Apple is running a new set of its fiendishly clever “I’m a Mac” ads to coincide with Microsoft’s release of the Windows 7 operating system, and the latest one hits close to home for this PC user looking to upgrade.
Windows 7 has received glowing reviews, particularly in contrast to the poorly received Vista operating system released in early 2007. Because Vista was not a smash hit, millions of consumer PCs run an operating system now two iterations old – XP, which was released in late 2001. Upgrading to Windows 7 from Vista is fairly simple, but upgrading from XP is a serious chore. As The Wall Street Journal’s Personal Technology columnist, Walt Mossberg, has reported, XP users will be required to wipe out everything on their PC’s hard disk. Microsoft itself doesn’t refer to an XP-to-7 move as an upgrade, but as a “clean install.” In fact, Microsoft recommends XP users upgrade to a new machine running Windows 7.
As the owner of an older PC running Windows XP, I don’t relish the prospect of a clean install, and I doubt I’m alone. That’s where the new ads come into play: They depict upgrading PC users as movers, their myriad files as cardboard boxes filled with stuff. The movers are wondering why they should bother going through the trouble of moving to another PC. As one asks, “If we have to move all our stuff, why not move the computer that’s number one in customer satisfaction?”
Why indeed? I’m a longtime iPod user and an admirer of the functionality of the iPhone. I secretly – well, not so secretly anymore – envy friends and colleagues who swear by their sleek Apple laptops and desktops. The latest Apple ads make an argument of compelling force rare in a 30-second TV ad. And wouldn’t you know it, Apple has newly upgraded iMac desktops and MacBook laptops on the market for those similarly affected by the ads. The master marketers at Apple may have claimed another PC consumer.