Really, Microsoft? Has it come to this? During last night's highly watched NCAA Men's Basketball tournament, Microsoft decided to buy pretty much every single ad slot from the first tip to the final basket in order to grab Apple by the collar, slap it around a time or two and then spit on it as it walked away. We've seen the Mac vs. PC ads getting more and more heated over the years, but this just sets a new bar. And we're not talking about said bar being "raised."
For those who haven't seen it, here's the overview. A typical 20-something, named Lauren, is dressed and positioned to look like a stereotypical Mac user that would be found in one of Apple's older "Switch" commercials or even the newer "I'm a Mac" plugs. She hops in her Volkswagen -- which is overwhelmingly considered to be high on the list of Mac using car shoppers -- and heads off to find a 17" notebook for under a thousand dollars. Not surprisingly, she first stops at an Apple store, only to bolt out moments later exclaiming that the only machine in there with an MSRP under $1,000 had just a 13" screen.
Undeterred, she heads off to Best Buy in order to try her luck there, exclaiming during the drive that she "just isn't cool enough to be a Mac user." Once inside, she forces a smile and pretends to act elated about finding a cornucopia of options. With no real sense of planning, she selects a $699.99 HP Pavilion and pays cash. And with that, the spot wraps up with Lauren suggesting that "I'm a PC, and I got just what I wanted."
Obviously, we're big fans of PCs here. We love a little thing called "PC gaming," and we all know the Mac is downright dreadful in that category. That said, this plug is just laughable. For starters, what does "coolness" have to do with not finding a product in your price range? Nothing. Next, we're curious as to what kind of specifications were on this magical 17" notebook for $699.99. Specifically, how many more pixels were on that 17" screen versus the 13" screen on Apple's MacBook? Oh, and we suppose Lauren won't mind integrated graphics?
All in all, we can't argue that PCs are cheaper, in general, than a Mac. But it's quite literally comparing Apples to oranges. Has Microsoft really resorting to playing this on price alone? Can it really not think of any outstanding Vista features that trump those within OS X? Has it really come to the point where the only solid argument Microsoft has for Vista-equipped PCs is: "they're cheap"? Have a look at the ad yourself below, and feel free to let us know just how right / wrong we are here.