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]