At the Worldwide Partner Conference in mid-July, Microsoft COO Kevin Turner noted that the Laptop Hunters ads are working, saying that Apple demanded Microsoft pull the ads because it (Apple) had lowered its prices:
And you know why I know they're working? Because two weeks ago we got a call from the Apple legal department saying, hey -- this is a true story -- saying, "Hey, you need to stop running those ads, we lowered our prices." They took like $100 off or something. It was the greatest single phone call in the history that I've ever taken in business.
The Laptop Hunters series of ads have been Microsoft's most successful ad campaign in years. It's clearly made an impact on the public's perception of Windows PCs in terms of value.
That said, Microsoft has not pulled, but has edited one of the Laptop Hunters ads, the one titled "Lauren and Sue." In the ad, law student Lauren shops for a laptop priced below $1,700.
In the original version, Lauren at one point comes upon a MacBook and says "This Mac is $2,000, and that's before adding anything."
Sue, Lauren's mom chimes in with "Why would you pay twice the price?" to which Lauren replies "I wouldn't." Lauren eventually ends up with a $972 Dell laptop.
The tweaked ad removed that portion of the video, replacing it with Lauren only saying "It seems like you're paying a lot for the brand."
In reality, Microsoft no longer needs to name the price. It's made its point, that Wintel PCs are definitely cheaper than Macs. However, Apple perhaps doesn't care all that much. It's managed to claim 91% of the "premium" PC market, above $1,000. Note: that's only for retail sales, but it's still an interesting statistic.