Microsoft Offers, Then Pulls, Its Own Mac-To-Windows Switcher Story

by , 5:10 PM EDT, October 14th, 2002

[Update: Within a few minutes of having posted this story, Microsoft pulled its Switcher story.]

Microsoft, in its tried and true tradition of copying everything it can from its competitors, has posted its own Mac-to-Windows Switcher story. No, seriously. The company has posted a Switcher story from a freelance writer touting the wonders of Windows XP, but there are a few differences in Microsoft's approach to "Switching."

For one thing, the company used a stock photo image of their "Switcher," from Getty Images. We can thank a reader at Slashdot for finding that one. Apple has used real images of real people who have Switched to the Mac for its campaign. Speaking of "real" people, this woman's name is apparently Don Funk, according to the user profile screen shot posted with the story (again, thanks to the vigilant geeks at Slashdot for finding that).

(Click the thumbnail to see Ms. Don Funk's user profile)

Other tidbits from this woman's letter include the fact that she got Windows XP on a laptop for US$450 less than an iBook, even though she then suggests upgrading to Windows XP Professional, without mentioning the cost of that upgrade, which eats into that US$450 (thanks to TMO Forum Mod bweels for pointing that out).

She also uses a very subtle bit of wording to portray a situation that is not true. She says, "AppleWorks (previously called ClarisWorks) pales in comparison to Microsoft Office XP. There's no equivalent for the versatility of Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint®." There may be no equivalent for the versatility of those apps, but all three also exist for Mac OS X! Her wording suggests otherwise, and that seems deliberately crafted, to us.

She also touts the wonderment of being able to make individual user accounts in Windows XP, suggesting, without actually saying, that it can not be done with a Mac, despite the fact that both Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X offer that feature.

The best thing from this Switcher story is that she apparently works for Microsoft. We aren't making this up. At the end of the letter, and the "how she did it" section, is an editor's note that reads:

*Editor's Note: Now that we've successfully converted our writer to a Windows PC, we will be working on getting her to try a Pocket PC. Stay tuned for more developments!

You can read the full Switcher story at Microsoft's Web site.

The Mac Observer Spin:

Microsoft must be really proud that they were able to convert their very own employee, and then tout the fact using stock images. That really adds credibility to their story.

It is absolutely amazing and stunning that Microsoft could consider posting this nonsense. Above and beyond the fact that the company is copying Apple's own marketing strategy (all too common in the business world, especially from Big Redmond), Microsoft effectively took a blunt axe to the idea, where Apple took a scalpel. Using stock images, posting screen shots from what is clearly another user's Windows system, and blatantly distorting facts in the process, is all just appalling. That this person apparently works for the company makes this even more of an abomination!

With Microsoft's resources, it should not have been that hard to find some Mac-to-Windows switchers who could offer a better story that didn't tarnish the company's own credibility to such an extreme. It's shameful, disgusting, and embarrassing.

There have been all manner of attacks on Apple's Switch campaign, but we challenge anyone to find something that is an outright lie in the company's commercials.