Microsoft has lost its marbles regarding this whole “Apple is expensive” thing, which is clear with their latest “ad.” So far, they’ve only been running this ad online, which makes me wonder if even they know they’ve jumped the shark with this meme. Their latest shot […]


Microsoft has lost its marbles regarding this whole “Apple is expensive” thing, which is clear with their latest “ad.” So far, they’ve only been running this ad online, which makes me wonder if even they know they’ve jumped the shark with this meme.

Their latest shot is a video with “certified financial adviser” Wes Moss. Wes explains that it takes $30K to fill Apple’s latest (120GB) iPod, but only $15 (a month) to fill a similar-sized Zune. Huh? It would appear that Wes is a “financial adviser” in the same way that Giampaulo is “technically savvy” and that Sheila will “cut video.” In other words, they may be these things, but if so, by no means are they good at what they do.

In Wes’ case, as a financial adviser — especially a certified one — I would think one should know what “renting” is. In fact, if your job title has the word “financial” anywhere in it, I would expect at least a reasonable grasp on borrowing vs. owning. Poor Wes, he thinks he got that Lamborghini for only $700, but at the end of his six hours he’ll find out exactly what renting is. For his sake, I hope the police aren’t involved.

Microsoft, this has been tried before. A company that at one time actually had a name in digital downloads tried this pitch. With a Super Bowl ad, no less. It didn’t work. Nobody bought (rented?) it then, and they won’t now.

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  1. You’re right, Tom, it’s disingenuous to make it look like it’s only 15 dollars to fill the Zune, rather than $15 a month. Apple should, in rebuttal, point out that eventually you’d be paying the same amount for the music on the Zune. In fact, it would only take 166 years.

  2. It’s very sad that Microsoft have no argument other than price to affirm their superiority over Apple. Clearly a sign of abdication from Microsoft. They have clearly run short of ammunitions.

  3. Price isn’t there only argument: they make good quality product that functionally runs the world. They’re hitting on price currently because it’s a powerful selling point; it would be pretty ludicrous of them *not* to hit on the price, don’t you think?

    I love Apple products, but I also love the hell out of my Xbox 360, and I’m really liking what I’ve seen of Windows 7 (which runs perfectly on a four year old laptop of mine [which I should point out still works fine, despite being older than many Apple faithful seem to think PCs can function to]). I also adore my iPhone, because I prefer to take each device on its own merits, rather than get into some simplistic binary view of the world where it’s automatically great if one company does it, and automatically crap if another company does.

  4. Josh Pigford Tuesday, May 12, 2009

    @Brian Hogg: You’re still missing the point. With the Zune, even after 166 years you still would never OWN the music. The second you stop paying them, all that music is gone. All of it. Not to mention, this service would need to be in business for 166 years or, again, all the access to music is gone.

  5. @Josh Pigford I’m not missing the point, I’m responding to the argument as presented by Tom. It certainly could be that Tom was pointing to the fact that you never own the music, but I personally took it to be more a consideration of cost (pointing to the “cost” of the car, for example, the most direct point seems to be that it’s 700/month), and from what I read of Mr. Reestman’s writing on this site, his view of anything Microsoft isn’t exactly nuanced.

    I suppose a more salient counter to your point is to point out to you that from a technical perspective nobody actually owns any of their digital media anyway; we purchase a license to it which can be revoked at any time if the company decides we’re in violation of the terms of our agreement. So in that sense Apple’s “rental” agreement is far more odious than Microsoft’s, as at the very least Microsoft lets you get more stuff for your money.

    That’s playing a bit of a game of semantics, though. Another question would be whether people will care enough about it being rental only; how much of your catalogue do you actually listen to on a regular basis, for example? That may not make any arguments invalid, but from the perspective of a consumer, it may indeed be good enough to know that while you’re paying $15 a month you can listen to anything it occurs to you to listen to without a difference of cost.

  6. Actually I think renting music is a perfect idea for the current consumer mindset (esp. pre-teen). Avril Lavigne and Clay Aiken belong there next to pre-cooked, then microwaved “all-meat” patties sold “fresh”, and disposable marriages. We need never consider looking back, or connecting to our past. It’s all now..oops…um, now…oops…

  7. $30,000 is BS. They mean 30,000 songs at 99 cents right? Well that’s based on a 4 minute song at a 128 bit rate. I don’t know about you, but who the hell rips at 128 kbps? I rip at 320. So I’d probably get somewhere in the neighborhood of 12,000 songs on a 120G iPod. Did those songs cost me $12,000? No, because they were all bought on CDs. Tons were on deals or free from BMG and Columbia House. Not to mention that my 800 or so CDs date back to the early 80’s. So maybe I’ve spend $10,000 on CDs over the past 25 years.

    Who is Microsoft kidding?

  8. Supercharged Tuesday, May 12, 2009

    I’m to buy Gallardo for $150 000 easily. Because after two years I’d sell it and buy Carrera GT.

    Would you be able to sell your iTunes library ever?..

    In that case, renting is a way to go.

  9. @krye Apple would prefer you to fill up your iPod by purchasing songs from the iTunes store, yes? I’m guessing that Microsoft is using Apple’s best-customer-case to determine what a typical “full iPod” cost would be.

    Now, sure, most people don’t go anywhere NEAR filling it, because I hear that most people only get a couple hundred songs on their iPod, but the main feature of the subscription service is that you can easily fill the machine up, and if you want to cram it full of music it’s a much better deal than buying it from the iTunes store.

    (I may be coming off as a Microsoft apologist here, but I’m really being more anti-Tom-Reestman’s illogical rants than pro-Microsoft)

  10. @Supercharged Excellent point. (Though that’s hardly an Apple-specific problem; it’s an issue with all digital media)

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