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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.