The Wall St. Journal reported today that, “For months, Microsoft has jabbed at Apple with an, at times, baffling advertising campaign for Windows PCs. Now Microsoft may finally land a solid blow against its rival [with its new campaign].”
According to the article:
“For the commercials, Microsoft’s advertising agency, Crispin Porter + Boguksy, recruited prospective computer shoppers in the Los Angeles area through Craigslist and other sites, with a tantalizing offer to give them between $700 and $2,000 to purchase a new PC. According to Brad Brooks, corporate vice president for Windows consumer product marketing at Microsoft, the agency told recruits it was a market research firm and didn’t mention it was working with Microsoft. The recruits were told they could keep whatever money they didn’t spend on a PC so they had incentives to look for good values.”
The ad goes on to feature Lauren “at a Best Buy, ogling a bounty of Windows PCs, where she’s able to purchase a H-P Pavilion notebook with a 17-inch screen for $699.99, before sales tax. Brooks says that, off camera, Lauren spent about $900 total after also buying a printer. “I’m a PC, and I got just what I wanted,” Lauren says at the end of the ad.”
If Lauren had been really smart she would have taken the money, purchased a Dell Mini 9  running Ubuntu for $249.00 ($8.00 shipping to California and no taxes) and then went over to Bestbuy for a 42″ flat screen TV to give her that “big screen” she wanted.
Too bad when Lauren gets home she will discover she has to trudge back to Bestbuy to pick up a copy of Microsoft Office  for at least $149.00 if she wants to create documents on that PC which would have broken her $1000 budget. But we already knew that the first cigarette is always free when it comes to Windows.
The Linux Foundation will be showing our Linux commercials  at our Collaboration Summit  in less than two weeks. Maybe we should come up with a last minute entry featuring some happy Linux shoppers keeping almost all their cash.