Microsoft groupie Mary-Jo Foley has a post on her "All About Microsoft" blog asking if the empire should strike back against Apple's marketing campaign. Personally, I don't think Microsoft is in the position to "strike back". Any sort of lashing out they do will be perceived by an already leery public that they're just being big, bad bully Microsoft. Honestly, I don't believe that Microsoft is even capable of countering Apple's campaign given that they simply don't have a compelling consumer product to build it around. At the end of the day, their biggest hindrance is that they can offer no objects of lust. Apple's product line is jam-packed with sexy.
Microsoft is a software company, writing mainly business applications. While software can be sexy, Office is not. Windows is not. We're not talking about gaming consoles or mp3 players so this campaign has to be about their computing experience. Without using venom against their competitors while placing focus on their product, what's their story going to be? Windows One Care is the way to go? Live! is amazingly amazing? You're gonna love the gadget bar in Vista? Our start menu is shiny? There are thousands and thousands of programs...and viruses...written for Windows Vista?