Browsers Web Culture Windows

Microsoft, You’re Embarrassing Yourself. Please Stop. [Opinion]

Justin Pot 03-12-2013

Microsoft, welcome! It’s been too long, how are you? How’s Windows 8.1 doing 7 Windows 8.1 Upgrade Issues & How To Fix Them Windows 8.1 is more than a Service Pack. The significant Windows 8.1 upgrade has been reported to cause several issues during and after the update. We show you how to fix the most common ones. Read More ? That’s great to hear. I made coffee, please come in. Feel free to pull up a chair, I’ll be just a minute. I’ve got cookies.


Microsoft: we need to talk. Yes, it’s about those Scroogle ads. No, I don’t think they’re funny, and no: I don’t think Google is worried about them.

The Pawn Stars Problem

Yeah, I saw the ad with the Pawn Stars guy. Here’s your coffee, let’s watch it together quickly.

It’s okay so far as corporate propaganda goes, but here’s the thing: Chromebooks make up a tiny percentage of the already-shrinking laptop market. By making an ad attacking Google for Chromebooks, you’re kind of admitting you see them as a threat.

Don’t laugh, Microsoft. I know making ads with personalities from inappropriately named cable stations isn’t free. You wouldn’t spend the money on some niche product with no chance of success: you’re trying to stomp the Chromebook out because you think it could be huge. Otherwise, why bother?

I understand that not everyone can be online all the time – I really do. Chromebooks aren’t for everyone, which is why one of the journalists you quote on your website uses a Mac.



Seems like you’ve got no problem with Macs, and why would you: it’s capable of running Office. But here’s the thing: so is a Chromebook. You offer an online version of your software, and the only reason it doesn’t work offline is because you haven’t built that function yet.

Now I understand why you don’t do that – why help Google’s platform? But it’s confusing: one minute you’re putting out ads about how great your cloud is, the next you pretend it doesn’t exist.

Don’t leave, Microsoft. I’m only saying this because I’m concerned.


What If Google Did The Same Thing?

Imagine if Google put out an ad, tomorrow, with the same format. An attractive woman is trying to figure out the value of their Windows phone on, say, Antiques Roadshow. The expert examines the phone for far too long with an eyepiece, then laughs off camera.

“This is one of those Nokia Luminas,” he says, derisively. “It’s a relatively new form of phone that’s called Windows, but can’t run traditional Windows software. Which would be fine, but the app store it does offer has a pitiful selection! And the email client…”

The banter continues, then Google throws in some stupid catch-phrase that doesn’t quite work. Like “Don’t get Microbricked!” Or “more like Microhard! You get the idea: something stupid, like your thing.

Google could shoot that ad tomorrow, but they don’t. Because Windows Phone isn’t anything close to a threat to Android right now, and they know such an ad would hurt Google more than Microsoft.


Google’s entry in the laptop market may compete with PCs. I’m not sure it’s trying to, but let’s pretend it is. And I know you’re trying to compete with Android. But when it comes to phones, you’re Apple circa the early 90s: plenty of flash but really far behind on the developers front.

No, don’t leave. I know it hurts but you need to hear this.

About Those Mugs…

So not only do you run an entire web site devoted to mocking Google: you also sell merchandise.



I’ll admit it: I hate what the Internet did to “Keep Calm” Keep Calm: This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things, Internet. Read More , so I’m not thrilled about these mugs on that level. But I’m also confused: who is going to buy these things? Who feels so passionately about their dislike for Google, yet is fine with a company that for a decade exploited its monopoly status to kill competing companies? Whose conspiracy to destroy open source is well documented? Who is one of the top investors in Facebook?

Maybe people are dumb. Maybe people have no memory. It certainly seems like you think so.

Why Google?

Look, I get it: you’re a business. You need to make money. People are buying fewer PCs in favor of tablets – and not, for the most part, the tablets you make. You thought about attacking Apple, but people love Apple way too much – and the company has billions sitting around, ready for counter-ads. Best not mess with them.

So you go after Google, a company that’s only your direct competitor in fields you’re doing pitifully in. It makes sense. But pretending like you’re some objective party, pointing out truths people don’t see? And that you, a major investor in Facebook, don’t know a thing or two about mining personal data?

It’s just stupid, Microsoft. And everyone knows it.

You’re Better Than This

You’re right, maybe you should go. But let me say one more thing.

I guess what I like about tech is that, ultimately, it’s all about what works. People love using their PCs to access Google services, so what’s the problem? It’s not as though your free search and email services are somehow magically programmed to be profitable without advertising.

And if you’re such hardcore privacy advocates, why is there no similar campaign about the other privacy-redefining behemoth in the room: Facebook? Could it be your 1.6 per cent ownership of that company ($1.36 billion)?

You think that was out of line? Why? How is anything you or Facebook do any more noble than Google? Want to prove some kind of point? Remove all ads from Bing and, and make them subscription services. If people don’t want ads, they’ll switch.

That’s insane, of course: people love free things. That’s why you’re doing this in the first place: you’ve seen the future, and you don’t like it. Here’s the thing: I don’t like it either. I hate ads, and want someone to think of something better. You might be able to do that, but you’re distracted.

Want to beat Google? Build Something Better


Want to beat Google? Do what they did. Google made a search product so much better than anything that existed before it that the entire world switched over in a couple of years. There was no advertising in the early days, just word of mouth. If you really want to bury Google, use the money you’re putting into these dumb ads into a product that’s better than theirs. Make something magnificent, something that puts Google to shame, and people will flock to it. It worked for Apple with the iPhone, and it will work for you.

Fix the things missing from Windows Phone, and stop with the Scroggled thing. It makes us see you as a sleazy politician, and that’s the last thing you want to be perceived as right now.

Just stop.

Image credit: Chromebook Photo by Carol Rucker

Related topics: Google, Microsoft.

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  1. Matthew H
    February 17, 2014 at 1:16 pm

    "The banter continues, then Google throws in some stupid catch-phrase that doesn’t quite work. Like “Don’t get Microbricked!” Or “more like Microhard! You get the idea: something stupid, like your thing."

    Or MicroShafted?

    Actually, that's quite clever.

  2. someone
    January 2, 2014 at 10:46 pm

    chrome book sucks because u cant download stuff or play unity, shock wave play games on chrome book but on windows 7 or any Microsoft pc or laptop you can. take that stupid chrome book.


  3. joe
    January 2, 2014 at 1:41 am

    If Microsoft didn't neglect Internet Explorer for nearly twenty years opening up the market for Chrome development they wouldn't have needed this campaign.

  4. Jonathan
    December 30, 2013 at 3:38 am

    I have both a Chromebook and a Windows 8.1 PC. I use the Chromebook for Youtube and stuff i would use a tablet for- general web surfing. My Windows laptop I use for Word and Games. I was kinda confused when Microsoft said, "Don't get Scroogled". Anyway, I have Google backgrounds circling through my background slideshow, along with Windows ones. Don't know why Microsoft has to act like a little child.

  5. FiOS-Dave
    December 29, 2013 at 10:29 pm

    The Nokia Lumia 1020 is, by far, the best Smartphone/camera I have owned.
    I have three Nikons and six lenses sitting in my closet. I used to get red welts around my neck from carrying them all day long, when on vacation! Now going on three years using the Microsoft OS on my phones and it is the most intuitive OS I've ever used. As for my desktop and laptop, Win 8.1 is a real winner. Touch one key, then type whatever you are looking for and it will find it in a flash! The other OS's may have more apps, but the apps for Windows are just as good, or better! As it picks up more traction (which it IS doing) you will start to see apps on Windows first. The fact that I have three or four sources for apps is comforting. The ability to store my files on 25GB worth of SkyDrive is amazing! (I was an original adapter, so they gave me the extra space for free!) You can keep Apple's "Walled Garden" (more like a prison) and so many versions of Android that causes developers to scream.
    Microsoft has the right idea in having a unified structure for all devices.
    It makes things transparent for users and a joy for developers.

  6. LeTigre
    December 28, 2013 at 9:44 am

    Dear young lady from given app,

    as a general rule of thump:
    never ask a / your grandpa about devices, he prbl. does not understand. There are very tech-savy older guys out there - I grant you that. But there are few, and so chances are, you'll just have bad luck.

    Like with that pawn from the shop.

  7. Boighty
    December 27, 2013 at 9:57 am

    A very poignant and interesting article, all the more enjoyed by reading it from my Chromebook that I got for Christmas and I'm loving it more so than any other Windows device I've ever owned. Go home drunk, you're Microsoft.

  8. **EJ**
    December 26, 2013 at 6:21 pm

    "inappropriately named cable stations" - The History Channel is inappropriately named? Who knew?

  9. David
    December 21, 2013 at 11:19 am

    You writing an article about this makes it seem like MS matters in terms of progressing anything toward usability. And me writing a comment about your piece makes it way more significant that it is. Though nice entertainment :)

    The best thing MS ever did still is XP sp2, all the other OSes and SPs just fixed issues MS introduced, and solved problems MS in cahoots with hardware manufacturers (drivers, software too) introduced themselves. So yeah, don't make yourself look naive, expecting somehow magically progress from MICROSOFT. Your readers know better than that, and so do you!

  10. kthxbai
    December 19, 2013 at 8:30 pm

    Great article, Justin. Agree wholeheartedly that M$ has pretty much excavated its own grave all the way to China on this one. They really have a bad habit of just copying Apple and making their own version 100x worse. Windows 8 tile screen is basically something Apple did way back in 1991. Anyone remember At Ease? M$ really must think they're pretty cool and hip copying 20-year-old software from the Sears home consumer market. They probably weren't even thinking of that but were instead trying to copy the iPhone. Well, on both accounts we can score Jobs a posthumous victory. Geez, the guy still has a better track record than Ballmer and he's been DEAD for two years.

    Windows 8 is even worse of an epic fail than Vista. Did they learn nothing from "Bob"? In their infinite quest to cut corners and save money they attempted to slap the same OS on mobile devices and tablets as is on "normal" computers like desktops and laptops. The fact that people need to install third party programs just to make the OS run "normally" should be a hint right there. Not everyone needs, wants or uses a tablet or smartphone. I happen to know even business people who think iPhones are for children and are basically Nintendo Game Boys with call and text capabilities. They use real phones for calling their clients, not stupid mobile OSes that look like a 3D game of Tetris. Microsoft alienated a huge core of their user base, businesses and everyday users who can't be bothered with apps and the banality that is social media. Even if they do use Fartbook, they don't see the point of tapping the letter "F" (what is this, Sesame Street? Microsoft is brought to you by the letters "F" "U"?) when they can just type the URL in their browser address bar or double click a shortcut.

    The old catch phrase "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" applies here. Microsoft has had the same (Apple-copied) desktop environment since, what, 1986? They should have known better than to mess with a good thing. If they *really* thought tablet/mobile was the future, then why not just quit making desktop OSes after (cough) "System 7," and release more service packs, with a "lifetime support cycle" until desktops and laptops do finally go the way of the UNIVAC. If they wanted to release 8 it should have been only for tablets and mobile. Call it something else, like "Windows M" or something like that. Plus, forcing consumers to buy this crap OS with every new desktop and laptop they buy (that isn't a Mac or a GoogleBook) is atrocious, when as stated above this system is clearly not for "normal" PCs. Apple doesn't put iOS on MacBooks, why didn't M$ copy *that* selling point? Now I wonder if anyone thinks the Windows "iPhone" will be just as (ahem) successful as the "iZune."

  11. Paul M Edwards
    December 19, 2013 at 6:36 pm

    Why would a Chromebook be a brick in a Starbucks?! Every Starbucks I've ever been in has free WiFi.

  12. Blagoja M
    December 17, 2013 at 9:52 pm

    They want money... and power...

  13. Paul
    December 17, 2013 at 7:05 am

    Look all this is how simple it gets, we all have an individual mind, we all have a specific religion, we all have a specific race..... hence forth there can never be just one OS. We need alternatives! Grow up, Apple, Microsoft, Google, Android, Linux gives us all freedom of choice..... again its that simple to understand. Perhaps you people just want something to talk about? He'll I don't know?

  14. Brandon Bertelsen
    December 11, 2013 at 5:27 am

    Just like to say that all of the chromebooks can have Ubuntu installed on a chroot and function marvellously, for 8 hours at a time, without even so much as a thought toward connecting to the Internet with as many linux apps stacked on it as I need. ( so let's see:

    - Under $300
    - 6-8 hours of battery life while disconnected from the Internet
    - Ability to function as typical Linux laptop

    I understand why MS is scared.

  15. Tom S
    December 9, 2013 at 5:22 am

    I'm disappointing at Microsoft for doing such a thing, just makes me feel ashamed for them.

  16. bob bryk
    December 9, 2013 at 2:37 am

    this has me really thinking, but I have the pixel, its a FUTURE DEVICE, dont buy unless you want something slightlly bettar than jean luke picard

    • Justin P
      December 9, 2013 at 4:00 pm

      What happens if you ask it for tea, earl grey, hot?

  17. PlDwg
    December 8, 2013 at 11:23 pm

    1rst. - Any and all Computer Systems (desktops, laptops, Pads, Phones, etc.) work well offline as well as online.
    2nd. Any and all ComputerSystems have the (so called )"Spying Technology" built into them.
    Everyone has their issues about all of them, especially the Security and Virus issues.
    My issue is this -
    Microsoft forcxes you to pay for every UpGrade it does ; example - can not run programs from the XP version on Windows 7, or a Windows 98' version on a Vista version. Always have to buy new programs or Upgrades - costing more than the Windows System (as if that wasn't expensive enough by itself).
    I am so sick of the constant changes and insecure issues with Microsoft. There is no reason that MS can't create ONE platform that accepts and works with ALL pre existing platforms. Work harder on eliminating the Virus and Security issues. Doesn't matter what OS is upgraded if the virys and security issues aren't fixed first.
    I have chosen to move over to Apple because of the issues that have been notted above.
    No viruses, no insecurities, no often occurring "Crashes" or shutdowns, no more Program Errors popping up. I actually enjoy getting more work done, rather than wasting time having to deal with the various issues involved with MS Windows System.
    Oh yeah, I have an Apple program from 2001 (not sold anymore or upgraded), that still works on their OS10 system today (even after all the Sytsem Upgrades).
    I can say that MS Sytem Computers aren't as Expensive as Apples, yet the constant MS Upgrades are more expensive than the investments of Apple.
    Why doesn't anyone ever discuss these real issues instead? Instead of complaining about the sales tactics, or the quality of access. By the way, MS's new Upgrade to IE - sucks worse than before - get more POP-Up Web Page Errors than ever before. Ther are way better Web Browsers out there than IE, some are more secure as well.

  18. cory p
    December 7, 2013 at 5:20 am

    Microsoft is not threatened by anyone. They have more market share in technology than any other company in the world. Not to mention they still have 90% of the computer market as well. They own so much software and have so many partnerships in the world that without Microsoft the market would literally crash. No is a threat to them.

    I also love how people continue to state that Microsoft have come out with anything new or original. Seriously? Have you seen the Surface have you heard of windows 8, have you seen/ held/ used a windows phone? Have you heard of SharePoint, windows azure, visual studio, SkyDrive, XBOX ONE, Skype? Anyone who says they are crap is clearly a fan boy that is just here to complain. Hate to burst fan boy bubbles but Microsoft is here to stay...

    • Zlate J
      December 7, 2013 at 7:24 pm

      Skype is bought, visual studio is old as sh*t, SkyDrive - late to the game, Azure - you're right, Windows 8 and 8.1 - unstable sooooo much, Surface - glorified laptop, Windows Phone - terrible app selection, XBOX One - far worse than PlayStation 4...

    • David
      December 21, 2013 at 11:26 am

      LOL look whos talking about fanbois :D Thanks for making my day!

  19. John
    December 6, 2013 at 6:51 pm

    Many iPads never leave the house - not much use without WiFi. A Chromebook without WiFi is gloriously blissful for writing with no distractions. Many "desktop replacement" laptops are so massive they never leave the house. Anyone with work to do just needs an integrated system, be it Apple, MS or Google Android so that stuff just syncs across the platform. There is no need for MS to "have a go" at anyone. It should keep the faith with its billion users by fixing back compatibility on Windows 8 so it can still emulate XP and Win 7.
    I can't speak for others, but Windows, Linux and Macbook PCs and full laptops are for work, study and business. I find any device with a touchscreen and no keyboard useless for work.

  20. Barton O
    December 5, 2013 at 6:37 pm

    Last time I heard, this was something called "competition" that we have in (mostly) free-market economies, and it spurs innovation and increases value to the consumer. Don't like Microsoft's marketing? Okay. Don't buy their products. But the smarmy tone of your opinion piece is awfully confusing. Are you actually trying to be constructive and help Microsoft? Or are you defending a company that you favor? Or are you attacking Microsoft because they're the goliath and it's the cool thing to do? But wait, you were critical of Microsoft's products and said that they weren't as mature as those of their competitors... so doesn't that make *them* the underdog?

  21. Grant R
    December 5, 2013 at 3:24 pm

    From a marketing standpoint, I can understand your point about attacking someone or something you shouldn't view as a threat; it looks bad. But this campaign is not about Chromebook, it's about Google - don't confuse the two. I would have said that no one can argue that Google is NOT a threat to Microsoft, and hasn't been for years, and yet you do. This is not the 90's. Google is not new. Google competes on several business fronts and in several industries, and in some cases, are winning quite soundly.

    To simplify, Google is a data/information company. It's what they do. They collect it, organize it, distribute it, and sell it. Microsoft, as a company, has had different focuses. And it has been proven time and time over that Google's information store is vast, invasive, and used for profit. Hopefully I don't need to quote articles and sources to you on their terms of service, their email scanning, and their sales of website and user data. You are, after all, a writer for a tech blog.

    No one is saying that Microsoft is an angel, and Google is the devil. Not even Microsoft. But they make a valid point, and I didn't ever come away thinking of MS as a 'sleazy politician'. If anything, I found the marketing in line with their recent run of humorous campaigns including Internet Explorer, where they make fun of their very own product.

    • Justin P
      December 5, 2013 at 3:29 pm

      There are some great points here. I'll admit that on some level I'm simply hostile to marketing in general, and in particular marketing that targets a competitor as being bad instead of promoting one's own products as being good. I feel, as I said in the article, that if a product is good people will find it, and that Microsoft would be better served by making things everyone loves.

    • Grant R
      December 5, 2013 at 4:03 pm

      Well said.

  22. Nikola
    December 5, 2013 at 8:31 am

    Yawn. This is so unimportant it's amazing I even read through a third of it and am now writing a comment.

    • Justin P
      December 5, 2013 at 5:57 pm

      What's important?

  23. Ali S
    December 5, 2013 at 5:45 am

    What is chromebook? as the title statement says "For the best of Google ", it is basically, all google products merged together and they made it an OS, people come on, you can do all that stuff already on the web use any smartphone or tablet. What was a dying need to make a separate google only OS for that. Just a wrapper, to compete with the hardware market, nothing new and you can also see by features that nothing new.. If you compare that with Ipad, or windows surface, or windows OS, or MAC OS, they are 10000 times better and more advanced, rich and superb. I guess this is a stunt by Google to come to hardware market, which I do not think any sensible person is going to adapt knowing that fact that they can do the same stuff on web too.

    • David
      December 21, 2013 at 11:31 am

      It's a great piece of hardware, with shit OS/software, just like Sony did/does back in the day. So just slap some sense (Linux) onto it and you got yourself cheapest hardware with all the apps you like sans AAA games. But this was about work getting done anyway :)

    • gp
      January 3, 2014 at 5:55 pm

      I believe the "need" Google is trying to fill is a hardware product that doesn't require an OS in the traditional sense. Almost instant-on, super fast, etc. Even the most Linux installs are either bloated by comparison, or cannot accomplish the tasks of ChromeOS. Sure, you can customize a Linux install a googol-to-the-tenth power (no pun intended) number of ways, but it is much more difficult than purchasing a light weight laptop pre-configured, that costs a fraction of the traditional tool. There where multiple ways to attempt to accomplish this task. Motorola tried it, with marginal success, in the Atrix (with the docking station), Asus tried it with the transformer, there are many examples. Google's is not revolutionary, but it may be the product that finally works. (Look at your newer laptops, see if they have an instant-on state like Expressgate/Splashtop. It's not much different of an idea.)

  24. Kamran Ahmed A
    December 5, 2013 at 5:04 am

    Everything was perfect except for the fact that its "Lumia" not "Lumina". :)

  25. Cam
    December 5, 2013 at 4:17 am

    Wow, this is absolutely awful. I can see how Google and the the Chromebook could come under fire, but by Microsoft?! Really? They've done barely anything of interest since Windows 7 came out and yet they slag Google like this? Shameful.

  26. enriquein
    December 5, 2013 at 2:51 am

    100% Spot on.

  27. DanInYYC
    December 5, 2013 at 12:49 am

    Did anyone else notice that the example they use on how 'useless' the Chromebook is offline is that it has no rich local apps like... Skype? How useful is Skype, exactly, offline?

    • Tinkicker
      December 5, 2013 at 3:39 am

      That's called obfuscation...complain about something to the point that you don't realize the idiocy of the idea. People are complaining so much about chromebook's offline uselessness, but the huge majority of people using a device the size of a chromebook are using it to go online!

    • David
      December 21, 2013 at 11:33 am

      Haha you are right, though in my head "Skype" was just filtered because it's a MS product and doesnt count in debate they start IMO :)

  28. Gee Deezy
    December 4, 2013 at 10:14 pm

    Really? I thought that ad was clever, funny, and quite valid. I don't know that the Chromebook is Microsoft's greatest threat, but certainly Google is stealing a lot of thunder.

  29. Colin
    December 4, 2013 at 9:55 pm

    Well, to be fair, Google embedding a browser on a Chromebook, gee, where did I hear a company doing THAT before and getting, very deserved I may add, backlash. That's where Microsoft should have put the energy perhaps in slagging Google, or say something also quite true such as Microsoft at least created a new looking OS different from others while Android is still, as it always has been, and will be because Google isn't that creative, just a poorman's Apple iOS.

  30. Scott M
    December 4, 2013 at 8:46 pm

    See, this is Microsoft saying, "Hey, remember that time Apple called us nerds in commercials for years even though we had way more market share? We should do that too. What's a floundering product that is in a niche market? I know, the Phone Book!" "That's Chrome Book you idiot."

  31. Cory P
    December 4, 2013 at 8:42 pm

    It's hilarious to see all the hate that Microsoft can attract. It apparent that most are you are just ready to jump on yet another bandwagon. First Apple now Google, as they continue to put out things other than their search engine. Also those Chromebooks are a piece of crap. It's no better than a over sized tablet. You can't do anything it i can't already do on my phone. Besides just like everyone is saying Microsoft should get out of the phone business, google should do the same with their "ChromeBooks". Google stick to ur Android OS and Microsoft stick with computers, enough said. Any one who complains about the Xbox One, you clearly know nothing about entertainment or gaming. Anyone who talks about NSA also knows nothing about what the government is doing. You really think that Google can stop the government from invading your privacy? No, hate to burst your bubble, they can't. The issues is Microsoft is honest so people bash them, like they did with a lot of the Xbox features, like they have stated with all of their cloud software. It's the same thing with every company. Microsoft is just honest about it.

    • Tinkicker
      December 5, 2013 at 3:36 am

      Chromebooks are a piece of crap? I guess you've used one long term to be able to say that? You're as uninformed as matt above. Read my replies to him for the real-life deal on chromebooks.
      Wait...I bet you don't like them because they won't play GAMES.
      And you think Microsoft is HONEST??? BAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!
      You made everything you ever said or thought irrelevant with that comment....

    • dragonmouth
      December 9, 2013 at 1:51 pm

      @Cory P:
      "It apparent that most are you are just ready to jump on yet another bandwagon."

      Spoken by someone who is firmly planted on the Microsoft bandwagon.

    • Peter
      December 21, 2013 at 4:49 am

      When Microsoft enjoyed an enormous monopoly in Intel-compatible PC operating systems, Microsoft developed a strategy to ensure that Navigator would not become a platform for the development of alternative software.

      To undermine the portability of applications written in Java, Microsoft developed its own Java implementation for Windows that was incompatible with other implementations. The company then induced developers to use the Windows implementation of Java rather than Sun-compliant ones.

      How the tables have turned.

    • Peter
      December 21, 2013 at 4:50 am

      I can see why people who use mostly IE can dismiss ChromeOS as a "browser" OS. In fact, Chrome browser (and to a lesser extend Firefox) are becoming more of "application containers". Who develops apps for Windows only these days? I know, there are many good traditional Windows apps, like Photoshop, but they have been around for long time. And how long before they come up with a "web" version as well? Even Microsoft is hedging their bets with 365. The OS is becoming almost irrelevant. In fact the best OS stays out of the way, and provides a reliable, efficient environment. And in this ragard Linux (including ChromeOS), has Windows beat to a pulp.

  32. Bud
    December 4, 2013 at 8:19 pm

    Absolutely ZERO interest in most everything that Google provides, except for their search engine and maps........the rest> who in hell really cares ???

    As for "my" Mac ? Just fine.........thank you !!!

  33. Aaron C
    December 4, 2013 at 8:12 pm

    Well said, Justin. Well said! I completely agree on every level.

  34. T. J. Brumfield
    December 4, 2013 at 7:44 pm

    My biggest problem with this campaign is that it is outright deceitful. They want consumers to believe that Google employees are reading their email, which isn't true. Google servers parse the email, just like they also do to filter spam. Microsoft also parses your private email to serve up contextual ads.

    Google has actively been fighting the US government to protect the privacy of its users, while Microsoft has been linked to NSA back-doors. Yet this entire campaign is predicated on the notion that your privacy isn't safe with Google but it is with Microsoft.

    The utterly dishonest nature of these ads makes me want to never give Microsoft another penny again.

    • dragonmouth
      December 5, 2013 at 2:28 pm

      "My biggest problem with this campaign is that it is outright deceitful. "
      ANY advertising campaign is deceitful. The idea of advertising is to make your product look like the best thing since sliced bread, and a competiting product look like crap.

    • gp
      January 3, 2014 at 5:41 pm

      DRAGONMOUTH: I've been in marketing for a while now and I can tell you with absolute certainty that the motive of reputable advertisers is not to discredit their client's competitors. A few of the goals follow: One is to inform potential buyers that your product exists. Another is to differentiate your product from the competition. Above all else you want potential buyers to remember your product in a positive light. None of these goals requires you to cut down your competitors, though many choose to because it is easier to find disadvantages in others than it is to find advantages in yourself. Furthermore, It makes very little sense to compile the data, and run the analytics necessary to bring customized search results to, what you all seem to believe are Google's customers, the users of Google's search engine and email service, and ignore their real clients, those that pay for statistical data and targeted advertising. they are, after all, a business, and need to make money if they are to accomplish the goals of the shareholders. The question is, how detailed is the information that Google sells to it's clients? From what I understand, the data is void of Personally Identifiable Information. If this is the case, then I personally have no fear in using Google's services, because after all, they serve me as well. I am provided with targeted advertising, not arbitrary crap that I am not interested in. I find out about new companies and products that are relevant to my dynamically changing situation. And, I might add, that my search results are not limited to advertisements. Most of my searches are not limited to products and services for sale. Much of what I search for is free (sort of, nothing is completely free.) But those results are targeted in the same way as the advertisements. It's quite convenient, and provided without direct, monetary cost to me. The second it is no longer economical I will switch search engines and email services, and I would suggest you do the same, instead of complaining incessantly about the evil empire that is Google. You have a choice, it is irresponsible not to use it!

  35. Victor O
    December 4, 2013 at 7:27 pm

    Aside from the acutall content of the article, I love the wit that was put into this.

  36. Arron Hunt
    December 4, 2013 at 7:22 pm

    Funny stuff, but what's up with all the snide anti-facebook comments?

    • Justin P
      December 5, 2013 at 5:54 pm

      Facebook, like Google, is worth money because it can mine the information its users provide and show relevant ads. Microsoft owns a small stake in Facebook, so they as a company really can't take the moral high ground when it comes to not mining personal data.

    • Barton O
      December 5, 2013 at 8:37 pm

      Speaking of "moral high ground", isn't one of Google's so-called core values "Don't Be Evil"? Is that just to help their employees sleep better at night? According to a Google engineer, the slogan was "also a bit of a jab at a lot of the other companies, especially our competitors, who at the time, in our opinion, were kind of exploiting the users to some extent."

      Pot. Kettle. Black.

  37. matt
    December 4, 2013 at 6:14 pm

    i don't like windows or google!
    anyone who forks out between 200 to over 1000 bucks for a lousy chrome book is silly. you are paying for something that is useless without internet, i actually have to agree with that commercial windows made about chrome book, its true! its useless without internet, google does spy on you, for whatever reason i don't care they still do!

    what if you need to do homework on it, but you are stuck without internet? and all you need is a document program or a powerpoint program??? you'll be stuck trying to find an excuse for your teacher or professor as to why its not completed.
    or you want to listen to music, well your out of luck without internet as their is zero memory on the device itself. the list of impracticalities this thing has is almost 100% as you are restricted to needing to be in a wifi zone 100% of the time just to be able to do anything.

    your money could be far better spent on a functional laptop, or heck even a tablet (actually a 100 dollar no name tablet) is more functional then google chrome book.
    people nowadays seem to enjoy spending more for less. it does not make sense! i mean ultimately, its your choice, and your money. but i think you should spend it on something that will actually work wherever you are, with or without wifi.

    • Tinkicker
      December 5, 2013 at 3:25 am

      You're inexperienced and uninformed and for some reason very bitter about chromebooks. Every single point you just brought up is untrue.
      There IS memory on the device on the solid state drive, and I've got several gigabytes of music and videos on there right now. If you need more, you can insert an SD card into the front of my chromebook. According to Acer it'll use up to a 32GB card, but I've read of at least one person who has used a 64GB card in there.
      The Google Docs apps are offline-usable. You can make your document or presentation offline. They will convert to and from Microsoft formats.
      If you don't want someone spying on you then you better give up the internet completely, forever, unless you comprehend and use the Tor network, which is possible on my chromebook.
      Now...all that said...if what you' re worried about is playing Battlefield 4 at 90fps, then why the heck would you buy ANY device with an 11.6" screen anyway? Different things for different purposes, and chromebooks will never run .exe files of any kind.
      And you're absolutely's my choice and my money. No regrets here because I'm reaping the benefits of this decision.

    • Kev Q
      December 5, 2013 at 3:39 am

      It really makes me giggle when I hear comments like yours, claiming that Chromebook are useless without the Internet. Have you ever actually bothered to use one for any period of time? I'm guessing not.

      I have a Chromebook, and I bought it as a secondary device, as I was expecting nothing more that a glorified browser. However, it's so much more than that.

      Let me ask you this. What would you say that the vast majority (80%, maybe more?) of users use their machines for? I know for a fact that most users turn their machine on, and go straight for their browser/email client.

      So, if that's the case, how much more useful is a "normal" laptop without an Internet connection? Not much. Can you honestly say that your machine would be anywhere near as useful too you without an Internet connection? I bet not.

      Let's take a different scenario - you're a student. You don't have time to mess around on Facebook, you just want to get an assignment done. On a "normal" machine, you start up MS Word, and away you go. But you can't do that on a Chromebook, right? WRONG! Chromebooks have offline capabilities for creating/editing documents and emails. Once you go back online, they're all synced up.

      So, let's recap - I can create & edit documents offline, I can draft & manage emails offline, and I can surf the web just as easily as any other laptop. I don't get Virus', my machine boots up in 5 seconds flat, and the battery lasts all day long. Pretty good for £300 I'd say.

      The whole "they're useless without the Internet" argument is complete and utter rubbish. Not only because of the reasons stated above, but also because the Internet is everywhere nowadays. There are free wi-fi zones all over the place, and if you're really stuck, you can simply tether over 3G via your phone. So you never actually need to be offline.

      I personally love my Chromebook. Will it ever replace my main (Linux) machine. Nope, not any time soon at least (as I'm a web developer and IT security professional). But is it a great device for surfing the web, and doing the basics? Hell yeah! I think if you actually took the time to give a Chromebook as real chance, instead of jumping on the "it's no good offline" bandwagon, you would be pleasantly surprised.

      But hey, if you don't want to, that's fine too. I just think it's important to be well informed when making statements like the ones you just made. :-)

      PS - totally agree on the snooping front. All the big companies mine our data. It's an unfortunate fact of the Internet today. Ultimately, if you want to keep your privacy 100% in tact, stay offline.

    • David
      December 21, 2013 at 11:46 am

      Well said, agree 100%!

  38. Adetunji O
    December 4, 2013 at 6:05 pm

    This writer hit the point perfectly.
    I'm really disappointed in Microsoft for this. Very immature.
    I hate ads... but I appreciate it better knowing its special targeting me showing me ads on topics I'm interested in. We should give google the kudos.
    and grow up Microsoft... grow up!

  39. Eduard A
    December 4, 2013 at 4:47 pm

    No one does Justin, i actually started despising microsoft even more after seeing their pawn shop hate-bash. They're scared alright, but i think they are more scared of the concept of chromebook.

    But what i hate more about them is - like another reader posted here - that they remove features on the basis that they are not popular enough even if it wouldn't hurt the product in any way just to leave it there.

    • matt
      December 4, 2013 at 6:17 pm

      what can you do offline with a chromebook? NOT MUCH! not near what you can do with an actual windows 8 laptop or tablet even, and not near as much as macbook pro, or ipad.

      chrome book is not worth its price.

    • Tinkicker
      December 5, 2013 at 3:03 am

      matt, chromebooks and ChromeOS is a work in progress, just like every other system/device out there, including all of Microsoft's setups, Apple's endeavours, and every Android device in the world.
      I initially bought my chromebook because my older 7" tablet wasn't cutting it for what I wanted to do online. For one thing, I really wanted a keyboard, so a netbook was a must, as the add-on tablet keyboards are just too clunky.
      I spent $200 on my Acer C710, and it's at my fingertips right now, just as it is pretty much every evening as I check my mail, respond on these sites, watch videos, listen to music, plot out mind maps and flowcharts, do word processing, make presentations, video chat, read ebooks, explore the freakin' internet and a lot lot lot of other things that I used to do with my Windows 7 laptop, and could NEVER do with my tablet, which was $160 when I bought it.
      The real-life difference...the laptop was $700, I'm constantly updating the security and all my programs, and it gets pretty darn heavy and hot on the lap after a couple hours. My chromebook NEEDS NO SECURITY PROGRAMS. Antivirus? Nope. Spamkiller? Nope. It's constantly self-updated and fact it updated to the latest version of ChromeOS a couple hours ago (which means it's always evolving and getting better all by itself) and it weighs about as much as a thick novel.
      The chromebook as a useless offline brick thing doesn't wash with me because like the vast majority of people I'm always around wifi when I'm using it. And if that's not possible for you, some chromebooks have 3g and 4g built in. Also, contrary to your opinion (because experience trumps opinion) the rapidly increasing number of ChromeOS apps that have offline ability has allowed me to do whatever I want to do when I want to do it.
      Rather than telling you to stop spreading nonsense, I'd rather see you actually give a chromebook a real-life try for a couple weeks. If you know someone who has one and would loan it to you, it's the work of a minute to be set up as a new user on the thing. You WILL be surprised at how light you can travel and still do 90% of everything you'd ever need to do.
      One of the best things...I can complete seven hours of work on a deep business project without which I would lose my job, shut the lid on my Acer, place it gently on the ground behind my vehicle tire, and run over it and crush it to powder.
      I drive to WalMart, buy another chromebook, sign into it...and I'm right back where I left off when I shut the lid. I don't have to do ANYTHING and EVERYTHING is back exactly like I left it. Acer is the Celeron chipset...only about 4 hours battery life. The new C720 runs the Haswell chipset. Battery life? Try 8 to 9 hours.
      Not worth its price? You're's worth a whole lot more than what I paid.
      Happy Holidays!

  40. chris
    December 4, 2013 at 4:32 pm

    I don't get it, Microsoft steals your data too, they were in bed with the NSA and have admitted to it. Are they hoping that people will look that over? I have a Chromebook, and you can use many of the apps offline, it's not a brick. You don't even have to download new applications, they come pre loaded. This is all B.S.

  41. Jonathan Rodgers
    December 4, 2013 at 4:28 pm

    This article was way too biased in favor of Google products to a fanboy extreme but it did make some very valuable points. First, your right, Microsoft sees the chromebook as a threat and it should. But it was right to make this ad as the chromebook sucks and if it wasn't so cheap it wouldn't be gathering any traction here. But your regular non techy citizen doesn't realize that. All they realize is CHEAP LAPTOP. A LOT CHEAPER THEN APPLE AND CHEAPER THEN WINDOWS. They never wonder why it is so cheap.

    So why attack Google Chromebook? Because non techy consumers don't know better and don't care to be educated about it either. They just want a laptop that they can go shopping on, visit Facebook with, and complete work projects on. For the mainstream consumer, there is no beating windows. For the slightly more technically inclined or well off consumer, the best option is apple. Finally for the poorest or most technically advanced consumer the best option lies in installing Linux with the chrome browser as an app instead of the operating system. For the confused consumer buying gifts for other people or themselves, they just tend to go for whatever the retailer promotes or the cheapest option. It would be disadvantageous for them to buy a laptop believing that they would get a functioning laptop instead of a tablet with a keyboard.

    What Microsoft could do to compete is compare the Surface to the Pixel. No propaganda needed there.

    • Justin P
      December 11, 2013 at 2:27 pm

      I'm not fanboy, working on the Google-directed follow-up as we speak. And I agree that some may be confused by the "cheap laptop" thing, but my criticism is more about the overall negativity of the campaign than anything.

  42. Passaby A
    December 4, 2013 at 4:08 pm

    As you have mentioned Windows Phone, why don't you spend some time commenting on google's way of constantly breaking Youtube app for Windows Phone.

    • Justin P
      December 5, 2013 at 3:13 pm

      That's a complicated situation, and I'm not entirely certain I understand it. So I need to do some research before I comment.

  43. LostInDaJungle
    December 4, 2013 at 3:58 pm

    My favorite is that windows phone commercial with the girl who boyfriend has a bunch of "can't miss moments". She is literally reduced to being a nothing, a cypher. She only exists in realtion to her BF. They show her taking pictures of him playing football... While other women are also playing football with him. Why isn't she playing? Because she is not a person, just an empty vessel waiting for someone else to fill her with purpose.

    They've also stated doing a ton of product placement in shows like Arrow...
    1) You're supposed to believe this ( Is a "NerdGurrrl", and she just loves the Surface Tablet and her Windows phone. Cracks me up every time I see it.

  44. JPB
    December 4, 2013 at 3:22 pm

    Sadly, the Pawn Stars ad seems like a Mac ad to me. "It can't run iTunes!"

    Worse, it gave Chromebooks more name brand recognition. If it weren't for that ad, a lot of people would never have even known they existed!

    Microsoft has to stop stabbing itself in the eye with a fork doing stuff like this.

    Instead, fix up that embarrassment of an OS you have called Windows 8.1. It's an assault on the senses.

    • Justin P
      December 5, 2013 at 3:14 pm

      The iTunes thing is weird, but not as weird as saying "it can't run Windows Media Player", so I'll let it pass.

  45. DaTruth
    December 4, 2013 at 1:46 pm

    I always have to laugh when I see the technorati (like the author here) criticizing all things Microsoft. Yeah, it's de rigueur if you're a tech writer to find something to ping MS on. Of course, these writers would like to have a gazillionth of Microsoft's revenue because they're such a "failing company".

    And of course, the author seems to conveniently forget the "I'm a Mac" commercials that Apple ran for how long? Oh but wait...that was Apple. They can do no wrong. Silly me. And then again, perhaps you're just too young.

    • Justin P
      December 4, 2013 at 2:04 pm

      I'm honoured – this is the first I've heard that I'm part of the technorati! Do they send the card in the mail, or do I have to show up for a meeting first?

      In all seriousness, I really went out of my way to not do the typical criticism thing here – hence the "we need to talk" structure. I actually like a lot of what they're doing, and think they'll be a force in technology for a long time. I just don't like seeing political-style attack ads come to the tech world.

    • James B
      December 5, 2013 at 9:53 am

      Hi Justin - I'm the welcoming committee. There's a small membership fee payable in advance before we can send your card out. For now, I'll go ahead and cancel any connections you had to Microsofts PR team - they prefer to concentrate on fanboy bloggers to spread the good word.

  46. Ali S
    December 4, 2013 at 12:35 pm

    Justin pot , welcome! It’s been not too long, how are you? How are you doing? That’s great to hear. I made coffee, please come in. Feel free to pull up a chair, I’ll be just a minute. I’ve got cookies.

    Justin pot: we need to talk. Yes, it’s about that googly post. No, I don’t think they’re funny, and no: I don’t think anybody is worried about that.

    Well folks, Justin pot tried his level best to put forward his aggression and depression he got inside his soul. This is for the first time, Microsoft has created a mobile OS that really works and much simplified. Simple, clean and efficient unlike IOS and android who claim that they are best because they have a large user base, not because they are good enough.

    Justin mocks well, but did not come over the facts. IOS is much older and android too. Windows came two years back.. in terms of apps, where they are now, they have less apps then them, but quality apps.. not crappy apps like on google store. 80 out of 100 apps are crap and useless app, or a clone of 100 other clones of apps that are made 1000 times earlier.

    Microsoft gives a unified solution, windows, phone, xbox, cloud.. all integrated.. Outlook connectivity is awesome, sharepoint, enterprise ready apps, gaming, what not.

    Chrome is made by google and its acid test is also verified by google too. Also, please try to open 20 pages in chrome and 20 same pages in IE, and please care to see the memory consumption.. you will die at spot by seeing results of chrome. the performance you get on google is just because of local caching, no big magic :) which also costs memory of your browser as well. If you see the feature set of IE 11, its far 800 times better and richer than chrome.

    Please guys grow up and come out of the nutshell. Microsoft introduced a new UI, that is clutter free, and unique. IOS took some notes, and revived IOS 7. Please android fans, try to be more realistic.

    Google do steal your data. We all know it. Google itself accepts it. Google also accepted that there android OS has 120+ security flaws. Why do not they correct that first before launching there OS. Just because they are open source.

    I like google too, but I do not worship google. Be realistic and accept that Microsoft is giving away much more feature set in terms of OS, mobile, tablets, and gaming.

    Justin bro, if google could have created an ad, they would have, they just do not get time from stealing users data.. and people have live proofs, despite the best in line mailing tool GMAIL, and Search engine Google, if your organization is earning from selling data of lives of people I do not think it is cool enough. This is the only point, if you are cool to live with the fact that google knows about your secret life facts, its your point of view..

    Justin also mocked over the cloud. I you really cross comparison and really use azure.. its the best cloud platform in the world. Just come out of the nutshell of other cloud platforms. Its just a point of opening your eyes. Nothing else.

    Microsoft is expanding its horizon in its own pattern by empowering students, developers, enterprises with different customized solutions. Google just raises its open source flag, but underneath here is its policy.

    "make users addictive, then pull the strings and charge them"

    examples, google translate service, google maps service, much of google services are paid now. To hell with free and open source. Do not blame Microsoft from charging, while you guys also have corporate minds at google who does the same thing.

    Open source had never been free, they charge from support and maintenance, and not with subscription models, please Justin see the google services.. they are also subscription based.

    Nothing is perfect. If you stop the blame game, accept the reality, stop praising and worshipping blindly, be open and stay happy.

    • matt
      December 4, 2013 at 6:21 pm

      its between 250 and 1000for a chrome book. and 250 for somethign that is pretty much useless without the web

  47. YM
    December 4, 2013 at 12:13 pm

    That Pawn Stars ad really annoys me. That's like buying a tin of tomatoes and wondering why you can't sell it for a trip to Hollywood. The chromebook only costs $250, why would anyone expect to be able to sell it for more?

  48. Sparkioboi
    December 4, 2013 at 12:09 pm

    True greatness comes from within, it doesn't come from belittling others.
    A nicely written article to boot.

  49. Stephen Saunders
    December 4, 2013 at 12:08 pm

    If you want to attack Microsoft, you're taking the wrong approach. That commercial is actually very effective at portraying the raw truth about Chromebook: It ISN'T a real laptop, and it ISN'T a smart purchase.

    Try attacking Microsoft on their browser. There are all sorts of things worth complaining about where that's concerned. Picking this commercial as a point of contention though just makes you look like the petty one.

    • Tinkicker
      December 5, 2013 at 3:06 am

      You can say a chromebook isn't a real laptop and it isn't a smart purchase, but just because you say it doesn't make it true ever ever ever. See my reply to matt down below, please. Same advice, Stephen: before passing judgement, try one for a couple weeks.

    • Stephen Saunders
      December 5, 2013 at 3:28 am

      Tinkicker, unfortunately for your ego, everyone has the right to their own opinions and views. If you want to think that everyone's views which differ from your own are inaccurate and untrue, then more power to you. Knock yourself out; have fun. You've changed nothing.

    • Carlos
      December 5, 2013 at 4:49 am

      The problem is that you really cannot compare a Chromebook to a windows laptop mainly because they are designed for different things. It's kind of like comparing apples and oranges. Yes I agree that a Chromebook is not a traditional laptop, or as you say "real laptop", but it was never meant to be one.

      A device like this makes sense when you think about it. A lot of people just watch netflix, check emails, or are just online a lot. Honestly the program that I used the most on my computer is Chrome. Personally I enjoy the Chromebook, when I go to class I can just toss it in my bag and use it to take notes. If I want to do something that I can't do using the Chromebook I just use my laptop.

      Also people keep saying it is useless without the web, while this is somewhat true, I can honestly say that I am rarely in a place that does not have wifi.

    • gp
      January 3, 2014 at 5:07 pm

      I don't really like apples ( or Microsoft/PCs.) I eat them because they are all that's available at the time, and I need nourishment. I prefer bananas (Chromebook.) The product does make sense, and only marginally competes with true PCs (including Apple products.) What the Chromebook does, it does better than a pc or macbook. If you ask me, Microsoft spent a bunch of money producing an add that promotes the Chromebook when viewed by an educated, capable-of-abstract-thought consumer. A couple of minor changes and Microsoft could have charged Google for production fees!

  50. Daniel J
    December 4, 2013 at 11:38 am

    Microsoft did a great deal in computing and is still doing. Instead of investing tons of money on bashing tech giants they should have invested in R&D

    • Kenice N
      December 4, 2013 at 9:46 pm


    • Justin P
      December 5, 2013 at 3:18 pm

      This is my main point: stop putting money into these ads and start making something that blows everyone else away. That's how you win.

  51. derp
    December 4, 2013 at 11:37 am

    I don't use bing, because the google search results are more relevant to what I am actually searching for, plus, google looks nicer.

    • James B
      December 5, 2013 at 9:48 am

      I love the hi-res photos they use on the initial page - never liked the stark white of google. It's just a shame the results are worthless ;(

    • gp
      January 3, 2014 at 5:01 pm

      I find it interesting that some (not necessarily you) seem to enjoy the "relevancy" of google search results while others detest googles practice of storing personal information. Without that information google would not be able to personalize the results in such a convenient way. Once they have the data it only makes sense to statistically analyze it and market the results. For those that see privacy problems with google; you still have a choice to use an alternative such as Bing, Yahoo, etc.

    • nonreality
      March 15, 2014 at 6:56 am

      Bing and Yahoo are privacy choices? Maybe Ducks Ducks.

  52. Frank P
    December 4, 2013 at 11:33 am

    Interesting read, still MS is lousy at mobile OS. they should scrap the idea of competing in the mobile industry, and remain on the desktop side.

    to me 8 and 8.1 is just a repeat of 95, millennium and vista. no one want's it, let alone be reminded of it.

  53. Ro Atkinson
    December 4, 2013 at 10:54 am

    It wouldn't be too difficult to make a search engine better than google if you knew what you are doing. MS certainly have the expertise with programming. The problem is that they design by committee and plagiarism. I would use Bing in preference to Google if it wasn't for the fact that key features I need (such as searching by date) were deliberately removed from the software by MS on account of the fact that not enough people used them often enough. Maybe people didn't use them all that often but when it comes to the point at which a person needs to use them they have no choice but to go to Google who still includes such features. Anyone who uses those features regularly will leave immediately; anyone who would ever want to use them will leave eventually. I believe the only reason the functionality is removed is to mimic the simplicity of mobile, even though people use mobile despite the limited functionality because it is handy for mobility.

  54. Sean P
    December 4, 2013 at 10:36 am

    The attacks by Microsoft do come off as extremely petty. Their OSs since XP have largely been failures in comparison, and they keep trying to branch out and grab everything they can. Once upon a time they focused on quality, but now it seems they prefer to charge a premium price for lackluster fare. Microsoft's strength was selling solid products; now they're trying to sell themselves as a brand. That won't happen. And with alternatives to what they offer becoming less and less expensive (and many alternatives are FREE), maybe they should refine their business model and stop charging so much for their products and services.
    As for Bing, I find it to be okay, but not great, and not even close to stellar. I was there, taking part in their beta tests, signing up for their incentive programs, and finding that they'd screw me every time by changing the rules and taking points and money I rightfully earned. Then they'd reboot, it would all reset and start over, and emails I'd send got replies filled with lame excuses, explanations, and not-so-subtle middle fingers.
    So Microsoft, if you're wondering why your company is beginning to crumble, take a long, disillusioning look in the mirror. It will sting, but it's for the best.
    Otherwise, how can you learn and grow?

  55. Dick D
    December 4, 2013 at 10:21 am

    As others have said, MS should focus on what they are good at and not what they're not.

    There's a historical lesson here that MS should reflect on. Back in the day of mainframes, IBM dominated the IT business and then along came the PC which they decided to get into and employed a small company called Microsoft to supply the OS - aka MS-DOS. As IBM's business in PC's grew, so did Microsoft's and to an extent that took them to where they are today.

    BUT IBM took their eye of the ball of what made them great and big - enterprise systems - and lost their focus by putting too much attention on PCs, which rapidly went downhill when the likes of Compaq, Dell, HP gave them a serious kicking and IBM's star waned big time. A major restructure and divestment by IBM was the only way they could resurrect themselves and they focused back on what they were good at - enterprise systems. IBM are still a big serious player in the IT industry but now "stick to the knitting" rather than get sidetracked into areas where they can't compete.

    Microsoft may need to look at this lesson of history where they played a part and get back to what they are good at doing - business system software - and not get sidetracked by hardware. And look for areas where the likes of Google, Apple etc aren't.

    • dragonmouth
      December 4, 2013 at 10:11 pm

      Dick D, that's a little bit of revisionist history. Yes, if it wasn't for IBM Microsoft would not be around today. However, MS got to be so big and have such a market penetration because of the restrictive sales contracts they forced on PC manufacturers, not because IBM's PC business grew.

      By contract, Microsoft received a royalty from the manufacturer for each PC shipped, whether that PC had MS-DOS or Windows installed on it or not. That led to manufacturers installing only MS O/S on ALL the PCs they shipped. When in the mid 1990s US courts declared those contract provisions illegal, MS switched tactics and started informing PC makers that if they installed any O/S other than Windows on their PCs, MS would cease to give them volume discounts on MS products, charging them the list price.

      IBM never took PCs as seriously as they did mainframes. Their PC division in Boca Raton was never run as efficiently and with as much oversight as IBM's mainframe and storage divisions. Finally, in 2004, IBM sold it to Lenovo. I suppose one could call the sale a "divestment" but there was no "major restructure" at or of IBM. Had IBM wanted to seriously compete in the PC market, they could have made all other PC manufacturers irrelevant. After all, they did it to all the mainframe manufacturers. Do a lookup on "IBM and the Seven Dwarfs."

    • nick
      December 10, 2013 at 6:23 am

      Oh come on are failing to see that PC market is a over saturated. you can only release Windows every few years because everyone is slow to adopt and release support for new OS's yes they have tried to venture into other markets with less competition but you end up spending millions and countless hours to develop something that another company is going to make better in just a few months with less investment. Venturing into the unknown can be a costly and fruitless adventure. They tried going into their home theater that didn't go too well for them. Shame because I really like media center. I love technology and try to follow the latest and greatest.. I've seen really good technology or superior product never make it to market or do and live short lives because the industry failed to support it and opted to go the cheaper route. And might I add that Microsoft was in the market before android and iPhones and they sucked at it. it toke them a lot of research and a lot of internal hurdles to get to were they are now. They had to move away from a platform that was known to work for the PC market and have to develop something not for the desktop. If you've ever used a windows phone I suggest you try it. it was the first time I've every heard some one not say something BAD about Microsoft when they release windows mobile code mango mango. They were still recovering for all the bad press on the windows mobile prior to mango and Vista was a nightmare for them. They were ignored for a vary long time!! despite that the few reviews that were done all said it was an excellent phone! I think everyone is a little to hard on Microsoft .. IN CASE ANYONE IS WONDERING WHY THE HELL IM WRITING ALOT ABOUT NOTHING IS BECAUSE IM BORED AND FOUND THE TOPIC INTRESTING ..

    • David
      December 21, 2013 at 12:10 pm

      @nick yes everyone is hard on microsoft, but not "a little too hard" because MS screws people over when they can, need or not, for any profit. Restrictive this and cumbersome that. Freedom? Please choose another vendor!

      So yeah, you reap what you sow, and MS can start producing any kind of candy that solves all problems, I will still be super wary because that was always the best decision with them and they will still need to prove their honesty to me. And I suspect I'm not alone in that decision.

  56. rho
    December 4, 2013 at 10:20 am

    they really cannot make critics like that... : )
    suddenly "linux is insecure" and "google sucks". Well dear Microsoft, you ARE LOSING. Finally.
    By the way... Windows Users, make good use of your OS that all the stats are going to central offices... oh! and don't forget your antivirus! :P

  57. Rudi N
    December 4, 2013 at 9:13 am

    I have to agree with those who say Microsoft are just trying to be a copycat on everyone else's success. Why try and beat Google and Apple at making mobile operating systems when they have the largest market share in the desktop side of things? Concentrate on that! Keep your loyal office workers around the world happy. Stop making complete overhauls of you desktop and Office interfaces with every update so that people don't have to learn everything from scratch every couple of years. I work as an IT technician and when we did the switch from XP with Office 2003 to 7 with Office 2010 (big leap, I know - we didn't dare try Vista with 2007) ninety per-cent of people's questions could have been avoided had Microsoft stuck to their better-known interfaces for Word, Excel, PowerPoint, et cetera. And don't get me started on them making their own hardware in the form of the Surface tablets. Stick to making ergonomic keyboards and USB pointing devices that work ever so well. Leave Apple to create innovative hardware, leave Google to innovate on the search algorithm and mobile operating system front and stick to what you know best and how you made your company become a household name. Perhaps, and this is a long shot here, like there is Windows for the desktop and Windows for the server, why not Windows for the gamer? Something that doesn't hog system resources while running full-screen 3D applications.

    • Chris C
      December 4, 2013 at 3:21 pm

      Could not have said it better. I am leaving the tech support business all together because supporting MS products is becoming a loosing game. Going into another niche of IT that doesn't require relearning shit ever other iteration of things....

    • Tinkicker
      December 5, 2013 at 2:25 am

      Well-put, Rudi N! Oh...your gaming on MZGameAccelerator. I use it and love it! Makes a HUGE difference in performance and it works under Vista, Win 7 and Win 8/8.1.
      Thread hijack now COMPLETE!

    • Rudi N
      December 5, 2013 at 9:02 am

      Not heard of MZ Game Accelerator, will definitely give it a try. I've used Game Booster in the past, but it turned off a few too many background services - like the GTA IV issue where if the wrong service is stopped the game goes into anti-piracy/drunk mode. Thanks!

  58. George
    December 4, 2013 at 6:43 am

    Steve Balmer need to stop jumping around for a few minutes or at least long enough to read this article. I wish I could +1 the crap out of this article. I cannot. I share it instead.

  59. Keefe K
    December 3, 2013 at 11:24 pm

    Google?! Microsoft thinks Google is the threat to them? They're the ones that tried to copy Google's search engine success with Bing, not to mention create a mobile operating system to combat both Android and Chrome, while also forcing the same interface experience on non-mobile desktops and laptops. Honestly, I think the only threat to Microsoft is Microsoft itself! They've just been trying to copy others' success lately, instead of trying to create their own. I know the markets have shifted, and that like any company, they want to survive, but the best way to do that is be unique. "Either be yourself, or else you'll be forgotten about."

    • nick
      December 10, 2013 at 5:59 am

      Keefe I would have to disagree with you and will have to ask you if you have a windows phone? If you say no then how can you speak about what they are trying to do? I think Microsoft has done rather well considering their slow to move with the market. They a big risk with windows 8 knowing that it would be hard to sell change.. they've had some really bad versions of windows for both desktop and phone! and might I add that they were in the MOBLE PHONE market before both Apple and Android. I've used all three and they are remarkably different. And might I add that because of how aggressive they've been has only worked out in our benefit. We get to enjoy a boom in technology excellence. A few years ago we all had monochrome or maybe even 16bit color phone that didn't do much other than dial out and set my alarm. Its been because of the software giants pouring money into new technology. Each one trying to one up the other in their next revision. trying to put just enough tech upgrade to make it worth the upgrade. Before them it was a slow SLOW development before they entered the arena. cell phones offered nothing that great until MICROSOFT, GOOGLE, and APPLE stepped into the race! and even though I don't care of android I do thank them for make it interesting and forcing what would be lazy Apple to stay on their toes we have a new release of phones every 6 months now. I wish we had more competition in the CPU market to get Lazy Intel to start being innovative again. Since they beat AMD in the ground (GETUP AMD!) Intel has been lazy and giving slow releases of the same technology much they way it was before AMD gave them a run for their money! INTEL was buying up new company's absorbing whatever technology they could offer until they were able to release something that would destroy AMD. Man they were releasing new CPU's faster then you could get your return on investment before you were out buying a new CPU upgrade.

    • Keefe K
      December 10, 2013 at 11:22 pm

      Actually, I do have a Windows phone, thank you very much. I was very excited when I got it, but when I got it, I found that alot of features that are on the other two big mobile platforms to be missing. My complaints are a result of being a dissatisfied customer, who hopes that Microsoft will listen to my criticisms, and perhaps make changes. The have after all been doing so, like when gamers reacted to the XBox One's used game disk policy, or how they decided to restore the Start button in Windows 8.1. I can only hope that my feedback will be taken into account, as I am not only a customer, but a supporter as well.

  60. Scott
    December 3, 2013 at 10:23 pm

    MS is kind of like a purported traitor: you like them for their ability to help you defeat your enemy, but at the same time you don't trust them for a second.

  61. MtY
    December 3, 2013 at 10:03 pm

    I'm tired of Google bull. I am happy Microsoft is attacking them.

    • Kenice N
      December 4, 2013 at 9:45 pm


    • Anonymous
      December 4, 2013 at 11:45 pm


    • Tinkicker
      December 5, 2013 at 2:19 am

      MtY, it's a no-win situation...both companies pump out more Alabama Round Steak (that's balogna to you civilized types) than you could digest in a lifetime. I like the point made in the article...if you want to sell your product...SELL IT! Microsoft and all are alienating me with the crap instead of attracting me with the product.

    • g00gle-luver69
      December 5, 2013 at 4:20 am


    • James B
      December 5, 2013 at 9:46 am


    • nick
      December 10, 2013 at 5:37 am

      Oh come on... marketing tactics have always been the same.. regardless if you are running for president or selling software. You all hate what's being dished out at the dinner table.. but... you all are still coming to dinner! in fact everyone is assisting in the marketing by even talking about it! I love it.. well not really.. when we all stop talking about how bad it is and stop supporting it all. Maybe we will finally have change but until then we will always have more of the same! Can some one pass me the peas please

    • Anon
      December 19, 2013 at 11:07 am


    • Google Hater
      December 20, 2013 at 5:37 pm


    • Didier
      December 27, 2013 at 3:42 pm


      Google sucks and don't respect their users. (discontinue Google Reader and iGoogle, use our own face for ads..., automatically backup pictures taken with Android on Google +...)

    • AntiDidier
      January 2, 2014 at 12:53 pm

      "use our own face for ads…, "

      They give you the option to not be used in a personalized ad for people that have you in a circle.

      "automatically backup pictures taken with Android on Google +…)"

      You have to actively click "I want to backup my pictures" before they start backing them up to g+.

  62. Tom W
    December 3, 2013 at 10:02 pm

    I love the tone used in this article, completely different from what you usually see online.

    I think you're completely correct that Microsoft's petty campaigns are going to do more harm that good, especially since the Google Chromebook adverts are so clever ("Here's how you back up a Chromebook" etc.)

    • Alex D
      December 4, 2013 at 12:33 am

      It's like they'r e tired of being bullied so they turn to being a bully themselves.

    • dragonmouth
      December 4, 2013 at 9:11 pm

      @Tom W:
      Microsoft has been carrying on the petty campaigns since at least 1988. That's when Microsoft's motto was "Windows is not done until Dr DOS won't run" trying to destroy Digital Research's improvement on MS-DOS. There has been an on-going Microsoft campaign against Linux since shortly after Linus Torvalds released the first kernel. Bottom line is that Microsoft has been engaged in petty sniping at the opposition for a very long time and they do not seem to be too badly harmed.

      @Alex D:
      Microsoft always tries to portray itself as the victim but, in reality, they have always been the big bully on the block. The list of companies they have destroyed is quite long.

    • oldman60
      December 22, 2013 at 7:30 am

      I personnaly disagree with you. First you don't have to get used of Windows 8, why should I. Second it is really slow on laptop which cost less than $500. If you spend more time on the web, a Cromebook is way more usable. Not to mention there are more and more offline applications. Some benchmarks I did showed that Windows 8 is incredibility slower compared to a Chrome Book which costs at least half price. All in all, Windows 8 is bloated since it has to carry both legacy and modern applications. If you are not married with it, it is time to move away from it if you can. You are going to pay for what you don't need.

      This said, stock Android 4.4.2 is awesome. It is really fast and has low foot print. Switch to ART and battery last at least 50% longer depending on your usage.

      I you want to make the right decision, forget your emotions What is the best that fruitful my requirements that I can get for my money is my sole motivation.

  63. Alex D
    December 3, 2013 at 9:11 pm

    Worse part is that Microsoft has been in PR hell for the last couple years, with Windows 8, The terrible idea of making the Xbox One DRM only before pulling an Xbox 180. Plus Surface's and 8.1's ad campaigns haven't been very good. First off, what are they trying to prove? Don't buy a Chromebook? Okay, say I believe them. Now what? Buy an Mac Book, buy a Android tablet, buy a smartphone? If you want to push the Surface (2), freaking push the Surface! Also, I didn't want to believe that the Pawn Stars were corporate sell outs, I honestly didn't, but they certainly did with this stunt. Thanks Micro$oft, anyone remember that?

    • James B
      December 5, 2013 at 9:46 am

      For the love of all things good, don't push Surface. Especially not by putting them in popular TV dramas - it shatters the illusion. Aliens? I can believe that. Weird sciencey stuff that doesn't really exist? Sure, why not. Making them use a Surface? That's so ridiculously unrealistic, you've ruined the show for me.

    • nick
      December 10, 2013 at 5:25 am

      LoOk PeOpLe,

      Yes, They have bad Marketing! Yes, Windows 8 was a little slow to be adopted! Yes, many people just hate the new Windows 8. But not for good reason! We all want technology to move forward, give us something new, something different from the last time we upgrade Windows.. and the moment we get what we want.. WE HATE IT! Including my self for the first 3 or 4 months. But it was only because I was being LAZY and not embarrassing the new way windows 8 was meant to be used! No I'm not talking about a touch screen either. Though I have heard that it works Amazingly well! I read a little article that said Windows 8 review 2nd ED. The writes first words were. I TAKE IT ALL BACK! Every bad thing I said about Windows 8. He went on to explain that I had to stop reaching for the mouse. That is were all the frustration starts!! yes navigating to programs that you want is deferent and emphasizes a feature that windows 7 had that people were not catching onto. So in windows 8 you are force to use it more or you are doomed to be frustrated with Win 8 for as long as you own it. Hit your windows key and type the program or document that you want to open. LOOK UP SHORT KEYS wow what a change.. not only do I love it because I'm not frustrated any more.. I love it because its faster than then having to stop and pick up your mouse to get around! TRY IT you might change your mind about windows 8
      2nd Microsoft is not proving anything about anything. they are doing the same thing that everyone ells does to some degree or another! I'm a PC Tech and I preferred Windows platform who has an iPhone who prefers IOS for phone. I jumped on that band wagon on day one! personally I think I think Androids are CRAP.. and I just want to say that I HATE THEM! I have to have one as a work phone and they are SOOO BUGY! I work on bugy computers and I don't feel like I should have to trouble shoot phone! YES I GET IT Google opens software development to any one. REALLY I MEAN EVERYONE! even those that should be writing programs and don't meet QA standards. Google does not look into poorly written software that may damage your phone in fact I remember reading a disclaimer that states that if I download software that damages my phone Google is not responsible for any software that that is found in the playstore or whatever its is they call it now. I was once for open source or open free market for apps so I jail broke my iPhone and it only toke me a few downloads of unrestricted and free software found on Cydia to make my phone run like CRAP! I was trouble shoot that thing all the time until I finely, I reset my phone to factory! I love my IPhone for how simple it is and well it runs regardless of the apps I download I don't ever have to worry about it.. its a small price I pay for reliability.
      3rd I can some what understand this article because for a sort while I was hating on Microsoft for not releasing a version for iPhone or iPad. I've resorted to using 3rd party apps that don't measure up to Office. Microsoft is smart! I believe it wouldn't be in their best interest to release office for iPhone or Android because they are competing in the same market. If windows was not in the phone market I'm vary sure that they would have release something for end users by now. I had the 1st windows phone and GOD I HATED THAT WORSE THEN ANDROID. I have read reviews and followed the development of the two version after that! I've ready remarkable things about the newest windows phone from integration to Enterprise Networks is seamless no new software to manage phones or security. Active Directory applies security polices straight to the phone. From what I hear its a snap to pull up email, documents, spreadsheets and if you need it to just print it. No additional software mambo jumbo to print! I bought my iPad wit the intention of using it for work in place of a laptop found most of the applications I needed or equivalent. Spread sheets are still a pain and I'm considering buy a Surface and windows phone because I love the seamlessness between desktop, to phone, to tablet, to games console. I think they did a smart thing because if you like your platform you use for phone or tablet your always going to miss not having office and in the back of you head wonder from time time.. hmmm.. is it worth me switch? I know I'm thinking it now.. and from a business stand point that's excellent! so yes it sucks for all of us that don't have office that really want it! CAN YOU BLAME THEM? oh and just to name a few if you have google apps like I do at work. Google does to Microsoft what Microsoft has done to Google we are plagued with endless pops when we log on to IE using an XP computer that says "you are not using the latest browser! please update click here to download Chrome or update your browser!" Apple does not release hardly any software for PC Computers. and I can't always download all google apps that get released for android! So lets all stop whining.. If were in the business we would be doing the same thing! and please don't get offended anyone.. I am not for or against any platform unless suck in that particular market

    • Riku
      March 18, 2015 at 5:40 pm

      @nick Android, buggy? I think you mean iOS 8 is buggy.