Redmond, Washington -- Well, this is what it takes to convince somebody to upgrade a PC these days? Microsoft is adopting a novel approach to selling its Windows 7 operating system by opening stores in people's homes, the company's new campaign is meant to persuade consumers to give up their older Windows PCs in favor of the latest versions running Windows 7.
Microsoft is geared up to launch its latest Windows ad campaign tonight, hoping to convince consumers to push off Windows XP to ones running Windows 7, the company has confirmed to CNET.
The appealing campaign set to air Monday night during primetime in the 8 p.m. time slot on ABC, CBS and NBC, were developed by the Crispin Porter + Bogusky agency, will expand upon the firm's "I'm a PC" campaign.
The news first unfurled by Todd Bishop of GeekWire, described that the ads will be the latest manifestation of the "I'm a PC" campaign that was launched more than two years ago, but will target consumers already using Microsoft Windows.
"The ads feature real couples who thought their old (4+ years) PC was 'good enough' being surprised to find a Personal PC store built out in their homes," Microsoft said in a statement.
Tonight's ad features a British woman named "Julie" from a focus group, who insists that she is not interested in a new computer because she does not believe "there is something out there better than what I've got now."
To test her claim, her husband agrees to have Microsoft come in and transform their house into a PC store. After Julie discovers about the different PC options available to her, she chooses the latest line of PCs running Windows 7, as well as has touchscreens and does not require space-stealing towers anymore, she admits that she was wrong.
Microsoft's latest "I'm a PC" ad, showing "Julie" with her new PC. (Credit: Screenshot by Don Reisinger/CNET)
"Good enough" is a phrase often expressed by analysts to describe a developer's difficulty getting customers to modernize to the newest software when older versions are sufficient for their needs.
Microsoft's "I'm a PC" ad campaign was formulated after the software giant was annoyed with the pounding it was taking in from Apple's "Get A Mac" campaign. In those ads, Apple used humor to describe the pitfalls it saw in owning a Windows PC, rather than a Mac. The ads featured John Hodgman as the boring, work-focused PC, and Justin Long as the "cool" Mac.
"Our objective is to display the wide world of Windows PCs to show people they can get a highly customized and productive PC that may surprise them with its stylish look and feel," Microsoft said.
That may be an herculean task, said Michael Cherry, an analyst with Directions on Microsoft, a Kirkland, Wash. research firm that covers only Microsoft. And not simply because of the "good enough" problem.
"At the end of the day, this is not even about 'good enough' anymore," said Cherry. "There is a whole bunch of other things happening."
From Cherry's perspective, the Redmond, Wash.-based company not only competes against itself such as -- Windows XP or Vista versus Windows 7, for instance -- but also against other technologies that consumers may value higher than a new PC.
"I have X number of dollars I can spend on things, and once the PC was one of those things," said Cherry. "But now people are saying, 'I like these new smartphones, I like these new tablets.' Microsoft is trying to push the PC back on that wish list."
"There is a ton of PC innovation and beauty out there today and this campaign really demonstrate that off," Windows Consumer Marketing general manager, Kathleen Hall, informed CNET today. "We are encouraging our customers to take a fresh look at what a Windows PC can be."
Microsoft declined to comment on how much it is spending on this latest ad push.