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Microsoft makes iPhone its object of derision

During the launch of Windows Phone 7 Series at the Mobile World Congress, Microsoft presents a film that clearly targets the iPhone as being somehow backward.

Those iPhones really are awful.

Who could possibly imagine people wanting to buy those ridiculous little objects? You know, the ones that only allow you to open one app at a time. The ones that simply don't believe in the quintessential togetherness of apps.

No, no, I wouldn't dream of offering such outlandish besmirchment. But you'd be forgiven for imagining that these were the exact sentiments expressed by Microsoft in a little film the company presented at the Barcelona launch of its possibly, maybe, surely excellent Windows Phone 7 Series.

It seems this ultimate phoning machine's fender is squarely pointed at the iPhone's rear end, even if the word "iPhone" never left the narrator's mouth.

In a rather clumsy little piece, what did leave his mouth was prefaced by "don't get us wrong...we love apps." This was shortly followed by "but current smartphones make you use them one at a time." The voice then bemoaned the lack of app togetherness, as if apps were made for coupling.

Now, which current smartphones does one suppose Microsoft might be referring to? Don't Palm phones and Android phones, for example, run apps simultaneously? Indeed, wasn't there a Sprint Palm Pre ad that positively trumpeted this feat?

So that must leave, oh, right, yes, the one that sells rather well and was described by Verizon as "misfit toy" and, oh wait, "semi-functional, giggling-brat-vanity."

While Microsoft's radical new approach to phone software seems to have received quite a few bravos, the task ahead isn't so much to persuade people of better functionality. It's to garner some emotional favor that has been so consistently squandered over so many years by the bellicose fervor of Microsoft's corporate ways.

Few can breathe while wondering whether Microsoft might support this little amuse-bouche of a film with a radical attempt to smash-mouth the iPhone in high-profile advertising. Somehow, I feel the original BMW 7-Series wouldn't do that. It would just make you feel so very, very good about its own product that you just had to try it.

The thing is, making people feel good about something is harder than you think.