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Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times reporter Sharon Chan.

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July 22, 2008 9:22 AM

Report: Microsoft ads to equate Vista-haters with the Flat Earth Society?

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

Ed Bott at ZDNet has a screen shot that may be part of Microsoft's forthcoming $300 million advertising campaign to improve the image of Windows Vista. The shot shows a tall sailing ship on the open sea next to the text, "At one point, everyone thought the Earth was flat." Below that, "Get the facts about Windows Vista."

Bott points to the guys at, who reported that previews of the Vista ads were shown during Microsoft's big annual sales meeting last week in Atlanta. Bott said the screen shot itself is from a teaser on the Microsoft home page. I saw nothing of the sort when I checked this morning.

Bott is a fan of the message suggested by this snip of what could be Crispin Porter & Bogusky's ad campaign for Microsoft. "Aligning its most vocal Vista critics with the Flat Earth Society is a clever way to get people's attention," the veteran Microsoft watcher wrote.

People have termed the upcoming advertising effort Microsoft's "fight back" campaign in reference to the company's near silence in the face of Apple's successful and biting "I'm a Mac. I'm a PC" campaign. So far, this campaign has done more to shape the popular perception of Vista than Microsoft has.

Bott, after following the link in the teaser, thinks Microsoft is not going to try to counter humor with humor. He cites text from the Vista page the teaser points to that offers a sober assessment of Vista's early shortcomings and explains how Microsoft and the broader industry have addressed them.

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