Microsoft enters into the spirit of Xmas (and tries to rip Google’s head off)

This is just one in a line of Microsoft’s “Scroogled” campaign in which it goes after its arch-enemy with admirable verve and brio. In general our motto on TelecomTV is that if you’re going to make a point, don’t hold back. On the other hand you have to be aware that an all-out attack invites an all-out response... and an all-out backlash from the very people you were trying to influence. Careful with that axe Microsoft.

The vid features a young woman going into a reality TV Pawn Shop (it screens as Pawn Stars in the US, no doubt it is or will be playing somewhere on UK’s multi-channel TV eventually).

She wants to pawn the Chromebook her mother has just bought her as a gift (considering a Christmas gift purchase anyone?) but the hard-bitten old crocks on the other side of the counter tell her she’s been conned by Google. If she had a ‘real’ laptop running Windows and Office then they’d stump up some cash, but… she’s been Scroogled, they explain.

View the Microsoft Video here

I’d like to think the Microsoft effort was obviously in response to my recently kicked-off series Going fully online: Part 1. Biting the Chrome OS bullet, but alas, I doubt it. This is just tactical sales talk and while I like the brio, I think Microsoft has blown itself off course here.

The fact is that the Chomebook’s very existence is indicative of a gradual shift to the ‘cloud’ for the generality of users. By ‘cloud’ I mean Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and so on - those ‘applications’ are now what most people tangle with most of the time on their clunky old PCs. At the same time the cloud is capable of sucking up what were OS-based applications - such as Google Docs, for instance - and my series is really about how far that second process has advanced.

If the Chromebook is selling it’s not because Google or Samsung have pulled a particular rabbit out of the hat, but because the industry’s online offerings have made it viable for people to buy devices that ONLY work online and glean some advantages (simplicity, battery life, cost, weight etc). It’s a trend that Microsoft itself is trying to intercept, so it’s even in danger of undermining its own cloud journey.

I don’t want to turn into a Google advocate, but I have been tracking the second-hand prices of Chromebooks on eBay and I feel bound to point out that they hold up rather well. The real Pawn Shop should take note.

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