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Microsoft Businesses Apple

Ballmer Scorns Apple As a $500 Logo 1147

Posted by timothy
from the upholding-shareholder-value dept.
theodp writes "Speaking at a conference in NYC, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer did his best to refan the flames of the Mac vs. PC rivalry: 'Now I think the tide has really turned back the other direction [against Apple],' Ballmer said. 'The economy is helpful. Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment — same piece of hardware — paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be.'"
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Ballmer Scorns Apple As a $500 Logo

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  • It seems ironic... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by pushing-robot (1037830) on Saturday March 21, 2009 @02:27PM (#27280513)

    Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment — same piece of hardware — paying $500 more to get a logo on it?

    ...that the head of Microsoft would apparently put no value on software.

    • by tgibbs (83782) on Saturday March 21, 2009 @02:50PM (#27280767)

      The price differential exists precisely because the head of Microsoft doesn't understand what it is about Apple software that causes many people to consider an Apple computer to be worth a few hundred bucks more than a similar-spec Windows machine.

  • by cizoozic (1196001) on Saturday March 21, 2009 @02:28PM (#27280521)
    Jealousy is a stinky cologne, Stevie. ;)
  • by Brett Buck (811747) on Saturday March 21, 2009 @02:28PM (#27280523)

    "And, they keep changing the OS and user interface faster than we can copy it! Bastards"

              Brett

  • by schmidt349 (690948) on Saturday March 21, 2009 @02:28PM (#27280525)
    I pay the extra $500 not so much to get the Apple logo on my computer as to keep the Microsoft logo (and hence the Blue Screen of Death) off of it.
    • by fastest fascist (1086001) on Saturday March 21, 2009 @02:47PM (#27280731)
      Rumour has it there's a non-Microsoft OS available for PCs, as well. In fact, I heard something about them having some kind of "year of the desktop" promotion and giving it out for free. I can't remember what it's called, maybe someone here can help...
      • by leomekenkamp (566309) on Saturday March 21, 2009 @04:00PM (#27281519)
        You mean this one [reactos.org]?
      • by Draek (916851) on Saturday March 21, 2009 @04:09PM (#27281587)

        It's called FreeDOS [freedos.org], but it's a product made by some commie bastards copying the work of honest American workers, the popular and much loved MS-DOS. It's also "Open Source" which is commie talk for "hacking tools", so don't allow your child to use it or he'll become a dirty, smelly commie hacker.

        Just stay with the products of honest American companies like Windows Vista, you support our economy, you spit on the face of those commie bastards, and you get a solid, reliable product as only good ol' American craftmanship can produce.

        I've also heard some rumors of a "Lenix" OS or something, made by some finnish commie but trust me, son, you don't wanna piss off the boys at the NSA by using that. I've even heard it includes some sort of "manifesto" with it, fucking commies, always trying to brainwash you with their commie crap.

  • End of the world (Score:5, Insightful)

    by oldhack (1037484) on Saturday March 21, 2009 @02:29PM (#27280535)

    I'm agreeing with Balmer... so hell has frozen over.

    I've better go dump all my money while I can. Maybe I'll get a mac.

  • As opposed to... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by zr-rifle (677585) <zedr@@@zedr...com> on Saturday March 21, 2009 @02:32PM (#27280575) Homepage
    >paying $500 more to get a logo on it?

    As opposed to paying twice for the same, crappy OS...

    I suppose it would be better, in a moment like this, to look for free alternatives... right?
  • by FudRucker (866063) on Saturday March 21, 2009 @02:32PM (#27280577)
    why pay X amount of dollars for microsoft-windows when you can get Linux for FREE!
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      As much as I hate doing so, I have to agree with Ballmer.

      These large banks made a real mess of our economy and I reckon it'll take a long time to work things out. The way I see it, the economy grew too fast on nothing but hype, similar to the dot-com era. Except this time, it was much bigger and touched a lot more people.

      The government is going to be pumping money into the system to keep it from collapsing before the reality of our economy can come closer to the myth that was pushed the last few years.

      This

  • by db32 (862117) on Saturday March 21, 2009 @02:32PM (#27280581) Journal
    I seem to remember some other Ballmer moments of insight on Apple. There was that interview where he was laughing about how the iPhone was junk and Windows Mobile is the bestest evar. He also had some pretty amusing comparisons and whatnot between the wildly successful iPods and the Zune. I mean really now...aside from not selling for crap...the whole mass suicide on New Years was amazing...Apple clearly is failing because they haven't managed to have all of their products of a given model crash at the same time...

    Seriously...this guy has a long track record of saying absolutely moronic shit, why does anyone take anything he says seriously? He will fucking kill Google right?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Your.Master (1088569)

      As I recall he was laughing at the idea of selling the 1st gen iPhone for $700, and telling them to lower their prices and at least add 3G. And they kind of did, which means Ballmer was kind of right.

  • by blackholepcs (773728) on Saturday March 21, 2009 @02:33PM (#27280591) Journal
    Well, I'd rather pay $100.00 for the Microsoft logo and whatever I choose to spend on hardware that I put together and be able to play every game I want to play than pay $500 dollars for a logo and be limited to canned hardware configurations and nominal game and software titles. Not trying to be anti-Apple or pro-Microsoft here. He just has a bit of a point. In today's economy Apple has to be feeling the sting. It's there own fault for being overpriced on pretty much every level. That said, I'd love to have a Macbook. But I can't afford even a Netbook right now.
    • by bennomatic (691188) on Saturday March 21, 2009 @02:44PM (#27280703) Homepage
      Games are fun and all, but if we're talking about waste in our economy, there's three things wrong with your argument:
      • Most games have no productive output or result.
      • Most games sap significant time, which could have been used to earn money or add something productive to the world.
      • I'm guessing the games you're talking about cost you money.

      Please note: the following comments are not about you personally; I do not know you. The comments are a broad-strokes response to anyone who makes this argument.

      So, congratulations. You saved $100 for the privilege of spending $600 on games in the life of the OS installation, wasting 1000 hours in the interim, severely limiting your social life and development of your social skills, increasing your later-life health-care costs due to lack of exercise and poor nutrition, adding another $75 to your electric bill and 600 pounds of carbon emissions to the environment due to the energy usage while you're playing those games on your high-powered gaming system.

      If you love games, great. But from a more holistic perspective, it's a dubious argument.

  • Ballmer -1 Troll (Score:5, Insightful)

    by javacowboy (222023) on Saturday March 21, 2009 @02:36PM (#27280627)

    Ballmer is just trolling. He knows that Apple offers real value because OS X is a better operating system than Windows, which means that Apple has essentially taken away the high-end PC business away from Microsoft.

    He should know that trolling isn't going to bring those high-end customers back to Windows. Maybe he does, who knows?

    Microsoft has repeatedly chosen to patch Windows instead of rebuilding it from the ground up as a modern operating system, the way Apple did with OS X. They should have known 8 years ago that this was the wrong strategy.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Draek (916851)

      Apple offers real value because OS X is a better operating system than Windows

      Prove it. For me it may be since OSX is UNIX, but the way I see it, for most people one's a stupidly bloated system that runs all their apps, and the other's a stupidly bloated system that only runs special versions of some of their apps.

      Apple has essentially taken away the high-end PC business away from Microsoft.

      Prove it. I've yet to hear about a large business standardizing on Apple products, I've yet to hear about a serious gamer using Macs, so I'd like to know which definition of "high-end" are you using, and the stats backing up your claim.

      Microsoft has repeatedly chosen to patch Windows instead of rebuilding it from the ground up as a modern operating system, the way Apple did with OS X. They should have known 8 years ago that this was the wrong strategy.

      Interesting that they still maintain m

      • by wickerprints (1094741) on Saturday March 21, 2009 @03:47PM (#27281389)

        None of your reasons is meaningful because you fail to consider the fact that Micrsoft used anticompetitive practices and developer lock-in to leverage an inferior product into the dominant consumer and enterprise OS. Businesses use Windows because their IT supports it, developers support it, OEMs support it, ad nauseam. It's not because it's a better product--it's because everyone and their mom has been stuck with it, like lousy VHS tapes. There are numerous examples in our economic history that show that the dominant technology is not always the "best."

        What Microsoft has failed to recognize for the past 8 years is that Steve Jobs' Apple Inc. isn't interested in playing that game any more. He is way too busy pushing Apple in the direction of emerging consumer technology. He wants Apple to not lead market share per se, but to lead the direction of the market. That's what the iPod and iPhone did. That's what Jonny Ive's design has done. I find it hilarious that people talk up all these competitors (Nokia, RIM, LG, Samsung, and Palm for the iPhone, and Creative, Microsoft, for the iPod), and say how they now offer better features and hardware than the Apple products they wish to "kill." They forget that before Apple even broke those markets wide open, NONE of those companies made jack SHIT. Where was the Zune before the iPod? Where was the Storm or Pre before the iPhone? Where was any of all this sudden innovation in hardware design before Apple made their mark? The competitors play catch-up because they lack the vision to lead. They are too busy resting on their laurels and squeezing every last dime out of the consumer. If Apple costs more (and I'm not necessarily convinced one way or another), I'm willing to pony up to support a company that has the balls to lead, because in the long run we're all the better for it.

        The whole tech industry and the consumers who use their products owe a huge debt of gratitude to Apple for lighting a massive bonfire under the collective asses of all the industry competitors. No other company in the past decade has done more to set a fierce competitive landscape in the realm of hardware, software, and product design. If it weren't for Apple we'd still be stuck with shitty Windows Mobile on 2" tiny non-touchscreen devices that looked uglier than a crack-addled stepmom on an alcohol binge.

  • by MrCrassic (994046) <deprecated AT ema DOT il> on Saturday March 21, 2009 @02:41PM (#27280671) Journal
    Since the article used the Adamo as their example, I went ahead and did a price check between a Macbook Air and an Adamo.

    Turns out that for only $300 MORE, the Air will provide you with a CPU that's 400 MHz faster, the 128 GB SSD and dedicated graphics, along with OS X Leopard and the ability to run Windows Vista (probably better than the Adamo can).

    Aren't CEOs of software megaconglomerates like Microsoft supposed to do this kind of research before talking smack?
  • by edivad (1186799) on Saturday March 21, 2009 @02:43PM (#27280687)
    Take a MacPro, open it, and compare it with stuff like Dell or Sony or HP. Is it a little more expensive? Yes. It is worth it? Hell, yeah.
    There is no match as far as how clean and robust is the build, compared to other top-brand PCs. Absolute absence of flying around cables, top of the line electronic components, maximum care down to the very little details.
    But this is a known thing to everyone that actually opened an Apple and other brand-name PCs.
    Ballmer, ... God's gift to every person in the world that does not really love Microsoft. Or for people, like myself, that could happily live even w/out them.
    He has been able to drag Microsoft, once perceived as technology source with fairly large following, down to the nobody-cared status, as far as all the new technologies being introduced.
    One failure after another, with Microsoft not being able to push new technologies even in their own niche (see Vista fiasco for one).
  • by stokessd (89903) on Saturday March 21, 2009 @02:45PM (#27280713) Homepage

    Man, it's a hailstorm of flung turds already and we are only a few posts in.

    All the fanbois calm down now....

    Ballmer has shown that he in public seems really out of touch, his views on the iPod and iPhone show how what he says isn't the market view. I suspect that he has to say those things, and deep down is actually pretty scared about the iPhone etc. But he can't come out and say, "damn, they really target their niche really well", because that's not his style. Microsoft targets it's niche equally well, business is a sea of Dells running MS OS's, so it's not like he doesn't know about marketing to your core.

    Once again he has missed the point, apple machines do cost more, but you get a unique product. There are precious few PC's out there that are concerned with how the back of the unit looks or cable management, etc. Apple is selling a higher caliber piece of gear than the generic best-buy special. Take a look at the apple keyboard vs. any other PC keyboard. You may or may not like the design, but the differences are clear.

    With a mac product, you can run ALL software, the converse is not true. That's worth some money to lots of people.

    Like any unique product, you will pay for it. but for a lot f people it is worth it.

    Ballmer has to say those things regardless of what he believes inside, he's the voice of Microsoft.

    Sheldon

  • OK, I'm no fan of Apple. I have never owned a Mac, and I haven't programmed on one since 1986. But, when you pay $500 extra for a Mac - if you do - you're getting more than a logo. The hardware is significantly better than average PC hardware. But more significantly, the OS actually works. Personally, I hate it - I intensely dislike the fact that when you get under the covers, it looks like UN*X but it isn't UN*X in a lot of ways that matter. It's essentially NeXT Step, and I hated that, too.

    But, it works, and Windows really doesn't. Personally, I think Ubuntu or Debian are much more user-friendly and productive, and you don't have to spend $500 extra for them - but you put a Mac OS box next to a similarly specced Vista box and ask, 'will the user of the Mac be $500 more productive over the life time of the machine than the user of the PC?' the answer has to be 'hell, yeah!'

    • by Karlt1 (231423) on Saturday March 21, 2009 @03:11PM (#27280997)

      But more significantly, the OS actually works. Personally, I hate it - I intensely dislike the fact that when you get under the covers, it looks like UN*X but it isn't UN*X in a lot of ways that matter. It's essentially NeXT Step, and I hated that, too.

      How is OS X which is certified Unix (http://www.apple.com/macosx/technology/unix.html) not Unix?

    • by Egdiroh (1086111) on Saturday March 21, 2009 @03:44PM (#27281355)

      it looks like UN*X but it isn't UN*X

      He said of the operating system that has been certified as UNIX.

      In honor of this guy, here's a list of super developer assumptions.

      1. My user space software MUST be installed in directories that normally require system level access to add anything too.
      2. No one would ever need multiple versions of my software installed at the same time so it's okay if I make them impossible to co-exist
      3. People always install software locally and not in a shared directory.
      4. People always just randomly spew files anywhere they want in /usr/local so that's what my installer should do
      5. People always have have dedicated home directories for each machine that they might be simultaneously logged into so it's ok for my software to only allow one instance per home directory to be running at a time.
      6. No one will ever try to X Forward my app.
      7. My software will always be on a host by way of it's packaging system so it's okay for me to require that system to be in a good state with regard to my software's packages before running my software.
      8. No one else would ever pick the same names as me for my project's library files. So I don't have to giver people ways to resolve collisions.
      9. My user-space program should use a privileged network port.
      10. My program can use a hard-wired network port because nothing else could ever want that port and the end-user could never have a need to run it on an alternate port
      11. All connections from a given IP are going to be from the same instance of my program.
      12. My program needs to have it's own user with a specific username.
      13. My program needs to have it's own user with a specific UID.
      14. My program's installer can add it's own user by just writing to /etc/passwd and /etc/shadow.
      15. My program needs to have it's own group with a specific group name
      16. My program needs to have it's own group with a specific GID.
      17. My program's installer can add it's own group by just writing to /etc/group.

      If you think that something that has been certified as UNIX isn't UNIX in all the important ways, those important ways are probably your assumptions, which may have even been on my list. And many of those assumptions might work in the case of a single machine with only one user who is also it's administrator, but will eventually break down. I suggest that if you find OS X, not to be UNIX in the right ways that you take some time, and consider how you opperate and ways to make it more robust.

  • by swschrad (312009) on Saturday March 21, 2009 @02:47PM (#27280733) Homepage Journal

    on the other hand, the vista window is a much-better known logo. like Mr. Yuk (tm) it serves as a valuable consumer warning device.

  • by DoofusOfDeath (636671) on Saturday March 21, 2009 @02:56PM (#27280823)

    OS X: $500
    dark turtleneck + horn-rimmed glasses: $150

  • Somehow (Score:3, Funny)

    by hey! (33014) on Saturday March 21, 2009 @02:57PM (#27280841) Homepage Journal

    Ballmer has failed to cast his Svengali-like spell over me. I... I just don't know. It's just that for some reason I cannot explain, I am able to control the impulse to go out and buy a retail copy of Windows Vista Ultimate.

    Sometimes it seems that I can go days without even thinking about it. This very morning, I got out of bed, and got myself a cup of coffee, and it didn't even occur to me that if only I had Microsoft Select Plus licensing, I might have Windows Embedded Enterprise in my coffee pot.

    I wonder. Does this mean I have developed some kind of unusual resistance to Ballmer's powers of persuasion? Does this mean that I, unlike so many millions of others, have somehow managed to penetrate that fatal glamour?

    That makes me feel so... so... special.

  • So... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by wampus (1932) on Saturday March 21, 2009 @02:59PM (#27280867)

    This is where fanboys decide the talking points for the next month or so and shit them all over the internet?

  • by mosb1000 (710161) <mosb1000@mac.com> on Saturday March 21, 2009 @02:59PM (#27280879)
    Apples are selling just fine, what is he talking about?
  • by Alain Williams (2972) <addw@phcomp.co.uk> on Saturday March 21, 2009 @03:01PM (#27280883) Homepage
    Ballmer wants the world to focus on the idea that the desktop fight is only between M$ and Apple. If he can do that then, perhaps (please -- hopefully), that people will not start using a Linux desktop.

    The Linux desktop is Ballmer's real nightmare... and it is getting closer.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 21, 2009 @03:05PM (#27280943)

    One thing Apple offers is good service. A user who isn't technical can buy their computer, their OS, and in a number of cases, the applications they use on a day to day basis (iWork for example) all from Apple. Instead of being shunted around between the hardware company, the OS vendor, the app maker, and perhaps some third party that is blamed for a driver issue, a user can just call one point of contact and most likely have the problem solved. Or, they can go to a Genius Bar and bring the machine and show the problem in person.

    Of course, one personal account is statistically insignificant, but I can compare support experiences on a personal level (as opposed to calling a business support line.) For a problem in a laptop, one PC maker put me on hold for 2-3 hours, read a script demanding running diagnostics even though the problem was quite obvious, then pretty much said to go pester the OEM for the part for a replacement. When I had bad RAM in a new Macbook, I went to a Genius Bar, and they just swapped out the entire machine with a new one.

    Business or premium PC support is different, but it definitely costs enough that brings the $500 to $1000 price difference way closer.

    For the cost difference, less aggravation for a user who is more focused on the work they are doing as opposed to the computer can be worth it.

    Another thing not factored in is OS X. OS X to some may bring the "Apple tax" gap closer together.

    One can argue the security issues about OS X versus Windows, but because the malware makers are gunning for Windows with relatively few exploits for OS X in the wild, one doesn't have to be as on top of computer security. I can run an OS X box using the default browser without antivirus software and not really have to worry about the box ending up as a botnet client (although there are always Trojans). This would be pure suicide if I did the same with Windows and IE and no antivirus software. OS X is a lot more forgiving for people who are not atop things when it comes to securing their computer.

  • by Chris Tucker (302549) on Saturday March 21, 2009 @03:07PM (#27280969) Homepage

    But there ARE a variety of Apple computers, each somewhat different than the others. The Mac OS installer is smart enough to know which Mac it's being installed on, and configures itself accordingly.

    As for Windows. Well, now. HOW many motherboards are out there? How many different video and sound cards? How many webcams and microphones? How many fiddling little DLLs and drivers?

    And Windows has to accommodate them all. Or, rather YOU, the users, have to accommodate them all on your own, by seeking out and downloading the latest drivers for some card made in China using FSM knows what revision of onboard firmware.

    MS sells HOW MANY versions of XP and Vista? How many versions of Windows 7 will there be?

    Mac OS X. One box, one version. Install on as many Macs as you own. Got the last version of Mac OS X and you just bought the latest? Go ahead, SELL the old one or give it away.

    Apple Doesn't Care!

    Same with their iLife and iWork application suites.

    They WOULD rather that you didn't upload the DVD to Pirate Bay or the like. But they don't make anyone phone home or authenticate an install or give you grief if you don't have the serial number from the box.

    ALL my installs of OS X have been from previously owned install DVDs. NEVER a problem. NEVER an authentication from Cupertino required.

    Office? Feh! iWork, US$80.00 retail, probably less with an academic discount. iLife, same price.

    Other software? Photoshop? Please. Graphic Converter uses most PS plug ins and filters. Outlook Express? I can manually infect my Mac with viruses and trojans without any help, thank you very much.

    Mail app or Eudora work just fine for me as email applications. And neither will do anything I don't explicitly authorize.

    Internet Explorer? Please! Don't make me laugh, I have chapped lips! Firefox makes IE its bitch 24/7.

    Mac OS vs. Windows? Two Words: TIME MACHINE!

    So, yeah, Ballmer, you sweaty little monkey, shrieking and throwing your feces at passersby, that logo IS worth the extra money to me.

    If only because YOU don't see a penny of it.

  • by nEoN nOoDlE (27594) on Saturday March 21, 2009 @03:14PM (#27281049) Homepage

    This is definitely the pot calling the kettle black. How much am I paying exactly for all those "Built for Windows" stickers I've had to scrape off?

  • by fluch (126140) on Saturday March 21, 2009 @03:15PM (#27281057)

    I'm a post graduate student who has not so many bucks (Pounds in my case) lying around, either. But still, in June as soon as Apple releases their Snow Leopard I will go for a 24 inch iMac. Will cost me about 1085 Pounds as a student (incl. wireless mouse/keyboard), but for this money I get a computer which provides me with excellent value for the price: huge screen with high 1920x1200 resolution, excellent operating system with hardly any anoyances, things-just-work environment whit all the things I (!) need.

    I have already an 20 inch iMac with Leopard at the office and therefore I know that it provides me whit precisely my needs. And compared to other students and member of staff which opted for Windows machines the iMac outperfomes them with respect to usability and complete lack of any problems (you have no idea how much problems the Windows machines have in the Windows centric world we have at our office!).

    Anyways ... I for myself don't mind if Balmer keeps dreaming or throwing chairs. ;-)

  • by theodp (442580) on Saturday March 21, 2009 @03:19PM (#27281103)

    Microsoft is touting $1,300 SeniorPC Packages [microsoft.com]. According to the sales pitch, it's "what seniors want in a PC." Think SteveB feels this a better value than a Mac? :-)

  • by Animats (122034) on Saturday March 21, 2009 @03:37PM (#27281285) Homepage

    The basic problem is that the price point for a computer is now $299. Apple can get away with some brand premium, but not $500 any more.

    This won't kill Apple. Their volume products, the iPhone and the various iPods, are down into that price region already.

    Also, the era of "bling" is so over. Walk into any jewelry store today. It will be empty of customers. (Or, quite possibly, an empty storefront.)

  • by grapeape (137008) <mpope7@kc . r r . c om> on Saturday March 21, 2009 @03:57PM (#27281489) Homepage

    I took the Mac plunge a couple years back and wouldnt buy anything else hardware wise now at least when it comes to notebooks. I need something reliable, portable and fast so far OSX fits that bill.

    For me the best part about OSX is its portablity, try taking a harddrive out of a windows machine and moving it to another non indentical one and see what happens. With OSX as long as its an intel moving to an intel or ppc moving to ppc its just plug and go doesnt matter if its a core or core2 or what model. Better yet try troubleshooting a hardware problem on one windows machine by simply holding down a key on bootup to boot from another machine without having do anything without having to touch the innards.

    As for price, my macbook (I dont own a pro) has better specs than the T61 for which I paid $200 more.

  • It's not the logo (Score:3, Interesting)

    by MartinSchou (1360093) on Saturday March 21, 2009 @04:23PM (#27281705)

    It's the ease of use.

    Personally I run Windows. At home and at work. I've used a Mac maybe a grand total of 48 hours in my life. That should tell you where I'm at with bias.

    I also do tech support for printers. I suspect maybe half a percent of our calls the user is running OS X. Solving issues there is very simple (again I've not really used a Mac):
    *Unplug the printer
    *Go to system, printers, control/right click, reset printer system
    *Reconnect the printer (or add it if it's a network printer)
    This works in 95% of all cases

    Windows:
    *Unplug the printer
    *Empty the printer queue
    *Delete the printer
    *Disable firewall programs (even for USB printers, and don't ask my why that works)
    *Reconnect the printer (or add it if it's a network printer)
    This works in 50% of all cases

    Fewer steps, huge difference in effectiveness.

    If it doesn't work ...
    Mac:
    *Unplug printer
    *Reset print system again
    *Create a new user account
    *Run a file system fix
    *Add printer

    Windows:
    *Unplug printer
    *Delete printer
    *Get customer to run a batch file from a special folder on the CD
    ***This is an issue in an of itself, as quite a lot of customers think you're telling them to open either the C or D drive ("well, which one" is a classic. DVD doesn't help: "I don't have a V drive")
    *Hand holding them through this uninstall ("Yes, now you click next")
    *Run MSconfig to disable all startup items and non-microsoft services and reboot
    *Doublecheck that their AV and firewall is disabled (Norton's older programs are notorious about running anyway)
    *(Realise that the customer is using a wireless network and a special service/startup item is used to activate their wireless NIC - applies only to network printers)
    *Add the printer again
    *Reboot to normal mode again

    Then of course there are issues with routers that don't function well with IPv6 (or Vista's implementation of it). While it's cool that Windows finally has an IPv6 stack for those that need it, it's not cool that it'll break the network. I only know this because of the issues we have with it. Disabling the IPv6 stack on Vista computers on the network probably solves about half of the issues we cannot solve otherwise. Again, nothing I've seen happen on Mac OS X, but we don't have nearly as big a pool of cases to pick from.

    Sure, we don't get as many calls about OS X as we do Windows. But the market share for Mac is much higher than the number of issues we have compared to Windows. Either Windows has dumber users, or Windows does something much worse than the Mac does with regards to printers. My guess is mostly the latter.

  • by jcr (53032) <.jcr. .at. .mac.com.> on Saturday March 21, 2009 @04:24PM (#27281715) Journal

    Seems like the only way that Ballmer can get any press these days is by trolling. When was the last time he had this much attention? Wasn't it when he was laughing at the iPhone?

    -jcr

  • by Alchemist253 (992849) on Saturday March 21, 2009 @05:15PM (#27282207)

    My bias: I primarily run Linux (writing this on a Debian workstation), so I suppose I might be more of a "Microsoft basher" than an "Apple fanboy."

    However, one thing I will say about Apple is that it has arguably the best customer service of any large company I have ever dealt with in ANY FIELD.

    Fortunately, Apple products tend to "just work" and continue "just working" so I don't have to deal with service that much. However, when I have I have been impressed.

    When I called Apple support for a particularly obscure software problem, within I got conferenced in with an OS X software engineer who had kernel HFS code in front of him. Keep in mind, this was the standard consumer 800-number level support! How often would this happen at, say, Microsoft?

    I broke one of the mechanical components of my iPhone, walked into an Apple store, and within ten minutes walked out with a replacement phone - no arguing, frustration, or upselling attempted. Along the same vein, a friend of mine had a laptop that was YEARS off warranty, and when the DVD drive finally died Apple still offered to repair it at no charge.

    I've even gone into the Apple store to look at accessories like earphones and had a salesperson tell me that a different retailer was having a sale that I should check out to save money.

    My point I suppose is that the "Apple tax" (or what I would more formally refer to as the "brand premium") is in no small part to pay for having a large number of well-trained (even more with respect to customer interaction than technical skill) employees with sufficient authority to actually deal with problems. Apple takes the attitude that customer satisfaction is more important than low prices - and I thank them for it.

"Life, loathe it or ignore it, you can't like it." -- Marvin the paranoid android

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