If you consult the Internet hivemind, Internet Explorer is right up there next to Nickelback on the list of the worst things ever.
But in its latest ad for the web browser, Microsoft is going after the haters. The ad’s antagonist is Eugene Finlon, a lava lamp-owning, Chinese takeout-eating Internet troll who smugly makes comments like “Internet Explorer is only good for downloading other browsers.”
How does Microsoft defend itself? By citing all the praise its gotten for Internet Explorer 10, which has adhered to just about every web standard under the sun. Our Internet troll is left (mostly) speechless.
The best part? Microsoft even went so far as to disable comments for the video, so it looks like trolls won’t get a chance to rage back at this one.
In all, the ad is a lot more sensible than the anti-Google Bing campaign Microsoft launched yesterday. That campaign, while built on truth, largely fails because it relies far too much on fear, negativity, and a poorly conceived portmanteau.
But Microsoft’s browser and search situations are very different. Internet Explorer currently controls roughly half of the web browser market, while Bing’s search engine share is a paltry 16 percent. Those numbers may not completely explain the differing tones of Microsoft’s recent ad campaigns, but they certainly show how different the stakes are in the two markets.