Wow, who rattled Steve Ballmer's cage? As if hounding Apple on the price and power of Macbooks wasn't enough, Microsoft's latest TV ad ups the ante by taking a swipe at iTunes.
The latest advert (embedded at Ars Technica, here) tots up the cost of filling a 120GB iPod solely from iTunes - a whopping $30,000 (£20,000). A cheery financial advisor then compares that to the price of filling up one of Microsoft's Zune media player using its monthly, unlimited download ZunePass subscription - just $15 (£10).
Of course, Microsoft Zune owners (yes, both of them) don't get to keep their songs, except for their choice of 10 tunes each month with ZunePass.
On paper, it's a great deal. And if the Zune and the iPod were launching today, Microsoft might have a shot. But many Yanks are now are their third or fourth iPod. They've already ripped all their CDs and have spent the big money on music they're going to spend - in which case a regular 15 bucks a month looks like a bit of a luxury.
The real winners from this ad? Buffalo, Seagate and Western Digital as music fans suddenly appreciate the cost of not backing up their library.