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"Apple Tax" Report Backfires On Microsoft

CmdrTaco posted more than 5 years ago | from the taxes-were-due-yesterday dept.

993

Ian Lamont writes "A Microsoft-sponsored report that describes a hidden "Apple tax" has fallen flat among the technology press. Roger Kay's report (PDF) compares various PC and Mac configurations, and claims an all-Apple household's costs would add up to an extra $3,367 over five years. Tech columnists and bloggers have slammed the comparisons and claims made in the report — even Mac-baiter John C. Dvorak calls it propaganda. However, some Mac fans still see a pro-Microsoft press conspiracy. Even if the comparisons are questionable, Kay's report and the accompanying television ads have clearly struck a nerve among the Mac faithful." Meanwhile, Linux users everywhere are scratching their heads.

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How is it hidden? (5, Insightful)

AlterRNow (1215236) | more than 5 years ago | (#27596445)

The price tag clearly displays it before the 1,000 unit separator..

*scratches head*

Just use Ninnle! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27596511)

This is exactly why everyone should just use the Ninnle Linux. Ninnle Labs has also started production on their own line of PCs that will only cost 50 dollars and will run their award-winning operating system. This and other innovations brought to you by the Ninnle Labs.

Re:Just use Ninnle! (-1, Troll)

cbiltcliffe (186293) | more than 5 years ago | (#27596545)

Mod parent down.

Spam comment.

Mod parent down (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27596575)

Nigger comment

Re:Just use Ninnle! (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27596863)

Spam? What makes you say that? There is no Ninnle Linux, there are no Ninnle Labs! Get your head out of your ass, breath some fresh air and enjoy a funny comment.

How about those hidden linux taxes? (5, Funny)

2.7182 (819680) | more than 5 years ago | (#27596537)

You have to admit, they are really well hidden.

Re:How about those hidden linux taxes? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27596729)

They are quickly revealed to you post install, if your time is worth anything that is.

Re:How about those hidden linux taxes? (1)

robbrit (1408421) | more than 5 years ago | (#27596847)

You've obviously never tried to install Gentoo.

Re:How about those hidden linux taxes? (5, Funny)

GNUbuntu (1528599) | more than 5 years ago | (#27596865)

I'm still compiling the system you insensitive clod!

Montreal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27596887)

hahahahahuha

Meh. (5, Insightful)

CWRUisTakingMyMoney (939585) | more than 5 years ago | (#27596459)

I buy and use what I like and what I feel lets me work best. I don't think the Apple Tax is that high (hell, it might not even exist), but if Apple can command that price and have people pay it, what's wrong with that? It's just economics: things are worth only what people will pay for them.

Re:Meh. (5, Insightful)

AioKits (1235070) | more than 5 years ago | (#27596551)

It's just economics: things are worth only what people will pay for them.

You're not just buying the thing being offered in many cases though. With advertising and PR you're also buying into the image that comes with it. iPods that make you part of the trendy crowd, shoes that make you a super basketball player or a car that attracts all the babes. Sure, it may be a good product but how many people would be willing to buy the equivalent product that has little or no image / cool factor attached to it?

Re:Meh. (1)

Shadow of Eternity (795165) | more than 5 years ago | (#27596753)

This is slashdot, half the people here probably don't see any problem with carrying a bitdriver and spare wiring around with them.

Re:Meh. (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 5 years ago | (#27596999)

> Sure, it may be a good product but how many people would be willing to buy the equivalent
> product that has little or no image / cool factor attached to it?

It's all marketing or lack thereof.

Some products can sell themselves if they could only get the chance.
Unfortunately, many of these don't get the chance for some reason
or another. In genuine commodity markets, it's pretty easy for
companies to survive as a niche product even without terribly
effective marketing.

I the beginning, they had to give Tivos away. That's how I came by mine.

Re:Meh. (2, Insightful)

NotQuiteReal (608241) | more than 5 years ago | (#27596603)

I buy and use what I like and what I feel lets me work best.

Until you use something that someone else demonizes for being "bad". Then, even if you are willing to pay for it, you are given a hard time... or worse.

Guns, SUVs, cigarettes, fatty foods... soon PC's that are "more powerful than you need" (carbon footprint and all that...)

Re:Meh. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27596827)

Guns, SUVs, cigarettes, fatty foods

What of them?

Guns...

Mac-using emo-homos are anti-gun pacifists. They will gladly roll over and cry uncle when the government's stormtroopers outlaw critical thinking.

...SUV's...

Mac-using battyboys think small, and their vehicles are no exception. The biggest thing you'll see them drive is a Prius.

...cigarettes...

Mac users' don't smoke cigarettes because their boyfriends complain that it makes their lovers' buttholes smell like cancer.

...eating fatty foods.

Mac users are vegetarians. The lack of amino-acids from their unbalanced diet contributes to their impaired brain functioning and their pasty, malnourished appearance. Well, either that or the AIDS. Your call.

Re:Meh. (1)

shoemilk (1008173) | more than 5 years ago | (#27596957)

Until you use something that someone else demonizes for being "bad". Then, even if you are willing to pay for it, you are given a hard time... or worse. Guns, SUVs, cigarettes, fatty foods... soon PC's that are "more powerful than you need" (carbon footprint and all that...)

And yet those are all huge industries. Good thing people are hypocrites.

Re:Meh. (4, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 5 years ago | (#27596637)

Apple's problem isn't so much the "Apple tax," it's that they just don't have a very diverse product line for varied budgets (especially on the low end). When you buy a Dell, they will have something for you whatever your budget is. With Apple, the only thing they have under $1200 is the Mini (sans monitor). There is nothing wrong with that, mind you (a lot of companies specialize in higher-end PC's too). But it does create the perception that you're not getting much "bang for your buck" (since most of their stuff is well above the value "sweet spot" in the sub-$1000 range).

Re:Meh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27596837)

Yeah, but look at purchasing a 5 pack of upgrades for iLife, iWork, and OSX. Compared to the MS equivalent it's cheap [apple.com] , so I've actually run in to Mac users that often buy it.

Apple's gear is probably a couple hundred bucks more expensive up front, but the software's so cheap to upgrade later compared to Microsoft that it really balances out.

Re:Meh. (5, Insightful)

WankersRevenge (452399) | more than 5 years ago | (#27596697)

I just switched over to mac this past December, and I will say that for the first time in a long time, I found myself buying smaller twenty dollar applications that have I needed in my work flow. So in some way, my cost of ownership has risen. That said, my laptop satisfaction is off the charts. Sure, I might have been able to get the same components in a cheaper configuration, but it's the little details that make me love this computer - the magnetic power cable - the backlit keyboard - some of the mouse pad gestures - even the OS experience is a nice one. So yes, I might have a higher TOS, but I'm actually happier (ie, spending money is not a bad thing)

Now before you label me an Apple fan boy, let me also say that I absolutely loathe that company for a gazillion different reasons. I mean really, they do shit that MS wishes they could do in their wet dreams. If my computer purchases were ideologically based, I'd be using Linux. But being more pragmatic that ideological, I decided to go with Apple and as long as they stay on an x86 chip, I see no reason choosing any other.

Re:Meh. (1)

DreamsAreOkToo (1414963) | more than 5 years ago | (#27596799)

I buy and use what I like and what I feel lets me work best.

And the sheeple also buy and use what they believe to be the best. This marketing initiative didn't backfire, it was never aimed at Apple users. Instead, it confirms all the rumors that Apple sucks and you're on the "right team" by sticking with Microsoft.

Re:Meh. (4, Informative)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 5 years ago | (#27596889)

but if Apple can command that price and have people pay it, what's wrong with that?

I don't think anyone is claiming it's wrong in the sense of it being unethical!

But if Microsoft want to point out they are lower cost that competitors, what's wrong with that?

Just as Apple have every right to make their products expensive if they wish, people have a right to point this out when arguing about which computer is best. The issue is about what platform is best, not whether companies have a legal or ethical right to make their products expensive.

Re:Meh. (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 5 years ago | (#27596965)

Microsoft has caught Apple with their pants down this time.

The price descrepanies on their laptops are a bit more obvious
and aggregious than some of their other stuff (most notably
the minis). Perhaps it's time for Apple to close that gap a
little bit. Just make it less of an apparent blowout.

The obvious retorts about quality will only get you so far.

OTOH, don't try too hard. Mind the business. Some customers
are inherently problematic and nearly impossible to deal
with. Leave them to Dell.

Re:Meh. (1)

hey! (33014) | more than 5 years ago | (#27597027)

I buy and use what I like and what I feel lets me work best.

Reports like this aren't aimed for people like you.

They're aimed at people who buy stuff for other people, using money that is not their own, which is a crappy and thankless job. And those people aren't expected to believe this stuff. It's more of a courtesy to the ones who spend their lives plodding along on the purchasing treadmill; a valentine if you will.

It's like diplomacy. Nobody believes it when talks are described as "frank but cordial". That's just a code that says, "Even if all is not right with the world, things aren't getting much worse than they used to be." When talks are just "frank" it's time to restock your nuclear shelter.

Look at page 3 (5, Insightful)

peterdaly (123554) | more than 5 years ago | (#27596461)

See Page Three of the PDF:
"And by holding a price umbrella over the entire market, even with arguably better products, Apple allowed the entire Windows ecosystem to establish itself underneath."

Imaging that. Charging more for a better product!

Re:Look at page 3 (1)

orta (786013) | more than 5 years ago | (#27596531)

Imaging that. Charging more for a better product!

Disgusting, ah well throw some more money at disguising the problem.

Re:Look at page 3 (4, Interesting)

Shrike82 (1471633) | more than 5 years ago | (#27596573)

Imaging that. Charging more for a better product!

That's not the point he's trying to make. He's pointing out that even if the products are better, not catering to a demographic that wants lower prices, and is probably willing to accept lower quality, means you allow competitors to gain a foothold.

I'm still waiting for the IPod bubble to burst. Been waiting quite a while now...

Re:Look at page 3 (4, Insightful)

hey! (33014) | more than 5 years ago | (#27596789)

Competitive products haven't gained a foothold because iPods are priced effectively at zero.

Of course they aren't actually priced at zero from the point of view of making a profit, but they are priced low enough that people don't bother to comparison shop, and from a competitive standpoint that's within spitting distance of zero. Apple doesn't have to watch their low-price flank, because they're occupying every price niche from $79 up to the maximum any sane person would want to spend on such a device. And in every price range, they're offering no-brainer values. Oh, you can probably get better devices for the price, but it's not worth the trouble to figure that out when you can buy an iPod. People have better things to do with their time than pouring over the specifications and features of portable media players. They just figure out how much they're willing to spend, walk over to the iPod display, and buy the next model up. Then they get on with their lives.

Now if somebody came out with a device that inspired consumer lust, and priced it comparably to a similar iPod, then we'd see some market position turmoil and Apple would have to either tweak its products or its prices. But Zune wasn't the device to make them do it.

Re:Look at page 3 (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 5 years ago | (#27596805)

Try holding your breath. That always works.

The iPod bubble will only burst when the iPod competitors actually produce a quality product. I keep trying to use other products but they all do some random annoying little things that prvent me from using them. I like my products to work with me. Not fight my attempts to use them.

I don't use windows as I can't stand the minor details in use. Quality of features over Quanity of features.

Re:Look at page 3 (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 5 years ago | (#27596639)

Better from a technical perspective, but irrelevant from the user's perspective. If the superiority of Mac OS X was relevant to the majority of home computer users, Apple would have a bigger market share. It is unfortunate, but most people really do not care, as long as their computer is capable of running a web browser -- so they go for the product that costs less, and that comes preinstalled on their computer. Mac OS X, with its high price tag, will remain in the minority, and Linux will lose because it does not come preinstalled, despite being gratis (from the end user perspective, if something came preinstalled, then it is free -- the cost was rolled into the price tag, so they never really see what they paid for their software).

Arguments for quality and freedom fall on deaf ears.

Re:Look at page 3 (1, Insightful)

MadKeithV (102058) | more than 5 years ago | (#27596843)

Why is it "unfortunate" that people pick the cheapest option that actually satisfies their needs? That's just basic economics.
The reason Linux hasn't really caught on yet is mostly unavailability, in my opinion.

With €200 Linux Netbooks in the stores here now, it's clear that the accessibility barrier against Linux is crumbling.
Microsoft's anti-Linux scaremongering is also slowly failing. It's the average store salesperson (or tech support guy) that's a bit wary of having to support people who come in thinking their Linux PC is broken because they can't install their pirate copy of MS Office on it. The average buyer doesn't know and doesn't care about the difference, and with the correct setup will probably never even notice that it's NOT MS Office or Internet Explorer.

Re:Look at page 3 (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27596643)

Yep it's pretty dumb to expect a society of cheapskates to spend 1000s of dollars more on a product when they can just get a PC with Windows on it that does all they need for around 500 bucks. Apple really fucked that up.

Re:Look at page 3 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27596739)

That's always the first page I look to as well.

S

Re:Look at page 3 (2, Insightful)

_bug_ (112702) | more than 5 years ago | (#27596749)

Imaging that. Charging more for a better product!

I can buy a Ferrari for a few hundred thousand or I can buy a Toyota for a few thousand. The Ferrari is certainly a better product, but if all I'm using it for is to get to and from work, why the hell would I waste money on the Ferrari?

That's why Apple's pricing is problematic. Sure it looks cute and you'll be the Apple of everyone's eye at the trendy coffee shop, but what's the point? To be seen with your laptop? Like the Ferrari, it's nothing more than a status symbol. It's showing off. I'd rather spend half the money and get more power and more capacity.

But but but the pixels-per-inch! Yes. And you can enjoy your 300 thread count Egyptian cotton sheets. But, like your more pixels per inch, they're unnecessary.

If you want to show off, fine. But don't try to argue value-for-money in the products you choose. It's futile.

Re:Look at page 3 (3, Interesting)

rackserverdeals (1503561) | more than 5 years ago | (#27596773)

Imaging that. Charging more for a better product!

If it is, or is not better, or is or is not worth the price is meaningless. For the vast majority of uses, there are cheaper alternatives that are good enough.

Paying an extra $500, if you're only buying one or two computers, may not seem like a big deal. But when you are planning desktop deployments for your company and looking to order hundreds or thousands of desktops, it starts to add up. Now you're spending a lot more money and in mast cases the users won't need "better" they just need "good enough". If you care about you're employees, that savings on the desktop could be used for something that would have a greater increase in productivity, such as ergonomic chairs or a well stocked break room.

Then you have to worry about seamless integration in your infrastructure. Fact is, Macs still don't make sense outside the home in most cases.

Pro-MS press?!?!? (5, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 5 years ago | (#27596475)

Are you kidding me? Apple has been the darling of newsrooms for as long as I can remember. There was a time you could walk into any newspaper or television newsroom in the country and not see anything BUT Apple computers. The press LOVES Apple. They slovenly follow every Apple product launch with almost rapturous attention (at the iPhone launch, I think I saw more than one reporter have an on-camera orgasm) and talk up even the most mundane Apple announcement. Hell, they've been treating Steve Jobs' recent illness as if the Pope himself had cancer.

Only the most rabid Apple fanboy (who thinks NOTHING good should ever be said of MS, and Apple can do no wrong) would think there is anything even resembling a "pro-Microsoft press conspiracy" out there. Most of the positive press coverage I see about MS is either when they have a MAJOR launch (the 360, a new Halo game, etc.) or is related to Bill Gates' considerable charitable activities (which *deserves* to be covered and extolled, if nothing more than to encourage other rich guys to do it). Most of their stuff barely gets a nod. I don't remember a single mainstream, non tech-press, story on the Zune launch, for example.

If anyone is getting cheated by the mainstream press, it's Linux. I've yet to see a single mainstream news story on THAT. It wasn't even mentioned in any of the news stories on the OLPC [wikipedia.org] program (which got considerable press).

Re:Pro-MS press?!?!? (3, Insightful)

Fujisawa Sensei (207127) | more than 5 years ago | (#27596627)

Only the most rabid Apple fanboy (who thinks NOTHING good should ever be said of MS, and Apple can do no wrong) would think there is anything even resembling a "pro-Microsoft press conspiracy" out there. Most of the positive press coverage I see about MS is either when they have a MAJOR launch (the 360, a new Halo game, etc.) or is related to Bill Gates' considerable charitable activities (which *deserves* to be covered and extolled, if nothing more than to encourage other rich guys to do it). Most of their stuff barely gets a nod. I don't remember a single mainstream, non tech-press, story on the Zune launch, for example.

I'm not an Apple fan; but I still think nothing good should be said about M$. The company is still getting nailed for illegal business practices like the price fixing scheme in Germany.

Everything the company does is suspect, and part same old embrace, extend, and extinguish business model.

Re:Pro-MS press?!?!? (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 5 years ago | (#27596705)

Lighten up, Francis. They're just another corporation, not a conspiracy to eat your children.

Re:Pro-MS press?!?!? (4, Insightful)

pohl (872) | more than 5 years ago | (#27596653)

I can remember longer. In the pre-www days the trade rags had a heavy MS bias. Apple was contantly "beleaguered", and didn't become the darling until the iPod was a hit, really.

Re:Pro-MS press?!?!? (5, Insightful)

iamhigh (1252742) | more than 5 years ago | (#27596833)

The ipod and OSX were both released in 2001. I think there is a bit of causation there. OS9 sucked hard compared to W2k; even 10.0 was pretty terrible (buggy as hell). The press had just about every reason to hate Macs in the late 90's and through the release of 10.1 (also in 2001, but you got a freebie upgrade on that one, IIRC... again cuz 10.0 sucked).

Re:Pro-MS press?!?!? (1)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 5 years ago | (#27597029)

I entirely agree. Whilst one might be thankful if Microsoft gets less promotion from the media, this is more than simply being anti-MS: as you note, Linux doesn't get any attention either. Back in the 80s and 90s when there were other major platforms around, I remember that much of the mainstream press pretended there was a Windows/Mac duopoly (they had to cover DOS/Windows/PCs, because they were mainstream in business, but they also had to cover the Mac too - but nothing else).

The Iphone shows how the pro-Apple bias applies even when Microsoft aren't around. There are billions of phones being sold, from major companies like Nokia. Features such as 3G and Internet access have been standard on even basic phones for years. Yet the Iphone comes along, and gets all the free press.

I'm a Linux user... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27596477)

...and that's not what I'm scratching.

Re:I'm a Linux user... (1)

cbiltcliffe (186293) | more than 5 years ago | (#27596617)

And it's not "Linux users everywhere...."

It's "Linux users in their Mom's basement...."

(Yes, I'm a Linux user, and yes, I own my own house.
It's a joke, mods.....)

Re:I'm a Linux user... (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 5 years ago | (#27596679)

Oh, so your mom lives upstairs?

(also a joke, mods...)

Re:I'm a Linux user... (1)

The Redster! (874352) | more than 5 years ago | (#27596875)

He owns his own house, but doesn't live in it!

Re:I'm a Linux user... (1)

GNUbuntu (1528599) | more than 5 years ago | (#27596683)

Neckbeard getting a bit itchy?

Where's the "Vista Tax" Report? (5, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 5 years ago | (#27596481)

Meanwhile Linux users everywhere are scratching their heads.

No, no we are not. We're used to this shit from Ballmer and Co. Surprised that they turned their sites on Apple with it?

No, I've bitched about this before and I'm sick of hearing about "hidden costs" that you don't pay when you install Linux or OSX or whatever but that you pay later. Or the cost to train to a new OS being a "hidden" cost because Microsoft starts these reports with the assumption that everyone already knows Windows XP.

I'm not scratching my head, I'm sick of it. And I hope that this finally causes people to realize that you can only assume the price of what you initially pay for software because they all have flaws and problems down the line. It's a futile exercise to try to itemize that in a cost list because--surprise surprise--you're often subjective and biased when you do it!

Microsoft conveniently ignores these "comprehensive" reports when they ask you to upgrade to Vista despite all the retraining and migration problems you will have.

Re:Where's the "Vista Tax" Report? (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | more than 5 years ago | (#27596685)

"Or the cost to train to a new OS being a "hidden" cost because Microsoft starts these reports with the assumption that everyone already knows Windows XP."

Actually this is an unfortunate fact, and I'm fine with them starting with the assumption that almost everyone lacks a basic understanding of sound computing principles. This is actually quite true, and there absolutely will be a cost moving from Windows to Linux, which people with a clue call an investment. Having a solid, virus free, secure system run by people with a clue is what we call the ROI [wikipedia.org] . Please, Please, Please big bad Bill! Don't throw me into the Linux briar patch!

The bashwagon (5, Insightful)

gcnaddict (841664) | more than 5 years ago | (#27596487)

I'm pretty sure just about every self-minded tech journalist/blogger/twitterer/etc. would jump on the Microsoft bashwagon if it makes him/her look cool and worthwhile.

It doesn't matter if everyone bashes Microsoft. Apple is also a design firm, hence the Apple tax on the Apple logo. It's like paying 300 for a pair of Gucci sunglasses: they're damned good for your eyes but 250 dollars of it is a tax on design.

I'm not trying to defend Apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27596563)

I was just pointing out why people tend to bash Microsoft and why Apple has a premium on its products. If you ask me, given that Apple's quality has dropped as of late, there really isn't anything left justifying paying more for an Apple laptop.

Re:I'm not trying to defend Apple (1)

v1 (525388) | more than 5 years ago | (#27596625)

given that Apple's quality has dropped as of late,

Can you link some of those for us to look at? ("pictures, or it didn't happen")

Re:I'm not trying to defend Apple (3, Informative)

gcnaddict (841664) | more than 5 years ago | (#27596681)

He has a point. Macbook discoloration (pre-unibody), case chipping (pre-unibody, and this has happened to mine as well), as well as razor-sharp edges on all unibody macbooks. That and the overuse of heat paste, the general heat problems, screen backlighting unevenness... these are things I haven't seen on my dell, oddly enough.

Re:I'm not trying to defend Apple (1)

joh (27088) | more than 5 years ago | (#27596983)

He has a point. Macbook discoloration (pre-unibody), case chipping (pre-unibody, and this has happened to mine as well), as well as razor-sharp edges on all unibody macbooks. That and the overuse of heat paste, the general heat problems, screen backlighting unevenness... these are things I haven't seen on my dell, oddly enough.

And still, try to sell a Dell laptop after two or three years and compare that to what you get for a MacBook after two or three years...

Re:I'm not trying to defend Apple (1)

je ne sais quoi (987177) | more than 5 years ago | (#27597021)

Erm, how about dell hard drives getting the click of death, dell hard drives showing up partially formatted (on machines bought with preinstalled software), Dell monitors arcing and frying themselves, Dell laptops gradually disintegrating over a period of about two years. Right, for every anecdote you've got against Apple, I've got one against Dell, because I've seen just about every problem and issue with them both. It doesn't make either of them right. When you actually dig up some statistics on average lifetime of computers by brand and their return rate due to defects, come talk to me.

As for me, I'm typing this on a four year old macbook pro that looks and runs about as good as the day I bought it. I could be wrong, but given that I expect an apple laptop to run about five years before it gets too slow to fix, I'm betting that the increased lifetime destroys most if not any advantage you get buy buying a cheaper machine. Are they perfect, sure as hell not, there are issues, but I've seen enough shitty laptops out there to realize that sometimes you get what you pay for.

Re:I'm not trying to defend Apple (1)

Theaetetus (590071) | more than 5 years ago | (#27597037)

He has a point. Macbook discoloration (pre-unibody), case chipping (pre-unibody, and this has happened to mine as well), as well as razor-sharp edges on all unibody macbooks. That and the overuse of heat paste, the general heat problems, screen backlighting unevenness... these are things I haven't seen on my dell, oddly enough.

Pre-unibody, pre-unibody... So I guess his point is that quality of Mac builds had dropped, but is now improving?

crap, misposted (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27596783)

was trying to post this as a top level comment. Downmod, please.

Re:The bashwagon (1)

IBBoard (1128019) | more than 5 years ago | (#27596581)

I think $250 of it is a tax on the brand rather than the design. The design tax would be around the $30-$40 mark, because they're nicer* than some cheap $20 pair you can pick up in a supermarket.

Disclaimer: I don't know how much supermarket sunglasses are exactly, especially not in dollars. I know they're cheap in the UK if you buy the cheap plastic things, but it has been ages since I even bought any of those given the weather we have over here!

* Sometimes, although some "fashionable" items are completely hideous and only sell because some people are suckered in by "it is fashionable" and "it has a big label on it"

Microsoft is doing it wrong (3, Insightful)

mc1138 (718275) | more than 5 years ago | (#27596519)

On a high end window's machine you can easily spend just as much. That being said, Apple's generally are more expensive, but that being said, is it really a wise move for Microsoft to point this out? Shouldn't they just get some comedians to point out how Apple is full of chic jerks and PC's are where real computing is done?

Re:Microsoft is doing it wrong (1)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 5 years ago | (#27596841)

Microsoft (NASDAQ: MNPLY) has hired comedian Bob Hope [today.com] to anchor a $300 million advertising campaign for its struggling Windows Vista franchise.

The software maker is desperate to counter popular Apple ads that personify PCs as un-"hep" and not "with it," while portraying Apple's Macintosh as the "happening scene."

"We felt that resurrecting Bob from the dead and putting him in front of our campaign was just the way to upgrade Vista's, I mean 7's, image. Yowsa yowsa yowsa!" said Kevin Johnson, the fourth executive to be in charge of the development of Vista^WWindows 7, just before he quit this morning. "It was also cheaper and easier than actually fixing Vista."

"Braaainnns," said Mr Hope.

Few businesses have upgraded to Vista from Windows XP, citing Vista's cost, incompatibility with older software and hardware and intrusive security features. And twenty years' pent-up hatred of Microsoft.

The campaign was created by Crispin Porter + Bogusky, whose entire workflow runs on Macs.

Re:Microsoft is doing it wrong (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 5 years ago | (#27596885)

Shouldn't they just get some comedians to point out how Apple is full of chic jerks and PC's are where real computing is done?"

Depends on how you define "real computing". It is becoming more apparent that more security professionals are using Macs. [toolbox.com] As someone who has used and managed Linux, I bought a Mac because it does the job I need it to do without the maintenance my PC needs or the tweaking that my Linux boxes needed.

Meanwhile Linux users everywhere are scratching th (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27596521)

"Meanwhile Linux users everywhere are scratching their heads..."

trying to figure out how to install their word processor on the newest ubuntu distro

psuedo capitalism sucking the life out of US (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27596523)

it's really just a sort of caste system. do we really need any more phony payper billionerrors?

Linux users (5, Funny)

onion2k (203094) | more than 5 years ago | (#27596539)

Meanwhile Linux users everywhere are scratching their heads.

That's because using Linux gives you dandruff.

I'm just kidding.

Living in a basement is what gives you dandruff. :)

Supersize Me (1)

pohl (872) | more than 5 years ago | (#27596559)

Roger Kay's paper was a lot like the movie Supersize Me, wherein he accepted anything he was offered. Microsoft has a huge product line. If that standard were applied fairly one could easily make Windows PCs appear expensive. "Would you like Office with that?"

Age brings maturity (1)

GF678 (1453005) | more than 5 years ago | (#27596577)

At some point, I think most people grow up and tune out this kinda of shit. It's really tiring to see folks root for one corporation over another.

I can see the press now (5, Funny)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 5 years ago | (#27596585)

Millions of smug Mac users and the four hundred smug Linux users pointed and laughed, having long given up [today.com] trying to convince their Windows-using friends to see sense.

"There's a reason the Unix system on Mac OS X is called Darwin," said appallingly smug Mac user Arty Phagge.

"It can't be stupid if everyone else runs it," said Windows user Joe Beleaguered, who had lost all his email, business files, MP3s and porn again. "Macs cost more than Windows PCs."

"Yes," said Phagge. "Yes, they do."

Ubuntu Linux developer Hiram Nerdboy frantically tried to get our attention about something or other, but we can't say we care.

Re:I can see the press now (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#27596745)

Troll? I think the Ubuntu fanboys with mod points are feeling a bit insecure today.

Hygeine (1)

NeoSkandranon (515696) | more than 5 years ago | (#27596591)

Meanwhile Linux users everywhere are scratching their heads.

If they'd shower a bit more often scalp dryness wouldn't be a problem.

Where's the Microsoft ~= to Mac OS X family pack? (2, Insightful)

WillAdams (45638) | more than 5 years ago | (#27596597)

Five licenses, less than $200:

http://www.amazon.com/Apple-Version-10-5-6-Leopard-5-User/dp/B000BR0NPO [amazon.com]

(and no feature variation betwixt home and work)

How much will 5 upgrades to Windows 7 cost me?

William

Re:Where's the Microsoft ~= to Mac OS X family pac (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#27596801)

Note that the 5 licenses only apply to computers owned by the same family and in the same house. If you read the license it does not cover, for example, a Mac owned by a child who has gone to university (or, at least, didn't last time I read the license, which was about two years ago - feel free to correct me if I'm wrong about this). I don't know many people who own more than 2 Macs, and so the five license thing could just as well be an unlimited site license for personal use. For most people it is not particularly good value. Now, a few years ago when the family license for iLife was (briefly) the same price as the single license, things were different. I own two Macs, but one of them still runs Tiger because I didn't want to pay for Leopard on it and I got the very-cheap - around $20 - upgrades for both machines by buying them just before the new OS was announced.

What's weird about those Microsoft ads (2, Insightful)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 5 years ago | (#27596623)

They only talk about the hardware, not the software. Most people I know buy a Mac because of Mac OS X and iLife, not because the machines "look good".

Re:What's weird about those Microsoft ads (3, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 5 years ago | (#27596717)

Most people I know do not buy a Mac, because they just want a web browser and a computer that can download photos from their camera -- both Windows and Mac OS X have been more than capable of doing this for years now. If that is all someone wants, why would (not "should") they pay more for Mac OS X?

Re:What's weird about those Microsoft ads (1)

TTURabble (1164837) | more than 5 years ago | (#27596815)

Also, your average non-geek doesn't care about an apple tax or linux, they see all the "cool" things you can do on an apple machine so they go out and buy one.

Lets not forget that there are a bunch of people out there who call the Nintendo Wii "Nintendo Sports" and aren't even aware you can buy different games for it.

Microsoft still doesn't get it (4, Insightful)

Lord Grey (463613) | more than 5 years ago | (#27596633)

From Roger Kay's blithering:

And even if you're still willing to pay extra-- sometimes a lot extra -- for cool -- that diaphanous, ephemeral quality -- the coolness gap will largely evaporate this year when Windows 7 is introduced. Already Windows 7 is showing itself to be a far more worthy competitor for Mac OS X than Vista was. In beta now, speculation is that Windows 7 may release to market in early summer, perhaps soon enough to ship on machines by back-to-school season and certainly by holiday. At that point, the Apple premium will come into greater focus.

There are so many things to pick at Kay's article, but that one point is a decent representative example. "Apple has done something we haven't been able to duplicate yet, but we think we've got it this time. Really! Not like last time, not at all."

Priceless (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 5 years ago | (#27596775)

So,they think that how many years after the release of OSX they finally got a windows that might be able to compete?

You got to have your head very deeply insides balmer digestive tract to think the quote above is a good way to describe your own product.

Kay doesn't just drink the coolaid, he slurps it straight from Ballmers wiener.

No surprise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27596635)

Microsoft failed to grasp the fact that people talked about the Microsoft Tax because they had to pay for Windows even if they did not use it. The premium you pay for getting a Mac is the same as you would pay for any other brand name.

There is an Apple Tax... (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 5 years ago | (#27597007)

I am sure Apple has patented some of the cooler things about the new Macbooks. I have to admit, I want one, with that magnetic power plug, the solid aluminum case, etc.

But it's more than just costing more for the hardware -- they have exactly the same tax Microsoft does. If I buy a Mac, I will get OS X, there is no way around it.

What I really want is the option to buy a machine very similar to modern Macbooks, but with hardware known to support Linux, and without having to pay for an OS I don't intend to use.

Oh, and... (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 5 years ago | (#27597023)

Multiple physical buttons, and HDMI out (not just DisplayPort). Please?

Apple Tax (1)

CritterNYC (190163) | more than 5 years ago | (#27596641)

Of course there is an Apple tax, there always has been. It's easier to see now that Apple is building their computers using the same processors that PCs are. You can get the equivalent components in a PC for around 70% of the cost of the Mac basically across the board. But Macs have some things the PC doesn't (the Mac 'style', the magnetic power cord, the unibody constructions of the higher end notebooks... and then there's Mac OS X). If someone wants a Mac, they buy a Mac. If they don't care about the OS or the style and just have specific requirements (most hardware for the $, just the usual web/email/documents, a 17" laptop under $1,000, a netbook, etc) they buy a PC.

Re:Apple Tax (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#27597035)

You can get the equivalent components in a PC for around 70% of the cost of the Mac basically across the board

Except, in most cases, you really can't. The article on The Register addressing this tried to find a Dell that was the same specs as the Mac in the original article and cheaper, but couldn't. They found one that had slightly lower specs and cost around $500 more.

What you can find is a lower-spec'd PC that omits features you may not care about for less. A lot of people, for example, don't care about FireWire 800, 802.11n, or ExpressCard, or dual-layer DVD-RW, and a machine lacking these can easily be cheaper.

Vista... (3, Insightful)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 5 years ago | (#27596655)

For many people, even if Apple's prices are high, they're preferable to a typical Vista-based PC for reasons similar to why it's better to live in overly taxed Europe than under-taxed Africa.

What gets me... (5, Insightful)

Skuld-Chan (302449) | more than 5 years ago | (#27596703)

Is Apple for years has made outrageous claims about performance and productivity (remember the intel snail ads? You don't? Here's a reminder [youtube.com] ...). I won't even talk about the wierd and inaccurate claims they make in their mac vs. pc ads.

But Microsoft (who has been quiet for ages!) makes one or two not even dubious claims (whoa - macs cost more - big news) and everyone gets all bent out of shape.

Re:What gets me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27596835)

Now, Steve, don't go throwing any chairs ...

[God I hate astroturfers.]

Re:What gets me... (1)

Skuld-Chan (302449) | more than 5 years ago | (#27596945)

I'm actually unemployed :/.

Its true though - back when the Mac II was top of the line Apple sales people use to come by school and do comparison demos.

They'd have a 10,000$ maxed out Mac and an IBM PC with two floppy drives (I really wish I was making this up...).

Both companies do this, but I really honestly think Apple has been doing it wayyyy longer - get over it.

Re:What gets me... (4, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 5 years ago | (#27596963)

Microsoft has not been quiet for ages. For the past decade, they have been making one false claim after another about using Linux -- always centered around the idea that there is some sort of hidden cost that will bite you later on if you use Linux. What makes this newsworthy is that Microsoft has changed their focus -- they are now more afraid of Apple than the Linux crowd (again).

Hidden Microsoft Taxes I Have Paid (4, Funny)

Dystopian Rebel (714995) | more than 5 years ago | (#27596737)

Software Installation Reboot Tax
Virus Tax
Anti-Virus Installation Reboot Tax
MS Word Document Corruption And Formatting Instability Tax
MS Office 2007 UI Redesign Tax
Windows Genuine Advantage Tax
Windows Update Reboot Tax
DRM Tax
Internet Explorer Web Deficiencies Tax
Idiotic Advertising Campaigns Tax
Ballmer Squirt Tax

Re:Hidden Microsoft Taxes I Have Paid (4, Informative)

BlitzTech (1386589) | more than 5 years ago | (#27597025)

You forgot:

Office 2007 -> Office 2003 Incompatibility Tax
Reformat Every Six Months To Actually Clean The Registry Tax
Call Microsoft Every Time You Have To Reformat Tax
UAC Windows Popping Up All The Freaking Time Tax

Just to name a few.

microsoft sponsored report (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27596769)

do you really need to know more than that?

Nothing to see here. Move along (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 5 years ago | (#27596785)

Microsoft releasing less than honest information about a competitor? And it backfires as people call them out for dishonesty? Wow that's never happened before. [cnet.com] Microsoft doesn't seem to learn from their mistakes do they?

Did I miss something? (1)

Shrike82 (1471633) | more than 5 years ago | (#27596819)

Who was honestly expecting an unbiased report on Apple products when it says on the first page "Sponsor: Microsoft"?

Did you think Microsoft would approve publication of something they paid for that didn't put their own products in a better light than Apple's? People seem shocked by something that (to me) should have been clear from the very start. Or am I being too simplistic?

Yes, you are. (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 5 years ago | (#27596993)

People expect a certain amount basic honesty from others. If I ask a taxi-driver to take me to location X, I expect him to say if it is just ten meters down the road, not charge me for the ride.

Is it to unreasonable to expect a company to not outright lie, consitently on facts? Sure, of course Vista is great and will improve your life. But don't claim it boots in 2 seconds when it doesn't. Their is sales talk and their is lying and there is a difference.

MS, and various other companies have lost sight of this difference and it makes everything they say suspect and on the whole, irritating as hell. Coca Cola is not exactly telling the truth that when you open the can a party comes out, but neither is it claiming Coca Cola is more healthy then fruit juice or a glass of milk.

MS with this campaign is once again not just trying to show how good there products are but trying to bend facts until they break and claiming it is just advertising. For most of us, there is a limit.

Compare it to a job interview. If you tell the truth, that you are an average coder, well that is very honest but won't get you hired. Say you are a really good programmer and you might not be to honest but hey, it is a sales pitch and they know it so might hire you hoping for a good programmer. Say you are the best programmer and people will just laugh at you.

Linux Tax (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27596879)

Being an avid Linux user, I fully admit there is a linux tax. Lets see, I make roughly $18/hour. To build, install and trouble shoot a machine until it is running the way I like takes me probably on average an hour. So that is roughly an $18 dollar tax for using linux verse OSX or Windows! But the lack of hair restoration from dealing with Windows and the trying to get around the idiot proofing of OSX probably more then makes up for that.
Of course your 'Tax' may vary but for me I don't mind paying the linux tax.

"Meanwhile Linux users everywhere....." (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27596883)

Meanwhile Linux users everywhere are scratching their heads.

Yeah, they're probably trying to figure out how to get some common off-the-shelf hardware to work with their shitty OS.

Chevy Nova (1)

donjefe (1088955) | more than 5 years ago | (#27596921)

This is like saying that when you have a BMW, you pay a special BMW tax. We could all buy used Chevy Novas an replace them every year and half, but I fail to see how that would really be cheaper in the long run if your time an grief are worth anything to you.

Tax? (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 5 years ago | (#27596933)

I thought the entire point of the word tax, as in Microsoft tax, was that it was something you have to pay whether you want it or not. Paying Apple to use OS X isn't a tax. Paying Microsoft to use Windows isn't a tax. Paying Microsoft to use Linux because it's damn difficult to find a similar PC without Windows preinstalled or get a refund is a tax.

Read Dvorak for once (1)

olddotter (638430) | more than 5 years ago | (#27596941)

The point John makes (I heard it on Twit.tv podcast as well) is that if you replace Apple with Microsoft, and Microsoft with Linux the argument stands true. Microsoft just told their customer to buy based on cost. Its hard to bet Free on cost, so if people stop and think about this ad campaign, MS is pushing people to Linux.

Apple brought this upon themselves (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27596955)

with their mud flinging pc (vista) vs mac ad campaign, when they decided to tout their superiority and drag vista (but implying all pc's) though the mud on TV. Apple stores have found themselves situated in malls among designer shops, as thats where they should be, as they are a high priced, high style, "elitist" product line, just as their obnoxious commercials suggest...

It's a computer... (5, Insightful)

koan (80826) | more than 5 years ago | (#27596959)

Does it do what you need? Can you afford it? Then why worry about it.

Get What Works Best For You (0)

chia_monkey (593501) | more than 5 years ago | (#27596975)

Sometimes these arguments just get old. Other times they're funny as hell. I do get tired of seeing the same damn "justifications" that I've seen over the past decade though (ie, "Macs don't get viruses because nobody uses Macs" or "Macs are just more expensive").

I've done tech support on both Macs and PCs. Each has its place. For my trusty "I just need to get sh*t done" machine I use a Mac. After work I just want to come home, turn on the computer, use it, and be done for my next thing (eating? drinking?). However, a cheap PC and its plethora of available surplus parts can come in handy. I've got one that I'm using as a home theater PC (granted, the damn thing crapped out on me and I don't know what its deal is yet).

Keep on fighting fanboys...just make sure you back it up with some factual justifications instead of "oh yeah? You're just a dumb poopyhead".

Monopoly (1)

Demonantis (1340557) | more than 5 years ago | (#27597001)

While I agree that people clearly understand that they are paying more to buy a mac, I really dislike the monopoly position Apple takes with what hardware can run OS X. What if I want to use a different setup or just plain don't like the look of the box? Of course I could use a hacked version, but thats just like saying DRM doesn't mean anything...
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