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Microsoft site attempts to discourage PC users from switching to Mac

Microsoft has launched a new website that tells users PCs have Blu-ray, more software choices, and a greater array of hardware options when compared with Apple's Mac platform.

The Windows 7 section of Microsoft's website now has a tab entitled "PC vs. Mac," which pitches Blu-ray compatibility as one major feature Mac users cannot access. "Deciding between a PC and a Mac?" it asks. "Here's what you need to know."

The newly launched site features six different sections extolling the virtues of Windows-based machines. One section of the site, entitled "Having Fun," tells potential switchers that Macs might "spoil" their fun.

"You can't get a Mac that ships with a Blu-ray player, TV tuner, Memory Stick reader, or built-in 3G wireless," the site says. "You can with PCs running Windows 7."

The site repeatedly and prominently mentions the Mac in each of its sections, with such statements as that "Macs can take time to learn," "Macs don't work as well at work or school," and "Macs don't let you choose."

"PCs give you a lot more choice and capabilities for your money," the site proclaims. "You can get the PC you want, in the size and color you want, with the features you want. You just don't have as many options with a Mac."

Users can also find their "perfect PC" using the Windows PC Scout tool, and also check the compatibility status of software and hardware with the Windows 7 operating system. Visitors can also read "buzz" from users on Twitter talking about PCs with Windows 7.

For some time, Apple has had its own "Why you'll love a Mac" website, which pitches switching to the Mac is the "ultimate upgrade." It also says that Microsoft's Windows operating system is susceptible to "thousands of viruses" that "plague" the platform.

Of course, negative advertising between Microsoft and Apple is nothing new. Apple only recently concluded its Get a Mac TV ads featuring actor Justin Long and humorist John Hodgman. The series of ads, which ran for years, featured the "Hello, I'm a Mac" tagline at the start of every spot, and Long's "Mac" character played the straight man, flanked by Hodgman's bumbling "PC."

The commercials were extremely successful, and aired during a period of tremendous growth for the Mac platform. Last year, Adweek named the "Get a Mac" campaign the best ad campaign of the decade.

For years, Microsoft ignored the Mac in its own TV advertisements. But last year, the Redmond, Wash., software giant stepped up its own advertising campaign and made an effort to reclaim the "I'm a PC" tagline from Apple. Television spots for Windows 7 have featured customers taking credit for the improvements in the new operating system, with the slogan "I'm a PC, and Windows 7 was my idea."

Microsoft also took on the Mac even more directly with its "Laptop Hunters" ads, which portrayed Apple's notebook prices as too high for the average consumer. The Windows maker also came under fire — and modified one ad — after it incorrectly displayed a MacBook Pro price as higher than it actually was.