Tag Archives | Microsoft

Gates! Seinfeld! Shoes! Churros! Same Old Windows Vista!

The $300 million Windows ad campaign featuring Jerry Seinfeld and Bill Gates is here–or at least the first installment is. It debuted last night on NBC during football, and thanks to the miracle of YouTube, here it is on Technologizer. Go ahead and watch it, if you haven’t seen it yet–I’ll wait:

What to make of it? Given that it barely mentions computers, and refers to Windows only in the form of a logo at the end, it’s obviously meant to whet our appetite for ads to come rather than push a product. (TechCrunch has a memo from Microsoft Senior Vice President Bill Veghte that says “The first phase of this campaign is designed to engage consumers and spark a new conversation about Windows–a conversation that will evolve as the campaign progresses, but will always be marked by humor and humanity.”) So it would be a mistake to render any verdict on how well Microsoft invested its millions at this point.

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We’ve Got a Super Season on Hulu–You’re Going to Like It a Lot

I remember when I cared about the fall TV season–really, really cared about it. Today, I couldn’t give you the name of a single new show. But I’m still intrigued by Hulu getting in on the action.
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Google Chrome: Hey, That Logo Looks Vaguely Familiar

(UPDATE! I’m conducting a poll about Chrome–please go here to take it, and to get a recap of all of Technologizer’s Chrome coverage.)

Google has posted an official online version of the Scott McCloud comic book introducing Chrome, its new browser, and the cover sports the Chrome logo. The logo reminds All Things Digital’s John Paczowski of a favorite gadget of the past, but I was also reminded, less literally, of a prominent logo of the present:

No, the Chrome and Windows Vista logos are not true twins, but they’re both round and shiny, with the same color scheme–red, green, yellow, and blue. (Okay, looking at the Vista logo, that’s more of an orange than a red, but close enough.) If you’d told me that the Chrome logo was what Microsoft had come up with for Windows Seven, I’d have believed you.

Microsoft has long used the colors as shorthand for Windows and related products such as Office. But I didn’t draw any immediate association between the Chrome logo and Google branding in general until I realized that it uses the same colors as the Google logo:

On some level, it probably makes sense for the Chrome logo to look a bit like the Windows one. Much of the punditry concerning Chrome is looking at it as a threat not to Internet Explorer so much as to Windows itself–a platform for Web-based applications that might, over time at least, do some of the things that we expect an operating system to do at the moment. You gotta wonder whether it’s just a coincidence that Chrome is launching first on Windows, or whether Google is in fact a lot more interested in introducing Chrome to Microsoft customers than to Mac fans or Linux types. (Of course, it’s more likely that there’s nothing nefarious going on: If most of the world uses Windows, it’s completely logical to get the Windows version of Chrome out first.)

Meanwhile, as I was writing this post, I was watching MSNBC coverage of Hurricane Gustav out of one corner of my eye–and happened to see an ad for Alli, a weight-loss products. Its logo looks like this:

And I just remembered the logo for Zoho, one of my favorite suites of Web-based apps:

Popular color scheme, huh?


Comcast: All You Can Eat…Up to 250GB!

How much data do I download from the Internet a month? I have no idea, and it’s probably not all that much. But I’m still concerned about Comcast’s plan to cut off customers who are a little download-crazy.
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The T-List: Special Bad Stuff ‘Bout the iPhone Edition

“Tech news” and “iPhone news” are synonymous. Or at least it feels that way sometimes. And iPhone-related news seems to have a higher melodrama quotient than the tech news I’m used to covering…
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Windows Geniune Advantage: Now Even More Advantageous!

I’m in Berlin at the moment, where I arrived today to be a speaker at IFA, Europe’s equivalent of the Consumer Electronics Show. More on that later this week, I’m sure; for now, here’s some stateside news.
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It’s a Slow News Day! Let’s Talk About Atari and DOS 5.0!

It’s a Friday in August, and there’s not a whole lotta shaking goin’ on in the tech world. So I’m not too sheepish about giving you a T-List that includes almost as much stuff from the 1980s as from 2008.
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Microsoft’s Photosynth: Hard Work, Cool Results

You know it’s a quiet day in tech when the big news involves Jerry Seinfeld. I’ve already covered that, um, bombshell–so let’s move onto other developments, starting with a surprisingly inventive Microsoft Web app.
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Twenty Thoughts About a Microsoft Ad Campaign I Haven’t Seen Yet

The big news in the blogosphere today involves new details about Microsoft’s upcoming $300 million Windows ad campaign: It will apparently feature Bill Gates and Jerry Seinfeld, use the slogan “Windows, Not Walls,” and begin on September 4th. I’m not a professional ad critic, and I can’t even play amateur critic before I’ve seen the ads in question. But I can’t stop my mind from racing ahead, either.

So without any further ado, lemme throw out ten initial questions, impressions, and reflections about the campaign and Windows marketing in general–all of which are subject to revision and retraction once the ads hit the airwaves in a couple of weeks.

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Okay, a Show of Hands: Just Who IS Using Windows Vista?

Microsoft says that Vista is fastest-selling version of Windows ever, and that folks who use it really like it. But you also hear stories like the reports that the majority of business PCs sold by HP in Australia go out with XP, no matter what the license states. Then there’s weirdness like Taiwan’s Fair Trade Commission looking into whether Microsoft broke antitrust laws by (mostly) discontinuing Windows XP and thereby denying it to people who don’t want Vista.

And in the end, you–at least if you’re me, which I am–are still left wondering: just how popular or unpopular Windows Vista is, anyhow?

Of course, that’s really a series of questions with several possible answers, depending on how you do that math. Windows has multiple constituencies, including consumers who are buying new PCs, consumers who are upgrading existing machines, small businesses who are buying new PCs, small businesses who are upgrading, medium-sized businesses who–well, you get the idea. Every one of those groups has a different set of priorities. You could come up with almost any conclusion you wanted–but I’m still surprised that there’s not more real data out there on the OS’s success to date. It would make for good reading, whether it tended to confirm the general air of disappointment that pervades Vista, or to make it look like things aren’t quite that gloomy.

Anyhow, over at InfoWorld, blogger Randall Kennedy has an interesting post that reveals data from users of 3,000 users of Windows Sentinel, a monitoring utility that lets InfoWorld analyze aggregate data from the PCs of Sentinel users. (In theory, at least, those users should be workers in enterprises rather than home users or microbusiness owners.)

Kennedy reports that the data shows that a third of Sentinel users have downgraded Vista machines to XP, as shown in this chart I swiped from his post:

This striking data point has spawned a bunch of coverage on the Web, some of which sports overblown headlines such as WebMonkey’s “One in Three Advanced PC Users Dump Vista.” Um, this data is about users of Windows Sentinel, and while it may be telling data indeed, it may or may not be reasonable to extrapolate that the percentages apply to “advanced PC users” in general. Kennedy himself makes no broader claims about it, other than the very sensible one that it’s a bit of evidence that when Windows Seven comes along, Microsoft needs to make sure there’s a smooth upgrade path from XP as well as from Vista.

(Side note: Data about Technologizer visitors is fascinating, but clearly not representative of savvy tech users in general. Have I mentioned that five percent of people who have visited this site to date have done so on iPhones? Very cool; probably a sign that you’re an unusually sophisticated bunch; clearly atypical of the world in general.)

Add Kennedy’s factoid to the pretty long list of pieces of information suggesting that the world has yet to embrace Vista in the way Microsoft likely expected it to do fairly quickly. And if you find any stats from a source other than Microsoft that make Vista look better, lemme know…