Microsoft has kicked off another of its periodic comparison campaigns, pitting PC against Mac and claiming that Windows-based hardware is far better value than the Apple alternative. This time targeting the Canadian market, "Do the Math" suggests that for the same price as a 17-inch MacBook Pro, customers could have an HP Pavilion DV7 and CA$1,350 to spend on a surfing trip in Hawaii. However, some of Microsoft's comparisons are likely to raise eyebrows even among the Windows faithful.
Click on the MacBook Air 11, for instance, and Microsoft suggests the obvious rivals are three netbooks, two running Intel Atom 1.66GHz N455 processors and another with AMD's new E-Series dual-core Fusion APU. Now, the ultraportables may be similar in size, but the performance of the MacBook Air's 1.4GHz Core 2 Duo is likely to considerably exceed that of the three netbooks.
There are also legitimate questions about build quality and other factors which add to the Mac appeal. Obviously anybody looking to spend money on a new notebook should balance what's on the market, but these broad brush-stroke comparisons seem only likely to provoke further platform arguments than actually assist shoppers in making an educated decision.