Hey, Microsoft. About those ads... Yeah, like that.

Hey, Microsoft. About those ads... Yeah, like that.

Summary: I used to be a PC.But I'm pretty much a Mac guy now - not that there's anything wrong with that.

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I used to be a PC.

But I'm pretty much a Mac guy now - not that there's anything wrong with that. (Sorry - just a little tribute to Jerry.)

What a cool club of nerds and jocks and teachers and models and artists and astronauts and cowboys featured in the latest round of commercials released by Microsoft. (embedded below) Even the John Hodgman look-alike from the Apple ads was kind of cool with his "Hello. I'm a PC and I've been made into a stereotype" line - a nice, effective counterpunch at Apple. The commercials were creative, engaging and simple. It almost made me want to be a PC again.

Also see: Mary-Jo Foley: Bring on the fake John Hodgman!

Eva is a PCEven better than the commercials is the campaign. If you're a PC (and so many of you are - at least judging from the talkbacks) here's your chance to be part of the cool club. Upload a pic or use your webcam to tell everyone that you're a PC too. And, yes, your face will be part of the gallery that's used in online ads, on Microsoft's Windows site and on a giant screen in Times Square.

That's a nice move on Microsoft's part - uniting the happy and proud Windows users of the world to overpower the much smaller, yet more vocal Mac fanbase. Round them up to spread the word. Don't let the message be dictated by grumpy, Mac-using bloggers like me. Tell friends and family, co-workers and even strangers that you love Windows. And maybe, just maybe, people you know will re-think a switch to the Mac - or even switch back to Windows.

I guess that's kind of the point of the Microsoft ad campaign, right? To make me want to be a PC. To make me want to be a Windows user.  I'm still not exactly sure why. Not to be part of the cool club, I'm sure. Microsoft didn't really tell me in this round of commercials why it's cool to be a PC - but they didn't have to. We're not there yet.

Previous coverage: Gates & Seinfeld’s next commercial: Better. With funny parts; Seinfeld & Gates: Was this ad supposed to be funny?

And just to beat a dead horse one more time: This round of commercials should have been the shoulder-tap, the attention getter. The campaign should have started here. Not that Bill Gates-Jerry Seinfeld nonsense. (Please tell me Seinfeld will make at least a few more cameos for his $10 million.) And thank you for not making me think about subliminal messages in the commercial. (Jerry to Bill in the shoe store: "You're a 10." Hmmm, I wonder if he's talking about Bill's shoe size or that has something to do with Mac OS X?) I did like the "This is my Office" line, though.

Anyway, well done, Microsoft. This is a nice start and I look forward to seeing the next act.

Topics: Microsoft, Apple, Hardware, Operating Systems, Software, Windows

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245 comments
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  • Way better campaign

    Then the Seinfeld campaign. But i always found it kind of disturbing for Microsoft to coin the term 'PC' as it's product. While it runs the broadest range of operating systems.
    TedKraan
    • Actually...

      ...didn't Apple kind of establish the term by its PC vs. Mac ads? According to Apple, PC refers to Windows.

      Carl Rapson
      rapson
      • Not really sure about that one

        tbh.. i haven't got a clue who started it
        TedKraan
        • He has a point

          Apple is really creating the distinction between PC and MAC. So Microsoft is just playing off of that since so many people automatically see PC as Windows even though TedKraan understands correctly that PC is representative of a more broader range of OS's and machines.
          rjohn05
        • Actually, it was IBM that popularized the term

          The phrase "personal computer" had been used by early technophiles, along with the term "microcomputer" to refer to desktop home computers.

          But when IBM started selling the IBM Personal Computer, the term became tied to Microsoft operating systems. Personal Computer and PC were brand names for IBM products. Micrsoft made the OS, IBM made the computers, and they were called PCs.

          Then the clone market opened up, and suddenly everyone was selling computers that were "PC Compatible." Not "Windows Compatible" because Windows didn't exist then. They were "PC Compatible" because they were intended to run software that ran on IBM PCs. And that included Microsoft's OS.
          bmerc
          • Well said. And...

            ...the fact is that large segments of the population look at all home personal computers as PC's. For many people who might ask you if you have a PC at home they would even be referring to an Apple because the fact is, an Apple is in effect a personal computer.

            The fact also is that Apple has done as much as anyone has to differentiate between Apple products and Windows based PC's. Its kind of ludicrous in many ways. "Personal Computer" is a very very broad term, easily recognizable and it would seem to be almost self defining if it were not for Apples efforts to exclude themselves as something other than a PC.
            Cayble
      • Mac = PC

        Hmm, but PC = Personal Computer, i.e. a computer for use by a person, as opposed to a mini or mainframe which is used by a bunch of people...

        Therefore, the Mac is just another PC, running a different operating system.
        pico_D
    • Mac wants everyone to think they're not PCs

      The latest tagging of a PC as a Windows machine has been done by Apple.

      Nevermind the fact that a Mac IS a freaking Personal Computer.

      but hey, they're not trying to reach the smart ones, just those who will be swayed by a 30 second spot with misinformation and good old fashion unsubstantiated bashing
      tikigawd
      • It's Substantiated Criticism, Not "Unsubstantiated Bashing"

        Microsoft has inflicted DOS 4.0, Windows ME, Windows Bob, and the flawed Vista release that was unready for interoperability with existing infrastructure, devices, and applications.

        The are also the frequent "<Application Name> has encountered a problem and needs to close" errors.

        Not to mention ?Windows Rot? ? The steady degradation in Windows performance with normal use:

        http://www.theopensourcery.com/wordp1/index.php?p=400

        http://www.theopensourcery.com/wordp1/index.php?p=399

        http://theologyandsnack.blogspot.com/2007/03/slowing-windows-rot.html

        Microsoft took an entirely new approach to "customer service" in WGA's mis-validation with unrecompensed damages to small businesses:

        http://forums.community.microsoft.com/en-US/genuinefeedback/thread/be23a646-8bf4-4655-86d6-9fddac5c48b3/

        http://blogs.zdnet.com/Bott/?p=113

        http://weblog.infoworld.com/foster/2006/07/24_a428.html

        http://blogs.zdnet.com/Bott/?p=150

        http://www.lockergnome.com/nexus/windows/2006/11/28/wga-a-genuine-advantage/

        http://blogs.zdnet.com/Bott/?p=145


        More mis-validation cases:

        http://forums.microsoft.com/Genuine/default.aspx?ForumGroupID=125&SiteID=25

        http://blogs.zdnet.com/Bott/?p=110

        http://oncomputerstips.blogspot.com/2006/10/microsoft-keelhauls-customers-in-wga.html

        http://www.cincomsmalltalk.com/blog/blogView?showComments=true&entry=3337425127

        http://blog.seattlepi.nwsource.com/microsoft/archives/107340.asp?source=rss

        http://blogs.zdnet.com/Bott/?p=142

        http://blogs.zdnet.com/Bott/?p=144

        http://www.thetechlounge.com/news/10467/WGA+and+Activation+Failures+Dont+Faze+Redmond/

        http://blog.taragana.com/index.php/archive/microsoft-counters-windows-genuine-advantage-false-positive-identification-accusations/

        http://www.postchronicle.com/news/technology/article_21227124.shtml

        http://www.pcadvisor.co.uk/blogs/index.cfm?entryid=320&blogid=4

        http://blogs.zdnet.com/Bott/?p=221

        http://forums.microsoft.com/Genuine/ShowForum.aspx?ForumID=1004&SiteID=25

        ?Husker? on 9 August, needing to buy a new copy of XP Pro after replacing a motherboard::
        http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductReview.aspx?Item=N82E16832116515


        WGA?s inclusion in a book on software industry business mistakes:

        http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1590591046


        Flirtation with kill switches:

        http://blogs.zdnet.com/BTL/?p=3718

        http://content.zdnet.com/2346-12354_22-56084.html

        http://blogs.zdnet.com/hardware/?p=286

        http://content.zdnet.com/2346-12554_22-56027-3.html


        Vista problems:

        http://www.theage.com.au/news/technology/microsoft-top-brass-also-had-vista-problems/2008/02/29/1204226975087.html

        http://www.pcworld.com/article/142617/vista_sp1_updates_stall_out_some_pcs.html#

        http://blogs.zdnet.com/hardware/?p=2387

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criticism_of_Windows_Vista


        Restricted licensing:

        http://www.vmware.com/solutions/whitepapers/msoft_licensing_wp.html

        http://www.msversus.org/microsoft-restricts-free-fair-use.html

        http://forums.cnet.com/5208-7813_102-0.html?hhTest=1&forumID=133&threadID=244400&messageID=2467714


        ?Stealth updates,? Microsoft installing software on personal computers without user permission:

        http://blogs.zdnet.com/hardware/?p=774

        http://blogs.zdnet.com/hardware/?p=779

        http://blogs.zdnet.com/hardware/?p=780

        http://blogs.zdnet.com/hardware/?p=789

        http://blogs.zdnet.com/microsoft/?p=832&tag=nl.e622

        http://blogs.zdnet.com/microsoft/?p=871&tag=nl.e622


        Vista User Account Control (UAC) problems:

        http://www.zdnet.com.au/news/security/soa/Microsoft-admits-Vista-UAC-prompts-need-work-/0,130061744,339289212,00.htm

        http://tips.vlaurie.com/2007/02/23/will-vista-uac-be-successful-for-home-users/

        http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/windows-vista/disable-user-account-control-uac-the-easy-way-on-windows-vista/

        http://blogs.zdnet.com/security/?p=29

        The documented record of Microsoft's travesties on its honest customers is far from "unsubstantiated." It is a long rap sheet of travesties.

        The smart ones are indeed being reached. They're the ones able to recognize poor quality products with unsatisfactory "customer service" and walk away from such longstanding abuse.
        Cardhu
        • Some of these points are conceded

          So what? That is why MS continues, theyve faced these difficulties and made better software and went to the next level. Do you have a problem with that? And you notice I said some are conceded, the others are at best bias reporting from some slanted blogs and journals. So really they mean nothing.
          You sir are really a certifiable koolaid drinker. Any one that makes this a religious crusade like you have is ready for the padded rooms. Now I know you're all up in a lather over this, but really once again youre part of the 1-2% that do not matter here in this discussion. You are too close to the other percpective to objectively offer any real content or meaning.
          But you have yourself a real nice day???
          CrashPad
          • How Typical of Microsoft Apologists

            When confronted with substantiated facts and sources, you resort to ad hominem attacks and insults.

            Documented references - especially from credible sources such as ZDNet, InfoWorld, and Microsoft's very own support forums - substantiate facts. If the facts are discomfiting to you, it can only be because you are on the wrong side of the truth.

            The ultimate irony is that, for 23 years, I myself was an insufferable Microsoft fanatic.
            Cardhu
          • You miss the point...

            All your dialog means nothing. All this research means exactly 30 minutes of wasted time. You are talking to a feloow techi, and I dont believe all those post, and if you cant convince me so what?
            The real point is this discussion is not about us, about those who are knowlegeable. The masses that what this is about. And just from your diatribe here I can speculate that you will fail in convincing really anybody of consequential numbers.
            But have a nice day
            CrashPad
          • I'm Not Your "Feloow Techi [sic]"

            I'm a systems engineer.

            You're not in a discussion. You provide no references, no substantiation, and therefore make no point.

            Instead, you merely take a firm stand in wilful denial of facts ardently spewed in insults.

            That doesn't qualify as "knowlegeable." I believe you mean "knowledgeable."
            Cardhu
  • In fairness...

    ...no-one likes you at all.
    Sleeper Service
    • particularly

      his clients, who will one day wake up to the fact that their problem isn't windows, it's the mac fanboi they have managing their infrastructure.
      rtk
      • actually

        ...his clients who will one day wake up to the fact
        that their problem is not the PC, but Windows in their
        PC, and will switch to Mac.


        He, the IT admin, abandoned Windows for a Mac, but it
        doesn't take one to realize the benefits of OS X.
        fox.kenji
        • they'll replace all of their hardware?

          Since you admit the problem isn't the pc, why would that get replaced? If they honestly believe their problems are with Windows, Linux is the obvious choice.

          "I can replace your pc with a mac for 1800, or install Linux for free. Either way you're going to be replacing all your software".

          It takes a casual user, not an IT admin, to imagine the benefits of OS X.
          rtk
  • re: I WAS a PC

    [i]I WAS a PC... And I am in my daily life. Got tired of the constant care, feeding, and BS associated with it.

    Now I'm a Mac and make my living fixing the PC mess.[/i]

    Ohh, Troll Bait... Well today I'm trolling! If you're so incompetent that you have to deal with [b][i]constant[/i][/b] care, feeding, and BS... you need something easier like a Mac.

    Then again, who'd pay you to work on a PC?

    Seems to me that if you can't provide a lasting fix for a problem, you shouldn't have your hands in it. Come to think of it, I wouldn't let you work on a Mac either. JMO
    Badgered
    • So, your point is ...

      ... easier is bad? Being easy enough that it can't even end up in a "constant care, feeding, and BS" loop is bad?

      Not sure that arrow flew true.
      daboochmeister
      • It would seem

        that he's saying that if a person couldn't handle dealing with their own PC why would someone trust them to fix or administer their's?

        Easier isn't bad. But where does the 'user' add to the mix?
        Boot_Agnostic