AllThingsD's Ina Fried was on hand for Microsoft's full day of Windows 8 fun yesterday, and she reports that Microsoft exec Steven Sinofsky enjoyed pointing out how the new Windows 8 PCs deliver better value than Apple's products.
Sinofsky said that there are "full-featured Windows 8 laptops that sell for $279. These are fantastic machines. At that price, you can get a computer good enough to last a student through college."
Microsoft is betting its future on Windows 8, an OS designed from the ground up to run both on desktop and laptop machines as well as tablets. Windows 8 now features a built-in software store, something that Mac users have had since January 6, 2011.
Sinofsky told the assembled press that there were "tons of thin, light, touchscreen Ultrabooks that sell for hundreds less than a MacBook Air," noting that it was "engineering work that drives the cost down." Apparently low price isn't a factor for consumers, who were responsible for FY 2012 sales of Apple's Mac line being 1 percent higher than last year's sales, while the PC market in general saw a drop in sales of 8 percent.
During yesterday's Apple earnings call, Apple's Tim Cook managed a good retort at Microsoft's Surface tablet. In pointing out that the device makes compromises by trying to be both a PC and a tablet, he said "You could design a car that flies and floats, but I don't think it would do either of those things very well."