Strategic PR: Apple vs. Microsoft

Apple vs. Microsoft


I will never understand why the EU decided to press Microsoft to bundle other browsers with Windows, when it is pretty clear that IE is losing the browsers’ war.

Apple recently reported 11 million downloads for Safari 4.0 – with about 6 million from Windows users. Safari 4.0 contains 51 vulnerability fixes for issues addressing both Mac in Windows. According to Apple, Safari 4.0 is the fastest browser when compared with Chrome, Firefox and IE 8.

Using the new Nitro Engine, for example, Safari executes JavaScript nearly 8 times faster than Internet Explorer 8 and more than 4 times faster than Firefox 3 based on performance in leading industry benchmark tests: iBench and SunSpider.

In addition to superior JavaScript performance, Safari offers top-flight HTML performance — the best on any platform — loading pages 3 times faster than Internet Explorer 8 and Firefox 3.

While Apple is focusing on increasing performance for its products – and bases its PR campaigns on quality, Microsoft tries to win goodwill by engaging in charity campaigns for Feeding America.

For every download of Windows Internet Explorer 8 from this site we will donate 8 meals to Feeding America to help accelerate an end to hunger in this country.

Only complete downloads of Windows® Internet Explorer 8 through browserforthebetter.com from June 8, 2009 through August 8, 2009 qualify for the charitable donation to Feeding America®. Microsoft® is donating $1.15 per download to Feeding America up to a maximum of $1,000,000. Meals are used for illustrative purposes only. Meal conversion is effective until June 30th, 2010.

Microsoft hasn’t started any PR campaign to motivate European users yet, but knowing the company I have every reason to believe that something like this will come.

I suppose many American users will download IE 8 from browserforthebetter.com – the question is: how many will choose to use it, given the fact that Safari and Firefox are both better browsers?

Comments

  1. Mihaela Lica says

    Costin and Ladislav, you are both always welcome to make comments here, you are both very valuable contributors. Just don’t fight! We can always agree to disagree in a nice, respectful manner – and you proved that you are both very capable of doing so. :)

    Ladislav, when it comes to Microsoft and Google, I am more on your side than you will ever imagine. However, when authors write here, I ask that they keep passionate opinions to themselves. Also, I think that the more we talk about these two, the more traction we give them – for free!

    As far as Costin is concerned, he is a very talented programmer who just happens to like Microsoft. We all have our likes and dislikes – for example, I would never buy anything but a Ford. Somehow, being faithful to a brand is a good thing; but then again, we might miss a lot in the process – smaller brands put more effort in what they do, and often offer products of a better quality. In the end it only matters what makes us happy. :)

  2. Ladislav Kocbach says

    Dear Mr Costin
    I am sorry, I have seen later that you probably are not of the same type as the mentioned “Tom”. I respect now your opinions, and really deeply apologize. But please, in the future try to be more specific. If your original contribution would contain some of your new points, I could have avoided my terrible mistake. But now, as we engage in an open discussion, allow me please to use you as an example. Your sincere outburst “I don’t know what I’d be doing without Visual Studio, ASP.NET, IIS, Windows, etc…etc… I’ll better die than using the copied open source programs ….”. If this really is sincere, which I believe, how tragic. I meet some students who are like you (fortunately rather few), and I know about excellent software projects which are influenced in the same way as you claim to be. I can not decide for you. It is your life. But the comparison forces again its way to my mind: we can not decide for our friends whether they should smoke or not. But when the smoke makes other people sick, there are now laws which have stopped the tobacco industry to advertize. And limited the freedom to smoke. From my point of view, Microsoft has created a similar type of unhealthy dependence, which your sincere outburst sadly illustrates. But let me tell you: you would be able to live without visual studio, do not worry. There are so many other fascinating computing tools.

    And: it was not too much coffee. It is the hysteria on the web driven now by Microsoft. Their destroying Linux netbooks, nearly destroying the OLPC, Bing. I hope that this page would allow me to come back with some comments on your expressed views on google too (and your language and metaphores there). Now I do not have more time.

  3. Costin says

    Mr. Ladislav Kocbach, have you had too much coffee for your breakfast or are you just having a bad day?

    #1
    “Google’s brain washing campaign” = If Google farts there will be a few millions already there to smell it. Or, even simpler put, the Google’s products and services promotion; Google’s evangelists that ‘force’ you become addicted/dependent to Google’s products. Have you realized how bad are Google’s search results? maybe not for the common internet user that tries to find something on the web but for developers and people that are into the SEO business. Anyway, this is just my personal opinion and I do not care to elaborate it any further.

    #2
    I’m dependent on MS’s products. I don’t know what I’d be doing without Visual Studio, ASP.NET, IIS, Windows, etc…etc… I’ll better die than using the copied open source programs like Open Office or Linux as OS. No really, I would. So, when it comes to the programs I mentioned above I love MS, ok? I don’t use a specific browser or a specific search engine to search the web, I’m no common person – All I need from the web is information, not the information the common Tom is looking for, mmkay? and I couldn’t care less about their marketing campaigns too.

    #3
    Opera IS the fastest browser available right now, but that again this is only my opinion. If it would have had what both FF and IE have right now then it would definitely be my default browser, but until then…

    #4
    I’m no actor nor a “provocateur”; and most definitely I’m not a Microsoft Tom and I really don’t like being called names, mmkay?

    :) Cheers!

  4. Ladislav Kocbach says

    Just very short: when leaving the page, I noticed one more Microsoft Tom on this page. Now the name is Costin, and we can see the picture. Costin’s shared wisdom:

    “MO, when it comes to security no other browser will provide the security that IE provides. just as simple as that.” Costin also informs us about “Google’s brain washing campaign”. Which exactly is that one?

    Costin also makes some good comments about Opera, but I think that it is just a cover. Opera is no threat to Microsoft dominance on the enslaved PCs, it dominates on phones and devices not running Windows.

    You could say that one should respect other people’s opinion. Other people’s opinion, but to a point. These Microsoft Toms are most probably not real people. They are either paid or unpaid (whichever is worse ? ) Microsoft Toms assuming a role. They are actors and provocateurs – Microsoft Toms.

  5. Ladislav Kocbach says

    First, there is one more Microsoft Tom here. Now the name is Shawn. Are they related? Shawn tells us that Apple would not exist without Microsoft. Is shawn Tom’s surname?

    But to the article:
    “I will never understand why the EU decided to press Microsoft to bundle other browsers with Windows, when it is pretty clear that IE is losing the browsers’ war.”

    Well, Microsoft never looses a war. They loose a battle, but they always come back. They have been already ordered to be split in two in 1999-2000, but they were saved by Mr. G.W. Bush.

    If left alone for a moment, they will force on all of us Silverlight, New JPG replacement, New PDF replacement, New open document format (they already did). And all this to make dependence on their products even stronger. In the previous battle they won over mankind, because they managed to push IE to all 95 per cent of personal computers (fortunately, now I have reasons to believe it only is about 90% of personal devices, still falling) and then bribe, force and seduce the web developers to code for IE-6. Now they even invented the Bing for the purpose of making us all stupid marionettes providing their revenue.

    This is why it is important that all authorities press Microsoft. Eventually, Microsoft’s hysterical marketers will make such an error that they will get finally split not in two, but I hope in thousand. You know your math, I hope. From one Microsoft, we get thousand Nanosofts. The only trouble is that then they will be in the nanotechnology business.

  6. Mihaela Lica says

    Shawn, that was juts a question, not necessarily a personal opinion. It is generally agreed that Safari and Firefox are better than IE – now Chrome is gaining even more positive innuendos than all other browsers. Personally, I am asking myself the same question. Microsoft has a plead of great products – I wouldn’t change Microsoft Office for anything in the world at this point – but the browser is not one of them. Maybe IE 8 is, I haven’t had the chance to test it yet, but if we talk in general terms, most of the users stay away from IE: http://www.blogcatalog.com/discuss/entry/what-is-the-best-browser-in-the-world (to give you just an example).

    As far as interjecting personal “zings” – Liliana was inviting the readers to a conversation. The problem with the way you started was the tone. We can all disagree, but let’s do it with grace. No need to call each other names or to insinuate that an author doesn’t know what she is talking about (the examples you gave were attacking something else, not the last question). I appreciate that in the last two comments you were more respectful. I think there is a great deal we can all learn from each other – a dialog should be a constructive venue and not a pissing contest.

  7. Shawn says

    And as far as the question of what set me off about Liliana’s article — well it was her last personal zing at the end:

    “I suppose many American users will download IE 8 from browserforthebetter.com – the question is: how many will choose to use it, given the fact that Safari and Firefox are both better browsers?”

    At that point Lilian stopped relating the PR news, but interjected something that, at best, is more subjective than anything else.

  8. Shawn says

    In resonse to Mihaela: “@Shawn, what does Bing have to do with anything we discuss here?”

    Hmm — Let me be very clear and on point …
    My comments concerning Bing was in response to Yang Yang. Yang stated that “IE and Bing.com are both doomed in mediocrity.”

    Merely a response not initiated by me. Clear?
    :)

  9. Mihaela Lica says

    @Shawn, what does Bing have to do with anything we discuss here? Why don’t you keep on topic for a change?

    You know, I respect your opinion, you are an anti-Apple and pro-Microsoft one of the kind individual. Be so kind and address the readers and commentators of Everything PR respectfully too, or I will delete your future comments and block your IP.

    @Costin, the debate is not which browser is better. Personally I couldn’t care less. I use Firefox because of habit I guess. I tested everything out there, including Opera (actually I have it installed on my PC, as well as Safari and Flock), but I still stick with Firefox.

    But to this point, we are only relating how Microsoft and Apple present their products in their PR campaigns. Microsoft appeals at the “soft heart” of the consumers, encouraging them to download IE 8 to “feed America.” Apple uses no gimmicks, but blows its own horn instead. I think this is a pretty cocky attitude, and if it were me writing the article, I think Shawn response would have been more positive. As things look now, I don’t really understand what in Liliana’s article triggered Shawn’s fury. She is just relating the news, without taking any sides.

  10. Shawn says

    Typical Apple Kool-aid influenced responses …

    The ‘war’ — Apple is today only because Microsoft has bailed them out repeatedly. When the Apple was laying on the ground just rotting away, it was Bill Gates (aka, Microsoft) that came to the rescue and gave new life to the ailing Apple. Check your history and learn to appreciate.

    So, I never fully understand this ‘war’ mentality that you Apple Heads express. Must be the Apple flavored Kool-aid packs that come free with every purchase.

    Bing is very good. But see, once again, the Apple Heads need to pull theirs out and maybe for once look at the product and not the company behind the product, Microsoft (which you have been told is this evil empire out to destroy the universe — or whatever happens in your classes).

    Bing gives more ‘useable’ results than Google. I still do use Google for some things (out of habit mostly – but quickly changing), but honestly, Bing really does give better decision-based results than Google. It just does.

    I challenge you to look at the facts, but only after you stop drinking the, must be so addictive, kool-aid for a bit so that you may finally be able to see beyond the small realm of the Apple Lilliputians.

  11. Costin says

    Until I reinstalled my Windows I used to have Safari 3.0 if I remember correctly and yes, as Shawn said, I couldn’t maximize the browser’s window too(you know like you would maximize the other browsers’ windows) and I actually had a great laugh about that…but at that time both FF and IE7 were way behind the Safari 3.0 regarding the page loading speed. Also both FF and IE when opened were taking like forever to show up on my desktop(and I had a dual core processor, about 2 Gigs of memory and a lot of space on my HDDs) but that was then. Now, after I reinstalled Windows, IE8 is like a rocket comparing to FF so when it comes to official statistics I just don’t trust them. Why? because those tests were not ran on MY computer but on theirs. What’s their hardware configuration? What about the software installed? Drivers, etc, etc…

    I see many threads on some webmaster forums about “What’s the best browser?” and some variations of the title and many people say that FF is the one. How come?

    In my opinion this is just the result of a brilliant brain washing campaign(or marketing campaign, whatever). This is why a beta (at that time) browser like Chrome has got a lot of threads on some forums, threads started by people complaining their websites ‘have problems’ when displayed in Chrome. Why? Thanks to Google’s brain washing campaign.

    Many people might say that MS has lost or it’s about to loose the browsers war but this is far from truth. There are still so many corporations out there that are stuck to using IE6(!) for their intranet sites. Why not moving that website to FF? Yeah right…(many reasons come here…)

    IMO, when it comes to security no other browser will provide the security that IE provides. just as simple as that.

    For example, I tried to create a list of sites to exclude when using FF, something like the Parental Control in IE, but I must be blind or something ’cause I couldn’t find a way to do that. Does FF even provides such a feature? I know that I can install an add-on if there is one but too many add-ons would bug down the FF like fire. I actually counted how many seconds would need FF to fire up: it took 45. Awesome, right? (compared to Opera, at that time that only needed about 2-3 seconds) :)

    Another browser that didn’t get so much attention is the Opera browser and I’m very surprised to not seeing it listed here because on my PC there is not other browser ‘alive’ that can surpass Opera when it comes to speed; but like I said, I think this depends on the PC’s hardware/software configuration, but I don’t think that Opera would run that well only on MY computer…

  12. says

    Yeah, I think this article is about PR surrounding Microsoft and Safari’s browsers. Not surprising, since it appears on a PR blog. In any case, I tend to agree with Liliana: Safari 4 beats IE 8 senseless.

  13. says

    @Shawn
    By all means being a software giant, Microsoft is losing the browser war no doubt.

    They seems to still have no clue about what people really want in browsers and search engines. Jobs goes this far because he understands how the powerful combination of industrial design and human desires work. Google goes this far because they know what people on the Internet are constantly looking for, usefulness. Unfortunately, Microsoft fails at being remarkable in both. IE and Bing.com are both doomed in mediocrity.

  14. Mihaela Lica says

    @Shawn – what do you mean when you say “a browser that you can’t even maximize on your screen” – what system are you using and what screen resolution are you talking about? I just finished testing safari 4, and I used full screen resolution at 1280×1024.

    Last but not least, this author simply analyzed the news and two PR strategies. The facts are accurate. Do you want me to give you a few thousands of news links, or you can do the research yourself?

  15. Shawn says

    Wow — one of the worse blogs/post ever!
    Get your facts straight before you attempt to act like you know what you are talking about.
    11m downloads for Apple Safari — hmm, well, let’s really put some actualy facts to that …. first, Apple forced those downloads on anyone that has the Apple update service running (which you do if you use itunes or quicktime, etc..). Now you must ask, of those ‘forced’ downloads, how many will actually switch to using a browser that you can’t even maximize on your screen. To say IE has already lost the browser war .. you obviously know nothing about Microsoft.
    And according to the last speed test … Chrome has beat everyone hands down, including Safari.

    Get a clue!

    • Liliana Dumitru-Steffens says

      You could make a comment without being offensive, couldn’t you? I am a Safari user and no one forced me to download the last version. I just did, because I expected it. Also, IE is the second most popular browser in the world. Does this make it a winner?

      Also, please note the quotes: I am not saying that Safari is the fastest browser in the world, I am saying that Apple says that.

    • Phil Butler says

      Just so no one thinks we are not tech savvy. :) As in benchmark tests, evaluating text sometimes requires extensive testing (like actually reading), and as is normal, there are always a disparity of views, opinions, and variables. The links below reveal some fluctuation with regard to what the fastest browser is. CNET has Safari 4 at something like 42 times faster – WOW! As for the other two, Lifehacker appears to be the most nominal, with everyone in their perspective places. Even in this, Safari plays well. The other link pretty much mirrors Lifehacker’s tests save the initial Acid test.

      I ran out of patience in looking for the definitive, which would have been me using them and figuring out which one felt faster from this terminal :) I can say that in discussing Flock with CEO Shawn Hardin the other day, and in asking about Flock’s use of FF as a platform, he gave perhaps the definitive answer with regard to FF any way. He basically pointed out that FF’s speed is dependent on the add ons a user chooses to use.

      For Flock any way, though it uses FF for its “engine”, the integration of features on Flock causes it to be much faster than a similar FF configuration. So, a basic FF browser would appear to be an engine with some wheels and a driver, as opposed to a family car with a travel trailer, dog house, motorcycle trailer, and a roof top StumbleUpon/Digg,Diigo/video viewer/porn de-scrambler attached. :) This seems to make sense to even this technically challenged expert :)

      As Lilliana said, this is about PR campaigns, not our PR blog benchmark testing facility in the desert outside White Sands New Mexico.

      http://crave.cnet.co.uk/software/0,39029471,49301219,00.htm

      Always,
      Phil (alias Werner Von Braun Rocket enthusiast)

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