Microsoft caves to Apple complaint; waters down ‘Lauren’ ad

There’s no doubt Microsoft’s series of ‘Laptop hunter’ ads have touched a raw-nerve with Apple fans.

Each features a hip young thing who goes shopping for a Mac, only to find they get more hardware, for half the price, if they buy a Windows PC. The subtext is that Apple fans think they're cool, but are really being played for suckers. (Read: Microsoft's Lauren designed to get under Mac fan boys' skin.)

Talking to his company’s Worldwide Partner Conference in New Orleans on July 15, Microsoft chief operating officer Kevin Turner related how, two weeks earlier, Apple’s legal team had got in contact. They said the ad no longer applied, since Apple had lowered its prices.

“It was the greatest single phone call that I've ever taken in business,” Mr Turner told the audience, who broke out into applause.

“I did cartwheels down the hallway. And so we're just going to keep running them and running them and running them.”

And today, Microsoft is still running the ads, Advertising Age reports, but in a watered down version.

The original version of the latest clip featured Lauren (not the original Microsoft Lauren) saying.

"This Mac is $US2,000, and that's before adding anything."

To which her mother replies: "Why would you pay twice the price?"

Lauren leaves with a $US972 Dell laptop.

That version has now been deleted from YouTube, and elsewhere, in favour of revised edit in which the Mac's price is not mentioned.

Instead, Lauren says, "It seems like you're paying a lot for the brand."

A number of advertising commentators have seen Microsoft's "laptop huner" and "laptop rookie" ads as the company's first robust response to Apple's long-running Mac Guy vs PC Guy campaign.

However, the story doesn't play out in the numbers. Sales of Windows dropped by a third in Microsoft's quarterly results last week (in which $US276 million revenue was deferred to cover free Windows 7 upgrades for people who buy Windows Vista PCs today).

By contrast, Apple, enjoying a halo effect from record iPhone sales, saw sales of its computers rise by 4%.


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5 Comments & Questions

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But I am paying more for a highly superior operating system!..... which is, after all, what a computer is all about! And I think I speak for practically everyone who has bought practically ANY Apple product whether it be a computer, iPod, iPhone etc. Is it any wonder -- except to Windows users who are in denial -- why more and more people are switching to Mac?

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Dear Steve jobs
Please uncover me the secret formula
For closing the contract issue between
Us soon as possible.
For starting the new chapter between us
Far away from the big long Crowley arms of
Google yahoo and Microsoft.
After 4 and half years with those devils arms
In understatement all I can say that
You will get from me all just from saving me
And my poor fate that will flow me if you will
Not save me personal and my idea that those
Scams want to berry all together with me.
“”Just do it now please!!!!!!!!””
“”Just do it now please!!!!!!!!””
“”Just do it now please!!!!!!!!””
48 hours after seeing the contract on
The first time it will be sign.
All those 48 hours I will be staying in closed compound
That will determined by Apple.
After 48 hours if I will not sign it will be cancel
The same if I will live compound with out signs it first.
I know the contract terms isn’t open for talking,
As wall as all my behave while the process
Will be foundation for future trust, which is much more
Value then the all numbers written in the contract

Yours truly,
Spider Google algorithm
Eran harpaz

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Well for many its not a price sensitivity thing. There is a market segment for everyone. If you don't have the money or are cheap, a PC with Windows is for those types. I own a few but I have been switching things to Macs the last few years. I was simply getting tired of the crappy, leaky, virus, trojan ridden system. Sure its cheaper but who wants to be running a new anit virus/trojan/spyware, yada yada yada all the freaken time and having a system that grinds to a halt all the time? Updates every 5 minutes for everything.

I got sick of it. Since I wasn't price sensitive I went and bought one suped up mac and then another, another and another. Because it works. Maybe Bill Gates doesn't get that part. I only cared that it booted upright away without having to run umpteen protective programs, was relatively secure and it turned out to be very intuitive. I'm not into the apple vs pc thing much but in the end it was a matter of convenience first and foremost. For some that is the most important thing.

I could buy a hyandai too but if I can easily afford a 7 series or CL class, something with more, why would I buy the hyandai? They aren't the same. Regardless of what some square at consumer reports might say.

It comes down to something that works better....with less grief. I have moved mostly to cloud computing platform for my office suite too. Microsoft had its day in the sun. Nobody mentions their profits might be down because cloud computing is starting to take off. Weird. Why buy an office suite for each computer when you can do it online for any computer, whether PC or Mac? Cloud computing is really going to be Microsoft's Waterloo more than the Mac or Linex.

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  • 0 in the belief that macs are SO-o-o-o-o-o! much better. At my local mac store when I visit (ipod servicing) I always see Mac people bringing in their laptops for fixing. Not a great look.

Personally I use PC for one reason: 80% of the specialist softwares I used in business (statistical softwares) simply aren't made in a Mac version.

Mac fans always judge us PC people as having little clue about the advantages of Macs over PCs. Yes, we do have a clue - good and bad - but compatability with software is the number one criterion. I want a tool that helps me get my work done.

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What do you need then? Office? iWork is better, cheaper, and supports microsoft office files.
Photoshop? Mac has that.
IE? Who wants that?

Mac's just work. I can boot my new macbook up in less than 30 seconds and be on youtube in about a minute.
Plus they can't get viruses (well they can but there's about 1000 pc viruses to every mac one).
Mac has BETTER software. Not as many, but more high quality ones. Tweetie, iLife, Beak, Things, Anxiety, Transmission, Eventbox, iWork. These apps are all of immense quality.

I don't have to install a driver to use my printer or mouse - it just works.

It's more stable, they almost never crash anything.

They are mouthwateringly beautiful to look at. Expose makes it easy to manage lots of windows. Dashboard is useful for fun little widgets, and useful ones too like Dictionary, Stocks, Currency, Date/Time.

PC have more games, and I guess they can have better specs in general. But just compare them. If you want a gaming PC, I will say go with PC. But Mac's still win overall. Price tag is fair. It's like this.: When you want a Mac but can't have it because of the price tag, you go whinging on the interwebz about it. But when you get one (like xmas or something) you find it easy to say to people "Its worth the price tag". It may be expensive, but you will never regret that purchase.

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