Apple Using Google To Dampen Windows 7 Hype

On Monday, Google search queries on the terms "Windows 7 download" and " Windows 7 upgrade" were returning surreptitious sponsored links for Apple, as first noted by the blog The Next Web.

The sponsored links contain messages that are intended to steer users away from Windows 7 and into the comforting arms of Apple products. "Thinking of Upgrading? Avoid Windows 7 headaches. Make the switch to Mac. It's easy," reads one message.

"If you have to upgrade, make the ultimate upgrade. Switch to Mac," reads another.

Apple didn't respond to an email request for comment on the Google ads, so it's unclear how much it's spending to steer Web searchers away from Windows 7. However, given the positive reviews and launch of Windows 7, Apple's marketing teams are probably headed back to the drawing board to devise new angles of attack that don't involve Windows Vista.

Sponsored post

At Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference in June, Bertrand Serlet, senior vice president of software engineering at Apple, called Windows 7 "just another version of Vista" that suffers from the same problems. "Microsoft has dug quite a hole for themselves with Vista, and now they're trying to get out of it with Windows 7," Serlet told attendees at WWDC.

Apple isn't the first Microsoft rival to target Windows 7 with timed news releases. Last month, issued a couple of snarky statements, attributed to CEO Marc Benioff and Bruce Francis, vice president of corporate strategy, which ridiculed Microsoft's claims that Windows 7 is more stable than Vista.

Google, meanwhile, has plenty of motivation to take part in Apple's Windows 7 campaign. Microsoft, in promoting its Bing search engine, has been poking fun at Google's keyword advertising model and trying to make the case that search engines today are 'broken' and in need of fixing.

Google has been running billboards that call out the difficulties of using Microsoft Office, so it's hard to imagine that it wouldn't be eager to help Apple take a few shots at Windows 7 as well. Whether this increased marketing activity from IT vendors is an indication of an improving economy is anyone's guess.