Vista: May not innovate, but don't discredit its value....


R

RMZ

I'm a bit tired of hearing all the negative Windows Vista talk. Is
anyone else? Yes I know many of the features have already been done in
MacOS, but I think the media has missed an important point and that is
Vista brings the luxury features of MacOS down to economy class
Windows; I'll explain.

The big Vista comparisons are with Apple's MacOS. In recent years,
Apple is gaining market share and rightfully so, Apple is doing an
outstanding job, they provide great support and market research
indicates they build great products. But is Apple lieing to consumers
to help gain that market share? I I was in an Apple store this past
weekend and was told by one the sales staff "MacBook's are priced very
competitively with Windows Notebooks", those opinions may have been
his exclusively, but it's also possible he was trained to give that
response.

I found that statement to be untrue and I think in proving it to be
untrue Vista's value is realized. So I did some research. For $1099
you can get an entry level MacBook: 13" screen, relies on Intel Core 2
Duo's integrated GMA 950 for graphics, has 512 MB of RAM and comes
with a 60-GB hard drive. WiFi included but the modem, video out, SD
card reader, and DVD writer are all missing... Shop around and you'll
find Windows Notebook's with similar configuration in the $600-$700
range.

If you move a step up, the $1299 MacBook adds a DVD writer, more RAM
and a bigger hard drive. In comparison, BestBuy has Windows (Vista)
based Toshiba notebooks comparable to this for around $700. Dell and
HP on-line can produce notebooks comparable for under $850. So I found
about a $450-$600 price gap in the low-end Macs compared to the same
hardware in Windows notebooks. For the high-end I compared the top of
the line MacBook Pro ($2799 model) with an identical Dell Inspirion.
The Dell came out to $2049 (identical CPU, RAM capacity and speed and
similar ATI video card). A comparable HP with a slightly slower Intel
Core 2 Duo chip came out to $1870.

So given this, I think the Apple clerk is misleading customers and
should be up front about MacBooks being positioned as luxury/high-end
products as there is a 25-30% markup cost a consumer will pay to have
the Mac experience. Granted you don't get all the Mac atheistic on the
Windows Notebooks, but the noticeable Mac extras ( i.e. built in cam)
are now available at nominal cost (e.g. $50) by some PC vendors.

Once you've paid out the 25-30% markup cost, if you want to take
advantage of gaming and the software library of Windows on your Mac,
the option is there, but you're out $80 for Parallels Desktop and at
least $300 for a licensed copy of Windows, to me that's a lot. Without
adding the Windows compatibility, what does MacOS offer that Vista
doesn't? Well, Apple provides the pack-in iLife. iLine looks pretty
cool, but to me the biggest advantage iLife has over the apps included
with Vista is GarageBand. Mac users love GarageBand, it's a hit, but
the thing about it is, out of the box it's pretty useless to a new
MacBook owner. They will need an external FireWire or USB 2 audio
interface to record anything with it.... M-Audio is the most popular
vendor for external audio interfaces and even their least expensive
interface includes a free version of the audio software Ableton Live,
which can do everything GarageBand can and quite a bit more.

So when it comes to software, what can you run on a Mac that you can't
run on Windows system? The only software is the Apple first-party
stuff like Logic Pro, Final Cut Pro, etc... and those programs at this
point have competitors with more market share. Competitors who are
innovating and taking the lead. For example, Pro Tools is the #1
digital audio workstation software for commerical studios and has been
for some time and it runs on Windows and Mac. For 3D rendering, Maya
runs on both, while the popular SoftImage appears to be for Windows/
Linux only.

So I'm thinking although Vista may not be anything innovative, it does
help close this gap by offering a lot of the functionality that's been
up to this point exclusive in MacOS for Windows users. That does
devalue the MacOS if you think about it. Imagine if automatic locks
and power steering were only available on luxury cars and all of a
sudden Toyota starts offering those features on their economy cars
(you know, the Camry which cost 30% less than the Lexus model X). All
of a sudden that feature is no longer a luxury feature.

This is what I see happening with PC's. Apple is the luxury brand
(they produce the quality and experience to rightfully claim that),
but they are extreemly good at convincing consumers they are a economy
brand and they are extreemly clever about devaluing Vista and
Microsoft in general through creative advertising, when the reality
is, if the auto industry analogy is valid, Vista actually stands to
devalue MacOS a great deal, since most it cost 25-30% less (market
research shows most consumers won't update until they pay a new PC, so
when selecting a Vista PC over a similar MacOS PC, as of now there is
a 25-30% gap for the consumer).

The disconnect here is that Microsoft doesn't sell hardware, so it's
outside their domain to publicize the cost of Windows PCs.
 
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J

jim

can you scan and post the check microsoft sent you to fill us up with
propaganda?

Im just curious to see if it was signed by Gates himself
 
D

Dennis Pack

Jim:
The prices listed are in line with advertised prices available in
the Detroit area. MAC has always been more expensive, that's a known fact.
Your complaint is that you don't have a shadow answer to hide the facts. How
much is MAC paying you to hype their product on a Windows newsgroup?
 
J

jim

Mac and MS both wanted to pay me.....

so I ditched both and now Im telling you to get linux

hehe
 
S

Saucy Lemon

Apple computers are more expensive than PCs here. By quite a bit.

Saucy Lemon
 
S

Saucy Lemon

And OS X is looking dated. And the silver / white is virtually
uncustomizable and has gotten boring even for the window shopper who doesn't
have to look at it every day (pardon the pun).

Saucy Lemon
 
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J

jim

I have to agree with you MacOSx does look outdated....

I have seen a skin program for macs similar to what windowblinds does for
PCs
 

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