With the much-maligned Windows Vista behind it, Microsoft is taking advantage of the critical success of Windows 7 to make the case that new PCs are more fun, easier to use, more compatible with other consumer electronics and better at sharing content than the Mac. Microsoft has introduced the latest "PC versus Mac" campaign on the Windows 7 Website.
Apple harped on the same attributes in reverse in its "Get a Mac" ads that ran for three years and featured actors John Hodgman and Justin Long. In launching ads, the Mac maker took advantage of consumer and business discontent with Vista. The last three ads ran nine months ago.
Some PC-oriented websites lauded Microsoft for pointing out a Mac's most obvious limitations: no Blu-ray player, TV tuner, Memory Stick reader or built-in 3G wireless.
The success of Windows 7 has made it possible for Microsoft to get more aggressive in attacking the Mac. Launched last October, Microsoft sold 90 million copies by March, making the operating system the fastest selling OS in the history of PC industry.
There's little doubt that Windows 7 has given Microsoft some much-needed market momentum. According to market-research firm YouGovPlc the percentage of customers satisfied with Microsoft reached 73% at the end of last year, the highest level since the firm started surveying the company's customers.
However, Apple is not sitting on its laurels and has a PC-bashing site called "Why you'll love a Mac" and Apple sales show some people are listening. The company sold 3.47 million Macs in the second calendar quarter, a company record and a 33% increase over a year ago.