Mary Jo Foley has a good post up about the second ad in the Microsoft “Laptop Hunters” campaign, which features “Giampaolo” who has a $1500.00 budget for a laptop. I think it is an effective ad that makes a good point about the affordability of PC based hardware vs. Apple hardware.
I also have to agree with Mary Jo Foley that this campaign seems to infuriate many Apple owners (who often seem to have thin skins if anyone questions their purchase decision). This seems to prove that maybe they realize that Apple hardware is overpriced, but that is just part of the price that must be paid in order to use the wonderful Mac OS.
Personally, I like the freedom and choices that I have in the PC based world. I can buy a machine from any company that I choose to, or I can build one out any parts that I decide to use. If I build a machine from parts, I can choose to overclock the processor, overclock the video card, etc. if I want to.
In the Apple world, I can buy one of a fairly limited set of models from Apple, with pretty limited option choices. I can also pay significantly more for the hardware that Apple sells (but I would then get to run the wonderful Mac OS).
My question for Apple (and my Mac owning friends) is if Apple hardware and Leopard is so wonderful, why doesn’t Apple open up their ecosystem? Allow rival hardware makers to make and sell Apple clones, and allow end-users to legally install Leopard on any hardware they want to. What is Apple afraid of?