Redmond's ad writers drew blood with their first Laptop Hunters ad: "Congrats, Lauren. It's a PC," last month. They've wasted little time in following it up. This time, it's the guys' turn, and a little higher budget's in the offing: Giampaolo goes shopping for a powerful laptop under $1500. We watch him check out the stats, the keyboards, and hear him dismiss the Mac platform: "Macs, to me, are more about the esthetics, not the computing power." In the end, Giampaolo snags a Windows Vista-based laptop for about $1100. The tag line this time? "It's a PC because I'm really picky."
You can check out (Silverlight required) the continuing Laptop Hunters series at Microsoft's TV commercials website (including last year's painful "Mojave Experiment" and unbearable Gates & Seinfeld misfires). We like the Laptop Hunters commercials, but how about you? If you're on the Mac versus PC fence, do they push you off the fence? If you have Mac-loving friends or family members, what do they think? Join us after the jump for your chance to spill.
Convincing Acer -- who, at last count, was selling more netbooks than Asus and claims 38.3 percent of the market -- that your OS is a suitable alternative to XP or Linux for use on netbooks is no easy task. At a press event earlier this week, Chief Executive Gianfranco Lanci and Jim Wong head of Acer's IT products business line, told reporters that while Acer plans on using Google's open-source Android OS in its upcoming smartphone, it doesn't feel the OS is ready for netbooks.
"For a netbook, you really need to be able to view a full web for the total internet experience," Wong said. "And Android is not that yet."
Lanci echoed Wong's sentiments, adding that Android is better suited for communication, whereas Windows comes at the market from the computing side. According to Lanci, an ideal solution would be to offer both. However Lanci did admit that Acer is currently testing Android on its netbooks, adding "I think everybody in the industry is testing Android on netbooks."
And he's right. HP said last week that it was considering Android for future netbooks, and so too has Asus.
Would you be interested in an Android-powered netbook, or is XP the way to go? Hit the jump and sound off.
That's the message that Microsoft announced today on its Engineering Windows 7 blog, Cnet's Ina Fried reports.
While Microsoft says you can upgrade from Win7 Beta to RC when it becomes available, it prefers that you upgrade from Windows Vista to Windows 7 RC. Why? As the E7 blog entry points out:
The RC...is about getting breadth coverage to validate the product in real-world scenarios. As a result, we want to encourage you to revert to a Vista image and upgrade or to do a clean install, rather than upgrade the existing Beta. We know that means reinstalling, recustomizing, reconfiguring, and so on. That is a real pain. The reality is that upgrading from one pre-release build to another is not a scenario we want to focus on because it is not something real-world customers will experience.
This reasoning makes sense from Redmond's standpoint, but since the same blog post acknowledges that millions of users (including, I bet, a lot of Maximumpc.com fans) are using Windows 7 Beta as their "full time" operating system, Microsoft has outlined a way to bypass the usual installer checks. Join us after the jump for the details.
While Windows XP has proven itself to be the biggest contender to Microsoft’s (almost) flagship OS, Windows Vista, it could very well outlive it and perhaps come to compete with Windows 7.
According to recent reports, Microsoft recently granted HP and exclusive OEM license extension for XP all the way into the depths of 2010. This would line it up to go side by side with Windows 7 on netbooks, and provide healthy competition in that sector. With this number in mind, it will make Windows XP almost nine years old before it finally stops shipping.
It’s not expected that HP will ship PCs with Windows XP on them other than netooks. A massive 96 percent of the netbook market is running off of Windows, and an overwhelming majority of this is XP.
Still, netbooks aside, Windows XP is still the global majority leader with a market share of 62.85 percent. Windows Vista rolls in at second place with a 23.42 percent share.
Initial reactions to Windows 7 has been, for the most part, pretty positive, enough so that some have admitted to using the beta as their primary OS. The general consensus is that Windows 7 is what Vista should have been all along, but that doesn't mean there won't still be demand for XP when the new OS ships.
Citing a "source within Hewlett Packard," AppleInsider says the OEM has been granted an extension to continue selling Windows XP on its business desktops, workstations, and notebooks instead of Windows 7 for another year. Microsoft appears to have been reluctant to grant the extension, reiterating that the nearly eight-year-old OS is on its last legs.
"It’s important to remind customers that Microsoft are still planning to retire XP Pro Mainstream support on April 14th 2009 and will only provide OS security updates beyond that date unless the customer has an Extended Hotfix Support contract. MS Extended Support for XP Pro ends on April 8th 2014," the source was quoted as saying.
As of right now, HP is the only one being reported to have brokered a deal, but it will interesting to see if other OEMs soon follow suit.
As Engadget puts it, the Windows Mobile news coming out of this week's CTIA Wireless 2009 trade show can be summed up in two words: "pretty" and "support" (for the upcoming Windows Mobile 6.5 operating system).
Want a phone where "pretty" is more than case-deep? Designer Isaac Mizrahi, Design Museum London, and the Council of Fashion Designers are teaming up with Redmond to create fashionable wallpapers for the 6.5 version of Windows Mobile. On the support side, Microsoft announced support from over 25 companies for its Windows Mobile Marketplace (Word 2003 DOC link).
For more about what Redmond put on display, join us after the jump.
It's been about six weeks since Redmond rolled out the Release Candidate for Vista SP2, and now the RTM Escrow build is available to Microsoft Connect beta testers, DailyTechreports. To make sure everything's working, the RTM Escrow build includes both slipstream and standalone installers.
If you find an unofficial source for something claiming to be the RTM Escrow build, the build string is 6002.17043.090312-1835. Typically, the RTM Escrow build is the last step before a public release, probably in April.
Check out our complete Vista SP2 coverage here. Have you tried this new build? Join us after the jump and give us your thoughts.
Microsoft's fourth attempt at an ad campaign may finally deliver a worthwhile message to consumers. The latest has nothing to do with Jerry Seinfeld and chewy computers (attempt one) or unattended 8-year-olds hooking up digital cameras to a notebook and declaring "I'm a PC" (attempt two), and then there's the Mojave Experiment (attempt three). Instead, Microsoft's newest ad takes aim at Apple by pointing out the gross pricing disparity between a Mac and a Windows-based PC.
In the ad, a young woman named Lauren says she's looking for a laptop with "speed, a comfortable keyboard, and a 17-inch screen" for under $1,000. Microsoft tells her if she can find it, she can keep it. Lauren's first stop? An Apple Store:
"For $1,000 they only have one computer available and that's a 13-inch screen," Lauren says. "I would have to double my budget, which isn't feasible. I'm just not cool enough to be a Mac person."
After later finding an HP Pavilion that "has all of my qualifications" for $700, the ad flashes "Congrats, Lauren. It's a PC."
Well played, Microsoft. And also well timed.
View the video here then hit the jump and tell us if you like Microsoft's new ad campaign.
Today's netbooks typically ship with either Linux or Windows XP, each of which places low demands on hardware so you can focus more on basic computing tasks and less time lamenting how woefully inadequate that Atom processor is compared to your Core i7 desktop. Moving forward, Microsoft plans to release a gimped version of Windows 7 for netbooks and nettops called Starter Edition, which will limit users to running just three applications at a time. But according to Samsung, such restrictions are unnecessary.
"Currently Microsoft provides Windows XP for netbooks. For Windows 7 they would like to give us Windows 7 Starter Edition for netbooks. That's the current plan. [Different versions are a] matter of how much we need to pay to Microsoft. It is an open issue. So we can ship other Windows 7 versions, but it is a matter of royalties," said Kyu Uhm, Samsung's Head of Worldwide Sales and Marketing during an interview with TechRadar.
The pricing structure for Microsoft's upcoming operating system has not yet been announced, but it's safe to say the Starter Edition will ring in the lowest, an important factor when it comes to marketing netbooks and other low-power PCs. So even though netbooks could probably handle an uncrippled version of Windows 7 -- and according to users running the Windows 7 beta on current netbooks, performance isn't much of an issue -- OEMs might have a tough time upselling consumers on a fully functioning version of the OS if it drives the price too high.
How much more would you be willing to pay for a full version of Windows 7 on a netook? Hit the jump and sound off.
Windows Home Server's latest update, Power Pack 2, is now available via Windows Update, the TechNet Windows Home Server Team Blog reports. WHS users must have Power Pack 1 installed before they can receive Power Pack 2. If you missed Power Pack 1, get it here.
Power Pack 2 fixes a number of irritating bugs left over from Power Pack 1 and the original release, and adds new features. For an overview of what's new in Power Pack 2, join us after the jump.