back to article Microsoft conjures imaginary 'Apple Tax'

The age-old battle between Microsoft and Apple is heating up again, and this time, Redmond is cheating. On Thursday, Microsoft released a company-sponsored snark-fest written by Roger L. Kay of Endpoint Technology Associates that is, simply put, an embarrassment. This report, entitled What Price Cool? (PDF) and breathlessly …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. Phil McMillan

    And more ....

    There are a number of other items missing from this PC versus Mac 'value' comparison.

    I'll cover these in more detail below, but how about;

    1. Onward compatibility - Transitions in both hardware and OS platforms

    2. Depreciation - Very important when spending large sums on IT

    3. Support - Yes, both companies offer extended support schemes, but which one can you get the best free advice from

    4. Reliability

    5. I have to say it, Style is important. Especially when it leads to a better user experience and better productivity

    1. Throughout the years, I have owned both PC's and Mac's. Generally PC's for desktops as I like to be able to customise the performance and upgrade over time, but Mac's for laptops as no laptop is easily upgradable anyway!

    Through the various transitions in Hardware and OS platforms, I believe Apple manage the process much more elegantly and by working closely with developers, make technology transitions more or less painless. The only exception I have come across recently is that the G4 hardware is not fully supported by the latest iLife packages and will not be supported by Snow Leopard. This however, is not really an issue. The G4's were last sold over 3 years ago, so anyone wanting these new software features are probably close to replacing their hardware anyway. That leads nicely to my second point, depreciation, but I'll come back to that in a moment.

    I can't say that MS has handled transitions well. In terms of hardware, the fact that it doesn't control the development of many of the components of a PC, makes this near impossible.

    I did download the Vista upgrade advisor program prior to Vista's launch. About half of my hardware and a third of my software was not fully compatible. I would need to wait until the hardware manufacturers released updated drivers (some still have not!!) and software would need upgrading (generally at a cost). So I've stuck with XP.

    2. Now, depreciation. Look on eBay at what people are selling 3 year old PC's for and what they are selling 3 year old Mac's for. In this time period, most PC's seem to have lost about 90% of their value, yet Mac's are generally selling for 40% to 60% of their original value. For example, my iBook G4 1.42 GHz, is 3 years old this month. When new, it was worth £749. I've been tracking similar spec units on eBay and they are selling for between £300 and £450. I'd be happy to get just £300 for mine as it was purchased under the home initiative programme so only cost me £420.

    3. Support - Now my iBook did come with a 3yr Applecare support package, but I've never used it. I have however wondered into Apple stores to get some quick advice on upgrades, etc. The staff in Apple stores are 1st rate, and always make sure your question is answered, even if they have to 'phone a friend' in Cupertino. Contrast that to the occasions when I've needed similar help with Windows. It took 3 months and many expensive phonecalls to resolve a system crash caused by an updated Nokia phone cable driver. I couldn't just walk into a shop and ask a MS person to help me.

    4. Reliability - My iBook has been bullet proof, with no system failures and the only problems I have encountered were caused by MS software (Office 2004 and Windows Media Player). Since removing WMP and updating Office 2004 many times, the system is extremely stable. Contrast that to my XP based desktop. As mentioned above, the Nokia driver and many other problems have occurred over the last few years. This is making me seriously consider an iMac for my desktop PC. The fact that it can boot into Windows to allow me to use my Windows software without needing to replace it all, is a real plus.

    5. Apple Style; well I think it is much more than that. Apple obviously spend a lot of time working out how a user will use a system and it's applications. The user interface is far more intuitive and does not need the plethora of third party 'customisation' apps to make it work your way. I personally find I am more productive on a Mac than a PC. I also don't need to reach for a user manual or search google on "how do I ...". No registry hacks required, no reinstalling the OS every year or so to gain back performance lost through junk building up in said registry and other areas of the system.

    So overall, I really don't see an Apple tax, but paying a little extra to get a system that actually does what I want is more than worth it. If anything, there is a MS tax, the one that taxes your brain. I've lost count of how many times I've wondered how Bill Gates became so rich on products that are "still in development". Don't get me started on Windows ME, which came installed on one of my earlier PC's!

    Page one of the report said it all; Sponsor: Microsoft. Sadly Mr Kay seems to have sold his sole.

    Phil

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    I don't get it

    Maybe if you compare one section of the market you can make Mac look cheap, but in the real world - most us just need an entry level box that does the job and for that Mac is hugely expensive.

    Face it chaps the Mac is not only a "user" machine - it's also a bl00dy expensive one.

    And it IS trendy - so no self respecting, sock and sandal wearing techie would ever own one.

  3. Eponymous Howard
    Jobs Horns

    This time?

    **and this time, Redmond is cheating.**

    This time?

    THIS TIME?

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    Taste of their own medicine

    Well if Apple didn't spout their own crap such as Safari inventing tabbed browsing, integrated RSS and virtually every other feaure that's been in other browsers for years, perhaps their rivals wouldn't feel so justified in fighting fire with fire.

  5. frymaster

    qualified disagree

    I agree that article is a piece of mince, but your dell vs apple comparison isn't too great either. All you've proved is that it's possible to find systems more expensive. But the thing about PCs is that you aren't forced to buy from the one vendor. It's certainly possible to get a machine with the same spec as that apple for less

  6. Herby

    Oh, another thing that Microsoft ALWAYS mentions:

    TCO (Total Cost of Ownership). The need for a home user to hire somebody to keep the machine up to date with all those "patch Tuesday's" that are going to happen, just to name one.

    Then again, I don't want Vista, can I get a refund?

    I also have a friend who us brand new to using a Mac. With the Apple store nearby, he gets all his answers very quickly, and some instruction to boot. He is a happy customer. I doubt a Vista customer would be as happy with the service. Similar to shopping at WalMart for a PC, and Nordstroms for a Mac service wise (with the prices posted).

  7. Tony Batt
    Flame

    Flame on

    mac pro cost £1200 a year ago - single 2.8GHz quad core, i use it as my PC too - using parallels - xp disc - office home and student - cost me around £170 using ebay.

    I use the mac for web design screen design, print artwork and video editing

    I use the PC to let me see how things look to the rest of you (and a little Powerpoint design).

    macs are machines for home users who do not wish to learn how to use a PC or professionals in the creative industries. don't get a mac if you are worried about price-points like-for-like features or value for money, get a mac if you're in the creative industry and want to get on with your work.

  8. Lee
    Happy

    Well....

    at least he is consistent, EVERYTHING is good in the Microsoft world.....though saying that I willingly paid the tax and have a macbook.

    However as an independent PC Shop I must say thank you to Microsoft, without them (and the scores of bugs, nasties, spyware, viruses etc) my business would have gone down the pan, "god bless them every one"

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    MS == BS

    - "The age-old battle between Microsoft and Apple is heating up again, and this time, Redmond is cheating."

    Cheating is nothing new for MS. Even when it comes to linux, MS spews out the bul***it.

    Here is a blog by the same author:

    http://windowsteamblog.com/blogs/windowsexperience/archive/2009/04/03/windows-on-netbook-pcs-a-year-in-review.aspx

    And Ubuntu rebuttal:

    http://blog.canonical.com/?p=151

  10. Bad Beaver
    Thumb Up

    Thanks

    This is the kind of aware and awake reporting I visit this site for.

  11. David Simpson
    Thumb Down

    sad sad sad on both sides

    I found the Apple Mac Vs Pc ads really sad and in fact they helped put me off Apple stuff, but low and behold M$ new ads just do exactly the same thing, they are also sad attempts at showing us their "truth".

    Really both Apple and M$s ads are very successful at pushing me toward a different solution all together.

  12. Mad Hacker

    not a fanboi but MS did go a bit far this time

    I think MS's new laptop finder ads are the best they've had out for a while, but even I have to admit this white paper was pretty bad. The advertisements argue that if you want a lower end system then Apple makes, you can save money by not having to get the higher end features Apple shoves down your throat (for example in the first add the person finds a low density 17 inch display, if you want a 17 inch display on an Apple laptop you'll be paying for 1920x1200 resolution.) But this white paper seems really arbitrary in picking it's comparisons. Also, wouldn't everyone else agree that a Blu-Ray burner makes sense in a computer but a player only drive doesn't? I mean, computers are about creating content so burning makes sense. Reading only is like, well, a tease.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Linux

    ;P

    I like how the internet is just one big opinion article. If people were smart they'd be using Linux instead of the Mac. It's more secure and less elitist... unless you like being a smug person that has to have things to be happy. I'm guessing the writer of this article is one of those people.

  14. Mike Flugennock
    Gates Horns

    D'ohh, what a steaming load of...

    ..."bollocks", I believe you call it over there.

    I didn't buy a Mac because I wanted to be "cool", or to spend more money. I bought a Mac because, at the time (mid 1985), the only alternative was a honking slab of Intel iron running some wretched-assed Byzantine thing called MS-DOS, which required me to learn all kinds of weird-assed, arcane magic words and incantations and _type_ them all in, _correctly_, lest I wound up having to go back, figure out where my mistakes were, and start over. Even simple stuff like dealing with the command line required so goddamn' much _typing_ just to do things like move around the directory structure and open applications -- which, btw, MS-DOS didn't have jack shit for, for my line of work (graphic design) at the time (as opposed to Mac OS, which already had paint, photo-scanning, drawing, and page-layout apps by then).

    The Mac OS GUI -- inspired by the old Xerox STAR OS, iirc -- helped me to understand how operating systems and directory structures and all the other basic nuts'n'bolts of how computers worked more easily than some clunky excuse for a UI -- which, btw, His Billness friggin' _stole_ -- which practically required me to join a priesthood in order to learn. In fact, I'll bet I wouldn't be nearly as "into" computers and digital media as I am now, if not for the Mac.

    This was underscored some years later, when I was working at a design studio which was mostly Mac, but had a few Wintel desktops around, running Windoze versions of design/layout apps which had been on the Mac for years; every time I had to open and convert a client's document created in Windoze PageMaker/Illustrator or CorelDraw for export to MacOS format, the constant headache of dealing with a UI which pretended to be an intuitive GUI but which, in fact, wasn't, reminded me of what a good decision I made to buy a Mac.

    As far as cost goes...I may have mentioned in a different story's comment thread that while Wintel _hardware_ may be cheaper in terms of actual cash, the time you spend getting Windoze to run properly and patching up backdoors and constantly scraping all manner of malware/spyware/adware/trojans/viruses out of it -- if billed at your local market rate for IT consulting -- probably negates all the cash savings of buying Wintel. Hey, you buy cheap, you get cheap.

    As far as buying a Mac because it was cool, I suppose it was, in the sense that when I first checked out how easy to use it was, and how it "just runs", and how easy it was to create and manage my work, my first reaction was "whoa, cool!" So, fine, I guess that makes me a "fanboi", or "fanboy", or whatever.

    Sorry, Microsoft; you guys fucking FAIL.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Details aside...

    Exact specs and details aside, Kay is correct if he suggests that you pay a premium for a similarly equipped Mac over a Windows PC. He's also correct if he says that Apple's products are viewed and purchased to a great extent as fashion accessories. The point of your review should have been that he has stated the obvious.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Joke

    "Kay's next boner"? Oh my...

    I'm trying *not* to picture an image of Kay's boner.

  17. R Cox

    TOC games

    This is same game with total cost of ownership. The best way to respond is to simply say, as MS used to say, that MS is only cheaper if your time is worth nothing.

    Also, if we are looking at a family of four, one has to look at total upgrade costs. On the Mac, the full upgrade, for up to five computers, is only marginally higher than a single home premium upgrade. In fact, upgrading two computers to Vista Home, and probably MS Windows 7, will cost likely cost more than upgrading 2-5 computers in a household to complete version of Mac OS 10.6. The same is true of iLife and iWork, which are released every year, but there is no reason to upgrade every year.

    The only thing correct in the article is a choice of a Mac or PC boils down to opportunity costs. Is it necessary for you have all PCs in a house, or can a mixed environment work. I for one, if I had the child discussed i the article, would be more comfortable with a Mac that allows parental control accounts rather than paying extra for PC software that does the same things, but can be hacked and disabled by most kids.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Boffin

    Give us all a break

    As anyone who has to use both Mac's & Windows PC's like I do knows first hand, for any given Mac, the cost of a Windows PC of the same feature/performance set is always lower. Having said that, almost no one buys a computer based on that any more than anyone buys a automobile on its specs. People select a computer based on what they are used to combined with some aspect of cost and legacy issues with their pre-existing hardware & software.

  19. Eric Dennis

    Apple Tax

    I haven't read this "fake article" by this guy, but it is definitely a fact that without the fancy casing, PC technology is under the hood of both Mac's and PC's. Granted, the NVidia 9400 Chipset is the difference on the Macbook front, I don't think the fancy casing or Mac OSX is worth the extra money. When Apple was using Motorola and IBM RISC tech, the argument could be made that "you get what you pay for". Since both use similar PC Tech, the premium you pay for the Aluminum case and Mac OS just isn't worth it in this economy to those of us who aren't rich. This will all be seen as we watch Apple's sales figures over the course of this year.

  20. snafu
    Jobs Horns

    Apple tax

    Well, I'd add AppleCare (because Mac repair prices usually are astronomical, and while some Masc are solid as tanks, others are a tragedy), I'd configure a four-core tower with a non-Xeon part to compare with the low-range Mac Pro, I'd completely ignore Mac box aesthetics (yes, they are nice, but I'd rather have the ability to install hard disks in trays that I can extract from the front without having to open the case if I choose so, even hot-swap them if I'd like to), and I'd stop doing the stupid utilitarian vs. Rolls Royce dance, because you can be as Unibody, Titanium or whatever as you want and then give me worse WIFI reception, crappy proprietary connectors AGAIN (yes, they are sharing their miniDisplayPort tech, but nobody wanted it in the first place) and killing their own tech they convinced us to embrace.

    Oh, add to that paying that yearly and a half OS X update... er... subscription?

    I am a Mac user since the Classic years (and an Apple IIe user before that). Of course there has always been an Apple Premium, and of course part of it is paying for whatever they decide coolness means this or that year. Do you think the Unibody tech is about using a better part? No, it is about desperately looking for something to hook us with this time. If they were about giving us better components they wouldn't have dared to offer Combo drives for so many years, let's not talk about the supercrappy DVD writer my Mac Pro has, its noxious smells (yes, I have ono of those) or rhe lack of GPU variety.

    That the OS is the best of the worst that there is out there I get: Windows can be abysmal, but that doesn't mean OS X isn't an utter mess user experience-wise and that we accept it as the Holy Blah because our expectations have become so incredibly low. That's the only reason I accept paying the premium.

    (And why do you always compare things with Dell's? As much as Microsoft and others like to show their high price friends in their ads, most people can get hardware that runs circles around Apple's at Mom&Pop PCs or a big store with decent components, which is the thing to watch when one considers desktop deals)

    (Horned Jobs because the RDF wore off decades ago)

  21. Marsorry

    You should not be surprised!!!

    I completely understand your strong reservations towards Microsoft adverts that are starting to make the rounds of late, as well as information that may not be completely accurate. Personally, I haven't seen any of them - not in our part of the world. However, I do notice that you are leaning towards being an Apple supporter and have taken the information quite personally. I am generally a Windows user (not shy about that) and considering to buy an iMac or Macbook Pro very soon to add to my technology consumption. This is becuase there are things I need in a Mac and things I need from Windows (I truly like both). I like the "cool" factor from Apple and am willing to pay any extra premium for it because that is my 'choice'. I'm also willing to continue buying Windows because of the many practicalities it provides for me and my work. Let's face it, many companies run Windows and windows software - it has a strong user base for corporates.

    What I don't understand is why Apple has been on the offensive to gain market share with adverts that are clearly aimed at 'insulting' and discrediting Microsoft and Microsoft products and when the reverse (and OBVIOUSLY EXPECTED) response happens with negative attacks, it's seen as a 'historic war' by writers such as yourself who get rather hot under the collar about it? The way I see it, if you're going to insult somebody and their wares, you should expect a response in kind - that is what MS is doing because that is what Apple seems to want, a war. Therefore, if the information you're getting isn't accurate and discredits Apple, gosh... what a surprise??? I didn't hear you complaining when Apple did the same and I suppose you slept nice and warm at night. We are technology consumers - there are pros and cons to each of these vendors and if their advertising campaigns are aimed at getting at each others throat, then let it be. Ultimately we as consumers benefit when the dust settles. This battle will never end, we know that - but if you're going to go out "defending" one of these giants, do so from both sides - as a reporter should. Surely you couldn't have expected Micrsoft (of all companies) to remain quiet about Apples Ads - they had it coming...

    Marsorry

  22. snafu

    BD

    And yes, I want to be able to play Blu-Ray titles.

    By the way: Apple's miniDisplayPort setup won't do audio through DisplayPort, so forget it about full DP-to-HDMI converters.

  23. Watashi

    Worst... Reg...article... ever

    Why on Earth are you using a top-end Dell to compare to a Mac? Dell's philosophy is closer to the Mac one than the usual PC one. Anyone who has ever supported Dell PCs knows all about the near-proprietry state of the hardware (as opposed to close to off-the-shelf hardware you get in cheaper PCs). They also know that Dell's main business is mid-range business PCs. High-end PCs are just an extra little earner on the side, and this specialisation is reflected in the price.

    A better comparison would have been between the £1889 quad core Mac Pro 2.66GHz, 3Gb, 640Gb HDD and the Acer Aspire M3640 quad core 2.4GHz, 3Gb RAM, 640Gb HDD which costs under £500. Add a good graphics card and Windows 7 (almost there now!) to the Acer machine for a couple of hundred quid and you're still looking at significantly less than half the price.

    The thing with Apple is that they're only good value for money if you actually need the extra oomph. A Ferrari is great value for money if you need a car that can do 200 mph and lure popstars into your bedroom. If you don't actually need those things the extra money is a waste. So it is with Apple's computers. If you don't actually need the top-end specs of the Mac Pro (which is the case for 99 out of 100 PC users) the Mac Pro is awful value for money.

    Also, what the El Reg 'journalist' fails to mention is the fact that most people know someone who can help with their PC problems, thus overcoming many of the hardware reliability downsides of the PC. This isn't true for Macs - if your Mac does break (which, despite the myth, actually happens fairly commonly), you have to send it away to get it fixed, leaving you without a computer for a couple of weeks. Also there is the fact that most people are used to Windows because they use it at work already. A switch to MacOS is for most a harder change than XP to Windows 7 will be - I have used all three OSes, and as a mainly XP and occasional Vista user I find MacOS to be a lot less inuitive than Windows 7.

    It is true that Microsoft's bias against Apple is considerable, but it's no worse than El Reg's bias against Microsoft.

  24. Magius
    Thumb Down

    Typical, he "made up" his specs so you twisted yours too...

    So MS finally decides to defend itself after years of Apple fud (which even you have to admit they were, to the point of being comically deluded) and instead of building up a solid rebuttal you write this? I mean, if you decided to pick a decidedly more expensive BUSINESS workstation to compete with a Mac Pro, why not go with the "boutique" level PCs? They are even more stupidly expensive PCs... However if you are a sensible person and actually look for price AND performance you would pick something like this:

    Dell XPS 730x

    PROCESSOR: Intel® Core™ i7-920 (2.66GHz, 8MB cache)

    OPERATING SYSTEM: Windows Vista® Home Premium Service Pack 1 64-bit

    OFFICE SOFTWARE: Microsoft® Office Home and Student 2007

    VIDEO CARD: ATI Radeon HD 4850 512MB

    MEMORY: 6GB Tri-Channel DDR3 at 1066MHZ (3x2GB DIMM)

    HARD DRIVE: 640GB - SATA-II, 3GB/S, 7200RPM, 16MB Cache

    OPTICAL DRIVE: Single Drive: Blu-ray Disc (BD) Combo

    MONITOR: 21.5 inch Dell S2209W Full HD Widescreen Monitor

    SOUND CARD: Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium (2x TOS Link)

    SPEAKERS: Dell A525 30 Watt 2.1 Speakers with Subwoofer

    KEYBOARD: Dell USB Consumer Multimedia Keyboard

    MOUSE: Premium Optical USB Mouse

    FLOPPY & MEDIA READER: Dell 19-in-1 Media Card Reader with Bluetooth 2.0

    EXPANSION PORTS: 8x USB2.0, 2x 1395a, 1x eSATA, 3x PCIe16, 2x PCIe1, 1x PCI

    BAYS: 4x 5.25" optical bays, 4x 3.5" internal HDD bays, 2x 3.5" external flex bays (floppy/media reader)

    SECURITY SOFTWARE: McAfee Security Center with anti-virus, anti-spyware, firewall, 15-months

    Dell XPS 730x $2583

    Oh wait, you say it is more expensive than your Mac? May I point out the better videocard, the 6GB of memory, Bluray drive, and included LCD monitor? Should I go on? And while there is a limited discount going on at Dell until June, this pricing and sale discounts are very typical across all vendors, except Apple that is.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    Although...

    The Apple "tax" is real...maybe not as described but it does exist. Apple's big hidden tax is its subscription fee it calls OS updates. The annual "let’s change a bit of shading and fluff around with a search utility" and charge another £100 for it makes MS's OS pricing seem positively cheap. I know when I did a comparison of my Mac and compared them over a ten-year period to a Windows box and on OS charges alone; keeping to Apple cost almost £1000 to Windows being £300. But that is a nature of Apple, you pay through the nose for the box originally to look cool, and to keep it up to date Apple continues to bleed you dry for it. I will not even get into the costs of Apple peripherals and upgrades, which are frankly ridiculous in prices...or even how they screw you if you need a power supply or something easily fitted yourself.

    The true Apple "experience" is to be bled dry of cash, but being very fashionable while you’re bleeding.

  26. Doug Glass
    Go

    <yawn>

    Big frakkin' deal. People buy what they want to buy for their own reasons and that's that. It doesn't matter what any writer or guru says, the proof is in the [Yorkshire] pudding so to speak. They vote with their pocketbooks and Apple just hasn't gotten the money votes that count no matter what the fanboys say. Same goes for their drooling fanboy wannbe techy writers like the one here.

    No matter, Apple wouldn't even be alive had it not been for the $5,000,000 infusion MS gave them a few years back, I think it was $5m ... still, no matter.

    I do love a good clown act and the MS/Apple/El Reg circus is one of the very best.

  27. Richard Cartledge
    Thumb Up

    Good

    Anything which puts stupid people off buying a Mac gets the thumbs up from me. The last thing the Mac platform needs is to have to pander to stupid.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Halo

    It's the user experience, stupid

    Apple is expensive, but having to endure Windows software?

    No thanks.

  29. Majid
    Thumb Down

    Making the same mistake twice?

    Please do some more research and try to find the cheapest vendor and not the most expensive one. But I guess thats the whole point about windows or linux right? you are not bound to one hardware vendor, you can shop around for all the best parts at the best price if you really want.

    We use Dell at our office, and they have quite a good service when things break, but I can always get a pc with better specs for myself at less than half the price Dell manages to charge. Pc's at their shop must be assembled by the board of directors themselves or something.....

    Bad article, making the same mistakes, that you blame Microsoft for.. Can we get some more objectivity and less 'specific company' bashing please.

  30. Codge
    Linux

    I call MS sponsored FUD!

    Well, who'd a thunk it? He doesn't mention the Microsoft tax at all...

    Let me help you with the Gnu / Linux version.

    Any of the PCs mentioned in the MS piece, but without OS pre-installed.

    Apps / AV / Office suite / OS $0.00

    I'll take one of those please.

    Penguin. The cute one with the "Umbongo" CD under its stubby little wing.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    Then why not allow

    Here in Canada, a Mac seems much more expensive then a similarly equipped PC from Dell, HP, or whoever.

    If that is not the case elsewhere then why does Apple fight so hard against competition? Between their lawyers and the DRM they added to the Mac OS to prevent it from running on regular PC's, Apple has fought very hard to force its customers to buy their hardware from Apple.

    This is because Apple has huge margins on their hardware and, even with their great brand name, they would loose a lot of hardware business if their customers had choice.

    (I'm not defending any of the details of the MS backed study - just the conclusion.)

  32. Paul

    This isn't balanced reporting.

    Other peoples stupidity is no excuse for your own. Stop intentionally playing stupid, PC's have a cheaper low end, because they are cheaper overall.

    Being more popular means more competition, higher production numbers, cheaper production.

    If this is El Reg's way to prove to the world it isn't Anti-Mac, it's really, really, stupid.

  33. nick

    Yawn.....

    Is anyone else getting bored of this argument.... i thought the Reg was cutting edge and tongue in cheek - this certainly isn't...

    old hat, boring, high horse crud

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Oh Ya...

    If Mac is so nice ...so cost effective...and so simple to use why it is not the most popular machine in the world...well...may be I have missed something that most of the people know...did somebody say that Macs are for people who do not go out much and do not intercat with other beings....nah that wont be true or is it?

    Paris because she is compatible and open :P

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Roger L. Kay - Wisdom Pearl Dispenser

    Endpoint Technologies' website certainly avoids any association with 'cool'. Just take a look at it - horrible. The homepage is copyrighted 2007, so they're not even very strong on details. And Roger L. Kay (President) entitles himself, without irony, as a "Wisdom Pearl Dispenser", which immediately made me think of Jacqui Smith's husband.

  36. Jay Louvion
    Coat

    Typo

    Should read recalcitrant in last line but one. Mine's the one with the Merriam Webster in the pocket.

  37. nicholas22
    Dead Vulture

    When will you ever learn?

    Yet another flame war inciting article...

    When will you ever learn??

  38. mad clarinet
    Thumb Up

    Nice

    A couple of months ago my manager and myself specified out a PC and a Mac for another manager. A 20inch iMac and a similar spec PC - the PC came out more expensive by about £100. We checked some other sites and including prebuilt PC's and one where we bought the parts.

    Like for like (or close enough) always turned out a cheaper Mac.

  39. sleepy

    Ignore everything Roger Kay writes

    Roger Kay is a paid Microsoft shill. "Endpoint Technologies" is his trading name for added gravitas. He babbles over-the-top MS-love drivel and somehow gets it media coverage. Just ignore him. He's also a medical genius; in January he diagnosed Steve Jobs with a return of cancer from a photograph (thus implying Apple's management is either incompetent or criminal).

    The sad thing is that a great company (did I say that?) like Microsoft is so insecure that it funds this nonsense from Kay, Enderle and others. It's almost as if MS doesn't want the world to know it's ashamed of its own success.

    roughlydrafted.com does a periodic dismantling of a Kay "analysis".

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What I don't get about this whole campaign

    is why Microsoft suddenly feels the need to regurgitate the entire PC vs Mac show that has is now one of the Internet's longest-running, tedious and worn out flamewars, right down to such niggly details as focusing on superseded hardware. Any day now I expect to see "There are no games for teh Mac, Macs suxxor" roll over the horizon.

    Then there's great stuff like "Apple... doesn’t want to sell down market because those systems wouldn’t deliver the best experience", which seems to suggest the PC camp is happy to sell downmarket and give people a crappy experience. Vista ready, anyone?

    The car analogy is a good one: FIAT don't run around putting out thinly-disguised ads alerting people to the "Mercedes Tax", whereas Mercedes do put out ads highlighting the Mercedesness of their products, because they are proud of their brand and know that it will serve to draw in the customers who are in the market for and can afford that type of product. It's telling that Microsoft has so little confidence in the Windows brand that their only selling point is price, like the owner of your nearest low-payment, easy credit terms, I'll-eat-my-hat-if-you-can-find-cheaper used car lot.

  41. N Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Wankers

    I've tossed out all their crap & Im never going back

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Apple Taxi

    No mention of the ugly, illegal hack required to get OSX dual-booting on the windows machine compared to the various legal and supported emulated / dual-boot options for the Mac ? For the putative "switcher" (in either direction) being able to hang on to a few legacy apps helps justify the transition.

    PH likes lickable software and hardware.

  43. David Neil
    Flame

    Opens Popcorn

    This should be fun :-D

  44. Paul

    Fairer Comparison

    Ok if you want to play the biased game, I'll have to do the balanced reporting for you. For this example we shall use current available purchases from the Apple store in the UK, and the Dell store in the UK.

    The Dell Studio slim is a fancy looking PC with one of Dell's best price to component quality ratios. With a quad core 2.33Ghz CPU, 3Gb RAM and a 20" display you're looking at £598.

    Apple's offering is difficult to find an equivalent. The Mac Mini is similar in style, and starts at £599. However, it comes with a 2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, and NO display. It seems this is supposed to be a media PC, and they only give the option to ship it with a 24" cinema display, for £650 extra (which is ridiculous).

    So, the mini is a pretty bad idea. How about the iMac. Well they start at £949, with a 20" display, 2.66Ghz Core duo processor and 3Gb RAM, which is pretty comparable I'd say. Er, so it's not so much that the PC is cheaper at the low end. It's that this cheap low end PC from Dell gives the same components as the Apple equivalent for £350 more.

    I'm sorry to say, but from a cold hardware point of view, you'd have to be stupid to buy a Mac.

    Yes I realise Dell's all-in-one offering is overpriced. I don't care, Apple doesn't offer any cheap alternative to its all-in-one. Dell does.

  45. Hans-Peter Lackner
    Gates Horns

    Very strange report....

    I tried to configure a Dell Laptop just to the specifications of the Macbook white I recommended a friend of mine just yesterday.

    I ended up with € 1300 for a Dell XPS M1330 (altough the Dell has an additional fingerprint-Reader) and about € 800 for an Inspiron 15, but this isn't really a real comparison to the Macbook because it is bigger, heavier and I couldn't order all components needed to compare it to the Macbook.

    And for that "Apple Tax". If he buys VMWare Fusion and uses on of his old XP-Licenses for his old software or uses readily available OpenSource-Solutions (OpenOffice) and removes that ridiculous BlueRay-Player and substitute the Mac Pro with an iMac I end up with 767 $ Apple Tax, but with better equipped machines. Hm...

    Somehow it is really pathetic when MS tries to "pay" studies...

  46. Marc Easen
    Thumb Up

    Brilliant!

    The funnest thing I have read all week, thank you!

  47. Mark

    An Article written by a fanboi.

    A google search for the exact phrase "Apple Tax" returns 489000 results.

    It even has an urbandictionary reference - http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Apple+Tax

  48. Lewis Mettler
    Stop

    hasn't needed to advertise

    In the past Microsoft thought it did not need to advertise.

    Now that has changed.

    So what does Microsoft do?

    Begin to lie like a used car salesman.

    Microsoft management approves PR claims based not on the truth but rather the ability for deceit to get customers money from them. They have done that for years. This is just more of the same.

    We do not have a monopoly.

    IE is part of the OS.

    The DOJ presented no admissible evidence against Microsoft.

    And now this.

    It is pure and simple fraud. Fraud designed to get your money. More precisely deceit designed to commit fraud and get your money from you.

    Microsoft will never change.

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Linux

    how about another smear ?

    I tell people that linux is like OS/X, except it is for heterosexuals.

  50. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Halo

    Ugh FUD

    Wow I finally made it to the end of that PR-dept pdf linked in the article, stopping only to wipe the spatters of vomit from my aluminium and cool keyboard ... one thing is clear, the author (probably not very long ago) left school after being perplexed why the "cool" kids used to make fun of him. As any fule noes being cool is not the things you do but the things you don't do. Mistaking "being cool" for "following a fad" is a deficiency of basic social understanding. I would be cool for knowing that I only ever need 1 USB port on my laptop, I would be following a fad if I thought aluminium was cool.

  51. Rob Beard
    Linux

    For once I agree with Microsoft

    As a die hard penguin loving 'gnutard' I hate to admit it but I agree with Microsoft on this one. Of most (but not all) of the Apple owners I know (that includes iPod/iPhone owners too) they generally have a air of smugness about themselves. I can't see why some people pay over the odds for overpriced hardware.

    Okay, fair enough some people do have a real need for a Mac for those things that can be done better on a Mac but I'd say 99% of the Apple owners I know just buy into the Apple fad because it's the latest cool thing to do.

    A good example of this is a local school who bought a suite of Macs to run Windows XP on them!!!

    Before anyone starts calling me a Mac hater, I do actually have a Mac myself (in fact I've had a couple in the past) but I hardly touch it now, I generally use my bog standard Acer notebook with either Ubuntu or reluctantly Vista *shudder*.

    Rob

  52. dave hands
    Happy

    If Apple charge "cool tax"...

    Does that mean that Microsoft provide a "wanker's discount"?

  53. Ad Fundum
    Linux

    What a way with words

    "Blogpoodle" is the new "twatdangle". Hurrah for El Reg!

  54. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    Pointless trolling

    Sorry El Reg but you are hitting rock bottom now. This isn't IT news this is pointless trolling. You deserve all the playground fanboi slanging you get with articles like this.

    The specs aren't even directly comparable because the DELL has 30% faster RAM for starters. Macs are better than PCs because this mac is cheaper than this better DELL? Please. Perhaps you should have the joke alert icon on the article?

    Each to their own & please don't leave the mactards or wintards in charge of the office keyboard again.

    Chris

    P.S. My orange has far more vitamin C than your apple and it is way cheaper and it is orange!

  55. Gareth Irwin

    why so upset

    Look at the state of his website. Enough said.

  56. Eddie
    Boffin

    My 2p

    R. Kay sounds like the sort of bloke you want to punch in the face, 5 minutes after meeting him.

    After nigh on 20 years of PC/Microsoft and 2 years of Mac/OSX my analogy would be Windows is like buying a pair of cheap shoes, a size too small you see in a sale - initially nice, followed by years of pain. Mac/OSX is like paying for a pair of handmade Brogues, a little pain in the wallet maybe, but years of walking on air.

    MS hardly need to pay Kay for drivel like this, 97% of computer buyers are clueless (the other 1% need DirectX 10 and build their own). The first thing most PC buyers will tell you is how cheap their PC was, followed by some specs - 320gb of memory, dual channel processors, 4meg DVD player, or whatever the PC World salesman told them.

    Best 3 thing about my Macs, 1. Silence when on, 2. Hibernate properly, instant on. 3. TimeMachine.

    What I hate about my remaining Windows boxes, 1. The fucking racket coming from the fans. 2. Waiting for them to boot. 3. XP throws a wobbly, just as I'm pondering doing a backup.

    Bottom line is this: As a professional Web Developer, using Macs/OSX are worth at least £10k a year to me in productivity, MS would have to pay me £20k a year to use their shite, so Kay can put that in his spreadsheet next time and see how the numbers balance.

    Life's too short to wear shitty shoes, drink cheap wine or use a crap OS.

  57. The Fuzzy Wotnot
    Thumb Up

    So what? Let 'em behave like a big spolit brat!

    Lies, damned lies and statistics. If you bend the truth enough you make it play out any story you like.

    MS last release may or may not have been good, I don't know, but the bad PR that was generated was what really counted. Average person who bought a PC a while ago, neither knows nor cares about upgrades if they can email, surf and play the odd game, sync their iPod, that's it, why spend another £150 quid to do the same thing? Crikey, some can't even be bothered to by AV or Anti-Malware protection for £25!

    I just find it funny watching MS spending all their time like some playground kid, trying pick fights with everyone. Linux and Apple zealots simply want their system to be the best so they put their energy into trying to improve their systems rather than chucking chairs about!

    I use both OSX and Ubuntu so always enjoy what MS has to say. I have played with PCs since owning an Amstrad 1640 in 1987, I have to say that having owned a Mac for only 6 months now, I sincerely wish I had dumped MS years ago. I was always convinced that Apple fanbois were empty vessels making a lot of noise over nothing, but I took the plunge I am now eating humble pie like a 32st shut-in! Both my missus and my old man have now moved to OSX, I even have it on my Acer Aspire One mini, do youself a favour get with Linus or Steve J, you won't regret it!

  58. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    flamewars to commence

    Yup, they've paid a shill to write a piece showing how on average Apple machines are more expensive. You could do an analysis showing this logically but this all seems to be an attempt to reignite the flamewars, back when Apple was badly run.

    Oh great. Even the author couldn't help mentioning the user experience.

    Seems pointless when the growth area is in netbooks and smartphones.

  59. Peter Labrow

    Very good article

    A very good article - and it's right to 'out' people that put forward misinformation as research, whoever they are. There's no doubt that, while you can get cheap PCs everywhere, there's no such thing as a cheap Mac. But, when you stack them up against products with similar build quality and spec, they are seldom poor value. I used to be a PC user - a 'power user' with a very hefty Dell workstation. When it came time to upgrade, it happened to be the same time that I needed to move to Adobe CS2. The cost of a Dell Workstation with 5GB of RAM (2 of which, at the time, Windows couldn't use) with upgrade software, compared to a new Apple Mac Pro with ALL NEW software, inc all the other stuff such as Office, was far greater than the cost of the Apple solution. So I swapped. Not for fanboi style, just common sense, less money, more computing power and access to all the RAM I installed. The real eye-opener was putting a new hard disc in compared to Windows. Windows PC: unscrew box, unscrew HD bay, unscrew drive rails, unplug drive, plug in drive, put PC back together, fire up Windows, run Disc Management, create volume, format, 1 hour later I can use it. Mac: open box, no screws, slide in drive (no screws or cables), close box, power back up, Mac OSX use the disc immediately in full Journaled mode. That's what computing should be about! However, following this comment will immediately be followed by lots of flame comments from people who seem to have a passion for knocking a computing platform they have never used, or not used in over a decade.

  60. Darryl Parvin

    Cool Tax

    Sorry - I'd have to agree with Apple being expensive because of the "cool tax". It's something I assiduously avoid with all products. I don't pay an extra 100 pounds on top to be branded with a Swoosh like a donkey, and I don't hand over an extra 500 pounds for a silhouette of a piece of fruit.

    I'm not cool enough for a Mac... and thankful for it.

  61. Anonymous Coward
    Boffin

    Wow...

    Microsoft's marketing campaign must really strike a nerve for someone to go to all this trouble to try and "prove" that Mac makes a good product. If you remove all the slanderous remarks, the author is pretty much left with comparing two PCs (yes, the Mac is still a personal computer) -- but that's not what Microsoft is selling -- they're selling the idea that you can go an choose whatever hardware configuration you want and can afford -- even if it's a piece of crap.

    Apple doesn't give you a choice -- it's their way or the highway... kind of like the parody they did back in 1984 with the hammer throw... who's selling the freedom to choose now? Certainly not Apple...

  62. Alex
    Gates Halo

    Hardware is a non-sequitur

    The key component of any computer is the Operating System and everyone knows that that is where Windows wins out. Just look at the market share:

    http://marketshare.hitslink.com/operating-system-market-share.aspx?qprid=8

    Windows has 88% of the market with OS X trailing far behind at less than 9%.

    The key point is that for any job you might want to do there are 100s of options on Windows and just a few, if any, for the OS X. Any software available on OS X is available for Windows whilst the opposite is simply not true.

    These are simple facts not fanbois hyperbole.

    Windows wins.

  63. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Fanboy bashing by another fanboy

    Couple of things to note:

    First of all yes, I agree with you that MS has been overzealous in this occasion. Now let's examine a few of the points you make:

    You have no right to write an article on Apple and mention security. OSX is getting concistently raped in every security conference for quite a while now. In the mean time, not only do they have more known security holes than windows but Apple is much slower to patch them. You are the journalist, you should know better about this.

    Second point I would like to make: This is a bloody co.uk domain, care to come over here and price a toy from Apple against a real computer?

    I agree with some points in your article but overall it reeks of yankee fanboism. For the record and since in your land English is not seeing great days: it is CAPACITY not CAPACIOUSNESS.

    But I am sure the spellcheck on your Mac would have known if you knew how to enable it.

    You also failed to explain how it would cost anything to install free antivirus on a PC and why it would cost anything to install a few of the many free applications that do exactly what iLife does without getting involved with the iDeath for that brain that OSX is. As a matter of fact the free apps I find for windows are far better than the iLife equivalents and yes I have tried my best to like iLife.

    Now tell me, if your average family did indeed buy the iMac and later on decided they can buy a bigger screen, what will they do? Oops no upgrades there, we gotta bing the whole thing and get a new one. Nice one Apple and you wonder why nobody buys this iCrap. Shall we go into HDD and GPU upgrades? It must be so painful for you that I should leave it out.

    Oh does that family have kids? They would love to play a game or two on the Mac. Oh hang on...

    Let's discuss freedom a bit shall we? How free are you to do anything you like with a Mac? Is it not true that unless an app is blessed by Jobs, it does not make it to the platform? So that leaves us with a few java or C based apps, no? Tell me how many apps are available for a Mac and how many for a PC? I am sure you will agree that Windows has a much larger number of apps so going by statistics, where am I most likely to find what I want?

    What is the market share of Apple in servers and workstations combined and what isthe market share for Linux similarly? You cannot even beat Linux which is aimed exactly at the opposite kind of people that Apple aims. You know, the ones with a brain and those who know how to install an antivirus and set up automatic updates and never worry about it again.

    To conclude, you are no better than MS. Do your preaching in America where it works, over here the iJunk is still overpriced and people are still equiped with a functional brain and can sort out minor PC issues without paying Apple premium. Do not even try to discuss stability and security because OSX is just as bad if not worse. If it was not for the gadgets Apple would be long gone now but Jobs fails to mention how craptastic the Mac sales are anywhere outside America. Too bad that good sales within america still only give about 1% market share to Apple.

    ~Linux/Windows User~

  64. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Equally guilty of inaccuracy!

    You are guilty of what you accuse the microsoft consultant of being - inaccurate!

    The four-core Mac Pro uses the much cheaper 3500 series Xeon processor not the 5500. If you compare like for like (as I've been doing recently as I'm thinking of getting a Mac Pro) the Mac Pro is quite a bit more expensive than the Dell, especially if you need to up the RAM (the Mac Pro has only 4 RAM slots per processor so much more expensive RAM needs to be used).

  65. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Microsoft is McDonalds, wants to be Mosimann

    So essentially, (apart from the Dell you listed an a few others), Microsoft is McDonalds and has to sell on price, and it wants to be a Mosimans, and sell on quality.

    Well it tried to be a Heston Blumenthal when it did a 'we're an innovator' phase and that failed, as it became clear it's innovations weren't its own.

    And it tried to be a proper restaurant, with a full menu, but only the Windows quarter pounder, and Office menu sold in big numbers.

    And it tried introducing new burgers, the Vista Half Pounder, but it was too big and bloated and people couldn't stomach it and they had to reintroduce the XP Quarter Pounder.

    Then there's that strange specialist foods made from Penguins or something, they have to cut prices to compete.

    Pity them, they can't make their products better, so they have to pretend their competitors are worse.

  66. Chris C

    Color me shocked

    Gee, Microsoft is lying in its advertisements? Wow, color me shocked. I never would have imagined that they could possibly stoop to that level. Just as I'm positive that Apple has never done the exact same thing. Of course, Apple goes one step further in their ads by attacking PCs (the hardware) as opposed to Windows, as if a PC running Linux suffers from constant failurs and/or malware attacks. But it's not "cool" to diss Apple, so we won't mention that.

    What's the point of this article, really? Is it just a chance to bash Microsoft since that always seems to be "cool"? I got bored halfway through and only skimmed through the rest, but that seems to be the only point. If I were cynical, I might suggest that this was written by an Apple fanboi due to its overly defensive tone. Face it, both Microsoft and Apple are huge corporations that lie, cheat, and steal to get what they want. And yes, a LOT of people DO buy Apple computers because it's the "cool" thing to do.

    Oh, and in response to the last paragraph, I've never had the need for a "regular malware-purging system enema", I've never lost time wrestling with an OS, and I don't need Jägermeister to calm any Conficker jitters since I have no such jitters. The same can be said for everyone I know who uses Windows So who's lying now?

    I've said it before, and I'll say it again -- damn, I miss Ashlee.

  67. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Equally guilty of inaccuracy!

    You are equally guilty of inaccuracy as the subject of your article (the Microsoft consultant).

    The four core Mac Pro uses the much cheaper Xeon 3500 chip not the 5500 series!

    If you compare like for like (as I've been doing recently) you'll find the Dell is cheaper than the Mac, especially if you wish to up the RAM as the Mac only has 4 RAM slots and requires more expensive memory once you get above 8GB (and for 3 channel memory the limit is 6GB before you get onto the super expensive 4GB sticks).

  68. DrXym Silver badge

    Well Apple is more expensive

    I really don't see it open to much debate that Macs are more expensive. They are. Asus, Acer, Dell & Lenovo sometimes take a few months to catchup with the equivalent specs (does Intel & Apple have some kind of exclusivity deal?) but when they do, their kit is cheaper. Not by a little bit but by a lot. It also goes through iterations and discounts faster so the Mac sits at its original price point and specs for a year while the competitors have gotten cheaper and / or better specs.

    It certainly has nothing to do with the quality of the kit either. Macs have suffered so many well documented faults in the last few years that its tough to remember them all - expanding batteries, overheating, yellowing cases, cracked aluminium, melting power connectors etc. Only the Mac Pro has escaped these issues and its price is in the stratosphere. Even the cost of OS X (helpfully tied to Apple hardware for no good reason) is a consideration since it receives more upgrades (possibly 2 or 3) in the same period as a typical Windows release.

    On the other hand Microsoft has a tax too. Why should new PCs have Windows preinstalled? And even if the vendor offers a carefully hidden discount for not installing it, why is that discount so derisory that its not worth bothering with? Why also is that Windows install laden with crap I don't want such as 60 day antivirus trials, evaluation software and other crapware. At least a new Mac boots clean.

    In summary yes the Mac is more expensive, and IMO yes a lot of people buy for the brand instead of the quality of the kit. On the other hand style isn't necessarily a bad thing and if Microsoft were so confident of their software they should let people choose it by preference not by obligation.

  69. Anon Regal
    Unhappy

    Unfairly reviewing an unfair review is unfair

    Please take a minute to ensure that you own reviews aren't as biased as the reviews you're commenting about. My primary complaint is your comparison of the Mac Pro and the Dell Portfolio machine. To start off an integrated video card, which if not integrated cost $30 to insert in a machine is equivalent to a Quadro NVS 295, which costs, on average $150.

    RAM in the Mac Pro, which runs 1066 MHz, costs an average retail of $45(3x1GB). The 1333MHz RAM used in the Dell cost twice as much.

    The mac harddrive(640GB, 7200 rpm) costs a retail average of $70. The Dell uses a 500 GB 10,000 rpm drive, which, unforunately, I was unable to find in retail. A 320 GB 10,000 rpm drive, however retails at $229.

  70. Rob McDougall
    Coat

    errr

    Did you mean: recalcitrant

    mines the one with the pocket dictionary....

  71. Joshua
    Thumb Up

    Gah?

    What's this? A somewhat complimentary article disucssing Apple? Has someone at El Reg forgotten that they don't like anything that comes out of Cupertino?

    Nice debunking of the myth.

  72. Don Mitchell

    Advertising

    It's called advertising. Look at the "I'm a Mac, I'm a PC" commercials, great stuff, but of course lots of people got upset by them. And at least when Microsoft or Apple put out a commercial, we know their agenda. Their disinformation isn't disguised behind a political mass movement like open source.

  73. Christopher Martin

    Hardware schmardware

    It all runs linux... and it all will blend.

  74. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Hmmmm 70 posts? On a Saturday?

    Looks like el Reg hit an open nerve.

    If the marketing strategy did have some serious intent and was reported accurately well, it seems to have misfired or backfired?

    I don't mind MS or any other organisation alleging I'm cool for having a Mac.

    It seems a very neat compliment and seems to smart of a little pain with a high internal 'ouch' factor that makes the compliment stick.

    I think Apple has accepted that 'coolness' is a year-in, year-out contiguously continuous (or was it continuously contiguous?) whereas other organisations seem to adopt a do it cheap, glitz it up, high PR then move on into a never-never land of poor PR.

    For me I know I can set tabs/bookmarks/ ... in Safari and know my other Mac will Mobile Me these into quiet, unassuming luxury.

    I'd guess that if Apple decided to do GPS (routes, terrain or both) then addresses would be synced on the fly, iPhone would notch with the GPS in an equally quiet and sophisticated way with soothing luxury, contacts would be synced (anyone had to replug contacts into a GPS while knowing that all it is is a manual re-entry of stuff that already exists on another computer?)

    Hmmm... maybe Apple should do GPS?

  75. N Silver badge

    I dont care

    If they cost more, Id pay anything to get rid of the banal crap & the utter junk that Windows has become.

    Im fed up with having to install the mindless stream of updates oh & does it say anywhere in the report that every now and again, the updates fail & render the PC un bootable so you have to start again? No, that has a cost in annoyance factor.

    I dont think Ive actually owned any PC longer than around 4 years as they seem to become so terminally slow once youve loaded a bit of software, AV & AS also make them run like proverbial slugs, whereas the Macs I use seem just as fast as the day I first started them.

    What they also forget to cost is 5 years anti virus, 5 years anti scumware & 5 years anti everything else, malware, firewall etc

    Along with Acronis true image so I can recover easily when it fails.

    So as far as Im concerned they can shove their bloody useless windows Vista, Windows 7 & Windows everything else some where where the sun dosnt shine!

  76. Phil McMillan

    Endpoint Technologies Website

    Just had a gander at it, and couldn't stop laughing that many of the links point to files on Roger's C: drive! Maybe a Yahoo site builder issue, but surely someone who commentates on the IT industry should at least get a website done correctly!!

  77. Marty
    Coat

    just what we needed....

    another dick measuring contest.....

    so long as it does the 'effin job you need it to.... who cares....

    mines the one with the psion netbook in the pocket !!!

  78. Charles Silver badge

    @tom

    But to be fair, tight control of hard is EXACTLY what makes Macs "just work". Since Apple controls the acceptable hardware, they can actually test for every possibility. Not line in the PC world where no one has real control over anything and anyONE can do just about anyTHING. It's the classic tradeoff of the walled garden or the badlands.

  79. James Dee
    Thumb Down

    nope..

    Hey Tom, you're not very bright. The same specs apply in Canada, try and compare that Dell box in Canada and Apple is still competitive.

  80. The Fuzzy Wotnot
    Stop

    Anyhoo...

    So MS is finally out of ideas eh? They are forced to compare hardware, which they don't make, they only make an O/S and there's can't be that great if they can't compare their primary product with another in the market place.

    Sorry MS, this really shows you scrapping the bottom of a very, very empty barrel!

  81. DJ Particle
    Jobs Halo

    Re: "Although"

    Ugh...I hate this argument of "Apple charges for service packs". Um, no. In order to preserve the "Mac OS X" brand, they use a different version numbering system. Cheetah (10.0) is not the same OS as Snow Leopard (10.6) by any stretch.

    If you want to call them the same OS, then fine, but be consistent and say that WinNT 4, Win95, Win98, Win2K, and WinME are just the same OS as well..after all, they all had version number 4.x

    Yeah, I know it's silly.....ergo it's just as silly to say that Cheetah and Snow Leopard are the same OS too.

    In MacOS version numbers, the "10" is cosmetic to preserve the "X" brand. The second number is the main version number that you have to shell out $125 for, and the third number is the service pack which, not only do they provide as free upgrade, but are released 4 to 5 times every year to reduce bloat from security updates. Compare that to WinXP, which has only been service-packed thrice in the last 7.5 years since it was first released. Oh, and a WinXP Pro or Vista Ultimate purchase (to make it comparable in features to MacOS) will set you back far above $125.

  82. Mad Hacker
    Paris Hilton

    Watashi you're a moron

    Watashi: The thing with Apple is that they're only good value for money if you actually need the extra oomph....If you don't actually need those things the extra money is a waste. So it is with Apple's computers. If you don't actually need the top-end specs of the Mac Pro (which is the case for 99 out of 100 PC users) the Mac Pro is awful value for money.

    Uh, then don't by an 8 core Xeon Mac Pro. The Mac mini is there for users like you. You can't blame Apple if you buy an over-specced machine!

    Watashi: Also, what the El Reg 'journalist' fails to mention is the fact that most people know someone who can help with their PC problems, thus overcoming many of the hardware reliability downsides of the PC.

    Not really. That's why I make $50 an hour in my off hours fixing people's Windows PCs. When I'm done I always recommend to the users they should buy a Mac and they won't need to call me out anymore.

    Paris, because she makes more sense then Watashi.

  83. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Halo

    W@nker Alert

    "How free are you to do anything you like with a Mac? Is it not true that unless an app is blessed by Jobs, it does not make it to the platform?"

    Wrong. And to top it all, your entire argument fell to pieces with the completely inaccurate statement.

  84. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  85. Mark Jonson
    Stop

    Don't tell me...

    you're going to try to defend a $2,800 computer with one year old specs. There IS an Apple tax!

    Friend of mine just told me one of his iDrone buddies was going to go out and buy a Time Machine--err, Time Portal-- Time Capsule-- Overpriced Hard Drive in a Box....whatever the stupid thing is called. For $200, he was going to get a 500GB external HD. I can get a 1TB HD (even a Western Digital) for ~$100 just about anywhere from newegg.com to the local Best Buy. So tell me now, how is there not an Apple tax?

  86. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    Impotent Flames

    Apple's "cool" sell was successful with some customers. These newer mac users are not the ones that post on the register. Insulting them without them knowing about it is pretty stupid. The folks that both use macs and read the register just get a good laugh out of this farcical insistence on the part of windows fanatics that MS is better because more people use it. Those of us who find Macs are better for our use simply don't care to be part of the windows herd and are willing to occasionally pay a little more for that. Frankly, the difference in the initial purchase price over the lifetime of the device really is not a significant factor in overall operating cost anyway. For the home user, I think printing supplies are still the biggest cost concern.

  87. James O'Brien
    Thumb Down

    @Author

    Ok Rik Im sorry to hear that you like Apple so much but lets compare HIGH end systems price wise. (Keep in mind I built mine from the ground up myself. can't do that with Macs)

    This is my systems specs and prices will be next to it then I am going to configure something from Apple like it as best I can and lets see the price then.

    Coolermaster Stacker 830 EVO case $249.99

    Enermax Galaxy 1000watt Power Supply $349.99

    EVGA X58 Motherboard $299.99

    Intel i7 Extreme 965 @ 3.2GHz $999.99

    4 - WD VelociRaptors 300Gb each $229.99 = $919.96

    4 - WD 2Tb Drives $299.99 = $1199.96

    2 - EVGA GTX 295 Video Cards $559.99 = $1119.98

    12Gb DDR3-1600 RAM $214.99

    Pioneer 8xBluRay Burner $245.00

    Total = $5599.85

    Warranty for all of this didnt close me extra to extend and the overall warranty is alot longer then anything you can get from Apple or and PC manufacture for that matter. Now to see what Apple has to offer along these lines.

    OK Mac Pro as close as I can get it to the machine I use at home for gaming:

    2 - 2.93 Xeons (chosen because of the HT on the i7 to equal "cores")

    12Gb RAM

    4 - 1Tb HDDs (biggest they have and at only 7200RPM preformance is no where near the raptors)

    4 - GT 120 cards (chosen to get as close [thats a joke] in preformance to the GTX 295s)

    1 - "Superdrive" (always hated that term.....expect the drive to have a big read and yellow S on it)

    Total = $7649.00

    I dont know but I would gladly put my desktop with WINDOWS VISTA on it up against that system from Apple any day of the week for pure preformance. Apple may be the Ferrari but I got the Ford GT-40.

    Why dont you go back to gnashing your teeth and foaming at the mouth Rik and retire from writing because every article you have written as of late about anything to do with Apple is so full of it that I'm surprised you even get it published.

    @The Editor - Seriously how does this stuff even get published? I love coming here but lately its been going down hill faster and faster.

    /Chances are this wont get posted to the comments....oh well said my piece

  88. snafu

    Tight control yeah right

    Just to remind people that Apple doesn't know the innards of their own products well enough to avoid having them glitch all over the place during their first year and a half of life. Every two laptop and iMac generations we have the ittle dance that usually ends with a Class Action Suit. Ever heard of the "wait for the Rev. 2" mantra among us sadomacs? Also, lately, many of the security updates and such it releases as a torrent upon us have some idiot mistake that forces them to issue a v.2 of these patchs, which is hilarious except that not it isn't.

  89. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    The only Effin Tax

    Is the make fatty Ballmer even fatter tax. Care to try and find a laptop without pre-installed GENUINE Microsoft Manure (Apple make their own laptops so don't count !) is about as easy as trying to locate rocking horse dung. Hardware manufacturers are you listening - I DON'T WANT BLOODY WINDOWS AND I'M NOT PAYING FOR IT. I just want the hardware and leave the software to me because I want MY computer to work the way I want it to, paid for by MY money.

    ABMer ?

    Yeh, anything but ManureSoft because I like choice !

  90. Steven Knox

    A Bit of Advice

    If you're going to criticize someone, it's wisest not to make the same type of mistake that they do.

    Comparing a GeForce to a Quadro is the graphics equivalent to comparing a Core to a Xeon.

  91. James
    Boffin

    Honestly? RWAR?

    I can't understand the religious wars people get into over their computers. Its a piece of silicon with some shit stuck to it that makes it do other shit. Really, that's it.

    It's your choice if you use windows/mac/linux/BSD and for your own reasons, price might be one, style and functionality might be others.

    Have you ever thought that maybe, just maybe, that some product or other (not just a computer) is not aimed at YOU and that you AREN'T the target market?

    Clearly there is a (big) market for Apple things or they wouldn't be here. Same for windows. Would each of the OS fanatics above and below prefer that their choice of OS should be the only one available and be forced upon the rest of us?

    Summary:

    - Not everyone wants to play games or use winamp

    - Not everyone can afford to pay £2000 for a computer or use Final Cut Pro 6

    - Not everyone wants to mess around with partitions or open sourcey things

    - Not all of us want what YOU want.

  92. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    Oxymoron

    "I use to be a PC user, a 'power user' with a very hefty Dell workstation."

    That's an oxymoron.

  93. nick

    Laptop for £600

    Hi,

    PC user. IT developer, Multimedia User (video / images /audio) gamer.

    Spent £600 on a LAPTOP with enough specs for ALL the above and very well.

    May not be as decent as a high end mac. But does all I need and i need a lot!

    I'd love to use macs.... but only because i hove low self esteem and want to be cool, but i just can't afford it.

    PS - just added more ram..... easy

    PPS - may get another graphics card next year.... easy

    PPPS - may add more hard drive... easy

    PPPPS - may want to download loads of freeware / shareware... easy

    PPPPPS - may need some virus protection.... easy (updates each day and free)

    PPPPPPS - may buy a cool looking case... but i'm still not as cool as a mac.. i may go and hang myself

    PPPPPPPPSSSSSS - sorry, i'm running vista ultimate, have been for 18 months, never crashed, still really quick, umm...... i like it

    (so uncool so uncool so uncool)

  94. Mithvetr
    Flame

    Forgive the flames, but...

    Gods, what *is* it with people? Some bored Reg hack snaps his fingers and people start performing the same old tricks on demand like a bunch of trained pets. Apple this; "Windoze" that - all the usual desperate point-scoring that gets run through again and again every time someone compares the two.

    Nobody wins this. Nobody ever wins this because there's nothing to win. Macs and PCs are two different systems, used in different ways by different people with different requirements. There really is no need for all the manhood-waving. Ultimately, this was a marketing tactic, and since when did marketing people have morals? Are we *really* so shocked about this?

  95. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    un-blacklisted

    Watch out El Reg, you may actually get invited to an Apple Town Hall or product event with a few more, rather level-headed articles like this.

    There's WAY too many soft, unquantifiable reasons that a discussion about Mac v. Win v. Linux v. hardware v. app software can't really be explained well.

    But for me, anyone that has gotten a virus or a crash or wasted weeks of their life re-formating, waiting for wake-up every morning and evening -- following by a freeze, or finding lost files...on a certain OS from Redmond knows the "real-world" difference. And yet, spending your own hard-earned money is a hugely personal, irrational behavior, anyway...

    Having said that, it's interesting to see what millions of dollars of advertising buys you if you're a monopoly company under duress or a minority company that's trying to innovate like crazy to make up for lost time...and how gullible consumers will and do react. (And trust me, we're ALL gullible...otherwise modern market economies that rely on 60% consumerism would collapse.)

    @Fuzzy: Very funny...I noticed that too, MS has no inclination to actually show their OS, because it's not actually super-useful, in comparison to Leopard. Just marketing cheap boxes of their own partners. (And showing little kids edit photos, with a heavily-edited video commercial...akin to their edited screenshot movie during the anti-trust trial that the Judge scolded them about...remember?? haha.)

    @Doug: You're either a teenager that isn't aware of anything pre-2005 or have no clue about what MS was doing to Apple and the industry in the past. MS "invested" $250M in a dying, badly-run Apple when Steve Jobs returned. This was to keep the Feds from suing MS for billions of dollars of anti-competitive behavior by bundling their OS to OEMs' contracts via threats for pre-instaling Linux or adding Netscape to the desktop.

    Also, the mafioso agreement included that MS would not maliciously f-ck Apple over by not offering MS Office that's two releases behind or with denigrated file format support...AND bundle IE for Mac (in 1997).

    No company in the history of the Earth (or any other inhabited planet) attained 90% monopoly market share because their product or service is better. They do it by politely assassinating competitors while the anti-trust regulators look the other way for a while...and creating a "moat" to raise the cost of entry.

  96. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    This is probably the tipping point...

    If I step back 2 years, my home was XP, four desktops and two laptops. I was tired of it, tired of spending time trying to understand why things that worked 24 hours ago didn't work now.

    I tried four or five different Linux distros and gave them all up in frustration each one missing one piece of the jigsaw. I'd avoided Apple but didn't really know where else to try to get something fit for purpose and fit for use.

    So I tried a Macbook, as much out of curiosity than anything.

    Two years later I have nothing but OS X in the house. I always assumed that "It just works" was marketing cr@p but it wasn't and isn't. And that's not to say I buy style or coolness, I buy lack of frustration and lack of wife/kids coming to me with problems. I buy utility computing where I can go months without any of my beloveds coming to me with an "It won't...." problem.

    Microsoft can commission as many reports as they want but for them the uncomfortable truth seems to be that when people try OS X, perhaps 70-80% express a preference for it.

    Perhaps the most telling thing is that a growing number of my friends are (of their own volition) trying OS X and I've yet to see anyone who would revert to Windows. For me that's as concerning for the Open Source community as anyone as switchers really need to be switching to Linux - if it can't compete "for free" it's probably condemned to the Comms Room.

  97. B Ward
    Stop

    Open the door! I dare you!

    If it was not for this article in El Reg would anyone have actually even known or cared? Try switching off the pc or mac and enjoy the Easter bank holiday.

  98. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    RE:Fanboy bashing by another fanboy

    Capaciousness can equally be used, although it is not not as common, as capacity. I know capacity is the technical term used for hard disk size, but it is evident that the author used it on purpose just to make the sentence a bit more colourful. Maybe, using Gnome and KDE doesn't help developing much imagination.

    The argument about Macs being a toy has been used successfully by IBM in the 80s to convince people that a total crap put up together in few months, the PC + MSDOS, was a real computer. This argument is used again now by the freetards, still with Big Blue's help, to convince people that only computers running linux are the serious computers. Fortunately, people is not as ignorant and unaware as they were 20 years ago, and they don't believe that as easily, so for the Joe Public concern, linux stays in the freetard swampland as it deserves to be.

    You can play all the pc games you want on the iMac if you have dual boot.

    As anyone who has never used a mac you ignore that on average mac users tend to keep the same computer for more time than the average PC user. This because first they break less frequently than cheap crap from Dell and a newer version of OSX does not make it unusable. a 700MHx iMac G4, a 7 years old computer, can still happily run with almost no difference in performance. So three Dell computers, what you need in 7 years, are definitely more expensive than one mac.

    Freedom? I can't understand which attack to the freedom you are talking about. You can download Xcode (free) and develop and sell any application for MacOSX you want without disturbing Mr Jobs at all. Maybe, you are a bit confused with the iPhone... But, if the freedom and the dignity of these poor developers is so raped by Apple, can you explain to me why these same developers are flooding the App Store with so many applications? Is it perhaps that developing for the iPhone is actually a better experience than for many other platforms?

    Share in the personal computer market has never bothered Apple. Even with the 5% Apple is more profitable than Dell, as Porsche is compared to Fiat. If you had ever made a bit of research, you would know that Steve Jobs was forced to leave Apple just because he didn't share the same vision of the Pepsi Cola man about making a computer for everyone and trying to sell more computers than IBM.

    I think you are a bit arrogant saying that the americans are not equipped with a functional brain. I am not american but I feel I have to speak on their behalf and say that your arrogance as a superior briton is a bit obsolete. The british empire is long gone, and now you are like anyone else in the world, with the exception of having the crappiest national rail service.

    There are a lot of people with a functional brain, thanks god, and they are those who don't use Linux and haven't bought in the freetards' propaganda. Linux has been pushed into enterprises by the $$billion poured into it by IBM just for wiping out SPARC/Solaris, hence Sun, taking advantage first of the huge crisis in the oil industry in 1999 and then in the dot com bubble in 2001. If it wasn't for this Linux wouldn't be anywhere, as any other Unix could do to the job Linux does even better.

    a MacOSX,/Solaris user

  99. Anonymous Coward
    Linux

    Srsly - you guyz -

    The only difference between Apple and Microsoft is that Apple stuff actually works. Other than that, there's thothing to choose; they're both corporate cthulhus whose sole purpose for existence is to lock you in to their own specific brand of corporate tax forever, bwahahahah.

    The answer to both is both obvious and the same.

  100. storng.bare.durid
    Jobs Horns

    Do not ever forget...

    Apple is just as evil as M$.

    That said,

    OS X is pretty good at what it does. My main productivity machine runs OS X and has NOT crashed in all of 2 years being up.

    My linux box crashes significantly more often more due to my tinkering I suspect but at least I think I know why.

    My windoze box I do not trust and only use for gaming.

    I look forward to the unlikely day Apple releases OS X to the public and we don't ever have to run hackintoshes again. (BTW I also own a real mac) Evil bastards that they are I doubt this very likely.

  101. alan
    Linux

    apple sucks

    is my normal opinion. But i also think microshaft sucks. but in this case I am willing to put my normal anti-apple opinions aside and join the fanbois slagging microshit, because for this blatant, immature, petty, vindictive pile of malformed opinions they deserve a good kicking.

    maybe one day, if that wanker ballmer and his tosspot company ever hits puberty, they might start growing up and maybe one day, after that, they might start producing something thats actually worth the money you normally have no choice but to pay them.

    the tosser that wrote WPC? should try an apple out, and a pc with linux on it, and maybe get a qualification in hardware while hes at it. after that, i might consider considering his opinion on the matter.

  102. Steven Raith
    Thumb Up

    Price comparison

    "However, a stock Mac Pro with two Xeon 2.26GHz E5520s, 6GB of 1066MHz DDR3 ECC SDRAM, 512MB NVIDIA GeForce GT 120, a 640GB 7200rpm HDD, and other config details as listed above runs $3,299, while a Dell Precision T5500 with the same processors, 4GB of 1066MHz ECC DDR3 (Dell doesn't offer a 6GB config), 512MB Nvidia Quadro FX 580, a 500GB 7200rpm HDD, and other details as listed above runs $3,430.

    Difference minimal, no "Apple Tax," argument remains in play."

    Similarly, if you ignore the Precision and go for a T610 server in tower config with the Nelahems, the prices are even closer.

    I think that says more about the reasonable price of the Mac, as much as it says about the [arguably] higher spec [eight drive bays, etc] of the Dell, given the build quality differences - having worked with both, the Mac is a piece of art, the Dell is a workhorse but both are seriously solid bits of kit in my experience. Really depends on your definition of workstation and how much you need eight drive bays....

    Steve 'agnostic' Raith.

  103. This post has been deleted by its author

  104. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    RE:Fanboy bashing by another fanboy

    ~Original author in reply~

    First of all I am not from the UK so be very careful with your (ass)upmtions , including KDE and Gnome.

    Now, lets analyse how a Mac is not a toy, shall we? Can you tell me what useful things it can do that a PC cannot do? Can you give me a list of very important applications that are exclusive to Mac and have no alterntive on Windows or Linux? Can you explain to me why it is so hard to set up an automated backup in windows? Can you explain to me why Apple markets their computers to people who cannot do simple things such as maintain their system? Can you explain to me why Apple now recommends an antivirus? Why they have such limited support for hardware with the excuse of keeping the system stable and still it crashes just as much as windows?(as a matter of fact it crashes more often). Can you tell me why if it just works, we have the all famous macfixit.com?

    You know I can keep writting these questions forever. I would like to analyse a few things about windows and the user experience there before I got into deeper waters.

    So let us assume you have windows vista on your new machine from dell. Lets us assume you got enough brain to figure out how to get a free antivirus such as avg. Let us also assume you are clever enough to type "backup" in the search bar in the start menu to find the backup wizard which is totally idiot prood but not "mac user proof" (a whole higher level of idiots). Vista defrags your hard disk automatically and will install security updates and restart automatically when you do not use the system. It also goes in sleep mode and recovers in less than 4 secs on any machine purchased in the past 3 years unless it was a piece of junk even back then.

    So tell me at this point what more do you want as a user? The antivirus updates itself and so does the OS and most other applications that need updating. The firewall is working out of the box and of course the whole system is orders of magnitude more secure compared to a Mac as it takes more than 24 hours to hack it and even then only by phishing the user as opposed to less than 5 mins for a Mac with the system sitting idle.

    So honestly, what more do you want? If you do not like media player for instance you can find hundrends of alternatives with a simple google search. Same goes for any application that comes with windows. So where exactly is your problem?

    Now let's address the deeper stuff: The main difference here is the OS right? So Apple takes an ancient BSD kernel and turns it into the latest and greatest user experience which is fine given their atrocious record for updates this is not surprising at all. I guess there solution to the updates nuisance is to not update.

    Anyway, first thing you learn about Operating Systems when you decide to study computer science or perhaps decide to do a little PhD like yours truly, is that it provides an interface between the hardware and the applications that the user wants. This means, the operating system is there to give you an interface to launch the applications you want to use. So what exactly is the Mac experience? Does it imply that the iDiots play all day with the operating system rather than do work on it? I cannot explain it otherwise. A user very rarely interracts with the OS and only does so to manage files or launch applications.

    Now regarding the market share argument, it makes me wonder why Apple is not interested in market share as you put it. I mean seriously if they were not interested in market share they would not have made the iPod or the iPhone yes? I mean, as a business their primary goal is profits which means you need a market share or perhaps a few fanatical idiots. I suppose you could be right in a twisted non-sensical way but the fact of the matter is that they do not have market share because the market does not want to give it to them. Spare me the car analogies, I am trying to have a serious argument. You gotta realise that Apple will start gaining market share when they realise that a computer is not a car.

    Finally, a few words for Linux: I am not a Linux fanatic and I use it because I need it for my research. It is a burden in many ways because it just makes it hard for me to install new applications but once everything is up and running the OS is transparent as it should be and hence why I do not understand what a Mac experience is. Anyway, the freetards as you call them are the ones moving this world forward in many ways. If Linux did not exist, I can guarantee you that a good amount of PhD projects and research in new technologies would either ceise or double the time to completion. It is kinda hard to advance this world when you cannot see what exists at the moment and that is where the open source code comes in handy for academics. Do you want to spend a few moments thinking of what would happen if suddenly all universities in the world had no access to source code for anything?

    ~Linux/WIndows user~

    PS: just for laughs, do you remember the number of issues and how unhappy Mac users were with OSX Leopard? Remember great moments such as the infinite login screen and upgrades that never completed? Let's not forget that Apple is not really inventing anything. They are simply throwing existing technologies together and create a hype about it for all the iDiots to buy.

    Had a look recently at the patent trolling from apple regarding automatic updates? A patent that goes along the lines of "a software update service that is transaprent to the user". Yes sit, they hold such a vague patent and more importantly there are no detailed specs or even a demo of it. Somthing like this would never pass in the EU but hey America is the patent troll's paradise right? I say Bill Gates is a million times better than Steve (hand)Jobs.

  105. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge

    surprised nobody's mentioned it, but ...

    need to ask == never know

  106. Steven Trudell

    Don't tell me...why not?

    Mark Johnson writes...Friend of mine just told me one of his iDrone buddies was going to go out and buy a Time Machine--err, Time Portal-- Time Capsule-- Overpriced Hard Drive in a Box....whatever the stupid thing is called. For $200, he was going to get a 500GB external HD. I can get a 1TB HD (even a Western Digital) for ~$100 just about anywhere from newegg.com to the local Best Buy. So tell me now, how is there not an Apple tax?

    This is why it is difficult to talk to you tech-challenged baboons. Time Machine is part of the OS. You can use ANY hard drive!

    It is better for the whole world to think you are a fool, than to put it in print and prove it!

  107. Niles
    Happy

    Probably not the first...

    But when looking at the price of a mac, it helps to also look at the resale value (macs have one). That pretty quickly evens things out.

    Sold a 3 year old G5 in the summer for $1600 - a three year old dell? Good luck selling that.

  108. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The real tax

    Paying $30/year for antivirus updates, and giving up 20-50% of your performance to run the antivirus software, listening to your disks thrash.

  109. jake Silver badge

    ::rolls eyes::

    All y'all are missing a very important point.

    The ONLY reason to have a computer is to run software. So which computer is the "best" computer? Quite simply, it is the computer that runs the software you need to run!

    At work, that is whatever software the shareholders deem important. At home, however, that is YOUR decision. YOU choose the machine that runs the software that you, personally, need/want to run. Thus the term "Personal Computer".

    In other words, there is no "best" computer. Never was, never will be.

    That said, all software sucks. All operating systems suck. All hardware sucks.

    But most importantly, all fanbois suck ... Get over yourselves, you bunch of myopic idiots!

  110. davcefai

    I Enjoyed This

    I enjoyed reading this on my crapware-free, unencumbered, fast and flexible Linux machine.

  111. paulc

    this will backfire...

    every time Microsoft mention the competition by name, people check it out and find it is better... this happened when Microsoft made the mistake of comparing file serving speeds with Linux servers... people then realised there was a cheaper solution out there that while not as fast, did what they wanted... unfortunately for Microsoft, Linux devs got off their butts and fixed the issues that caused the slowness...

  112. Henry Wertz Gold badge

    Ignoring the Microsoft tax...

    So, I kind of agree with those who say this article is essentially fanboiism. It is. The "lets find the most expensive way to make a PC comparable to a Mac" game (when they are not really comparable) is rather ridiculous. Macs ARE more expensive. The Dell has a *Quadro* card, a newer one at that, which ads absolute SACKS of money compared to a Geforce.. faster (and very much more expensive) memory.. more drive bays, and an expensive 10,000 RPM disk for starters.

    But, whatever.

    The MAIN amusement for me is that Microsoft would even hint at a "Mac tax" when the "Microsoft tax" is becoming an increasingly large percentage of the cost of a computer (computers are getting cheaper, the Microsoft tax is not). Particularly when there are very low cost alternatives such as Ubuntu available (I say "low cost" because I'm sure Dell's not getting the tech support from Canonical for free) Plus, the lower hardware specs required to run it allow for even lower costs.

  113. Steve Todd Silver badge
    Stop

    @Mark Jonson

    Apparently you haven't figured out that the Time Capsule isn't a USB external disk drive - it's a Gigabit ethernet switch, USB printer server, 802.11a/b/g/n wireless gateway, NAT router and NAS disk drive in one box. It's actually pretty handy on a Windows network too. Would you care to point out a non Apple solution that combines these features into one box? If not how about pricing in the separate components?

  114. Mark Rendle
    Dead Vulture

    Fail

    What could have been an excusably pointless "Corporate Entity Sponsors Not-Entirely-Accurate 'Research'" article rapidly descends into the kind of whiny bitching that should only be found on message boards, and even then only in threads that have been closed by the moderators. Maybe you should keep Mr Kay's contributions in the comments threads from now on.

  115. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    RE:Fanboy bashing by another fanboy

    Fifteen years ago, like you, I also decided to 'do a little PhD'. This was in biochemistry, thanks for asking. Anyway, at the time I ponied up a grand for a Macintosh Quadra 610. I've not looked back since.

    Now, I realise I'm not a computer scientist like you, so I have relatively little understanding of these things, but surely the fact that I've never lost even an hour's work due to dodgy hardware, malware, driver conflicts or system reinstalls in the entirety of my Mac-owning career must count for something. I'm not knocking Windows - it's absolutely fine if you like that sort of thing. I wouldn't touch it with a barge pole personally.

  116. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I would just like to say

    that my penis is very large indeed. Thanks

  117. snafu

    Time Capsule was a solution to an OS problem

    What about them having to build their special Time Capsule thingy because of Time Machine's inability to do backups to plain network Volumes (as first promised) without data losses?

  118. Alex
    Stop

    @Steve Todd

    >Would you care to point out a non Apple solution that combines these features into one box? If not how about pricing in the separate components?

    How about a Freecom 28662? Not only is it a Gigabit ethernet switch, USB print server, with 802.11a/b/g/n with NAT router and NAS drive in one box, it also provides a builtin web and FTP server so that you can access the files remotely as well as host content (Time capsules only allow the former, and only using MobileMe). It's also 2 physical disks and a raid controller instead of 1, so you can configure automatic mirroring onto the two drives for redundancy (a HUGE plus for a device primary purpose is secure storage of data) or use them for max disk storage with no mirroring, an option not available on a Time Capsule.

    Oh, its cheaper too.

  119. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    hmmm

    I dunno. The problem isn't that Apple don't make good machines, or that you have to pay for a good PC too. BUT: the problem is, I can buy a dual-core with 2 gig of ram for about £399. The cheapest Mac starts at about £1000. ie There is NO Mac equivalent to the (level above) entry PC. Why? To maintain the "exclusivity" factor, the "Mac's are a Porche" mantra. Which is obviously crap.

    I like OSX, but I don't think it's cool. I'll start using Macs when either a) they release a £399 model thats as good (spec wise) as a £399 Dell or b) when they release OSX as a generic installable operating system. Otherwise - pay 3x for the same thing, just for the logo? Yeah right... and I bet these people pay 3x for their jeans just because of the logo too.

    (I'm not an MS fan, or Mac hater. Agnostic. But be realistic here)

  120. berserko
    Stop

    The Propaganda machine has beeen working overtime this week.

    First this week they claim VMware has a virtualization tax now there is a cool tax. VMware went right after them and posted a response illustrating all the half truths and out right lies. If that wasn't enough they decide no one will notice and release this way to go Microsoft.

  121. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    In contrast to the Microsoft tithe

    Well, at least these days it's theoretically possible to be refunded the cost of Windows if I'm going to run FreeBSD or Linux on the machine.

    There was a long long time when the only way you could sending money to Redmond was to buy all the components and assemble them yourself.

  122. sean oneill
    Jobs Horns

    What about the MS tax

    Microsoft trying to say someone else has a "tax"?

    I'm no Mac bigot, but MS has been taxing everyone for years with over priced bloatware like Windows, Office, and .net.

  123. Anonymous Coward
    Alert

    Real

    Speaking from Istanbul, I attest that Apple Tax is very real.

    It does not matter a whit to me if comparably configured Vista box is competitively priced with an OSX box (or vice versa).

    When a 1600 US$ Mac (in the U.S) is sold for about 2550US$ (in Turkey) while a $1200 Dell (again in the U.S.) can be had for around $1400 here - it's proof of Apple Tax. I don't care if the local distributor or Jobs Himself is the culprit; I only care about the number on the sticker.

  124. Roger Knights

    The Apple Pax: Priceless

    The Apple Tax: A dollar a day (at MOST)

    The Apple Pax: Priceless.

    ==============

    The Apple Tax: A dollar a day (at MOST)

    The Windows Tax: A dolor a day

    (Dolor: "sorrow, anguish")

  125. Steve Todd Silver badge
    Stop

    @AC - for a claimed PhD

    you make pretty poor arguments.

    "Now, lets analyse how a Mac is not a toy, shall we? Can you tell me what useful things it can do that a PC cannot do? Can you give me a list of very important applications that are exclusive to Mac and have no alterntive on Windows or Linux?"

    So being able to do the same things as a PC makes it a toy? By extension that makes a PC a toy also.

    "Can you explain to me why it is so hard to set up an automated backup in windows? Can you explain to me why Apple markets their computers to people who cannot do simple things such as maintain their system?"

    Making tasks easy to do makes the system a toy? This is from the same school of thought that says that it medicine can't be doing you any good unless it tastes nasty? The harder you make something to do the less chance the average user will do it. The average user (not PhDs) finds Microsoft backup to be inconvenient and hard to use (many external disk drives come with third party back software because of this).

    "Can you explain to me why Apple now recommends an antivirus?"

    If you were paying attention when that story came out you'll know the Apple page it came from is actually quite old. There are very few OS X viruses in the wild and you need to be quite careless to catch one. Apple seem to have been erring on the side of caution, OS X is not virus proof. It is however much more virus resistant than Windows (not assuming that all users have root access is a good start).

    "Why they have such limited support for hardware with the excuse of keeping the system stable and still it crashes just as much as windows?(as a matter of fact it crashes more often)."

    Firstly you lack statistical evidence that this is the case. In my personal experience Macs can run longer without rebooting and crash less often than Windows. Where is your data that proves otherwise? Without that it's just your word against mine (and I admit who I am).

    "Can you tell me why if it just works, we have the all famous macfixit.com?"

    ANY piece of software that is non-trivial contains bugs. How many PC web sites are there dedicated to PC issues? The existance of a Mac site does not prove that the PC is any better.

    "The firewall is working out of the box and of course the whole system is orders of magnitude more secure compared to a Mac as it takes more than 24 hours to hack it and even then only by phishing the user as opposed to less than 5 mins for a Mac with the system sitting idle."

    Yes, the firewall should be turned on by default (not that it's hard to do), but no, it takes way more than 5 minutes to hack it, and user action IS required. The PWN to OWN contest (to which I assume you are referring) ran over three days. On day one all computers were connected to the network in standard build and contestants were allowed to try to hack them. Nobody succeeded with any system. On day two contestants could get users to perform actions. A Safari bug gave the winner his way in when a compromised web site was viewed, but it took him weeks to craft the exploit and that hole has since been patched. Vista fell on day 3 when common third party software was loaded and a Flash security hole was exploited.

    "Anyway, first thing you learn about Operating Systems when you decide to study computer science or perhaps decide to do a little PhD like yours truly, is that it provides an interface between the hardware and the applications that the user wants. This means, the operating system is there to give you an interface to launch the applications you want to use. So what exactly is the Mac experience? Does it imply that the iDiots play all day with the operating system rather than do work on it? I cannot explain it otherwise. A user very rarely interracts with the OS and only does so to manage files or launch applications."

    This is the funniest part. The function of an operating system is many fold, as anyone who claims to have studied these things should know. At it's most basic it is to provide an abstraction layer between the hardware and the software. Above and beyond that it should provide common services (UI generally being one of them), allocate resources and provide the ability to launch applications. You seem to think that the OS is only responsible for launching applications, which is only tiny part of the advantage. Firstly OS X is better at allocating resources (it uses less RAM and CPU for it's self, manages power better, multi-tasks and multithreads better. Just look at the number folks on the web who have installed OS X on Netbooks because of this). Secondly once an application is loaded it is continually interacting with the user via the OS. OS X provides a richer, better set of common services for doing this (for example windows are generated as PDF pages and then handed to the OS to render, which can offload to the GPU if it is capable. No application input is required when moving windows or changing Z orders, resulting in snappier window performance. Windows couldn't do this until Vista Aero, it costs 512MB of RAM to turn Aero on, AND it can't do software rendering on lower end graphics cards). Thirdly once an application IS launched users usually want to switch between applications fairly frequently. Being able to organize your desktop into virtual workspaces and, on command, see all active applications in miniature but fully rendered form, makes this process quicker and easier to do (Aero's 3D switching doesn't really improve usability from <alt><tab> switching in Windows 3)

  126. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    Fanboi article goes after another fanboi article.

    First off let me just have a massive rant at El Reg for even bothering to post this rubbish nevermind making it front page news.

    Secondly this whole article is just a Apple fanboi replying to MS fanboi. Both articles are totally wrong in thier conclusions and stir the bull shit to the extreme.

    Tombstone because it's what Reg is after this.

  127. Roger Knights

    Apple's Transmission Tax; Apple's Pax: Priceless

    Here’s a slick TV-ad riposte to MSFT’s Apple Tax thesis:

    Mac Guy: Whatcha got there, PC?

    PC Guy: It’s my new car. Want to go for a spin?

    Mac Guy: You’re on.

    (They enter the car. PC Guy then uses four or five back-and-forths to get his car out of its tightly packed parking space, wrestling his steering wheel and heel-and-toeing with his clutch. Finally, they’re out.)

    Mac Guy: No automatic? No power steering?

    PC Guy: I’m not paying a transmission tax and a power premium?

    Mac Guy: (Rolls his eyes and smiles ruefully. Fade out.)

    ===============

    The Apple Tax: A dollar a day (at MOST)

    The Apple Pax: Priceless.

    Some things are priceless. For everything else, there’s Windows.

    (Pax = peace)

    ==============

    The Apple Tax: A dollar a day (at MOST)

    The Windows Tax: A dolor a day

    (Dolor: "sorrow, anguish")

  128. Steve Todd Silver badge
    Stop

    @Alex - close, but no banana

    The Freecom 28662 is 802.11b/g only (the Time Capsule runs n over 2.4(b) & 5GHz (a) simultaneously), and you need to be mad to risk exposing your private data on a public FTP server (FTP uses unencrypted authentication, plus port scanners will spot it in next to no time). Depending on where you look the Freecom can be more expensive in the 1TB size, and doesn't seem to be available in 500GB.

  129. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    I would just like...

    ...to congratulate the AC at 09:29 on providing one of the most genuinely interesting contributions to this discussion. Well done.

  130. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Happy Easter!

    You childish fucking dicks. Espesially the arrogant prick doing his phd. Hope you screw up your viva you loathesome turd. What an utterly pointless bunch of "my dick is bigger..." this has become. Linux boys. The adults are talking. Piss off.

  131. Matthew Sinclair
    Flame

    This article is crap.

    Im sorry... but the odds of finding a windows machine that actually comes with anything decent as far as programs or software is the likely hood you will NOT get infected with a virus in the first 10 minutes of being out of the box.

    "Word" and Excel" are a part of the office suite which cost anywhere from 150 to 300 US Dollars.

    People who whine about the price of the Mac should realize that they come with iLife '09 and for a scant 49 bucks you get iWork '09.

    That's a fact... not a joke... top that off with Apple Mail.... and other useful applications which make windows look like trash.

    If you don't like some of the apps you can actually <gasp> remove them and get your own.

    Try doing that in windows.... yeah.. right.

    El Reg should stop circling the Apple and start circling Microsoft as there caracass of an operating system starts to rot.

    PS: NO apple is not perfect.... but this article is bullcrap. If your that picky... go build a bloody hackintosh and sahdup.

  132. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Seriously?

    What sort of maladjusted twerp cares this much about what one shitty corporation does to another? After reading this discussion thread I'm a bit horrified. Neither Apple nor Microsoft (not Tux, for that matter) will love you and give you the human contact that most of you probably so desperately crave. In fact, they don't give the slightest crap about you. Probably shocking, I know. Your inanimate slab of laptop doesn't love back.

    Get real. If you're going to argue about something, make it something that matters like human rights. Instead of standing around mocking each other from glass houses, try this: Don't comment. Just don't. Don't respond to tripe like this. Resist the urge to be passive agressive and just walk away. It's what normal people do.

  133. Justin Clements

    fuss and nonsense

    You're all women.

  134. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Is this a record?

    Oi el Reg jourons: is it a record? 130+ posts in about 48 hours?

  135. Raymond Cranfill

    Oh My God. . .

    Is it really worth spewing so much bile, hate and contempt in support of or opposition to one's choice of computer operating system? Never underestimate the motivation inherent in Homo sapiens' "fear of the other." Seeing it spill over in something as trivial as this is just so sad.

    Bottom line: Windows works just fine, as does OS X, various flavors of Linux, Solaris and the rest. If they didn't, they wouldn't stay in business for very long. Different companies evince different commercial strategies for bringing their products to market. That's what capitalism is all about. If the company's strategy, products and/or "message" is poorly implemented, the company will fail. This is why Microsoft continues to loose money in all market segments except for OS and Office software, in which it has the monopolist's advantage. Interestingly, Apple's business continues its double digit growth in all three segments of its business, computers, media players and phones. The only other tech company who has come close is IBM, which has a much different business model. I think any unbiased assessment of Apple's growth will have to concede that its success is based on more than just fad or cool factor. Apple sells very good kit, integrates it tightly with a suite of software that covers 90% of what the average PC user needs for his day to day computing activities, and provides customer support that often shames its competitors. Nothing succeeds like success.

    Apple does not offer products for every market segment, nor do they claim to. You can say the same for BMW, Bang and Olafson, Barney's, Rolex, Versace, Vera Wang, Fabergee, Godiva Chocolate, and on and on. In some cases, you're paying for the label, in some cases you're paying for the quality, in many cases (as with Apple), you're paying for a bit of both. So what?

    I have never really understood why people get so bent out of shape about these things. I have computers running OS X, Windows Vista, Ubuntu and Solaris. Some, I've purchased from Apple and Sun, some I've built myself. They are each purposed differently. They are all useful. They all work. There are things I like about each and hate about each and until the day comes when operating systems can be fully customized to user demand the way hardware can be (sorry penguin fanatics, but Linux still has too many missing puzzle pieces, especially with drivers and games), this will continue to be the case. The ONLY reason to diss another person's choice of computer is to feel smug and superior yourself. Not too flattering.

    As regards Macs, they are not for everyone, particularly if you have a constrained budget. The consumer on the cheap will be able to get a functional machine that will meet one's basic needs. That said, the purchase will represent a compromise, the limitations of which may or may not start to irk the purchaser after a while. For me, that sort of compromise is fine in a virtual throw away type computer, like a netbook, but unacceptable for the machine that I spend hours in front of on a daily basis. A Jumbo Jack with onion rings and a Coke is cheap filling, and tasty, but I don't expect it to fill my dining needs day in and day out. Similarly, dinner at the French Laundry in Napa is a life affirming, eye-opening experience, but who has $500 to drop on a dinner tab several times a month. Certainly not me.

    I tend to prefer macs for my heavy lifting because they run all of the scientific software that I use in my research (half of which have NO windows equivalent notwithstanding the assertions of many windows fanbois that there are "hundreds" of apps available for any purpose under Windows); Mac OS X is more stable, is easier and more intuitive to use, and is more attractively rendered (aesthetics are important); my iMac and Mac Mini are based on laptop components and draw significantly less power than my Windows desktops; my macs take up less space, require fewer cables and are less environmentally obtrusive than my HP and Sony desktops.

    As regards the Apple Tax, all I can say is what my grandmother used to say when confronted with nonsense: pshaw! Yes, you can get a cheaper computer that is functionally similar. Yes, the legion of Windows PC makers offering a dazzling array of configuration for purchase, Apple offers less than 20 (not counting build to order configs from the Apple Store. Yes, most people will be content with their Windows machine purchase. Apple designs and markets to narrow segments of the overall computer market place. That makes them neither good nor bad, simply selective in the way that other upscale companies are selective in the market segments they choose to enter. If one compares products within relevant markets (the way the Feds do in anti-trust cases), then Apple's products are priced similarly. I see a lot of people making "functional" substitutions in supporting their Apple tax arguments, but these are bogus if one's intent is to compare products that compete in the same market segment. For example, you can't say my Core i7 is significantly cheeper than Apple's choice of a Xeon processor and then cry Apple tax. You have to use the same componants in the same configurations. When this is done, it's clear there is no Apple tax. This article is merely one of several that I've seen recently, and they all come to the same conclusion, Apple machines are similarly, and often more cheaply, priced than other computers in the same market segment.

    I'll finish by pointing out two additional factors that militate in favor of macs. Support and resale value. With regard to support, Apple is the sina qua non. Two years ago, I had to return my iMac for service because the power supply had blown out. I was doing research as a visitor away from home, and the computer went down about a week before my return. They repaired the machine in plenty of time, but scratched the front panel rather badly in the process. Problem was, those panels were on back order and not expected back before I was due to leave. So instead, Apple replaced the entire machine with a next generation model having a faster processor and larger herd drive (this on a three year old machine). Three weeks ago, I careless knocked my wireless keyboard to the floor, resulting the pop off of the F5 key. It didn't really affect the operation of the keyboard, it was just unsightly. I took the keyboard in the my local Apple Store to see if they could replace the lost key. They couldn't because the tongs used to seat the key were too bent. So, without any prompting from me, they pulled a new keyboard off the shelf, extracted the keyboard and handed it to me as an exchange. I sincerely doubt there are many Dell, Lenovo, HP, or Sony fans out there who've had these sorts of experiences with their respective customer service reps.

    Another point routinely missed in the Apple Tax debate is the hidden Apple rebate that comes with every machine. Macs retain their street value much longer than other PCs. I just sold a 2001 PowerBook (1.25 Ghz G4, 100 GB hard drive and 2 GB of RAM for $1000. That's roughly 40% of the original cost. I sold a year old MacBook for $800, representing 70% of my original investment. Thus, I am able to trade up every three or four years with the knowledge that I'll be able to cut the cost of my new computer by 40-70% through the resale of the computer being replaced. My Windows PCs go to relatives or even the landfill because no one wants to buy a three or four year old Dell or HP. Granted, your initial investment may be higher than you might pay for that cheap, on sale laptop at Best Buy or Office Depot, but once the purchase is made, you can relax in the knowledge that your initial investment can be recovered over and over again as you sell the old to pay for the new.

  136. P. Lee Silver badge
    Linux

    I wanna post

    it seems like everyone else is.

    I don't have a mac, but everyone else in my family does. I have to concur with someone way further up:

    Mac for productivity (maybe I'll stick KDE on there too!)

    Linux for server/cool tricky stuff/extreme gui control

    Windows for games

    As far as "there's no such thing as a better computer" goes, I have to disagree. Despite the really irritating lack of a delete key, the macbook multi-touchpad makes it superior to all others for typical laptop (mouse-less) use. This isn't a criticism of MS, because they don't make laptops, but it is a down-side in running an MS OS, which can't be fixed as far as I know.

    The iMac also gets kudos for "its quiet and pretty enough I can put it in my lounge which I can't do with my hideous dell and maybe I can even use it instead of a TV." Is it a "better" computer? That will depend on requirements, but I do care if my hifi is beautiful enough to be seen and ditto any computer which might be visible. Also, I could run windows or linux on it if I wanted to.

    Time machine: simple automated backups which any gui noob could use? Yes I could use rsync, but most people not only wouldn't, but couldn't. How much are all those photo's worth to you? iLife - not free but if you'd use it, price up the windows equivalent before you buy your hardware.

  137. jake Silver badge

    drivers & The French Laundry

    "sorry penguin fanatics, but Linux still has too many missing puzzle pieces, especially with drivers and games"

    Drivers are no longer an issue in Linux, at least for for the most part, just like Windows & Apple. Games are a waste of time and money (he says, replying to a post in the "comments" section of an ElReg article ...), however there are plenty of games available for Linux. NetHack, anyone? Wumpus? Adventure? ;-)

    "Similarly, dinner at the French Laundry in Napa is a life affirming, eye-opening experience, but who has $500 to drop on a dinner tab several times a month."

    TFL is in Yountville (pronounced "yont"), not Napa. I know, the wife & I lived about three blocks from it for about a year when we were waiting for our ranch to close escrow. The prix fixe menu ($240/seat, +wine) is pretentious, contrived and boring, with tiny portions. We had both the chef's menu & the vegetarian menu and shared. It did look pretty, the prep folks are quite gifted. Everything was perfectly cooked. The 9 course meal, spread out over several hours, consisted of about 30 small bites of food. The wine was hideously over priced, and even the corkage fee is astronomical, at $50/cork. After eating there (once!) we immediately walked home and made dinner. We were starving! I would not recommend eating there, unless someone else was paying for it. I will say that the staff were the best I've ever seen, very attentive and yet not obtrusive. If you need anything, they are there in an almost telepathic manor ... but you can't see 'em otherwise. We could have gone to Compadres down the street and saved about $700 (Compadres lost their lease and had to move, Compadres Rio Grill is now on the river in Napa and well worth a visit if you are touring Wine Country).

  138. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @<yawn> By Doug Glass

    It was $150 million dollars

  139. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Is this a record?

    There should be additional weighting for it being:

    a) the weekend

    b) a weekend bracketed by public holidays in the UK which are aimed at celebrating a creed of loving one another (ooh, bit of religion there, controversial), although I strongly suspect that there's every likelihood of the combatants in the Middle East setting aside their differences way before we see any resolution to this frankly ridiculous, pointless and tedious ongoing debate. Although nobody ever died due of their choice of OS [cue pedants with stacks of examples of people who DID die due of their choice of OS]

  140. Nexox Enigma

    I love this sort of article...

    All these fanboy igniting articles are great, too bad I don't have enough time in my extremely lazy day to read what all the morons had to say. I think I scrolled past a couple individual comments that were longer than the entire article...

    I mostly can't stand advertising from either side of this battle, since these newest MS ads aren't any worse than plenty that Apple have released over the past couple years. Thus I am glad of 2 things:

    1) I watch very little TV.

    2) I can just build my own machines spec'd to whatever I need, and install Slackware. Thereby avoiding the Apple, MS, Dell, etc taxes and all the irritating crap that comes along with them.

    Now back to your ususally scheduled flamings.

  141. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Okay, so what next?

    I happen to like both Apple's and Microsoft's stuff and so on a more positive note:

    Maybe the profile awareness campaign might have considered:

    Being all things to all people is not easy. But at Microsoft we love challenges.

  142. Law
    Paris Hilton

    Apple tax?

    ... why not, the UK is taxed for everything else - it's only a matter of time before Brown stumbles upon this idea himself!

  143. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    Microsoft and Apple sitting in a tree

    You do know that Microsoft employees are eligible for the Apple employee discount on all Apple hardware and software? These companies are so in bed together they must laugh in the face of your fanboi-dom, whichever side of the fence you sit.

  144. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    re: drivers & The French Laundry

    Wow, that's the longest off-topic rant I've ever seen on El Reg.

    What I want to know is, did the restaurants billing system run on OS X or Windows, and if so, were either of them as over-priced as the food?

  145. Max_Normal

    So bored with this argument

    Let's get this straight, absolutely nobody hates Macs or think that they are sub-standard or even necessarily overpriced compared to the PC.

    What they do hate are the pious, smug, snotty bastards who bang on about mac superiority all the time. It's rare that you'll find a PC user starting this hoary old argument, are Mac users insecure about something or just obnoxious fanboys?

    I'd love a Mac, but I am forced to use a PC because of the software i use. Besides, I really like to tinker with my computers, that is my hobby.

  146. Robert M. Stockmann
    Thumb Up

    security and solidity are no 'Apple Tax'

    How about when one enters security and solidity into the equation?

    Here's some essentials :

    1. How NSA access was built into Windows

    Careless mistake reveals subversion of Windows by NSA.

    by Duncan Campbell 04.09.1999

    http://www.heise.de/tp/r4/artikel/5/5263/1.html

    2.(copy of page 158-159 from "Crossing the Rubicon" by Michael C. Ruppert)

    http://crashrecovery.org/forrestal/us-army-unix-s.jpg

    The Windows Operating system running on the subjects computer has become the cornerstone where upon NSA and today Homeland Security hookup a essential part of their surveillance technology and tactics. Google is the topping, or capstone if you like, on this pie. if you run a Mac, you might have ponied up the Mercedes Benz Star dollars, but at least the Windows flaws into your personal security and privacy are then gone. Security and solidity should be seen as value adding features. Microsoft's 'Apple Tax' story is bull.

    Robert

    --

    Robert M. Stockmann - RHCE

    Network Engineer - UNIX/Linux Specialist

  147. Jim
    Jobs Horns

    GT120---- ?

    that's a gtx9800.. a card that is currently going for 125 retail.. where the dell has a top of the line 295.. which is around 400$ retail..

    I know you sleep with a loc of steve's non-existant hair under your pillow.. Go pet it.

  148. snafu
    Happy

    Mac Book Mini

    Should we factor hackintoshing into the equation? I would make things far funnier. For all my MacMartyrdom (to avoid WinMartyrdom: to each one their own) rants, I know there is a MacBook Mini (EeeMac, Macspire, Makoya, Macsung or whatever, specially if the geeks manage to hack an Ion-based one) in my future. :D

  149. N1AK

    Why Pander

    "Anything which puts stupid people off buying a Mac gets the thumbs up from me. The last thing the Mac platform needs is to have to pander to stupid."

    Why would they pander? Job's has already gotten so good at getting the stupid to want what he tells them to.

  150. Danny Thompson
    Gates Horns

    Microsoft has hired a fiction writer ...

    Ah, that'll be the same fiction writer who scripts up M$'s description of their products then. Its a shame that M$ cannot fight their competition with simple fact when fiction and lies make for a better story.

    Not sure Gates would allow this - it has all the hallmarks of nasty Ballmer. Watch him cause M$'s reptuation ruination.

  151. Anonymous Coward
    Heart

    yes, yes, yes.

    i have a 3 foot long penis, but the real question is:

    Will it Blend?

  152. Mal Franks
    Thumb Down

    worst...article...ever

    since the last apple vs microsoft shitwar anyway

  153. Paul
    Flame

    This is the cancer that's killing El Reg

    The fact is the original claim was that Apple is purchased for the "cool factor". You then go on to compare two setups from the very highest end of the price range, a place where you'd expect "cool factor" takes a decisively small role compared to the internals of the computer, and the price. If you had compared mid end machines there would have been far more variety (the defining feature of Windows based machines) and I'd bet my house on Windows machines coming out cheaper.

    Call me a fanboy if you like, but if you do, make sure to give some examples of mac coming out on top in the mid-range (i.e. majority of the market) price range. Oh and don't go comparing Dell's XPS all in one to the iMac, just because Dell is overcharging on a machine it produces, doesn't mean that Apple isn't.

    You're basically a troll, and it's disappointing to see this drivel have a top spot on a news outlet I usually respect for producing balanced reporting.

  154. John F. Jackson
    Thumb Down

    Difference minimal

    One reason Kay and I call you a MACTARD is because you think the difference between 958 and 284 is 'minimal' and that the cost of a 19" monitor is 0.

    The reason I call you a MACTARD and Kay a WINTARD is that you are both so biased that you can't even perform a simple comparison, starting with reading the specs, let alone produce some reasoned logic to guide readers.

    Your article is one of the worst I've seen recently: on a par with ZDNET's garbage. Can I suggest that you and a WINTARD at El Reg collaborate on a fair comparison - one on which you both agree (or list the extent of your disagreement)?

  155. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Who Greenlighted This Dross?

    This stuff must have been Plan 9.

    Not plan 1-8. Plan 9.

    From Outer Space.

    I can imagine...

    The scene: a couple of ad execs, pounding down zombies, suffering bastards and screaming orgasms at Mr. Ho's Chinese Emporium, scribble their inane blather on stained napkins, then stagger home; waking some poor administrator at 2AM on a Friday night, have it transcribed, and presented to Steve Ballmer on Monday morning in a nice glossy package.

    Steve, who was obviously the recipient of more than a couple of atomic wedgies, immediately loves it.

    Paris, because she's Oscar material, compared to this crap.

  156. Tim Rosencrans

    one more thing

    he seems to have missed the fact that probably 75% of home PC users end up buying a new copy of Office with every new computer anyway. This is usually because their copy came bundled with there old PC and they have no way to install it other than the old PC's restore CD. Or the consumer just cant stand the thought of fighting with MS over getting its permission to install on a new PC.

    I guess we should call that a MS tax.

    ....hmmm you now they also already have a copy of windows but there still getting charged for a new one .... wonder why they didn't just get a white box with no OS?

  157. Anonymous Coward
    Joke

    @"Kay's Boner" AC

    It's easy to picture- long, white, hard plastic with an apple logo on the side and some alumin[i]um thrown in because it's used in sportscars or something.

    An utterly disgusting image, I'm sure you'll agree.

    And @Roger Nights "Car comparison"

    No. Just no. An Automatic driver wouldn't have the same level of control over their car and would probably find it a more of a pain in the ass.

    Power steering, fair enough. I'm quite a fan of being able to drive to work or round a car-park using just the one pinkie finger.

    A more appropriate comparison-

    An Apple would be one of those Nissan GTR things with an automatic transmission. And a worldwide ban from any roads that could be remotely taxing. Quick, good to look at, incredibly expensive and utterly useless if you want to have some fun.

    Windows would be a Ford Focus manual- there's a bit more fiddling but you've got more control and if you want to modify it or make it go faster you can- easily, quickly and cheaply. Not bad to look at, but hardly stunning. And it can bomb around the fun bits quite fast enough.

    Linux would be the entire kit car industry- there's a massive choice, huge customisability and you can have anything from a real cheap 200mph+ Ultima-style sports car through the big-ass Beaufords and on to an almost infinitely-flexible aquatic Dutton Commander. Doesn't all work entirely intuitively, but it's perfectly functional but can be made to look really good by bolting bits on top of it.

  158. Tone
    Dead Vulture

    Please limit the comment field

    so people dont post their life history..

  159. Wibble
    Happy

    It's a choice thing

    Simple. I *chose* to buy a MacBook Pro. It works very well, looks very nice and oozes quality. There are no other machines on the market like it; all other equivalents are ugly plastic lumps in comparison.

    I really dislike Vista. I hate it's dog slow, ugly, irritating (how many popups do you want to see today), childish interface.

    I think OSX is massively calmer, faster and a whole 'nicer' experience. I'm very happy with *my* choice.

    If someone else wants to buy a lump of Vista infested plastic for considerably less, please go ahead. It's your prerogative. And don't forget the anti-virus subscription.

    Just one warning: you gets what yer pays for.

  160. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    By my reckoning

    Article posted: 11 April at 06:10

    First post: 11 April at 06:41

    148th post 13 April at 13:38

    so, let me see, 148/61.63 = about 2.4 posts per hour.

    Oi el Reg website people and journos: can we have numbered posts? That way contributors could reply to posts as numbered?

  161. Sandra Greer
    Happy

    Friends...

    don't let friends drive Windows. Especially one holding their dissertation.

    Fixing a PC can ruin a friendship.

    The kind of friends who can run Linux, get Linux.

    The English majors get Macs.

    We all win.

    I use Windows at work, and someone else fixes it. I just manage MS SQL Server (groan).

  162. Busted
    Stop

    Re: Mad Clarinet

    Sorry but you are so wrong Mac's are more expensive that PC's and your statement is plain wrong and shows you didn't do much research. Without spending more than 1 minute I see Dell offering PC with 20" monitor similar specs to the 20" Imac for £679 inc VAT and delivery.

    http://www1.euro.dell.com/content/products/productdetails.aspx/desktop-xps-430?c=uk&cs=ukdhs1&l=en&ref=dthp&s=dhs

    Not like I'd buy a Dell but point is your wrong by about £300.

    Also replacing failed parts is easier/cheaper compared with an IMAC so a PC has a lower TCO.

    This isn't a MS/Mac argument it's a PC/Mac argument and PC's are CHEAPER no matter what OS you use on it!!!!

  163. Derek Blonigen
    Thumb Down

    Apple better?

    I am an Apple Certified Technician, I own macs and pcs. The Apple "Experiance" is a joke, the os is bloated, crashes all of the time. Also, they are on "OS Update" (service pack) 6 already. For an OS that is supposed to be so superior to Microsoft, why does it always seem to be less stable and have more problems. The hardware looks nice, but is an absolute pain in the A## to work on. I wish just once we could have an article from somebody who doesn't have their head so far up Steve Jobs you know what. Plain and simple, Apples ARE more expensive, PC's can do the same job as the Apple for less money. Like I said I own both, my pc will smoke my apple any day of the week. Viruses on the pc? Just do your updates, you'll be fine. What about the macs? There are viruses out for macs, no real protection against them. Lastly, gaming....YOU CAN'T GAME ON A MAC, you need to install windows to play any real game on it, so now you are spending even more money on a "superior" computer. Give me a break, what a joke!

  164. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Trolls are writing "news" now?

    "But, then again, both a Fiat 500 and a Mercedes S-Class can take you across town."

    Except they have exactly the same parts in them so your comparison is stupid.

    Maybe fox news needs some more talent.

  165. Anonymous Coward
    Alien

    @Robert M. Stockmann

    Tinfoil hat much ?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NSAKEY

    NSAKEY = alieNS from Area 51 maKe mE warY

  166. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    I think the public "hyperbole" twixt Apple and Microsoft started with the numbnuts adverts around 1996 in which people decried the complexity of "doing stuff" on PCs. In one, Apple's marketers would have us believe that to configure a printer on a post windows 95 machine one had to - get this- take the case off and install a cicuit board. To cry foul now smacks of cry-babyism.

    Macs *are* expensive, sometimes needlessly so. Try getting parts for one and find out for yourself. They are no more easy to use for most people than a PC. There are sound technical reasons for buying a mac, just as there are for not touching one with a barge pole.

    And to deny that Apple market their stuff as better on stylistic grounds is perhaps the worst lie of the lot. Apple themselves have gone to great lengths to promote both the design of their kit (which has, at times, gone from the sublime to the ridiculous in the "form over function" stakes) and in the comparison with PCs on such a basis from the word "go".

    The cool, artistic guy in casual arty clothes claims to be a Mac. The dumpy guy with goofy glasses and an ill-fitting off-the-peg suit claims to be the PC. Remind me: who was responsible for this series of ads in which not one shred of actual comparison of the systems in question was done in preference to an appeal to the coolness factor and some old saws about blue screens?

    Yeah. Evil Microsoft have committed a foul here, but the game has been dirty for years.

  167. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    @ Anonymous Coward [Posted Monday 13th April 2009 14:41 GMT]

    "Tinfoil hat much ?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NSAKEY"

    Oh yeah because we all know what a reliable source Wiki is ...

    For your information, AA, Microsoft has openly and proudly admitted its involvement with the NSA during the development of Vista under the guise of the NSA helping to make Windows more secure. How kind of them.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/01/08/AR2007010801352.html

    and ...

    http://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2007/01/nsa_helps_micro_1.html

    And this is just what we *know* about. God alone knows what has been happening before MS got found out.

    I'd rather not have any NSA input on an operating system I was using through *choice*, ta very much, because -- guess what -- *I don't trust them* ... simple as that. I don't trust enormous corporate entities (MS) either. Call me paranoid, by all means. Ten years ago I wouldn't have cared much but NOW? Sheeeeesh ...

    Kindly don't believe we're all as naive as yourself.

  168. Alex
    Jobs Horns

    Duh!

    My 9yr old daughter wanted an iPod last year. Not any player, but iPod. Well, she got one for her birthday. And you know what - while it looks nice and the interface is cool, the thing itself is rather crappy, compared to other players with the same price tag. I can't imagine, for example, why a player cannot charge its battery and play at the same time?! This thing just can't! It hanged already couple of times. The battery doesn't last long enough (of course, it's soo tiny, no wonder!) and after a year of use already needs changing. But you know what? It turns you can't change the battery yourself - you have to send the whole thing to Apple. And not to mention the iTunes integration, the fact that you can't just copy MP3 to the player and expect it to play them. Granted, there are many people who do not know what a "file" is - I'm sure it's right for them. But still, no matter how cool a product is, with this kind of problems its total crap.

  169. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Derek Blonigen

    your Macs crash that often and you're a certified technician? You might want to take that course again. Maybe when you hit 16.

  170. Dave Ashe

    Hello?

    Apple macs ARE PC's, albeit more expensive ones - that is all.

    You cant compare them apples for apples :-)

    You can run linux on both, windows on both, osx on both (as per the reg article posted a few months back) so whats the problem?

    Buy what you want! Whats the problem?

    Microsoft says they tax their hardware, well, somebody has to do some research and development.. I'm saying this as a pc user..

  171. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Derek Blonigen

    congratulations, you win the prize for invoking the PC/Mac flamewar equivalent of Godwin's Law

  172. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Halo

    Meh

    MS once again trotting out bull shit and FUD. Color me not at all shocked since they attempt to do this on a regular basis and it always backfires. The comparisons are no where near equal, the guy makes no pretense at all to objectivity (he is a redmond shill after all), and he makes some wild presumptions regarding the "Apple family" and the "PC family". So anyone with half a brain and who hasn't drunk the MS kool aid can pick apart the paper and the non existent "Apple Tax".

    How ever I gotta thank you Rik for writing the article because I went and read about the "Apple Tax" that I've supposedly paid (because that was news to me having never paid it and all) and had a good chuckle. Though I do wish the wintrolls, wintards, MS fanbois, etc etc would get with every other OS fanboi, *troll, *tard, and all take a long walk off a short pier at the same time. Would make for a far cleaner and less bull shit ridden IT press core.

  173. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    clarifications and comments:

    1st: to whoever said the Dell had 30% faster RAM, you did not account for the Mac having tripple channel RAM, thereby having greater overall memory bandwidth.

    2nd: To whoever asked for a $399 euro machine with good specs from Apple, FIND ME A $399 PC with good specs... All $399 PCS have SHITTY specs. Half of Apple's default included software would suck on such a machine, and on a PC with Vista, any equivolent software would suck more. Besides, is $599 US not pretty close to $399 euros?

    3rd: A Mac is not cost effective for daily, generic use. Surfing the web, answering e-mails, scanning and printing photos, Honestly, why are you even looking at Windows? Get Linux if you know how, then it's just an "ignorance" tax. However, if you mess with video, run Virtual machines, play games, then the mac is VERY price competitive.

    4th: If a 24" screen isn't big enough for you, don't buy an iMac... If you're comparing like-to-like, you'd have also noted the competitions all-in-ines actually cost more with the same specs (though many others do throw in a $49 TV tuner you can add to one of tme iMacs many USB ports, but honestly, since it can;'t record cable or sattelite TV, what good it it?). Of course, with a Display port, and powerful graphics, an iMac can do what no other all-in-ones can, run a second display, including up to 30". If You need more, buy the low end Mac Pro and a few screens... If you need less than a serious machine, buy a Mini and hook up whatever display you want (it has the same base specs as the base iMac anyway)

    5th: No, apple has no mid-range configurable machine. That is not expected to last, but aside from the 1% of PC users who actually will configure a machine, nearly all of which are gamers tied to Windows anyway, who would they be selling to? there's really no market there for apple to capture...

    6th: Yes, you could get free AV for PCs. They suck, mostly. Good for stopping viruses, but not user friendly in most cases, and 99% of folks don;t know who to find them, let alone use them. Lets narrow this argument to the 95% of general users and stop playing with what an engineer or PC enthusiast would do. CONSUMERS don't fall into that category. Over 5 years, a PC WILL cost more in software licensing than a Mac.

    7th: Apple may take longer to patch, and may have more vulnerabilityies, yes. However, every one of those vulnerabilityies so far has required user action to infect a machine (for instance, going to a pre-configured website). The macs fall fast at events because THE HACKERS ACTUALLY WANT TO WIN THEM!!! There are no mac viruses you can get (that anyone has ever developed even in POC) simply by being connected to the net. Apple is quickly moving to close those holes, and has been on a good release cycle pace for quite some time, and they do farly quickly release critical patches (sometimes in days) and do not wait for a predetermined release date but instead release only on priority. Sure, there are a few viruses out, but if the only way to get one is to go to a custom website, then enter your Keychain password which it tells you over and over to do (every time it prompts you) that you should never be asked for this except when installing an app or purposefully making system changes, and even them some of those viruses only work if the root account is enabled, I'd say that's not a risk... My father recently infected his mac. Someone he knew installed a copied version of iWork 09 on his machine (didn't ask him, just did it as part of maintenance). That installer was infected with a worm. ANY PC would just as easily fall. Get off Apple's back on this one...

    8th: The same HDD you buy for your PC works on a Mac. TimeCapsule is not a HDD, it's a NAS device with 802.11n and Gigabit Ethernet, plus a print server and external addditional storage options. It;s not the cheapest one on the market, but plug and play does have some value compared to the linux based equivolents that many have a real hard time setting up (and that Vist'as included Backup, only included in home premium by the way, WILL NOT write to!)

    9th: resale value: I recently sold a 4.5 year old 20" iMac (lamp model) for $750 on ebay. This was only a $1400 machine! 1GHz and 768MB RAM, 60GB HDD... Won't even run OS 10.5.... My $2400 gaming rig, less than 18 months only won't fetch that on eBay for Christ's sake! 50% resale after nearly 5 years?!?!?! I'm lucky to get 25% after 1 year with a PC.

    10th: support: Dell will support the hardware, but NOT Windows! You have to pay $250 every time you CALL Microsoft... Their default answer: Format it. Apple actually helps you fix the OS when you call (and since it;s Linux based, it's actually easy). 1 single support vendor, not 2 or 3. Crap, Apple even helped my father with an HP printer issue that was clearly a driver issue! They also helped him fix a UPS bug that was causing his machine to not sleep that turned out to be CyberPower's fault.

    11: You do NOT need to replace all your PC software. EVERY SINGLE MAC sold on MacMall comes with either VMWare or Parallells FREE. Plus, boot camp is free. Install your currently licensed windows disk (oh, I'm sorry, that OEM version really sucks, huh...), on your Mac and go with it. Also, Mac software is upgraded far less frequently, and skipping versions has less impact. And upgrading the OS? not only easy, but most stuff will still work after you do it. Upgrading to XP SP3 broke more of my apps than upgrading from OS X 10.3 to 10.5... Vista broke 75% of my games, my printer, several business apps, required a doubling of RAM, and more.

    12: iLife. You just TRY to find software that does that for free. I can't even find software that does that for $600. This class of video editing, music generation, and photo management, included free? Shit even Adobe's $200 photo suite is not half as cool as iPhoto. Pinacle Studio doesn't hold a candle to iMovie, and what it can do requires a serious PC to run it on, way more than the cost of a mac.

    13 (and last for now, though I could easily continue): My PC has a 0.6GHz faster processor, faster RAM base, and faster striped HDDs than my iMac. The iMac boots faster, responds faster, comes out of sleep faster, multitasks better, and in general feels faster. Oh, it also exports video from my camcorder to a produced DVD in HALF the time! Yes the PC can rip a DVD in 5 minutes less time, crunches simulation numbers faster, and can get a better frame rate in games, but I've got a $400 video card in the PC compared to the iMac's default making that PC actually cost more than the iMac. Oh, that PC will also cost me very close to $50 more per year in electric bills....

  174. jake Silver badge

    @Robert M. Stockmann @Tony Chandler

    Robert: Think about what you are suggesting. Don't you think that if the NSA mandated a backdoor into Windows, they would also mandate a backdoor into OSX and every other commercial OS? C'mon, THINK, man!

    Another way of looking at this ... The source code for my OSes of choice is available to me, and anyone else. It has been eyeballed by a BUNCH of people, world-wide. I think it's pretty safe to say that Linux & BSD have no intentional backdoors in them.

    On the other hand, have you ever read Ken Thompson's ACM paper "Reflections on Trusting Trust" from 1984? It's a good read, and the concepts haven't changed in the intervening quarter century. See:

    http://cm.bell-labs.com/who/ken/trust.html

    Tony: You must be new here. A single paragraph review tacked onto the end of an on-topic comment is hardly a long, off topic rant. Granted, it was off topic, and maybe I should refrain from posting such ... on the other hand, the mod(s) passed it, and who are we to argue with them? Frankly, I was surprised that they allowed my real long off-topic rant on dog breeders in the PETA vs PetShopBoys article ... As for TFL's billing system, they don't make such gauchness visible to the rubes^Wmarks^Wclientele. All I know is my credit card went away, and came back with a chit for me to sign.

  175. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Apple gear is a tad more expensive up front, but...

    Ah, yes. Think only about total acquisition cost and completely ignore total cost of ownership. That's the way PC manufacturers have duped consumers into spending too much money for years now. I just abandoned Pcs and Windows for once and all a couple fo months back. I bought an iMac with a Duo, 4 GB RAM, a 563 GB hard drive a 24" HD monitor. It works flawlessly, is intuitive and has never once presented me with a BSOD or even a hung application. I've not had to install a single driver; it recognized my cell phone, digital camera, printer, everything as soon as it was plugged into a USB port. And the user experience is so far ahead of Windows that MSFT will never catch up. How much did I pay for this fantastic new computer? $1499. Yes, I could have got a PC full of cheap commodity parts for a fraction of this, but why would I want to? A sub-$1000 PC is going to survive about 18 months, where the Mac will be obsolete before it's worn out. I'm not trying to be cool, but only productive. I don't waste time trying to keep my computer running anymore.

  176. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Certified? Certifiable more like.

    @ Derek Blonigen

    As a "Mac certified engineer" just how many of these virus filled machines have you had to blow away and re-install? I suspect you will say hundreds - which is kinda odd in that I've not had a SINGLE virus issue on any of my macs since around 87.

    Wave your "credentials" all you like - but I smell Bullshit.

    Paris - coz she can do more tech support than you

  177. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    Bias

    So we have an article about Microsoft bias that sounds like the author is an Apple bumboi let alone fanboi. Fail.

  178. Nexox Enigma

    More comments!

    To whomever tried to refute the 'Apple charges for service packs' deal:

    A numbering scheme does not imply a pricing scheme. People consider releases to be service packs if they include only minor changes from the last release. IE Leopard added 2 'features' to Tiger, a reflective dock (quite extremely irritating) and Time Machine (Who the hell gets excited about backup software?)

    Hell the first three releases (10.0 through 10.2) were public betas, since the first one that ewas even slightly useable was 10.3. That's arguable too. 10.4 was nice, then 10.5 released and suddenly my dual 1.25GHz G4, which ran Tiger like a champ, slowed to an unuseable crawl. I mean slower than a 2.0 ghz lowest of the low end Dell running Vista. Not that I think Vista was or is a good idea.

    People mostly mean that you have to pay for a new copy of Windows significantly less frequently than OSX. But you typically pay less.

    Some other people have pointed out that Macs have a better resale value, but that is an outdated idea. Power PC Macs do have a nice resale value, especially now that they're rare, but since Apple decided that Intel was a better (Just higher profit margin reall) choice than PPC, the prices drop almost as fast as a corresponding Dell or HP, mostly because people can compare the two directly as to clock speed and such.

    And Apple's use of 'PC' still pisses me off. Apple computers, with the exception of maybe the Mac Pro are personal computers, and they have more or less the same hardware that any Dell or HP has these days. And when Apple generalizes about the PC blight, they're pretty much never accurate when it comes to my personal computers.

  179. jake Silver badge

    @AC 17:04

    "Apple actually helps you fix the OS when you call (and since it;s Linux based, it's actually easy)."

    I think you'll find it's not Linux. It's actually a consumerized NeXTSTEP/OPENSTEP, which itself a bastardized love child of NetBSD and FreeBSD, with a little BSD proper stirred in for spice. The whole thing sits on the Mach kernel.

    The fact that Jobs & crew managed to pull it off surprised me. I never really expected a large company to put a general purpose consumer interface on a variation of un*x. I tried to like OSX, but it's too far away from a true un*x for me to get comfy with it. For one thing, after a third of a century I have issues with not having access to the source ... and having to build in the tool chain myself seems kinda lax on Apple's part.

  180. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Nexox Enigma

    I suspect they're using PC in the sense of "IBM PC compatible" just like in the olden days, although it's a rather thin distinction when they stick Bootcamp into the standard Leopard installation.

    Still, it's a bit unfair to point the finger solely at Apple in this area, seeing as Microsoft has opted to not only deploy the term in equal measure but also save Apple the bother of saying that a PC is a cheap piece of shit .

  181. Michael Frame
    Thumb Down

    Quadro > GF 120

    This comparison conveniently leaves out that a Quadro GPU costs around $1000-$2000 *by itself*, where a GeForce 120 is a specially-created low cost GPU.

  182. David

    Common sense gets more power!!!!

    Dells prices can be a bit mad. Infact i bought a duel quad core 2.33 na Dell Precision 7500 for about £1000 less than a mac pro. Why? because i get a choice about what goes in it. It was also a feck lot faster than the spec given in this comparison, despite lower spec cores i had twice as many, more memory, 10k rpm hdds. Buy with common sense then you get a good price. You also need to add promotions and deals which dell have on 24/7.

    Also that Mac needs a warrenty pack £250 Office £200 more than than the PC cuz u cant get OEM. Adds up really fast on the Mac.

  183. Paul

    Comedy :)

    If in doubt... Hackintosh. If you're that determined to run the horrible pile of cack that is OSX. :) Nice hardware, shite software. /glares at iPod with its lack of bugfixes

  184. Anonymous Coward
    Joke

    iPhone App

    'An Iphone app for everything' say the advert - is there one to calculate the Apple Tax?

  185. Anonymous Coward
    Alert

    Ermm...

    "the time lost in wrestling with an OS that may be improving but still remains recalcitrant,"

    May be improving? no its not its getting worse! its overcomplicating every task they are re-inventing the horse (thats a man made horse!) when the rest of the world just bought a car...

    And while MS insist on splitting gaming onto a console they are killing the do anything-ness of the PC. I for one may well buy a Mac next upgrade.

  186. Saul Dobney

    But can Open Office trounce MS Office

    This comment is being written on a Mac. The PC workhorse (XP) is over on my desk. The children use Ubuntu. If I'm honest, the Mac is a disappointment. It crashes a lot more than XP even though it's used for fewer hours in a day. I was disappointed the UI hasn't really moved on since the 1990s and it's still has a one app at a time focus and many elements just aren't intuitive in a way that I thought they should be on a Mac (Ubuntu works better than XP or a Mac for a few things). The mac does boot quickly though and has a great power connector and sits comfortably on my lap while I'm typing.

    However, to be fair, I don't really care about the OS. The real test is can I replace MS Office with Open Office over the next 6 months without customers noticing. At that point the OS becomes redundant and it will just be the hardware spec that will be important when purchasing.

  187. Roger Knights
    Happy

    @ @Kay's Boner AC 13th April 12:16 GMT "Car Comparison"

    Thanks for your temperate response. The cars you suggested as analogous to the three OS's made a provocative comparison. (Apple = Nissan GTR, Windows = Ford Focus manual, Linux = kit car.) Here are your key statements:

    "An Automatic driver wouldn't have the same level of control over their car and would probably find it a more of a pain in the ass."

    ............

    "Windows would be a Ford Focus manual- there's a bit more fiddling but you've got more control and if you want to modify it or make it go faster you can- easily, quickly and cheaply."

    I respect your preference. I'm not a Mac fanatic. If a person knows how to handle a Windows machine, and enjoys doing so, more power to him/her.

    But over 90% of US car buyers select an automatic transmission, despite its greater cost. If Apple can wordlessly get that public to subconsciously associate Windows with a stick shift and the Mac with an automatic transmission, it would be a fantastic accomplishment in "Hidden Persuasion." Buyers would think, without even being aware of doing so, "I want an automatic, so I want a Mac." They wouldn't be aware of having accepted the analogy because the ad never mentions computers, except in the seemingly innocuous "I'm a Mac" introduction, where the insidious seed for the association and comparison is planted.

    Another advantage to Apple of such a car comparison would be to avoid letting itself be put on the defensive by MSFT's attack ads. Not defensively "replying is kind" is in accord with Stephen Potter's first law of gamesmanship ("My fast to your slow and vice versa").

    Incidentally, here’s a little tweak: As the car drives off-screen, a puff emerges its the tailpipe, its rear end jumps up three inches and bounces up and down, and a backfiring “bang” is heard, along with a disconcerting “clank,” mimicking the behavior of the rattletrap squad car of the old Keystone Kops movies. This would plant another seed in viewers’ minds.

  188. Anonymous Coward
    Happy

    @Greg Fleming

    "http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/01/08/AR2007010801352.html

    I'd rather not have any NSA input on an operating system I was using through *choice*, ta very much, because -- guess what -- *I don't trust them* ... simple as that. I don't trust enormous corporate entities (MS) either. Call me paranoid, by all means. Ten years ago I wouldn't have cared much but NOW? Sheeeeesh ...

    Kindly don't believe we're all as naive as yourself."

    From that very article:

    "Other software makers have turned to government agencies for security advice, including Apple, which makes the Mac OS X operating system. "We work with a number of U.S. government agencies on Mac OS X security and collaborated with the NSA on the Mac OS X security configuration guide," said Apple spokesman Anuj Nayar in an e-mail."

    No one in this country can ever pronounce my name right. It's not that hard: Anuj Na-gheen-an-a-jar. Nagheenanajar.

  189. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Saul Dobney

    So, the Mac UI hasn't moved since the '90s? But the Ubuntu's one has, from what you say. Great, the freetards will love you!

  190. This post has been deleted by its author

  191. Joe Montana
    Flame

    Linux?

    Someone should take their comparison, and show how the same hardware when running Linux works out cheaper than windows...

    But what did you expect? advertising is never honest, it is designed to show the product being advertised in a good light relative to the competition...

    The comparison is invalid because the hardware being compared is not equivalent... When comparing equivalent hardware Apple tend to be fairly competitive.

    The idea of Macs being expensive comes from the fact that Apple's range doesn't extend as far down market as most other vendors.. They don't have a cheap lowend netbook, they don't have a barebones desktop etc... They don't try to compete in the lowend budget market, just like Jaguar have nothing to compete with a Ford Fiesta.

  192. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Halo

    VESTED INTEREST ALERT!!

    Isn't it the case that Apple has been very kind to journalists in the past, "lending" them machines that they then write articles on...attacking Microsoft.

    I notice that while everyone else uses pc's, journo's are perhaps the last bastion of Apple Mac users - apart from those arty people.

    While I think Microsoft software is clunky at best, at least they are more open than Apple.

  193. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah

    The most amazing thing of all: that I can still view the comment page on this article without getting blocked by the regex in our firewall that detects and counts "objectionalble phrases".

    Well done fanbois of all platforms. You kept it clean in spite of the contentious nature of the article and its subject. I salute you all.

    Shame no-one chipped in with a GEOS comment though.

    :o)

  194. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @AA

    I don't use OSX either, chum.

  195. jake Silver badge

    @Stevie

    "The most amazing thing of all: that I can still view the comment page on this article without getting blocked by the regex in our firewall that detects and counts "objectionalble phrases"."

    I can assure you (and your daft system administrator(s) and/or clueless management) that the English language is quite flexible enough to get "objectionable phrases" past any rules that they choose to implement. That kind of filtering is worse than useless in that it takes time to implement, doesn't work, provides a false sense of security, and opens the company up to lawsuit should an employee accidentally see something that they think was missed by the filters.

  196. Law
    Black Helicopters

    @ Stevie

    "The most amazing thing of all: that I can still view the comment page on this article without getting blocked by the regex in our firewall that detects and counts "objectionalble phrases"."

    Fuck, shit, cock, ass, dildo, boner, bitch, pussy, butthole, Barbara Streisand!!!

    Eric Cartman, Southpark: The Movie...

    You're welcome... moderatrix - please edit appropriately with *'s! :)

  197. jake Silver badge

    @Law

    Very classy. How old are you, anyway? 14?

    Idiot.

  198. Robert M. Stockmann
    IT Angle

    @jake concerning NSA backdoor

    Jake wrote :

    "Robert: Think about what you are suggesting. Don't you think that if the NSA mandated a backdoor into Windows, they would also mandate a backdoor into OSX and every other commercial OS? C'mon, THINK, man!"

    Your right about that, but the NSA backdoor stuff has only been reported to be inside Windows. If Bill and Steve want to do some real kick ass PR they should emphasize that NSA backdoors are also in OSX. But they don't. Why would that be?

    You told me to "C'mon, THINK, man!" I did, here's what I know :

    1. The National Security Agency (NSA) has since 911 changed its policy from strictly surveillance [0] into possibly remote harassment of normal people inside their houses [1][1a].

    2. The predecessor of the NSA, the Armed Forces Security Agency (AFSA) was with the 'suicide' of James Vincent Forrestal in hisfunction as 1st United States Secretary of Defense, on May 22 1949, severely harmed. It resulted in severely flawed and compromitted Army Intelligence, before and during the Korean war. As far as I know, the Soviets (Russians) never lost their compromitting role in US Army intelligence. [2]

    3. The NSA has been most likely a KGB run Operation only from the day of its inception, located in Ft. Meade, MD. [3][4] (See also the email below)

    [0] How NSA access was built into Windows, Careless mistake reveals subversion of Windows by NSA.

    by Duncan Campbell 04.09.1999

    http://www.heise.de/tp/r4/artikel/5/5263/1.html

    [1] The Criminal NSA Exposed

    John St. Clair Akwei vs. NSA, Ft. Meade, MD, USA

    http://stewwebb.com/the_criminal_nsa_exposed.htm

    http://crashrecovery.org/rendon/index.html#NSA-Exposed

    http://www.angelfire.com/or/mctrl/akwei.html

    [1a] The electricity scam

    http://crashrecovery.org/rendon/#electricity

    [2] The National Security Agency (NSA)

    http://crashrecovery.org/forrestal/

    [3] NORDEX, NSA proprietary in Vienna, Austria

    http://crashrecovery.org/forrestal/index.html#nordex

    [4] The Takeover Of America according Brig. General Ben Partin

    http://crashrecovery.org/fischer/index.html#partin

    [5] "The Eurasian Politician - Issue 4 (August 2001)

    RUSSIAN SECRET SERVICES AND THE MAFIA

    By: Vladimir Ivanidze, Source: The Independent Information Centre Glasnost - Caucasus

    http://users.jyu.fi/~aphamala/pe/issue4/kgbmafia.htm

  199. jake Silver badge

    @Robert M. Stockmann

    "Your right about that,"

    Thanks. ::bows:: ... but, uh, err ... that's spelled "you're". HTH.

    "but the NSA backdoor stuff has only been reported to be inside Windows."

    And yet Apple has admitted to "consulting" with the NSA on the design of OSX's security.

    "Bill and Steve want to do some real kick ass PR they should emphasize that NSA backdoors are also in OSX. But they don't. Why would that be?"

    My guess is because either there are no NSA backdoors in any commercial OS, -OR- the commercial OS vendors have been told not to talk about it. Security by obscurity isn't exactly the smartest plan of action, but nobody ever said governments (any nation) are the sharpest tool in the box when it comes to general computing security. Me, I run software that I can read the source on, just out of principle. Your mileage may vary.

    "You told me to "C'mon, THINK, man!" I did, here's what I know :"

    No, that's NOT what you "know". That's what you've read on the Internet. There is a major difference between the two concepts. You can think for yourself, or you can be told what to think. Your choice. My suggestion is to lose the tin-foil brain-bucket, but whatever floats your boat. It's your paranoia^W life.

  200. Law
    Paris Hilton

    RE: @Law

    Wow... I seriously didn't think she'd put it on unedited! lol... and yeah - I'm 29, going on 14!

  201. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    RE: @Law

    Well, since you posted that at 11pm, I was on my way to bed after watching Mad Men. I don't work 24 hours a day, you know. I go home at 5.30, I eat, I feed the dog, I socialise, I follow brilliant imported telly drama. I sleep. Blissful commentless sleep. Mmmmmm.

    So yes, someone in the US office moderated that one. To be honest I probably would have let it through myself since it didn't contain The Swear To End All Swears. (It's Barbra, though, not Barbara... but I'll let you off for the South Park reference.)

    Oh and we don't edit comments. We accept or reject. There's none of that fannying about around here.

    As you were.

  202. Law
    Heart

    @ Sarah

    It's a good job I didn't do Wendy's song then... :S

  203. breakfree971@aol.com
    Thumb Up

    well.

    I have to say,(previously being a PC lover) i do love the Mac's and do not mind paying a little extra for them.

    After windows shat out vista.. and after having several problems with my dell XP notebook (and desktop to boot).. My little Macbook is incredible. My PC laptop is collecting dust (as it should be) and my PC desktop goes unused.. suffice booting it up occasionally to play a video game..

This topic is closed for new posts.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2020