Join 3,553 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Microsoft counters Mac's 'Switch' campaign
October 14, 2002 1:01 PM   Subscribe

Microsoft counters Mac's 'Switch' campaign using the testimony of an unnamed 'freelance writer' who seems to be all sorts of things, including a stock photography model.
posted by Hall (51 comments total)

 
Oh wow. it's the corporate endorsement equivalent of pretending you know the people whose pictures came with your wallet. It's sad, in a deceptive and dishonest way.

(How'd you find this, anyhow?)
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 1:05 PM on October 14, 2002


Muaahahhahaha!


Yes, it's true. I like the Microsoft® Windows® XP operating system enough to change my whole computing

"Yes, it's true."??? So even MS admits it is shocking that any Mac user would switch to WindowsXP
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 1:05 PM on October 14, 2002


Its not really a switch campaign counter so much as a half-assed intro to some information about how to move your mac files onto a PC.

It does happen, btw, I know a graphic designer who made the MacOS to XP switch a year ago and couldn't be happier. Of course, I'm sure their are just as many who tried and hated it, same as the switch in the other direction.
posted by malphigian at 1:08 PM on October 14, 2002


(How'd you find this, anyhow?)

A thorough reading of Slashdot.
posted by Hall at 1:10 PM on October 14, 2002


"Toolbars and menus customize themselves to the way I work."

Is that what the little (poorly) animated paperclip does? Oh, my.
posted by grimley at 1:11 PM on October 14, 2002


That's very funny. But how did Microsoft manage to get the model to pose in the exact same clothing, in the exact same scene, but face the other way? Very clever.
posted by ParisParamus at 1:13 PM on October 14, 2002


H. A. H.

MS tries to fake grassroots advertising and gets busted. Hilarious. I hope Gettyimages got a good cut of the Mega-Corporate-Whore Pie.
posted by zekinskia at 1:13 PM on October 14, 2002


Hah! I love seeing tone-deaf corporations caught up in their own cleverness. That it's Microsoft only makes this better!..

What would Ellen think?
posted by baltimore at 1:14 PM on October 14, 2002


Gettyimages is owned by Billy. Damn sure they got a good cut.
posted by five fresh fish at 1:19 PM on October 14, 2002


Hmmm...in a sidenote, doesn't Mr. Gates also own Corbis, which is Getty's main competition?
posted by strong_opinions at 1:22 PM on October 14, 2002


Gates only owns Corbis. Which I'm sure has a great portrait entitled "Woman Holding Coffee Cup." Mark Getty - of Getty Oil, owns Getty images.
posted by grimley at 1:26 PM on October 14, 2002


How long was this image up before this was revealed? Amazing stupidity at work.
posted by ParisParamus at 1:32 PM on October 14, 2002


Colour me enlightened. I thought Bill had pretty much purchased all the big image collections.
posted by five fresh fish at 1:34 PM on October 14, 2002


What would Ellen think?

Those beep Microsoft beepers have no beeping business sense. If they can't beeping think different, they might as well go and beep themselves.
posted by oissubke at 1:40 PM on October 14, 2002


I thought Bill had pretty much purchased all the big image collections.

He did.
You know, I shot this cute pic of my parents' cat, and a couple hours later I got this weird e-mail from MS, offering me a few bucks (and a new Outlook security patch ) in exchange for the photo
posted by matteo at 1:40 PM on October 14, 2002


I switched. Couldn't be happier.

After college professors and peers pounded it into my head for years that graphic designers MUST use Macs to be legit , I came to my senses.... (This after a very stable and fast pc was built for music studio use).

Wow! No more 10 minute startups! No more crashing in the middle of a 4- hour Aftereffects render at 3am!

Yeah, dull ads, a weak counter, but still....
Those Mac ads make me sick.
posted by Espoo2 at 1:41 PM on October 14, 2002


Weird, the getty site is totally screwed up in mozilla.

If they were trying to do a switch campaign, this is how Microsoft would do it, hire a PR firm to comb through stock art and craft "testimonials" to support their products. Remember when they did the letter-writing campaign to garner support in newspapers via fake letters?
posted by mathowie at 1:41 PM on October 14, 2002


I thought Bill had pretty much purchased all the big image collections.

Well, Bill bought half of them. Getty bought the others.
posted by me3dia at 1:43 PM on October 14, 2002


That's really, really funny.
posted by ColdChef at 1:58 PM on October 14, 2002


Does this mean we now have to scour Getty's website for Corbis stock photographs?
posted by UnReality at 1:58 PM on October 14, 2002


The Microsoft link doesn't seem to work anymore.

Coincidence?
posted by einarorn at 2:06 PM on October 14, 2002


The microsoft page is gone.. If only their bugfixes were that quick :-P
posted by fvw at 2:08 PM on October 14, 2002


I switched.

I used to have a strong allegiance to Corbis. But then someone said, "How 'bout Getty?" and that was that.
posted by soyjoy at 2:08 PM on October 14, 2002


Page seems to have been deleted now, though this search still turns it up as the #6 result. No google or archive.org caches, sadly.
posted by Danelope at 2:10 PM on October 14, 2002


google cache Girl Scout's honor??? heh.
posted by loopy at 2:22 PM on October 14, 2002


ack. does anyone have a cached copy? I didn't get to see it.
posted by hulette at 2:24 PM on October 14, 2002


of course, I did not see the above post before I added mine.
posted by hulette at 2:27 PM on October 14, 2002


I'm not sure which gets my ire more, the flying chick set to dance music in the Windows XP ads, or the syrupy found-jesus monologues set to folksy banjo plucking in the Mac Switch ads. Both make me look at the cat and shake my head.
posted by holycola at 2:47 PM on October 14, 2002


> Remember when they did the letter-writing campaign to > garner support in newspapers via fake letters?

Ah yes, "In this case, a great deal of effort was expended to make the letters look real and individual, so the intent to deceive is obvious. Each was on "personalized" stationary and used different type faces, but some included mistakes (coming from dead people and towns that didn't exist) and a number of them included identical sentences. They were, in fact, composed by a Microsoft lobbying front, Americans for Technology Leadership"
posted by holloway at 2:49 PM on October 14, 2002


Am I the only one who thinks her head looks pasted onto her neck?
posted by Phatty Lumpkin at 4:34 PM on October 14, 2002


hehe... the funny thing is, I switched from the Mac to windows XP and I couldn't be happier. Microsoft... call me! I could be your Ellen Fiess!

"Now I can get lotz of warez... d00dz!"
posted by ph00dz at 4:34 PM on October 14, 2002


Too funny. This is a great example of when *not* to use royalty-free images. How did anyone make the connection with the getty image?
posted by Salmonberry at 4:47 PM on October 14, 2002


The switch concept is interesting: Not a single one of my Mac clients ever considers switching to Windows, but my Windows clients talk about switching to Mac constantly. I usually persuade them to wait until their current Wintel hardware is end-of-life to maxmize their capital investment, but it's always amazing how many are willing to just dump thousands of dollars in Windows-only hardware and software and buy Macs. A friend of mine who does freelance Macintosh consulting is thinking about specializing in Windows to Mac OS X migrations—there's a lot of call for it. He will make a killing.
posted by Mo Nickels at 4:48 PM on October 14, 2002


Too funny. This is a great example of when *not* to use royalty-free images. How did anyone make the connection with the getty image?

Not really hard, I'd imagine, if you start from the assertion that Microsoft's grassroots support is not particularly strong. And as other posters have pointed out, Microsoft has been known to fake, well, just about everything from court testimony to grassroots support.

So you start with a theory, and you search the stock photo collections you know.... and lo, it turns out to be right.
posted by namespan at 4:52 PM on October 14, 2002


News.com seems to think the ad was pulled down in response to their own query, that Microsoft "regrets" the ad, and that the ad was written by a paid freelancer: ( story here )
posted by kokogiak at 5:15 PM on October 14, 2002


The Microsoft link doesn't seem to work anymore.

Coincidence?


No, of course not.
Bill G. is obviously on MeFi
Is He a member of the Cabal?
What's His user number?
Does he Zippity Bop as well?
posted by matteo at 5:31 PM on October 14, 2002


Bwahahaha!
posted by mr_crash_davis at 5:37 PM on October 14, 2002


Am I the only one who thinks her head looks pasted onto her neck?
that's not a bug, it's a pheature, phatty!
posted by quonsar at 5:44 PM on October 14, 2002


So, I was doing a paper on the Mac ...
And it was like ...
beep ... beep ... beepbeepbeep ...
posted by chipr at 6:06 PM on October 14, 2002


soyjoy: LOL

Seriously though, mac ads attacking PCs for crashing is just rediculous. Up untill OSX Mac OS was actualy less stable then win2k.

Nowadays, either with OSX or 2k/XP crashing should be a non-issue unless you have faulty hardware.

those switch ads annoy me, because they are doing nothing more then foisting one 'real' person's misconceptions on the rest of us. wonderful.
posted by delmoi at 6:17 PM on October 14, 2002


(a little---well, not that little---parody I wrote of Apple's campaign, if you'll indulge me)

Dear Apple--

My name was Chris Matthews and I was the manager of the Wendy's at the corner of Jimmy Carter Blvd. and Rockbridge Rd. in Norcross, GA. I say "was" instead of "is" because all of that's changed now. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

Back in the days of "was," my life was pretty empty. I lived with a one-legged homosexual Native American named Chief Gronklieff. He was always quiet and often cooked smelly meats on our gas stove.

I kept to myself, mostly. I would strum a few chords on my old somewhat broken guitar or I'd sing the ballads of my favorite singer: Judy Collins. It was a lonely existence.

Back in those days I didn't even own a computer. I used a Speak-N-Spell for all my word processing needs. This was difficult because (a) it didn't have a printer and (b) it would aggravate Chief Gronklieff. I have a fear of conflict, so more often than not I would word process by hand.

My transition from "was" to "is" began the day my sister attempted suicide and left for me, in a box labeled "for Chris," her 1988 Apple IIgs. As you can well imagine, my emotions were extremely conflicted: severe gladness for finally getting my own computer and profound disappointment at getting one so dated.

However, you should never look a gifthorse in the mouth. I went to the hospital and thanked my (semi-unconscious) sister for the gift and then returned home to get started. My first order of business: to download lots of porn.

Imagine my shock when I realized that the 1988 Apple IIgs was not equppied for the internet! I practically wanted to go back to the hospital to finish what my sister started! But I swallowed that anger and turned the computer on. I waited patiently for the system to load and I watched, transfixed, the hourglass at the center of the screen. Eventually "patiently" and "transfixed" became "desperate" and "violent." At the peak of my frustration, I kicked the screen in.

But here's where our story reaches its happy conclusion. The Chief, who, when not cooking, often sits and smokes a pipe, came over to my then quivering body and began massaging my shoulders. "Shush," he said softly. I felt a strange chill down my spine.

Well, suffice it to say, the Chief and I are no longer "roommates" but "domestic partners." He's dubbed me "Buffalo Penis" and I've taken that for my legal name. I quit my job at Wendy's and I now perform my Judy Collins songs for audiences at the Chinese War Veteran Nursing Home.

When I read about people making the "switch" to Apple, I had no idea how much would change! But I can honestly say you've helped me find true happiness. God bless you and your company.

Sincerely,
Buffalo Penis
posted by adrober at 9:03 PM on October 14, 2002


On a more serious note, doesn't the piece Crash_Davis post contain still more lies? I'm confused. I though the picture was of some generic (if somewhat striking) woman.
posted by ParisParamus at 9:08 PM on October 14, 2002


From crash davis' link:

An employee at a public relations company hired by Microsoft, Valerie G. Mallinson of Shoreline, Wash., later acknowledged she was Microsoft's mysterious convert

Umm, just how stupid do they think we are? I always thought that MS had very little respect for their customers, but I didn't know that they thought their (potential) customers were total imbeciles.
posted by Llama-Lime at 9:08 PM on October 14, 2002


Yeah, that looks like a PR babe; so this is a PR babe who posed for a picture that was bought by Getty? That's the part I don't get. Or maybe I should go to sleep.
posted by ParisParamus at 9:17 PM on October 14, 2002


That's an awesome story, adro...uh...Buffalo Penis. You'll forgive me if I don't ask about your new Ikea lodge furnishings.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 9:58 PM on October 14, 2002


From the ad:

Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 does more for me than Netscape Navigator ever did, and I am a surfing addict. Searches are faster; the History feature makes it easier to find that site from last week; and I can name and organize my Favorites any way I want.


Er..isn't this just blatent misrepresentation? Searches are the same speed whatever your OS or browser, and the implication is that Navigator doesn't have a History or customizable Favourites.

Microsoft gets caught with it's pants down again. Oops. I swear, half the reason I run Linux is that I hate the company more than their blasted software.
posted by salmacis at 12:51 AM on October 15, 2002


The stock image thing it pretty standard. I know when I was doing advertising design we used to use stock photos of people quite often (that's what they exist for).

Have a browse through any old magazine, see a pretty face associated with an ad, or a quote in an ad? Good chance that pretty face is stock. Hell, the same face is probably selling vaccum cleaners on the other side of the world.
posted by sycophant at 5:05 AM on October 15, 2002


sycophant - I think the point is that usually stock images represent generic people, whereas the whole point of this campaign is that it was supposed to be a real, honest-to-god, not on Microsoft's payroll individual.
posted by soyjoy at 7:57 AM on October 15, 2002


Er..isn't this just blatent misrepresentation? Searches are the same speed whatever your OS or browser,
Perceived browser rendering speed, interface speed, of the webpage. It's a matter of opinion.
and the implication is that Navigator doesn't have a History or customizable Favourites.
They just say it's easier. Matter of opinion.
posted by holloway at 12:40 PM on October 15, 2002


The clues are in the Word doc, which is still available at microsoft.com. Check the document author (File > Properties). (Wired)
posted by ~rschram at 2:19 PM on October 15, 2002


Another one yanked (screenshot)
posted by holloway at 1:19 PM on October 16, 2002


« Older History of Breakdancing...  |  Colleges losing money to stude... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments