Microsoft's Chief Operating Officer, Kevin Turner, told the audience during Microsoft's Worldwide Partner Conference that Apple's legal department has asked Microsoft to take down the Laptop Hunters ads, in light of Apple's recent price cuts. After some self-deprecation regarding the Vista launch ("The momentum we have in the marketplace around Windows 7 feels really, really good. And after the Vista launch, how could it not?"), he said:
And you know why I know they're working? Because two weeks ago we got a call from the Apple legal department saying, hey -- this is a true story -- saying, "Hey, you need to stop running those ads, we lowered our prices." They took like $100 off or something. It was the greatest single phone call in the history that I've ever taken in business. (Applause.)
You can read the entire transcript on Microsoft PressPass. Apparently, Apple isn't liking the advertisements, and are trying to get them off the air by sending in the
Tal Shiar legal department.
Another sign the competition between the two companies is heating up is that Microsoft has announced it will open its own retail stores in locations near those of current Apple stores. The stores will not be copies of Apple's; Microsoft doesn't have an awful lot of hardware to sell, after all. I'd guess that the stores will be more about polishing Microsoft's image than it is about actually selling a lot of products.
The stores are destined to open later this year during the fall, maybe coinciding with the launch of Windows 7 on October 22.