Posts for Tag: microsoft office

I don't blame Microsoft. I blame the hardware manufacturers.

Ever since my unfortunate incident, I’ve been working on a Lenovo R60e spare laptop we have in the office.  It’s a huge adjustment to make going from an Macbook to a plastic feeling laptop.  But it’s a hardware adjustment and not a software one.  For the record, I actually really like Windows XP Professional.  It’s stable, easy to use, and very effective for most work related tasks.  Office 2007 has its issues but it’s no biggie.  I actually prefer Office 2003 but maybe that’s because I’m just more used to it.  Vista and Windows 7, however are garbage but I’ve already discussed that before.

Though this is an older laptop (probably circa 2006), I haven’t really seen a huge leap in usability/comfort/innovation from PC laptop manufacturers.  Either they build really expensive machines with a bunch of useless features (Sony VAIOs or Lenovos for instance) or they err on the side of cost effectiveness and build cheap laptops that make CFO’s happy but are lackluster from a usability standpoint (Dell, HP, etc).  Yes, I can buy a Dell Vostro for under $500 but it’s heavy, bulky, and feels cheap.  The really sad part is that in about 6 months, the value of that machine is basically halved by a combination of its cheapness and the fact that Dell builds its computers to be relaced within 2 years.  When I bought my Macbook Air in early 2008 for about $1600 (got a sweet deal).  I sold it over a year and a half later for about $1200.  It held 75% of its value 18 months after I bought it!  When was the last time you could say that about any computer technology?

With rumblings of an update to the Macbook Pro line coming soon, I’ll hold off on getting another Macbook until then.  I’ll probably just pick up the version just before the latest one and save a few bucks.

ZunePass and iTunes - Not exactly apples to apples...

I recently saw the above ad for ZunePass, Microsoft's unlimited music service. Basically, you're renting music as opposed to buying it. I'm not against the concept of a music subscription service, I just think they could have done a better job in the ad of promoting the pros versus always comparing/contrasting with Apple. At some point, Microsoft just needs to go in another direction with its advertising strategy. Always comparing yourself to Apple is a sure fire way of constantly reminding people that a highly competent (not necessarily better in all cases) competitor exists. Same thing with the latest Laptop Hunter commercials.
So here's my free advice to Microsoft. Pitch your strengths versus the strengths of your competitor. Stick to the fact that there is more choice in hardware for PCs, they almost always cost less than Macs, Microsoft Office works much better on a PC than on a Mac, Exchange is better than whatever is available for Macs (is there anything available?), and the fact that most IT folks hate supporting Macs.
The good folks over at Penny Arcade made a very insightful and hilarious comic mocking the latest ad.