Apple and Microsoft have been having this bizarre pissing match for a few years now, but this new set of ads marks confirms what previous volleys seemed to imply: these companies have no intention of actually talking about their products. Microsoft's feel-good "I'm Joe the Plumber and I'm a PC" campaign was about as substantive as Apple's disingenuous and outdated attacks on its opponent's software, but this new set of ads is really nothing more than a vague indictment of Microsoft's marketing strategy. Maybe that'll fly with tech news hounds, but most people who see these on TV won't even know what they're talking about, much less care. There's also the minor matter of Apple accusing Microsoft of spending money on advertising that would be better allocated to fixing Vista. The message, of course, is delivered in an expensive advertising campaign, the week after Apple released brand new, prohibitively expensive laptops. Justin Long's Mac moves on to criticize Microsoft's 'reluctance' to call Vista by its real name, which is either a misguided dig at the Mojave campaign or some kind of odd jab at the logical dropping of the 'Vista' name for Windows 7.

Everyone expects misinformation and questionable techniques in advertising, but that's not the issue here. These ads seem directed at Microsoft's corporate management, not their customers. Redmond and Cupertino are having a useless, protracted argument with each other, unaware of the fact that their shouting is going completely over everyone else's heads. [MacRumors]