According to Microsoft COO Kevin Turner, Apple lawyers tried to get Microsoft to pull one of the Laptop Hunter ads:
And so we've been running these PC value ads. Just giving people saying, hey, what are you looking to spend? “Oh, I'm looking to spend less than $1,000.” Well we'll give you $1,000. Go in and look and see what you can buy. And they come out and they just show them. Those are completely unscripted commercials.
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. (Applause.)
I did cartwheels down the hallway. 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.
Did it happen exactly like that? I doubt it, but even if there's a grain of truth to this story, Apple is feeling pretty threatened by these ads.
It also seems that Microsoft will be taking the fight to Apple's doorstep:
And we're going to showcase this opportunity of Windows simplicity, choice, value, and partners. And stay tuned, because we're going to have some retail stores opened up that are opened up right next door to Apple stores this fall. Stay tuned, just stay tuned.
This could be a very interesting move for Microsoft. Strategically placed retail stores could give Windows 7 a lot of effective exposure, which combined with tactical pricing, could give the Redmond giant a chance to claw back market share.
What's interesting is that Microsoft waited until Windows 7 was on the horizon before mounting an effective ad campaign against Apple. Apple ads had made a laughing stock of Vista and Microsoft knew it couldn't counter it, but Windows 7 is a different product and it seems that Microsoft has the confidence to really market this product and go against Apple and the Mac.