Microsoft’s “I’m a PC” Ads – Made on a Mac



Image by LuisDS via Flickr

Flickr user LuisDS discovered metadata on the creative copy of the “stereotyped PC user” and other photos appearing on Microsoft’s “I’m a PC” website that reveal they were produced using Macs running Adobe Creative Suite 3.

Microsoft code monkeys scrubbed the identifying information from the website stills overnight.

Via RoughlyDrafted


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122 responses to “Microsoft’s “I’m a PC” Ads – Made on a Mac”

  1. Gary McRoberts says:

    It’s really not a big deal, the photos where probably prepared by an ad agency and Microsoft has no control over what systems they use, and it is not unusual for ad agencies to use Mac’s anyway

  2. Elliot Harmon says:

    Is this really so bad, though? MS’s whole message is (I think) that PCs are the choice for normal people. The fact that their fancypants artists used Macs doesn’t really contradict that idea.

  3. anaglyph says:

    >>MS’s whole message is (I think) that PCs are the choice for normal people.

    Normal people? What an entirely strange thing to say.

  4. Calvin says:

    agree, its a commercial paid by Microsoft, created FOR Microsoft and not created BY Microsoft.

    I bet the blueprint for all Apple products are done in Windows, due to the nature that most CAD (Computer Aided Design) programs are written for Windows. e.g. AutoCAD, SolidWorks, 3Dmax, Rhino…

  5. Yosemite Sam says:

    brought to you by Microsoft apologists

  6. fredo says:

    wow mac people real need to get a life

  7. Daniel says:

    I think the point here is that they’re advertising a product. And they used the competitors system to create their advertising… It kind of defeats the point. It’s like saying, “This computer I’m selling you is the best, except that I don’t use it.”

  8. MSLL says:

    Don’t be fooled by a commercial.

    These ads are just showing MS is sore over the Apple ads. It does not do anything other than to draw sympathy. The Mac ads are based on the capabilities of the Macs, the OS, and the Apple Store while making the PC’s look a bit dysfunctional. The Mac ads may not completely true but thats advertising for you.

    The new ads don’t show anyone actually using a PC. I wonder why not?

    Macs have been the choice for normal people and the computers are designed for normal people. This has always been the Mac mantra. Normal people still use Macs even in the dominant PC world. Besides, normal people use all types of computers. Again, don’t be fooled by these ads.

  9. Corey says:

    Well, the ad features a bunch of fancypants artists too… so this is relevant.

  10. Ender says:

    It is a big deal. Microsoft should be eating their own dog food, so to speak.

  11. Neil says:

    It’s not bad but it’s surely ironic. And funny, laugh :)

  12. J.R. says:

    You tools…

    You can slice it any way you want, “macs are for artists”, “macs are for Ad agencies”… what it looks like is “Microsoft won even use their own product to advertise their own product”.

  13. John says:

    Why am I not surprised? Pretty funny.

  14. Don says:

    If accurate then me thinks that Gary and Elliott are whistling past the graveyard.

  15. Bina says:

    PCs are for “normal” people? Wow, who knew it was “normal” to prefer cheap, instantly obsolete, cobbled-together crap-machines that crash at the drop of a hat and fry their own parts? Who knew it was “normal” to like a platform that’s chronically unstable? Who knew it was “normal” to sneer at smart people who know the difference between a bad bargain that’s being foisted on one through cut-throat marketing, and a good one that comes by its “elite” reputation honestly? If that’s your “normal”, count me as an elitist and proud of it. I’ve been on Macs for over a decade, and never had the trouble with them that I had with my last (ever!) PC.

  16. riclewis says:

    I’m a PC, and I check my facts before publishing :)

  17. Yury Cancino says:

    The ad is incomplete.
    The ad is from Microsoft and they don’t sell PCs. They sell (among other things) operating system software.
    So, these people might very well say:

    – “I’m a PC… using Linux OS”


    – “I’m a PC… using Mac OS”

    and yes, They could also say:

    – “I’m a PC… using Microsoft Windows”

    But that wouldn’t be funny.


  18. Chris says:

    “wow mac people real need to get a life

    fredo, on September 19th, 2008 at 3:54 pm”

    wow, PC people realLY need to learn how to use proper grammar.

  19. Cory Schulz says:

    PCs are for people who generally don’t understand anything about computers or for people who are too poor to afford a Mac, or for people who mainly use their computer for playing games. The rest of us who actually use computers to create things prefer Macs because they are better designed to be a creative tool and allow us to create things more efficiently. The environment and the way its designed is tailored to the creative process. Microsoft, obviously, does not understand the creative process and has failed to implement it in designing their products and in the framework of their products. People who are creative understand this without having to be told. For people who are not creative, there is nothing that can be said to help them see otherwise.

  20. Brandon says:

    @Bina. I understand where you are coming from but don’t act like no one has ever been sitting in front of a mac with a spinning beach ball only then having to force quit whatever process is causing it. PCs aren’t the only machines that freeze. I have used macs a lot, especially through college and I came to know that macs are not close to perfect either. All computers crash no matter what OS is running because every OS has its issues.

    The mac does have a stylish edge and I agree that their mantra is for “normal” people, but unfortunately most “normal” people don’t adopt macs. It is just a fact. Although it seems they market mainly to “normal” people, it is usually elitists, artists, and the like that end up using them. Ask any “normal” / “less computer savvy” person what computer they just bought or are planning on and you will hear “well I guess I’ll get a Dell”. With a growing (yet still small) market share, it is impossible to claim that this so called mass of “normal” people have adopted macs. Apple’s user base/fan base is almost completely separate from the demographic they are actually trying to reach. They do however cater to designers and artists as well, I understand that but emphasize the ease of use for “normal” users. It is very interesting that the Mac / PC commercials make it seem like only “nerds” use PCs and that “cool” people use Macs.. when infact.. PCs have the highest market share among people that would be considered the very opposite of nerd.

    I am not a Windows/MS fanboy or an Apple fanboy. I enjoy both operating systems, and being a designer and writer, I tend to enjoy some of the OS X applications designed to do these jobs, yet I do use Adobe CS3 on the PC as well and have had no problems. I don’t even remember the last time I had a crash at all. I haven’t had any issues with my PC because I know what I am doing. I feel that most of the ease of use and lack of “crashing” on the mac is due to the fact that Apple has built it in such a way to prevent people from making stupid decisions that corrupt and screw up their install and machine. Windows is more wide open and widely adopted and more susceptible to these issues.

    Thats not to say that a little Terminal command or two can’t botch your entire system though :)

    So I agree with the principles behind what you say but most of the claims are highly exaggerated or false. Unless you are talking about vista, then I completely agree. :)

  21. Brandon says:

    and i didn’t even comment on the Windows ads. Ha.

    I think Microsoft is so far in the hole that it will be tough for them to put a convincing campaign together. As said above.. they might as well be saying linux since all they are saying is “PC” which could be running a number of OSs. I think just like their other campaigns that this will be ineffective.

    However, it is NOT surprising at all that Macs were used to create their ads. A majority of designers do work on Macs and the marketing agency they chose were even featured on Apple Pro’s profiles.

    Microsoft is not trying to say “buy our product so you can create ads like this”, so why does it matter that it was made on a mac. Microsoft didn’t MAKE the ads, the agency did. Although some companies will require the agency to use specific software to do the job, I respect Microsoft for not having such dumb requirements and letting the agency use whatever tools they were most comfortable with to provide the best service.

    This whole debacle about them being created on Macs is really a non-issue. Unfortunately many MS-haters have found just another little way to take a jab at Microsoft. It’s getting petty at this point.

  22. David says:

    Wasn’t the whole point of the ‘I’m a PC’ ad to get across the idea that MACs were meant to be better than PCs? So, wouldn’t it make sense to make the ad on a MAC anyway? I don’t know if this is the same ad we’re seeing in Britain (With David Mitchell and Robert Webb) but that’s what I got from it.

  23. EugenS says:

    All ad agencies use macs for their art directors. That is to say, all artists use macs. However, those same artists have PC’s at home, as they all love to play video games. My art director is in the same position, and he actually prefers working on a PC rather than a Mac, but you won’t find pc’s for art directors in any ad agency. The only thing that this proves is that the ads were made on a mac. WOW, big surprise there.

  24. Ifahmi says:

    Well… we can only blame the Ad Agency for this debacle. They should’ve known better than using Mac to make Microsoft ad. That is plain stupidity, I think.

    I mean, we all know that PC basically can do anything that Mac can, and Mac basically can do anything that PC can (except those horrible blue screen of death, of course).

    So, why the Ad agency didn’t use Photoshop CS3 for Windows? Plain ignorance, I think.

    If I am Steve Balmer, I will reprimand CP+B (the ad agency) because of this.

    And If I am Steve Jobs, I will send thank you notes and iPod Nano to the team that handling Microsoft account.

  25. HerbalEd says:

    I think Microsoft is making a big mistake with this new ad campaign. Yes, Apple’s very successful I’m-a-Mac/I’m-a-PC ad campaign has really beaten up on MS … but what a mistake to take the bait and bring even more attention to Apple’s ads. MS’s new ad campaign is about as entertaining as Bill Gates …. boooooring!!

    And talk about a major fumble …. the unsuccessful Gates/Signfeld ads were a doozie.

  26. Veekee says:

    EugenS, I’m a professional graphic designer with 15 years experience and work for a fairly large in house team. Not one of the designers I know has a PC at home. Not one. Even our writers and our executives use Macs. We play games on gaming systems or on our Macs.

    That said, I think both platforms have their place. And the debate is kind of pointless. Use what you like.

  27. Smitty says:

    MicroSoft is crap. And THEY know it.

  28. Hidan says:


    “The new ads don’t show anyone actually using a PC. I wonder why not?”

    Not a single “Im a mac, and im a pc” showed anyone using a Mac, why hold Microsoft to a different standard.

    Also, normal people do not need an “elite” OS almost twice as much as the competitor to check their email, and write a few rich text documents.

  29. Darrin says:

    So pitiful! Bill Gates is the richest man in the nation yet feels the need to rely on people’s sympathy to sell his software. Well… if it’s not a lack of money driving him, maybe his ‘PC’ is tiny.

    Mine is pretty big, so I’m quite comfortable using my Mac.

  30. Shone says:

    What’s with the PC crowd claiming to be “normal people” usually followed by saying MAC people are “fancy artsy people”…you’re only proving just how accurate those Apple ads really are.

    You may as well just say PC people are boring and MAC people are creative.

  31. Simon says:

    It’s strange that everybody is talking about microsoft using apple to create (or let someone create) their ad, while almost all the mac users I know also use windows apps, even I (huge apple fan:-) run some microsoft software on my mac using Fusion. Yesterday I walked into the Apple Store in Amsterdam (retailer) and they have all these macs on the counters, but they run a windows server for their very importend windows administration program.

    I love Mac, hate PC… But don’t understand all the fuss about this ad. I do think it’s funny though.

    Excuse my English, I’m dutch.

  32. Gigantic Moe says:

    Strange…on my online gaming I don’t hear people saying my mac/PC whipped your butt or when I see a work of digital art no where is there a huge sign saying it was produced with photoshop/painter on a mac/pc. If these commercials could be made on a C64 at half the production price you bet that ad company would have a render farm made of C64s. I find most who argue about the mac vs pc are people who do not own the uber machines at all…they lust for optimum and you attack their dreams whenever you talk bad about their favorite OS. Some of us have not only both systems but Linux boxes, SGI boxes, and proprietary systems you have never heard of or will ever see. These are tools and these tools help us achieve what is necessary. Since less than 10 percent of the market are hardcore gamers which by the way does not drive the market at all I find it silly when people bitch and moan about OS’s when the most powerful game in their stables is the Sims. Professionals who use any IT will use what they like, what they can afford, and what they’re used too. So buck up one day you’ll afford your dream machine…6 months later its obsolete…lol

  33. DBL says:

    People look at the bigger picture. Macs are by far the majority platform among graphic artists who create advertising. If it’s not okay for a rival computer company to made use of these ad agencies, then aren’t you saying that no computer company *but* Apple is allowed to avail themselves of the majority of ad companies out there?

    Think about what you’re saying, here. Because it’s just plain dumb. And I’m a Mac user, and can’t *stand* Windows, BUT Microsoft has as much right to advertise as anybody, and most advertising is done through the Mac. That has nothing whatsoever to do with the message of the campaign. End of issue.

    P.S. Get a life.

  34. Joe says:

    ““I’m a PC… using Mac OS””

    Hardly. Yet all new macs can run windows, and faster than windows machines, I might add. Although, not sure why anyone would want to. Macs are truly hybrid…

  35. Hidan says:


    “Hardly. Yet all new macs can run windows, and faster than windows machines”

    Really you can run Bioshock faster on a mac with a 8800GT than a Windows Box with a 4870X2?

    I will look into that.

  36. beth says:

    Well. There’s just not really anymore to say about that… now is there? They can’t even created their own advertising without the efficiency and creativity of a Mac. AAHAHHHHAAAHHHHHHAAAAAA!

  37. Sean says:

    This More Info dialog is showing the TIFF tab, but the Preview image is a JPEG file.

    Can you actually embed TIFF data into a JPEG?

    I saw this guy did this:
    * Downloaded the JPEG from the site and opened it in the Preview window
    * Opened the same JPEG in Photoshop CS3/Mac, saved it as a TIFF, then showed the More Info dialog

    Did I blow your cover?

  38. Jim says:

    Yikes, I didn’t really think there were that many users out there who have no idea what they are talking about. Who really cares about how these inane PC ads or the incipid MAC ads were produced, they are both a load of marketing hype that is just BS – both are just disingenuous drivel. OS’s are a choice. Mac’s or more correctly Mac PC’s (yes it is a personal computer made by Apple running the Mac OS) are kinda the ultimate in closed architecture with the same company providing both the platform and the OS. Windows PC’s typically have two companies or more involved in the product and a closed OS. Linux PC’s also have one or more companies involved in the hardware and an open source OS which may or may not have a company involved in supporting it. For those of us who see the computer as a tool – it may be appropriate to use any or all of the three. Anyone who is naive enough to believe that one platform is inherently superior to one of the others probably hasn’t used all three. Mac PC’s, Windows PC’s, Linux PC’s and any other computer OS combination can function correctly or crash (yes every computer can be made to crash – if you have developed software you know this). I find it interesting to hear Mac only users tell everyone that Windows PC’s crash all the time or Windows only users who say Mac’s are expensive and for non-technical people or Linux only users who say that both platforms make the user a slave to Apple or Microsoft. Sheesh, wake up. All three choices can be right or wrong depending upon the needs of the user. I would ask that Mac users realize that Windows PC’s don’t crash all the time – actually a properly configured machine probably won’t crash at all and if you haven’t actually used Vista and I mean really used it, please don’t badmouth it as you probalby don’t know what the heck you are talking about. Window’s users should realize that Mac’s have a very appealing user interface and Apple makes some great hardware, but it would be naive to assume that a Mac is more secure or inherently less crash prone because the facts don’t bear this out – closed hardware environments mask a number of problems as do a small market share as the number of patches and insecurities that have been reported on the Mac OS have shown of late as market share has increased. Moreover, remember where Apple went to get the underlying code for the OS – BSD, eh? Finally, Linux is a phenomenal achievement when you consider it comes in so many versions and is largely free. However, even when manufacturers pre-install Linux it is much more painful to setup and self installation is not for the faint of heart. The OS is also remarkable in that you can boot most any PC from a CD and make versions that put the footprint of the Mac or Windows OS to shame. But, everything you install hardware or software on a Linux machine requires much more effort than with a Mac or Windows PC. But, if you want speed – Linux is hard to beat on any hardware. Finally, if you are really into free softare Linux and Windows have it in spades, but the Mac is getting on the bandwagon as well.

    I will now shut down my Macbook PRO, Quad Core Vista Ultimate desktop, Ubuntu Homebuilt desktop, Dell XPS Vista Business notebook, Windows XP Acer Aspire One Netbook, Damn Small Linux Asus UMPC tablet, and Fujitsu Windows XP Lifebook (I just don’t have the time to build a Hackintosh), step down from my soapbox, and try to get a life myself.

  39. tervorblanco says:

    I think everyone is taking this too serious. It’s funny that a commercial promoting Windows isn’t even created on a windows OS. Not a big deal but it is ironic. Just like everyone who watched Seinfeld and knew he had a mac in the background every season would do a Windows ad or two.
    It’s funny when your promoting your OS as choice but the firm you hire doesn’t even use your OS…Ouch. Sweat the details MicroSoft.

  40. Constantine says:

    ха ха ))))) долго смеялся ))))
    да, вот вам и показатель )))

  41. thisthreadislame says:

    Darrin: And I’m so sure Jobs is living in a cardboard box on the street. Get over yourself.

    ps. I use both macs and pcs. Who the fuck cares?

  42. Dom says:

    To each his own I say. You have a Mac and it works fine? Great! You have a PC and it works fine? Great too! I never understood why people still bitch slap each others for computers (they’re just that: computers).

    I have a custom-built PC with the finest parts because I’m a gamer; Crysis, Half-Life series, Team Fortress 2, Bioshock you name it. They all run at max settings on Vista 64 bits which I installed last year. All these programs run top notch and I never had a glitch, crash or anything else. And my PC plays quite nice with my iPod Touch too!

  43. tom says:

    It’s coincidental that when I saw the ad the first time, the TV locked up half-way though. Though not made by microsoft, I like to think the Windows bad juju was the cause…

  44. Del says:

    The whole Mac/PC platform discussion seems irrelevant since most users will soon be accessing their apps from a data center cloud via a $300 mini notebook.

  45. 2Cents says:

    I don’t see what the big deal is, what’s next – bitching about the Ad agency using Photoshop, when obviously they should be using MS Paint for these ads ?

  46. crosswiredmind says:

    The truly funny part of this whole dust up is the fact that Microsoft felt so boxed in by Apple’s advertising that it has scrambled to formulate a response. The Mojave ads did not work, the Seinfeld ads did not work, when all else fails use the meme generated by the competition – poorly. The whole “they made it on a Mac” thing is just the irony icing on the weak marketing cake.

  47. Foo says:

    id like to thank all the comment posters (from both camps) for providing such quality entertainment… rabid platform advocacy on the internet is always a reliable source of laughs…

  48. AL says:

    If you look at the I’M A PC as it’s done on the microsoft website http://imapc.lifewithoutwalls….

    just remove the “P” and you get I’M A C

    pretty cool!!

  49. nick says:

    Anyone who uses a PC is an idiot, or at least one of the world’s worst consumers. Forget computers, would you buy a car that had nothing but problems, would break down constantly, and then after a year of owning it, it was completely obsolete? Go out and spend the $1,000 on a mac and still own it years from now, rather than sinking more then that over time into a poorly made PC that doesn’t even work half the time. I mean the fact that it takes 30 minutes to even use your PC after you push the power button should be a clear indication that they are crap. Speaking of crap, I generally see my roommate hit the power button on his PC then go abuse the toilet so that when he finally comes back, he only has a few minutes before it works.

  50. Noa says:

    To the guy above me; i.e: Nick. So I guess I’m an idiot for getting myself a set of pretty decent parts and building my rig. Probably even more since I have installed Vista 64 bits. Well, from power button push until Vista is ready takes 17 seconds. In 17 seconds flat I’m ready to get into Crysis Warhead, Team Fortress 2, Call of duty 4… All at their max settings. My other rig is sporting a Vista install that dates back over a year, an install which has never crashed on me even once and still gives me top performance.

    Don’t worry, I don’t hate Apple (I own an iTouch 16gb) but two simple words in Google: imac+problems will give you this:


  51. Helen says:

    Wow! I had no idea the war between computer users was so intense.

    I use a mac because I had problems with pcs. I have not had problems with my mac. Overall, the mac has actually been cheaper because I haven’t had to replace it.

    Maybe the guy who said it is because I am too dumb to use a pc is right. It doesn’t matter, because I’m happy with what I have. If you can say the same, I am glad for you no matter what you use.

    The fact that the microsoft advertisers used a mac is funny, but understandable. Use the tool that works for the job you need to do.

  52. Rik Welnor says:

    I am working on my office computer (XP) and recently returned a Dell (Vista) after 6 horrible months. I own over a dozen PCs at work and family has several PC laptops.

    I have owned a MacBook Pro for 10 days now and I cannot believe the difference. Common things I’d grown to accept even appreciate about PCs, the MAC handles so much better.

    Like, plug in a mouse. I was excited that the PC would see the new hardware and prepare to load software to use it. I click “yes” and the software loads! On the mac, it does NOT ask if I want the mouse I just plugged in to the mouse works instantly.

    In a week, my world has flipped, I find these PCs in my office to be an expensive nuisance. I do not like the way they behave compared to the Mac.

    I just cannot believe my daughter has been right all these years, laughing at my troubles. Macs are worth every penny.

    And the great commercials are what sold me!

  53. Rik Welnor says:

    Oh, the Microsoft commercials…they need to buy more ad time, because they must outshout real MAC users with this malarky.

  54. Brian says:

    So when is Apple going to stop lying to people??? Mac’s crash. I only have one friend that has never had to get his Mac worked on. All of my other buddies had to get them replaced or repaired.. I give Mac an “EPIC FAIL” for marketing their products as flawless.

  55. Evan says:

    I love how all of you are trying to defend PCs saying that it was ad agency’s decision and Windows had no control over it. Yes, you might be right about that, but bottom line is, Macs are just better computers… that’s why the agency’s use them, that’s why they’re #1 on college campuses, that why the entire music industry uses them. PCs are great for Wall Street nerds – the high priced one are very good. But if you have a creative mind and use a computer for anything other than Microsoft Word and Excel, buy a Mac.

  56. tracy says:

    the main fact is that Microsoft wasted 10 million on a turd load of commercials. they needed a sure win, so they got mac users to do it.

  57. Eric says:

    microsoft is a huge corporation. they have their own in house advertising agency, I assure you.

  58. american says:

    Isn’t it also funny that Macs are made by PC’s, yes that is true!
    Mac is just a stolen form of UNIX, yes they stole the GUI and just ruined it so get over it!!!
    And the best of all, you have to load a PC on a MAC to play games and you can upgrade a PC which costs half the price of a MAC. Oh, Lord, help us all.

  59. Joe says:

    Only the guilty are catching offense.

  60. Claus Frederiksen says:

    Mac´s made on a PC?

    How stupid can anyone be? Brian, care to answer that ;-)

    “And the best of all, you have to load a PC on a MAC to play games and you can upgrade a PC which costs half the price of a MAC. Oh, Lord, help us all”

    What aload of c### – get your facts right before looking like a complte fool, Brian…

  61. Sahanatrymytech says:

    LAME on Microsoft..whch is going to be the worst company in near future…beleive me