Sunday, May 03, 2009

Microsoft don't tell the whole truth!


Image via CrunchBase
Many folk have seen the latest video ad by Microsoft knocking Macs and trying to convince potential purchasers that Macs aren't up to the job. The video features a woman called Sheila looking for a laptop on which to edit video. She describes herself as an independent film-maker. What isn't clear is whether she is a real person and therefore genuinely looking for a laptop on which she can really edit her films. This is an important point but not clear from the ad.

Why is it important? Well, if she is an actor then why should we pay any credence to her actual choice... after all, as an actor she is unlikely to be an independent film-maker and therefore has little or no idea of what video-editing requires in terms of hardware or software. More on this in a minute. If she is really an independent filmmaker, then we have the right to ask a few pertinent questions. Like, why is there no mention of what video-editing software she is intending to use? Anyone who knows anything about editing video knows that your choice of software affects which computer platform you will need.. Apple's industry-standard software will of course only run on a Mac, whilst you can run pc software on a Mac via Boot Camp, Parallels or Fusion. So, the fact that she is looking at both Macs and pc laptops means she hasn't finalized her choice of software, putting the proverbial cart before the horse so to speak!

Now, looking at her final choice, TUAW points out that she actually chooses a laptop that doesn't compare well with the Mac she rejected. It has less screen resolution (1366x768 compared to the Mac's 1440x900) and its RAM is slower (DDR2 compared to the Macs DDR3). Looking at other features (comparing the base configuration of the Macbook Pro to that of the HP HDX16t), we can see that the Mac also has a better spec for the following:
  • Processor - Mac 2.44GHz (15") or 2.66GHZ (17") compared to HDX16t 2.2GHz. Only the top-end model has a 2.93GHz cpu
  • Graphics card(s) - Mac has 2 cards (9600 GT & 9400M) whilst HP has one (9600 GT or GT 130M)
So, we can see that the ad really tells us very little, except that Sheila is not a good example for us to follow!

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