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back to article Microsoft resuscitates 'I'm a PC' ads to fight Apple

In desperate need for something – anything – to stop the advance of the iPad and Android, Microsoft is trying to convince consumers that the PC is as modern a computing device as any tablet. On Monday, Microsoft will hit US TV audiences with a new ad campaign that updates its "I'm a PC" spot from a few years back, which was …

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Weird and pointless advert there

So MS are now advertising the form factor of the machine as being the most important?

The bit that they don't have any control over and is entirely down to third parties. How strange.

Why do they not mention any reasons to buy a machine running Windows 7 as opposed to anything else - like Mac OSX, Linux or even Windows XP?

Or have MS decided that there's nothing whatsoever about Windows that's worth advertising?

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Anonymous Coward

Not quite

You missed out the colour. Now available in a range of colours.

Once technology is no longer just for the techies (which is now) then it is sold by colour, weight, shape, size, whether the wannabe celebs are using it, in fact anything except the technical details because the target market won;t understand that.

Depressing I'm afraid.

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Gates Horns

Trying.. to.. type..

..but cringing.. too.. hard..

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Anonymous Coward

Advancing in the wrong direction

If you took my current Linux box and sent it back to 1999, I would have no trouble using it because the legacy software works fine. You could buy a mid-range machine just as fast in 2004, and a silent version in 2007. If I had to replace it today, it would be with something cheap, silent, but the same speed and the same software.

PC retailers need machines that clog up with spyware so they can sell a new machine. Microsoft need to change their software and convince people to buy it because it has "improved". Intel need software to require faster processors or they will get trounced by ARM CPU's made with a much cheaper manufacturing process. None of this has any value to customers, and customers are beginning to understand that they are not locked to Microsoft in any more.

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It pains me to admit it...

But as a dyed in the wool MS Fanboy, they've made the same mistake Sony made with the PS3. Part of the reason the Xbox did so well was it got there first and was well established by the time the PS3 came to the market.

It's the same with the iPad, I think MS have left it too long now. People buy the iPad, they're not going to buy a WinTab too :(

And yes I do have an HTC7 and not an iPhone and do think that actually it would have been fairly easy to make a half decent tablet out of that.

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Anonymous Coward

Best ad to make

Would be a film of the Mac and PC guy, MAC guy going through all the wonderful benefits and smug factor of using an apple product...surfing the net on his iPad, checking his e-mail, playing angry birds, going outside and navigating to starbucks with his iPhone to use his iBook to write a screenplay whilst supping warm milk flavoured with a small amount of coffee...all the time PC mans face (hidden by the beige PC monitor, natch) is getting more and more angry....until he stands up, screams at the pc, removes his in ear head phones and apoligies for not paying attention as he was playing call of duty.

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Thumb Up

Clever & funny...

..but not sure which "lifestyle" you're advocating here?

Or are you saying that each device has it's own uses/strengths, and we should all just try to get along?

If so, it's far too clever and relevant to ever be made into an ad for either of the products...so I gave you +1.

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Gav
Boffin

"I'm a PC and I'm a basement dweller"

So you're saying the PC being a gaming machine beats someone with a Mac out and about, generally having a life?

I'm not sure that's exactly the sort of advertising message that Microsoft wants to get across.

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Anonymous Coward

You consider blogging in starbucks having a life?

I find it just as repugnant as never leaving ones basement.

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Stop

Best ad to make???

Quite funny, so good in that sense. For shifting product? A big fail! And an advert's primary task is shifting product, or building brand loyalty...

For gaming, the obvious discussion is not Apple (nor Linux) vs Windows, but console vs desktop... so this proposed ad completely misses the point.

I think you could improve it by showing the PC's an /occasional/ gamer, where gaming is part of his real life -- he can look guilty and minimize the game to reveal daily stuff open (facebook, financial planner, something work related). And maybe have a woman instead of a man.

----

For starters, nobody reading this site is target audience of the lame advert shown.

As in the Mac vs PC ads, the PC was the "everyman" and the mac more "elitist" [where the unmentioned pc-elite would buy a top-of-the-line Lenovo or Toshiba for the same or more as the mac equivalent], but here we're supposed to empathise with someone who's surprized at LCD-screens (presumably she's been thinking they're tv-only?!).

It's quite a leap of the imagination, such empathy. I can't really pull it off, after 7min trying.

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Anonymous Coward

at least the basement is cost effective

Think how much instant coffee you could drink for the price of a paper cup full of milky white shit at Starbucks.

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Linux

The PC does more...

PCs do more than tablets. Doesn't matter if it's a PC running Linux, a PC running WinDOS or a PC running MacOS. Although Apple fanboys seem intent on trashing their own PC OS these days.

So when you are "out having a life", the PC will do the things that the tablets refuse to do.

You don't need an Apple product in order to pretend to be a screenwriter in Starbucks.

Although sometimes you have to pull out a real PC in order to do what the tablets can't or wont do.

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Linux

Belittling the basement...

> Think how much instant coffee you could

> drink for the price of a paper cup full of

> milky white shit at Starbucks.

Or you could just make proper coffee starting with fresh whole ingredients.

"The basement" is just a means to denigrate those with a clue and who care about all the finer details that make a good product possible and who might shun the herd or Madison avenue nonsense.

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FAIL

Exactly what was the Apple angle here?

MS are trying to convince owners of old PCs that they should upgrade to a new Windows 7 box. The only part of the PC market in decline is the netbook (which has likely had a bubble of sales) but this is somehow all MS fighting Apple? It's about time that the journos around here got a grip.

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WTF?

What - you've never heard of a Mac?

Wait and see her face when she see's a Mac!

I'd never go back to a damn PC using Windows. I'll push the three laptops, one running Ubuntu Netbook, the other two windows 7 under the carpet and shuffle off. And push you in front of my 27inch iMac.

What an inane advert. The 30 second advert did nothing to help. It's plain for the world how to make a success out of selling hardware. Own it all. Own the box and innovate in product design. Own the operating system and push it. Own a search engine business and screw the competition and then force the mobile operators and every other business to try to get their hardware to run your cobbled together OS. No Microsoft, not you, I mean the other company that has actually made money in advertising / searching.

If apple did this advert I bet it would look like a very glamorous apartment. Not something out of DIY SOS.

'Let's put a shop in home. WTF?!' she cried. 'Where's my sofa! Where's my Mac?! I want a Mac!'

Husband looks embarrassed.

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Gates Horns

Windows --- we'll invade you

It's a strange message; it's back to the bad old days where Microsoft = the Borg, assimilating your living room.

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Gates Horns

"I'm a PC-"

"-and everyone wants to punch me!"

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WTF?

uninspiring

Pretty sad ad. I wonder how many of us watched it on our iPads?? :-)

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Headmaster

Doesn't get it

I still can't help but feel bad for MS when I see people say, "I'm a PC". It just screams "Microsoft doesn't get it." In the Apple commercials, Long and Hodgman aren't consumers, they are personifications of the devices that run Mac OS and Windows OS, respectively.

After the "I'm a PC" ads came out, Apple even drove the point home by bringing a consumer into one of their ads. Long greeted her, saying "Hi, I'm a Mac". She responded: "I'm a Megan."

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Joke

I'm a Megan.....

and I only eat meat......

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Happy

Oh dear!

Something so vomit inducing about technology TV advertising that makes me want retch so hard I'd turn inside out!

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Its not great...

What was that screen showing? media centre I think it was, looks shit if you ask me.

Very primary school.

And no, I'm not a MAC user....

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Media Centre

Actually, having made the switch to Mac a few years ago, the only PC I'm still running is a dedciated Windows 7 Media Center box as nothing else comes close to offering a 4-tuner Freesat and Freeview 1TB PVR capable of streaming video and music over the Internet or from my server. Yes, matching compatible hardware was always an issue during the development of MC from its birth alongside XP, but with W7 it's pretty much hit the spot (probably means MS will drop it for W8 then!). Sure, it had its occasional hiccups, but from what I gather its generally better behaved than the average Sky+ or Humax box.

And the 'big' graphics and buttons are there for a reason; the interface is designed so that it can be operated from the other side of the room by a TV remote rather than being sat a couple of feet in front of it using a mouse.

No, much as I haven't really missed using Windows as an OS since switching, I couldn't imagine giving it up as a home entertainment UI so I feel forced to leap to its defence here.

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Flame

Your luck I guess

I have a Win7 box that I'm using as a HTPC. Which turned out to be a bad idea. Selecting Malaysia from the list automagically disables the digital part of my hybrid tuner despite the fact that there is indeed digital transmissions in the country, and won't let me set up the digital signal manually even if I lie to it and tell it I'm in a country it knows to have digital transmission . Under XP MCE 2005 I was at least able to use the proprietary software that comes with the card. Software doesn't work on Win7. I've been thinking of dropping a *myth* distro onto it and see how well it'll fare for a while now. But I also have a set top box that could pick up the channels fine.

Sure, the TV station calls it a "trial", but then the signal has been around since 2006 and never got out of the "trial". And oh, one can freely buy digital USB tuners from most computer stores.

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Grenade

,./aaacddddeeeeeeghiiiiiillmnnnnooqrrrrsssstttttttTuu

The post is required, and must contain letters.

When those letters include "MAC" in a context such as this thread, you don't need to tell anyone that you don't use a Mac - they already know.

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Happy

Innovation

"...The idea is to convince the skeptical and the incredulous just how much PCs have changed."

Except they haven't changed, have they? Apart from a few whizzy colours, Windows 7 of today isn't really any different from the Windows 95 machine I used years ago. Ok, under the hood it may have changed quite a bit; I don't really know. But from a user's perspective, it really has not changed a jot. It does the same job (and fails in the same ways; even the bugs haven't progressed much!), it runs the same software (or would do, if the software didn't keep bloating out of all sense - Office anyone?), and ...errr ...well that's it really. Because that is ALL an OS does; it runs applications and provides interfaces to the outside world. All the extra sugar that keeps piling on top is mostly functionally useless nonsense that 99% of people never use anyway.

Like I'm sure many people do, I tire of the "innovation" nonsense MS keep spouting. MS have not innovated anything since they first stole the WIMP idea from Apple (who stole it from Xerox, of course). Since then, virtually nothing has happened; in the last ...ooo ...20 years (?), Windows hasn't moved. It's got bigger and more demanding. But functionally, what's changed?

I really DO blame MS for the lack of progress in the software world; by now, PC's (or tablets, or whatever) should be miles and miles ahead of where they are. Progress has been severely held-back; primarily by MS and the drones that follow in their shadow. With all their resources and cash, how have they managed to achieve so very very little over the years.

With all this tablet stuff in vogue at the moment, and mobile stuff exploding, I'm sure MS must be getting quite worried. Especially as these are two areas that they have demonstrably failed to succeed in many many times in the past despite the billions they must have spent of R&D by now.

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WTF?

Are you part of the solution?

So, you don't think the front end changes are significant.

So, you don't think the back end changes are significant.

Can you tell me, exactly WHAT do you think is significant? Personally I blame all of you who want to blame someone else for not creating what you think is significant change, rather then taking some damn initiative and writing it your selves.

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Megaphone

I'm a PC

But you will have to work out which version of me you want. Buy the wrong one, and no, sorry I cannot connect to that network, you need a different version for that.

Some of your users want a different user-interface language? Sorry you have to buy a different version and re-install for that (or you could buy a different version that allows you to buy language packs for it, but you can't get that on your license scheme, and the different version won't work properly with the others on the network.)

I would very much prefer windows like MAC; only 1 version. Everything is included with each one. If you want a different language, just select a different language. If you want a network just connect them together; none of this Windows Vista won't talk to an XP machine, Windows 7 won't talk to a Vista machine; Or "If you want a network of PCs that work together, you need the new feature only in Win7 and all machines need to be Win7" crap.

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Do the world a favor

Somebody forward the parent post to Steve Ballmer!

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Why a Brit?

I've been told that any time they need some kind of expert, US TV networks bring in a Brit.

Does this also apply to MS commercials?

Is there some kind of inferiority complex going on?

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Brits

I thought the Merkins only used Brits for the bad guys...

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simple choice

Since I bought an iPad last year, I have not once gotten my Windows laptop out again at home. By the time that one starts up, I have already done with the iPad what I wanted to do.

By the way, I am not a fanboi, but a developer and at work I use almost exclusively Microsoft technology products.

A netbook equiped with Win XP was the only thing that was acceptable at home before, having a half decent battery life if used sensibly, but Microsoft thought it was a good idea to destroy that particular market with Win7... on one equiped with that OS, if you listen close enough, you can almost hear the battery draining.

Last netbook I had with Win7 had 2GB ram and a 64-bit processor and that only just worked acceptably with Win7 + had barely a 2 hour battery life. A bit more than that when the screen backlight was turned down so much that it hurt the eyes.

My next personal home computer will be the next iPad - whenever necessary to replace my iPad1.

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Pint

You can't just buy ads of this quality

You have to berate, degrade and belittle the artsy types until they are driven to deliver the most sideways, awkward and deliberately unhelpful works their brilliant minds are capable of selling to your executive team.

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Paris Hilton

Style

"Through the ads you will see each family discover the wide variety of style and software benefits..."

The guy is a Windows wonk - and he is talking about style. Listen up, people.

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Sometimes...

Sometimes marketing drones should be shot. What next? MS will hire the annoying arses that are responsible for the Halifax ads?

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Grenade

Sometimes?

Always.

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Joke

Hopefully, yes.

"Hi-I'm a PC"

"ISA ISA?"

*earth shattering kaboom*

fade.

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answer

yeah, yeah, yeah

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Anonymous Coward

Halifax ads

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the people who did the Halifax ads got bought out by the people who have done the recent MS cloud ads. Yes, they did contribute to the clouds ads.

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Headmaster

Taking the Tablets

Very often MS do have the right idea but fail on the execution,

x86 second Tablet interface

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_for_Pen_Computing 1991

I worked on a non-x86 "Tablet" project in 1989. The reason everything used a stylus from then rather than a finger was:

1) The holy grail of handwriting recognition

2) Send handwritten faxes

3) Deemed faster for notes and annotation

4) Xerox only made a mouse because they couldn't fit a tracker ball into a pen.

Capacitive type touch screens DID exist, but no-one wanted the low resolution. Everyone chose Resistive to allow high resolution input (ideally to avoid "jiggling" the input resolution should be higher than screen resolution. With light pens it could only ever equal display and only worked if blacks where a bit grey, well dark green)

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Jobs Halo

ROFLMAO

In a deft move, Microsoft's ad men neutralized the cheeky Apple campaign................OH Really, you think so? The Apple ads are memorable, whilst the windows ads are???? shite, that is the word I'm looking for. Microsoft is safe in its corporate PC haven for now, where every iteration of office must be bought. But as I visit my customers, I notice that there are Macbook Pro's around, even IMacs, they are making inroads into areas that MS thought was safe. The game has changed, MS has not. Apple in it's IPad have a device that attacks the handheld game market, Home PC and corporate. Unfortunately Apple as they become more successful are becoming just like MS.

All Julie really needs is an IPad. LOL No dear, no tower

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Bleurgh!

Someone pass a sick-bag, please!

Is this how desperate MS is getting? Kee-rist. They don't even go into the "virtues" of Win7. "This one's touch screen". Ooh-wee, excuse me whilst I get some tissues. That is just a matter of hardware rather than OS as such (although is need OS support, obviously).

It is true that buying a new PC almost forces one to accept Windows, but that is more down to market abuse rather than an informed decision to buy Windows.

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@Someone pass a sick-bag, please!

Sorry, you went "Bleurgh!" first. What you need now is a mop, bucket and some air freshener.

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Headmaster

Something amiss

"In the meantime, Microsoft is left trying to convince ordinary Joes and Julies just how far Windows desktops and laptops have come so that they bypass an Piad in favor or a PC – or at least move their PC to Windows 7."

A Piad? Is that an Apple-branded Fiat? :)

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Anonymous Coward

I want nothing to do with Windows 7.

I am forced to use Windows 7 at work, and I resent every second of it. I often have to click twice on menus, on a 16GB i7-2600 machine with top-end graphics (Windows index 7.6 for both GPU measurements, 7.8 for both CPU and memory, and 5.9 for the hard disk), because the OS doesn't register the first click, since it's too busy drawing eye candy. Doesn't inspire confidence!

Strangely enough, in my view anyway, the best competitor Windows 7 has is Windows XP Professional x64 Edition, which Microsoft has already put out to pasture - not to mention Office 2003, of which components like Visio, FrontPage and Project 2003 still fetch silly prices on eBay. I know - I've been buying up licences to ensure my new notebook is covered. I would far rather have bought directly from a Microsoft supplier, but it seems MSFT doesn't want my money.

Microsoft, as far as I'm concerned, is a has-been. It doesn't market anything that interests me as a computer user, and they seem to be determined to bury the only usable Windows/Office products (i.e. XP series/Office 2003) as quickly as possible. With competition like Apple now snapping at their heels, I'm not sure that throwing the baby out with the bath water is a viable policy.

I'm no Mac fan, but I have a strong suspicion that my next machine WILL be made by Apple, simply because I cannot stand Windows 7 - and I'm not going to hold my breath for Windows 8. I used to love Windows, but I'm afraid Microsoft has become an irrelevancy to me since 2007.

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Grenade

I call bullshit...

From working with numerous Win 7 machines, all of which work perfectly well and all of which have a much lower spec than the machine you claim has problems (including some rather underpowered laptops).

It's commonly accepted that Win 7 is a vast improvement on Vista (which I admit, is not saying much) in terms of the demands it makes on a machine.

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Yikes! Tech Dept is rubbish.

Either your tech department or is a pile of pants or you have pissed them off and they have slowed your machine on purpose. Why is Windows 7 running like a dog on that machine?

Nice and smooth on my Athlon x2 with 4GB which is rather old now.

Stop trying to find excuses to off load onto a MAC I do not believe the "I'm no MAC fan" comment. If you were not you would be using Linux instead.

I use Windows 7, MAC OSX and Linux (occasionally) and I can tell you if you don't look after Windows or OSX they both slow to a crawl. Linux is much better at dealing with the crud.

Now run along and buy your MAC safe in the knowledge that you have justified it to yourself by actually not knowing anything.

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This post has been deleted by its author

FAIL

Not a good ad...

I left the Windows world pretty much behind in 2003, having bought a Mac Powerbook ('cos it looked v. stylish - G4, 800) for email and web-browsing whilst away from my Windows desktop and then getting sucked into the whole Apple way of doing things. (I'm very technical, and my Apple gear does all that I need it to) but don't feel the need to bash Microsoft non-stop but I have to say that this is not a good ad - where's the excitement? Where's the snazzy UI? Say what you like about Apple, but their ads are generally brilliant. They even make the magnetic cover exciting! I was shown nothing in that ad that I want to have a go on.

Steve

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I'm a PC

..and I run Linux

(is what I always wanted the ad to say.. or at the very least have a bobby on the beat saying it)

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