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Microsoft: Shift away from Seinfeld-Gates planned

Microsoft's massive ad campaign is shifting away from the Microsoft chairman and comedian's dual act, but the company insists it's part of a planned shift to focusing on the products.

The next ad in Microsoft's massive Windows campaign won't feature Bill Gates and Jerry Seinfeld, but the move is part of a planned shift, Microsoft insisted on Wednesday.

An image from the first Seinfeld-Gates commercial. Microsoft

"That was always the plan," a Microsoft spokesperson said late Wednesday. That followed a report on Valleywag that Seinfeld and Gates were getting the boot.

Microsoft had indicated even before the second ad debuted last week that a shift was coming.

In any case, Wednesday's coverage is more bad news for Microsoft, which is banking on this $300 million ad push to help restore Microsoft's image after years of bad press for Windows Vista and relentless attacks from rival Apple.

Reaction to the ads has been largely negative since the first one debuted two weeks ago.

Update: Later on Wednesday, a Microsoft spokesman added this official statement: "We will be executing the second phase of our advertising campaign tomorrow, as planned from the start."