Microsoft: Apple Wants Laptop Hunter Ads Nixed

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.]