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Ballmer Scorns Apple As a $500 Logo

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the upholding-shareholder-value dept.

Microsoft 1147

theodp writes "Speaking at a conference in NYC, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer did his best to refan the flames of the Mac vs. PC rivalry: 'Now I think the tide has really turned back the other direction [against Apple],' Ballmer said. 'The economy is helpful. Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment — same piece of hardware — paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be.'"

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It seems ironic... (5, Insightful)

pushing-robot (1037830) | more than 5 years ago | (#27280513)

Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment — same piece of hardware — paying $500 more to get a logo on it?

...that the head of Microsoft would apparently put no value on software.

Re:It seems ironic... (1)

MagusSlurpy (592575) | more than 5 years ago | (#27280611)

I'm sure he's looking at it from the view of, "Every computer in the world should be running Windows!"

Re:It seems ironic... (2, Insightful)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 5 years ago | (#27280663)

> ...that the head of Microsoft would apparently put no value on software.

Except we know the value of the software, Apple sells it seperately for $130, or about what an OEM edition of Vista Business adds to a typical Dell.

No, the price difference is so the Faithful can run around flaunting their glowing logo and think they are superior people. Bah.

Re:It seems ironic... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27280701)

You seem to be neglecting the difference between cost and value. Leopard may cost $129, the same as an OEM edition of Vista but I wouldn't take Vista for free (in fact you'd have to pay me a pretty penny to make me take it and use it) but I happily paid a $500 'logo tax' for my copy of Leopard.

Also, if you do the math (and assume it is a $500 logo tax) and use your Mac every day--for three or more years--that's less than $0.50 a day for a substantially better user experience.

Is there a gas leak in here? (3, Insightful)

cizoozic (1196001) | more than 5 years ago | (#27280827)

I wouldn't take Vista for free but I happily paid a $500 'logo tax'

Why can't people just prefer apple, and not be fanatical about it? Oh, right, because then that wouldn't justify the increased expense.

Personally I like the hardware and design of the MacBook Pro, the software is nice too, but for me it's not worth the extra coin.

Re:It seems ironic... (2)

eat here_get gas (907110) | more than 5 years ago | (#27281009)

and exactly what 3D-graphic games are you running on this "corporate logo" or "windows-free" computer that results in a

substantially better user experience?

Re:It seems ironic... (4, Insightful)

djmurdoch (306849) | more than 5 years ago | (#27280737)

The $130 doesn't get you an OS that will run on commodity hardware. First you have to pay the monopoly fee, i.e. the first copy costs $630, the upgrades are $130.

Re:It seems ironic... (4, Informative)

Penguin Follower (576525) | more than 5 years ago | (#27280747)

hmmm. See, when I shopped for my Mac Pro back in 2007 and compared it to an equivalently equipped Dell Precision workstation, the Dell was actually $100 more. Most people are not comparing like hardware when they are looking at a Mac. I can't say for the iMacs if it holds true because I've never wanted an all in one computer, and so I've never bothered to do a comparison....

Re:It seems ironic... (4, Insightful)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 5 years ago | (#27280891)

Yeah, there are times where Apples will actually be cheaper, but they update their product line less frequently than Dell. So sometimes there is a huge difference in price ( with apple's more expensive), and some times it goes the other ea slightly. I think when I bought my mac book it was $150 more than the equivalent Dell. But I could also have gone with a less powerful machine and saved more with Dell. That, I think is what most people think of. Apple's product line up has less offerings than dell, so Dell has some price points that Apple doesn't compete at.

Re:It seems ironic... (2, Interesting)

arcsimm (1084173) | more than 5 years ago | (#27280949)

Funny, because when I ordered my Thinkpad T61p last year, I specced out an equivalent MacBook Pro and it cost about $600 more than the Black Slab O' Doom. Sure, it isn't made out of shiny brushed aluminum and it doesn't have a battery that will last for a 1000 charges (and then be un-serviceable without voiding the warranty on the whole damn thing) but I doubt anobody would impugn the quality of the Thinkpads, Lenovo or IBM.

Generally speaking, Dell isn't a good value, for sure, but if you shop around a bit you can get better system for a fair chunk of change less than a Mac.

Re:It seems ironic... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27280795)

I know idiots who feel all superior because they run windows, or linux as well. Unless your suggesting they are superior?
>No, the price difference is so the Faithful can run around flaunting their glowing logo and think they are superior people.

Re:It seems ironic... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27280957)

I hate people who top-post

Re:It seems ironic... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27280711)

That's because apple software has no value.

Hardly surprising... (5, Insightful)

tgibbs (83782) | more than 5 years ago | (#27280767)

The price differential exists precisely because the head of Microsoft doesn't understand what it is about Apple software that causes many people to consider an Apple computer to be worth a few hundred bucks more than a similar-spec Windows machine.

Re:It seems ironic... (2, Informative)

Elektroschock (659467) | more than 5 years ago | (#27280779)

Apple is the most proprietary system.

So what is the difference?

Microsoft is ideological. Apple has its open source kernel, it has DRM, it sues bloggers, it is more stylish, it makes you appear homosexual, all of everything.

So why do people dislike Microsoft? Is it because the company plays straight evil. Because if lobbies foreign governments and obstructs interoperability and open source policies.

Re:It seems ironic... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27280871)

I'm glad it makes one appear homosexual, because I am homosexual.

I also use a Mac.

Re:It seems ironic... (1)

fluch (126140) | more than 5 years ago | (#27280959)

...that the head of Microsoft would apparently put no value on software.

Not that Microsofts software would be worth any penny...

Re:It seems ironic... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27280971)

He is completely right. It's fact that other computers can run OS X very well, sometimes even better, and for much less money. This is a fact. If you check the hackintosh site, they even list the Dells and HPs that can run OS X out of the box.

Apple could easily gain more market share if they practiced more aggressive pricing.

Re:It seems ironic... (2, Interesting)

unlametheweak (1102159) | more than 5 years ago | (#27281007)

No it's not just about software. When you buy an Apple computer, your not spending the extra $500.00 on hardware and software; you're spending the extra $500.00 on the Reality Distortion Field [wikipedia.org]

Not that he's far off the mark, but... (5, Funny)

cizoozic (1196001) | more than 5 years ago | (#27280521)

Jealousy is a stinky cologne, Stevie. ;)

Additional Ballmer comments... (5, Funny)

Brett Buck (811747) | more than 5 years ago | (#27280523)

"And, they keep changing the OS and user interface faster than we can copy it! Bastards"

          Brett

Misdirection (5, Funny)

schmidt349 (690948) | more than 5 years ago | (#27280525)

I pay the extra $500 not so much to get the Apple logo on my computer as to keep the Microsoft logo (and hence the Blue Screen of Death) off of it.

Re:Misdirection (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27280547)

I gladly pay the extra $500 to Apple rather than spend them towards Ballmers salary. I do not like MS business practices and I am voting with my wallet.

Re:Misdirection (3, Insightful)

MrCrassic (994046) | more than 5 years ago | (#27280697)

I don't agree with a lot of Apple's vice-grip control over their software and hardware, but I'd gladly pay $500 in order to install OS X legitimately and still be able to use Windows when I need to.

Actually, I'd probably be able to SAVE in doing so, since refurbished Macbooks and Mac Pros can run cheaper than new Dells and carry the same quality and warranty policies as their off-the-shelf products. All I know is that my next notebook is absolutely going to be a Macbook or a Macbook Pro. I'm done with Windows-only machines.

Re:Misdirection (0, Flamebait)

Draek (916851) | more than 5 years ago | (#27280753)

Then vote with your wallet for something *worth* it, and buy laptops preloaded with either Linux or FreeDOS. Replacing Apple with Microsoft would get you exactly as we got when we replaced IBM with Microsoft: same thing as before, only worse.

Re:Misdirection (5, Interesting)

torkus (1133985) | more than 5 years ago | (#27280765)

Apple is any better? It's not like MS sues people for running windows on non-standard hardware. It's not like MS refuses to 'license' applications for windows mobile. It's not like MS requires you to become a paid developer to write applications for their mobile OS either.

I'm no MS fanboy, but i'm no huge apple fan either. Both do their share of questionable things but I'd have to say that MS is actually the more open of the two.

And really, one look at the prices and specs of the new mini's should tell you that apple's grossly overpriced. I can buy a better specced *laptop* for less than the cost of a mini.

Re:Misdirection (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27280831)

*blink* I own and Apple, and I like it, but seriously... you're choosing Apple over Microsoft because of business practices? That's like saying you're choosing horseshit over bullshit because everybody knows bullshit stinks. News flash: horseshit stinks as much as bullshit, and Apple's business practices and customer treatment are often just as reprehensible as Microsoft's.

It's fine to use a Mac if you like it, but really, don't think you're "sticking it to the man" by avoiding Microsoft. You're just giving money to a smaller but far more tyrannical company.

Re:Misdirection (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27280583)

Sorry I like Choice, Apple gives you none. I like my standard PC hardware, I can install what-ever I want on it.. I don't really care to pay extra for an apple logo..

Re:Misdirection (5, Funny)

fastest fascist (1086001) | more than 5 years ago | (#27280731)

Rumour has it there's a non-Microsoft OS available for PCs, as well. In fact, I heard something about them having some kind of "year of the desktop" promotion and giving it out for free. I can't remember what it's called, maybe someone here can help...

Can get a PC cheaper than a M$ OS (1, Informative)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#27280909)

Rumour has it there's a non-Microsoft OS available for PCs, as well. In fact, I heard something about them having some kind of "year of the desktop" promotion and giving it out for free.

It's called Ubuntu. PCs with Ubuntu Desktop start at $249 [dell.com] , which is less than the MSRP of Windows Vista Business OS alone.

Re:Misdirection (2, Insightful)

The Bungi (221687) | more than 5 years ago | (#27281031)

the Blue Screen of Death

1996 called, he wants his meme back.

End of the world (4, Insightful)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 5 years ago | (#27280535)

I'm agreeing with Balmer... so hell has frozen over.

I've better go dump all my money while I can. Maybe I'll get a mac.

It's the software, stupid. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27280543)

same piece of hardware â" paying $500 more to get a logo on it?

--

Users are more than happy to pay more to buy a tool that isn't a bug-laden, bloated POS thanks to the software that Mr. Balmer's company provides, thank you.

Dear Apple (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27280549)

Dear Apple,

I am a homosexual. I bought an Apple computer because of its well earned reputation for being "the" gay computer. Since I have become an Apple owner, I have been exposed to a whole new world of gay friends. It is really a pleasure to meet and compute with other homos such as myself.

I plan on using my new Apple computer as a way to entice and recruit young schoolboys into the homosexual lifestyle; it would be so helpful if you could produce more software which would appeal to young boys. Thanks in advance.

with much gayness,

Father Randy "Pudge" O'Day, S.J.

Many differences but... (2, Interesting)

kandela (835710) | more than 5 years ago | (#27280571)

There are many differences between Microsoft and Apple but Balmer does have a point. Apple really make you pay for their branding.

How much is it really worth to have a white laptop for instance?

Note: Maybe this is flamebait, but if so the article/Balmer is/are trolling.

Re:Many differences but... (2, Funny)

bennomatic (691188) | more than 5 years ago | (#27280615)

How much is it really worth to have a white laptop for instance?

It's an especially interesting question when there are people who will then pay an additional $200 to get a black MacBook.

Re:Many differences but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27280735)

It's an especially interesting question when there are people who will then pay an additional $200 to get a black MacBook.

That should be "carved from a single block of aluminum" nowadays?

Re:Many differences but... (1)

mathx314 (1365325) | more than 5 years ago | (#27280837)

First, that's last generation MacBook, all of the new MacBooks and MacBook Pros look identical.

In defense of the old black MacBook, however, it was not the same as the white ones. It provided additional storage space and more RAM. Maybe not $200 worth, but this is Apple we're talking about.

Re:Many differences but... (5, Funny)

nEoN nOoDlE (27594) | more than 5 years ago | (#27280895)

How much is it really worth to have a white laptop for instance?

According to Apple, about 50 bucks less than having a matte black one.

Re:Many differences but... (4, Insightful)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 5 years ago | (#27280927)

First of all I don't think the price difference is anywhere near $500.
The simple truth is that Apple doesn't make any cheap PCs. They all seem to be well made with good components and with good support. All that really does cost money. I have only owned three apple products and all of them are iPods. They are all well made and have outlasted every other MP3 Player I have owned. My old Nano is just sitting since I got a touch but it works just fine.
Ballmer may be correct. Except that what that means is that people will settle for Windows but they still really want a Mac. That makes Windows what you get when you can not get anything else.
It also means that Windows could loose to Linux since it is even cheaper.
Not a good place to be. They are in the middle.
Plus Apple can always produce a cheaper PC if they want to. Can Microsoft make an OS cheaper than Linux?

I bought a Vista laptop (0, Flamebait)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 5 years ago | (#27280573)

several months back, but I managed to slap my Ubuntu install CD in the drive before it could get past BIOS post. Conversely, my brother runs Macs to avoid the Windows logo.

Re:I bought a Vista laptop (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27280681)

No-one cares.

Re:I bought a Vista laptop (1)

Penguin Follower (576525) | more than 5 years ago | (#27280775)

I care - but have to run windows because I work in a support role for an enterprise stuck in MS-land. At home I enjoy Macs however :D

As opposed to... (4, Insightful)

zr-rifle (677585) | more than 5 years ago | (#27280575)

>paying $500 more to get a logo on it?

As opposed to paying twice for the same, crappy OS...

I suppose it would be better, in a moment like this, to look for free alternatives... right?

and with that same philosophy (5, Insightful)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 5 years ago | (#27280577)

why pay X amount of dollars for microsoft-windows when you can get Linux for FREE!

Re:and with that same philosophy (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27280773)

why pay X amount of dollars for microsoft-windows when you can get Linux for FREE!

Uhhhmm...because Linux is shit.

Re:and with that same philosophy (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27280885)

You're new to /. aren't you?

Re:and with that same philosophy (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27280961)

musta been a type-o, i think he meant linux is THE shit. ;-)

Re:and with that same philosophy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27280855)

Why pay.... six dollars? Because that's what Dell pays Microsoft for each copy of Windows they include on their computers.

Re:and with that same philosophy (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#27281003)

why pay X amount of dollars for microsoft-windows when you can get Linux for FREE!

A few reasons:

  • Some people happen to own a lot of hardware with no Linux driver.
  • The unregistered shareware installed on major-label PCs subsidizes the price of an OEM Windows license. Evidence: Sony has experimented with charging PC buyers $50 not to install unregistered shareware [washingtonpost.com] .
  • Linux users may still have to buy CrossOver [codeweavers.com] to run apps and games that don't work well in vanilla Wine, at least without a lot of fiddling.
  • Web developers who run Linux need to test their sites on Windows Internet Explorer, a Windows OS component that's still the majority web browser on PCs.

Buy Apple Stock Now! (5, Insightful)

db32 (862117) | more than 5 years ago | (#27280581)

I seem to remember some other Ballmer moments of insight on Apple. There was that interview where he was laughing about how the iPhone was junk and Windows Mobile is the bestest evar. He also had some pretty amusing comparisons and whatnot between the wildly successful iPods and the Zune. I mean really now...aside from not selling for crap...the whole mass suicide on New Years was amazing...Apple clearly is failing because they haven't managed to have all of their products of a given model crash at the same time...

Seriously...this guy has a long track record of saying absolutely moronic shit, why does anyone take anything he says seriously? He will fucking kill Google right?

Re:Buy Apple Stock Now! (0, Troll)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 5 years ago | (#27281027)

Well. It's the war of the idiots. I will most likely get modded into digital hell, but:

Guess what. the iPhone is a piece of crap. And so is every Windows Mobile phone. Compare them to any current-gen Japanese phone, and they don't stand a chance.
The iPod is a piece of crap. And so is the Zune. Compare them to most other devices in that price range, and they don't stand much of a chance. (Ok, I give credit for the clickwheel.)
Apple is scamming their idiot customers. And so is Microsoft. Apple feeds on the massive strength of their name. Microsoft usually feeds on their monopolistic dominance. In both cases, non-informed customers are crucial for success.

I don't think that on that low level, it matters which one is TEH BESTESTEST!!!11(lim (x->0) (sin x) / x)

I also do not not expect them to behave differently. Looking at their success, this seems to be a very successful method of doing business. And after all, this is what companies are about, aren't they? Because even if it is evil... When they win, it does not matter.

Luckily, I'm so far away from even thinking about those companies and their products, in my Linux safe-house, that I can write this whole post with a smile about all the senseless flaming and fanboyism over nothing. Also, don't take my post too serious. :)

Re:Buy Apple Stock Now! (2, Insightful)

Your.Master (1088569) | more than 5 years ago | (#27281033)

As I recall he was laughing at the idea of selling the 1st gen iPhone for $700, and telling them to lower their prices and at least add 3G. And they kind of did, which means Ballmer was kind of right.

He's not totally wrong (3, Insightful)

blackholepcs (773728) | more than 5 years ago | (#27280591)

Well, I'd rather pay $100.00 for the Microsoft logo and whatever I choose to spend on hardware that I put together and be able to play every game I want to play than pay $500 dollars for a logo and be limited to canned hardware configurations and nominal game and software titles. Not trying to be anti-Apple or pro-Microsoft here. He just has a bit of a point. In today's economy Apple has to be feeling the sting. It's there own fault for being overpriced on pretty much every level. That said, I'd love to have a Macbook. But I can't afford even a Netbook right now.

Re:He's not totally wrong (5, Funny)

bennomatic (691188) | more than 5 years ago | (#27280703)

Games are fun and all, but if we're talking about waste in our economy, there's three things wrong with your argument:
  • Most games have no productive output or result.
  • Most games sap significant time, which could have been used to earn money or add something productive to the world.
  • I'm guessing the games you're talking about cost you money.

Please note: the following comments are not about you personally; I do not know you. The comments are a broad-strokes response to anyone who makes this argument.

So, congratulations. You saved $100 for the privilege of spending $600 on games in the life of the OS installation, wasting 1000 hours in the interim, severely limiting your social life and development of your social skills, increasing your later-life health-care costs due to lack of exercise and poor nutrition, adding another $75 to your electric bill and 600 pounds of carbon emissions to the environment due to the energy usage while you're playing those games on your high-powered gaming system.

If you love games, great. But from a more holistic perspective, it's a dubious argument.

Loser (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27280939)

What a pathetic little shit you must be in real life.

Dear Father O'Day (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27280593)

Dear Father O'Day,

Thanks for your letter. Being Catholic myself, I know exactly what you're talking about! It has always been our plan here at Apple Computer Inc to revolutionize personal computing with our high-quality and highly gay products.

I'm happy to answer your letter by letting you know that YES we will be releasing an entire hLife ("homo-life") software line. You'll be able to recognize it in stores by the small stylized logo depicting a large cock entering a tight anus with an Apple logo on it. ("Suddenly it all comes together" indeed!).

Anyway, I hope you and other members of our community will join us on our mission, and purchase the exciting new hLife boxed set. Only the boxed set comes with translucent cock rings!

Sincerely,

Harry Rodman
Vice-president
Homosexual Liaison Services
Apple Computer, Inc.

It ain't the same (-1, Flamebait)

rimcrazy (146022) | more than 5 years ago | (#27280599)

Unless I miss my guess, the PC ASP is for a box. No monitor, no camera, no sound, just a box. A Mac has everything you need built it in plus you don't have to suffer their damn UI. I make a reasonable living keeping Vista boxes up. At home, I'm a Mac. If my customers had the reliability I have at home with my Mac's I'd be out of business. But thanks to Steve and his POS products, lots of us IT people are gainfully employed.

Re:It ain't the same (1)

Samschnooks (1415697) | more than 5 years ago | (#27280897)

At home, I'm a Mac.

I see. And at work, are you a Red Delicious or maybe even a banana?

Re:It ain't the same (1)

Ash-Fox (726320) | more than 5 years ago | (#27280903)

Unless I miss my guess, the PC ASP is for a box. No monitor, no camera, no sound, just a box. A Mac has everything you need built it

Searching for "all in one pc"

First result on a google search,
http://www.cadar.co.uk/ [cadar.co.uk]
Second result on a google search,
http://www.trustedreviews.com/pcs/review/2008/09/29/HP-TouchSmart-IQ500-All-In-One-PC/p1 [trustedreviews.com]
Third result on a google search,
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sony-Blu-ray-Drive-Vista-Premium/dp/B001IDYW7A [amazon.co.uk]

I could go on, but you get my point. I don't really think you have much of a point there, I can easily get the same as a regular PC.

plus you don't have to suffer their damn UI.

I personally find OS X's UI annoying. So it doesn't fit my needs, never mind the fact the OS doesn't run some of the applications I use and others that it does run, it runs terribly.

So which hardware _is_ better? (1)

zmollusc (763634) | more than 5 years ago | (#27280613)

Which is better, linux on apple hardware or linux on not-apple hardware?

Re:So which hardware _is_ better? (1)

torkus (1133985) | more than 5 years ago | (#27280919)

Define "better"

I mean, apple is often prettier and if that's your goal then sure. If cost, upgradability, etc. is your goal then PC hardware wins. The chips themselves are all intel/nvidia/etc and standard. You can get the same gutts i an apple as a PC.

Apple is petrified that people will decide it's not worth the extra cost for essentially the same exact parts/performance. Balmer was unkind enough to point exactly that out.

Re:So which hardware _is_ better? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27280937)

Ugh, trying to get Ubuntu working fully on my MacBook Pro was a disaster.

After enough fidgeting with refit I got it booting and stuff, but a bunch of stuff never really worked right.

Getting Ubuntu installed on my tower (which actually has relatively similar hardware except video card) was dead simple.

Ballmer -1 Troll (5, Insightful)

javacowboy (222023) | more than 5 years ago | (#27280627)

Ballmer is just trolling. He knows that Apple offers real value because OS X is a better operating system than Windows, which means that Apple has essentially taken away the high-end PC business away from Microsoft.

He should know that trolling isn't going to bring those high-end customers back to Windows. Maybe he does, who knows?

Microsoft has repeatedly chosen to patch Windows instead of rebuilding it from the ground up as a modern operating system, the way Apple did with OS X. They should have known 8 years ago that this was the wrong strategy.

Re:Ballmer -1 Troll (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27280739)

Microsoft is running in a different market. Look how loudly developers screamed when they actually had to adhere to a privilege model under Vista with UAC, rather than just running everything as Administrator. Microsoft's only way to really start afresh would be to completely virtualize the existing stuff, and have it appear to the user on an application level, similar to how VMWare has a Unity mode so the app has its own window.

Re:Ballmer -1 Troll (1)

Ash-Fox (726320) | more than 5 years ago | (#27280819)

Ballmer is just trolling. He knows that Apple offers real value because OS X is a better operating system than Windows, which means that Apple has essentially taken away the high-end PC business away from Microsoft.

A art studio local to me moved to 100% windows systems because Photoshop couldn't even do 64bit on OS X, and they really needed the extra memory requirements. I know that BBC 1, 2 of the territorial television stations here use Windows systems almost exclusively for workstations.

So, what I am really asking is, can I have a source for this statement you made? Because it doesn't seem to be dominating the areas where Macs stereotypically accel at.

Microsoft has repeatedly chosen to patch Windows instead of rebuilding it from the ground up as a modern operating system, the way Apple did with OS X. They should have known 8 years ago that this was the wrong strategy.

What does OS X do that Windows 7 can't, which makes it so superior?

Re:Ballmer -1 Troll (2, Insightful)

Draek (916851) | more than 5 years ago | (#27280929)

Apple offers real value because OS X is a better operating system than Windows

Prove it. For me it may be since OSX is UNIX, but the way I see it, for most people one's a stupidly bloated system that runs all their apps, and the other's a stupidly bloated system that only runs special versions of some of their apps.

Apple has essentially taken away the high-end PC business away from Microsoft.

Prove it. I've yet to hear about a large business standardizing on Apple products, I've yet to hear about a serious gamer using Macs, so I'd like to know which definition of "high-end" are you using, and the stats backing up your claim.

Microsoft has repeatedly chosen to patch Windows instead of rebuilding it from the ground up as a modern operating system, the way Apple did with OS X. They should have known 8 years ago that this was the wrong strategy.

Interesting that they still maintain more than 90% marketshare worldwide with that "wrong strategy", though. Despite the horridness of Vista, people *still* appreciate being able to use their older apps on their newer PCs, who would've thought.

Go ahead, mod me down Troll or whatever, for defending Ballmer against a poor Apple apologist here on Slashdot. But facts are facts, and no matter how much you try to deny it, Apple isn't the dominant force in the industry today, Microsoft is so this isn't Ballmer trying to steal Apple's customers, it's simply Ballmer looking down on a competitor's tactics. And he's right.

Re:Ballmer -1 Troll (1)

Samschnooks (1415697) | more than 5 years ago | (#27280931)

Apple had to rewrite their OS. Apple's OS before X was a piece of shit! Memory management sucked, it locked up all the time on me, and I could run only one app at a time because otherwise, the machine froze. This was one of those "flavor" Macs, btw.

Re:Ballmer -1 Troll (1)

torkus (1133985) | more than 5 years ago | (#27280963)

Depends on how you define 'better'. It's generally less buggy - agreed.

However, in 'better' you should consider 1) compatibility with the bazillion programs out there 2) user experience/ability to use the OS without additional training 3) availability of support (particularly on an enterprise level).

Both have their strengths, but because of the far larger install base windows still 'wins' today. Yah, MS should start shooting some of their devs and dev managers but that's another story.

I didn't know Microsoft sold hardware (1)

BlueBoxSW.com (745855) | more than 5 years ago | (#27280643)

Why would Balmer care? He doesn't make money on the hardware either way. And I'm pretty sure, if you want to compare OSX to Vista operating systems off the shelf, Apple wins.

But the Air is "cheaper" than the Adamo... (5, Interesting)

MrCrassic (994046) | more than 5 years ago | (#27280671)

Since the article used the Adamo as their example, I went ahead and did a price check between a Macbook Air and an Adamo.

Turns out that for only $300 MORE, the Air will provide you with a CPU that's 400 MHz faster, the 128 GB SSD and dedicated graphics, along with OS X Leopard and the ability to run Windows Vista (probably better than the Adamo can).

Aren't CEOs of software megaconglomerates like Microsoft supposed to do this kind of research before talking smack?

Re:But the Air is "cheaper" than the Adamo... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27280715)

Aren't CEOs of software megaconglomerates like Microsoft supposed to do this kind of research before talking smack?

No. You should know after so many years of MS that illusion is everything. They're the king of bull, masters of the twisted fact, innovators by stealing from others - etc etc.

Re:But the Air is "cheaper" than the Adamo... (1)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 5 years ago | (#27280717)

Aren't CEOs of software megaconglomerates like Microsoft supposed to do this kind of research before talking smack?

This is Ballmer we are talking about, so don't expect it. He is too hot and bothered to be thinking straight.

For $300 less than Apple's solid MacBook offering (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27280683)

Dell makes a craptastic laptop.

Ballmer, open an Apple machine (5, Insightful)

edivad (1186799) | more than 5 years ago | (#27280687)

Take a MacPro, open it, and compare it with stuff like Dell or Sony or HP. Is it a little more expensive? Yes. It is worth it? Hell, yeah.
There is no match as far as how clean and robust is the build, compared to other top-brand PCs. Absolute absence of flying around cables, top of the line electronic components, maximum care down to the very little details.
But this is a known thing to everyone that actually opened an Apple and other brand-name PCs.
Ballmer, ... God's gift to every person in the world that does not really love Microsoft. Or for people, like myself, that could happily live even w/out them.
He has been able to drag Microsoft, once perceived as technology source with fairly large following, down to the nobody-cared status, as far as all the new technologies being introduced.
One failure after another, with Microsoft not being able to push new technologies even in their own niche (see Vista fiasco for one).

Re:Ballmer, open an Apple machine (1)

Ash-Fox (726320) | more than 5 years ago | (#27280749)

There is no match as far as how clean and robust is the build, compared to other top-brand PCs.

Personally, I still prefer IBM's builds. It's not that much more clean in comparison to IBM's. Sun's are pretty decent too, and the pricing is similar to Apple's. I haven't had the chance to touch Dell's or Sony's equivalent systems though.

Re:Ballmer, open an Apple machine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27280907)

top of the line electronic components

LOL! Ease off the kool aid there fella!

Re:Ballmer, open an Apple machine (-1, Troll)

torkus (1133985) | more than 5 years ago | (#27280995)

Oh, and enjoy your voided warranty while you're at it too.

It's sad that you equate elegance with performance when they've nothing to do with each other. FWIW the Dell is actually upgradable and has about 50 more build options than any mac. Dell also offers something like 10x more models to choose from. So yes, you'll see some cables or unused connectors etc. because you can also get a WWAN card or whatever other fun options you might want.

Which is worse? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27280695)

What's worse, that people pay $500 extra for a Mac, or that people pay $500 extra to avoid Windows?

The slashdot monkey island is in Riot (2, Interesting)

stokessd (89903) | more than 5 years ago | (#27280713)

Man, it's a hailstorm of flung turds already and we are only a few posts in.

All the fanbois calm down now....

Ballmer has shown that he in public seems really out of touch, his views on the iPod and iPhone show how what he says isn't the market view. I suspect that he has to say those things, and deep down is actually pretty scared about the iPhone etc. But he can't come out and say, "damn, they really target their niche really well", because that's not his style. Microsoft targets it's niche equally well, business is a sea of Dells running MS OS's, so it's not like he doesn't know about marketing to your core.

Once again he has missed the point, apple machines do cost more, but you get a unique product. There are precious few PC's out there that are concerned with how the back of the unit looks or cable management, etc. Apple is selling a higher caliber piece of gear than the generic best-buy special. Take a look at the apple keyboard vs. any other PC keyboard. You may or may not like the design, but the differences are clear.

With a mac product, you can run ALL software, the converse is not true. That's worth some money to lots of people.

Like any unique product, you will pay for it. but for a lot f people it is worth it.

Ballmer has to say those things regardless of what he believes inside, he's the voice of Microsoft.

Sheldon

Paying $500 for an OS that works, however... (2, Insightful)

Simon Brooke (45012) | more than 5 years ago | (#27280719)

OK, I'm no fan of Apple. I have never owned a Mac, and I haven't programmed on one since 1986. But, when you pay $500 extra for a Mac - if you do - you're getting more than a logo. The hardware is significantly better than average PC hardware. But more significantly, the OS actually works. Personally, I hate it - I intensely dislike the fact that when you get under the covers, it looks like UN*X but it isn't UN*X in a lot of ways that matter. It's essentially NeXT Step, and I hated that, too.

But, it works, and Windows really doesn't. Personally, I think Ubuntu or Debian are much more user-friendly and productive, and you don't have to spend $500 extra for them - but you put a Mac OS box next to a similarly specced Vista box and ask, 'will the user of the Mac be $500 more productive over the life time of the machine than the user of the PC?' the answer has to be 'hell, yeah!'

Re:Paying $500 for an OS that works, however... (4, Informative)

Karlt1 (231423) | more than 5 years ago | (#27280997)

But more significantly, the OS actually works. Personally, I hate it - I intensely dislike the fact that when you get under the covers, it looks like UN*X but it isn't UN*X in a lot of ways that matter. It's essentially NeXT Step, and I hated that, too.

How is OS X which is certified Unix (http://www.apple.com/macosx/technology/unix.html) not Unix?

bet Ballmer's happy the vista logo is only $250 (3, Funny)

swschrad (312009) | more than 5 years ago | (#27280733)

on the other hand, the vista window is a much-better known logo. like Mr. Yuk (tm) it serves as a valuable consumer warning device.

Annoyed (2)

dko1625 (672925) | more than 5 years ago | (#27280759)

Some one is annoyed for not having nailed down the hardware side ;-)
Linux enthusiast, Mac@home and Windoze@work user

Funny but. (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 5 years ago | (#27280771)

I know a lot of people that want a Mac the price puts them off. Guess what folks. All Apple has to do is produce a new Mac that is a little bigger than a Mini that uses desktop parts. Bingo cheaper Mac. Apple is still making money hand over fist.
Even the $500 logo is a load of monkey muffins.
Lets take a look at the Adamo by Dell

1.2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo Processor
Genuine Windows Vista® Home Premium
2GB 800MHz
128GB3 solid state drive
Starting Price $1,999

Okay now lets look at the MacBook Air.
1.6GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
2GB Memory
120GB SATA hard drive1
$1,799.00

The Air is $200 cheaper. Now you do get DDR3 and and SSD on the Adamo but the price just isn't that great.

At the high end the Dell is also $200 more expensive and you get the SSD with the air but an extra 2GB of ram on the Dell.
I just don't see $500 their.

The Mini is expensive for a desktop machine but it starts at $599 and I have not seen a $99 PC that has the features of a Mini.

So Windows is now the Walmart house brand of PCs. Hey times are hard and people don't have the money to buy the stuff they really want so they will buy a PC with Windows on it.
Good one Ballmer the problem is that Linux is EVEN CHEAPER....
Ouch...

If you buy windows, ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27280807)

You have to spend weeks tracking down software with the same features that come pre-installed on OS X. At even my wage, the labor comes to far more than $500, just to get a similar computer that misbehaves constantly, and ignores every standard out there.

No. I'll be sticking with Apple while Steve's still in charge.

It really depends... (1)

XPeter (1429763) | more than 5 years ago | (#27280821)

On the scenario of the working environment. Here's two examples.

Buisness: Your boss isn't going to want to dish out the money for a mac. Especially when your buying these machines in high quantities. Most would go for the Dell Vostro buisness series. It makes sense.

Home: Home is a different situation and it comes down to how much dough you have to dish out. If you have the money, buying a mac will be the better choice. But with the way the economy is, I don't see many people wanting to pay that extra 500 or whatever...even if it's going to give you a much better quality computer.

Something to think about.

Actually more like $650... (4, Funny)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 5 years ago | (#27280823)

OS X: $500
dark turtleneck + horn-rimmed glasses: $150

Re:Actually more like $650... (4, Funny)

isBandGeek() (1369017) | more than 5 years ago | (#27280991)

Watching the man in Redmond throw a chair across the office: priceless

Somehow (2, Funny)

hey! (33014) | more than 5 years ago | (#27280841)

Ballmer has failed to cast his Svengali-like spell over me. I... I just don't know. It's just that for some reason I cannot explain, I am able to control the impulse to go out and buy a retail copy of Windows Vista Ultimate.

Sometimes it seems that I can go days without even thinking about it. This very morning, I got out of bed, and got myself a cup of coffee, and it didn't even occur to me that if only I had Microsoft Select Plus licensing, I might have Windows Embedded Enterprise in my coffee pot.

I wonder. Does this mean I have developed some kind of unusual resistance to Ballmer's powers of persuasion? Does this mean that I, unlike so many millions of others, have somehow managed to penetrate that fatal glamour?

That makes me feel so... so... special.

Ballmer's full of hot air (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27280861)

Ballmer's full of hot air and if he doesn't release once in a while, he'll blow up. Microsoft wants me to look at them again? OK, here's a few tips:

1. Rebuild the OS. From scratch. Just like was done with OS X years ago. Quit with the pretty new interface over the same ol' base code.

2. Sell fewer editions. Come on, 6 or 7 different versions of the OS? Why? I can see having a home and pro edition, but drop the rest. It's too confusing and only serves to piss people off when they buy one that doesn't do what was advertised in all the commercials. One version of Mac OS and I get all the features.

3. Make sure the damn drivers are there when you release your OS!

4. If you are advertising a "pretty" new interface, make sure it works on the lowest machine requirements. I don't want to buy an uber-machine just to get the bells and whistles you advertise.

5. Slim down your OS. 16GB on the hard drive for Windows 7? Really? Seems bloated to me. I know hard drive space isn't a big deal anymore, but come on.

So... (4, Insightful)

wampus (1932) | more than 5 years ago | (#27280867)

This is where fanboys decide the talking points for the next month or so and shit them all over the internet?

Re:So... (1)

Pederson (1431413) | more than 5 years ago | (#27280967)

I'm not a fan of Apple OR Microsoft (however, I do currently use XP - mainly because of required windows Software for my courses) but is Steve basically telling us that Microsoft is a more cost efficient choice than Apple? So what exactly does that make Linux? The JesusOS?

That's silly (3, Funny)

mosb1000 (710161) | more than 5 years ago | (#27280879)

Apples are selling just fine, what is he talking about?

Ballmer needs Apple (5, Insightful)

Alain Williams (2972) | more than 5 years ago | (#27280883)

Ballmer wants the world to focus on the idea that the desktop fight is only between M$ and Apple. If he can do that then, perhaps (please -- hopefully), that people will not start using a Linux desktop.

The Linux desktop is Ballmer's real nightmare... and it is getting closer.

I'd love to see things from his point of view (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27280889)

but unfortunately I can't stick my head that far up my ass.

Its not just the logo... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27280943)

One thing Apple offers is good service. A user who isn't technical can buy their computer, their OS, and in a number of cases, the applications they use on a day to day basis (iWork for example) all from Apple. Instead of being shunted around between the hardware company, the OS vendor, the app maker, and perhaps some third party that is blamed for a driver issue, a user can just call one point of contact and most likely have the problem solved. Or, they can go to a Genius Bar and bring the machine and show the problem in person.

Of course, one personal account is statistically insignificant, but I can compare support experiences on a personal level (as opposed to calling a business support line.) For a problem in a laptop, one PC maker put me on hold for 2-3 hours, read a script demanding running diagnostics even though the problem was quite obvious, then pretty much said to go pester the OEM for the part for a replacement. When I had bad RAM in a new Macbook, I went to a Genius Bar, and they just swapped out the entire machine with a new one.

Business or premium PC support is different, but it definitely costs enough that brings the $500 to $1000 price difference way closer.

For the cost difference, less aggravation for a user who is more focused on the work they are doing as opposed to the computer can be worth it.

Another thing not factored in is OS X. OS X to some may bring the "Apple tax" gap closer together.

One can argue the security issues about OS X versus Windows, but because the malware makers are gunning for Windows with relatively few exploits for OS X in the wild, one doesn't have to be as on top of computer security. I can run an OS X box using the default browser without antivirus software and not really have to worry about the box ending up as a botnet client (although there are always Trojans). This would be pure suicide if I did the same with Windows and IE and no antivirus software. OS X is a lot more forgiving for people who are not atop things when it comes to securing their computer.

There is no Microsoft computer. (4, Insightful)

Chris Tucker (302549) | more than 5 years ago | (#27280969)

But there ARE a variety of Apple computers, each somewhat different than the others. The Mac OS installer is smart enough to know which Mac it's being installed on, and configures itself accordingly.

As for Windows. Well, now. HOW many motherboards are out there? How many different video and sound cards? How many webcams and microphones? How many fiddling little DLLs and drivers?

And Windows has to accommodate them all. Or, rather YOU, the users, have to accommodate them all on your own, by seeking out and downloading the latest drivers for some card made in China using FSM knows what revision of onboard firmware.

MS sells HOW MANY versions of XP and Vista? How many versions of Windows 7 will there be?

Mac OS X. One box, one version. Install on as many Macs as you own. Got the last version of Mac OS X and you just bought the latest? Go ahead, SELL the old one or give it away.

Apple Doesn't Care!

Same with their iLife and iWork application suites.

They WOULD rather that you didn't upload the DVD to Pirate Bay or the like. But they don't make anyone phone home or authenticate an install or give you grief if you don't have the serial number from the box.

ALL my installs of OS X have been from previously owned install DVDs. NEVER a problem. NEVER an authentication from Cupertino required.

Office? Feh! iWork, US$80.00 retail, probably less with an academic discount. iLife, same price.

Other software? Photoshop? Please. Graphic Converter uses most PS plug ins and filters. Outlook Express? I can manually infect my Mac with viruses and trojans without any help, thank you very much.

Mail app or Eudora work just fine for me as email applications. And neither will do anything I don't explicitly authorize.

Internet Explorer? Please! Don't make me laugh, I have chapped lips! Firefox makes IE its bitch 24/7.

Mac OS vs. Windows? Two Words: TIME MACHINE!

So, yeah, Ballmer, you sweaty little monkey, shrieking and throwing your feces at passersby, that logo IS worth the extra money to me.

If only because YOU don't see a penny of it.

why bother? (1)

mapkinase (958129) | more than 5 years ago | (#27280987)

I never understood how educated people, professionals can take this Apple Mircosoft rivalry seriously, or any rivalry seriously for that matter? Why trust brands anyway? What's the point? There are swarms of people who are professionally paid to evaluate different products and assist us in making buying decisions.

Why bother?

At work I have a Windows workstation which I am mainly using for corporate email, browsing slashdot and as an X-terminal to a bunch of linux workstations including SGE cluster.

At home I went with the cheapest PC ($300), because I am mainly using it for internet and media.

What with all the ideology? Why do we have to join the group in order to make personal decisions about what we personally need?

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