Microsoft is on the warpath once again, with some Redmond executive slamming Apple for putting a tax on Macs and suggesting (in a kind of roundabout way) that Macs aren’t really more secure than Windows. (Yeah, right)…

Ina Fried at Cnet has the report, and it’s a classic example of a journalist digging away at a slippery interviewee in an attempt to get a straight answer. 

Brad Brooks, vice president of Windows Consumer Product Marketing, argued that Mac buyers face hidden costs if they try to add Windows to their Mac or if they decide to forgo Windows compatibility.

In fact, his remark is priceless: "If people want a Windows experience, then start with a machine that was built for the Windows experience." We couldn’t agree more, using virtualisation software and a copy of Windows on your Mac is as purpose built as you need.

This attack continues, though, with Brooks bridling at what he sees as the ‘Apple Tax’, saying, "There’s going to be an application tax, which is if you want choice around applications, or if you want the same type of application experience on your Mac versus Windows, you’re going to be purchasing a lot of software," he says….(sparking incredulous gasp from man over here).

The Microsoft exec also goes off to point out that Macs aren’t upgradeable, and that Apple’s machines don’t support things everyone wants such as, erm, HDMI, Blu-Ray and so on.

And Macs aren’t immune to viruses, it’s a "fallacy" said this Microsoft bloke before almost instantly going on to declare Windows Vista to be 60 per cent less virus prone than previous versions of, erm, well, of Windows, basically.

And then, asked for a direct comparison between Mac and WIndows security, the exec suddenly goes all quiet, "You know, it’s hard to get a direct comparison, Ina. I want to be very specific in any kind of the data or the information that I give you there is that you’re running one system versus another…"

In other words, Fried had him beat…

Anyway, the gist of the rest of the interview (do read it) is that Microsof is sick of its failure to define itself as a consumer experience that’s worth having, is prepared to do things such as not offering feature parity in Mac versions of Office to tempt new users back, and is drawing a line in the sand to preserve its market share.

Including stressing the fiction of the ‘Apple Tax’. Now, just how much does Windows cost to purchase? And how much extra for the anti-virus software?

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