Microsoft ads to promote Mac

The software giant is planning to announce on Thursday a new advertising campaign touting the Macintosh version of its Office suite.

Microsoft is planning to announce on Thursday a new advertising campaign touting the Macintosh version of its Office suite.

The ads, which play up the ability of Macs and PCs to get along, will begin showing up Saturday in magazines geared at Macintosh, business, technology and design audiences, according to an e-mail from a Microsoft representative. One ad features a Mac and a PC playing chess by a pool, while another shows a Mac and PC eating Chinese take-out while watching a late-night movie.

"Macs and PCs have never been so compatible," according to the headline on the ads. The ads encourage Mac users to go to a new Web site, www.officeformac.com, to download a 30-day free trial of Office.

Microsoft, which until recently had been critical of Apple's efforts to pitch Mac OS X, has been stepping up its marketing effort for the Mac version of Office. Last week, Microsoft and Apple announced a promotion in which new Mac buyers can get a copy of Office for $199, about half the regular price.

In July, Microsoft said it had sold 300,000 copies of the Mac OS X version, less than half of the 750,000 copies the company had expected to sell by that point. Recently Microsoft executives have said they have been more pleased with Office sales, but they would not say how many copies have been sold.

The new campaign, which Microsoft says is evidence of its commitment to the Mac, were designed by McCann Erickson.

A recent five-year deal between Apple and Microsoft that required the software giant to develop Mac versions of Office and Internet Explorer recently came to a close. Microsoft has reiterated its support for the Mac but has said it will only commit to new software updates one version at a time.

A Microsoft representative was not immediately available for further comment.

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