By Jim Goldman
NBC News Channel
It seems that Apple is getting a lot of attention for ads that bash rival Microsoft. Why hasn't Microsoft defended itself? Microsoft founder Bill Gates recently addressed the ads in a magazine article.
The last time Steve Jobs and Bill Gates mixed it up: Macworld Boston, 1997 when Microsoft invested a hundred million bucks in Apple to keep the company alive. But since then, a dog eat dog battle between the two captured best by TV ads -- now, almost as iconic as the company itself.
In an interview with Newsweek, Gates complains: "I don't know why Apple is acting like it's superior. I don't even get it. What are they trying to say? Does honesty matter in these things, or if you're really cool, that means you get to be a lying person whenever you feel like it? There's not even the slightest shred of truth to it."
In these ads starring John Hodgeman as Microsoft and Justin Long as the Mac hit the airwaves last spring, but as Microsoft's Vista kept suffering delays, the company was unable to fight back...surprising analysts who couldn't understand why Microsoft left such an effective attack unanswered."
"It actually shows the amount of frustration with Bill Gates and his own marketing team for not doing this a bit more aggressively. Hopefully it shows MS is a bit of a scrapper going forward cause Lord knows they kind of need that," said Rob Enderle, Enderle Group.
But now Microsoft is answering through Gates himself. Quote: "I don't think the over 90 percent of the population who use Windows PC's think of themselves as dullards, it the kind of klutzes that somebody is trying to say they are."
Ouch. For it's part, Apple isn't responding. But selling almost 3-million Macs since those ads started to run, selling it's computers at three times the rate of the overall PC market, the company probably thinks it doesn't need to.
NBC News Channel