I know in the the past you've written about Apple and Microsoft and the way that they market themselves, so I thought that you might find this interesting.
A few nights ago, I participated in a focus group. Though the company conducting the focus group wasn't revealed to us, it was obvious that it was Microsoft because all of the marketing material that we were presented with dealt with, well, MICROSOFT. What became apparent to all 8 of us in the group was that Microsoft was in the midst of preparing an advertising campaign that would make it appear that its software and the PCs that run them are a younger, hipper product. They showed us a number of sample ads that seemed to emphasize global community, peace, love, happiness and environmentalism, etc., and how Microsoft products can bring the world together and make it better place. All of us in the group were struck by how Apple-like the ads were. Some even expressed thoughts that they appeared to be straight rip-offs.
But what struck me as the funniest thing out of all of this was that it appears as though Johnny Knoxville might be their answer to Justin Long. We were shown some marketing material featuring Knoxville, including one commercial in which he falls and drops his PC in Jackass type stunt, but then a "don't worry about losing your data if your computer becomes destroyed because you're a jackass because the new Windows automatically backs up to files for you" message was delivered.
I thought you might find it interesting. And please don't use my name if you mention anything about this on my blog because they made us sign confidentiality agreements.