Microsoft: Apple Wants Laptop Hunter Ads Nixed

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Microsoft COO Kevin Turner thinks his company's Laptop Hunter ad series is a success, and he's claiming Apple proved that by asking Big Redmond to stop running the commercials.

Speaking to company partners at Microsoft's Worldwide Partner Conference keynote presentation, Mr. Turner said "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."

Microsoft's Laptop Hunter ads all follow the same general formula: Shoppers are given a price cap and sent on a hunt for a laptop computer that meets their needs. They dismiss Apple's products as too expensive and pick a Windows-based laptop instead.

The commercials have been both ridiculed and praised, and many people have pointed out that the laptops the shoppers settle on often use older components or seem stripped down compared to the Macs they pass over. For Microsoft's apparent target market, however, the message is clear: cheap is good enough.

Regardless of what may have transpired during Mr. Turner's phone call from Apple's legal team, Microsoft is taking the request as a compliment.

"I did cartwheels down the hallway," Mr. Turner said. "At first I said, 'Is this a joke? Who are you?' Not understanding what an opportunity. And so we're just going to keep running them and running them and running them."

[Thanks to Ars Technica for the heads up.]

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20 Comments Leave Your Own

FlipFriddle

Whatever. In the race to the bottom that M$ and it’s partners are in, the only winner will be Apple and computer buyers (though, personally, buying a cheap Windows machine seems like losing). M$ is circling the drain right now, especially after hearing they are going to start giving away their cash cow Office, in an attempt to compete with Google.

DanielDecker

Apple is projected to post quarterly growth twice the industry average. I’m sure they are quaking in their boots.

Good thing Apple has a metric ton of cash around to dissipate the aftershocks.

And just note: Microsoft is taking pride in being called a liar, that ought to tell you everything you need to know about that company.

Lee Dronick

“we got a call from the Apple legal department saying, hey—this is a true story—saying”

Well that this is a true storystatement confirms it, this is either a joke by Mr. Turner, a joke played on Mr Turner, or it is an urban legend.

I suspect that some of the people in MicroSoft’s Mac Business Unit are smirking.

Dean Lewis

(ring ring)

“Yes, Mr. Jobs? You want me to call Microsoft and tell them to stop running those sad advertisements and hint they bug us? But they don’t, and Apple is running a tidy little ship with profits stable or up despite the economy. And—Aha. Yes, Mr. Jobs. While I’m at it, I’ll plead with them to not show any more vomit, since that distresses and hurts us so much, too.”

(click)

Tiger

I’ll give you 20 billion reasons I think he’s lying.

jbruni

Here’s a thought: Suppose Apple did call. We all know that MSFT’s ads are probably hurting the PC industry and ultimately MSFT’s own bottom line. Perhaps MSFT was considering dropping the ads. Apple calls to say “Please stop!” knowing full well that they’ll do just the opposite.

rpaege

Or, maybe the call was actually sarcastic.  Maybe the caller was actually laughing while he said it knowing that the ds haven’t hurt apple in the slightest.  Maybe the guy who took the call was too thick to realize he was being made a fool of.

We don’t know the context of the conversation.  All we have to go on is some MS marketing guy’s hype. 

All this sounds very much like whistling by the graveyard.

Gareth Harris

?There is hardly anything in the world that some man cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and the people who consider price only are this man’s lawful prey.?—John Ruskin

daemon

If Apple’s not in the race to the bottom, why did they lower their prices?

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

If Apple?s not in the race to the bottom, why did they lower their prices?

This is a very good question. I thought about this on the Fourth of July when I awoke early, picked up my friend’s dog, and took him to the annual Fourth of July 5K run/walk in our town. We aren’t elite athletes, and in fact, just planned to walk it. And that’s what we did. As the leaders rounded the turn-around point at about 1 mile, from our position near the back of the pack, we got to evaluate our competition for next year. They’re all really skinny and frail looking. I think when we’re ready to compete, we can knock most of them off their game pretty easily.

James

Bah. I don’t buy it. And I don’t buy MS products. This is just the latest version of cooked up numbers or fake journalists who turn out to be stock photos. Pathetic. Just pathetic.

Mekon

Apple - don’t they just make phones now.

gopher

If Apple?s not in the race to the bottom, why did they lower their prices?This is a very good question. I thought about this on the Fourth of July when I awoke early, picked up my friend?s dog, and took him to the annual Fourth of July 5K run/walk in our town. We aren?t elite athletes, and in fact, just planned to walk it. And that?s what we did. As the leaders rounded the turn-around point at about 1 mile, from our position near the back of the pack, we got to evaluate our competition for next year. They?re all really skinny and frail looking. I think when we?re ready to compete, we can knock most of them off their game pretty easily.

Apple didn’t really lower prices.
MacBook White, an existing MacBook with Firewire.

MacBook Aluminum pre-June 8th a Firewireless notebook

MacBook Pro post-June 8th, an Aluminum MacBook with Firewire, that is $500 more expensive than the preceding, for an added SD slot (hardly $400 worth, when you consider a multi-media storage USB adapter for camera media, costs a mere $20).  And that’s at $1499.  Still same game limiting shared-GPU, still same unibody enclosrure as the old Aluminum that requires you use one battery.

The MacBook Pro for $1999 is the minimum for dedicated GPU, and it is still a downgrade from the preceding MacBook Pro of the same price, which had a much more capable Express/34 slot.  Now just has an SD slot.

Only at $2499 do you see the 17” as a price reduction.

Nookster

Price drop, heh. In the UK a basic 2009 Mac Pro would cost me over ?500 more than the upgraded CTO I bought last year, and if I actually wanted it to be an upgrade over my 2008 model, try ?1600, and, if your not a teacher or student, it’s more like two grand of a difference, nice.

Glad I coughed up last year, wouldn’t touch them just now.

Lee Dronick

In the UK a basic 2009 Mac Pro would cost me over ?500 more than the upgraded CTO

Nookster, is that due to a import or other tax that adds that much to the list price?

Nookster

Nookster, is that due to a import or other tax that adds that much to the list price?

Well, UK Macs have been assembled in Dublin for years, so they are essentially imports, albeit from a next door neighbour smile

VAT (Purchase Tax) was reduced by 2.5% last December. We’re not seeing such disproportionate hikes from other tech and consumer goods companies either. I’m just glad I bought when I did, what I though was a reasonable deal at the time, feels like the deal of the century now.

Artgrnlf

In order to properly represent Apple products the adds need to compare Apples with similar Sonys. Apples are about 25-50% less in cost to comparable Sony PCs. My wife is a Sony lover and we have done the comparison. Let’s compare Apples to similar fruit, not lemons.

MaxW

They still make Macs in Ireland? I thought everything was made in China/Taiwan these days.

Lee Dronick

They still make Macs in Ireland? I thought everything was made in China/Taiwan these days.

Oh sure they still make MacDonalds, MacNamaras, MacDermots… smile

No I gather that the Macs are assembled in Ireland, the components elsewhere.

craig list

it’s not that “cheap is good enough,” more like “affordable is good enough”

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