Microsoft enters "PC vs. Mac" debate

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, Hardware, Microsoft, Mobility, Operating Systems, Software

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  • RE: Microsoft enters

    Everytime Microsoft comes out with one of these consumer level ad campaigns they wind up looking foolish. They should just stick to what they are good at, selling to businesses. There's plenty of room for Apple in the house and Windows at the office. Microsoft has nothing to worry about.
    • There is no way

      MS will or should give up 'in the house'. That is just an insane idea.
      MS, however, isn't used to explaining technical things to non-technical people. It is going to take a little adjusting.
      And 'an air of desperation' because they are pointing out technologies you can easily do with Windows but not the Mac? Are you kidding me?
      No one cared that XP had 3rd party DVD drivers, and no one will care that about Blu-Ray.
      Are you kidding me?
      • Nobody cares about Blu-Ray on the PC ...


        Blu-Ray is a non-factor. It's hardly a factor in home entertainment as a video medium, let alone as data storage. There was more movement around ZIP disks back in the day than around Blu-Ray on computers now.

        I agree that MS shouldn't give up competing in the consumer space. In fact, their moves with Windows Phone 7 sort of show that they "get it". The consumer market is a beachhead into their corporate market. They have to defend both.

        Products like their stupid back-of-the-screen keyboard that Mary Jo profiled, and the fact that their "slate" PCs still have a "Start" button in the bottom left of the screen, prove that they are utterly clueless as to how to win in the consumer space.

        MS will lose in consumer, but they should keep trying.
    • RE: Microsoft enters

      @dfl274 - I agree. The Mac ads are bad, but the Microsoft ads just reek of "I can put out a badly devised ad, too!"
      • They reek of something completely different.


        They reek of utter cluelessness. Someone at Microsoft honestly believes that people are drawn to Macs because of "marketing". Not because Apple makes a great product that is simple to use.

        Windows 7, which is probably the best and most user-friendly version of Windows to date, is still ridiculously and unnecessarily convoluted and complicated for most people. Instead of making things easy, Microsoft simply bolts new functionality on top of existing functionality. Then, they throw in verbose management screens and cryptic system messages to make sure that everyone is thoroughly confused.
  • Zealotry

    Looks like MS cannot let the zealotry die.
  • RE: Microsoft enters

    Pretty much came to the same conclusion - full thoughts on our blog:
  • Adrian, it's all they have

    We see the backlog developing in the pc supply chain. No one wants them. <br><br>Meanwhile Apple can't keep up production!<br><br>The pc is desending into a farce much quicker than even I expected. Fun times, poor mcse's;-)
    Richard Flude
  • Wow

    Microsoft is dying in the consumer space...and THIS is what they come up with to battle Apple?

    • RE: Microsoft enters

      @samalie I wouldn't say they're really dying. They've got a lot of competition from Apple now, sure, but I don't think they're really in danger of failing.
  • RE: Microsoft enters

    Uh oh! Microsoft made an argument against Mac and AKH has a hissy fit! LOL!! It just wouldn't be right for Microsoft to point out some facts about their own software would it? You must defend! LOL! Funny how a Microsoft turned Apple guy whines so much.
    Loverock Davidson
  • Two points

    1. This page on the Microsoft website takes some work to find. This is not a TV advert people.
    2. The target is the current Windows user who might, just might, god forbid, be thinking of switching to that Mac thing. This page does a good job at targeting that person.

    This page will prevent some defections.
    But, many people will still switch to the Mac. Apple is cool and Dell, Lenovo, Asus, HP, etc are not.
    • RE: Microsoft enters


      No, Apple is NOT cool at all! Apple has a self absorbed, arrogant, disengenious CEO who blatantly lies to customers and the marketplace in general. The company steals others ideas (by their own admission) and is being sued for patent ingringement by every major smartphone manufacturer.

      Apple is ANYTHING but cool!
      • Protest too much?


        Sounds like you might be in love and don't want to admit it...
      • RE: Microsoft enters

        @omdguy Biased much? Mac have their places as do Windows based PCs... And does being sued by someone automatically make a company bad? Really? Then Microsoft must really suck as well by your logic...
      • disengenious Jobs

        @omdguy That misspelling in that context is just hilarious.
    • You miss the mark ...


      <i>Apple is cool and Dell, Lenovo, Asus, HP, etc are not.</i>

      Macs are easy for people to use and PCs are not.
      • RE: Microsoft enters

        @RationalGuy ... Uhm, that's kind of not at all true. PCs are easy for PC users, and MACs are easy for MAC users, actually. Those users are usually people... usually.
      • Actually ...

        @notme403 <i>PCs are easy for PC users, and MACs are easy for MAC users, actually.</i><br><br>PCs are senselessly difficult and complicated for PC users, actually. I know, because I'm the guy people call when they stop working.

        They require a lot of maintenance and attention. Macs are simple to use. They don't require a lot of maintenance.<br><br>Let's say you have to configure something in the Windows OS. The interface to manage that something might be in Control Panel. It might be in Computer Management. In might be in right-click-on-My-Computer-and-click-Properties.<br><br>On a Mac, that something is in System Preferences.<br><br>I'm running OSX and Windows 7 dual boot. If I'm not in Windows for a few weeks, there might be 10 or more updates (sometimes upwards of 30 updates) to apply. That will normally require one (if not more) reboots. Windows does not get out of your way!<br><br>I don't think there are 30 patches to OSX in a year.
      • RE: Microsoft enters


        BS.. they both are very easy to use. The core fundamentals of using a computer are in both and many of the programs operate in the same way. Some slight differences in the GUI but that is about it. The big differences are under the hood which most everyday users do not get into.