Microsoft's Songsmith software, which creates Casiotone-style beats to match whatever off-key warbling is optimistically sung into a mic, finally has an ad as corny and annoying as the software itself promises to be.

I know I've been clamoring for an amateur low-budget musical from Microsoft, because why should Phil's Discount Used Lawn Furniture of Blueball, Pennsylvania have a monopoly on my involuntary physical cringes? But here's the bigger question: why did they use a MacBook Pro as the demo machine? Did they think I wouldn't recognize it if the Apple logo was artfully and subtly hidden with a giant stupid flower sticker? Did nobody around the office have a spare HP or Dell that that poor exploited little girl could squawk into?

Other stray observances: the software is sort of interesting, in that it matches up a sung melody with appropriate chords, but every song sounds like the bouncy, instantly infuriating demo song from those My First Keyboards by Casio. And while I am, for the ten millionth time, a Windows-only user, even I had to laugh at the line, "Microsoft, huh? So, it's pretty easy to use?"

But I do love the idea that to combat a difficult writer's block, a musician would flip on Songsmith, crank up the dial labeled "Jazzy", and instantly feel a burst of creativity as Microsoft writes him the exact same song as it wrote for the Glow-in-the-Dark Towel ad. Well done, Microsoft. [Microsoft]