People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones, especially if it rains a lot.
InfoWorld's Robert X. Cringely cites some statements that Microsoft's Steve Ballmer made, as quoted in Todd Bishop's Microsoft Blog. The statement was in response to recent sales changes in Apple computers (vs. PCs that run the Microsoft Windows operating system).
"Apple gained about one point, but now I think the tide has really turned back the other direction," Ballmer said, via webcast. "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."
Forget that the sales of PCs running Windows have been slumping as well, or the 81% Apple owner satisfaction that Cringely cited (vs. 52%-55% for the leading PC makers).
But if you're going to engage in the logo wars, you have to ask - is this logo worth anything?
I may possibly buy a new home computer this year - or perhaps more than one. Of course, when you buy a new computer, you not only have to look at the hardware and the OS, but also have to look at the software that you have to put on the computer. When you are talking multiple computers, it can get expensive.
While there are certain compatibility and feature issues that I will have to address, due to the institutions with which my family works, I have a heavy financial incentive to avoid paying the price of the Microsoft logo. A year ago, ThinkTechno identified 6 free alternatives to Microsoft Office, including both online and offline packages such as OpenOffice.
This does merit some investigation. After all, paying an extra $500 for a piece of software in this environment -- same piece of software -- 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, Steve.
But let me turn it over to you. Have you tried the alternatives to Microsoft Office? What are your perceptions?
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