The Baltimore Sun’s David Zeiler says that Apple’s TV ads that lampoon the amount of money Microsoft is spending on its Vista ad campaign versus fixing the broken operating system are justified.
“The point of Apple’s TV spots is that Microsoft should be devoting more resources to making Vista better for users rather than making ads to boost their self-esteem,” Zeiler reports.
Zeiler also explores an interesting ancillary point, “In Microsoft’s fiscal year 2008 (which ended June 30), it spent just under 1.986 percent of its revenue on advertising but 13.5 percent on R&D. Apple, in its 2007 fiscal year, the most recent for which we have complete data, spent 1.945 percent of its revenue on advertising and a mere 3.25 percent on R&D.”
“Microsoft outspends Apple by every measure. In raw dollars, Microsoft outspent Apple $7.121 billion to $782 million in 2007 — a ratio of more that 9 to 1. As a percentage of revenue, Microsoft outspends Apple by about 4 to 1, 13.5 percent to 3.41 percent,” Zeiler reports. “Contrary to what Apple implies in its ads, Microsoft literally spends billions on the development of products like Vista and Office.”
Zeiler asks, “Sad, isn’t it?”
“Apple spends far, far less money on R&D, but look at what it has delivered over the past few years: Mac OS X Leopard, Intel-based Macs, the iPod Touch and iPhone, the innovative MacBook manufacturing technology unveiled just two weeks ago,” Zeiler reports. “More to the point, Apple regularly delivers products and services, such as the iTunes Store and the iPhone, that shake up entire industries. When was the last time Microsoft did that?”
Zeiler wonders, “What does Microsoft have to show for its billions invested in R&D? Vista? Office 2007? Hardly groundbreaking. The Zune? A decent MP3 player, but it’s had minimal impact on its market. And so it goes with Microsoft’s product line. Almost in defiance of the prodigious amounts of money the company invests, Redmond’s creations rarely have the capacity to excite. Even the celebrated Xbox is little more than another game console.”
MacDailyNews Take: Maybe paying off reviewers, pundits, and “inquiry analysts” along with funding astroturfers is part of Microsoft’s R&D budget?
As for Xbox:
• Pioneer Press reviews Apple TV 2.0: A joy to use (works flawlessly, unlike Microsoft’s Xbox Live) – February 27, 2008
• Serious flaws in Xbox 360 hardware to cost Microsoft at least $1 billion – July 06, 2007
• Analyst Ehrenberg: Microsoft’s Xbox 360: Failure-in-a-Box – April 18, 2007
• Microsoft sued over defective Xbox 360 consoles, suit alleges units prone to freeze ups, overheating – December 05, 2005
• Microsoft Xbox 360 ‘inspired’ by many of Apple Computer’s ideas – May 13, 2005
• Mac users should not buy Microsoft software (or hardware) – May 16, 2003
Full article here.
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]
MacDailyNews Take: “It’s not how much you spend, but how well you spend.” – MacDailyNews Take, March 15, 2006
That said, we must also reiterate our favorite toast: “May Steve Ballmer remain Microsoft CEO for as long as it takes!”