pro" models.



    They cost more up front, and they don't last as long. It's unfortunate that OS X can't legally run on anything else.



    I guess your just a troll or an astroturfer, but I have to point out that everything you say here is 100% wrong. Almost any study on the matter ever done comes to the conclusion that Macs have a *lower* TCO.



    To be specific, your argument is "full of it" in that:
    • your upgrade parts also have a cost that needs to be factored in

    • Macs last typically far longer than a regular PC.

    • most support and repair costs are built into the price on a Mac

    • no antivirus or "repair" programs needed to purchase

  • Reply 8 of 279
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post


    I can't wait to see how Apple responds to this, if at all.

    My bet? Apple will ignore this campaign.



    How about Walmart/Microsoft mashups? Throw in something about China.



    Really, is all of Microsoft really this stupid? Really? Or is it just someone at the top?
  • Reply 9 of 279
    These are great ads...LOL....I really got a laugh out of the "ringing slots payout" chime !!



    But, when given the choice, I tried to pick the matches , mint and Mackbook Pro for $2799.00



    Matches, to light my blunt.

    Mint, to freshen my breath

    and Macbook Pro, to knock out to some really creative work !!!



    Love It !!!
  • Reply 10 of 279
    bspearsbspears Posts: 147member
    Who cares about this ad. According to Microsoft when you lose you win and when you win you lose.



    /Thread
  • Reply 11 of 279
    remember when MS used to say that they aren't worried about apple, because they're just the "little guy"?



    now we have MS ads flat out bashing apple. seems like someone feels threatened about apple's success after all.
  • Reply 12 of 279
    s8er01zs8er01z Posts: 144member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by GordonPrice67 View Post


    Isn't the definition of insanity doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results? In which case Balmer can add Insane to Idiot and Gasbag on his list of personality traits. I mean, if Microsoft really wants to promote their junk (product) as low cost, shouldn't they sell it in KMart and Wallmart? And maybe Dollar Store? I suspect they will be that desperate soon.



    Gordon



    I think you are a bit confused by something here....



    A PC != Microsoft



    Also...



    You can buy PC hardware at Walmart and you can buy Microsofts software at Walmart so I am not sure where you were going there??
  • Reply 13 of 279
    2oh12oh1 Posts: 501member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by CharlesS View Post


    They cost more up front, and they don't last as long.



    Don't last as long? I've been averaging five years from every Mac I've bought since my PowerMac 7100!



    They do cost more up front unless you buy something of equal quality on the PC side. It's just that most on the PC side buy cheap garbage, which is why their first thoughts are "How do I upgrade it?"
  • Reply 14 of 279
    expatexpat Posts: 110member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    What happened to "Total Cost of Ownership"?



    Macs not only bundle in free software missing on the PC side, but also offer personalized support in Apple's retail stores, which is free to those who don't mind standing around waiting for an available genius, and very cheap to users who want a regular One-on-One membership that allows them to visit the stores for virtually unlimited advice and training sessions.



    If Microsoft portrayed the software and support expenses of generic Windows PCs into its slot machine graphics, the results would be less flattering.



    Sounds like the plot of a new Mac/John Hodgeman commercial
  • Reply 15 of 279
    cmf2cmf2 Posts: 1,427member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by CharlesS View Post


    Doesn't AI already have a front-page article on MS's new ads?





    Macs have a higher TCO as well. When components in a PC become outdated or you need a new feature like USB 3.0 or eSATA or something else that didn't come with the machine, you can upgrade it for the price of a cheap PCI or ExpressCard add-on. With Macs, you have to throw the computer away and get a brand new one at full price, unless the Mac is one of the extremely overpriced "Pro" models.



    There are no PCI slots on all-in-one PC's either. Apple doesn't compete in the traditional desktop market, if they did, the desktops would have PCI slots. Compare apples to apples and oranges to oranges my friend. You have a point on the macbooks, although the average person won't add an expresscard in the first place.



    On a side note: you can have a BMW and a Chev with the same horsepower, that doesn't make the cars comparable. The same applies to computers. You may not need lightweight and thin laptops made from aluminum not plastic, you may not need ambient light sensors that autmatically adjust screen and keyboard brightness, or a slot-loading drive, or multi-touch, or a magsafe cord, or a hard drive drop sensor, etc. The fact that you don't need/want those things doesn't mean they don't add to the cost.
  • Reply 16 of 279
    cubertcubert Posts: 728member
    Does anyone else see the irony in their use of a brushed metal frame and the iPhone slot machine GUI?
  • Reply 17 of 279
    djames42djames42 Posts: 298member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    If Microsoft portrayed the software and support expenses of generic Windows PCs into its slot machine graphics, the results would be less flattering.



    Actually what I think would be more accurate is to post that, comparing to the cost of a Mac, you could buy a PC. And a yearly subscription to an Anti-Virus program. And a few visits from the geek squad to reinstall your operating system twice a year to remove malware. And a piece of lint.
  • Reply 18 of 279
    bsenkabsenka Posts: 799member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by CharlesS View Post


    Doesn't AI already have a front-page article on MS's new ads?





    Macs have a higher TCO as well. When components in a PC become outdated or you need a new feature like USB 3.0 or eSATA or something else that didn't come with the machine, you can upgrade it for the price of a cheap PCI or ExpressCard add-on. With Macs, you have to throw the computer away and get a brand new one at full price, unless the Mac is one of the extremely overpriced "Pro" models.



    They cost more up front, and they don't last as long. It's unfortunate that OS X can't legally run on anything else.



    Very true. This is my biggest complaint about the current Mac lineup. Selling intentionally closed boxes inherently shortens the usable life of the computer. Macs used to have a longer serviceable life, that's simply not the case any more.



    Of course none of that is relevant to the ads which are comparing laptops. In that case, closed boxes on both sides. Same parts, made in the same factories, only real differences are the OS and the price. And the Mac laptops are grossly overpriced for the components they contain. It's like OS X is a $1000 add-on.
  • Reply 19 of 279
    cmf2cmf2 Posts: 1,427member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by 2oh1 View Post


    Don't last as long? I've been averaging five years from every Mac I've bought since my PowerMac 7100!



    They do cost more up front unless you buy something of equal quality on the PC side. It's just that most on the PC side buy cheap garbage, which is why their first thoughts are "How do I upgrade it?"



    My PC's typically got replaced within a year, my MBP is coming up on 3.
  • Reply 20 of 279
    mav5mav5 Posts: 36member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Maury Markowitz View Post


    Here's the new campaign in a nutshell: "Microsoft, we sell cheap crap!"



    Good luck with that.



    Amen to that!
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