Microsoft has achieved another first: advertising that's on-point. Apparently, Apple was so bothered by Microsoft’s “Laptop Hunters” campaign that they asked that it be pulled. It appears Apple believes that running campaigns built partially around vague and subjective notions of hipness are all right, but those about more quantifiable things such as price are not. But maybe that's why Apple really wants to pull the ads: some of them show a real live hiptser buying a PC. (Doesn't Microsoft know that Apple has hipsters copyrighted?) Microsoft’s ads, in which consumers are given $1,000 to buy a new computer with, strike more of a chord in a time when consumers are drastically cutting back their spending, and the campaign does underscore the point that the market is also making, that the Apple Tax isn’t the most feasible thing when people are trying to save.

Apple has been one of the hardest-hit major PC manufacturers in the U.S. market, falling year-over-year from third in Q2 2008 to fifth today, according to IDC. Apple’s market share fell from 8.5 percent to 7.6 percent in that period.

Though the global PC market suffered its first decline since 2001, outside of Apple and Dell -- which fared even worse, dropping 18.9 percent year-over-year -- the other members of the top-five grew this year: Acer by 51 percent, showing the strength of its hold on the netbook market, while Toshiba grew 33.9 percent and HP grew 2.3 percent.

Outside of the top-five manufacturers, U.S. sales were down at roughly the same rate as Apple, 11.9 percent.

Despite Dell's massive decline, it remains the top PC seller in the U.S., narrowly outranking HP, the global leader.

Global PC sales slumped, but were not as bad as IDC originally projected. While IDC originally projected a slump of 6.3 percent, the actual decline was half that, 3.1.

By Mark Alvarez