Microsoft includes Apple stores in TV ad


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Microsoft’s latest TV commercials take a stark step forward for the firm: it flat out acknowledges Apple.

In the past, Microsoft advertising had always focused entirely on its own products, unlike Apple which runs the direct comparison tactics of ‘PC vs Mac’. Even when Microsoft threw in a not-so-subtle reference in its ‘I’m a PC’ campaign, there was no sign of Apple.

That’s pretty standard practice in advertising: the largest firm in a market rarely acknowledges its rivals, while smaller firms use direct comparisons to try to overcome the perception that bigger is better.

But the latest Microsoft spot changes that. It features a character looking for a 17-inch laptop for under a thousand dollars. She goes into what is clearly an Apple store and, not surprisingly, fails in her quest, instead winding up getting an HP laptop from what appears to be Best Buy. Here is the commercial:

As well as focusing on the price, the ad takes a dig at Apple’s branding and marketing with the shopper declaring that “I’m just not cool enough to be a Mac person”.

That might be a risky tactic. It certainly fits in with the Microsoft argument that Macs are overpriced because they are fashionable, but the logical conclusion is that PCs are not cool products. Combined with highlighting that they are inexpensive (which can be read as ‘cheap’), and it’s not the type of branding most on Madison Avenue would advocate.

The Associated Press reports that the commercial was unscripted. The shopper, Lauren, was recruited through a Craigslist posting and told she could keep whichever machine she bought.

Microsoft explicitly advertising PCs as cheaper than Macs may be new, but it’s a point the company has made before. Last October Brad Brooks, who heads Microsoft’s consumer marketing, said there was an Apple tax: a series of costs such as limited choice and upgrades which make Macs even less value than their retail price would suggest.





106 Responses to Microsoft includes Apple stores in TV ad

  1. Well that's me selling my Macbook right now, Windows you got me there.

    I like Macs..as I prefer them is that such a crime? I think both apple and MS are looking at the wrong angle, its not about each other its about what's right for us, the consumers…

    • Oh NO! Were you a little insulted? Did your feelings get hurt? Did that ad imply you made the wrong choice? How uncool of MS. Apple would never do such things!

      Trust me. Nobody cares that you like your mac. Coming here to tell anyone was completely unnecessary. Go ahead and like it. You are fine.

      • Oh man, sorry you are so bent out of shape for not being cool enough / successful enough to buy a decent vuild quality laptop.

        I love my aluminum cased, glass-faced, lickable screen of 17".

        I am fucking tired of those cheap and nasty laptop manufacturers.

        Gimme the fucking shit.

        Plus, OSx is fucking hautt.

      • You are such a troll it's unreal. People can Like macs AND PC's. Get off your high horse. If you really think you are better than someone because of what computer you bought you must have some serious issues.

  2. “Clearly an Apple store” is an understatement. They showed the Apple logo on the outside, and she even calls it “the Mac store”.

    Yeah, it’s a risky strategy. They’re trying to build on the way the “I’m a Mac” ads backfired somewhat for Apple — a lot of viewers found the PC guy to be more likable because he was less pretentious and trendy. The only trouble is, a lot of people secretly want to be pretentious and trendy.

      • They’re trying to discourage ppl from buying non-windows computers. they get profit no matter what brand of pc you buy.

  3. "Clearly an Apple store" is an understatement. They showed the Apple logo on the outside, and she even calls it "the Mac store".

    Yeah, it's a risky strategy. They're trying to build on the way the "I'm a Mac" ads backfired somewhat for Apple — a lot of viewers found the PC guy to be more likable because he was less pretentious and trendy. The only trouble is, a lot of people secretly want to be pretentious and trendy.

  4. If it is really unscripted using a person off the street, and they can let that be known, then it will all work. One key point is that the redhead is obviously hip and trendy, so when she says “I’m not cool enough” it is clearly meant to be ironic, unlike if it was said by a 50 yr old housewife wearing slippers with her hair in curlers.

    • this redhead is hip and trendy? where? she looks bad, wears some cheap clothes and is technologically incompetent. When the combination of these qualities become something trendy?

  5. If it is really unscripted using a person off the street, and they can let that be known, then it will all work. One key point is that the redhead is obviously hip and trendy, so when she says "I'm not cool enough" it is clearly meant to be ironic, unlike if it was said by a 50 yr old housewife wearing slippers with her hair in curlers.

    • this redhead is hip and trendy? where? she looks bad, wears some cheap clothes and is technologically incompetent. When the combination of these qualities become something trendy?

  6. Well that’s me selling my Macbook right now, Windows you got me there.

    I like Macs..as I prefer them is that such a crime? I think both apple and MS are looking at the wrong angle, its not about each other its about what’s right for us, the consumers…

    • Oh NO! Were you a little insulted? Did your feelings get hurt? Did that ad imply you made the wrong choice? How uncool of MS. Apple would never do such things!

      Trust me. Nobody cares that you like your mac. Coming here to tell anyone was completely unnecessary. Go ahead and like it. You are fine.

      • Oh man, sorry you are so bent out of shape for not being cool enough / successful enough to buy a decent vuild quality laptop.

        I love my aluminum cased, glass-faced, lickable screen of 17″.

        I am fucking tired of those cheap and nasty laptop manufacturers.

        Gimme the fucking shit.

        Plus, OSx is fucking hautt.

  7. I like this idea, and I think it could honestly open up a whole new advertising arena for MS, for instance:

    Someone having a problem with their PC, turns to the guy in the next cubicle, and asks for help, that is quickly provided. Cut to a mac user: has trouble, asks for help, and there are no other mac users around.

    Or, perhaps, a contractor in an office who brought a mac laptop with him, and is attempting to use certain credentials on a windows domain. unfortunately, while some mechanisms are usable on a windows domain by a mac, they don’t always work consistently, and a lot of the more useful functionality doesn’t work at all. so he’s locked out of doing any useful work, because he bought a mac. (okay, maybe this a stretch).

    however, i think this ad is right on target, and the issue needs to be pressed unrelentingly by MS.

    macs ARE expensive. hipsters REALLY do love macs. you actually are paying a hidden tax (in money and usability) for that little apple icon on your computer.

    • More than just a logo, you’re also paying extra to be able to run Mac OSX and software written for it. If you find the Mac software preferable, the extra cost is well worth it.

    • I think this guy is a bit slow. Probably never used a Mac if all he thinks about is the logo.
      Probably not the right person to take advice from lol.

      “perhaps, a contractor in an office who brought a mac laptop with him, and is attempting to use certain credentials on a windows domain. unfortunately, while some mechanisms are usable on a windows domain by a mac, they don’t always work consistently, and a lot of the more useful functionality doesn’t work at all. so he’s locked out of doing any useful work, because he bought a mac. (okay, maybe this a stretch).”

      WTF? hahahaha

      If someone is REALLY using something THAT non-standard, do you want to trust his domain? I think not. Or you can risk it and load Windows ON your Mac, but that would be awfully dumb :)

  8. I like this idea, and I think it could honestly open up a whole new advertising arena for MS, for instance:

    Someone having a problem with their PC, turns to the guy in the next cubicle, and asks for help, that is quickly provided. Cut to a mac user: has trouble, asks for help, and there are no other mac users around.

    Or, perhaps, a contractor in an office who brought a mac laptop with him, and is attempting to use certain credentials on a windows domain. unfortunately, while some mechanisms are usable on a windows domain by a mac, they don't always work consistently, and a lot of the more useful functionality doesn't work at all. so he's locked out of doing any useful work, because he bought a mac. (okay, maybe this a stretch).

    however, i think this ad is right on target, and the issue needs to be pressed unrelentingly by MS.

    macs ARE expensive. hipsters REALLY do love macs. you actually are paying a hidden tax (in money and usability) for that little apple icon on your computer.

    • More than just a logo, you're also paying extra to be able to run Mac OSX and software written for it. If you find the Mac software preferable, the extra cost is well worth it.

    • I think this guy is a bit slow. Probably never used a Mac if all he thinks about is the logo.

      Probably not the right person to take advice from lol.

      "perhaps, a contractor in an office who brought a mac laptop with him, and is attempting to use certain credentials on a windows domain. unfortunately, while some mechanisms are usable on a windows domain by a mac, they don’t always work consistently, and a lot of the more useful functionality doesn’t work at all. so he’s locked out of doing any useful work, because he bought a mac. (okay, maybe this a stretch)."

      WTF? hahahaha

      If someone is REALLY using something THAT non-standard, do you want to trust his domain? I think not. Or you can risk it and load Windows ON your Mac, but that would be awfully dumb :)

  9. “The look of it is just drawing me”.

    When you buy a computer based on looks and that je ne sais quoi?, you deserve what you get.

    BTW, working on a new “craptop” and Windows Vista… can’t begin to comment on how annoying it is to work on. And it all begins with the keyboard. If you’ve ever tried a PowerBook KB, you’ll know what “ergonomic” means.

    • so, ergonomic means cramped, painful, unresponsive, and repetitive stress injury-inducing?

      i agree that vista+laptop=craptop, but no sane and well-informed person buys a laptop for ergonomics. every single one ever made is an assault on your fingers, wrists, back, neck, and eyes.

      ergonomic is sitting properly in a chair, at a desk, with a real keyboard and a monitor. calling any laptop ergonomic is bullshit.

  10. "The look of it is just drawing me".

    When you buy a computer based on looks and that je ne sais quoi?, you deserve what you get.

    BTW, working on a new "craptop" and Windows Vista… can't begin to comment on how annoying it is to work on. And it all begins with the keyboard. If you've ever tried a PowerBook KB, you'll know what "ergonomic" means.

    • so, ergonomic means cramped, painful, unresponsive, and repetitive stress injury-inducing?

      i agree that vista+laptop=craptop, but no sane and well-informed person buys a laptop for ergonomics. every single one ever made is an assault on your fingers, wrists, back, neck, and eyes.

      ergonomic is sitting properly in a chair, at a desk, with a real keyboard and a monitor. calling any laptop ergonomic is bullshit.

  11. You can get a Kia cheaper than a BMW but it doesn’t mean the cars are of comparable quality.

    Apple simply isn’t going after this market. They’re a premium hardware company, and target customers who don’t mind paying more for something of better quality, with a better user experience.

    • Premium hardware? You can get the same hardware in a PC for cheaper — even when Tom’s Hardware ran the numbers and supposedly came out showing they were similar, he was looking at other PC “Brands” like Dell and VooDoo – compare side by side with an HP with identical hardware and you can almost always get the HP with a monitor and a printer and a bunch of software…

      Oh yeah, today I bought 2 of my company’s developers Mac’s because they were sooooo insistent upon it. Of course, when we got to the “upsell” check out screen, they made it clear to me that they were still going to need “VMWare and a Valid XP license”. I laughed and cried on the inside.

  12. You can get a Kia cheaper than a BMW but it doesn't mean the cars are of comparable quality.

    Apple simply isn't going after this market. They're a premium hardware company, and target customers who don't mind paying more for something of better quality, with a better user experience.

    • Premium hardware? You can get the same hardware in a PC for cheaper — even when Tom's Hardware ran the numbers and supposedly came out showing they were similar, he was looking at other PC "Brands" like Dell and VooDoo – compare side by side with an HP with identical hardware and you can almost always get the HP with a monitor and a printer and a bunch of software…

      Oh yeah, today I bought 2 of my company's developers Mac's because they were sooooo insistent upon it. Of course, when we got to the "upsell" check out screen, they made it clear to me that they were still going to need "VMWare and a Valid XP license". I laughed and cried on the inside.

  13. Wow clever, “vista+laptop=craptop”

    Let me counter that with “crapple”

    See how they are both lame. Props to you!

  14. Wow clever, "vista+laptop=craptop"

    Let me counter that with "crapple"

    See how they are both lame. Props to you!

    • Do you know how many actors find work on Craigslist? I think Microsoft would be pretty stupid to lie about it being unscripted b/c of the potential backlash that would occur if they were found out. That’s one risk I really doubt they want to take right now.

    • Well anyone with face time on national TV is in SAG, or at least SAG-eligible. It’s part of the deal when you do your first TV ad.

    • Do you know how many actors find work on Craigslist? I think Microsoft would be pretty stupid to lie about it being unscripted b/c of the potential backlash that would occur if they were found out. That's one risk I really doubt they want to take right now.

    • Well anyone with face time on national TV is in SAG, or at least SAG-eligible. It's part of the deal when you do your first TV ad.

  15. I wasn’t really shopping for a laptop because I knew I needed a at least 17″ for photo editing and I figured anything powerful enough would be way out of my price range. I ended up buying a 64-bit 17″ HP at Future Shop (Owned by Best Buy) with 4gb ram, 320gb hdd for $1050 Can because it was so affordable. This was last August! The comparable 17″ Macbook at the time started just under $3000…Also, I’d have to use a mac if I’d bought it. To Mikey: It’s not better quality, it’s not a better user experience. It’s a goddamn scam that so many people buy into.

    • You can run windows on a mac, its called boot camp. Try running os x on an HP laptop. OSX86 is just far to unstable, I promise.

  16. I wasn’t really shopping for a laptop because I knew I needed a at least 17″ for photo editing and I figured anything powerful enough would be way out of my price range. I ended up buying a 64-bit 17″ HP at Future Shop (Owned by Best Buy) with 4gb ram, 320gb hdd for $1050 Can because it was so affordable. This was last August! The comparable 17″ Macbook at the time started just under $3000…Also, I’d have to use a mac if I’d bought it. To Mikey: It’s not better quality, it’s not a better user experience. It’s a goddamn scam that so many people buy into.

  17. I wasn't really shopping for a laptop because I knew I needed a at least 17" for photo editing and I figured anything powerful enough would be way out of my price range. I ended up buying a 64-bit 17" HP at Future Shop (Owned by Best Buy) with 4gb ram, 320gb hdd for $1050 Can because it was so affordable. This was last August! The comparable 17" Macbook at the time started just under $3000…Also, I'd have to use a mac if I'd bought it. To Mikey: It's not better quality, it's not a better user experience. It's a goddamn scam that so many people buy into.

    • You can run windows on a mac, its called boot camp. Try running os x on an HP laptop. OSX86 is just far to unstable, I promise.

  18. This is a very risky ad strategy. Picture this: one year from now, the girl buys a Mac and gets a lot of exposure saying “when I had to spend my OWN money, I wasn’t going to settle for a flimsy piece of junk.”

  19. This is a very risky ad strategy. Picture this: one year from now, the girl buys a Mac and gets a lot of exposure saying "when I had to spend my OWN money, I wasn't going to settle for a flimsy piece of junk."

  20. This totally reminds me of the McDonald’s Snobby Coffee ads. Yes, I’m comparing PCs/Windows to McDonald’s.

  21. This totally reminds me of the McDonald's Snobby Coffee ads. Yes, I'm comparing PCs/Windows to McDonald's.

  22. @ Alex: You’ve clearly never owned a recent model Apple laptop (based on your comment). I personally own a 15″ MacBook Pro AND a 15.4″ HP w/ comparable hardware specs (my wife’s computer). I bought them both about the same time (2 years ago or so). Now it’s a fight over who gets to use the Mac. In fact we’re planning on buying her a new MacBook so she stops stealing mine. The HP now sits in the living room, relegated to a media machine that serves music and movies out to our Mac.

    Plus, I am a computer consultant by trade (I service home and office PC’s and Macs alike). In the last 8 months I’ve averaged about 25 calls per week. Do you know how may of those were for Macs? Three, three calls in the last 8 months. I live in a fairly large metro area (500k plus population) and I’ve gotta say that in terms of build quality and longevity, Macs beat the pants off of Windows PC’s by and large (of course it all comes down to the manufacturer, I service WAY more HPs than anything else).

    So until you go out and buy a Mac and use it side by side with a PC, you have no idea whether it’s a quality/user experience thing. For me and my family, it most certainly is.

    • First, your experience with end users makes sense not because Macs are better, but because of Demographics, Market Share, and Available Alternatives for Service. The average buyer of a PC is a much more diverse group of wider income scale and, subsequently, the quality of the product varies greatly. How many of your clients owned $2500 PC desktops? I best most of them owned $400 Walmart computers. More importantly, Macs make up a much smaller market share, so you would expect the numbers to be lower and, finally, Mac’s have storefronts where you can get service as opposed to going to You, BillyZ.

      Secondly, in my family we have used both Macs and PCs and the Mac idea just doesn’t make any sense. We have 3 computers in our home (desktop and 2 laptops) and all 3 of them combined, including the 24in flat panel for the desktop cost less than $3000. These computers range from single-core mini laptop (12.1 in), dual-core laptop 15.4in, and quad-core PC with 6gigs of ram. No way you could come close to those prices with a Mac and, frankly, I am very pleased.

      I guess the best example, though, is my work computer. It is a quad core with 3gb ram, 3 22 inch monitors (you know how easy it is to add more graphics cards to a PC?), monster hard-drive and it looks and feels like a Mac by installing widely-available skins and mods available for Windows XP (Like FlyAKite OSX).

      If I want the truly sleek effects of a Mac, I will gladly install Ubuntu with Compiz/Beryl.

  23. @ Alex: You've clearly never owned a recent model Apple laptop (based on your comment). I personally own a 15" MacBook Pro AND a 15.4" HP w/ comparable hardware specs (my wife's computer). I bought them both about the same time (2 years ago or so). Now it's a fight over who gets to use the Mac. In fact we're planning on buying her a new MacBook so she stops stealing mine. The HP now sits in the living room, relegated to a media machine that serves music and movies out to our Mac.

    Plus, I am a computer consultant by trade (I service home and office PC's and Macs alike). In the last 8 months I've averaged about 25 calls per week. Do you know how may of those were for Macs? Three, three calls in the last 8 months. I live in a fairly large metro area (500k plus population) and I've gotta say that in terms of build quality and longevity, Macs beat the pants off of Windows PC's by and large (of course it all comes down to the manufacturer, I service WAY more HPs than anything else).

    So until you go out and buy a Mac and use it side by side with a PC, you have no idea whether it's a quality/user experience thing. For me and my family, it most certainly is.

    • First, your experience with end users makes sense not because Macs are better, but because of Demographics, Market Share, and Available Alternatives for Service. The average buyer of a PC is a much more diverse group of wider income scale and, subsequently, the quality of the product varies greatly. How many of your clients owned $2500 PC desktops? I best most of them owned $400 Walmart computers. More importantly, Macs make up a much smaller market share, so you would expect the numbers to be lower and, finally, Mac's have storefronts where you can get service as opposed to going to You, BillyZ.

      Secondly, in my family we have used both Macs and PCs and the Mac idea just doesn't make any sense. We have 3 computers in our home (desktop and 2 laptops) and all 3 of them combined, including the 24in flat panel for the desktop cost less than $3000. These computers range from single-core mini laptop (12.1 in), dual-core laptop 15.4in, and quad-core PC with 6gigs of ram. No way you could come close to those prices with a Mac and, frankly, I am very pleased.

      I guess the best example, though, is my work computer. It is a quad core with 3gb ram, 3 22 inch monitors (you know how easy it is to add more graphics cards to a PC?), monster hard-drive and it looks and feels like a Mac by installing widely-available skins and mods available for Windows XP (Like FlyAKite OSX).

      If I want the truly sleek effects of a Mac, I will gladly install Ubuntu with Compiz/Beryl.

  24. do you think you can get quality at nickel and dime prices? i can go get a freaking car for $2000. that has seats, glass, wheels, but does that make it a $150k ferrari? HELL NO.

    • But what if you need a car with 5 seats and decent fuel economy (you know, for people that don’t have unlimited money) and it need to fit within a budget. The 150k ferrari is going to be completely useless if you need those features. Maybe that the same reasoning why people don’t get macs – hmm I need a computer, but i only have $1500 to spend on it, but I also need it to be able to store all my media, be able to play games and be portable enough to carry around and get 7hrs battery life.

  25. do you think you can get quality at nickel and dime prices? i can go get a freaking car for $2000. that has seats, glass, wheels, but does that make it a $150k ferrari? HELL NO.

    • But what if you need a car with 5 seats and decent fuel economy (you know, for people that don't have unlimited money) and it need to fit within a budget. The 150k ferrari is going to be completely useless if you need those features. Maybe that the same reasoning why people don't get macs – hmm I need a computer, but i only have $1500 to spend on it, but I also need it to be able to store all my media, be able to play games and be portable enough to carry around and get 7hrs battery life.

  26. “Plus, OSx is fucking hautt.”

    And people wonder why people dont like Apple – its morons like you who make dim-witted comments like that.

    When Apple captures the business side of things, then i may consider switching.

    Terminal Services? non existent on Apple.
    AutoCAD? Exchange Server?

    Still waiting Apple…

    • wow! there is so much wrong with your comment that i really don’t know where to begin…
      for starters are you really asking why Exchange Server is not available via Apple? Seriously?

  27. "Plus, OSx is fucking hautt."

    And people wonder why people dont like Apple – its morons like you who make dim-witted comments like that.

    When Apple captures the business side of things, then i may consider switching.

    Terminal Services? non existent on Apple.

    AutoCAD? Exchange Server?

    Still waiting Apple…

    • wow! there is so much wrong with your comment that i really don't know where to begin…

      for starters are you really asking why Exchange Server is not available via Apple? Seriously?

  28. When she says she’s not cool enough for Apple, she’s not saying anything about Windows. She’s saying Mac users are stuck up. The commercial’s target audience will understand this point.

    • Funny… I would say 80% of Mac users don’t act like the guy in the ad, which the Microsoft fanboys and linux hippies seem to be using as a basis for their mythical “average Mac user.”

      I’ve found that if I go to an Apple forum and ask a question I’m more likely to get a straight answer, rather than the sarcastic comments people tend to reply with elsewhere.

      Anyway, I don’t care about the hardware. The MacBooks are solid notebooks, and priced fairly reasonably. The iMacs are the ones that are expensive. (The Mac Pro has a bit of a high sticker price, but it’s a killer machine. You’d be hard pressed to find other 8-core machines to compare it with…)

      The real reason I switched to a Mac last year was for the OS. Windows isn’t getting any better, and I like the Mac OS. It’s Unix core is solid, and there’s some good software for it. It runs Photoshop, Firefox, some nice text editors, Skitch, and World of Warcraft. What more does a web developer need on a daily basis?

      I’ve been wanting to get into some light client-side programming, and maybe iPhone apps too. Mac OS X seems like a better platform to do that on too.

      • Mac2008 -

        You prove everyone’s point with:
        “Mac users” & “Microsoft fanboys and linux hippies”
        Sounds snobby if I’ve ever heard it.

        So an a community I think we need to find a “Mac user” nickname to go alone with fanboy & hippie here.

        IMHO Mac user = Mac Loser.

  29. When she says she's not cool enough for Apple, she's not saying anything about Windows. She's saying Mac users are stuck up. The commercial's target audience will understand this point.

    • Funny… I would say 80% of Mac users don't act like the guy in the ad, which the Microsoft fanboys and linux hippies seem to be using as a basis for their mythical "average Mac user."

      I've found that if I go to an Apple forum and ask a question I'm more likely to get a straight answer, rather than the sarcastic comments people tend to reply with elsewhere.

      Anyway, I don't care about the hardware. The MacBooks are solid notebooks, and priced fairly reasonably. The iMacs are the ones that are expensive. (The Mac Pro has a bit of a high sticker price, but it's a killer machine. You'd be hard pressed to find other 8-core machines to compare it with…)

      The real reason I switched to a Mac last year was for the OS. Windows isn't getting any better, and I like the Mac OS. It's Unix core is solid, and there's some good software for it. It runs Photoshop, Firefox, some nice text editors, Skitch, and World of Warcraft. What more does a web developer need on a daily basis?

      I've been wanting to get into some light client-side programming, and maybe iPhone apps too. Mac OS X seems like a better platform to do that on too.

      • Mac2008 -

        You prove everyone's point with:

        "Mac users" & "Microsoft fanboys and linux hippies"

        Sounds snobby if I've ever heard it.

        So an a community I think we need to find a "Mac user" nickname to go alone with fanboy & hippie here.

        IMHO Mac user = Mac Loser.

  30. > you’re also paying extra to be able to run Mac OSX and software written for it.

    Nope. I’m running OS X on a PC as we speak. It’s $600 and faster (on clock speed) than anything Apple makes, including its highest-end desktops. Still prefer Win7 btw.

  31. > you’re also paying extra to be able to run Mac OSX and software written for it.

    Nope. I'm running OS X on a PC as we speak. It's $600 and faster (on clock speed) than anything Apple makes, including its highest-end desktops. Still prefer Win7 btw.

  32. These mac vs pc arguments are so infantile. Grow up people. You’re acting like idiotic consumer whores. If you want to cheap out and be frustrated, go pc. If you want to go easy and expensive get the freakin mac. No one cares.

    • Rico, you had me on the first two sentences, then fell off the high road for your finish. I’ve been a Sr Network Engineer for 15 years now, and have worked with PC’s of all types since the first 1′ wide floppy using monsters first came out. I’ve used DOS, AIX, UNIX, Linux, Windows 3.1-Vista, MAC OS 7-X, and MS Server software from NT3.5-2007, and Exchange 5.5-2007. At home I have linux, XP, Vista, and MAC computers and laptops I use for various functions. I’ve also taught computer Certification courses, and I’ll tell you all the same things I told my students when they asked “which OS is better”.

      It depends.

      A computer/OS combination is a tool, nothing more. It is not a life-style choice, it does not reflect your deeper dreams or state of enlightenment. You choose your tool in computing just like a plumber or carpenter chooses their tools – based on the job you need to do.

      For example: in the server room, maybe your needs are for solid dependability, lower cost of ownership, and something that can work with a variety of client OS’s, so you go with a Linux setup. This also allows you to go with more expensive and reliable (or redundant) hardware, because you save on software and licensing costs. And yes, I’m afraid the cost of the tool you choose versus the job you need it for is a factor in making rational decisions.

      On the office floor, or for home use, if you need a tool to do basic computer functions, which for most people is surf the web, use email, write the occasional letter or make a spreadsheet, play some games – and you place a premium on sticking to what most people are already familiar with, and is easily compatible with the majority of computers out there (for instance, being able to swap parts back and forth, or upgrade hw yourself, pick up parts at local Staples or WalMart, etc), you may choose PC’s running some form of Windows. If you are more adventurous or experienced, maybe you go with Ubuntu or some such.

      In the advertising department, or in the home, if you put a premium on using more powerful graphics, audio and a/v tools, then yes, you are probably going to decide to go with a MAC.

      These are just some examples, not iron-clad rules, but again it is all predicated on the simple, non-judgemental question: What is the best tool for the job I have to do, that fits within my particular job and cost/benefits requirements.

      So to echo Rico’s opening sentiment – really, grow up people.

  33. These mac vs pc arguments are so infantile. Grow up people. You're acting like idiotic consumer whores. If you want to cheap out and be frustrated, go pc. If you want to go easy and expensive get the freakin mac. No one cares.

    • Rico, you had me on the first two sentences, then fell off the high road for your finish. I've been a Sr Network Engineer for 15 years now, and have worked with PC's of all types since the first 1' wide floppy using monsters first came out. I've used DOS, AIX, UNIX, Linux, Windows 3.1-Vista, MAC OS 7-X, and MS Server software from NT3.5-2007, and Exchange 5.5-2007. At home I have linux, XP, Vista, and MAC computers and laptops I use for various functions. I've also taught computer Certification courses, and I'll tell you all the same things I told my students when they asked "which OS is better".

      It depends.

      A computer/OS combination is a tool, nothing more. It is not a life-style choice, it does not reflect your deeper dreams or state of enlightenment. You choose your tool in computing just like a plumber or carpenter chooses their tools – based on the job you need to do.

      For example: in the server room, maybe your needs are for solid dependability, lower cost of ownership, and something that can work with a variety of client OS's, so you go with a Linux setup. This also allows you to go with more expensive and reliable (or redundant) hardware, because you save on software and licensing costs. And yes, I'm afraid the cost of the tool you choose versus the job you need it for is a factor in making rational decisions.

      On the office floor, or for home use, if you need a tool to do basic computer functions, which for most people is surf the web, use email, write the occasional letter or make a spreadsheet, play some games – and you place a premium on sticking to what most people are already familiar with, and is easily compatible with the majority of computers out there (for instance, being able to swap parts back and forth, or upgrade hw yourself, pick up parts at local Staples or WalMart, etc), you may choose PC's running some form of Windows. If you are more adventurous or experienced, maybe you go with Ubuntu or some such.

      In the advertising department, or in the home, if you put a premium on using more powerful graphics, audio and a/v tools, then yes, you are probably going to decide to go with a MAC.

      These are just some examples, not iron-clad rules, but again it is all predicated on the simple, non-judgemental question: What is the best tool for the job I have to do, that fits within my particular job and cost/benefits requirements.

      So to echo Rico's opening sentiment – really, grow up people.

  34. …”i can go get a freaking car for $2000. that has seats, glass, wheels, but does that make it a $150k ferrari? HELL NO.”
    If we compare computers to cars, mac would be more like mini – trendy, funny looking, expensive, not much else.. My pc is all watercooled and supertuned – now thats a ferrari!

  35. …"i can go get a freaking car for $2000. that has seats, glass, wheels, but does that make it a $150k ferrari? HELL NO."

    If we compare computers to cars, mac would be more like mini – trendy, funny looking, expensive, not much else.. My pc is all watercooled and supertuned – now thats a ferrari!

  36. What does it matter if which one other people prefer? Isn’t part of the point the commercial is trying to make that you shouldn’t buy a computer just to be trendy? Everyone should just buy the one they like better. Since a big chunk of people think that being a mac user makes you a pretentious jerk then it’s not as if everyone buys them for the image; you could argue just as easily that caring what everyone else thinks would be a deterrent.

  37. What does it matter if which one other people prefer? Isn't part of the point the commercial is trying to make that you shouldn't buy a computer just to be trendy? Everyone should just buy the one they like better. Since a big chunk of people think that being a mac user makes you a pretentious jerk then it's not as if everyone buys them for the image; you could argue just as easily that caring what everyone else thinks would be a deterrent.

  38. Seems to me the pc world is hell bent on a totalitarian one OS world. There is no room for alternatives with these people and they aren’t shy about it. Use anything but windows and they come out screaming at ya like you just ruined their lives. To use anything but a wintel computer makes you a troll, pretentious, smug, etc etc. Don’t even get me started with the linux bums. They are so far removed from the realities of average people and computing they aren’t even worthy of debating. Apple exists because they take the core set of tasks that many people want to perform, and make it easier to do than their competitors. They pay attention to details that fall through the cracks at MS, and rightfully so since MS is the johnny come lately in regard to user interface on computers (yes wintel users, macs had it before you). With wintel machines, average people who have no desire to spend their valuable time fighting malware, windows bugs, endless pop up dialogs and all the other nonsense find solace in the apple world. It works for them and they’re willing to put their money to product because they know their time is worth something that facilitates their computing objectives. The other side however, enjoy a masochistic world of wild west computing that demands a lot of attention to stupid things we shouldn’t have to wrestle with because of rogue developers. More power to ya. Have fun with it. But the complaint that mac users being smug and elitist applies to way more pc users. Check the comments in this very column and you’ll see.

  39. Seems to me the pc world is hell bent on a totalitarian one OS world. There is no room for alternatives with these people and they aren't shy about it. Use anything but windows and they come out screaming at ya like you just ruined their lives. To use anything but a wintel computer makes you a troll, pretentious, smug, etc etc. Don't even get me started with the linux bums. They are so far removed from the realities of average people and computing they aren't even worthy of debating. Apple exists because they take the core set of tasks that many people want to perform, and make it easier to do than their competitors. They pay attention to details that fall through the cracks at MS, and rightfully so since MS is the johnny come lately in regard to user interface on computers (yes wintel users, macs had it before you). With wintel machines, average people who have no desire to spend their valuable time fighting malware, windows bugs, endless pop up dialogs and all the other nonsense find solace in the apple world. It works for them and they're willing to put their money to product because they know their time is worth something that facilitates their computing objectives. The other side however, enjoy a masochistic world of wild west computing that demands a lot of attention to stupid things we shouldn't have to wrestle with because of rogue developers. More power to ya. Have fun with it. But the complaint that mac users being smug and elitist applies to way more pc users. Check the comments in this very column and you'll see.

  40. I bought my wife a pc and from the moment I turned it on I wanted to destroy it. Vista is the worst operating system I’ve ever seen. Forget the fact that it takes an incredibly long time to boot up. It then takes an additional long ass time to fucking let you do anything at all because of the useless start-up apps. After uninstalling all of the USELESS crap it comes with you think it’s over..it’s not. The piece of shit needs your permission for EVERYTHING because everybody and their grandmas know how to hack the piece of shit.

    Every desperate fucking company on the interwebs tries to get you to install their goddamn search bars. I, not being accustomed to shit like that, ended up with 3 or 4 search bars that I then had to get rid of. it’s shit. hate it.

  41. I bought my wife a pc and from the moment I turned it on I wanted to destroy it. Vista is the worst operating system I've ever seen. Forget the fact that it takes an incredibly long time to boot up. It then takes an additional long ass time to fucking let you do anything at all because of the useless start-up apps. After uninstalling all of the USELESS crap it comes with you think it's over..it's not. The piece of shit needs your permission for EVERYTHING because everybody and their grandmas know how to hack the piece of shit.

    Every desperate fucking company on the interwebs tries to get you to install their goddamn search bars. I, not being accustomed to shit like that, ended up with 3 or 4 search bars that I then had to get rid of. it's shit. hate it.

  42. hmmm thought my comment would show below as a thread re: the one I was replying to. anyhoo…

  43. hmmm thought my comment would show below as a thread re: the one I was replying to. anyhoo…

  44. Wow, there’s a surprise. Hope Lauren enjoys her toy. She’ll kick herself when her friend buys a $300 netbook running linux and realizes that’s all she needed and she could have used that extra cash promoting her acting career.

  45. Wow, there's a surprise. Hope Lauren enjoys her toy. She'll kick herself when her friend buys a $300 netbook running linux and realizes that's all she needed and she could have used that extra cash promoting her acting career.

  46. I just bought this laptop running Windows for about $600 and it takes sooooo long to boot up? Do you think I have the Conflicker wormy thing? Do I need to be worried about that?

  47. I just bought this laptop running Windows for about $600 and it takes sooooo long to boot up? Do you think I have the Conflicker wormy thing? Do I need to be worried about that?

  48. if you do your research, read forums and wikis – you can find a beautiful pc laptop and run osx on it. personally i have a 13inch macbook i bought for 900 usd. i have an external 20 inch widescreen monitor that i use as a secondary display when i’m at the office.

    the problem with windows – and this is from a guy who has been fixing windows for 15 years as an it admin – is that you are going to have to reinstall your os @ some point because A: spyware / virus takes you down or B: you installed something that screwed you up and you can’t fix it without spending oodles of time.

    you spend much less time trying to fix problems on a mac or even on a hackintosh that’s on happy hardware. i ‘switched’ 2 years ago and have not looked back. the only time i end up using windows is when a friend asks me to help them fix thier pc’s – seriously.

    your saved time is worth more than the few hundred dollars you’ll save when choosing a pc, my honest opinion. ever spent a whole weekend trying to fix a problem on a pc? longer? think about it.

    • That’s simply anecdotal and doesn’t prove anything. I’ve had my two PCs for years without any problems. In the same time period my brother has had two or three Macs die painful deaths. I think that if you take the time to do everything properly both will work well for a long time. Sure there is cheap PC hardware, there’s also a large assortment of reasonably priced options. There are advantages to each system. If I weren’t as interested in games and upgrading my system hardware, I might use a mac, it looks like there are a lot of nice features.

      All this discussion proves is that both Apple and Microsoft have done an excellent job of creating brand loyalty.

      PS: This is the most comments I’ve ever seen here, the interwebs are full of frakkin’ crazy people!

  49. if you do your research, read forums and wikis – you can find a beautiful pc laptop and run osx on it. personally i have a 13inch macbook i bought for 900 usd. i have an external 20 inch widescreen monitor that i use as a secondary display when i'm at the office.

    the problem with windows – and this is from a guy who has been fixing windows for 15 years as an it admin – is that you are going to have to reinstall your os @ some point because A: spyware / virus takes you down or B: you installed something that screwed you up and you can't fix it without spending oodles of time.

    you spend much less time trying to fix problems on a mac or even on a hackintosh that's on happy hardware. i 'switched' 2 years ago and have not looked back. the only time i end up using windows is when a friend asks me to help them fix thier pc's – seriously.

    your saved time is worth more than the few hundred dollars you'll save when choosing a pc, my honest opinion. ever spent a whole weekend trying to fix a problem on a pc? longer? think about it.

    • That's simply anecdotal and doesn't prove anything. I've had my two PCs for years without any problems. In the same time period my brother has had two or three Macs die painful deaths. I think that if you take the time to do everything properly both will work well for a long time. Sure there is cheap PC hardware, there's also a large assortment of reasonably priced options. There are advantages to each system. If I weren't as interested in games and upgrading my system hardware, I might use a mac, it looks like there are a lot of nice features.

      All this discussion proves is that both Apple and Microsoft have done an excellent job of creating brand loyalty.

      PS: This is the most comments I've ever seen here, the interwebs are full of frakkin' crazy people!

  50. this is actually first MS ad in many years that looks like it should, messaging can be questioned but it’s not that bad, because cool is used like a bad thing and it does not refer of pc being not cool… it’s more like oh I say I’m cool with mac but you really are not, not anymore with having all these people in starbucks with macs.

  51. this is actually first MS ad in many years that looks like it should, messaging can be questioned but it's not that bad, because cool is used like a bad thing and it does not refer of pc being not cool… it's more like oh I say I'm cool with mac but you really are not, not anymore with having all these people in starbucks with macs.

  52. People don’t seem to get the message. In ‘these times’ don’t spend extra money for company logo (read ‘apple’).

  53. People don't seem to get the message. In 'these times' don't spend extra money for company logo (read 'apple').

  54. Who paid for this ad? Are you sure it was Microsoft? Looks like an ad for HP, to me. She bought the hardware because it “looked” better and had a “nice” keyboard and a 17″ screen. Such “technical” requirements certainly narrowed the field! LOL! I wonder if she’s ever really had to use a computer to do useful, creative work? Other than to scan Criagslist, that is… ;-) But, if that’s really what she wanted, who are we to argue? I’m just glad that I’ve never made a mistake in my life! [blush]

    With requirements like hers, almost any 17″ laptop would have worked. Period. Only thing left is the price. With the vast majority of people not ever using a Mac, why should MS be worried about picking someone who would buy another Wintel machine. And I’m sure they did absolutely no research into what the ‘winner’ would require in their search. Nah, all corporations are as pure as the fallen snow, especially those dominant in their market. Right? :-|

    I’m just happy we have a real choice! Spend your money where you want, but stop trying to force others to accept your choices. And that goes for both “sides” guys. Don’t we have more important things to do?

    signed: another “fanboy,” radical, fanatical, irrational, cool-aid-drinking, but extremely happy Mac user. ;-)

  55. Who paid for this ad? Are you sure it was Microsoft? Looks like an ad for HP, to me. She bought the hardware because it "looked" better and had a "nice" keyboard and a 17" screen. Such "technical" requirements certainly narrowed the field! LOL! I wonder if she's ever really had to use a computer to do useful, creative work? Other than to scan Criagslist, that is… ;-) But, if that's really what she wanted, who are we to argue? I'm just glad that I've never made a mistake in my life! [blush]

    With requirements like hers, almost any 17" laptop would have worked. Period. Only thing left is the price. With the vast majority of people not ever using a Mac, why should MS be worried about picking someone who would buy another Wintel machine. And I'm sure they did absolutely no research into what the 'winner' would require in their search. Nah, all corporations are as pure as the fallen snow, especially those dominant in their market. Right? :-|

    I'm just happy we have a real choice! Spend your money where you want, but stop trying to force others to accept your choices. And that goes for both "sides" guys. Don't we have more important things to do?

    signed: another "fanboy," radical, fanatical, irrational, cool-aid-drinking, but extremely happy Mac user. ;-)

  56. Their ‘Windows slogan’ is kind of irritating.

    Who even needs Windows in a life without walls?