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Microsoft Businesses Apple

Microsoft Tries a "Switch" Campaign 1224

Posted by pudge
from the huh-huh-she-said-switching dept.
Twirlip of the Mists writes "There's a new page on Microsoft's web site that tells the first-person story of an unnamed 'freelance writer' who made the switch from the Mac to Windows XP. The author of the page -- who never identifies herself, and who could very easily be fictional or a composite sketch -- says 'Windows XP gives me more choices and flexibility.' How, you ask? Why, through Microsoft Office, Internet Explorer, and modern operating-system features like separate accounts for each user and easy access to the Internet, of course. Maybe somebody should email Microsoft and let them know that the Mac has had all of these things for years now ... nah. It'd just embarrass them. Anyway, it's an entertaining read that's good for a laugh." Update: 10/14 21:12 GMT by P : Apparently, Microsoft has taken the page down, but Google has it.
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Microsoft Tries a "Switch" Campaign

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  • yeah right (Score:5, Funny)

    by sujan (464326) on Monday October 14, 2002 @02:50PM (#4447250)
    If you can't beat'em, copy'em.
    • by Jucius Maximus (229128) <zyrbmf5j4x@snRED ... com minus distro> on Monday October 14, 2002 @02:59PM (#4447344) Homepage Journal
      "If you can't beat'em, copy'em."

      So true... [all-windows.com]

    • by WildBeast (189336) on Monday October 14, 2002 @03:04PM (#4447417) Journal
      True, that's the reason why Apple switched to FreeBSD code.
    • Re:yeah right (Score:5, Insightful)

      by rseuhs (322520) on Monday October 14, 2002 @03:56PM (#4447982)
      Isn't it amazing that some people still fall for something like that?

      I mean, the Mac switcher ads are already pretty - well let's say "unlikely to have really happened that way".

      For Bill Gates not unlikely enough, it seems. How high is the chance that a Mac to PC convert writes down her confessions and includes:

      "See Which Edition is Right for You? for more information."

      Complete with link to the right Microsoft page?

      I find some UFO stories more believable.

    • by killmenow (184444) on Monday October 14, 2002 @03:58PM (#4447996)
      I can hear it now...

      Apple: Stop copying us!

      Microsoft: Stop copying us!

      Apple: Bitch!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 14, 2002 @02:51PM (#4447252)
    And then like.. my computer was like... uhh... beep beep... BSOD... and like halfa my paper was gone....
    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 14, 2002 @02:59PM (#4447347)
      she is hot.
    • by TehF0X (616757) <root@DEBIANsquirrelsoup.net minus distro> on Monday October 14, 2002 @03:00PM (#4447362) Homepage
      She's also astute enough to include step by step instructions on setting up an internet connection, cuz that's what I like to tell people about when I praise their OS..
  • by Matey-O (518004) <michaeljohnmiller@mSPAMsSPAMnSPAM.com> on Monday October 14, 2002 @02:52PM (#4447259) Homepage Journal
    Yes®, it's® true®. I® like® the® Microsoft® Windows® XP® operating® system® enough® to® change® my® whole® computing® world® around®.

    {Stuff deleted}
    © 2002 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
    • Re:to paraphrase (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Jucius Maximus (229128) <zyrbmf5j4x@snRED ... com minus distro> on Monday October 14, 2002 @03:16PM (#4447569) Homepage Journal
      I think that the silliest part of all of this is that they actually believe that they're going to convert Macintosh users to Windows.

      Now don't get me wrong, I have never owed a Macintosh and, until a few years ago, used nothing but Microsoft operating systems.

      The thing is that Apple users have heard all the anti-Apple flack for years and know where their loyalties lie. The average Windows user doesn't know that anything else exists. It's easy to convert or at least influence a Windows user who hasn't developed any real loyalties.

      But Mac users, on the other hand, are hardcore about their loyalties and know what their OS is and why they like it. They have used PCs in public labs, at school, libraries, whatever for years and will be able to see through the the Microsoft FUD as they have been doing for years.

      I suspect that the marketing brass at Apple will be (or currently are) having a good hearty laugh over all of this.

      • Re:to paraphrase (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Jhan (542783) on Monday October 14, 2002 @04:12PM (#4448156) Homepage

        The thing is that Apple users have heard all the anti-Apple flack for years and know where their loyalties lie. The average Windows user doesn't know that anything else exists.

        Hear, hear. They can have some pretty absolute opinions about other OS's though, without ever having used them, or even seen them.

        I've been a pretty avid alternativist for the last two decades. I used to be (still am in some ways) an Amiga nut. I dived into BeOS when it was new. I was an early adopter of Linux, and have had one or two BSD machines.

        My father (without actually bothering to look at any of the machines for 10s) would always say "Give it up! There is no alternative! Windows has won! No-one will ever use anything else!"

        Well, the last time Pops came over, I showed him my new flat-panel iMac. I just did some basic demoing, like showing him the zooming dock at the bottom, window shadows, speach recognition, and of course the fish in the background [serenescreen.com] (yes, any OpenGL screen saver can be run as a desktop background).

        Response? We'll, he looked a bit shocked. Then he looked a bit flabbergasted. The he looked stunned for a while. Then he said "I want that in my computer".

        At which point I explained "You can't have that in your computer. It's nigh impossible in Windows. But if you got a Mac..."

        May be one more convert for the Gray Side.

      • Re:to paraphrase (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Rebel Patriot (540101) on Monday October 14, 2002 @04:16PM (#4448185) Journal
        The thing is that Apple users have heard all the anti-Apple flack for years and know where their loyalties lie. The average Windows user doesn't know that anything else exists. It's easy to convert or at least influence a Windows user who hasn't developed any real loyalties.

        You just missed the entire point of this article. Microsoft knows they're not going to convince hardcore Apple users to switch. This copy of Apple's switch campaing, is for MS users who might be tempted to switch. If a user is considering switching to Apple, then sees that some other people are switching from Apple to MS, the user might very well decide to stay right where he is. The theory of course, is that a user who is easily persuaded to try Apple could be easily persuaded not to try Apple; get it?
  • by RatBastard (949) on Monday October 14, 2002 @02:52PM (#4447261) Homepage
    Hey! She's not funny looking! Can't those twits at MicroSoft do anything right?
  • by scott1853 (194884) on Monday October 14, 2002 @02:52PM (#4447262)
    Their users are much better looking that the Apple ones.
    • by dissy (172727) on Monday October 14, 2002 @03:28PM (#4447669)
      Their clipart people you mean?

      Check out Here [gettyimages.com]

      Whee
      • by Melantha_Bacchae (232402) on Monday October 14, 2002 @05:22PM (#4448749)
        Gee, I wonder if Caroline Woodham, the model in the picture, knows she switched to XP or that she is now a Microsoft editor.

        Whether she does or not, it looks like Microsoft just pulled the page (or it got slashdotted). It seems they can no longer find it.

        I guess Caroline Woodham (or her make believe twin) just got "fired". Or maybe her PC self destructed. Anyway, it has got to be one of the shortest Microsoft careers ever.

        I feel sorry for the model in the picture, though. She signed a release that people could use the photo in general artwork, not that someone can make up stories about her personally. The price of a 72 dpi picture (assuming someone didn't just take it off their web site and cut off the top part with the light table and the company name) just doesn't cover something like that.

        As for a company that feels it needs to hire fictional clip art switchers/editors, that's pretty sad. At least Apple uses (and hopefully pays) real people.

        My favorite switchers tale is still the 1993 "Godzilla vs. MechaGodzilla II". Man, when he switches, he switches big time. Just look at all them Macs. ;)

        "His return is near..." Godzilla 2000 trailer
        G Countdown: 15 days (www.godzillaoncube.com)
    • by mustangdavis (583344) on Monday October 14, 2002 @03:40PM (#4447780) Homepage Journal

      Their users are much better looking that the Apple ones.


      I don't know about that one ...

      Do you remember Ms. Niceass ... you know, that student teacher you had when you were in middle/high school??? Don't all teachers use Macs??? :)

      Hmmmm ... the score:
      • good looking and smart for Mac
      • one card board cut out for MS

      I think we all know who the winner is here ... especially if she'll let you "raise your grade" .... *hmmm* .... oh, excuse me!!!

      :)

  • by rocjoe71 (545053) on Monday October 14, 2002 @02:53PM (#4447273) Homepage

    Choices: You can select which security flaw to patch first.

    Flexibility: Your choice of anti-virus program.

  • Hysterical! (Score:5, Funny)

    by PCM2 (4486) on Monday October 14, 2002 @02:53PM (#4447278) Homepage
    This person claims to be a "freelance writer." It's a riot! Don't you get it?

    Don't you figure that he/she might just be the freelance writer ... that Microsoft hired to write this advertising copy?

    I love it!

    • by Capt Dan (70955) on Monday October 14, 2002 @02:56PM (#4447304) Homepage
      I like the how the technical bit about how to set up XP is prefaced by "here's the skinny".
      • by Tofuhead (40727) on Monday October 14, 2002 @03:14PM (#4447554)

        I also found that little tidbit, well, precious. It's like, "Hey, slick. I'm a cool cat and I'd like to rap with you about this smooth new deal. Now here's the skinny, man. Outta sight."

        For various other reasons, I also liked "Girl Scout's honor," "Less Dough," "And Now for the How," "accommodate my 5 foot 3 inches instead of his 6 feet," and "I discover more treats daily."

        < tofuhead >

    • by Bouncings (55215) <ken&kenkinder,com> on Monday October 14, 2002 @03:21PM (#4447618) Homepage
      No, she clearly is a free-lance writer.
      • Windows XP gives me more choices and
      • flexibility, and better compatibility with the rest of the technology world.

        ...

        I am a freelance writer; I demand the best in mobile computing.

        There's no equivalent for the versatility of Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint®. Toolbars and menus customize themselves to the way I work.
      Mobile computing? Versatility? I could swear she was the free-lance writer who wrote the mission statements of a dozen busted dot-coms. No wonder she's looking for cheaper hardware!

      I wonder if the switch helps her utilize her verticle portals too!

  • by naNoox (223207) on Monday October 14, 2002 @02:53PM (#4447280)
    It must suck to be a "freelance writer" and to not even get a credit on your "submission" to Microsoft's site...

    Nanoox
  • by The Pi-Guy (529892) <joshua+slashdotNO@SPAMjoshuawise.com> on Monday October 14, 2002 @02:55PM (#4447294) Homepage
    my story about how Microsoft Lindows has made my life easier after switching from Windows 2000. That oughta make someone explode at M$.

    XD
    --j
  • by anonymous coword (615639) on Monday October 14, 2002 @02:55PM (#4447298) Homepage Journal
    Linux gives me more choices and flexibility.' How, you ask? Why, through OpenOffice, Mozilla, and modern operating-system features like separate accounts for each user and easy access to the Internet, of course.
    • by slagdogg (549983) on Monday October 14, 2002 @04:12PM (#4448149)
      and easy access to the Internet, of course.

      With Windows, I had to go through ... like ... three ... or like ... four menus to find the "automatically configure my network" button. With Linux, it's like ... I just need to add 'iface eth0 inet dhcp' in /etc/network/interfaces and a couple of ifconfig commands later, I'm up and running ... like, it's so easy!

  • End Note (Score:5, Insightful)

    by prsabc (111655) on Monday October 14, 2002 @02:55PM (#4447299)
    *Editor's Note: Now that we've successfully converted our writer to a Windows PC, we will be working on getting her to try a Pocket PC. Stay tuned for more developments!

    So does this mean that they converted "the microsoft writer to M$" Wow they got their own employee to use their product after how many years, hmmm I am guessing at home she is still a MAC user....
  • by jamie (78724) <jamie@slashdot.org> on Monday October 14, 2002 @02:55PM (#4447300) Journal
    This "person" is obviously an invention of Microsoft marketing... no name. (Apple made a great move to have everyone in their "switch" ads identify themselves at the end. Microsoft didn't even try.)

    The added touches of this "person" being 5-foot-3 and her husband six feet, and the "Lexus we rented once," was predicted by Philip K. Dick in his short story The Mold of Yancy [google.com]. If you've read it, go read the Microsoft ad with an eye toward the similarity. It's creepy.

  • by The Great Wakka (319389) on Monday October 14, 2002 @02:56PM (#4447305) Homepage Journal
    AppleWorks (previously called ClarisWorks) pales in comparison to Microsoft Office XP. There's no equivalent for the versatility of Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint®. Toolbars and menus customize themselves to the way I work. I wouldn't know how to function without the Track Changes and Comments features of Word. I adore the Office Clipboard, which copies multiple elements from one file and pastes them into another.

    Nooo! Not the hidey menu thingy! That thing drove me insane! And here it's listed as a plus? I'm sorry, what?

    All the Mac hardware--including my printer, broadband cable, Zip drive, and Palm handheld--works perfectly with my Windows-based PC.

    Really? You don't say? What about your internal hard drive? And your old applications?

    Well, really. From a company with a huge marketing budget, I expect something that isn't (1) a cheap copy of your competitor's and (2) can't be picked into little bits in 15.32 seconds.
  • by azaroth42 (458293) on Monday October 14, 2002 @02:56PM (#4447307) Homepage
    No one talks like that apart from marketdroids. I mean really:

    I am a freelance writer; I demand the best in mobile computing. ...
    See Which Edition is Right for You? for more information.


    Who talks in Hyperlinks?

    At least the Mac ads are believable.

    --Azaroth
  • by vex24 (126288) on Monday October 14, 2002 @02:56PM (#4447309) Homepage
    Part of her "testimony" is this classic line:

    My recommendation is to go straight to Windows XP Professional; the extra features for mobile users are worth it. See Which Edition is Right for You? [microsoft.com] for more information.

    Hilarious... like an actual customer would go hunt down links to recommend people buy the most expensive workstation OS they sell. God Microsoft, keep 'em coming, soon you'll be as funny as the Onion!
  • shocking. (Score:5, Funny)

    by 3prong (241218) on Monday October 14, 2002 @02:56PM (#4447315)
    This makes Ellen Feiss and baby jesus cry.
  • by sophits (590745) on Monday October 14, 2002 @02:57PM (#4447319) Homepage
    Real people don't say things like:

    I am a freelance writer; I demand the best in mobile computing.

    That just wreaks of marketing monkey dung.
  • Missing the point (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Mr Krinkle (112489) on Monday October 14, 2002 @02:57PM (#4447320) Homepage
    I think the most interesting point isn't that someone switched, but that this is a MICROSOFT writer that was using a Macintosh for 8 years. They just got her to convert.
    "*Editor's Note: Now that we've successfully converted our writer to a Windows PC, we will be working on getting her to try a Pocket PC. Stay tuned for more developments!"
    I think the better story would be "Bill forces last Mac user to switch!"

  • by ravemax (452708) on Monday October 14, 2002 @02:57PM (#4447327) Homepage
    Just a few quotes:
    "AppleWorks (...) pales in comparison to Microsoft Office XP." - isn't there Office X ?

    "Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 does more for me than Netscape Navigator ever did" - I wonder what happens when I start my IE on my Mac ... (Mozilla is better anyway).

    "The key to getting hardware to work with your computer is to have the correct drivers" - to be honest: i never installed drivers on my Mac - it just worked out of the box.
  • by jfedor (27894) <jfedor@jfedor.org> on Monday October 14, 2002 @03:00PM (#4447360) Homepage
    I have a question to the guy who submitted this story: do you honestly believe that the people featured in Apple's Switch campaign are real? I mean, I know Tony Hawk is a real person. Ellen Feiss could be real, too. But when they speak about how cool macs are and how uncool PCs are, they do so because they got money from Apple. Their confessions are just about as real as those of the "fictional" and "composite" person from Microsoft.

    The difference is that Apple paid someone to lie on TV and Microsoft put their story in the mouth of an imaginary person. Now who's more honest?

    -jfedor
    • by banky (9941) <gregg@neurLIONobashing.com minus cat> on Monday October 14, 2002 @03:01PM (#4447377) Homepage Journal
      While they certainly may be lying, every switcher with an internet presence denies recieving a single dollar from Apple (although they did get lunch).
    • by MrAl (21859) on Monday October 14, 2002 @03:14PM (#4447551)
      Take a look here:
      http://www.osnews.com/story.php?news_id=173 7

      Looks to me like it's a real person. And looks to me like it was a real interview.
    • Reality (Score:5, Insightful)

      by SuperKendall (25149) on Monday October 14, 2002 @03:21PM (#4447619)
      The reality is there really are many Mac users who would happily appear on TV and say the same things. I know I'm one...

      Don't you think there are people as similarily pleased with Linux that would appear in ads if given half a chance? Is it so hard to believe these people could be real?

      I think there would even be such a group that would happily go up and proclaim the wonders of MS, why MS has chosen to craft a person instead is beyond me. I guess it's the need for total control.
    • by Twirlip of the Mists (615030) <twirlipofthemists@yahoo.com> on Monday October 14, 2002 @03:25PM (#4447650)
      I'm the guy who submitted the story, and I'll be happy to answer your question. Apple did something that most people aren't aware of. They actively solicited, on their web site, write-in testimonials about switching from Windows to Mac OS X for almost a year before running the first "Switchers" ad. Also, Apple paid for the Switchers airfare and accommodations when they shot their TV spots, but they themselves received no money at all.

      Finally, the TV spots are just a small part of the Switchers campaign. Check out apple.com/switch/stories [apple.com] sometime. You'll find dozens of emailed testimonials from real people identified only by their initials.

      The answer to your question is yes. I believe the people featured in Apple's Switchers campaign are real. While I concede that it's possible that the whole thing campaign a big hoax, I think it would have been a lot harder for Apple to fabricate it than it would have been to simply find a couple dozen people who were willing to talk about their Macs on camera. The preponderance of evidence points to the conclusion that Apple is just letting people tell their own stories, while the preponderance of evidence is that Microsoft, in this case, isn't.

      So to answer your last question: Apple is more honest.

      Thanks for asking. ;-)
  • hahaha! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by 3-State Bit (225583) on Monday October 14, 2002 @03:00PM (#4447368)
    I was up and running in less than one day, Girl Scout's honor.
    Translation: It took me most of a day, i.e. many grueling hours, just to get up and running.

    Sure, "more hardware is available for less dough", but you get what you pay for...
  • by Blondie-Wan (559212) on Monday October 14, 2002 @03:01PM (#4447376) Homepage
    "The author of the page -- who never identifies herself, and who could very easily be fictional or a composite sketch"

    IIRC, Microsoft targeted such an ad campaign at Mac people a couple years ago, albeit to get them to use IE & Office for Mac, not switch altogether. The campaign featured what were purported to be testimonials from satisfied customers, but M$ tipped its hand when it launched the ads too quickly, and had "customers" discussing their experience with the latest versions of M$ wares a few days before said versions actually shipped.

  • by obidonn (590065) on Monday October 14, 2002 @03:02PM (#4447391)
    Not only is she a freelance writer, but she also models for stock photography - check it out [gettyimages.com]. Or maybe they just threw in a stock image of a person...
  • Clearly (Score:5, Funny)

    by jjoyce (4103) on Monday October 14, 2002 @03:04PM (#4447421)
    she is a freelance fiction writer.
  • This won't work (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anenga (529854) on Monday October 14, 2002 @03:08PM (#4447464)
    I'm sorry, but it will near impossible for MS to get back the marketshare/mindshare they've lost from Apple or Linux.

    Why? Because those people had a reason to "switch". It's like saying they learned that Soilent Green is people, then have the people that make it say "Come back to Soilent Green! Really! New flavors, fat free!". It just won't work. They know there are alternatives to Windows, to the BSOD, to the annoying Clippy, to the oodles and oodles of unexplained problems and security issues.

    The users who came from Windows and now are on the Mac are like the people that swam across the ocean from Cuba, I don't think they're going back anytime soon.

    What Microsoft should do is improve it's software NOW so that there won't be any incentive to switch. Besides, the portion of users who switched or even using Apple products are very marginal anyways.
  • Entertaining??? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by RAMMS+EIN (578166) on Monday October 14, 2002 @03:28PM (#4447671) Homepage Journal
    ``Anyway, it's an entertaining read that's good for a laugh.''
    You think this is fun? This is FUD. Lies. Crap. Misinformation. Cheating. BAD BAD BAD.

    I mean, advertising is one thing. Advertising the things you stole from others is quite another. XP is more multiuser than OS X? You'll make me laugh. Office XP has more features then Claris? Yes, it's called bloat and decreases usability. Besides, office runs on Mac, too.

    MicroSoft Internet Exploiter faster does more for her than Netscape ever did? Yeah, popping up ads, loading up the borked MSN ActiveX control, loading Word documents inline so that people get the idea that they are a replacement for webpages. Searches go faster? Maybe if you are looking for the crap that M$ search comes up with...give me Google any day! And it's not like Netscape doesn't have history, either.

    Connection Wizard - yes an old pal of mine. It's always the first program I removed. Not that removing is easy, you have to actually delete the directory it's in, or iexplore.exe will run it for you. WTF? I asked for _Internet Explorer_ not _Connection Wizard_. Why I get rid of it? Because setting up access to any provider I've used is easier without it, and because sometimes I just want to satrt a browser, without having to click away a bunch ow wizards first.

    `` I started with Outlook Express for e-mail, because it's included with Windows XP.'' Here we have the fatal flaw that got us all those lovely email virii. I understand that the vulnerabilities have *finally* been fixed in the XP version, but God, did that take a long time.

    ``I copied hundreds of Web Favorites from the Mac onto a Zip disk, then into the Favorites folder on the PC. Internet Explorer has an Import/Export Wizard that you can use to import Netscape bookmarks, but I found it faster to do it this way.''
    ROFL. Copied them to a Zip disk? Hilarious. It's called Linux. It can mount _your_ filesystem. You don't even have to buy a new computer to run it! And the OS is Free, as is most of the software you will want to use!

    ``Both Outlook Express and Outlook will import contacts and messages from other programs.''
    Yes, and I trust that M$ have taken care that they are then saved in a proprietary format so that others can't pull the same trick on them...

    ``Later, I had to uninstall and reinstall Outlook''
    Yes, welcome to Windows...

    ``The key to getting hardware to work with your computer is to have the correct drivers''
    Indeed. And M$ have been so good as to make the XP driver interface incompatible with previous versions of Windows, so that if you install it on older hardware, you may not be able to get drivers for your components. A problem that Macs don't seem to have, but I might be rong.

    ``If not, go to the Web site of the company that makes the peripheral you want to attach to find the most current drivers.''
    And download a 10+ MB file from their site that loads a lot of visual violence, advertisements, bells and whistles, and then tells me that I downloaded the wrong driver, even though the name of my device is almost exactly like the one the driver is for? Or worse, not being able to find out where to go for the driver, because all Windows has to say about it is ``PCI Multimedia Device''? Where is lspci -vv when you need it??

    Pfff...it's been a while since I've been able to blow off so much steam...
  • by Mignon (34109) <satan@programmer.net> on Monday October 14, 2002 @03:28PM (#4447674)
    Scene 1: Godfather Bill is sitting with his trusted goons.

    Godfather Bill: What's this I hear about one of our freelance writers using a Mac? Make her an offer she can't refuse.

    Scene 2: Anonymous writer's bedroom.

    (The anonymous writer tosses and turns in bed, and rolls over, waking up. She notices something in the bed next to her and pulls back the sheet to reveal the severed LCD screen from her beloved iMac.)

    Anonymous Writer: Aaaaah! Aaaaaah! OK, I'll switch!

  • by Lonath (249354) on Monday October 14, 2002 @03:41PM (#4447793)
    Wow, that's quite an innovation. I wonder how they thought of that. I get a little tired of having to use this "root" account that came with my Linux package. It's kind of a stupid name and I wish I could change it to my name. Maybe someday Linux will have separate accounts for each user.
  • by Dr. Spork (142693) on Monday October 14, 2002 @03:43PM (#4447814)
    I can't believe you guys are taking this thing at face value. Are you nuts? Do you really think that MS has a fertile source of new money inside the Mac crowd? I've seen figures (can't attest to their reliability) that an Apple customer pays more money to MS than the average x86 customer. I'm sure this figure isn't far off. I mean, MS Office is on just about every Mac, it's much harder to find pirated copies, and it costs more to buy at the store.

    This whole thing is a charade that Apple is a willing participant of. The whole point of the "switch" campaigns is to give the appearance of competition in an industry that effectively has none. Microsoft must be thrilled, because a totally leashed, client company (Apple) is making it look like competition is nipping at Microsoft's heels. Last week they tried the "Windows and Mac users can get along" campaign, which was spooky but not surprising, given the antitrust battles going on now.

    Remember that the allegation made against MS is that they don't compete fairly with their real competiton. There are boxes of evidence to support this. On the other hand, there is the supposed couterexample of Apple: A high profile, low danger company that gives MS absolutely nothing to worry about. MS is in fact crying: "see, we are running a fair race! Look at Apple! We're not bullying them at all! We're really, really competing with them using--fair methods like advertising. And oooh, we're soooo scared that they would eat into our market share, so we find it imperative to run ads which prevent this! Our position on the desktop is soooo vulnerable!"

    Well, I hoped that at least the slashdot crowd could see through this. I mean, we know that once Microsoft aputates both of your legs, they are perfectly willing to run a fair race against you. Witness that Internet Explorer is now finally uninstallable. However, suddently the Windows Media Player isn't. That's because RealMedia still (sort of) has its legs. Once they're off, the uninstallability problem will suddently disappear. My point is that Apple lies somewhere between Netscape and OS2 in terms of being a threat to Microsoft. However, there is much good PR to be gained by making it appear that the two companies are locked in fierce competition. So MS are milking it. The only surprise is that nobody is calling them on it!

  • This is a joke... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by seamus_waldron (304343) <seamus_waldron@a p j . c o . uk> on Monday October 14, 2002 @03:44PM (#4447822) Homepage
    The article looks as though it was written by somebody who has never, ever, touched a MAC.

    Frankly, I'd like to see a MAC formatted ZIP disk work instantly on a PC. I'd also like to see why the writer didn't compare Microsoft Office to Microsdoft Office v.X. I'll tell you why, v.X is in my opinion the best Office implementation at the moment. Also, why not compare IE 6 PC to IE on the MAC?

    The whole thing is just laughable.
  • by Zech Harvey (604609) on Monday October 14, 2002 @03:47PM (#4447859)

    I find it surprising that Microsoft feels the need to use this style of marketing campaign. Not for the fact that is blatently copying Apple's Switch campaign, my surprise for MS copying other people's work ran out years ago.

    What surprises me is that it has been found that market leaders need not identify themselves in their campaigns -- it is implicit that most consumers will choose said market-leader. For example: Campbell's doesn't need a campaign that says "Buy Campbell's" It just needs to say "Buy Soup" and most consumers will choose their soup. This marketing push of their OS by name in a popular style, at least to me, says that Microsoft is really getting worried over any change in market-share. Enough so to nitpick over a few percentage points and retaliate with a campaign like this. (Tell me, at the height of the pre-bundled, defacto-standard Windows Empire -- How often did you see their OS advertised?)

    (by the by, how do tactics like this by Microsoft strain their relationship with Apple? I would think Jobs, being an artist at heart, would hate a blatent copy like this.)

  • funny... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by LinuxWoman (127092) <damschler@mai[ ]ty.com ['lci' in gap]> on Monday October 14, 2002 @03:48PM (#4447866)
    how the "convert" keeps speaking using microsoft marketing jargon.... like the average user automatically thinks in terms of "oooo visit this handy tool at microsoft.com"
  • by guttentag (313541) on Monday October 14, 2002 @03:58PM (#4448002) Journal
    • The woman in the picture looks like she's in the middle of a commercial for a yeast-infection or genital-herpes remedy. "With Windows, I don't have to be afraid to tell people what operating system I use. And that's a weight off my shoulders, so I can spend more time enjoying life."
    • "It's about more and better." Wow. That's substantial and profound. I thought she said she was a "professional writer."
    • Most of the page is devoted to explaining how to use wizards. If you need to explain how to use your wizards, your need to fire your usability team.
    • She finishes her pitch by talking about installing drivers and finding more programs to convert her Mac documents every day: "I discover more treats daily. For example, Word Converters are helping me transfer old document files, Microsoft Works files, and even AppleWorks files. It will be an ongoing process, but I'm thrilled so far." In other words, she still hasn't been able to convert all her documents, and she expects it to be a long, ongoing process... and this is why Windows is "better?"
    Personally, I don't think Microsoft wrote this. I think someone from Saturday Night Live broke into the MS server room and uploaded this.
  • by gosand (234100) on Monday October 14, 2002 @04:00PM (#4448025)
    OMFG, that was hilarious! The underlying message was "Microsoft makes switching from bad ol' expensive Macintosh to their happy, puppy friendly technologically superior Windows XP platform so easy, even a dumb girl like me can do it. Tee-hee."

    How low can you get? Does anyone really BELIEVE this story? I sure hope not.

    But at the end of the article, there are forms in PDF and Word (natch) where you can send in YOUR experiences with Windows. Come on Slashdotters, fill them out and send them in! PDF [microsoft.com] and Word [microsoft.com]

    Here is the text of the document. It gets better...

    Show Off Your Skills

    Are you a whiz at using a Microsoft product at home or in the office? Are you the one everyone comes to when they need to know how to do something? If so, we'd love to see what you can do.

    A whiz? ha ahaha I think they mean wiz. Oh brother.

    We're collecting ideas for articles on the Microsoft Insider Web site. Some of your work or submissions may be included in a gallery on the site, featured in press releases, or developed into how-to articles.

    This just in: Microsoft invents user-friendly HOWTO documents.

    Note: We will not feature any of your work without first receiving your permission.

    And having you sign away the rights to any experience you may have, or have had in the past to the sole ownership of Microsoft.

    To participate, please send us:
    Your first and last name
    Name of your company or organization (if applicable)
    Brief description of your company or organization, including industry and size
    Brief description of which Microsoft product you use and how you use it
    Personal contact information, including address, phone number and e-mail address
    Samples of your work--either hard copies of your marketing materials or a Web site address where we can view your work. Please be sure to include any user names or passwords that might be needed.

    WTF???

    You can submit your sample(s) one of two ways:
    1. For online materials, send an e-mail message with the subject line Microsoft Publisher Customer Stories to insider@microsoft.com. (Note: Please do not send any attachments over 1 megabyte in size.)

    Or with any malicious VBscripts attached


    2. For printed materials, send hard copies to:
    Microsoft Insider Customer Stories Microsoft Corporation 9931 Willows Road Redmond, WA 98052 Microsoft will not share the information you provide with third parties without your permission except where necessary to complete the services or transactions you have requested, or as required by law.

  • by phillymjs (234426) <slashdot&stango,org> on Monday October 14, 2002 @04:08PM (#4448111) Homepage Journal
    ...someone has to track her down and discover that she is also a Mac user in real life-- she probably has a CRT iMac or an iBook or something, if she's like the models I know.

    It always cracked me up that the Blue Man Group shill for Intel but run their shows with Macs. [apple.com]

    ~Philly
  • by Ektanoor (9949) on Monday October 14, 2002 @04:11PM (#4448143) Journal
    Importing Messages. I upgraded to Outlook when I installed Office XP. I chose Yes when Outlook asked whether I wanted to import messages from Outlook Express. Later, I had to uninstall and reinstall Outlook, but all was not lost.

    Hmmm. In the way she writes her excitement on using this piece of crap, it looks she is another outlooker that says yes, Yes, YES to every Klez juicy flavour and every LOVE YOU letter... Probably the new, fresh and exciting BugBears will make her dreams sweet... I imagine the ride of joy she'll have when some Barby/Trojan will salute her in one more of these exciting [censured] M$ gifts...
  • by Lethyos (408045) on Monday October 14, 2002 @04:14PM (#4448170) Journal
    Here's what I submitted as my XP switch story. :-)

    You can use my personal photo from this web page:

    http://delivery.gettyimages.com/comp/AA046139.JP G? x=x&dasite=GETTYIMAGES&dareq=1A0C1F181E0
    80314025 D2337394D32324055454243585F414E

    My name is Linda Lee and here's my story!

    "WindowsXP is great!"

    OKay, I admit it! I've been a Linux user for years! You know, one of
    those communists who thinks that everything should be free and forgets
    to use deoderant. Recently, I was reading a totally unbiased
    technical article in a magazine that informed me that the competition
    just cannot stand up to Microsoft's (r) Windows (r) XP operating
    system.

    Let me tell you how lost I have been all these years, using free,
    open-source software! What a waste of my life! As soon as I read
    about all the great features, I threw some clothes on (shoes too!) and
    ran out to my nearest CompUSA to buy a copy of Microsoft (r) Windows
    (r) XP Professional for about 400$US. I got home, ripped the
    shrink-wrap off, read over the draconian EULA (I don't mind giving up
    some freedoms, Windows (r) is just too great), and immediately got to
    installing.

    After installation, I was unable to activate my copy of Microsoft (r)
    Windows (r) XP. Sure, there was a little hic-up here, but after all,
    you sometimes have to make sacrifices for quality! After about a
    month of not being able to use my computer, customer support finally
    just said I could use a "back-door" activation code. How wonderful
    that Microsoft are helping me out at their own peril!

    It only took me about three months to get me up and running! Girl
    Scout's honor!

    More Crashes, Less Work

    Microsoft (r) Windows (r) XP lets me relax more through my busy work
    day. With continuous crashes and reboots, I can spend more time
    sipping coffee than doing my job! Microsoft (r) Windows (r) XP also
    ensures that the work I do manage to get done is of the highest
    possible quality. I demand that I be empowered to rewrite a document
    I lost four times so I can be certain that it is very refined.

    More Software Flexibility

    Previously, I had access to hundreds of thousands of free software
    products. But they were free, and we all know that anything that's
    free is worth nothing! Now I can go out and spend anywhere from 50$US
    to 5000$US dollars on a box with a CD-ROM disc in it! With a cost
    like that, it ought to be some really good software!

    Final Comments

    If it wasn't for Microsoft (r) Windows (r) XP, I wouldn't bathe, use
    deoderant, or wear clothes all day. I would just sit around and
    stink, rotting in my house, getting fat! Thanks to my switch to
    Windows (r), I'm healthy and have a great life! Thanks Microsoft (r)!
  • by *xpenguin* (306001) on Monday October 14, 2002 @05:04PM (#4448607)
    Looks like they deleted it out of shame.
  • Why bother? (Score:5, Funny)

    by DaveOMatic (557945) on Monday October 14, 2002 @05:48PM (#4448964)
    I think the Apple switch campaign was the best advertising they could have gotten. Every time I see one of those smug, smarmy bastards talking about why they switched, it just makes me cling to my cvrappy Windows box more, out of spite. It's like those "The Truth" anti-smoking ads, that make you want to start going at a pack a day, just to shut the little punks up.

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