Microsoft ad: 'I'm just not cool enough to be a Mac person'

Microsoft ad: 'I'm just not cool enough to be a Mac person'

Summary: Microsoft has new consumer PC ads out, set to begin airing on March 26 during March Madness basketball. I just checked out a preview of one of the spots over on The 60-second ad is all about "Lauren," who wants to buy a new, 17-inch-screen laptop for under $1,000.


Microsoft has new consumer PC ads out, set to begin airing on March 26 during March Madness basketball.

I just checked out a preview of one of the spots over on The 60-second ad is all about "Lauren," who wants to buy a new, 17-inch-screen laptop for under $1,000.

Lauren isn't a die-hard Windows fan, who, like me, crosses to the other side of the street so as not to get too close to an Apple store (hoping to avoid roving bands of rabid Mac fanboys/girls and their ilk). Lauren checks out the forbidden fruit. But she can only find one, measly 13-inch Macbook in her price range and joking tells the camera, "I'm just not cool enough to be a Mac person."

(The sarcasm is amusing, but I already forsee a new "I'm a Mac" commercial spoofs on this one. And unlike many Microsoft marketing managers, I don't cotton to the idea that any time you can get someone talking about your products or ads, even if it is negatively, is still good news.)

As part of the latest wave of Windows ads (other phases of which have included the perplexing Seinfeld series, the Mojave Experiment, "I'm a PC" and "The Rookies"), the new "Laptop Hunters" series of ads focuses on customer profiles. What kind of Windows PC should you get if you're a gamer? (A $1,900 Asus G50 G50VT-A2)  A designer? (A $1,000 Lenovo IdeaPad Y530) A parent? (A $630 Toshiba Satellite A305) A socialite? (A $1,500 Lenovo IdeaPad Y730).

(Where's "A recession-plagued writer" with a link to a $500 netbook? Or even the pricier Vivienne Tam edition?)

Update: Brad Brooks, Corporate Vice President of Windows Consumer Marketing, characterized the new campaign as highlighting Microsoft's heritage as a low-cost player. "It's about making technology affordable and focusing on value and what it means," Brooks said. Microsoft's contention is "we provide better value at any price point."

I'm not sure I fit in any of the Laptop Hunter profiles. But I'm definitely in the market for a new PC. But I'm holding out for that shiny WIndows 7 one I bet I'll get to buy later this year...

What do you think of the Laptop Hunters ads? Better or worse than what the Softies have tried so far as part of their $300 million "Life Without Walls campaign?

Topics: Laptops, Apple, Hardware, Microsoft


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • olePigeon would HATE this computer!!

    Is the screen too small? Nope.

    Is the hard drive too small? Nope.

    Is it too expensive? Nope.

    So what is wrong with the laptop she bought? It comes in a brown box.

    [i]it turns out that it ships in a brown box[/i]

    Haha! If choosing your computer based on the color of the box it comes in is what makes you a "cool" Mac owner, I'm definitely not cool enough to own a Mac!!! Nor do I want to be. :)
    • Oh Yeah!!

      I like your comments on (crAP)PLE products.
      • Is there a grown-up version of this thread?

        Yet another [(PC vs Mac) vs Good Sense] fan-boy infection to unsubscribe
        from . . .
        Power Natto
    • A hundred years from now...

      A hundred years from now, NonZealot will still be bashing the Mac OS
      and hardware that he's never tried. He still doesn't get it. It's not
      about the packaging, it's about the entire package. The OS. The well
      designed and well built computers. It's about the usability of the
      operating system, and of iLife. It's not about the box, it's about getting
      something that works right out of the box. It's about the computer
      that you pull FROM the box plug it in, and in less than a minute it is
      completely booted up and you are already using it with no problems.

      You can keep bashing all you want and you can say "I'm definitely not
      cool enough to own a Mac!! Nor do I want to be." That's fine. We're
      getting along fine without someone that doesn't want an exceptional
      computing experience.

      BTW, your moniker is wrong. You are a zealot, but on the Windows
      side. I've never seen anyone show as much frothing at the mouth for
      their computer platform - not even the most fervent Mac user.
      • She's been bashing Apple for 5 years

        At least on ZD forums...
      • LOL....

        "BTW, your moniker is wrong. You are a zealot, but on the Windows
        side. I've never seen anyone show as much frothing at the mouth for
        their computer platform"

        Sounds to me like your post was a frothing at the mouth for Apple. You are the same way just for Apple, so don't act like you can't froth as much as the next person. Its so funny how windows always has so many issues to some people, but if you got down to it, you would find that in most cases these users aren't using good computing practices and have a special thing for free internet porn. As we have seen lately Apple would not be immune to most of the same things, and Apple's patch machine has been in high gear lately. I can say my users can't change or muck up their systems and they work all day every day and I get about 1 desktop service call a month for 200 desktops and its always hardware or a printer issue. Speaks volumes to me, but to you I guess I am just really lucky. Use what works for you, but to call Windows junk is absolute insanity on your part.
        • They're both junk

          Windows XP is insecure by design (everything requires admin rights), Vista is slow by design (its system requirements just for basic word processing and e-mail are ridiculous), and Mac OSX doesn't even try to be secure (can we say Pwn2Own?).

          The only decent solution is Linux, and once software developers see this we will all be better off.

          Linux + support from software developers > Apples or PC's
          • Correction....

            windows xp requires admin to install something, but not for everyday computing. None of my users are running as admin and they do just fine and it keeps our systems alot more secure. I have no issues with users not being able to do their work. I understand Vista is a little hoggy with the resources, but I don't have anything great as far as a laptop goes and I use multiple apps all at once and it does just fine, and Vista is much more secure. OSX works fine too, but yes it is very unsecure and has never had to look into security like Windows has, which puts it that much further ahead. Linux is less secure than Windows, but more so than OSX. Thats just the info I gathered from the IBM X-force research report put out a few months ago.
          • Vista just a bit of a hog?

            "I understand Vista is a little hoggy with the resources"

            That's a bit of an understatement. You might as well say that the sun is just possibly perhaps useful for human life on Earth.
          • Or...

            I could just exaggerate like you. Compare that to the sun and earth. I guess windows is that important.
          • I must be that good then!

            I ran XP for 6 years without using admin rights for anything that I also didn't need to use admin rights for on my Linux machines. I must be that good! :)
          • Just lucky rather than good...

            Just lucky rather than good. I've ran into too many applications that
            require you to run as Administrator, not as a Standard User. No,
            right-clicking and Run As Administrator doesn't work. Ran into this
            problem with both Dragon Naturally Speaking and Pinnacle Studio.
            Dragon will not create a user profile for a non-administrator account
            even when using the Run As command; it has to create a profile for
            the speech-to-text. Pinnacle Studio won't load the tutorial movies or
            read the scratch disk when run in Standard user, even if you use the
            Run As command.

            This is no fault of Microsoft, mind you. The problem is that
            developers just aren't going to change their bad programming habits.
            They'll continue assuming the user is administrator.
          • Fair enough

            I don't have experience with either of those programs but I did run into one piece of software (Learn Spanish?) that had a similar issue. I solved that one by giving the user full rights to that application's Program Files directory.

            [i]They'll continue assuming the user is administrator.[/i]

            I think Vista is slowly fixing this assumption.
          • @NZ

            [i]I think Vista is slowly fixing this assumption.[/i]

            I think you're right. Our ERP vendor used to code their client software assuming Admin rights. Won't run without them. They changed that when they wrote the client to run on Vista.
          • Vista is forcing developers to code better

            The only time I ever give a program admin rights is during installation. That's an area where Vista is helping developers write better software. Starting with Vista, Microsoft is trying to force the developers to stop coding under the assumption of admin rights.

            NonZealot is right about the best way to deal with those few "bad" applications. Just give the user elevated rights to that specific application directory. I never set a system up to run with Admin rights. I haven't since XP came out about a decade ago. That's probably why I have never had malware infections or other corruption problems with XP or Vista on any of my systems. That's probably also why I can't grasp the troubles some folks claim to have had with those OSes. They've both been bulletproof for me. And after SP1, Vista's resource usage dropped so far that it's virtually identical to XP now.

            I may not like Microsoft at all, but I do like their OS.
          • How often do you re-install?

            In my Windows experience (which is most of my computing experience as I am only 2 years into Linux) they always slow down with time. They get buggier (cryptic error prompts from no where anyone?), they get more fragmented, and you have to stay on your toes against spyware (that was my XP experience, I haven't had much in Vista). Still, in the end they always get slower.

            I don't know if OSX has the problem, but I don't see that happening in Ubuntu.
          • OSs don't last that long on my desktop

            I'm not a typical user since between trying out the latest and greatest and upgrading hardware, my desktop OS probably gets reinstalled between once a month and once every 2 years depending on what neato OS has just come out or where I am in my hardware upgrade cycle.

            However, my wife's XP desktop has lasted at least 2 years without a reinstall and is running just fine. She runs with a restricted rights user account.

            I can also say that I've had a similar experience with openSUSE on my media PC when it was running MythTV. My openSUSE server has run for years with barely any reboots, certainly no reinstalls!
          • I've installed the OS once on each of my systems

            I have never had to reinstall any OS during the hardware life of any system - including Windows. It's actually fairly easy to avoid the causes of system slowdown in Windows. One thing to do is always run as a user. Never run as admin. This prevents misbehaving programs from corrupting OS files. Another thing is to schedule a defrag every 3 months or so. Any more often doesn't help that much and frankly just wears your drives out quicker. Always practice "safe computing." Wear your "protection!" You also need to prevent "registry rot." That's a big one.

            The usual cause of slowdown and even odd error messages in Windows comes from installing and uninstalling (or upgrading) a lot of different programs over time. Thanks to poor programmers, each program leaves behind various garbage in the registry that shouldn't be there. Even updating to a newer version leaves garbage in the registry. Over time, the vast bulk of these orphaned broken links will encumber even a fast computer. This is called "registry rot."

            When I uninstall or update something, I run a registry cleaner like CCleaner (free program). It removes all the crap left behind by the uninstaller. So, my system doesn't "slow down" over time. (Always use the latest version of CCleaner(.com) and if you use it, donate to the developer!)

            Doing all of this works. I have a couple of old XP Pro systems that have been running on the same original OS install for 8+ years (even original hard drive on one of them). One of my laptops has the original install of XP Pro, after over 5 years. They all run as well as they did when they were new.

            When I want to try a new OS, I always put it on a brand new hard drive and do a full low-level format before installing. So, I guess that's my last suggestion. Sometimes factory pre-formatting or quick formats are just flaky.
          • No, they're all junk.

            But we have to use something. Therefore we pick the best junk among the three.

            Ah, perhaps it is Windows afterall.

            EDIT: And I use Windows with unshakeable faith.
        • <b>Duuuude!</b> Stop bashing...

          Dude, stop bashing free internet porn!

          Or did you get your moniker wrong, and it should be daWoman35? (I'm just guessing about the age thing, though;-)

          Laugh, and the world laughs with you. Cry, and you get your keyboard too wet to watch free internet porn.