• Explore the magic and the mystery!
  • The Tech Night Owl's Home Page



  • Discover the power of GraphicConverter 9



  • Newsletter #492 Preview: Microsoft Still Believes
    it Can Fool All of the People All of the Time

    May 3rd, 2009

    Well, folks, get ready to suspend your disbelief. Microsoft has done it again. There's a new ad campaign in which someone is given money and asked to go into a consumer electronics store and buy a notebook. Once again, Microsoft demonstrates that they require suspension of disbelief to get their point across.

    In this particular instance, the victim of this wrongheaded scheme is tasked with finding the right product for two grand. The entry-level MacBook Pro, which happens to list for that price, is rejected because it only has 2GB of RAM, whereas the HP model selected instead has 4GB.

    Alas, what Microsoft doesn't show you is that the Mac notebook has a speedier processor and uses faster memory than the HP, so it is in fact a better buy. No doubt equipping the latter with a heftier processor would raise its purchase price to the point where it is similar to the MacBook if it were updated with same memory complement. But that's not something Microsoft wants you to know.

    The other peculiar element to this campaign is the fact that the selected PCs are inevitably from HP. That sounds, to me, far too coincidental, since the consumer electronics outlets visited all have several brands from which to select. More to the point, HP is not known as a value brand. So what sort of collusion is going on here anyway? This is far too suspicious to be simply coincidental.

    Or does it mean that HP is, in fact, paying a portion of the bill for this campaign? I'm curious. Aren't you?

    Story continued in this week's Tech Night Owl Newsletter.



    Share
    | Print This Article Print This Article

    7 Responses to “Newsletter #492 Preview: Microsoft Still Believes
    it Can Fool All of the People All of the Time”

    1. coolfactor says:

      HP hasn't been the only brand selected, as far as I know. I think one laptop chosen was a Sony Vaio. But it still begs the question -- are the PC manufacturers sponsoring these? The ads are produced by Microsoft, but don't mention any strengths of Windows, only the "value" of PCs based on hardware specs.

    2. Joe S says:

      I do think you called these adds misleading. You understate the fact. L wanted a 17 in screen but settled for the same resolution as the 15' MacPro. G mentioned performance and battery life. His battery only goes 2 hours. These inconvenient facts fit MS's tradition of misleading consumers. Two examples that come immediately to mind are the "Vista Ready" scam and the 4 gig memory when the CPU can only use 3 gig. Perhaps some of the claims in the Get a Mac campaign are exaggerated, but they do not measure up to the level of deception inherent in the tripe pushed by MS.

    3. @ Joe S: OK, let's call it outright fraud. Happy now? :)

      Peace,
      Gene

    4. Andrew says:

      Which CPU can only use 3GB? As far as I know, there aren't any 32-bit CPUs on the market anymore. Heck, even the lowly Celeron chip in the 2-year-old $600 ThinkPad I keep for temps is running Vista 64 bit and addressing 4 GB of RAM.

      It is Windows 32-bit versions that impose the 3GB restriction. Of course, we have no way to know from the ads if those laptops are equipped with the 32 or 62 bit version of Vista, which would be the only thing limiting a current-model laptop (other than a cheap netbook) to 3GB.

    5. Joe S says:

      As I remember the story, when Vista went on sale, the 32 bit version was the common version and MS reported 3 Gig even if 4 Gig was present because 1 Gig is unavailable due to PCI space. At that time there was a paucity of 64 bit drivers or apps. MS's "partners" wanted to sell and advertise 4 gig memory so MS changed what it reported. It takes some special code and hardware to use more than 3Gig under a 32 bit OS since 1 Gig is reserved for PCI.

    6. Joe S says:

      Also MS would never stoop to stealing code, violating NDAs or any other questionable practice such as astroterfing. Such an honorable and upright company.

    7. gopher says:

      Joe S wrote:

      Also MS would never stoop to stealing code, violating NDAs or any other questionable practice such as astroterfing. Such an honorable and upright company.

      Surely you mean that in jest. How much of Microsoft's operating system owes its existence to Apple's interface? Quite a fair amount. Granted, XEROC PARC was the originator of a lot of it too, but Apple made significant strides in improving the usability of it. What's worse is that Microsoft never itself attempted to make its own integrated machine. So it has always been a bad copy.

    Leave Your Comment

    *