Microsoft’s goes on the offensive… with a really bad ad

Microsoft has a new ad that is getting a lot of attention.

The punchline: Microsoft Windows laptops are cheaper than Macs.

The ad is a reflection of Steve Ballmer’s line last week:

“The economy is helpful,” Ballmer said at a conference today in New York. “Paying an extra $500 for a computer with a[n Apple] logo on it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense in this economy.”

I think the ad is odd and misguided:

1 – Instead of building a better OS and suite of products they focus on price. They should be a bit embarrasessed they don’t have an answer to iLife (iphoto, itunes, imovie, idvd, .mac, etc). Focus on products not price.

2 – Are we gonna see ads that say that Microsoft Windows Mobile powered phones are cheaper than iphones? Would that matter?

3 – How much is Microsoft Office again? Do they really want to talk about price? I just bought a new Mac for our home. It’s the first Mac I’ve ever bought that doesn’t have once piece of MSFT software. We are using a combination of Google Docs and Apple iWork ($50) for our home needs. I’m sure I’m not alone.

Even though I use Macs, I am a fan of Microsoft for many reasons. They make a bunch of great products. And I’ve got a lot of super smart, talented friends that work there.

But this ad doesn’t shine a light on the right stuff.

The previous “I’m a PC” microsoft ads were so much better.

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another related thought: it wasn’t that long ago when Macs were considered toys and the Microsoft pitch was functionality (true multithreaded OS, better apps – ie Office, flexible hardware & enterprise support). Now the pitch is initial price. something to think about.