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The Microsoft ads are working

That this is true is pretty obvious. The Mac fanbois are going crazy over them, which is always a good sign. ("Let's pick apart the 'Apple Tax' math so people will forget that Macs really are a lot more expensive than PCs" is pretty typical of the thinking there these days.) But this story is interesting for one reason and one reason only: It's written by a noted Linux backer.

My users want Windows. Where three months ago users were enthusiastic about Mac and some were excited about (or at least open to) Linux implementations in the coming years, now users are asking about Windows 7 on the new purchases we have coming up.

I was hopeful about Linux in more settings. The anti-Vista sentiment remains high among many of my current Vista users and XP users are certainly feeling like their machines are growing long-in-the-tooth, opening an opportunity for Linux.

Then Microsoft started their new ad campaign ... I’ll be honest: I actually like the commercials. They play on my gadget lust and make me want to go buy a new PC. Of course, I’d probably install Ubuntu PDQ, but I would have already purchased a PC.

The ads seem to have killed any interest in Linux and, except among Mac devotees (and quite a few still exist in education), in new Macs.

I think that the growing enthusiasm around Windows 7 is fairly infectious. Will it be as big a flop as Vista? I doubt it. People are going to have to see and feel Windows 7 side by side with Ubuntu (or some other friendly distro) and then decide for themselves which they prefer. I’m more than happy to give them that opportunity and will be organizing events around such a “taste test.” For now, though, the Microsoft ad campaign is working.

Yes. Yes, it is.

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