Microsoft’s “I’m a PC” campaign was originally launched as a counterpoint to Apple, embracing the phrase from the Mac maker’s commercials as a point of pride for Windows PC users. Subsequent installments challenged Macs on points including price.

Tonight, the Redmond company is launching a new consumer Windows ad campaign, but with a different target — previous versions of its own product. The ads aim to convince people that the old PCs they consider “good enough” are really no match for the snazziest new Windows 7 machines.

The new spots, described by the company as the latest evolution of the “I’m a PC” campaign, will start airing tonight on networks including ABC, CBS and NBC. They revive the company’s previous approach of using real people and surprise twists at the end. Here’s how the company describes the ads.

The ads feature real couples who thought their old (4+ years) PC was “good enough” being surprised to find a Personal PC store built out in their homes.  One half of the couple was in on the plan to surprise the other.  The couple even received a new PC of their choosing at the end of the experience. The couples, when face-to-face with the breadth of PCs available, are happy to discover the unparalleled variety of features, power, eye-popping colors, textures and designs of Windows PCs. Through the ads you will see each family discover the wide variety of style and software benefits that a new Windows 7 PC can bring to their everyday life.

The campaign comes amid sluggish PC sales worldwide. Consumer netbook sales were down 40 percent in the first quarter, a sign of Apple’s iPad biting into the market for low-priced Windows PCs. Apple, meanwhile, reported a 28 percent increase in Mac sales for the quarter.

Videos of the ads aren’t yet available online, but we’ll plan on posting when they’re available.

Update: Here’s the video of the first ad.

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  • Guest

    This sounds very smart, we’ll see what the actually execution is. Microsoft often botches the implementation of a good idea.

    When I talk to people about the fact that Windows is now a viable alternative to Mac (I use both, and am a fanboy for neither), they generally think I’m crazy because they’re still assuming things are as they were 4+ years ago with XP.

    The world really has moved on, and Apple has made Microsoft step up the game with Windows 7.

    • Guest

      Have to agree. Most Apple users only know about Windows from their grandmother’s old desktop and from those adorable adverts with that man from the Daily Show. Microsoft should counter this perception.

      • Guest evil twin

        Definately. Move from XP to OSX and you’ll be blown away. You would be more blown away moving from OS9 to Windows 7 though. OSX isn’t better, it’s newer than what you had. I hope MS doesn’t botch this. They have hits (I’m a PC) and misses (Seinfeld).

  • Lawrence Lam

    How about that Staples ad where a family’s home is broken into but the robber doesn’t want to steal their old PC?

  • Aden

    WTF man,

    Seriously Microsoft is Going Nuts. Building up a Shop in her house. How about building a shop in my A** . Oh Lord..Microsoft has become so so so so desperate that soon it has started losing the respect for itself.. It just doesent take the hit and keep moving forward. its trying to promote something which was Great at one point of time again and again. People are not fools Balmer, Give us a break for christ.

    • Guest

      You’re exactly who they are advertising to then. The lastest stuff churning out of MS *is* great. Your image of them is based on like IE7 running on Vista or worse.

  • Tccedar

     The ad campaign just doesn’t seem to make sense.  The focus of the ad is putting a computer store in the person’s house.  Huh?  It leaves you wondering, “Why would I want a computer store in my house and what does this have to do with me buying a new pc?”  

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