Not rich enough to be a Mac person
Microsoft — ruffled by constant ridicule by Apple — launched its latest counter-punch last night with an explicit jab at its cool but expensive archrival in a prime-time ad featuring one thrifty young woman’s quest to find a 17-inch laptop for under four figures.
“Lauren”, a feisty, red-haired computer-shopper, is given $1,000 to score a laptop with a 17-inch screen, and told she can keep the change.
First stop: the Apple store. Cue disappointment. The cheapest Macbook laptop, with a 13-inch screen, is $999. Lauren consoles herself that she is “not cool enough to be a Mac person” anyway.
Next stop, Best Buy, where a plethora of Windows-powered machines are excitedly examined. She walks out with a suitable model for $699.99. “I’m a PC and I got just what I wanted,” she exclaims delightedly to the camera.
Microsoft’s reasoning is sound. They can’t acquire Apple’s fashion appeal, and pushing value over coolness will strike a chord in the recession.
But the need to respond to Apple — which still controls only a tiny fraction of the overall PC market — shows just how well the Mac has set the terms of the contest.
And Microsoft’s point is still moot. What if Lauren has to take the laptop back in six months because it goes too slow and has a virus?