AAPL Stock: 117.81 ( -0.22 )

Printed from

Microsoft ad site falsely compares MacBook Air to netbooks

updated 09:35 am EDT, Thu May 5, 2011

Microsoft comparison tries to scare Mac buyers

Microsoft has revealed the pressure from Apple on PC market share with a newly posted Canadian page trying to steer buyers away from desktop and notebook Macs. The "Do the Math" site tries to play on stereotypes of Macs always costing more by showing Windows 7 PCs that are supposedly either cheaper or offer more features for a comparable price. Some comparisons are valid, though the comparisons ignore like real-world battery life, where Apple usually comes out on top, and the greatly reduced need to use security software.

The comparison, however, openly tries to deceive buyers when comparing the MacBook Air. It pits the 11-inch Air against netbook-class systems that are much slower and bulkier. While they have advantages in price and raw storage capacity, the comparison deliberately sidesteps performance, including graphics and the impact of the SSD in the Mac. The HP dm1 is the closest and has comparable graphics but still uses a weaker processor.

Side-by-side looks for the 13-inch Air and the iMacs are also unusual in comparing the high performance processors and storage of the Apple lineup against cheaper but much slower Windows systems.

Windows systems can often be more affordable in an absolute sense by letting those who don't need performance or features opt for a cheaper system. The price gap would pay for vacations or other things users want, Microsoft argues. The Windows developer has nonetheless repeatedly tried to exaggerate the difference in the past using misleading tactics, such as comparing on-sale Windows systems or showing the price of a more expensive Mac alongside the image of a lower-priced model in a TV ad.

The company usually only rolls out such ad campaigns when its market share is being clearly hurt by Apple. Differences in growth were particularly acute in early 2011, as Mac shipments grew 28 percent year-over-year where IDC had expected the Windows-led industry to shrink by three percent. Sales of iPads have been weighing down key PC builders like Acer, but Macs as a whole have themselves been growing quicker than the industry. [via WinRumors]

by MacNN Staff



  1. vintagegeek

    Joined: Dec 1969


    SSD et al

    In this case they fail to mention many things including the SSD drive feature. Wireless N speeds etc. Anyway no matter what machine is being compared its still against junky Windows with its myriad anti-malware, anti-virus, dll incompatibility issues, and awful wireless connectivity, etc. I got everyone in my family off Windows over that last few years and now all my brothers, nieces and nephews too. Everyone was tired of trying to fix their Windows machine.

  1. tsmelker

    Joined: Dec 1969


    No Surprise here

    ... that Microsoft shows itself to be dishonest and totally clueless at the same time. Microsoft, like the majority of PC users, just don't get it this fact: you get what you pay for. You're not going to get a new Mercedes for the cost of a Yugo. But it also shows a bit of desperation on the part of Microsoft. Could it be that this is a silent affirmation that MS is scared of the huge threat that Apple has become? People have finally seen the light- Miscrosoft cannot deliver the goods like Apple can.

  1. iphonerulez

    Joined: Dec 1969


    h***, yeah! A cheapskate can buy three Windows

    netbooks for the price of one MacBook Air and have change left over. The MacBook Air can run both Mac OS X and Windows which for some might make that more useful. No matter, if all you want is Windows then that's a consumer's choice. A lower price is always hard to ignore if quality isn't an issue.

    Still, the netbook market continues to shrink. I hope the iPad obliterates the netbook market.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. JuanGuapo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Not a mac fan, but...

    I can see the difference between the Macbook air and the rest of the notebooks.

    On dollar value for a laptop of a particular size, it's a strong argument. Some of the specs are compareable (ex. dm1) yet on design/aesthetic/build quality, it's just advertising and meant to be taken with a large grain of salt.

    If you're a Mac fan and are confident in Apple's footing in the market, you should look at this with simple "Oh, that's nice." and appreciate the competition.

    As for Netbooks, they're here to stay.

  1. Raman

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Nothing New

    This is nothing new for Microsoft. Their marketing department and budget sells Windows, not Windows.

    Just like McDonald's isn't in the business of fast food (they're a property company), Microsoft isn't in the business of Software (they're a Marketing Company).

  1. BigMac2

    Joined: Dec 1969


    comment title

    This picture gives a good view of what is wrong with specs comparison.

    How can we compare a 640GB HD with an SSD drive? Do people can appreciate comparison between Core2Duo, single core Atom, and frequency less ADM CPU? It's all too easy making on product looking bad or good by carefully choose which specs to use. This is exactly the same strategy they are using to go against the iPad. It's like comparing an base Lexus with an full equipped Civic.

  1. johncarync

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Most people know... get what you pay for.

  1. aussiearn

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Security protection

    I just went to the above website and had the best laugh for a long time. On Security they have all the Macs as Purchase Separately but free download for Windows. That type of B.S. slight of hand would make the worst white shoed cat salesman blush in shame....

  1. aussiearn

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Battery life

    It gets even better...they mark the ASUS K72DR-A1 battery life as Dependent on usage. ROTFLMAO!

  1. Paradise Pete

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Pick and choose

    With a careful selection or omission of features and facts it's easy to make one thing look better than another. For example:

    Steve Ballmer vs. a spider

    Legs: 2, 8
    Hair: No*, Yes

    *Sold separately

    Early grasp of the significance of the web:
    No, Yes

Login Here

Not a member of the MacNN forums? Register now for free.


Network Headlines

Follow us on Facebook


Most Popular


Recent Reviews

Ultimate Ears Megaboom Bluetooth Speaker

Ultimate Ears (now owned by Logitech) has found great success in the marketplace with its "Boom" series of Bluetooth speakers, a mod ...

Kinivo URBN Premium Bluetooth Headphones

We love music, and we're willing to bet that you do, too. If you're like us, you probably spend a good portion of your time wearing ...

Jamstik+ MIDI Controller

For a long time the MIDI world has been dominated by keyboard-inspired controllers. Times are changing however, and we are slowly star ...


Most Commented