Microsoft asks consumers to “do the math” before buying a Mac

By Tom Warren, on 5th May 11 11:38 am with 69 Comments

Microsoft has launched a new Mac vs PC site.

The new site, “Do the Math“, launched in Canada recently and aims to compare Mac based computers to several PC counterparts. Microsoft has put together comparison charts for the following Macs:

  • MacBook 13
  • MacBook Air 11
  • MacBook Air 13
  • MacBook pro 13
  • MacBook Pro 15
  • MacBook Pro 17
  • iMac 25.1
  • iMac 27

The comparisons feature Samsung, HP, ASUS, Sony, Dell, Acer and Toshiba machines. Most of the machine comparisons feature the same or better configurations to their Mac counterparts. “Surf the web or surf Hawaii,” says Microsoft. “The choice is yours. When you a buy a PC this summer, you’ll have tons of cash left over to spend on other things.”

Microsoft has previously produced a number of TV commercials featuring Mac cost comparisons. The software giant launched a series of “Laptop hunter” commercials in early 2009. The adverts kick started the successful “I’m a PC” campaign that Microsoft went on to use for its Windows 7 adverts.

Mac vs PC cost comparisons

  • Christian

    They forget one thing though: Windows machines are running Windows = uncountable errors and a messy UI.

    • http://www.google.com/profiles/the.headquarter the-hq

      Maybe you should stop using XP and upgrade to something like 7

    • http://www.google.com/profiles/the.headquarter the-hq

      Maybe you should stop using XP and upgrade to something like 7

    • Grannyville7989

      Take it easy. Competition is good for everyone, especially for us consumers.

    • http://twitter.com/dgwelsh David Garnett Welsh

      Orly? /s

    • http://profiles.google.com/danstu Dan Stuart

      Haha, you clearly haven’t done tech support for Macs.

    • EmilyTheStrange

      yeap, thats why my friend, who has a mac and she ended up using Premiere in windows….. yeah, errors in osx exist as well ;). and honestly, are you gonna die because windows 7 is good and people like using it?, or because someone dislikes osx (like my friend who will change to windows in next laptop)… if that happens, you need help because dying for a company that doesn’t give you anything… instead you have to pay them, its not exactly.. good. at least since i play videogames, and mmos which are almost windows only, i can have fun and thats how it works for ME and no errors in months. so it works for me, it works for my 3dsmax, it works for my games… but people is different, so what works for me doesn’t work for you… and it seems you make up stuff up just because you dont like it. at least use it, and then talk… not just go by what people tell you. like “dll and registry” ;) and messy UI? you really look so much to ui?… i would look more to the software i can install.. first. my friend has more choices for windows than mac, and you know thats true.

    • Joe

      Messy UI? I had to do some work on a Mac yesterday:

      “Hmmm… Where do I find Excel? What! There’s no obvious place to type ‘Excel’ to search for it. You still have to browse through Finder? And which Finder menu item do I go look for?” It took me minutes to figure out what should have taken 5 seconds (and does on Win7).

      After a few minutes, I ended up with several windows open. Now _that_ was a mess when you don’t know the secrets to managing that situation on a Mac. Windows 7 is really nice in that regard.

    • http://doctorwhofan98.wordpress.com/ doctorwhofan98

      @1544312f3deaa0403b11fce202dd62cb:disqus I have used Macs a few times before and finding apps that aren’t by default on the dock is really hard. I was begging for a start menu after a little while…

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001950782606 Brent Kamens

      How is it that hard to find something. There’s a search button in the very right corner (Spotlight), or you can use Command+Space to open Spotlight

  • Wtf808

    lolz, ^ troll.

  • http://www.ithinkdiff.com Imran Hussain

    Awesome. Microsoft has compared Macbook Air to shit slow netbooks.
    Unless that’s the HP dm1z with AMD fusion but still it’s not as fast as a Macbook Air although provides more battery life.

  • Scott

    Well, who really “do the math” will see that Linux machines are cheaper than Windows ones.

    • Grannyville7989

      Well, you still have to buy a machine to put Linux on, many of which come with Windows pre-installed so you’re really saving that much, unless your building your PC from scratch.

    • http://www.google.com/profiles/the.headquarter the-hq

      The time I lose for reading shitty manual files weighs in really fast considering the money one could make in that amount of time ;)

    • Anonymous

      I have no idea where this one came from, but:
      “Linux is only free if your time has no value”

    • Mark

      Yeah, I really miss the command prompt.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jonathanf Jonathan Fingas

    Microsoft only ever does these campaigns when it’s losing market share to Apple — and it is. Macs grew 28% in early 2011 where the whole PC business grew just a few points, and the heavy hitters like Acer, Dell, and HP were on their way down.

    • Bnlf

      Macs didnt grow. iOs did. Osx actually keeps losing market. People are buying Macs to install Windows. Shouldnt be that bad :)

    • http://www.facebook.com/jonathanf Jonathan Fingas

      Completely false.

      That 28% figure is Apple’s own raw shipment numbers. The PC industry’s shipments shrank by 3% (IDC data). Apple growth has been ahead of the industry average every quarter for the past five years. It might be a slow gain, but Mac share is undeniably growing, and that rate is accelerating.

    • Grannyville7989

      Grew 28% worldwide or in the USA?

    • http://www.facebook.com/jonathanf Jonathan Fingas

      Worldwide. For reference: Acer’s shipments dropped about 16 percent worldwide, Dell’s by 2 percent and HP’s by 3 percent.

    • Guest

      Yes when you have 4.86% market share in the world than 28% is a really high number, Get off the high horse. Windows 7 is way ahead and not even falling when compared to macs.

    • http://www.facebook.com/jonathanf Jonathan Fingas

      Windows is way ahead, but it is declining very slightly. Apple isn’t shipping that many more Macs year-to-year to people switching from Linux. And remember, Windows 7 is gaining because of people replacing Windows XP and Vista PCs, not converts.

    • Guest

      People who are on Linux wont switch to MACs. Why would they there is no reason at all for them to switch. Also Linux is mostly used in enterprise as servers and Macs have no traction there at all.

      Secondly how much WIndows can grow when they are already at 80%+. It is idiotic to ask them to grow when they already have the most of market in desktops.

      Macs will remain a minority as it is right now because of Apples tight control on the hardware where it can be installed and lack of applications.

    • http://www.facebook.com/jonathanf Jonathan Fingas

      Windows is way ahead, but it is declining very slightly. Apple isn’t shipping that many more Macs year-to-year to people switching from Linux. And remember, Windows 7 is gaining because of people replacing Windows XP and Vista PCs, not converts.

    • Anonymous

      I read that MAC’s overall marketshare was down worldwide. Much of those was due to Win 7 and ipads.

    • Mark

      MS should have done it a lot sooner instead of letting Apple control the conversation.

  • Adamvm

    All this blah blah over which is better. They both do the same thing. I firmly believe that Win 7 is every bit as stable as OSX whatever it is these days, Tiger, Girraffe Lady bug, take your pick. If people want to get less Mac, than they could PC for the money it’s their choice. I happen to really enjoy my Windows 7. It’s not a hard decision. I can get a 6 core PC with great video and lots of RAM or a lower range Mac. Choices are good.

    • Anonymous

      I’ve recently gone from Win7 to a Mac, and even though I spent $1800 on this laptop, I have yet to feel a spec of regret. All I’ve done so far is wonder why I waited so long. W7 runs beautifully on it too, and WP7 Connect for Mac is good.

      I guess it’s all down to choice. But I will say this: Apple is getting better at their prices. The new iMac, which is $1200 for the lowest, is quite a powerful computer. I believe it gives you value for the money you pay for it, considering an IPS LED display found on the iMacs would be like 600-700 alone.

    • Anonymous

      you can’t compare a 200$ laptop against a 1.8k system.

      Here is a good comparison (3 years back):
      Dell Latitude E6400 14inch vs MacBook Pro 13inch.
      Size difference is minimal as they are both 16:10 aspect ration. Also note that back the days, the latest processor was the Core 2 Duo for laptop (and Quad for select 17inch+ gaming (Alienware) computers.)

      The Dell Latitude E6400 is ~1600$ You have:
      – Back lit keyboard
      – Ambient light sensor
      – Latest gen Core 2 Duo P series
      – More powerful GPU (Quadro NVS 160M – a Geforce 9300M but with 256MB of dedicated memory instead of shared)
      – 4GB of RAM or more
      – 3 year warranty with 3 year next business day on site service. That means for 3 years they come to YOU, exactly when you want, starting the next business day to fix your system, in front of you, ensuring it’s done correctly, and that it’s fixed.
      – 10 hours and half of battery life (real time, with HDD, and 9-cell battery)
      – powered eSATA/USB combo + 3 USB + Display port + VGA + SD card reader
      – 1 screw panel for full internal access
      – Magnesium alloy construct
      – System is super solid
      – Clean OS disk (Vista 64-bit, and later WIn7 64-bit) and driver disk included (no images)
      – 0 flex keyboard
      – Good touchpad
      – Cool and ultra quiet operation (the fan rarely spins. I believe they were able to achieve this by using the metal base of the laptop as a heat-sink)
      – Thin and small 90W PSU

      The Mac Book Pro was 1800$ at the time.
      – Similar specs, as you can see.
      – only 1 year warranty, with normal ship it and wait a week or 2 service. Unless you are crazy lucky and have an App Store, which you need free time to go there twice, and wait 24 hours at best for it to be fixed.
      – Slower GPU (Geforce 9300M, uses the system RAM for memory)
      – Glossy screen
      – Does not come with Windows, so you need to add that
      – 7 hours at best battery life
      – non-changeable battery
      – Heavier
      – Difficult to access system internal
      – lower screen resolution
      > Up side is that the PSU is even smaller.

      Soo, clearly the Dell Latitude E6400 is the better choice. You get a lot more for your money, same quality, slightly faster battery life, longer battery life, similar specs and features.

      You guys should stop looking at retail stores… These system there are for people who seek 1 thing and 1 thing only. Price. Lower it is, the better. They don’t care about anything else.

    • Anonymous

      you can’t compare a 200$ laptop against a 1.8k system.

      Here is a good comparison (3 years back):
      Dell Latitude E6400 14inch vs MacBook Pro 13inch.
      Size difference is minimal as they are both 16:10 aspect ration. Also note that back the days, the latest processor was the Core 2 Duo for laptop (and Quad for select 17inch+ gaming (Alienware) computers.)

      The Dell Latitude E6400 is ~1600$ You have:
      – Back lit keyboard
      – Ambient light sensor
      – Latest gen Core 2 Duo P series
      – More powerful GPU (Quadro NVS 160M – a Geforce 9300M but with 256MB of dedicated memory instead of shared)
      – 4GB of RAM or more
      – 3 year warranty with 3 year next business day on site service. That means for 3 years they come to YOU, exactly when you want, starting the next business day to fix your system, in front of you, ensuring it’s done correctly, and that it’s fixed.
      – 10 hours and half of battery life (real time, with HDD, and 9-cell battery)
      – powered eSATA/USB combo + 3 USB + Display port + VGA + SD card reader
      – 1 screw panel for full internal access
      – Magnesium alloy construct
      – System is super solid
      – Clean OS disk (Vista 64-bit, and later WIn7 64-bit) and driver disk included (no images)
      – 0 flex keyboard
      – Good touchpad
      – Cool and ultra quiet operation (the fan rarely spins. I believe they were able to achieve this by using the metal base of the laptop as a heat-sink)
      – Thin and small 90W PSU

      The Mac Book Pro was 1800$ at the time.
      – Similar specs, as you can see.
      – only 1 year warranty, with normal ship it and wait a week or 2 service. Unless you are crazy lucky and have an App Store, which you need free time to go there twice, and wait 24 hours at best for it to be fixed.
      – Slower GPU (Geforce 9300M, uses the system RAM for memory)
      – Glossy screen
      – Does not come with Windows, so you need to add that
      – 7 hours at best battery life
      – non-changeable battery
      – Heavier
      – Difficult to access system internal
      – lower screen resolution
      > Up side is that the PSU is even smaller.

      Soo, clearly the Dell Latitude E6400 is the better choice. You get a lot more for your money, same quality, slightly faster battery life, longer battery life, similar specs and features.

      You guys should stop looking at retail stores… These system there are for people who seek 1 thing and 1 thing only. Price. Lower it is, the better. They don’t care about anything else.

    • Larry

      I have a 2009 Unibody Mac, that I must use for work as in work gave it to me so I can support some C users that have Mac and need to connect to the Windows world at work.

      Windows 7 SUCKS on it. The drivers from Apple for stuff I cant find other place, like power managment suck. The battery life while using Windows 7 is about half as much.

      The effing trackpad is annoying constantly grabing stuff and dragging it or deleting stuff with the touch of a hair going across it, especially since Apple does not provide a way of turning it off when a USB mouse is plugged into it…….like they do while in OS X on the same hardware.

      Add to that the jacked keyboard (try doing a Alt-Print Screen), running Windows 7 on a Macbook is for morons.

      They are of course great for OS X, but I need to actually use my computer in the corporate world and use it for more that iPhoto or Facebook surfing.

      The hardware is top notch in terms of looks and some things like the plower adapter are cool, but take a step back and its just another computer, save for the much higher cost.

      It will be in a landfill in 5-6 years just like a plastic Dell, Toshiba, Sony, HP etc.

  • Anonymous

    I welcome comparisons, but if you’re gonna do comparisons, at least do them right. MBA’s are compared to shit slow netbooks, which the MBA burns in terms of speed, and with the 15″ They use the higher-end model, just to make it seem more expensive. They also don’t tell you that the MBP is a quadcore, and is faster than any of them.

    Nice to see you’re spreading lies Microsoft. I like my WP7, I use it with my mac and dual boot W7, just as a disclaimer.

    • Anonymous

      Valid point with the MBA for sure, netbook are not very comparable for sure. But atleast here in canada the 15″ MBP at 1900$ is weaker than a XPS 15 with quad core at 1000$. Apple isn’t competitive in price with Macs, that’s a fact that can’t be denied.

    • Anonymous

      I don’t know, really. Compare the MBP’s with a computer that’s ATLEAST in their quality range. Take the Vaio line, for example. A Vaio equal to my current MBP would be atleast the same price, or a little bit less. Or maybe Vaio’s are overpriced too, which is also a possibility.

    • Anonymous

      I don’t know, really. Compare the MBP’s with a computer that’s ATLEAST in their quality range. Take the Vaio line, for example. A Vaio equal to my current MBP would be atleast the same price, or a little bit less. Or maybe Vaio’s are overpriced too, which is also a possibility.

    • Thinkdifferent

      They’re not comparing it directly to a netbook. They’re offering the netbook as part of a range of alternatives, which for some it might be. If you’re buying the MBA because you want small and portable, obviously a netbook is an alternative. It’s why Apple came up with the new MBA in the first place. Is the MBA faster? Yes. But mostly because of the SSD. Does it have limited storage compared to the netbook? Absolutely. Would that be a problem for many users? Sure. Anybody with a large media collection for example. Could you add an external drive to make up for that? Yes, but that adds to the MBA’s cost and detracts from portability. Can you upgrade the netbook’s hard drive for $100 to SSD? Yes. Would you still be way ahead financially? Yes.

  • http://twitter.com/s_a_r_k_i_s sarkis chamelian

    Windows 8 Needs to HURRY UP !

  • http://twitter.com/s_a_r_k_i_s sarkis chamelian

    Windows 8 Needs to HURRY UP !

  • shivasakti

    oh really really dumb comparison… how could you compare the metal enclosure unibody and flash drive… with dumb plastic notebook… he2 …..

  • superpooburger

    LOL looks like ppl who work at MS is IDIOTS.

    • Anonymous

      You didn’t caplitalize “looks”, spelled “people” wrong and used “is” when you should have used “are.”
      That was just bugging me.

    • Anonymous

      You didn’t caplitalize “looks”, spelled “people” wrong and used “is” when you should have used “are.”
      That was just bugging me.

    • Anonymous

      You didn’t caplitalize “looks”, spelled “people” wrong and used “is” when you should have used “are.”
      That was just bugging me.

    • Anonymous

      You didn’t caplitalize “looks”, spelled “people” wrong and used “is” when you should have used “are.”
      That was just bugging me.

  • Anonymous

    Here’s an idea to stop losing PC users to Mac. Make better laptops. Windows isn’t the problem. PC manufacturers are.

    Envy’s and the Samsung Series 9 are pretty much the only worthwhile laptops right now IMO and the Envy still needs serious work. Step it up and there would be no need for things like this. People buy Macs mostly “because they’re pretty”. Stop installing crapware that ruins computers. Give every computer a Microsoft Signature image and suck up the loss of $10 bucks now versus a few hundred later.

    • Tom

      Exactly! Microsoft’s OEM “partners” are anything but. Instead of working to produce the best Windows machines possible, they’re destroying the Windows brand.

      It’s very short-sighted of the partners. The loss of craplet preload revenues would be offset to a large extent by reduced customer support costs.

    • Tom

      Exactly! Microsoft’s OEM “partners” are anything but. Instead of working to produce the best Windows machines possible, they’re destroying the Windows brand.

      It’s very short-sighted of the partners. The loss of craplet preload revenues would be offset to a large extent by reduced customer support costs.

    • Tom

      Exactly! Microsoft’s OEM “partners” are anything but. Instead of working to produce the best Windows machines possible, they’re destroying the Windows brand.

      It’s very short-sighted of the partners. The loss of craplet preload revenues would be offset to a large extent by reduced customer support costs.

    • Mark

      The OEMs could definitely step it up. But you still have to look at the overall value proposition for the consumer. The biggest factor missing on the cost equation above is the hassle factor associated with Windows and the malware that targets it. I informally act as tech support for my neighbors. At least once every couple of months one of them gets infected beyond their ability to repair it. The last one took me hours to recover (registry corruption), and I actually know what I’m doing. Now, in fairness, where I’ve managed to get them over to W7 (from XP) there’s been a reduction in problems. But still there are regular issues. Now I personally think Mac hardware is overpriced, and if HP had had every plastic case crack after less than three years it wouldn’t have been “that’s the way they are”. It would have been a forced recall. But having said that, that’s the appeal of Macs to a lot of former Windows users: more computing, less maintenance. Also, Live still isn’t competitive with iLife and many OEMs don’t include it anyway. And OS X has come a long way, especially from a consumer perspective. It;s the little things like built in spell checker. Duh.

      BTW, I’m still a PC with W7. Just sayin…

    • Anonymous

      Wrong, the only reason I have ever considered switching was that macbooks look better than anything on the market. PC manufacturers are MS worst problem, with stupid AV manufactures being a close second. I can’t count the number of times I have walked into a computer store and saw the message “your antiVirus is needs to be registered or something like that all over the screen. Mean while the Macs have some video playing. Just poor presentation from the stores.

  • http://www.Nave360.com Sebastian Gorgon

    You should use that Tom, it would do you good

  • http://profiles.google.com/pappas215 Mark Pappas

    I made the switch to the new quad core i7 15″ macbook pro and after being a windows user my entire life I will never go back. I still have several windows machines but they are now getting zero use other than a home theater server.

  • MikeE

    The funny thing is, most people that posted anything on here that are MAC users.. stated they are running Windows 7 on it.. lol.. If you ‘converted’ over to MAC and it’s so much better.. why not drop Windows altogether? haha.. MAC’s don’t get viruses or anything right? must have not read that post about the MAC specific spyware .. The point is.. Windows dominates the market.. and not barely.. i mean.. DOMINATES the market..

    • Mark

      It’s a Windows blog. Why would you expect Mac users here to be representative of Apple’s base generally?

      Mac viruses are exceedingly rare. The Mac isn’t immune. In fact in many ways its security has lagged W7. But if you rarely get them, then from a user’s perspective it’s effectively the same as being immune. That’s slowly changing with some of the more recent social malware products, but it’s still a small number and neglible compared to those targeting Windows.

      MS does still dominate the PC market. But its been steadily losing share to Mac since Vista. That’s a problem. Also, if you include iPads, MS lost about as much share in the last year as they did in the previous ten. That’s a very big problem.

    • Anonymous

      iPads don’t compete with Windows. It’s pretty rare someone buys one instead of a computer. For now, they’re companion devices. So, it’s illogical and biased to include iPads in desktop OS market share statistics.

    • Mark

      People who study the market for a living put the rate of cannibilization at 30%+. MS themselves admit that netbook sales dropped 40% last quarter, and that tablets played a role in that. iPads and other tablets are competing against Windows for a segment of the market. Sorry.

  • MikeE

    The funny thing is, most people that posted anything on here that are MAC users.. stated they are running Windows 7 on it.. lol.. If you ‘converted’ over to MAC and it’s so much better.. why not drop Windows altogether? haha.. MAC’s don’t get viruses or anything right? must have not read that post about the MAC specific spyware .. The point is.. Windows dominates the market.. and not barely.. i mean.. DOMINATES the market..

  • MikeE

    The funny thing is, most people that posted anything on here that are MAC users.. stated they are running Windows 7 on it.. lol.. If you ‘converted’ over to MAC and it’s so much better.. why not drop Windows altogether? haha.. MAC’s don’t get viruses or anything right? must have not read that post about the MAC specific spyware .. The point is.. Windows dominates the market.. and not barely.. i mean.. DOMINATES the market..

  • MikeE

    The funny thing is, most people that posted anything on here that are MAC users.. stated they are running Windows 7 on it.. lol.. If you ‘converted’ over to MAC and it’s so much better.. why not drop Windows altogether? haha.. MAC’s don’t get viruses or anything right? must have not read that post about the MAC specific spyware .. The point is.. Windows dominates the market.. and not barely.. i mean.. DOMINATES the market..

  • Anonymous

    This much is true: The drivers make all the difference. Win 7 runs MUCH faster on my HP hardware then it does on my newer Mac. The drivers are the only thing I can think of that would make sense. Now the question is, does Apple make crappy Win 7 drivers on purpose or because they don’t care about quality. BTW, my Mac collects dust most of the time. It was a waste of money for me.

  • Anonymous

    I think the problem is the IPAD. I have windows 7 on my brand new desktop (highest sandybridge processor out) and now i use my ipad 2 as my laptop. So where is the comparisons of that to a notebook.

    PS for other things i have a $200 eee pc 9 inch that is running windows 7.

  • Anonymous

    The Samsung 900X3A’s price is listed $900? Where?!?

    I just paid £1,275 ($2000+) for it on Amazon.co.uk and I wont be getting it until the end of May-June.
    If anyone knows where I can get it for that price please let me know, I’ll cancel that and reorder

  • Anonymous

    For an OS marketed as being “easy to use,” Mac OS X is really used mostly by very technically profecient users. Heck, almost every single person I know who uses a Mac is a programmer or something (I still know by far more PC using programmers though). Quite honestly, I don’t find Mac OS any easier to use than Windows- although it’s definitely easier to use than any distro of Linux.
    That all being said, choice of OS is either a matter of a matter of preference or a matter of what you’re doing with it. There is no “better” OS really. I’ve used Macs extensively in the past for my jobs, and I honestly just prefer Windows.

  • Weeds

    You’ll havE lots of money left over to buy antivirus software.

  • Jhgrunse

    People want a Mac because it is a Mac. Will last MUCH longer, just to say one thing. The ad is like putting a cheap Chevy next to a Volvo, and saying “Look how much you save!” Remember, Microsoft doesn’t make hardware.
    Besides, Snow Leopard costs (here) Eur 30,=Win 7 between Eur 80,= and 150,=Do the math!

  • Delta

    I think everyone here is forgetting the fact that Apple isn’t actually a company; they’re a religious cult that happens to produce a line of products and has the company front to satisfy the legalities. It doesn’t matter if their hardware/software is superior or inferior, costs more or less and has better or worse aesthetics. The only thing that matters is that Steve Jobs has blessed the products, and then told everyone that they want it.

    • http://doctorwhofan98.wordpress.com/ doctorwhofan98

      @df9a1cf20ade75597d7ea8e4b7c5aa9c:disqus I agree with that entirely!!