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Tuesday, 15 October, 2002, 11:10 GMT 12:10 UK
Web users turn tables on Microsoft
Screenshot of Microsoft webpage, Microsoft
The page documented a switch from Mac to PC
Microsoft has been caught using a fake advert that claimed people were switching from Macs to Windows PCs.

The advert on Microsoft's website supposedly recounted the story of a former Apple Mac user who had converted to using Windows.

But investigative work by net users revealed that the supposed "switcher" actually worked for a marketing company employed by the Seattle giant.

The Microsoft advert was a response to the high-profile campaign run by Apple which showcased people who have moved from Windows to a Mac.

Stock taking

The page documenting the switch was entitled Confessions Of A Mac To PC Convert, and was placed on the Windows XP Insider section of Microsoft's site.

It supposedly told the story of a "freelance writer" who had used a Mac for eight years but who had now switched to using Windows.

In it, the switcher declared: "Windows XP gives me more choices and flexibility and better compatibility with the rest of the computing world."

Originally news of the article's existence was posted to the popular Slashdot website as a joke, but eagle-eyed users of the site found grounds to suspect the story behind it.

They noticed that the picture of the woman used to illustrate the story was a stock image from the Getty Library and unlikely to be a genuine customer.

Investigative work by a reporter from the Associated Press tracked down the person behind the story who turned out to be an employee of the Wes Rataushk & Associates ad agency.

This was the company that was employed by Microsoft to draw up the adverts about switchers.

Microsoft has now pulled the page from its website and said it "regretted" its action.

But in its defence it said that the employee had definitely switched from using a Mac to Windows.

See also:

06 Jun 02 | Entertainment
29 Aug 02 | Technology
15 May 02 | Business
25 Oct 01 | Business
23 May 02 | Business
11 May 01 | Science/Nature
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