Is Jerry Seinfeld the master of Vista's domain?

What does the ad have to do with Vista? Nothing, which is probably a good thing, because the less said about that disaster the better.

Abbott and Costello, Burns and Allen, Siegfried and Roy, Gates and Seinfeld. Years from now, they will be remembered as the some of the great comic duos of all time.

You say you've never heard of Gates and Seinfeld? Then you haven't caught the first of what I presume will be many commercials together, touting.... well, not Windows, exactly. Maybe just touting the fact that Microsoft can get a geeky billionaire and a neurotic millionaire together in one place. Or now that Bill is semi-retired he's no longer such a stiff.

This is Microsoft's answer to those "I'm a mac, he's a PC" commercials. And I must admit it's not nearly as awful as you might think. Seinfeld is walking down the street eating a churro when he spots Gates inside a discount shoe store. Jerry then takes matters into his own hands, outfitting Bill with a new pair of size 10 Conquistadors.

Gates of course is a platinum member at "Shoe Circus." And the photo on his platinum card? The infamous mug shot taken when he was arrested for reckless driving in New Mexico in 1977. Got to give them props for that one.

What does this have to do with Windows Vista? Nothing. And that's probably a good thing. Because the less said about that disaster the better. But near the end, Seinfeld comes close:

"Are they ever going to come out with something that will make our computers moist and chewy like cake so we can just eat them while we're working?"

I won't reveal the answer. But the tagline is "The Future - Delicious." So expect more on that theme to come.

The big news for Microsoft? That the Gates-Seinfeld gambit is actually not lame. And any thing Microsoft can do that isn't lame is a vast improvement. Unfortunately, they're wasting their time and Seinfeld's US$10 million fee trying to promote Vista. That train has left the station. Microsoft will eventually kill off its limited XP "downgrade" program. People will upgrade when they buy new Windows PCs because they have no other choice. Or they'll hang on for Windows 7, hoping against all historical precedent that it will, finally, be the Windows that Works, if not the one that's moist and chewy.

Where do you stand on Vista? Have you finally caved? And does Gates have unusually large buttocks or what? E-mail me direct: cringe@infoworld.com.

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Robert X. Cringely

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