“Microsoft is back touting the ‘Apple Tax’ that it says Mac buyers are paying, this time filling out a fake tax return listing all of what it claims are the extra costs of opting for Windows’ leading rival. But I’d argue that this time Microsoft is in danger of being audited,” Ina Fried reports for CNET.

“The document, posted on Microsoft’s Windows Blog on Thursday, compares the cost of a PC and Mac purchase, making the case that buyers can save more than $3,000 in buying two Windows PCs as opposed to two Macs. The “tax return” is based on a Microsoft-paid-for white paper from technology analyst Roger Kay,” Fried reports.

MacDailyNews Take: Ahh, the brilliant bought-and-paid-for Roger Kay. What he writes, says, and thinks has oh-so-much meaning:
Analyst Roger Kay: ‘I think Steve Jobs has cancer… just look at the photos’ – January 15, 2009
The Financial Times tries spreading some Apple Mac security FUD – December 06, 2007
• IDC VP Roger Kay sees no evidence of Apple ‘iPod Halo Effect’ based on ‘Apple’s desktop share’ – January 10, 2005

Fried continues, “While I don’t take issue with Microsoft’s basic point that Macs can be more expensive, the assumptions in the white paper and the blog strike me as suspect. Kay looks at the five-year cost of buying the two machines and making a series of upgrades along the way, as well as buying certain software and services.”

“Microsoft first started touting this idea of an Apple Tax in an interview last October,” Fried writes. “I’d argue, as I have, that the tax exists, but it is one that the average buyer knowingly pays for what they perceive as the differences between the PC and Mac experiences. In any case, the economic differences, while large, aren’t as big as Kay and Microsoft make them out to be in this study.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Microsoft is scared and Kay remains an Enderlean whore who’ll come to any conclusion, however absurd, that his cash-toting masters commission.