Microsoft's Newest Scroogled Ad is Another Misfire

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jbitzer

I so wished MS would have responded like this with those smarmy apple ads.

And to be honest, I prefer these to the "people dancing with their surface" commercials.

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Cregan89

I didn't think it was that bad actually. I mean you said it yourself, Chromebooks are quite popular right now, and it's definitely getting people talking about them at least. I've had a couple non-tech family members ask me about them. I think it would be stupid for Microsoft NOT to come at it head on and nip it in the butt. Sure this commercial only talks about Microsoft's product for 10 seconds at the end, but indirectly he was talking about it the whole time. People are buying Chromebooks solely based on price, and for him to say they can't do this, this, this, this, this, and this, but our Windows device does all of it and more at the same price... That's pretty solid marketing to me...

Btw, that's the same marketing spokesman that did the "Smoked By Windows Phone" marketing campaign. I think it's quite similar to these Chromebook ones. Consumers generally view Microsoft products negatively compared to other competitors. For Microsoft to pick apart the competition's real world functionality and then PROVE that their solution better addresses those situations is about as effective a marketing campaign gets in my opinion.

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Incognito

FYI - the expression is, "Nip it in the bud." (not butt).

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jbitzer

your avatar had me thinking "nip my shiny metal bud"

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iheartpcs

Dissing a device that barely sells?

Well done, M$

Another nail in the coffin that Balmer built.

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skirge01

Contrary to what geeks like us might think (or want to think), these MS ads seem to be working exactly as MS intended... like it or not. People like us may not pay attention or even watch these commercials, but our family and friends probably do.

Case in point was a question from a family member this past Saturday, asking the family geek (aka me) what Chrome wasn't able to do. First, it took a few questions back and forth to figure out they were asking about Chrome OS and Chromebooks, rather than the browser. Second, they eventually asked if it could actually run Office and, as soon as I said it couldn't, the response was, "What good is that then?"

Until I read this article, I had no clue where their question came from.

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jimofnyc

Aside from that these people are actors (as the likelihood of walking up to people coherent about computers on the street is probably nil) the points the Microsoft Guy makes are probably true, i.e., if you run a cloud based o/s & apps then you are scroogled if there is no web access in your area. I use a 2007 vintage Thinkpad with an SSD and 8gigs of ram running win7x64 and I run Office 2010, Photoshop cs5 and all sorts of other apps without the need to be on the web. It all works great and the whole thing weighs less than 4 pounds. Why change?

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PCWolf

Chromebooks being almost useless without WiFi/Internet is just a taste of what will happen if we allow the Industry to push us into this Cloud Computing world that they are trying to pass off as the best thing since sliced bread. "No Internet? No Computer!" I will never embrace Cloud Computing!

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Renegade Knight

I've embraced the parts that work for me. However most of it doesn't. I would actually pay more to store my music collection in the cloud yearly, that it cost me to collect to begin with. I have no use for that.

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DarkQuark

Obviously there is not a company out there that we would agree with completely. But with that said if you do not think companies like Google or Facebook are robbing you then you do not what's going on with your own data and machines.

There is no free. Just because you are not exchanging money does not mean you are not giving something up. In the case of Google the trade off is you are being watched at all times and every move you make feeds the data mining they do.

Does Microsoft do the same? I am sure they do but it's to a much lesser degree as Microsoft's main income stream is not advertising.

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D00dlavy

The disparity between the quality of comments here and the ones at ArsTechnica is discouraging. Believe it or not, an intelligent conversation could be had about this and Microsoft's other ads. What I mostly see here is Jerry Springer hooting and hollering.

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Renegade Knight

And your comment enlightens this discussion how?

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legionera

We all go to the places we feel more accepted and more encouraged. But, aren't those places where we feed our ignorance?

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DonPMitchell

Google wants to lock you into a closed platform like the boys in Redmond never dreamed of -- your hardware, your software, your files, your personal data, your browsing habits, the keywords in your email. Why are we supposed to be fans of that?

And if the Windows PC disappears, will we be reading MaximumChromebook.com? Since we can't build our own rigs or play high performance video games on a lame cloud-based ersatz notebook, what would we even be talking about on this website?

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X94

Well, that escalated quickly.

Even if they do want to lock us in a closed platform, they'll have to face legal issues with GNU. To work around that would be suicide because that would mean writing a whole new OS that is not GNU/Linux based. If anything, we should be glad Google is no longer partnered with Apple and has become a 3rd major competitor in the market. MaximumPC is about new, latest, and greatest in new technology in the PC world, it is not a Microsoft sight. Keep in mind it's normal to criticize Microsoft and love/hate Windows changes; it's all about growth.

And if the Windows PC disappears, people would just switch to Linux PC cause it was IBM, not Microsoft, that took the name PC. MaximumPC wouldn't change. Also, it just stupid to think mods/rigs, pre-builts, or high-end workstations are relevant to cloud notebooks. Some of us will always need privacy with power.

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Granite

double post

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Granite

Thank you for your editorial rant on Microsoft's ad campaign, but frankly, dude, I don't care what you think about that company's marketing strategy. How about you give us a story about PC's...preferably of the maximum variety?

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Random

I doubt Microsoft fanboys would appreciate an honest review of their products and services either.

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Granite

Actually, MaximumPC has been more honest and unbiased about Microsoft products than Paul is about their ad campaign in this article.

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Ghost XFX

Hilarious...

MS pointing the stink finger at Google, when all Google has to do is show Windows RT and a fat bald man (a Ballmer look a like) coming out of the restroom, with a caption that says "Something smells like....!!!"

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firefox91

The real irony here is that I NEVER see these Microsoft ads outside of this website when a story about how bad they are is being posted. Where are they showing these things? Not only are the ads bad, I am not even sure people are seeing them.

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D00dlavy

I'm with you. I'm under the impression these ads are getting more exposure from technology site articles and social media than from their actual broadcasts.

I remember when Microsoft released those Seinfeld ads. I felt they were clever and original... but misplaced. And everyone saw them. And everyone saw the attractive, clever but downright misleading "Switch" and "I'm a Mac" Apple campaigns.

ONE of Microsoft's current predicaments is their company’s public perception. Whether or not you feel their public perception is deserved, they really need to shop for a good PR firm and directly combat the stigmas their competition created for them. Winning the hearts and minds of the unwashed masses worked wonders for Apple.

Microsoft makes great products. But history is littered with the corpses of great products that lost to lesser products which benefited from a slick ad campaign and a corporate parent which enjoys positive perception. Consumers don’t choose solely on merit.

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pastorbob

I agree with you that more time should be spent talking about the features on the Windows laptop instead of lack of features on the Chromebook. However, they do make several valid points about the limitations of the Chromebook. For me it would be no more useful than my Asus tablet. Good enough for web browsing/chatting and checking email or reading an ebook but that's about it.

All of that said, I am using Chrome as my browser of choice after Microsoft totally broke IE with version 11 and made it incompatible with most of the sites I frequent.

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RUSENSITIVESWEETNESS

I use LibreOffice. I have a copy of Office 2013, but haven't needed to install it.

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wumpus

Is there some way to fix it (the defaults) to be any less obnoxious? I use LibreOffice because I'm too cheap for Office and hate it more than most software (although maybe not as much as Windows).

Does it really have to ask you *every* time you start it up if you want to recover a document you merely wanted to print and not save, or something you might *gasp* wanted in .doc format instead of its native format? If you are lucky it believes you after only asking twice, sometimes it ignores you and asks for a filename to save to anyway.

Can you turn autoformat off? Right now it acts worse than clippy: with clippy you could tell it no, you didn't want to write a letter. LibreOffice suddenly autoformats for you and fights to the death to keep you from undoing it.

LibreOffice really does have all the power of Word97 (i.e. everything you need). The defaults just kill the program.

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Eoraptor

Yeah, Microsoft is really turning into that snotty little kid who goes "well yeah... but... but... but... can it do this?!"

Google is over here going "look at all this cool sh*t we do every single day!" and actually doing it, be it android, or self-driving cars, or robots, or mapping north korea without actually mapping north korea... and Microsoft is in a corner with a finger up its nose, kvetching about office and eating all of its boogery mistakes like always-on compulsory cameras and metro-not-metro-metro

they need to take their thumbs out of their nostrils, realize they no longer rule the world, and adapt before they end up in the same spot as the triceratops and the dodo; once formidable or interesting, now dead.

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davelray

If it was an android laptop there wouldn't be a real problem. The chromebook is pretty much useless without a wifi or cellular connection to the Internet. I bought one when they first came out. With a connection, pretty need and worked alright for the price at the time. Without an internet connection, it's a shiny brick. After less than a week, I returned it. Google needs to drop the whole chromebook crap and deliver android laptops.

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wumpus

I always figured that anyone who wanted to do anything but light surfing (all the chromebook seems capable of) would wipe the OS and put a real Linux system (I think there is an ubuntu that installs on ARM-based chromebooks). Anyone wanting to just do the light surfing is going to migrate over to a tablet. I imagine that there are those who really want a notebook-shaped light client, but can't imagine there are enough of them to support the product (certainly those slapping Linux on it can't support it either).

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Peanut Fox

I hate to say this, but I feel like any consumer computer is useless without a data connection.

Of course you can still do things with it, but a lot of the modern day utility is lost without broadband.

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Eoraptor

There certainly is some truth in this... even the single player games require some kind of online login-system. About all you can do offline in many systems is word process now that photoshop has gone to subscription basis (and particular since windows 8 removed 90% of the default simple games and programs) So again MS is the pot calling the kettle black.

Forward Ho! to OldApps I go!

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legionera

Remember "I'm mac, I'm PC ad"? That's a payback.

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Caboose

Payback against who? Explain how attacking Google affects Apple.

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legionera

MS were late for that fight. So they are starting a new one against google.

I doubt that MS will ever fight Apple, because the fruit is the best place to sell their Office soft. Macs can also run Windows now, so Apple is pretty much MS' bitch now.

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Neufeldt2002

I would actually put it the other way. Apple may not have market share in traditional PC's but everywhere else they are doing what MS so desperately wants, and it shows.

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brannank

Always online requirement is not a good idea, ask the Xbox One team. The point of the MS commercials is, of course the absolute reliance upon an internet connection is incredibly limiting and having an installed local storage device allows for an always available functionality

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Peanut Fox

The reverse is also true. A computer without an internet connection is equally as limiting.

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vrmlbasic

How long will it be before Bezos' company rips off this ad campaign of Microsoft's? I'm still seeing their rip off of the MS Surface commercials that they've adapted for use with their tablet.

Everything that a Cbook can do, an actual laptop can do and do better.

BTW, the spam filter is ridiculous.

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davelray

I've yet to see a chromebook do anything better than a conventional laptop even with an internet connection.

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Random

I love how everyone says they use Microsoft Office. Yeah, those aren't paid actors... Also notice how they make a point to show the "Venice" banner at the very beginning. Microsoft must be so hip and COOL if they are hangin' with their homies in Venice Beach, CA. BARF!

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davelray

Uh, for average people, most of them do use Microsoft Office. Only a few of us opt for something other than Office. For home use, I have both Office, I get a 10 dollar copy every year through the company I work for, and I use LibreOffice. At work, it's all Office for every company I've worked for except IBM. And considering I worked in the Lotus department of IBM it was a no brainer we used SmartSuite. I miss 123.

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Random

The only reason I use Office 2013 now is because I got it on sale a year ago for $15. Every time I fire it up (very rarely) I kick myself for not finding a better program.

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davelray

Better program is always a matter of personal opinion. For day to day stuff, LibreOffice or any of the free stuff is capable. The average user MAYBE uses 5% to 10% of Microsoft Office's capabilities. There is so much more that MS Office is capable of but most users don't use it or don't even know what it is fully capable of. I preferred SmartSuite back in the day. And before that, a combination of 123 and WordPerfect. But the point is, most companies use MS Office, so most average users are going to use what their company uses whether out of ease, comfort, or compatibility with what they use at work.

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jgrimoldy

For the most part, I felt MSO Office was adequate 10+ years ago. Newer versions have some neat gadgets, but to write a resume or do a simple spreadsheet, it was fine back in the 90's.

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aaronj2906

No kidding...

As soon as I saw the girls' say Microsoft Office, Excel, Powerpoint, etc... I knew it was staged.

Lost all veracity.

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pastorbob

As opposed to all other commercials that are totally random with real people and factual????

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Random

True but Microsoft in particular lost all credibility long ago. For them to bash companies like Google is particularly hilarious. Everything Microsoft portrays in these commercials about other companies and products can and has been true about their own products as well. Pretty sad and pathetic really.

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GreenTurtle

And the " Ad's " are run on Youtube... How quaint...

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CyberCam

I agree with you Paul, MSFT should put more effort & focus into what they do best, not sling mud at their competitors. They come off looking very petty and childish.

They're so focused at looking over their shoulder... that they're own products are falling by the wayside. They need to focus on innovating for their customers. I mean is the chromebook even a threat to them? It seems like a waste of advertising money.

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r3dd4wg

Microsoft is now that little runt kid nobody wants to talk to ... and rightfully so.

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aaronj2906

And... what OS did *you boot to in order to leave that comment.
(Please say it wasn't Windows).