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Microsoft’s PC vs Mac Windows 7 Promo Page Falls Flat



Microsoft published a new section on its Windows 7 micro-site yesterday and in my opinion it falls flat. The new ‘PC versus Mac’ page doesn’t have a lot to it and there’s very little substance. Are PCs better than Macs in a lot of ways? Absolutely. Unfortunately, Microsoft put very little effort into highlighting those advantages or really comparing Macs to PCs.

Instead, it looks like Microsoft had some overworked marketing guy write the copy on his lunch break. The poor copywriter, probably had some really good stuff in there, but then there was probably a meeting or two between his boss, legal and the PR department.  They probably didn’t want to bother with getting hardware partners to sign off on including their products in the page. Hence, they didn’t bother to show any PCs, in the PC vs Mac page:

The main page of the section has a photo of  a smiling lady with some clutter on white shelves in the background. I assume she’s supposed to be welcoming, but is she a Windows 7 user? Is she a business owner standing in a store? Or is that just a cluttered shelf in her bedroom? A Twitter feed pulls in Tweets about Windows 7 in a lame attempt to make this page look less corporate or something. There are six bullet points that are supposed to sway people thinking about whether to buy a Windows 7 PC or a Mac. They are:

  • Having FunWhen it’s time to enjoy movies, games, and HDTV from anywhere in your home, PCs are ready to play.Learn more
  • SimplicityIntuitive, familiar, and easy to use, PCs do what you want: they just work.Learn more
  • Working HardPCs are always ready, willing, and—most importantly—able to get down to business.Learn more
  • SharingWhether you’re working or playing, PCs know how to help you get along with others.Learn more
  • CompatibilityMost software is developed for PCs, and your PC will work with your music players, phones, cameras, and other devices.Learn more
  • ChoicePick a color you love. Midnight blue, espresso, or pink? PCs offer the most variety and options to match your style or price point.

I clicked on each of the items, expecting to find a bunch of information comparing PCs to Macs, but instead there’s just a few lines of words. Instead of promoting specific PCs or slamming Apple for its shortcomings, there are these gems:

Programs you already know.

If there’s a Mac version of a program you need, you’ll have to buy it again and relearn how to use it on a Mac.

Yup, that’s it. That’s the best Microsoft, with its billions of dollars can do to promote Windows 7 against Macs, which are grabbing a larger share of the notebook pie, especially on the high end of the market.

Compare this to the section of that highlights the advantages of Macs to PCs. There are rich sections on topics ranging from hardware and software, to compatibility and support. Each page on this section of has several hundred words, graphics and photos  making the case for why you should buy a mac. There are links to videos, such as this one promoting Time Machine, and tutorials, such as this one explaining the Finder. Apple’s case for why you should buy a mac is complete and cohesive since the company wants to sell you both hardware and software in one bundle (a Mac).

Microsoft needs to take off its gloves if it wants to win the battle over consumers are on the fence about buying a Mac or PC. I have the pleasure of using a lot of good PCs as well as a couple of good Macs. There’s a lot of things I can do with my PCs that I can’t do on my Macs, but Microsoft didn’t bother to effectively highlight them on what should be an influential micro-site. There are no demos or photos of what consumers can actually do with Windows 7 that they can’t do with a Mac. There’s no mention that you can save hundreds of dollars by going with a PC versus a Mac. There’s no mention that of how PCs are actually used out in the real world. How about a section explaining that virtually every major animated movie production company uses PCs to author their films rather than Macs? How about explaining that the most powerful,smallest, biggest and cheapest computers out there are PCs?

It’s reasons like these that Microsoft is losing consumer mindshare.



  1. GoodThings2Life

    08/10/2010 at 11:45 am

    In my mind, they both suck since all they really do is harp on a few negatives about the others. Most people have already made up their minds, however, and 95% of the world market still uses PC, no matter how popular Apple gets with their consumer electronics. Most people still don’t use Macs, and those who do almost always run Parallels or VMware or Boot Camp to use Windows. So all the debate over who’s better is amusing, but meaningless.

  2. Barry

    08/10/2010 at 3:32 pm

    “It’s reasons like this that Microsoft is loosing consumer mindshare.”

    A sentence riddles with mistakes:

    1. “loosing” is incorrect in this context; it should be “losing”
    2. It should be “reasons like ‘these'”; there are more than one “reasons”

  3. Ric

    08/10/2010 at 5:26 pm

    Good job Barry on finding those mistakes. Couldn’t have read it without your corrections. Now go fix the trillions of other mistakes on the web since I’m sure you have the time.

    Good article though. I bet the creator was paid handsomely for his effort. Me want his jobby.

  4. Xavier Lanier

    08/10/2010 at 5:49 pm

    Thanks Barry- fixed it for easier reading. FYI- I’m starting to rely more on Dragon Naturally Speaking and MacSpeech t give my hands, arms and back a rest from slouching over a keyboard. I edit after the machines transcribe my voice, but sometimes I miss something here and there.

  5. sfwrtr

    08/12/2010 at 12:19 pm

    Funny how it all makes so little sense. Is Microsoft promoting PCs or promoting Windows/Office software? Ought to be the latter, of course. In which case, they ought to promote Macs, too. One of the great things about the Mac is they are the most stable platform to run Windows on. Mac has Office of course, but it gives you a choice.

    If Microsoft really wanted to promote just PCs, you are correct that they should have hardware examples. Maybe this is all lip service to please hardware OEMs? If this weren’t the case, then they could point out that Macs will always be more expensive. PCs/Windows can’t win on use “experience”. Unlike PCs (and contrary to the site’s assertion), Macs do “just work” and PC’s rarely do (or continue to).

    I so much wish I could afford a Mac again. These days I pay in labor keeping my Windows PCs and tablet running…

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