Microsoft enters "PC vs. Mac" debate

Summary:While Apple has drawn a line underneath its "Mac vs. PC" ad campaign, but it seems that Microsoft is just getting started. Up on Microsoft's Windows 7 website is a new "PC vs. Mac" page.

While Apple has drawn a line underneath its "Mac vs. PC" ad campaign, but it seems that Microsoft is just getting started. Up on Microsoft's Windows 7 website is a new "PC vs. Mac" page.

This is interesting for a number of reasons. First, the title of the page:

PC vs Mac: The PC has Blu-ray capability, more software choices, and more!

Playing the Blu-ray card is a weak move right off the bat. First off, I can literally count the number of people I know who use a PC as a Blu-ray player on one hand. Secondly, Windows 7 doesn't natively support Blu-ray, which means that you have to install a third-party player to get things working.


Microsoft goes on to compare PC vs. Mac in six areas:

  • Having fun - Macs might spoil your fun
  • Simplicity - Macs can take time to learn
  • Working hard - Macs don't work as well at work or school
  • Sharing - Macs don't like to share
  • Compatibility - Macs might not like your PC stuff
  • Choice - Macs don't let you choose

The points raised are an interesting mix of facts, FUD, and crazy lame stuff. Here's what I think is one of the lamest arguments:

Available in your favorite color. Macs only come in white or silver. PCs are available in a full spectrum of colors across a range of price points.

Really? Color? Seriously? How much of a Windows 7 selling point is this?

Then, right above the whole color debate, you get this point:

Loaded with features. You can't get a Mac with a Blu-ray player, TV tuner, Memory Stick reader, or built-in 3G wireless. PCs running Windows 7 often come with features that aren't available on even the highest end Macs, including Blu-ray, eSATA, multi-format card readers, Touch, and mobile broadband. 

So you can happily switch from talking about eSATA and multi-format card readers to the color of the color of the system on the same page? Yikes, that's a reach downshift.

Then there's some weird FUD points. Take this for example:

More digital media. With PCs running Windows 7, you can play the videos and music stored on your home PC while you're on the go, for free. Apple charges $99/year for its online service.

Microsoft is trying to make some point here related to Apple's MobileMe service, but it falls flat because MobileMe isn't really a media sharing service.

There's an air of desperation in the information that Microsoft has presented. And, oddly enough, it's has little relevance to Windows 7. It's also confused, jumbled and simplistic, like someone just jotted down some PC vs. Mac points and was then allowed to post them up without really giving them much thought. Just chucking up a load of bullet point arguments relating generically to PCs isn't helpful. If anything, it highlights the reason why Macs are increasing in popularity - people don't want to worry about picking the right PC out of a sea of makes and models. Yammering on about Blu-ray, HDTV, eSATA and so on only make matters worse.


Topics: Windows, Apple, Enterprise Software, Hardware, Microsoft, Mobility


Adrian Kingsley-Hughes is an internationally published technology author who has devoted over a decade to helping users get the most from technology -- whether that be by learning to program, building a PC from a pile of parts, or helping them get the most from their new MP3 player or digital camera.Adrian has authored/co-authored technic... Full Bio

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