Microsoft: Not Cool at Any Price | Cult of Mac

Microsoft: Not Cool at Any Price



Number Seven Hundred and Thirty Six on the list of things that really torque me off are people who intentionally and knowingly mislead folks for fun and profit. And to this list of Mortgage Brokers, Right Wing Talk Radio Hosts, and Tobacco Lobbyists, we can now add Roger L. Kay president of Endpoint Technology Associates (aside — people who are ‘president’ of companies employing 50 or less people, are number 977 on the list of things that annoy the crap out of me.)

El Presidente Roger authored a white paper at the behest of Microsoft titled: “What Price Cool” which serves to illuminate us all as to how we all have been paying some imaginary “Hidden Apple Tax” all these years.

Of course, a younger man might shrug this drivel off, yet as I grow older I find my patience for such things eroding. While I’m not quite at the yelling at kids to get off my lawn stage, I am quite crotchety enough to spend my Saturday night debunking this garbage.

Follow me after the jump where we reveal the obviousness with which Le President Kay sold his credibility.

–Note: I am intentionally not embedding a lot the original graphs, though garbage it is still copyright The Rog. I’ve  linked to the original, I would urge you to check it out to verify my facts–

Normally, I don’t like to criticize writing style, but the folksy down-home voice that The Prez chose to write in has a charm that is wholly inappropriate for a “white paper”. It simply reeks of Redmond’s marketing department, who never fail to seize an opportunity to remind us how dumb and simple we all are by talking down to us. I can only hope that Mon Capitan Kay deliberately chose to write this way as some kind of purloined letter, perhaps begging us: “Help me! Bill Gates has a stack of money pointed at my head.”

Regardless of his reasoning, the preamble of the paper is simple: we are stupid Mac-Cultists, who buy only because of the cache’ of our brand and the hypnotic will of Steve Jobs. No mention of the utter lack of viruses in the wild, the consistently better user experience ratings, the best post sales service in the industry –not even a tip of the hat for having better sales per square foot than Cartier. Even a pretend analyst would have done that to at least to not shill so obviously.

Following this for a few paragraphs Kay does try to at least sound like an analyst, using words like “Normalized Purchase Cost” and ascribing Apple’s success to the riches of the bubble and her impending doom on the bad economy.

In short utterly failing to recognize that premium brands don’t suffer the same wild swings as commodity players. Don’t believe me? 2008 was Ferrari’s best sales year ever. Don’t trust me on that –Google it.

On to Debunking

The first bit of debunking is relatively simple. There is only one Apple. Everybody and their illiterate cousin makes PC’s. Of course for any given Apple configuration you’ll be able to find a PC configuration that is similar in specifications and is less expensive.

This is essentially the argument that a PC is the sum of its parts. It’s not a bad argument, it’s one that made Michael Dell a billionaire –until he decided he wanted to try and take on HP and IBM in the server market, and then even his tune changed.


Using a car metaphor, General Motors makes both Chevy and Cadillac. You take apart a Cadillac, you’ll find 85% or more of it are parts used also on Chevy –hat makes them the same, right?

Of course not.

Back to computers: Does the Dell XPS M1530 Laptop that Le Grande Generale Rico Kay have a keyboard that lights up when it gets dark? A screen that adjusts brightness and contrast based on current lighting conditions? I’ll bet ya damn sure it doesn’t have an Accelerometer! To some these may be minor things. But how about Apple’s big differentiator, post-sales service?

Does HP offer in store support, migration assistance and training? Not just in a few big cities but even in places like Des Moines? They don’t, not at any price.

I think he’s comparing Lexus’ and mail order Yugos.

His big argument in favor of the alternative: It has HDMI. Which would be awesome, except I watch streaming TV on my laptop, I don’t watch laptop on my TV.

While his laptop comparisons were simple spin, unforgivably fraudulent are his comparisons of Desktops. Quoting Sir Roger:

At the high end, the gap is particularly wide. A Mac Pro fetches $2,500 while a comparable HP m9600t goes for only $1,050. The Mac has a 2.66GHz quad core Xeon, and the HP a quad core Intel Core i7, but the HP has one-third more memory, and a bigger drive. The HP also has HDMI and a 15-n-1 media reader.

Wow, that card reader must’a really dazzled the Marquis De Key because in this instance he didn’t even bother to do a “parts for parts”comparison, he just went for outright deception. The Mac Pro isn’t some crappy little desktop housed in a plastic case for suburbanite kids to spill pop into. It’s a professional WORKSTATION. It uses server grade processors, server grade memory, server grade motherboard and cooling systems, it has built a built in RAID controller, it completely quiet, the list goes on.

The HP in question isn’t even a particularly good video gaming machine. Lets see what an HP made of similar components would cost shall we?

HP Z600 with Intel Xeon Quad Core 2.53 Ghz, 3 GB of RAM 500 GB hard driv, 16x Lightscribe DVD burner –NO VIDEO CARD. MSRP: $2759.00

Well golly, that’s slower, and more expensive than the Mac and you have to run windows on it!


This was of course the most egregious example of machine comparisons. Most of the time El Jeffe chose to just slightly spin the story. For example in evaluating the iMac versus the Dell, he equated the 2 machines as being “comparable“--in spite of the Mac being 33% faster!

Oh the Accessories- My God the Accessories!!!
Now where Prime Minister Kay comes completely unhinged is when it comes to accessories. Apparently someone in Redmond mentioned to him that Macs Just Run Out of the Box. So he spends several paragraphs trying to debunk this.

In a section titled: “Additional Costs to Achieve Full Operation” His Excellency proclaims that you have to have a Sony BluRay Player, a 1 Terabyte Western Digital External Hard Drive and an Airport Extreme to make your Mac work.

Apparently the thing is a paperweight otherwise. Who knew?

The Reverend Dr. Roger Kay then produces a list similar components to upgrade his theoretical PC setup (which I guess doesn’t work either). With more snark than I’ve heretofore seen from the Good Doctor, he points out that while the price difference between the two lists is only $30.00, that thirty dollars is important to uncool people.

Here’s a salacious tit-bit for all you cool cats out there: The cheaper hardware that The Reverend listed, All work just fine on the Macintosh.

Buy what you want, It will work. No worries.

After this, Senator Roger L Kay, esquire then just starts lying for no good reason except he’s being paid by Microsoft. In a section titled “Opportunity costs”he tries to say that if you use an Apple you deny yourself access to cool new technology such as:

  • Blu-Ray –Now why did he spend all that time telling me how expensive it would be to add if I couldn’t add it?
  • eSata — All Macs are all SATA all the time, eSata is just a card away
  • TV Tuners —Seriously? I only mention this because it’s the second time he’s brought it up, apparently it’s a big deal to the His Honor, but I’ve gotten my TV over cable since the 1980’s and since the 1990’s even that’s being supplanted by this thing called the Internet. Check it out Rog. One thing is for sure, I am absolutely not walking around the friggin airport with a set of rabbit ear antenna on my laptop.

All of this is forgetting for a moment that Apple was the first to bring you a Graphical User Interface, Firewire, Wireless networking, and continues to innovate things like multi touch, face recognition, streaming media –LOOK ROGER –NO RABBIT EARS!

In the ‘Where are We Going‘ section Viscount Kay lays down the optimism for the Windows users out there. It’s not about what you can do NOW –it’s about the FUTURE: Yes we suck right now he admits, but Windows 7 will be better, the whole I’m a Mac and you’re a PC thing will “have faded to a faint echo” because Windows 7 will fix the constant crashing, and boot right up, and it will make the machines it runs on prettier by osmosis, and the benchmarks will be awesome — shall we benchmark? C’mon Lets Benchmark!!!

Yes, lets. I’ll start now, with my working copy of OS X, and you can start whenever your vaporware Windows 7 ships. Let’s measure who has the highest productivity.

After this point I can honestly say that Generalissimo Roggey Kay just looses his frikin mind. He devolves into this faux anecdotal saga of Sally, Jack, Ted and Tina Bancroft, who are either a wealthy Dallas oil family or San Francisco sex workers –I couldn’t figure that out– but whatever, apparently they need a computer.

And now Jack, crack whore or oil baron that he may be, is really good with numbers and he worked out that if the family chooses to keep their ‘investment’ in PC’s never buying any software for them, and not ever upgrade either software or hardware, over five years it would be cheaper than changing everything over to the Mac.


Let me clue you into a secret “Jack“, we here in the cult, don’t really want you on our side. The proliferation of iPhones into the hands of Toothless Appalachian Hillbillies has reaffirmed to me at least that if anything we need to make these goddamned computers even more expensive. We need to get Jon Ive to design a Mac made out of virgin tears, and first kisses, for the explicit purposes of keeping it out the hands of the unwashed masses.

So Roger, go on, enjoy your “open eco system”, enjoy your constant crashes, and malware -and enjoy your wait for the version of windows that finally fixes all this– but please don’t ever buy a Mac, the idea of that might force me to switch to Linux.


Daily round-ups or a weekly refresher, straight from Cult of Mac to your inbox.

  • The Weekender

    The week's best Apple news, reviews and how-tos from Cult of Mac, every Saturday morning. Our readers say: "Thank you guys for always posting cool stuff" -- Vaughn Nevins. "Very informative" -- Kenly Xavier.

Comments are closed.