Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Macs vs. PCs: Is it still a ‘tax’ if users happily pay a premium?

It’s the eve of MacWorld Expo and Microsoft officials are out talking up the idea of the “Apple tax” again.

The Windows team last mentioned the Apple tax concept during Microsoft’s Professional Developers Conference (PDC) in late October. Then, as now, the Softies’ contention is that Apple’s higher prices — coupled with fewer natively ported apps — is making Macs less appealing to customers and partners.

“Apple had an excellent ride through October, but Windows is turning the corner now,” Brad Brooks, the Microsoft Corporate Vice President of Windows Consumer Marketing, told me during a phone interview on January 5.

Brooks hinted that new market data which will go public during the Consumer Electronics Show later this week will prove Microsoft’s claims. But he had no numbers to share today. Microsoft also is touting this week a chart that it plans to update once Apple makes any new MacWorld announcements that is designed to show that Windows PCs best Apple systems at every price point in terms of cost and functionality, Brooks said.

(Click on the chart below to see Microsoft’s Apple Tax spec sheet.)

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