AAPL Stock: 118.03 ( -0.85 )

Printed from

Microsoft bends to Apple, tunes laptop ads

updated 09:45 am EDT, Fri July 24, 2009

MS Tunes Laptop Hunter Ads

Microsoft has quietly toned down its Laptop Hunter ads to reflect the reduced argument it has against Apple, the company noted late yesterday. While the extent of its changes aren't exactly known, the company has posted a new version of its "Lauren & Sue" ad that omits references to a $2,000 MacBook Pro and now only makes an indirect attack, suggesting that Mac users are "paying a lot for the brand." The ad sees Lauren ultimately buying a $972 Dell Studio XPS 13 and drew criticism for deliberately choosing to include a comparison between this and the larger, faster 15-inch MacBook Pro instead of the then-current $1,299 aluminum MacBook.

Since then, Apple has rebadged the aluminum MacBook as a 13-inch MacBook Pro while upgrading its features and lowering the price by $100. Custom-configuring a Studio XPS 13 to roughly match the Mac's specs now reduces virtually all of the cost advantage and doesn't include features Dell can't replicate, such as the 7-hour battery life. Apple is now primarily limited in its entry prices, which Microsoft has attacked in a more recent spot that points out no Mac portable is available at $700.

Other ads are also likely to need major edits or to be pulled altogether, such as the "Sheila" ad that saw an aspiring video editor reject a 15-inch MacBook Pro over its default 2GB of RAM despite the HP alternative having a higher resolution and a slower processor. Since then, Apple's system not only matches the HP in RAM but is also available in a $1,700 model.

The change comes despite attempts by Microsoft COO Kevin Turner last week to interpret Apple's request to remove the ads as a sign of weakness. He insisted a call from the Mac designer's lawyers was proof the ads were effective but didn't mention that the company would have to make any changes. The ads also have had little practical bearing on Microsoft's Windows sales, as the company's revenue dropped 17 percent this quarter where Apple's grew by nearly the same percentage.

A Microsoft spokeswoman tells AdAge that the alterations don't change the emphasis of the ads, which it claims show the "value and choice" of PCs.

by MacNN Staff



  1. beb

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I don't understand Microsoft's stance here. Yes, Apple's products ARE more expensive than Dells. Good HP printers cost more than competitors. Good Microsoft software (hehe) costs far more than the competition. Microsoft's products including Windows now run perfectly on Macs. They even get more money by going that route. So this entire battery of ads to knock Apple makes very little sense.

  1. EternalGuest

    Joined: Dec 1969



    i would say that the vast majority of mac purchasers do not install windows on them, so relatively small opportunity for revenue growth there.the simple fact is that mac is eroding windows market share enough that they're will to shell out hundreds of millions of dollars for anti-mac advertisements. Their reputation has been hurt by Apple's ads, their sales have fallen, their profits are shrinking. They are scared, and have every right to be.

  1. IxOsX

    Joined: Dec 1969


    $972 Dell ?????

    If you want something that makes you to hangup and get slow then buy MS Windows laptops. Is ZENG... Not!! ;-)

    That is why Apple have 91% of the sales for computers more than 1000$... expensive yes they are, but they are also just better in so many ways...

  1. dliup

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Better Ad

    Microsoft just had one of their worst quarters in history, resulting in operational loss. The MS ads must be doing a great job.

    Here is a better ad: MS bean counter Ad

    Describes perfectly MS strategy, but people can read through MS.

  1. DiabloConQueso

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Lawyers ensuring accuracy

    The change comes despite attempts by Microsoft COO Kevin Turner last week to interpret Apple's request to remove the ads as a sign of weakness.

    Or, it could be that Apple's lawyers are just working to keep disseminated information about Apple correct and accurate. Since Apple re-branded the MacBook as a MacBook Pro and the price points across the board have all changed, the information in the commercials is no longer accurate. Apple probably isn't scared that the ads will have some huge effect on their laptop sales -- they're scared that Microsoft will be spreading false information about Apple's computers and potentially causing some level of harm to Apple's brand image by not being completely accurate with their information.

    When you talk about someone's else's brand, you're legally bound to keep the information accurate. Apple's lawyers are just ensuring that this is happening.

    On a side-note, it would be funny if Apple made an "operating systems hunter" ad campaign -- someone out shopping for their new OS, looking at Microsoft's offerings ranging from $150 to $400 with confusing versions and a diluted lineup, then picking up a Leopard box, exclaiming, "This one's only $129, and it's the home-business-pro-ultimate version all at one, inexpensive price!"

  1. Duo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    The ads work

    I am not a fan of MS, but the ads do work. They point out one thing, and that is PCs in general are cheaper than Macs. They are cheaper, because more companies make PCs then macs, so there is more competition and therefore cheaper prices.

    Personally I believe that macs are far superior to PCs is every regard. But having my laptop die on me, I had to get a PC, because of the cost.

    I got a HP that is pretty close to the 15 inch macbook pro, minus the os and DDR3 ram. It was only $850. It killed me to buy a PC. But I just didn't have the money to get a mac.

    It was a sad day :(


  1. Heavydevelopment

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Turner is a delusional

    How far off in fantasyland could one person be? Seriously, he insinuated that an attorney representing Apple called him, a COO of a Fortune 500 company, directly with a cease and desist. That would never in a million years happen. So you can only conclude that what he said in a verbatim transcript is a bald face lie. Yet no one in the media has investigated nor challenged his statement. The irony is that the ads have not changed the perception one iota in that MS Windows sales are down and Apple's sales are up DESPITE the fact that Macs are more expensive. Maybe Mr. Turner will come to realize that there is more to a computer, as a tool that someone uses everyday, than just its price.

  1. manleycreative

    Joined: Dec 1969



    You want an affordable mac? Order an older model from And when I say older I mean by six months to a year. Not too shabby for the price.

    Anyway, I like how ole Kevin there interprets competition as "weakness".

    Apple can do one simple thing. Make ads with people who bought a PC thinking they were getting a deal then show how they didn't get all they wanted and give them a mac and let them rave about it. Also, point out that a PC is different from the OS. The OS is where they'll get burned.

  1. JuanGuapo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    $2000 13" MBP?

    If I remember correctly, they were trying to say the 13" Macbook (then non-pro) was $2000. Take a close, hard look at which computer they are saying is $2000....hint, there are no speaker grills on the Macbook (non-pro) or 13" MBP.

    Don't care,'s not like I'm going to be running out and buying a PC b/c some blonde twit and her mom did....

    I just finished ripping over an hour of video from one of our vacation drivers needed....iMovie '09 saw it immediately, full 1920x1080 goodness and no special software or drivers needed. In fact, on the box for my camera, it said for Windows to "...install the drivers first...then install the movie editing software....if you are running Mac OSX with iMovie '08 or later, just plug in the camera." LOL!

  1. ggirton

    Joined: Dec 1969


    well, duh!

    of course MS changed the ads -- Apple legal in their call to MS no doubt pointed out that false advertising is illegal and perhaps implied they'd make sure various the attorney generals of various states knew about it.

Login Here

Not a member of the MacNN forums? Register now for free.


Network Headlines

Follow us on Facebook


Most Popular


Recent Reviews

Ultimate Ears Megaboom Bluetooth Speaker

Ultimate Ears (now owned by Logitech) has found great success in the marketplace with its "Boom" series of Bluetooth speakers, a mod ...

Kinivo URBN Premium Bluetooth Headphones

We love music, and we're willing to bet that you do, too. If you're like us, you probably spend a good portion of your time wearing ...

Jamstik+ MIDI Controller

For a long time the MIDI world has been dominated by keyboard-inspired controllers. Times are changing however, and we are slowly star ...


Most Commented