Aug 092010

It’s no secret that TMA thinks Microsoft has the worst advertising in technology. Any company that combines projectile vomiting and Dean Cain in an ad deserves to have a bullet put into its right brain.

So the geniuses at Redmond have taken the news that college freshmen would now rather eat glass than use a PC and channeled their embarrassment into a devastating comparison: “PC vs Mac”.  From the “Simplicity” section (where the lede is “Intuitive, familiar, and easy to use, PCs do what you want: they just work” (emphasis mine):

Macs can take time to learn.

Especially when you’ve learned that something that’s always taken 12 steps only takes 2.

The computer that’s easiest to use is typically the one you already know how to use. While some may say Macs are easy, the reality is that they can come with a learning curve. PCs running Windows 7 look and work more like the computers you’re familiar with, so you can get up and running quickly.

Actually, PCs running Windows 7 should look pretty familiar: almost all of their UI elements were ripped off from the Mac, starting with Windows 3.1.

Working smoothly.

Things just don’t work the same way on Macs if you’re used to a PC. For example, the mouse works differently. And many of the shortcuts you’re familiar with don’t work the same way on a Mac.

Cntl-Alt-Del, for example.

Use Windows 7 to simplify your life.

Windows 7 was designed to make it simpler to do the tasks you do every day, with features that the Mac doesn’t have. For example, the new Snap feature makes it easy to view two documents side by side.

We think so much of this feature that we’ve made it the basis of 2 separate commercials. This one feature, which resizes a window when you put one adjacent to it = $10 million in advertising. The centerpiece of Microsoft’s major OS overhaul, the product that would save PC users from Vista, is a window resizing feature.  They should have named Windows 7 “Windows Snap”.

Touch and go.

Unlike Macs, many PCs running Windows 7 support Touch, so you can browse online newspapers, flick through photo albums, and shuffle files and folders—using nothing but your fingers. PCs with a fingerprint reader even let you log in with just a swipe of your finger.

Microsoft does have a point. The “touch” in Apple’s “Multi-Touch” is technically part of a hyphenated word, so it’s not the same as “Touch”. Otherwise, I’d think that the company that revolutionized touch-based UI was being slighted.

Usually I don’t link to retardery, but in this case, Microsoft’s hilarious attempt to differentiate its offerings deserves full linkage.

Sep 242009

If you’re the kind of person that tries to rope friends into helping you move‚ claiming it’ll be “fun” and offering a cold beer in lieu of money‚ Microsoft has an idea for you: the Windows 7 launch party.  They’ve even posted a video how-to guide‚ with a somewhat incomplete list of suggested activities.  What happened to “pin the driver on the peripheral” or the “custom install app registration code treasure hunt”?


If you choose to host‚ I’d recommend a strict designated driver policy.

Update: I know it’s been almost 2 years and the chances of anyone seeing this are practically non-existent, but I just came across this remix of the party video from Cabel’s Blog. Premise: how would this video sound if you bleeped out the references to Windows 7?

Why didn’t I know about this 2 years ago?

 Posted by at 10:09 am  Tagged with: ,
Sep 222009

Remember Kylie?  She’s the cute four-and-a-half year-old who figured out how to download pictures from her camera to her PC, apply image correction to the photos and email them using a distribution list – all in Microsoft’s Windows Live.

Yeah, I didn’t quite buy it either.

Seems Kylie may be the next Jerry Seinfeld for the brand.  Not content to let an ad campaign stand by itself, Kylie has appeared in a crossover ad for Windows 7.  Using her legendary computer skills, she even puts together a slick slideshow with some of 7’s most positive reviews:

Advertising challenge 101: plot the demographic for this ad.

Advertising challenge: plot the demographic for this ad.

I honestly can’t tell if they’re leveling themselves or if they believe they’re actually targeting viewers.  That Redmond ad group is one wacky fun machine.

Aug 072009

On Tuesday‚ Uncle Walt revealed Microsoft’s straightforward upgrade chart for current Windows users.

/cracks up

OK‚ I tried.  How bad is it?  Even Ed “Go” Bott (“Windows is like the K-Mart OS X”) thinks that the only logical explanation is that someone secretly working for Apple in M$’s ranks is releasing this stuff.

And “Custom Install” = “Wipe all your shit out beforehand”.  Nice.

 Posted by at 9:21 am  Tagged with: ,
Jun 302009


When you’re exposed to a lot of fanboy rants about Microsoft‚ you eventually get to the point where you question reality. Did they really rip off the original iPhone design for the Zune HD?  Did they really agree to strike IE8 from Win 7 for EU customers‚ then fist them by making them perform clean installs?  Most days I just marvel at a company who would be laughed out of a competitive market were it not for the legacy of their OS market land grab and the army of IT zombies protecting their interests.

This is one of those “/shrug” moments.  Some Windows 7 guided tours appeared today on the Borg’s web-like cyberpresence to sell some of the more “Wow” features of their new operating system.  The tours are hosted by an Apple Retail Store employee Latika, a Microsoft engineer. Because at Microsoft‚ it’s all about the people.   Latika also happens to be the Product Manager for Internet Explorer‚ which means that if I didn’t have Flip4MacWMV installed‚ I wouldn’t know how fucking ironic that was.

As flyers of the Redmond flag proclaim in their Engadget comments “Apple didn’t invent the product walkthrough‚ fanboys.”   Neither did they invent the GUI‚ the MP3 player or the touchscreen-based cell phone.  But if you don’t there’s something a little derivative here‚ you should have your head examined.  If you’ve ever wondered why you can’t keep a good idea in your head for more than 5 minutes‚ it’s because Microsoft’s satellite array can pick up any brainwaves containing good ideas‚ pull them out of your skull from 3 miles up and turn them into something like Microsoft BOB at a cost of $3 billion.

 Posted by at 4:35 pm  Tagged with: ,
Jun 252009

Microsoft has finally announced shipping and pricing information for its highly-anticipated Vista SP3 Windows 7 options. Because this is Microsoft‚ you not only have feature-based options‚ you also have a “limited time only” discount if you pre-order before…whenever it is the offer expires. More on that later. Here are the basics:

Buying a PC now (actually starting tomorrow)‚ your upgrade to Win 7 is free when it’s released on October 22. What you get depends on what version of Vista your OEM stuck you with:

Vista Home Premium -> Windows 7 Home Premium
Vista Business -> Win 7 Professional
Vista Ultimate -> Win 7 Ultimate
Vista Home Basic -> Suck It

Buying any boxed version of Vista not tied to a PC?

See “Vista Home Basic”‚ above.

But Redmond has some further incentive for you to act now! For a limited time‚ if you order Windows 7‚ you can get “Special Offer” pre-order pricing:

Windows 7 Home Premium – $50,
Windows 7 Professional – $100
Windows 7 Ultimate – Suck It

So how do we know when the “Special Offer” ends? From Gizmodo:

“What’s this about a limited time? Mike Ybarra, general manager of Windows Product Management, told me that the pre-order deal will go away when a certain undisclosed number of licenses is sold. ‘We have enough quantity,’ he said, adding that the magic number was ‘equivalent to a year of Vista sales volume at retail.'”

Nice. Another asshole marketing trick from the masters of insulting the customer’s intelligence. Problems with Vista? Nah! Stick your head in this “Mojave Experiment” booth for 10 minutes and we’ll prove it’s you‚ dumbass customer‚ who are too ignorant to appreciate Vista’s greatness! People who design these sleight of hand offers should have their balls tazered.

Speaking of extreme disrespect to genitalia‚ European Union countries won’t have the option to upgrade to Win 7. Sure‚ they’ll have the same pricing and even the same “Special Offer”‚ but because the EU went and made M$ chop their web browser from the install‚ you’ll have to do a clean install of the operating system in order to use Win 7. “What about my apps?” you might hear a poor French person exclaim. “Va te faire foutre” would be the response to that one. See what happens when you fuck with Microsoft‚ EU? YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!

Update: apparently M$ is going to stick EU customers for the full price of the software‚ behind the reasoning that a clean install requires the full version. Pricing until the end of the year £80 ($112) for Home Premium‚ £190 ($267) for Professional and £200 ($280) for Ultimate; after that £150‚ £220 and £230‚ respectively. Yet another reason for Euros to hate America.

In closing‚ I’d like to remind readers about Mac OS X Snow Leopard pricing tiers once it is released in September:

Snow Leopard Premium – $29
Snow Leopard Business -$29
Snow Leopard Ultimate -$29
Snow Leopard Basic – $29

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