Mac vs. a Windows PC, Windows 7 rights to Windows XP, Tiered Billing for Internet Access and more of what I’ve read

A few links of interest today… a quick post as I need to get through my email. Busy week.

You’ve no doubt seen the latest Microsoft Windows commercials. Well, BusinessWeek’s Arik Hesseldahl has a bone to pick with the math in his article, Mac vs. PC: What You Don’t Get for $699 – BusinessWeek (Byte of the Apple April 15, 2009: "A 17-in. PC may cost a lot less than a 17-in. Mac. But you get less, too, including security, multimedia tools, and, some say, satisfaction."

"Now Microsoft is fighting back with its own advertising campaign. I’ve enjoyed some of its elements. The Seinfeld spots were weird. I was intrigued by some of the "I’m a PC" spots that aired last fall, depicting PC users engaged in a variety of jobs—teaching law, protecting endangered species, blogging for Barack Obama. The message: You can use a Windows PC and still do cool and interesting things. Not bad. Then came the adorable little girls: Kylie, age 4, and Alexa, age 7, e-mailing pictures of fish and stitching together pictures of a fort into one. Microsoft, it seemed, had finally found its advertising voice.

"Yes, $699 beats the $2,800 you’d pay for a Mac with a 17-in. screen. But when it comes to PCs, there’s still a great deal more to buy.

"Add it all up and it’s not hard to imagine Lauren’s $699 computer costing something closer to $1,500."

I’m sure that you’ll see plenty of analysis on his analysis and opinions in the nearly 60 pages of comments, as John Byrne Editor-in-Chief of, noted in his Tweet: "A raging Mac vs. PC debate at today. Perspectives from readers take up 56 pages on our site for a 2-page story."

I’m reminded of Harry McCracken’s earlier post Microsoft’s New Windows Ads: They’re a Trap! Bwahahahahahahah! (April 5, 2009) in which he muses…

"Can we all agree that it’s always a bad idea to mistake advertising for rational discourse? Axe deodorant won’t cause armies of gorgeous women to throw themselves at your feet. I know of no evidence that cows who live in California are any happier than those in other states, nor that their mood impacts the quality of their milk. Cigarette companies would still be claiming that their products were good for your throat if they could get away with it. After thirty years, I’m still unclear about the benefits of being a Pepper. That’s all fine. (Okay, not the part about the cigarette ads.)

"So I haven’t taken Microsoft’s new ads with shoppers spurning Macs for HP laptops too seriously. Mostly I’ve mused about why they seem to ignore Microsoft’s own contribution to the PC and used them as a springboard for PC-Mac price comparisons of my own. (I’m happy to say that these posts have prompted dozens of comments by members of the Technologizer community cogently taking both pro-Windows and pro-Mac stances–they make for great reading.)

DailyTech – Windows 7 Customers Can Still Downgrade to Windows XP – Party like it’s 2001, as Microsoft just won’t let Windows XP die! Windows XP, first released in October 2001, has been a sales hit for years, strengthening Microsoft’s ownership of the OS market. When Windows Vista came along, it faced a tough task building upon Windows XP’s success. Based on critical review and public reception, it fell short of matching this success. Microsoft had planned to retire Windows XP in June 2008, after having already extended its lifespan longer than intended due to customers picking XP over Vista. However, June came and went and only saw a partial retirement of XP. Microsoft still had loopholes retaining support and sales for small systems like netbooks. It also continued to support an option that allowed customers to purchase Windows Vista and downgrade to Windows XP.

Atomic Synchronicity in Fort Collins | – "Quick — look at your cell phone, or glance your watch. What time is it right now? Oh, really? How can you be so sure? That timepiece has to base its claims on something. When you set it, you told your microwave or your watch what time it was. You got that time from a different clock somewhere else. Meanwhile, a little computer or a piece of quartz has been keeping track for you, but what does it actually track? What is a minute, anyway? What’s a second?"

CableTechTalk » Blog Archive » Consumption Based Billing and The Princess Bride by Kyle McSlarrow :: April 16th, 2009 – "One of my favorite movies is The Princess Bride. Remember when the character Vizzini, played by Wallace Shawn, notes the two classic blunders — one of which is never get involved in a land war in Asia and the other, never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line? There’s probably a third, which is to never go “blog” vs. “blog” with organizations like Free Press that cut its teeth on this medium. So, it is certainly not a surprise that the Free Press response to my last post smoothly skips over some fundamental points. On the Free Press homepage, the first thing you see is a technicolor box blaring “Tell Congress: Investigate the Unfair Internet Penalty.” In the Free Press response, this has now turned into a mere “inquiry.” Who could be against that? Especially when these plans are rolling out “under the radar.”

Tax-free Internet shopping may be at an end | Politics and Law – CNET News, April 15, 2009 by Declan McCullagh — "If a little-known but influential alliance of state politicians, large retailers, and tax collectors have their way, the days of tax-free Internet shopping may be nearly over. A bill expected to be introduced in the U.S. Congress as early as Monday would rewrite the ground rules for mail order and Internet sales by eliminating what its supporters view as a "loophole" that, in many cases, allows Americans to shop over the Internet without paying sales taxes."

Microsoft’s search must begin in Redmond | Beyond Binary – CNET News April 13, 2009 by Ina Fried — "Microsoft’s challenge to grow its share of the search business isn’t just a global issue. It’s also a challenge within its own walls. Despite investing five years and hundreds of millions of dollars on its search product, Microsoft has struggled to get people to use its service, even those whom it employs. Microsoft Senior Vice President Yusuf Mehdi said the company’s share of the search market–even internally–has been disappointing. "That’s true," Mehdi said in an interview last week."

Satisfy Me : Announcement: Microsoft Windows update available for unconfirmed Pakistan daylight saving time change in April 2009

Satisfy Me : Your questions: what do I like about Windows 7? The Taskbar, saving me time (and money 😉 – Yesterday I noted that there were a few things I like about Windows 7. I saw a tweet about the post today from microsoftsubnet on the Seven things to love, hate about Windows 7 by Tom Henderson and Brendan Allen in Network World (01/15/09, See The next area of Windows 7 to mention that I find that I use and enjoy is the new and improved Taskbar, as covered here on MSDN.

Satisfy Me : Thinking about the Windows 7 upgrade experience, have you backed up your files lately? – This week the Windows 7 team posted on delivering a quality upgrade experience for Windows 7, noting that many people are running the Windows 7 Beta full time just as many of us do daily at Microsoft. And the team is encouraging users to revert to an earlier Windows Vista image on their PCs and perform an upgrade to the next publicly available pre-release build…

Kiev and Kumo: The long and winding road to Live Search’s rebrand | All about Microsoft | Posted by Mary Jo Foley @ 7:56 am — "As Microsoft inches closer to the expected June rebranding and launch of the latest iteration of its search engine, company officials are sharing selective bits and pieces of what the Redmondians are planning. In an April 8 Wall Street Journal story about Microsoft’s search-branding challenges , Yusuf Mehdi, the Senior Vice President of Microsoft’s Online Audience Business Group, mentioned “Kiev.” Kiev, a codename I first heard about via LiveSide, seems to be the uber-brand for Microsoft’s upcoming search release. Kumo, the codename for the search-engine component, is one piece of Kiev, Mehdi confirmed with the Journal."

Microsoft will allow Windows 7 users to downgrade to XP | All about Microsoft | Posted by Mary Jo Foley @ 10:04 am — "Microsoft and its PC partners are going to allow Windows 7 users to downgrade not just to Windows Vista, but also to Windows XP, Microsoft officials are confirming. Some company watchers have been wondering about the downgrade rights that Microsoft will offer when Windows 7 ships. When AppleInsider reported this weekend that HP was going to offer Windows 7 users the ability to downgrade to XP, I asked Microsoft about the story. Here’s what a spokesperson representing the company’s Windows client division told me via e-mail on April 5…"

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Tags: articles, what I read, twitter.

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