back to article Jeery Jerry loves Vista, y'know

Microsoft has called on American comedian Jerry Seinfeld to big up Vista in its next Windows ad campaign. The software giant is keeping quiet on the details, even though world+dog have nicely spun out the firm’s plans over the past 24 hours. According to the Wall Street Journal, Microsoft is spending $300m on the ad crusade …

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  1. Michael Philbey
    Jobs Halo

    Very Much a MAc Man

    If you take a look at early Seinfeld Episodes you will see that there is always a Mac in Jerry's living room.

    Who are they going to try and get next Drew Carey?????

  2. StooMonster
    Jobs Halo

    Curb Your Enthusiasm

    Seinfeld always featured Apple Macs rather than PCs during its nine year run.

  3. James Le Cuirot

    A comedian...

    Because Windows Vista is a big joke.

  4. GettinSadda

    $10m

    Yeah, pay me $10m and I would claim Vista is good!

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    The thing is....

    ...vista is a steaming pile of dog turd. Everyone knows it - Except the Americans. Good luck to them.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    $300M

    If they've got $300M to burn, couldn't they use it as a downpayment on their (as yet unpaid?) EU anti-trust fines? http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/02/27/ec_fines_microsoft_largest_ever/

    Or they could fix Vista, but that would cost MS more than just a couple of weeks of cash flow.

  7. Stuart
    Jobs Halo

    Jerry IS a mac man

    ...or at least the show's set managers were as Jerry Seinfeld did have a Mac on the show. I figure a self titled/produced(??) show - 'Seinfeld' means Jerry is ultimately responsible for this but I don't have a clue if he exercised that much control.

    Stuart

    ---Credit to NPR broadcasting (KERA Dallas) for broadcasting this nugget----

    PS Why is it more a Windows vs Mac world over the good ole PC vs. Mac world??

    -Ahah I know! - thanks to Mr.Reiser; Linux on a PC is as edgy cool as a Mac:-):-) -sympathies to Reiser's wife's family I condem his actions, but humour triumphs.

  8. Greg

    $300m?

    Isn't that how much they've made off Vista so far?

  9. Ian Morrison

    too little too late

    Vista has been out for 2 years already. Most people who are going to switch have presumable done so already. Those who haven't either don't plan on it - they don't want to spend the money on an OS that doesn't do anything XP can't do already, they've switched to Linux or they've bought a Mac.

    It will be interesting to see how powerful advertising really is and whether this campaign can really make a difference. Or whether it will hit a wall, er window, er...

  10. Mike Flugennock
    Gates Horns

    Besides Seinfeld not having been funny since forever...

    ...you're right about him and the Mac.

    If you should find yourself near a TV that's showing episodes from the first few seasons of "Seinfeld", pay attention during the scenes that take place in Jerry's apartment, in the living room; there, on the desk, making regular appearances, is a Mac SE (2nd-gen "toaster" Mac).

    Still, he hasn't done a damn' thing since his sitcom went off the air*, so I suppose he probably could stand to pick up an extra mil or two.

    *unlike Michael "Kramer" Richards

  11. Andrew Abdul-Malek
    Flame

    i'll say it again

    i said it a long time ago, and i'll say it again, actually no i'll just copy and paste

    "..2008-01-04..

    Vista Opinion - if bill gates fixes this vista mess it will be the biggest most blatant evidence of brainwashing since 911"

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    Flustered Microsoft...

    > El Reg yesterday requested comment from Microsoft PR wonks. A flustered spokeswoman simply said...

    Spokespeople for Microshafted are *always* flustered... wouldn't you be, if you had to front up for a convicted predatory US monopolist that continues to turd-polish the pile of steaming ordure that is Vista??

    BTW, has Microsoft paid any or all of its fines for anti-competitive practice to the EC, or are they are buying up radio spectrum to provide bandwidth for all of the monitoring radio ankle "tags" that its staff will eventually have to wear, as all well-dressed criminals sentenced to non-custodial punishments should?

  13. Matt

    who?

    who?

  14. Avi

    $10m to say Vista's not crap

    How much did Apple pay people to say Macs aren't crap?

  15. Paul Burke
    Jobs Halo

    Traitors

    So does Jobs consider JS a traitor? http://www.geekculture.com/joyoftech/joyarchives/1142.html

  16. Shakje

    Re:The thing is....

    Or the people who use it on an adequate system.

  17. Jonathan Tate
    Stop

    Vista is fine.

    It's funny how some 10 years after MS were accused of spreading baseless fear uncertainty and doubt about their competitors, now idiots world-wide are spreading FUD of their own about MS's first well-written software product, Vista.

    Seriously, though, Vista is fine if you'd give it a freakin' chance... and I don't mean installing it, running it for 2 days and then deciding XP is superior because you couldn't find the damn "add-remove programs" control panel menu item.

    I've been using it exclusively for a year after I got my laptop and I swear, for every damn complaint you folks have about Vista I have 3 with XP. The /only/ thing you like more is that you know what issues to expect with XP.

  18. Eric Dennis
    Thumb Down

    This ought to work out great.....

    Seinfeld is so funny and Vista is so great that I'm buying a certified pre-owned Apple Powerbook G4 in a week. Guess what? It will run the latest Mac OSX (Leopard) without having to be a super computer on wheels. Not waiting around to see what Windows 7 will smell like. Moving on in a week. And you?

  19. Bastiaan van Zwieten
    Linux

    He's certainly thinking different now!

    He used to be in Apple commercials but that is ancient history.

    Maybe he will be funny this time?

    TUX: because Linux is next for Jerry ...

  20. Paul Bruneau

    It was more than just the early episodes

    In later years, the SE was replaced by a 20th anniversary Mac

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    New Line for Cash'n'Carrion

    MS shoes complete with Targets.

    PS where the Vistas Crap T-Shirts?

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Alert

    The Perfect Person for MS?

    Duff man... Ohh Yeahh..

  23. John Freas
    Thumb Down

    @ Anonymous Coward

    "...vista is a steaming pile of dog turd. Everyone knows it - Except the Americans. Good luck to them."

    Agreed about the steam and the turd, but even we [Americans] can recognize crap when we actually get our hands on it. Well, at least most of us. In any case, when presented with the opportunity to run Vista at home I thought for a microsecond and kept my copy of XP Pro. My work computer still uses that OS and although over the past 2 years it has gradually bloated and slowed by about 60% as all Windoze installations eventually do, it is still better than a fresh install of Vista. I can't wait to see what they do this spring when we're all due for new kit. Hopefully it'll be XP again.

    When the time came to replace the home box I decided to try a Mac. I'm no Fanboy, it's my first time on one but I figured it couldn't be worse than Vista and if it was better then I'm ahead of the game. So far so good, and I know what some of you are saying, and no I didn't consider Linux because with two young kids I didn't have time to fiddle with it.

    So, all that to say that even over here we aren't all rushing to get our fresh pile... er, copy of Vista.

  24. N Silver badge

    Vista is fine...

    ...so long as you scub it and install XP

    And as for: "now idiots world-wide are spreading FUD of their own about MS's first well-written software product, Vista."

    Well, theres plenty of evidence out there to support the fact that these people are far from being idiots, they just value their sanity & their hard earned cash.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Mike Fluggenock

    "Still, he hasn't done a damn' thing since his sitcom went off the air*, so I suppose he probably could stand to pick up an extra mil or two."

    Guess you haven't seen Bee Movie then!

    You didn't missed much... :-D

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Alert

    Vista: A Classic Lesson

    What happens when Lawyers tell you what the customer wants.

  27. Mountford D

    Vista for the uninformed

    Vista has problems. You know it, I know it and MOST of the readers here know it. But does Joe Public know it? I frequently come across members of the Great Unwashed saying what a fantastic deal "PC RipOffWorld" are offering on such-and-such a laptop/desktop with Vista and they are going to buy/have bought one.

    When I tell them that their shiny new laptop/desktop will work so much better if they "upgraded" it to XP, I am met with looks that resemble Santa's Little Helper (the pet dog in The Simpsons). Why should they take my word for it as opposed to a huge £million+ turnover chain like PC RipOffWorld?

    After all they can always take it back and complain to the 18 year-old kids at the counter and rely on a Sale Of Goods Act repair while seasoned IT pros like me are too busy fixing the repairs done by the kids in between my day job looking after huge £million+ turnover systems with hundreds of users.

    Do not underestimate the power of advertising especially when the cheques have "Microsoft" printed on them.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    90% of computer users

    Don't care what OS is on it!! They use OSX, vista or xp because it was installed on their pc when they bought it. If your first pc had windows on it, you are likely to replace it with a windows pc, unless something caused you problems. (xp was slightly different to this as it was such an improvement in stability over 95/98 that people actually did care.)

    If your first pc was a mac, you are likely to replace it with a mac, again, unless you had serious problems.

    If linux was installed on pc's when people bought them there would be a section of the 'normal' population using linux too.

    The normal population doesn't even distinguish between XP & vista, its just windows, anything more than that and they couldn't care less.

  29. Kobus Botes
    Boffin

    @John Freas

    "...I didn't consider Linux because with two young kids I didn't have time to fiddle with it."

    I always find these sort of comments funny. The latest distro's are way easy to install and use. I personally use Mandriva Spring 2008, but have also played with SUSE and Ubuntu. People also complain about KDE being difficult to use and having too much choice, but if you do not want to change any of the default settings (which are good anyway) you don't need to. And you can always settle for Gnome if you want (although I do not like it one bit).

    Granted - up until 2-3 years ago Linux was more difficult than Windows to use (but mostly because it involved you a bit more), but nowadays it *just works*. For the day-to-day stuff you just install from RPM's and go (in my case, but the other distro's are just as easy to use). And drivers are NOT an issue - all the hardware (apart from a winmodem that I had to install for my father-in-law) just works straight off the bat.

    I have been involved with Windows since WFW (3.11) and also happen to be an MCSE (redundant now, as I did not upgrade), having supported Windows servers and desktops for more than 11 years, so I reckon I can speak with some authority on this issue.

    And to be honest, changing from XP to Vista involves a MUCH steeper learning curve than moving to Linux from XP. I am still trying to get my head around the wife's Vista machine - supporting it is a nightmare and getting it running stable and working with other hardware (OEM notebook) was a battle (and it is still so sloooow).

    So do yourself a favour and pick up a live CD (they are not hard to find and I am sure there are enough people who would be willing to burn you a copy) and play with it. You might just get a pleasant surprise.

    And no - I am not a fanboi, but Microsoft's business practices and predatory behaviour put me off MS products completely, that is why I avoid it as far as I can (apart from the other issues like instability, insecurity, et cetera).

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    Hmmm

    Jerry Seinfeld - ugh. Maybe now I'll find him funny - but I doubt it.

  31. Bill Cumming
    Gates Horns

    Microsoft's Vista was intentional..

    Think about it!

    How many licences of Vista has Microsoft sold to vendors and the public?

    Compare that to how many actually keep Vista on their PC before "Upgrading" to XP or Linux?

    Basically Microsoft is getting people to buy a product they know people will not use!

    Marketing man's wet dream! :D:D

    genius is say.. pure genius :)

  32. double a
    Linux

    @Eric Dennis

    I love my PowerBook G4, but admittedly Leopard is going to be the last release that supports PPC. Hope you got a good deal on yours...

    Ubuntu PPC runs well on it too...

  33. N Silver badge

    Re: Vista for the uninformed

    Agreed, the great unwashed are completely blinkered, possibly because the 15 year old 'x spurt' at PC RipOffWorld realises that Microsoft is good for sales where as common sense may involve awkward questions.

    As for: 'When I tell them that their shiny new laptop/desktop will work so much better if they "upgraded" it to XP...'

    Ive absolutely no idea why a teenage sales person in PC Rip Off World should command such font of all knowledge status after about 20 minutes sales training but they do, because Ive seen it on TV.

    Anyway they all know far more than I ever will, so all I can suggest is to spit in your clients face instead, they will be much more receptive to your mild abuse than to moving away from their sacred Vista, until it all goes wrong.

    Then you will have extreme difficulty hiding that smug grin along with the 'I told you so' following their call to PC Rip off Worlds 're-installation' line.

  34. Gary
    Stop

    Did I hear [read] that right?

    "now idiots world-wide are spreading FUD of their own about MS's first well-written software product, Vista."

    I must not have woken up fully, but it looks like the quote above said that Vista is actually a well-written software product.

    Besides that fact that Vista's default GUI is so overly bloated and useless, it's also much slower than XP. I dual-booted XP and Vista on my new (well, it was new at the time) PC with near-high-end hardware, and XP was at least 20% faster *just sitting still*. Never mind how much slower games were under Vista than XP, and since I built the machine for playing games, that sort of defeats the purpose.

  35. N Silver badge

    Re: John Freas

    "...vista is a steaming pile of dog turd"

    Too right, Id prefer a dog turd to Vista,

    My XPee PC has also run fine for many a year now & when it dies it will be replaced with a Mac.

  36. Mark

    90% of computer users

    ...don't want to change much from what they are currently using. Most people are used to Windows and don't want something different because then they'd have to learn a new system.

    It's easy for techies to switch to Linux or whatever but most non-technical users just want something they know how to use. If you forced them to use a different system they'd learn it, but apart from that apathy is the ruling factor.

    As long as Vista is fairly reliable, which it is so far as I know, they probably won't really care about the bloat and slowness.

  37. Justin
    IT Angle

    Linux is way ahead

    "...I didn't consider Linux because with two young kids I didn't have time to fiddle with it."

    I don't have time to faff around installing Windows. But with the Ubuntu install, I can use a browser (or play Sudoku, or most other stuff) AT THE SAME TIME as installing the OS. How cool is that?

    In five years time we won't be arguing about Vista vs Leopard vs Ubuntu. It'll all be about the browser.

  38. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge
    Unhappy

    why should I run Vista?

    Jerry: "I got nothing"

  39. Danyer
    Heart

    The campaign is this:

    The article says: The campaign will centre on a theme around the slogan of “Windows, not Walls”

    and now, from an insider, the full ad:

    "In a world without walls, who needs gates or windows?"

  40. Jon Double Nice

    Seinfeld Seinfeld Seinfeld

    He still gets about, I saw him doing standup at Ceasars Palace just a few weeks ago.

    Otherwise I think he just spends his time buying Porsches using the $100 million or so he made selling his series on DVD.

  41. Adam Williamson
    Thumb Down

    Seinfeld

    "Still, he hasn't done a damn' thing since his sitcom went off the air*, so I suppose he probably could stand to pick up an extra mil or two."

    Actually he's been doing stand up tours, probably for mind bending amounts of money. Not doing anything on TV is not the same as not doing anything.

  42. Andy Enderby
    Gates Horns

    advice from a comedian on O/S choice ?

    What the hell qualifies a comedian to offer advice on choice of O/S ? What about that nice, calm Mr Ballmer...? Oh wait.....

  43. This post has been deleted by its author

  44. Robert Moore
    Coat

    I can see it now

    Jerry on a stage, with a single spotlight.

    Jerry asks, "Whats the deal with people not switching to Vista?"

    Jerry pauses then continues, "I mean with a name like Vista it has to be good......."

    About this point I change the channel.

  45. James Bassett
    Flame

    Re: Kobus Botes

    Well done on missing the point Kobus. The guy said he had kids. You are a (former) MCSE. In what way do you NOT get the difference between those two things?

    It's incredibly easy to take a PC or Mac and lock them down so that the damn kids don't kill it with the usual "curiosity".

    Yes, if you have a few weeks to search around and play you can probably do something similar with Linux but....

    "What do you mean Linux was too tricky for your children? I'm an MCSE with 20+ years computer experience and I found the switch quite easy" really isn't a point worth making!

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Children use Ubuntu

    My children (5, 7 and 9) use Ubuntu. It means they can browse the Internet without too much danger of catching malware. There are no user interface issues for them at all. And as a dedicated XP user I was surprised at how easy it was to get Ubuntu started on an old Dell laptop with a wireless connection.

    We're going to try a Mac because we need one for website compatibility testing, but whenever I dabble I get frustrated - too unintuitive, or maybe too clever by half (the finder is really really annoying) and they are way overpriced.

  47. ske1fr
    Paris Hilton

    Miss

    As a dad with two kids of my own, I took it that John Freas wanted to be able to spend time with his kids, rather than slaving over a hot Linux stove/system. Really though, Linux is much more rewarding and easy to get into now than it ever was. Just ignore the fundamentalist Gentooists and go for Ubuntu or Mandriva and you'll generally not go far wrong.

    Paris, because I've already likened Vista to her on the FT today...

  48. Rick Stockton
    Jobs Horns

    I can see the new APPLE ads already....

    PC: Hey Mac, I just got a new friend, Jerry Seinfeld. :)

    Mac: That's wonderful, I know some of your old friends got angry about the Vista thing, and they're hanging out with Ubuntu and Fedora and Mandriva and me instead :(

    PC: Yeah, it's great -- he used to be YOUR friend, but I gave him $10 million and now he's MY friend instead.

    - - pregnant pause - -

    PC: Um, Mac?

    Mac: Yes?

    PC: How much do you have to pay people to become friends with you?

  49. Robbie Pence
    IT Angle

    Americans? We're not the only ones...

    What about the Brits upgrading the sub's missile launchers to XP?

    Quite frankly, I'm running Vista on this computer (Ultimate) and it stinks.

    It's fast enough, but Media Center crashes to the point of unusability,

    DRM slows the entire computer to a snail's pace when copying data from a Passport HDD....

    I liked it the first few days, but now I'm switching back to Ubuntu,

    which is EASIER to use than XP if your hardware is supported.

    I understand people who aren't geeks, having trouble switching to Ubuntu...

    but when geeks act like XP is the holy grail, I could vomit.

  50. Kobus Botes
    Happy

    @James Bassett

    James

    My bad (I tend to be verbose when writing). ;-)

    The point(s) I wanted to make were the following:

    1). Linux is *not* that difficult to use or install. I initially struggled way back when precisely *because* I was a Windows techie. It took me a while to discover that the reason for that was because I wanted to make things more complicated than necessary. And frankly, those people who complain that they have to edit various config files in order to just get Linux running must be either using very old distro's, or else Debian or Slackware (I think, but have no experience of these two).

    2). As an (ex) Windows techie I struggled MORE to make the switch to Vista than to Linux. I can see no reason whatsoever why a non-techie should struggle with using Linux (apart from wanting to install arcane software or running into tarballs, but they would have the same problem with installing similar software or hardware on Windows.

    If I may add something here: when I recently upgraded my father-in-law to Mandriva from Windows 98 he took to it like a duck to water. The only trouble he had was with typing letters like ë, ö, ê, et cetera, and that was because I neglected to show him how to do it. (pressing ´-e is a lot easier than trying to remember arcane commands like Alt-139 (or whatever) to get an é, for instance). Granted, native English speakers are not exposed to this problem, but I could give any number of other examples as well, but let's rather stop here, else it will become too long again!).

    You lost me with your comment regarding the ease with which to lock down a PC or Mac - there is no need for such measures with Linux in any case, since you have to be root to cause damage.

    The only advantage that Windows have over Linux (as far as I am concerned) is with games - if you want to play the latest and greatest you are forced to use Windows, unfortunately.

    Cheers

  51. Doug
    Alert

    who is really the target for the ad?

    Microsoft has the OEM channels locked up and all of them are pre-loading Vista for consumers so consumers can only be the target if they need reassuring that the problems they are having are ok. Business users are the ones who know more about what and OS is and isn't and they are the ones not taking Vista and their licenses allow them to use XP without extra cost. So businesses seem to be the likely target. Now, is Jerry Seinfeld really going to help business users feel better about using Vista?

    We shall see if the ads are anything but comical. As I see it, if it is just a feel good kind of ad, it's just another waste of Microsoft's Windows profits.

  52. Ulf Henninger

    @James Basset

    >It's incredibly easy to take a PC or Mac and lock them down so that the damn kids don't kill it with the usual "curiosity".

    >Yes, if you have a few weeks to search around and play you can probably do something similar with Linux but....

    Ahm... apt-get install kiosktool

    Sorry, I _did_ install quite a few public machines for kids (whether they were 13 or 35....) using Windows as well as Linux. The locking-down part is far easier with Linux. The actual problem is games, especially (but not only) with kids...

  53. Lager And Crisps
    Gates Horns

    ...pass me the superglue and a toilet roll!

    $10,000,000 to fix Vista'a problems without actually fixing them. Genius...if it can work.

    But I think this sum of money is balderdash and piffle compared to the amounts they are spending behind the scenes. The big picture is that they buy entire sovereign nations and bribe supposed independent standards bodies to comply with their demands (OOXML). As long as they bribe the right people, you can guarantee this will continue.

    Seinfeld, why not pick a comedian to plug a joke product. Is that a rhetorical question?

    And the title of this post? That famous childrens TV classic accomplished miracles with everyday items that Microsoft can only dream about. I now find myself believing Vista was constructed on Blue Peter in the mid-seventies with help from Shep the dog and that obligatory toilet roll. Was it superglue or double-sided sticky tape?

  54. tom

    They're paying HOW MUCH?

    One word: desperate.

  55. Pierre Silver badge
    Happy

    I'm happy

    <- and I can prove it

    For I just got my dirty hands on a perfectly good Dell Precision 420 workstation that some cluless bastard discarded. Complete with its two 1GHz PIIIs, 1 gig of kick-ass RAM, its 160-stuff SCSI HD, its "I was state-of the art 5 years ago" graphic card, its "I could power up a small african country" power supply, in a word, ALL. For a grand cost of exactly nil. The relevancy -who needs that anyway- being that I strongly believe it could run Vista seemlessly. Except that it won't. KDE it the furthest I'll go (went) towards bloatware (complete Debian install under 30 min. Take that, Vista!). And it flies, too. You wouldn't believe the FPS I now have unless you're an AlienWare customer. Did I say that I got it for free in a dumpster-like area? I could even find Jerry Whateverfield funny right now.

    You didn't want to know that of course, but I needed to say it and the handbrake seems to be quite immune to this kind of coolness. Strangely.

  56. Henry Wertz Gold badge

    So....

    So how this will play out for me:

    1)

    Seinfeld: Vista's great!

    Me: Hahahahahaha! (I assume he must be cracking an ironic joke when he says this!)

    or

    2)

    Seinfeld: (Talks about Vista)

    Me: .......That's a shame.

  57. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    I love Vista

    Yep, I'm the one who does.

    I own macs, I work with linux and yet I prefer to use Vista. Stinks doesnt it?

  58. Jonti
    Happy

    It's started

    This is great news! It's likely to turn out to be one of the greatest own goals in advertising history. The Mac fan-bois are sure to be stung by Seinfeld's "defection" and break out their video compositors. Even before the first ads have aired the first 'concepts' for satirical spoofs are appearing on the 'net. From above ...

    "In a world without walls, who needs gates or windows?" (from Danyer)

    "How much do you have to pay people to become friends with you?" (from Rick Stockton)

    "Why not pick a comedian to plug a joke product?" (from Lager And Crisps)

    This will spawn a whole new genre for the YouTube satirists! WhooHoo!!

  59. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Halo

    Vista then 7

    Gotta have Vista to upgrade to 7. 7 will be much better than 95 but not quite as good as ME. Vista is really great but 7 will be much more better. Much more better. And much more gooder.

    Of course they would give the "spot" top a landesman. Jobs kept his ads in the family, so will Ballmer.

    The schmucks still rave about the highpriced kittycat that comes with a super fast 800mhz buss and $400/stick of 20-dollar RAM. "It's shiny, it's shiny". "Me want, me want".

    Sheez, and they complain about Vista.

    Schucked schmucks!

    Red Flag Linux rocks! Free and Open from the PRC.

  60. N Silver badge

    OK Microbollox

    for 5 million dollars Ill say that a steaming pile of dogs turds is great!

    oops, did I get something wrong there? Take 2...

  61. Goat Jam
    Linux

    90% of computer users

    90% of computer users are not even aware that computers have an OS. Ask most of them what OS they use and they will answer "Microsoft Word"

    So, when you say they don't care what OS they use what you are relly saying is that they don't know what they are using.

    I had a woman (a cleaning lady) come up to me last week. She figured that "you know about computers and stuff" so she asked me if I knew where she could buy a new hard drive. I asked her why she thought she needed a new hard drive. The predictable conversation occurred

    "Computer keeps crashing"

    "why do you think it is the hard drive?"

    "because the helpdesk guy I rang told me"

    "what helpdesk guy?"

    "the one at bigpond" (her ISP)

    "uhuh. More likely you have an infestation of malware and general cruftiness. First thing to try is an OS re-install"

    "My friend did that for me a while ago."

    "Did he bring his own XP cd?"

    "yeah, I didn't have one"

    "He probably used an illegal copy of XP"

    "I was thinking of just buying a new computer. What do you think?"

    "You probably wouldn't want to do what I think"

    "why?"

    "because it would involve using something other than Windows" <shows her ubuntu>

    "???"

    "Yes, it is a free operating system that doesn't have all the problems usually associated with Windows"

    "wow, why doesn't everyone use it?"

    "Because people are all used to Windows, get it "for free" with a computer, don't like change and Microsoft puts a lot of effort into ensuring that this status quo remains by bribing computer companies to not offer linux on their systems"

    "oh"

    "It also doesn't run a lot of software designed for windows. What do you use your PC for?"

    "I do my invoices in excel, email, the internet, type some letters, that's about it"

    "If your kids play games then they probably wont work"

    "I don't let them play games on it"

    "Great. I tell you what, I probably have a spare old hard drive here. Bring in your PC, I'll stick it in, put Ubuntu on it and your old Windows drive will be untouched. "

    "OK, sounds great. Thanks!"

    I believe that this woman belonged to the 90% group before. Time will tell how she goes with ubuntu (If she takes me up on my offer)

  62. Mad Hacker

    Re: Children use Ubuntu

    <Q> My children (5, 7 and 9) use Ubuntu,/Q>

    When I checked out Ubuntu it didn't have parental controls to deny access to certain websites I wouldn't want my 6 year old to go to. Has that changed?

    Mac OS X takes what, about 30~45 minutes to install (without user interaction) and another 5 minutes to setup which apps and which websites my 5 year old has access to via the integrated Parental Controls. If it's really that easy to setup Ubuntu for kids, I'll gladly give it another try. If it isn't then you wasted your time.

  63. phat shantz
    Paris Hilton

    For whom the ad runs

    Thirty years ago it was common knowledge that automobile advertisers directed their campaigns at Recent Purchasers of their brands.

    These recent buyers, after an agonizing decision-process and the outlay of significant sums of money, needed reassurance. The automobile manufacturers understood that recent purchasers would be doubting the correctness of their choices. In order to dispel the doubt and prohibit regret, they launched massive campaigns designed to assure the recent purchasers that they made good choices. (These campaigns had the added utility of making their automobiles appealing to prospects, so they got good billing on both sides.)

    Looking at the ads Microsoft is creating and running, the comparisons are obvious. These ads are purely reassurance.

    These are not the first such ads. As reported in ElReg, MS must blame the message -- not the product.

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/07/25/microsoft_ozzie_mundie/

    I dubbed the first roll-out the "when you have an ugly child, don't take photos" campaign. In other words, since everyone knows how bad Vista is, just don't talk about the bad parts.

    If it is true that a second campaign strategy will feature a comedian who had a long-running TV show about nothing, then it is a match made in heaven. Vista is an operating system about nothing (that you can talk about in polite company). The tag-line for the second campaign then, is, "When you don't have anything to say, talk more."

    I am eager to see Microsoft Advertising Wonks roll out the campaign that will actually admit how terrible Vista is but convince the American public that it is precisely because it is terrible that everyone should want it.

    "It's so baaaad, it's gotta be goooooood."

    (I'm afraid the colonists are the most gullible -- all others have cried, 'The overly-bloated resource hog has no kernel!' I'm afraid they don't have very good memories, either.)

    And quietly, behind the scenes, the enterprises and developers condemned to this MS madness are all using XP and Server 2003 and Office 2003 and SQL Server 2005 and VS 2005 because we cannot use Vista (it breaks everything) and because we do not trust anything from MS any more -- at least not as the eager lab rats we once were. There is nothing that Redmond can do, short of delivering a good O/S and good products that run on it, to win back the confidence of the professional. The best they can do, then, is to trap the repeatedly-ignorant.

    P.T. Barnum was wrong. He said, "There's a sucker born every minute." Microsoft needs more suckers than that. They rely on the fact that the same ones keep coming back again and again.

    And even if Vista were pure gold and we Cretans just can't see it, I'm still the buyer and they're still the vendor. They work for me. (...said the puny ant as the giant boot came down from heaven...)

    I'm starting to look at that Linux stack of disks I have over there on the table....

    Where's the Paris O/S? It mounts on anything, runs hot, IS a firewall, won't stop, and has no problems with limited memory.

  64. John O'Hare
    Flame

    @I love Vista

    "Yep, I'm the one who does. I own macs, I work with linux and yet I prefer to use Vista. Stinks doesnt it?"

    Please don't forget the word 'only' in that first sentence next time. And it doesn't stink, since you seem enough worried about it to post as Anonymous Coward.

  65. Anonymous Coward
    Linux

    Parental controls

    > When I checked out Ubuntu it didn't have parental controls to deny access to certain

    > websites I wouldn't want my 6 year old to go to. Has that changed?

    Just put those bad sites in the host file and point them to 127.0.0.1 . Or do the reverse. Get a list of IP addresses of sites that you approve and put them into your hosts, then set your machine to NOT use an external nameserver.

    However, I feel that the best thing is that you sit with your kid when going online. After all, parental controls can be worked around. Plus, using parental controls is a lazy thing to do, and sitting with your kid will more than often forge and strengthen the bond of trust between the kid and you. If you're the type that leave your kid alone to the TV unsupervised on the assumption that the educational DVD or channel you put on is known to be kid-friendly, I suggest you reconsider. I've known of a certain kids TV show which I will not name that told kids to befriend total strangers, among many other things. Think about it.

  66. Lars
    Happy

    I love Vista too.. well not excatly love but its ok

    ""Yep, I'm the one who does. I own macs, I work with linux and yet I prefer to use Vista. Stinks doesnt it?"

    Please don't forget the word 'only' in that first sentence next time. And it doesn't stink, since you seem enough worried about it to post as Anonymous Coward."

    He couldent put in "only" cause im the other guy that likes Vista. Got two comps one runs XP and the other VIsta. Both do there job. Neither is more unstable than the other. Vista is just fine.

    I´m not sure why everyone hates it so much. I surdenly don´t reconise it to be HIGHLY UNSTABLE or RUIN MY COMPUTER.. nor has it slowed down my computer any.

  67. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    @Ian Morrison

    "Those who haven't either don't plan on it - they don't want to spend the money on an OS that doesn't do anything XP can't do already" amen brother, amen. but I think you meant to say "already, and better!"

    as for poor jerry - he is not, never was, and never will be funny. at all. in fact, every time i see that smug mug i want to poke it...i don't know why, but it seems to need it.

    i only know one person running vista 64 on a top-end home-built box and he says it's just fine. Please someone, make all your frikkin games work on linus or mac so my kids don't need windoze at all and i can die in peace.

    I keep wishing they would do that mac vs. pc commercial and call vista "windows me2".

    Every time i have had occasion to use a mac (9 or x) it just worked....hmmm

    Paris, cuz one day she'll be just like vista; bloated and won't work on my machine

  68. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    re: Children and ubuntu

    "When I checked out Ubuntu it didn't have parental controls to deny access to certain websites I wouldn't want my 6 year old to go to."

    Fascist.

  69. Ascylto

    Hand biter ...

    Jerry Seinfeld was born in 1954. He'll probably die, at least for TV purposes, in the next 10 years.

    Microsoft will pay him ten million dollars for saying Windows Vista is great?

    Jerry Seinfeld could be indicted for cannibalism (or at least defend Sharia Law).

  70. Yfrwlf
    Thumb Up

    Jerry Loves His Paycheck - Anti-Jerry-Vista Ad Ideas Loom

    About the parental control thing:

    https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/search?q=parental+control&cat=all

    Ultimately there's no software for automatic parenting though. Open communication is one of the better starting points.

    Or you can do what was suggested with the host file site blocking thing. To do that via the GUI, all you have to do is click on the network manager and go to the hosts tab. After entering the administrator password, you can add those hosts you want to block or whatnot to that list, and as suggested, could point them to 127.0.0.1 or I think any IP really, could even redirect them to www.google.com or something I'd imagine.

    About the kids using Ubuntu thing: I think it's easier for them to use the non-Windows-like GUIs than adults who are accustomed to Windows. However, KDE is Windows-like, if you want/need that, but Gnome is so much easier than KDE or Windows IMO that it doesn't take half a brain for anyone to figure it out.

    Hmm how do I run a program? Well, it says "Applications, Places, and System", gee I wonder, maybe under Applications? Oh, it's laid out by type, like Internet, Games, Office, etc, oh look there's also a little Firefox icon I can click on. No more rummaging through Start > Programs > Company Name > Stupid Subfolder > Program. It's just click...move..move..click. I honestly think it's one of the easiest systems to learn for anyone and everyone and studies have shown it to be quite simple for kids to pick up and use. Now if you want an even "easier" system, there are plenty of huge GUIs that you can use with massive icons that you click on. You can even install XBMC or MythTV (though XBMC is much much simpler to install) if you want a simple interface for accessing your media.

    Linux is just so plug and play now it's funny, we use it for everything here, as a RAID file server, for a HDTV PC for watching media and desktop use, and for our desktops, and since lots of hardware works out of the box with it, after you make sure you get past that you're set, it really just needs more games (though many Windows games can be run through Wine, but it lacks support for most of the newest ones) and needs cross-distro packaging support so that installing software from any website is point and click like it should be.

    I like it that Apple exists and helps compete with Microsoft and all, the more the merrier, but honestly they can take their overpriced hardware and shove it. Some if it's good, but most is overpriced, and who wants to be locked into one small platform that you can't easily upgrade?

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