Apple got really lucky that when Vista came out, you could practically call it a virus. And they intelligently made the right decisions to take advantage of Vista's ****tyness in their ad campaigns. Not only that, the ads did a great job in depicting MS as a company that makes unstable software. Apple's ad campaign worked so many angles that it was able to present itself as not only the stable solution, but the one to use if you wanted to be classy/stylish instead of cheap/loserish.
I have no idea what MS marketing is thinking. It's as if they have no clue what hit them. It's as if they think Apples ads are about showing the great features of the Leopard OS. That's part of it, but I can bet that MS is did nothing but hire a high-priced advertising team that has no clue what they are doing.
These ads suck. MS seems to think that focusing on security features have the slightest relevance just because people are complaining about malware and instability. They are in no way positioning Windows 7 in a way that is really relevant to consumers. XP-32 is still the best OS for anybody that isn't doing high end performance computing such as design, 3D modeling/animation, audio/video production, gaming, or anything 64-bit. And for the people that are, Windows 7 is the best, but they need to do a number of things:
1. Chop Windows 7 down to under 1GB for a base OS with a simple desktop. Then have various editions with varying levels of desktop and added capabilities. Windows 7 is in the area of 10GB. What for?
2. Ads should depict Apple as an elitist exclusivist company while MS is for world peace and universal happiness. The public would eat this up.
3. Ads should depcit the stability of Windows 7 in comparison to Apple.
4. Ads should depict Apple as over-exageratedly limited in apps. While Windows users have more/better games and more/better apps. I would create a slogan such as "Only on Windows".
5. Give the consumer market who isn't into gaming or high performance computing a really good reason to upgrade from XP to Windows 7. A 10GB OS doesn't help.
Marketing is not just about advertising. Advertising is a crucial part, but marketing also has to do with pricing, what editions to release, what features are in each editions, what consumers want in an OS etc. Start with the foundation with constructing an OS that is stable, efficient, and relevant to user needs. Then hit the competition where it hurts. All ads can use exageration. In Apples case, I would totally exagerate limited software, exclusivity, etc.