It may be long overdue, but Microsoft is finally coming out swinging against the rise of OS X. Apple has long played the underdog against the giant, writing Microsoft off as stodgy, technologically backward, and problematic. Microsoft let them do it, focusing more on promoting their efforts than denigrating Apple’s products.
This stance confused some, why didn’t they bite back? It was on a long past episode of Diggnation that Alex Albrecht summed it up, saying in short that Microsoft didn’t even want to acknowledge Apple as a competitor. Doing that would give Cupertino market credibility. Now it seems that enough is enough, and Microsoft is finally fighting back.
Redmond has launched a website to discuss Mac versus PC that deals some serious blows to Apple, whether or not they are valid is up to you. Roughly broken into large sections, Microsoft says this:
Having Fun: Macs Might Spoil Your Fun
Simplicity: Macs Can Take Time To Learn
Working Hard: Macs Dont Work As Well At Work Or At School
Sharing: Macs Don’t Like To Share
Compatibility: Macs Might Not Like Your PC Stuff
Choice: Macs Don’t Let You Choose
One by one, let’s break them down. In regards to ‘having fun,’ Microsoft touts TV tuners, 3G wireless integration, Blu-ray players, and Memory Stick readers as their advantages. Mac responds with great screens, and SuperDrives. Oh, and PCs do have a much larger selection of playable games, adding a few more points to the Microsoft argument. I have to take the PC position here as stronger.
The idea off simplicity is a bit tough. If you know Macs, PCs are difficult to use, as are Macs to the PC user. I use both, and really have to rate them as different but more or less equivalent in daily use. However, Microsoft is saying that for the current PC user Macs take time to learn, which is true. Sure, Macs are generally well designed machines, but to move does take effort. Toss up here.
In its ‘working hard’ section Microsoft has a few small points, that Macs often don’t have all the plugin spaces you might want, and so you might have to buy dongles to run your hardware, and that Apple’s iWork suite might not always be 100% compatible with Office. Fair enough, but those are small complaints. Some Macs do need add-ons to talk to hardware, but that is just not a big deal. I declare a toss up here again, unless you work in a PC environment in which case Redmond is actually right.
Sharing? This is simplest using Dropbox, which works on both platforms. Tie.
In regards to ‘compatibility,’ yes your Mac might not like all your PC equipment, that is because it is designed for PCs. This is like telling people not to move from Dodge to Ford because their special Dodge cupholders won’t fit in their new Ford. Oh, really? Tie.
Choice. Here, Microsoft has a point. You can get a dead cheap PC, or a scary expensive one. You have a PC in any color literally under the sun. Macs are great machines that come in a just a few configurations. If you like what Apple has made, then to you it’s a perfect mix. If you want anything different, a PC will offer options. Does it matter? For some consumers, yes. For others, no. I call another tie, just because people have different tastes.
It’s good to finally see Microsoft stand up, put two middle fingers into the air and play its status as the big dog with some chutzpah. Will Mac fanboys laugh at Microsoft’s little website? Of course they will. For the average PC using Joe, though, it may provide a few views that will help them make a decision. Sure, Jobs hates Blu-ray (as do I), but that hardly means that no one wants it, right?