updated 07:45 pm EDT, Mon April 13, 2009
Microsoft tweaks Apple Tax
Following criticism from a variety of sources, the Microsoft-paid analyst Roger Kay adjusted his "Apple Tax" white paper, although most of the discrepancies remain. The document and and a related blog post were updated with hardware specs from Apple's latest products, while Kay chose different PC models for the comparison. The previous analysis pitted the previous-model Mac Pro with the HP d5100t.
The white paper now places the latest Mac Pro against the m9600t, the former featuring a 2.66GHz quad-core Xeon CPU and the latter offering a quad-core Intel Core i7 processor. The iMac arguably offered a similar set of features to the d5100t, while both of the systems in the latest comparison use Intel's Nehalem technology.
Kay did not address the bias regarding software and upgrades, including the assumption that PC buyers already own copies of Quicken and Microsoft Office. An extra $70 and $149 were added to the Mac tally, while omitting the software cost from the PC side. The hypothetical PC purchases also excluded software updates for the five year period, while iLife updates were included for Macs.
For hardware upgrades, Kay claimed that "Apple's solution" to Blu-ray requires a standalone Sony player, the BDP-S350, with a $300 price inflated for "some fancy plastics and fairy dust." On the PC side, he chose the LiteOn DH-401S and referenced a $95 price found on NewEgg.
The Windows system included a three-year factory warranty as the only added service. The Mac systems, however, were paired with the AppleCare plan, in-store training and even a MobileMe subscription.
Kay concludes that Microsoft is ready to bring "cool" to the PC systems. "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," he claims. [via CNET News]