Microsoft ad campaign challenges stereotype


SAN FRANCISCO — Microsoft Corp., spending US$300 million on its biggest ad campaign since the company’s founding in 1975, will show the diversity of Windows users in commercials, challenging Apple Inc.’s portrayal of its customers as unhip. Print ads and television commercials with the tagline “Windows. Life without Walls” start running Thursday, Microsoft Senior Vice President Mich Mathews said Thursday in an interview. The company plans to tout the global reach of the software and its more than 1 billion users.

The TV commercials feature celebrities such as actress Eva Longoria and more than 60 Microsoft employees, including Chairman Bill Gates, depicting a wide range of personal-computer users. In Apple’s ads, actor John Hodgman plays an inept character called PC who laments the popularity of Apple’s rival Macintosh software. Windows runs about 95 percent of the world’s computers.