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Microsoft adjusts "Apple Tax" white paper

updated 07:45 pm EDT, Mon April 13, 2009

Microsoft tweaks Apple Tax

Following criticism from a variety of sources, the Microsoft-paid analyst Roger Kay adjusted his "Apple Tax" white paper, although most of the discrepancies remain. The document and and a related blog post were updated with hardware specs from Apple's latest products, while Kay chose different PC models for the comparison. The previous analysis pitted the previous-model Mac Pro with the HP d5100t.

The white paper now places the latest Mac Pro against the m9600t, the former featuring a 2.66GHz quad-core Xeon CPU and the latter offering a quad-core Intel Core i7 processor. The iMac arguably offered a similar set of features to the d5100t, while both of the systems in the latest comparison use Intel's Nehalem technology.

Kay did not address the bias regarding software and upgrades, including the assumption that PC buyers already own copies of Quicken and Microsoft Office. An extra $70 and $149 were added to the Mac tally, while omitting the software cost from the PC side. The hypothetical PC purchases also excluded software updates for the five year period, while iLife updates were included for Macs.

For hardware upgrades, Kay claimed that "Apple's solution" to Blu-ray requires a standalone Sony player, the BDP-S350, with a $300 price inflated for "some fancy plastics and fairy dust." On the PC side, he chose the LiteOn DH-401S and referenced a $95 price found on NewEgg.

The Windows system included a three-year factory warranty as the only added service. The Mac systems, however, were paired with the AppleCare plan, in-store training and even a MobileMe subscription.

Kay concludes that Microsoft is ready to bring "cool" to the PC systems. "And even if you're still willing to pay extra -- sometimes a lot extra -- for cool -- that diaphanous, ephemeral quality -- the coolness gap will largely evaporate this year when Windows 7 is introduced," he claims. [via CNET News]

By Electronista Staff
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  1. dagamer34

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2007



    If it weren't so biased, the "Apple tax" would be believable, but this "white paper" is pure trash.

  1. chas_m




    Apple should frankly sue Kay to force him to pit like against like, IMHO.

    Of course, they won't, because they're cool. They know that the fact that Kay had to fudge SO MUCH of this is obvious to savvy buyers and points to the idea that MS can't beat Apple unless they cheat -- exactly the impression Apple wants to give them.

    The whole flaw with MS's current assault -- sorry, campaign -- is that it target the low-end, low-information, price-is-everything, high-maintenance, naive buyer. This is precisely the customer Apple DOES NOT WANT.

    The ads from MS inadvertently paint Apple as the one you really want, whether you can afford it or not, and the standard to beat.

    You need proof? Consider Kay's statement that basically says that when Win7 comes out, MS will be as cool and hip as Apple.

    If you are the sort of person who would actually believe that, that after 30 years of trying MS finally got it right, that THIS time Windows will be not only equal to OS X but better in every way, you are precisely the sort of mouth-breathing, knuckle-dragging sucker MS wants and Apple hates.

  1. phillymjs

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jun 2000


    When does Microsoft...

    ...plan to close the "no malware" gap, pray tell?

  1. cashxx

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2009


    Compare against Dell

    How about a comparison with the MacPro and the Dell Precision. I speced them out as close as possible and the Dell was about $1,000 more. That was with a 200 credit.

  1. cashxx

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2009


    Compare against Dell

    How about a comparison with the MacPro and the Dell Precision. I speced them out as close as possible and the Dell was about $1,000 more. That was with a 200 credit.

  1. Roehlstation

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2001



    Fails to mention that the software to support the BLURAY drive for the PC is not included. You can read BLU-RAY data at best, but you will be forced to install WinDVD 9 Pro to get playback support.

  1. slapppy

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2008


    MS update

    Microsoft needs to adjust even more. They can check with the University of Utah on how much to apply that Microsoft Tax. Let's see that update MS.

  1. ViktorCode

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2006


    Mac Pro

    Anyone who was shopping for PC workstation (the actual Xeon / Opteron-based one, not some single CPU consumer substitute) knows that Mac Pro's price is very hard to beat. Poor Kay didn't have a choice but to put Mac Pro against a consumer desktop, calling them 'close' on performance basis and completely missing the point of workstation: reliable work 24/7.

  1. lowededwookie

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2008


    Servers next please.

    I want Microsoft to do a comparison of an XServe with the unlimited license version of Mac OS X Server and pit it against Windows Server 2007 unlimited... oh wait, that's right there isn't such a version of Windows Server 2007. It'll cost you thousands of dollars to connect just a few Windows PCs to a Windows network but it will cost you nothing to connect as many Macs or Windows machines to a Mac OS X Server.

    Come on Microsoft, go the Enterprise route next. Please oh please oh please.

  1. nat

    Junior Member

    Joined: Mar 2002


    yellow journalism

    plain and simple.
    guy should get a job at fox.

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