Windows as a tax compared to Linux

I just read that Steve Ballmer is now saying that there is a "$500 tax" on the Apple logo, or something similar to that. Huh.

Before I get started here, I'll be the first to admit that I don't like Mr. Ballmer. He always sells FUD instead of features, which I strongly dislike. Now that I have that out of the way ...

Vista and OS X are equals?

In this case I strongly disagree with his basic premise. His statement assumes that the two operating systems -- Windows Vista and Mac OS X -- are equal and interchangeable, which they are not.

Everyone I know that has used any form of Windows or Mac OS X in the last few years prefers OS X, and in fact, is blown away by it. Beyond that -- with the exception of one person -- everyone I know who has tried Vista has gone back to using XP. So to assume that Vista and Mac OS X are on the same playing field is wrong.

You can pay more, but why?

As I think about it, his statement is something like Yugo or Kia saying, "Sure, you can go ahead and buy a Toyota, but is it really worth paying more? We have cars, they have cars, they're all the same."

Linux is cheaper than Windows

As a final note, isn't this a dangerous game for Microsoft to play? After all, Desktop Linux is cheaper than Windows -- and if all operating systems are equal -- isn't buying Windows a "tax" compared to Linux?