Has the world gone crazy? Microsoft is giving MacBook Air owners $650 to buy a Surface 3 which sells for $800.

Like Intel’s programme of giving away its mobile chips, this seems totally bonkers.

Surprisingly there are loads of articles on the web saying how smart these ‘contra-revenue’ strategies are – but they defy common sense.

A dangerous thing to be defiant about.

But it’s nice for consumers to be given stuff.  Wintel screwed the world for 30 years – maybe this is pay-back time.



  1. You’re right as far as I’m concerned, Keith. After using Word exclusively for decades, I then bought an iPad. I didn’t like Pages at first but I like it now and my spirits sink a little when I have to use Word at work because MS keep jiggering around with all the familiar icons and commands and I can’t find them as easily as I used to.

  2. Since switching over to a Macbook a couple of years ago, I have to say that their equivalents of MS Orifice’s word/excel/ppt, namely Pages, Numbers and Keynotes, are much better and are free these days (they were about £19 when I had to buy them). They have menus where you can actually find things, unlike Orifice where they are hidden away in strange places.

    But for company use, we use Google’s online equivalents. Simple to use, can share documents (so no longer need to send big files thru email all the time, and worry about who’s got the latest version)

    We do all our software development on Macbooks too, and port to Linux (which our customers use). OSX is basically unix, so porting all the old Linux scripts and libraries was a piece of cake, something which is definitely not the case if you try and move to/from Windows.

    I see this as a sign of desperation from Redmond. What happenned to Nokia can happen to them.

  3. Maybe these ‘contra-revenue’ strategies are the final throes of a dying Wintel Empire, DontAgree. Like the Romans handing out more and more bread and circuses to the plebs to delay the collapse of the Roman Empire.

  4. Cheap marketing stunt I would say, there will be barely any takers for that offer … unless you were ready to upgrade MacBook air anyway … in which case the $650 could come in handy to buy a new Apple product … and the Surface can surely be useful as a fancy coaster with a picture slideshow … or you could give it to your kids …

  5. Maybe this is Microsoft’s cunning plan Terry – to destroy the Apple fans’ illusion that over-paying is normal. By persuading Apple fans that cheap and nasty is better than expensive and beautiful is to strike a dagger at the heart of Apple.

  6. Yes even at $650 it’s a crummy deal, Mike, to exchange a thing of beauty for a dog is a depressing thing to do.

  7. But Apple customers *like* paying too much for stuff, so this seems a bizarre strategy, MS should have doubled the price for them.

  8. You do have to give Microsoft the MacBook which presumably they can sell off somehow. Also big downside of Surface 3 is you end up on their Office yearly leasing plan rather than buying an outright licence which is probably the main aim here to create a revenue stream over many years.

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