New Microsoft ad skewers 'too cool' Macs

In a new advert, Microsoft has taken aim at Apple on a level everybody can understand: price. Thrill as our plucky heroine searches for a laptop that'll cost her less than $1,000

Microsoft has taken aim at the one difference between Windows and Apple computers that everyone can understand: the price. A new ad shows flighty redhead 'Lauren' looking for a 17-inch laptop for less than $1,000. We won't spoil the ending, but let us put it this way: what she ends up with doesn't have a lit-up fruit on it.

On specs alone, an Apple computer will almost always be more expensive than a machine running Windows. Windows fans claim Mac users pay a premium for design superficialities and the supposed coolness of an Apple logo. Apple counters that a Mac product is a complete package of software and hardware, so direct hardware comparison is pointless. The Mac vs PC duel goes back and forth in a hair-pulling flame war we won't get into here.

The new commercial is a departure from the short-lived off-the-wall ads pairing Bill Gates with Jerry Seinfeld, and develops the more conventional I'm a PC ads. By explicitly attacking Apple, Microsoft is taking a risk, as the infamous "I'm a Mac, I'm a PC" ads split opinions. At least MS has side-stepped the smug factor that saw the British versions fail to last long.

In fact, Microsoft is using the price as a starting point, and is really skewering the perceived smug factor of the stereotypical Mac user. When the clearly-not-uncool laptop-seeker Lauren muses, "I'm just not cool enough to be a Mac person," it's meant to get us normal, everyday folk thinking, "Who the heck do these self-satisfied Apple hipsters think they are?"

Crave appreciates both Macs and Windows computers. With a Windows machine you get a wider range of customisable options and better performance in areas such as gaming. With Macs you get a beautifully designed and neatly integrated fusion of hardware and software. And yes, part of the higher price is to do with coolness, but cachet costs in every product: that's why a Mercedes costs more than a Mazda. Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference. This Craver loves Windows. Loves turning it off and going home to his MacBook, that is.

About the author

Rich Trenholm is a senior editor at CNET where he covers everything from phones to bionic implants. Based in London since 2007, he has travelled the world seeking out the latest and best consumer technology for your enjoyment.


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