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Regarding Microsoft’s IE8 marketing and ”creative” product comparisons

Microsoft has been drumming up its marketing for Internet Explorer 8 lately, with some interesting results. That marketers can be a bit, shall we say… “creative”… when touting a product is well known, but the question is if Microsoft’s marketing team hasn’t taken it a bit too far with their “Get the Facts” campaign, especially when they start comparing IE8 to other web browsers.
We will let Microsoft’s browser comparison table speak for itself…

And that was just the browser comparison page. They also have a “mythbusting” page with even more creative claims. Here’s an example from that section on Microsoft’s campaign site (emphasis in the last paragraph was added by us).

Myth #3: Firefox is a richer, more adaptable browser than Internet Explorer.
The Real Deal: Internet Explorer 8 has much more functionality than other browsers, built in from the minute you open it.
Internet Explorer 8 has much more functionality than other browsers, and its functionality is there from the moment you open the browser. Internet Explorer 8 offers almost all of the features the most popular add-ons in Firefox have, and you’re able to personalize your browser in a way that saves you time and research.
Did you know that there are more than 1,700 Internet Explorer 8 add-ons available at the Add-ons Gallery, with more being added every day? Partners all over the world are building Accelerators, Web slices, and Visual Search plug-ins for your browser, including Facebook, Amazon, eBay, and much more.

A quick look at the Mozilla Add-ons page for Firefox reveals that there are more than 5,000 Firefox add-ons available. So how does that hold up, Microsoft?
Ok, the spin is of course in the fine print “its functionality is there from the moment you open the browser,” but still, this almost brings to mind the spin-doctoring we did for the Save IE6 campaign (which was a joke).
We think it’s great that Microsoft is improving IE with new versions (and IE8 is a big leap forward), but maybe its marketing team was a bit too creative this time…
If you haven’t seen the breakdown of Microsoft’s IE8 marketing campaign over at Wired’s Webmonkey blog, check it out. It’s pretty entertaining.

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