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.
Do you think the smoke and mirror show will help Chrome’s adoption rate?
It turns out Twitter can be used for more than just reading bad haikus, it can also be used to derail 8 weeks of legal proceedings, and get a case thrown in to mistrial. Last week, a Florida juror in a high profile drug trial officially went on record and admitted to the judge that he’d researched part of the case over the Internet. Normally a single biased juror isn’t a big deal; you simply eject the person in question and continue. But when the judge dug a bit further, he was shocked to find that eight other jurors had all committed the same offence. As a result a “Google” mistrial was called, and the justice system is starting to worry about the long term trends this case demonstrated.
This isn’t the first time the internet and social media has been accused of interfering with justice either. A few weeks back an Arkansas court was asked to overturn a $12.6 million dollar judgment by claiming that a juror was releasing details of the case on Twitter. Tweets such as “a big announcement is coming Monday” might seem harmless, but to the courts, they represent a grave threat to the justice system that is nearly impossible to solve. Currently jurors are warned in advance not seek information outside the courtroom, but with the answer to almost every question at our finger tips these days, the temptation to cheat seems to be getting to the best of us.
With access to the internet via mobile devices getting easier every day, do you think this is a problem the courts will ever solve? Or will we have to lock up all the twitterholics?
The PC Gaming Alliance has taken some heat over the years, both from the public, and the media as to what exactly they offer. Since their inception, PC Gaming hasn’t seen any demonstrable improvements in hardware standards, DRM, or really anything of note which could be traced back to the controversial group. They do however love studies, and they have prepared new state of the industry report to further beat the PC drum. According to Jon Peddie Research, sales of PC gaming hardware is the one bright spot in an otherwise dreary technology economy.
In Terms of year over year growth worldwide:
- Enthusiast PC’s sales have grown 9% - Performance PC’s sales have grown 19% - Mainstream PC’s sales have grown 21%
The result of this growth is a staggeringly large PC Gaming hardware market worth an estimated 20 billion dollars in 2008, and it is expected to grow to 34 billion by 2012. The report also suggests that PC Gaming is more recession proof then consoles because of the high cost barrier to entry. When you add up the cost of an HDTV as well as the console and accessories, it’s a big setback for a single purpose device. PC’s they argue, are more versatile and represent a better investment for cash strapped consumers. Also noted was the sharp rise in gaming notebook sales as compared to desktops.
“Don’t let the retail numbers fool you,” said Ted Pollak, co-author of the report. “Enthusiast PC gamers often latch onto one or two games that offer multiplayer and stick to these titles for years. Hardware is where they spend the big bucks. The retail numbers don’t capture the casual and digitally distributed games either. Retail figures are not an accurate barometer for the health of the PC gaming industry.”
So does this report have you convinced that all is well in the PC Gaming universe, or is everyone just playing Solitaire?
Asustek is now busy sprucing up its Eee PC range. The wafer-thin Fold/Unfold notebook, the dual touchscreen Flipbook and voice-controlled Eee PCs are some of the most innovative products on its release calender.
An optical disk drive (ODD) may be pale in comparison to all the scintillating stuff just mentioned, but it is still a big deal for netbooks to have one.
The E1004DN was showcased at CES 2009. It happens to be the first Eee netbook equipped with an ODD. Apart from the DVD drive, it will feature a 10” display, an Intel Atom N280 processor, 1GB RAM and a 120GB HDD.
Pirates of all ilks are locked in a game of cat and mouse with regulators and content proprietors. Throughout their endless war, both have tightly clung to Newton’s third law: every regulation (action) has an equal and opposite ruse (action). Microsoft has come up with a fresh way to stymie videogame piracy. Its newfangled anti-piracy measure will prevent gamers from enjoying illicit copies of games before the street date.
"We have zero-day piracy protection—this helps reduce the leakage of IP before release. The bits are encrypted, and there is a one-time activation that checks to see if the game has been released or not, and we'll send out a decrypt code so the game can be played." Drew Johnston, the product unit manager for the Windows Gaming Platform, told Ars Technica. How will pirates respond?
A well-informed tipster just leaked Dell’s brand new Latitude 2100 “Welch” laptops to Gizmodo, where they’re now spreading the news about the school-oriented netbooks.
These new little beasts will be based off of Intel’s Atom processor (up to 1.6GHz), can support an optional SSD, pack up to 2GB of RAM, and weigh just under 3lbs. There’s also three USB ports, a SD/MMC slot, Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11 a/g/n, Bluetooth, 3 and 6-cell battery options, a 10-inch screen, and the possibility of a touchscreen.
As for pricing and availability, it should be out around May 2009, just in time for the back to school shopping season, and cost under $600.
Microsoft's latest browser, Internet Explorer 8, has gotten mixed reviews from MaximumPC.com readers (see comments here and here), but one question that's hard for any individual user to answer about any browser is "how secure is it?"
To find out, Microsoft asked NSS Labs to pit IE8 RC1 against its predecessor, IE7, as well as the following third-party browsers: Firefox 3.0.7, Safari 3.2, Chrome 1.0.154, and Opera 9.64. The objective: find out which browser did the best job at handling so-called social-engineering malware sites - the ones that try to con you into downloading malware disguised as something else ("Adobe Flash update," anyone?).
ComputerWorldreports that IE8 did the best job of fending off attacks from 492 malware-distributing websites, blocking 69% of attacks (details here [PDF link]). If you're not using IE8, join us after the jump to learn how your favorite browser fared.
Ads are a necessary evil when browsing the net. We all see them, we all browse right past them, but it looks like the powers that be are working on new and inventive ways to shove them in our faces.
The latest concoction brewed up by the folks at Pixazza, Inc. is a tool that turns items in pictures into clickable links (presumably to a virtual check-out with that item). And, while supposedly the backend for implementing this feature is a bit complicated, the user interface is intuitive. Visitors to a site will be able to simply move their mouse over an image to reveal any additional information they might want, via a pop-up tab.
So, if you see Scarlett Johansson wearing some sweet shades, and you’re looking to get yourself a pair, look no further then the pop-ups that will soon accompany your images.
Earlier this month Boxee, the ambitious new program that’s looking to bring a full Web content experience to your living room (that’s currently only available for Mac and Linux), announced that it would introduce a brand new, overhauled application program interface (API) and a workaround that will allow Hulu’s content to work… for now.
The new API will introduce a few applications right off the bat, including built-in support for Pandora and RadioTime. But, the new API will also allow developers to build more complex applications for the platform.
The workaround that will allow users to view content on Hulu will work by detecting video in a regular web page and then attempting to put it into full-screen view. In the past, Hulu was available as a channel right though the API, but it was blocked at the request of content partners. Not long after Boxee just grabbed the data they wanted from Hulu’s RSS feed, but they blocked that too. With any luck, this new change will allow users to view all the video content they wish.