updated 02:00 pm EDT, Fri October 31, 2008
MS Kiosk Near Apple Store
Microsoft has taken to placing its own physical presence in front of Apple's retail stores to drive home its "I'm a PC" marketing campaign, an AppleInsider reader has shown through a photo. The Windows developer has put a kiosk in front of at least the Apple Store Bullring in Birmingham, UK that lets users record their own "I'm a PC" segment for contribution to the campaign, which is entering a new phase as it accepts user uploads and submissions rather than just professionally-chosen spokespeople.
Neither Apple nor Microsoft has commented on the placement. The effort nonetheless reflects the goal of the campaign to counter what Microsoft believes is an unfair stereotype of Windows that has hurt Vista's public image. Multiple initiatives have already been launched that directly shadow Apple and include Genius-like Microsoft Gurus at third-party stores, the early Seinfeld teaser ads and a "leaked" company e-mail ahead of the new MacBook launch perpetuating notions that Apple unfairly limits hardware choices and prices.
The existing "I'm a PC" campaign, which joins a larger $300 million effort, has so far earned mixed reactions and has been outperformed by the Seinfeld campaign despite more directly targeting Apple.