I finally watched the new MS commercial "Laptop Hunters - Lauren" TV commercial, the tagline: "On a strict $1000 budget, Lauren hunts around town for a big screen laptop."
While mostly true (the only only 17-inch Apple notebooks cost $2,000-$2,800) the ads don't take into consideration the Windows notebook's Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). For example, I noticed that Lauren didn't purchasing any anti-virus/malware/adware software and their associated subscriptions when she checked out at Best Buy. Lauren also didn't buy any other software at checkout, so we're left to presume that she's going to live with the bogus trial/crap/bloat/shovel-ware that comes pre-loaded on most PC's these days.
I wonder if Apple will make a follow-up commercial set 30-days later after all Lauren's trialware has expired, her hard drive's full and the machine has slowed to a crawl because she's part of a million node botnet. She could come back into that same Best Buy and talk to a helpful Geek Squad member who informs her that all of her email, photos and contacts are gone because they have to re-format her hard drive -- for $125 thankyouverymuch.
But that's not my point.
There's an easier target that Microsoft could have more easily exploited (and I fully expect them to). In the next installment of "Laptop Hunters" they could trot out a poor student or laid-off parent who just needs a basic notebook computer and wants to spend less than $300. The happy subject of the ad, who I'll call "Jake," could emerge from the Dell store with a Mini 9 that he purchased for $249. The punchline will be that he went into the "Mac store" and all they could offer him for less than $300 was an iPod.
And they'd be right.