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« Intravee II Firmware Upgrade Enhances Functionality | Main | ”Microsoft hatred is a disease” So Says Linus Torvalds »

July 20, 2009


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Chris Beard

I myself am torn between this. We need a new machine for home and my 6-year old will inherit my wife's Mac Mini and she needs a new machine. Yet I find myself debating whether the extra $800+ (assuming a decent Windows laptop for around $700) is worth it vs. a Windows machine. While I love my MacBook Pro, an $800+ difference is nothing to sneeze at. Performance is about the same, but long bootup times and the necessity of keeping a virus subscription etc. on the PC side may just push me towards another Mac, Mac Tax and all...

Stephen Skarlatos

I don't know if you have seen Windows 7 run, but I think it is going to give Mac OS a run for the money.

Chris Carlin

It makes perfect sense why Apple would place such a call to MS: any company will seek to exploit any opportunity they see, and in particular the involvement of lawyers hints that there are legal advantages of making such a formal complaint.

The call was really a pretty insignificant event--just another day in the life of competing corporations and their lawyers. If you want to draw a conclusion it's that Microsoft's marketing is still failing around.

After all, according to this press release the best evidence they have that their ads are working is a un-noteworthy communication from a corporate lawyer.


Stephen Skarlatos

If they saw a legal advantage they would have written a letter...

Chris Carlin

Well you're right, Stephen: assuming there was no legal advantage (a poor assumption, I'd say), the incident really doesn't make any sense at all.

But where does that get you? The best proof these guys have is, then, that Apple's legal department did something nonsensical... that's not exactly case closed.

They could have reported increase sales. They could have reported market research saying that the campaign was working. Heck, they could have reported positive critical review of the spots!

Instead, the best evidence they could find of success in selling computers/software was that a lawyer had a crazy moment?

What's next, proof of the company's profitability in the fact that Bill Joy ate an omelet Monday morning?

Stephen Skarlatos

You are right, MS should have provided some stats. It will be interesting to what Apple's numbers are this afternoon.

If they are down, does that mean the MS marketing campaign is working or is it the economy. We need to look at the MS hardware partner numbers to lean one way or the other. Obviously if they are up, all bets are off and the MS campaign is probably not having an effect.

Chris Carlin

It's not that simple. PR firms have the ability to do legitimate research into consumer buying habits to determine whether their campaigns are working, and that information coupled with sales trends for both the target company and its competitors can give an overall picture of how the campaign is doing.

Looking at any one number or sales statistic is probably not going to be meaningful in this case; there are just too many outside variables.

In particular, it's often overlooked that that Microsoft/PC and Apple are selling fundamentally different products to very different audiences, and that's one reason this ad campaign is flawed in my opinion. Since they're selling very different products, sales from one don't translate cleanly into marketshare loss from the other.

Anyway, back to the point: surely Microsoft has real, legitimate data showing whether these campaigns are really successful, so why didn't they release it? To me the lack of release is pretty damning.

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