After I finished writing about the oddities and errors in the white paper Microsoft released today about the so-called “Apple Tax,” I read a post on the same topic by Joe Wilcox over at eWeek. He said the charts in the paper, which is credited to Roger Kay of Endpoint Technologies, looked vaguely familiar. They did to me, too. So I dug through my e-mail to find the stuff Microsoft had sent me in the past about Windows PC and Mac pricing,
Here’s a chart that a Microsoft representative sent me back on October 24th, comparing the MacBooks against Windows laptops (sorry it’s so small):
And here’s the laptop comparison chart in the new white paper:
This is a chart on Mac and Windows desktops that Microsoft sent me on January 5th, when it and the world thought Apple might announce one or more cheap new Macs at Macworld Expo (it didn’t):
And here’s the desktop chart in the white paper:
Both charts have gotten updates–for instance, the new laptop one has the $999 MacBook with a DVD burner (which is right, even though it’s not the $999 MacBook configuration you’ll buy today) and some of the PCs are different.
I’m not saying there’s anything fishy going on here–maybe Microsoft hired Endpoint to create the charts and analysis it sent out earlier, but didn’t credit it that time. But it’s worth noting that the new charts aren’t really new–they’re updates (albeit insufficiently updated ones) to ones that Microsoft was distributing under its own name several months ago. And Kay’s argument that the cost of Apple-brand networking equipment and a Sony Blu-Ray player is a penalty Mac owners must pay is also repeated from another round of materials that a Microsoft representative sent me on October 13th.
Bottom line: The white paper is a rehash, not a revelation…