Mary Jo-Foley has posted an overview of the Mac vs PC debate. It is a holy war and will continue to be.
Question, who started the war? Apple of course. Apple played on well known trouble of PC, so Microsoft fight backs with well-known problem with Apple: It is expensive, or more accurately, the perception that it is.
I know Microsoft wanted to return fire on the Mac vs PC debate. If I were Microsoft, I would want to do the same. But why argue on price now? Surely there are better options. We are in a recession so you would had thought that the so-called “Apple Tax” (if you, like Microsoft, thinks there is really one) would discourage people from getting a Mac. There is no need to make a song and dance over it since the economy will do it for you.
There is a few reasons I can think of why Microsoft started this: One, it needs to look good and cheap in a recession. How do you make yourself look cheap? Compare yourself to your more “expensive” cousin. (Aside, whether Mac is really more expensive or not is not the question here, but the perception that Mac is more expensive.)
Second, Microsoft needs a campaign and it decided to bash someone. It has two choices: target the perceived “expensive”, i.e., mac, or the perceived “usability”, i.e., Linux. If you read LeBlanc two recent posts (here and here), they are doing it but they are banging the drum louder on mac, as it is less likely to backfire. With Linux it run the serious risk of making increasing joe public awareness of the operating system.
Third, and perhaps most worryingly, everyone’s sales is falling, but Apple is gaining on Microsoft. How? LeBlanc explains how two Macs per home cost more than two Windows per home. It stands to reason that the battle ground is on two computers per home. If so, let’s look through the sledge of hand, for the majority of homes, you are more likely to find two Windows instead of two Macs. In fact, I will say, if the economy was doing good, we are moving towards one Mac and one Windows. We never had the situation of two Macs at home for most people. Hence, it may be that the majority of changes we see is from two computers down to one. What does this means? You save by not getting two computers, but it does means you have more money to spend on the one computer you are going to buy, and … horror, horror … people are considering Macs! Pure speculation on my part of course.