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Microsoft Launches Windows 7 Ads

Software maker puts marketing campaign in overdrive as OS's formal debut nears.
Microsoft on Thursday kicked off an advertising campaign for the new Windows 7 operating system with a spot on the CW's "Vampire Diaries".

Windows 7 screen shot
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The 30 second commercial features a young girl using her father's Windows 7-equipped PC.

"I found these happy words all over my dad's computer; 7,7,7,7," she says. The girl goes on to launch a slide show featuring a cute menagerie comprising bunnies, cats, and unicorns.

The ad concludes with the girl saying, "I'm a PC, and more happy is coming."

The spot is noteworthy in that it eschews the use of celebrities to promote Microsoft's new OS. The company previously tapped comedian Jerry Seinfeld for a campaign to promote Windows, but the series was widely panned for being too abstract and failing to connect viewers with Microsoft technology.

Windows 7 has already been released to some business customers, and is slated to go on sale to consumers starting Oct. 22nd.

Microsoft needs the OS to be a hit, as its predecessor—Windows Vista—failed to win the hearts of consumers and was virtually shunned in the enterprise market. Complaints ranged from Vista's incompatibility with older software to its intrusive security measures and heavy horsepower requirements.

Partly as a result, Windows sales have slumped significantly in recent months.

The full version of Windows 7 Home Premium is priced at $199, with an upgrade from Vista or XP costing $119. The full version of Windows 7 Professional is $299, with upgrades going for $199. Windows 7 Ultimate is priced at $319, with the upgrade version at $219.

InformationWeek has published an in-depth report on why businesses shouldn't shrug off Google's upcoming Chrome OS. Download the report here (registration required).