I have no problems criticizing, or praising what deserves criticism or praise respectively. I have praised, and criticized, Apple, Microsoft and Google. But beyond criticism, I have a problem with the Apple ads. These ads, are plain lies. Nothing, but plain lies and misleading of the consumer. So, in the spirit of an honest second look, I decided the peice each one of those ads, one by one, and try and bring the truth out.
Here goes -
1. The "Better Results" ad
This ad claims that iMovie produces better quality home movies than a PC does.
iMovie, is a part of iLife, which costs $79 to buy. It comes with five apple-designed iMovie themes, real time effects, cinematic real-time titling, enhanced audio tools and effects, multiple open projects, video podcasts, and a refined look based on iTunes.
Okay, so, another software I have used on PC, called Camtasia, does all of the above and more. In fact, camtasia thankfully avoids iTunes ugly look. Moreover, Windows Vista, and Windows XP came with movei makers built-in for free. Mac Fanboys will argue that XP movie maker was not as good as iMovie. I think I agree. But a movie making software, isn't just about the UI that lets you make the movie. To some extent it is, but to a greater extent it is the codec, and the creative genius of the person authoring the movie. So I did a little research into Quicktime versus WMV. I found a very objective review of both. which seems to rate both Quicktime and WMVs at par. However, if you do consider the fact that PCs run on 95% of the computers in the world, and QT on PCs does not take advantage of native acceleration, WMV is vastly superior on 95% of the machines in the world. And if you do host videos on your website, WMV supports much higher accessibility standards, much more sophisticated DRM, and the streaming server software - is a part of the OS. To stream QT, you have to pay mucho $. And you think the iTunes movie store is good? Heck it doesn't even do HD. Who are you kidding!
2. The "Self Pity" ad.
This ad, claims that Mac is as much of a business machine as a PC, because it runs Microsoft Office. First, a little history on "How Macintosh got MS Office". Truth be told, Microsoft bailed out Apple and promised to create a mac version of office in Apple's time of need. Don't believe me? See it for yourself.
Well fine, so Mac runs Office. Bah. Does that make you much of a business machine? Well, SharePoint 2003 doesn't work worth much on Apple machines - SharePoint 2007 does - largely thanks to Microsoft. Apple has problems with Kerberos. Apple won't work with exchange - but Microsoft helped them out by adding IMAP and POP3, and well, let us not forget, the Mac Office is atleast a year, if not more, behind the Windows Office releases.
I just don't see, how Apple can thus claim that it has an equal standing on the "Office" world as a "PC" does? Sorry, but here is another baseless claim.
3. The "Accident" ad.
Apparently, some guy tripped over the PC's powercord, so the PC got hurt. The Mac doesn't have the issue because the Mac's power cord has a magnetic something, so it pops right out.
Okay credit given where it is deserved - Mac hardware looks better, and is thought through better. It isn't that I haven't seen impressive hardware ideas on the PC platform, just that Mac really does this job better.
4. The "Angel Devil" ad, or the "Work vs. Home" ad, or the "Meant for work" ad
These ads, don't really convey much. Sure they does poke fun - but doesn't really tell me anything core, it is mostly anecdotal. One thing I guess they seem to claim is "Macs are more fun and entertaining". In other words, "PCs are all about work, and Macs are more fun". Well funny, but apparently the PC is the #1 gaming platform in the world. The XBOX works a lot better with a PC than it does with a Mac. Unless of course Microsoft plays fair and makes XBOX work with a Mac. But between Apple breaking the noose loose between Windows Media player + iPod, and XBOX working on a Mac - which one do you expect first?
So, can you have more fun on a Mac than a PC? I seriously doubt. And even speaking of photos - have you seen the photo capabilities in Vista?
5. The "Trust Mac" ad, or the "Viruses" ad.
These ads talk about how PCs are more insecure than Macs. There is certainly a much higher number of malicious programs targeting the OS that runs 95% of the computers in the world. That doesn't mean in any manner that Mac is a better written OS than PC is. In fact, Vista is extremely secure, and Microsoft is extremely diligent at patching any holes that are discovered. Within security experts, it is a proven fact that PCs are indeed the most secure OS around. Mac Fanboys will argue - but that is why you are called fanboys.
Now, if you are not a Mac Fanboy, and are open to some sane reasoning, please read the below three articles -
Mac OS X Security Myth #1: Mac OS X Has Few Security Bugs
Mac OS X Security Myth #2: Nobody Attacks Mac OS X
Mac OS X Security Myth #3: Mac OS X Has More Security Designed In
The above articles are from an MS guy, but he seems to have credentials stronger than both me and you. (About Jeff Jones)
6. The "Out of the Box" ad
Now this is an interesting ad. While the claim it makes is, true. Mac is pretty much unpack and plug-in, you must look behind the scenes a bit here.
I bought a dell desktop, a dell laptop and IBM laptop last year. They were all plug and play. However, I wiped off the operating system, and re-installed it again in a way I wanted it to work. I also upgraded the video card, the hard disk, and the sound card. So, I had "choice" - something mac folks will never have. Choice drives prices down - so I paid a lot lesser than a mac fanboy did. I also get a system, exactly to my liking - which a mac fanboy must like exactly what apple shipped, because that is all he will ever get.
In short, this ad really is a win for PC over Mac. I like choice, and I am not willing to give it up for a prettier looking hardware. Apparently 95% of the world agrees with me, so fanboys unite and flame me, but sorry I just don't see your point here.
7. The "Touche" ad.
In this ad, Mac argues that he runs Mac and Windows both, so a Mac is all you need.
Now, I like Apple hardware - it looks rather nice. Sure you pay a lot, and it isn't very customizable - but, it did perk my interest when I wanted to by my second laptop. So I looked at the Macbook and MacBook pro. Here is what I found.
First, an equivalent dell or ibm was far cheaper than Mac. But I won't expound on this too much.
Let us look into the OS Claim of Mac. I looked as much as I could on Apple's website for an answer - it wasn't there, atleast not obviously displayed. You'd think, what they made an ad about, would be talked a bit more about on their website - it wasn't. So, I clicked on the "Live person" chat link, and a little chat with Nicole. See below -
- You are chatting with Nicole, an Apple Expert
Hi, my name is Nicole. How may I help you today?
You: I had a quick question regarding MacBooks running Windows
Nicole: I am happy to help with that.
You: What versions of Windows will a MacBook run? Will it run only XP or .. will it run Windows 2003, and/or Vista?
Nicole: One moment while I research that for you.
Nicole: With the assistance of Boot Camp, an Intel based Mac will have the capability to run Windows XP with Service Pack 2.
Nicole: The Boot Camp beta software lets you install and run Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition or Professional with Service Pack 2 or later, on an Intel-based Macintosh computer running Tiger 10.4.6 or later.
You: Thanks Nicole.
Nicole: You're welcome.
Nicole: You have a great night!
So, if I wish to run Vista, or Windows 2003, I cannot use a Mac. As it turns out, some Microsoft employee in Europe did run Vista on a Mac. So thanks to Microsoft, their incredible support and open-ness may support that configuration - but officially, Macbooks will not run Windows OS's - atleast not in their full glory. So much for the "I run windows" claim.
Now I dug a bit deeper. Apparently even the live chat on Apple's website is hosted by another website called liveperson.net. So, the asshole that I am, I started chatting to another cute chick that works for liveperson.net. Here is the chat image -
So let me get this straight. The "Chat" apple's website depends on, runs on "Windows". Oh I am not even going to point the irony in that :-).
Sorry, I get carried away - there are a lot of ads to cover, so on to the next ad.
8. The "Restarting" ad.
Just a screenshot says it all. (Also the relevant blogpost).
Sidenote: Funny screenshot story.
You see, Macs crash too. And when they do, they don't have crash dump analysis tools like the Windows OS does. AhA, Mac fanboys will argue that "Unix" does - but have you looked at the tools between Unix and Windows? And have you looked at .NET? Have you seen the industry penetration of .NET? Are you smoking crack? Thought so.
9. The iLife ad.
Here the Apple folks claim that Apple has a better choice in software than on PC. The example they choose is iLife over Calculator.
If this isn't an "In your face lie", what is. If there is any reason why PCs are more popular than Macs, is because of the wider variety of software available on a PC. So take that iLife, and put it back where it came from.
10. The "Network" ad.
Here the Apple folks claim that Apple computers network better with digital cameras than PCs do.
Apple's proposed peripheral interface was, and still is, firewire. USB was more of a PC thing. Now, take a walk at your local best buy, and see how many digital cameras, or peripherals in general carry USB, Firewire, or both. Mr. Jobs - even the iPod carries USB. And if you hadn't added USB and ported the iPod to a PC, you would not have had the most successful product in Apple's history.
11. The "Sabotage" ad
No technical facts conveyed in this ad. Maybe this is an actually honest ad for a change - a total thief & liar, is a big fan of a Mac.
12. The "Tech support" ad.
Here Mac points to the fact that iMac and iBooks have cameras built right into them.
So let us get this aside - If you did an inventory of laptops with cameras built right into them, I am sure you will end up with more choice in the PC land than the Mac land. However, as I have already said, I do give credit where it is deserved - Apple does a great job in hardware. Many things are very thought through.
13. The "Surgery" ad.
Vista is the first consumer oriented OS release in 5 years. So, would it not be silly to expect an OS of today, to work on hardware of 5 years ago? In fact, if Microsoft did scale down Vista to ancient hardware, in other words, did not take advantage of new hardware, that would be a sore mistake.
But wait a minute - vista does degrade gracefully on inferior hardware. The functionality remains unaffected, only the glitz is sacrificed.
I wanna see Leapard run on 5 year old hardware gracefully. Chances are, you will pay almost 5000 bucks for a top of the line leapard system. My dell cost about a $1000. Beat that.
14. The "Sales Pitch" ad
Oh, and the concert that Steve Jobs puts up called the Macworld is any different? Again - I just don't see the sense in this ad. Does this make a Mac any technically superior than a PC?
15. The "Counselor" ad.
This ad, hints on all the lies I clarified above, and seems to show the loathe and hatred PCs have for Macs.
So, I'm a PC user, and I have no loathe and hatred towards Mac users. But, I find it unethical that a company this big relies on a constant tirade of lies to build it's empire. You can slice and dice every MacWorld keynote and point out where Steve jobs is simply lying. In a huge manner, the Mac Fanboy crowd is sheep thinking. Apple's most, and frankly only, hugely successful product is the iPod. It is marred by an awful software called iTunes, but the iPod is quite awesome. Check out the intro video of the iPod. This is when Mac Fanboys didn't exist. Jobs is presenting to a small room, a simple projector, and as he talks about the insanely cool features of the iPod, you get a sniffle, a chuckle, maybe a clap or two. In comparison, in today's world, when a Mac fanboy following is built and is strong, Steve Jobs can take a shit, pack it in an offwhite box, and call it iShit, and these fanboys will gladly eat it with an iSpoon.
But, seriously, what is the point in banging heads with Mac fanboys who have clearly lost any ability for sane argument. These ads only appeal to an audience that is full of themselves. But do you think this attitude will get you far? I seriously doubt.
Either way, these ads are lies, and they mislead the consumer. I hope someone with more influence than me will take the onus of dispelling the myths.