I'm a PC, she's a Mac. Are you a sucker?

Microsoft has launched the next phase of its US$300 million effort to convince us that Vista is not a dog -- while quietly pushing its replacement, Windows 7. What's wrong with this picture?

Why should Bill Gates, Jerry Seinfeld, and Deepak Chopra have all the fun? Microsoft's I'm a PC site now lets any Tom, Dick, or Mary share the spotlight -- for five seconds at least. The 'softies want you to upload a blink-or-you'll-miss-it video stating exactly why and how you're a PC. "Winning" entries will get to have their five seconds of fame on a TV commercial. (But, sadly, not a US$10 million paycheck.)

Because all the vids are vetted, there won't be any shenanigans like when MSFT did this two years ago with the ill-fated "Show us your Wow" video site. No hip swiveling semi-nude transvestites, for example, and no saying things like "I'm a PC because I've suffered severe head trauma."

This is yet another part of Redmond's US$300 million marketing campaign for Vista -- the one that started with Jerry Seinfeld, cheap shoes, and churros. Microsoft's highly paid marketing weasels have come up with yet another so-dim-it's-almost-brilliant slogan for this campaign, calling it "Life Without Walls." If you have no walls, there's no place to put the Windows. Does the word "duh" mean anything to you?

(According to AppleInsider, the same weasels created their first Apple rip-off "I'm a PC" commercials starring that John Hodgman lookalike using -- wait for it -- Macs. Surprised? Me neither.)

Meanwhile, at the exact same moment, Microsoft is pushing Windows 7 as a replacement/improvement for Vista. Early results on the beta are mixed; Tom Yager says it's full of small but welcome improvements, while Randall Kennedy says Windows 7 is just Vista in garters and a tight sweater. (OK, he didn't actually say that, but we know what he meant.)

Still, only one company could spend US$300 million to promote a product while at the same time quietly trying to shove it under the carpet. A corporation that posted more than US$4 billion in profits in its most recent quarter. A company with more money than God, but far less taste.

Are you a PC? A Mac? A mainframe running Cobol? And will we ever break this endless cycle of dependence on products from the greater northwest?

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Windows Vistacringelymad adsWindows 7jerry seinfeld

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Robert X. Cringely

InfoWorld
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?