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2008: Apple's 'Get a Mac' ads take dead aim at Microsoft
Apple's "Get a Mac" campaign started with TV ads in 2006, but it hit its stride in 2008 with a series of ads that mercilessly and effectively lampooned the problems of Windows Vista. One of the most direct was the "Calming Teas" ad, shown here. PC, played by John Hodgman, showed off his “Vista-stress-releasing bath salts and calming teas like Crashytime Chamomile and Raspberry Restart…”
2009: Windows 7 is the anti-Vista
In 2007, I wrote about the many problems of Windows Vista in a post titled "Vista isn't Me2, it's Win95 + 12 years." In that post, I offered a prediction: "If history repeats itself, Microsoft will release its next Vista update in 2009 or 2010, after a low-profile, secretive beta cycle, and it will be greeted as finally delivering on the promise of what Vista should have been all along."
That's pretty much exactly what happened. Under the leadership of new Windows boss Steven Sinofsky, Microsoft released Windows 7 right on schedule. OEMs were prepared this time, and there were few underlying architectural changes to cause problems. Windows 7 wasn’t perfect, but it was greatly improved over Windows Vista. And that "evolutionary" release was enough to make it one of Microsoft's biggest successes ever.
2010: Windows 7 establishes itself as an unqualified success
According to statistics from NetMarketShare, Windows 7 passed Windows Vista in usage a mere nine months after its release. Windows 7 also had the good fortune to arrive as the economy began to recover from a recession and businesses that had delayed PC upgrades began buying again. Everything looked rosy for the PC market. And then Apple introduced its iPad, which was the first shot in what would become a lengthy battle for the mobile market.