The new ad campaign, which features footage of everyday Americans using PCs, was launched as an upgrade to the poorly performing Jerry Seinfeld and Bill Gates commercials, which suffered unspecified failures in two-thirds of U.S. households. Microsoft pulled the defective ads in mid-September, but the move came too late, as countless televisions had already been infected with viruses and spyware.
So far over a half million television users have complained about the new ads. Some, such as Louisville, KY native Andrew Ryland, said they were instructed by tech support to press and hold the power, mute, and number seven buttons on their remotes in an attempt to shut down their television sets.
When that failed, many television owners said they were left with no other option but to manually restart their devices.
"I tried to push the power button, but nothing happened," said Andover, CT resident David Lax, who claimed that his television has never had any compatibility issues with commercials in the past. "Luckily I called my buddy Todd, who's pretty good with televisions, and he told me that you just have to unplug it and plug it back in."
[...] A press release issued by the software giant also advised televisions users to avoid quickly switching back and forth between programs to prevent any future crashes.
"Our engineers have repeatedly tested this commercial to work out all the bugs, and we proudly stand behind this advertisement," Machen said. "We've heard numerous complaints about a virus, so we urge all users to remember that there are untrustworthy cable channels out there that they should never visit."
Chicago resident Rick Yoder, 33, said he brought the 36-inch Sony Trinitron he purchased in 1999 into a licensed Microsoft dealer and paid well over $1,000 to add a graphic accelerator card and new motherboard that his television lacked.
Recent frustrations with Microsoft have not been limited to its television ads, however. Earlier this week, a billboard promoting the company's latest Windows platform angered hundreds in Detroit when it fell onto three cars, instantly killing all passengers.
More. I'm glad Microsoft doesn't make motorcycles!