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Microsoft Businesses Apple

Microsoft Switcher Ads: Part 2 761

Posted by pudge
from the i-vote-for-pathetic-flattery dept.
burgburgburg writes "We all recall Microsoft's last attempt to emulate the Apple Switch ads. Well, it seems they're at it again. MacNN reports that Microsoft has sent out emails to those who have recently registered MS products, looking for candidates for their 'Sensible Solutions' campaign, which will 'highlight computer professionals that have recently converted from Apple Computer products to Microsoft based systems.' Do you qualify? You must be 'a US resident with a minimum of 3 years experience as a computer professional. You must have used an Apple Computer product and a Microsoft based system as part of your work'. So when does it just stop being the sincerest form of flattery and just become utter, pathetic laziness?"
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Microsoft Switcher Ads: Part 2

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  • Mac User (Score:5, Funny)

    by AyeFly (242460) on Friday February 14, 2003 @03:33AM (#5300197)
    I have been using computers since the late 80's. In fact, in the beginning we used AppleIIs, for artwork etc... now that im 17 years older, I have switched to Photoshop on a WinXP platform.

    would that count O:-)
  • by yuckf00 (644870) on Friday February 14, 2003 @03:34AM (#5300199)
    You must also have a picture on a photo library CD.
  • by Senjutsu (614542) on Friday February 14, 2003 @03:35AM (#5300206)
    Right about ... now.
  • by Sp00nMan (199816) on Friday February 14, 2003 @03:35AM (#5300211) Journal
    I recently switched to Windows XP, because my Mac Powerbook is broken. So while I wait for that to get fixed, I borrowed a PC from work. I can't wait to get my Mac back.. oh wait, was I not supposed to say that? Do I still get paid?!
    • by kyrre (197103) on Friday February 14, 2003 @06:54AM (#5300717)
      I know this guy that actually did something like this. A webdesinger character. He has been the biggest Mac zealot since I first met him 6-7 years ago. Back then I hated the mac, the one button mouse and macos 6-8. I used GNU/Linux and was very happy with it. One year ago I got my first mac. An iBook. I love it. What happens then? His Powerbook breaksdown, and while waiting for it to return he start using XP. Now he say he is happy with it and probably will stay with XP. Now thats a path I won't follow him.

      Incidently this guys can't figure out os x.
      • by qengho (54305) on Friday February 14, 2003 @10:37AM (#5301590)

        probably will stay with XP....Incidently this guys can't figure out os x.

        Without fail, the biggest whiners about OS X are those with the most Mac experience (hell, I used to be one of them). The biggest complaint seems to be "The key commands are different." I can't figure out why muscle memory is more important to these folks than rock-solid stability.

        • by cpt kangarooski (3773) on Friday February 14, 2003 @12:01PM (#5302221) Homepage
          Well... do you mean to say that the only thing that makes OS X stable is a different set of keyboard shorcuts in the Finder?

          If not, then presumably, OS X _could have_ had the exact same user interface as MacOS did, while nevertheless being stable.

          Now, in truth, I don't believe that OS X could've had the MacOS UI precisely. Firstly, it would be a bad idea, since the MacOS UI has been needing to be replaced by something better since around 1990 or so when it got about as good as it was going to get. And secondly, because aspects of its shameful Unix past would show through anyway, e.g. with the file structure, or the security model.

          Personally, my problem is that the OS X UI is worse than the MacOS UI, which I had really wanted to be able to retire for over ten years anyway. Coupled with Apple's continuing craptastic hardware specs and prices compared with x86, and given that WinXP is about as crappy as OS X is, IMO, switching away wasn't that tough a thing to do.

          Hopefully, someday, something better will come along, and I'll finally be happy. Right now, I could be on pretty much any platform and the best I'd feel would be lousy.

          Of course, I do often find myself reaching for Cmd-N to make a new folder.... (If you think I'd get rid of my Extended II keyboard, you're nuts)
          • by qengho (54305)

            given that WinXP is about as crappy as OS X is, IMO

            Keep in mind that this is release 1 of OS X, and release, well, at least 9 of Windows. I have no doubt that over the next few years OS X will come to display the same polish that the previous MacOS had. I'm in this for the long haul.

            I do often find myself reaching for Cmd-N to make a new folder

            Heh, me too. Them muscles got lots of memory.

        • dialogs (Score:3, Interesting)

          It's the new dialog boxes that drive most OS9'ers crazy. OS X definitely took a step backward in terms of navigation through the dialog boxes, which made a lot more sense in 9. I've gotten used to them by now but I saw a lot of frustration expressed on lists and so forth about the new dialog boxes; Apple should really rethink them, or Default Folder X should get a lot better....
      • by tjwhaynes (114792) on Friday February 14, 2003 @10:59AM (#5301770)

        A web de-singer character.

        Someone who is going out of their way to remove singing from the web. Does he work for RIAA? :-)

        Cheers,

        Toby Haynes

  • Maybe it just works (Score:5, Interesting)

    by doomdog (541990) on Friday February 14, 2003 @03:35AM (#5300212)
    Why insist on calling it laziness? Maybe the switcher ads just work -- and it's always good sense to copy what is known to work well...

    If Microsoft knows the ads are working for Apple, they'd be stupid not to use them themselves....
    • by cposs (545553)
      It may "just work" for Apple, but if microsoft does it too then it's dilution of message. Anyone who's seen an apple add will probably discount it instantly, unless Microsoft finds some really good stories. Copying a proven design works for products, and sometimes in advertising, but not for competing products.
      • by cHALiTO (101461) <elchalo AT gmail DOT com> on Friday February 14, 2003 @08:09AM (#5300865) Homepage
        OK, here's one:

        About a month ago I participated on a Microsoft contest here in Argentina to promote OfficeXP, in which one was supposed to download an .xls file and a .doc file, edit them (change font, add some numbers, stupid stuff like that) and upload them. I didn't get the first prize (a sony cybershot) but I won two 'microsoft officeXP' backpacks (I covered the logo, of course ;) which I must say, are really nice.

        The interesting part? the files I uploaded where edited with OpenOffice for Linux ;-)

        ahhh isn't irony just great?
    • by jericho4.0 (565125) on Friday February 14, 2003 @03:45AM (#5300265)
      The switch adds work because the're true to how people (user types) feel about computers. I have a hard time imageining XP adds with the same appeal.

      People _feel_ about their Macs.

      • bah, bandwagons (Score:4, Insightful)

        by mandrake*rpgdx (650221) on Friday February 14, 2003 @10:08AM (#5301384) Homepage
        The MAC switch ads work for the same reason teh MS ones will never work. It's the same reason why all teh MAC users "love" their MAC. It's the idea of community. MS users have no sense of community. It's far too big to get that kind of following, and far too engrained into our social mind frame as being standard. MAC's are unique on purpose, because it gives the users an US verses them mentality. Linux users are the same way. Linux users love their OS's. It's a community thing, and has nothing to do with actual viable greatness of said products, just silly mob mentaility community thinking. /dons flame retardent suit
    • by kfg (145172) on Friday February 14, 2003 @03:47AM (#5300273)
      Or at least, one size does not fit all *well.*

      It's not at all unusual for an advertising stratagy that works for one company to fail miserably for another, even one the same line of business.

      Avis was made a major player in the car rental business by their " We're number two, so we try harder" ads.

      Hertz did not counter with a "We're number one, so we try harder" campaign. It wouldn't even have made sense.

      In this case Apple is the smaller, "nicheier" and less obvious choice for most professionals. Apple users are also known for being devoted to the product line.

      MS products are the "obvious" majority choice that even it's own users "love to hate."

      The "switch" approach makes sense for Apple and just looks a bit pathetic on the side of an outfit that already has over 90% of the market rapped up.

      Goliath trying to make himself out to be the underdog just isn't pretty.

      KFG
      • Durned silly, in fact. And then there's how I initially misread the article above:

        "Microsoft has sent out emails to those who have secretly registered MS products."

        And my next thought was "We've secretly replaced your MacOS with Folger's Crystals..."

        (No, I *haven't* had my morning caffeine, why do you ask?? :)

    • by Pyrosophy (259529) on Friday February 14, 2003 @06:10AM (#5300594)
      Ok, so I don't like marketing departments any more than you do. In fact, if you think marketing for software (especially games) is annoying, try the marketing department for a university.

      But for all the simple-mindedness, there is theory to marketing and a large corporation like Microsoft can't just start running "switch" ads. Microsoft by and large uses its advertising to sell products and features. This is probably because tech people are at the helm.

      Switch ads don't sell products or features, which Microsoft is used to. They sell "lifestyle" or "experience". Think of car commercials for any mainstream sedan "four doors, power steering" versus the VW bug. And Apple is a company and brand that is built on lifestyle and experience. They're good enough to have somewhat decent tech to go along with it, so their product actually fulfills people's desires created by the commercials (mostly).

      But Microsoft is not even remotely a brand that people associate with experience and lifestyle -- their pathetic attempts at trying have resulted in a portly fellow dressed as a butterfly. Because a) their company is branded as tech-features and b) their marketing department is hopelessly held hostage by the techies, they presently cannot pull off an experience related marketing scheme like "switch". They have a lot more work to do in order to change their company's image -- and I believe they're spread to thin to do it. Apple, on the other hand is right in the home desktop and artsy market and can pull off such a campaign.

      Microsoft is trying to fight a two-front image war, getting cozy with home users and flexing technical might with server-types, gamers, etc. It can't win this fight with only one product without making marketing history.

      So in short, pretending there were MS people who switched from Apple and liked it, just because the ads worked for MS does not mean Microsoft should try them. First of all it probably won't work, and it creates just more confusion in the average consumer's mind. I don't like MS anymore than the rest of you MS-haters, but you still have to admit that there are independent reasons why this is not a good idea for their company.

      They're damned if they run the ads (weird branding and potential of perception of deceit) and damned if they don't (more MS --> Apple swtichers). Sounds like a rosy picture to me!
    • by iamacat (583406) on Friday February 14, 2003 @06:21AM (#5300620)
      Think about it this way: if you are switching from Windows to Apple, you do it because you love the OS. It might hurt your finances or limit your life options (software), but you are happy with the things you do have.

      If you switch from Mac to Windows, basically you agree to get screwed to improve your finances. You might be able to have a particular piece of software, but your OS will just crash after coming home every day. It will interact with other web sites without your permission and infect you with resulting viruses. It will install software in "your" computer that sends your private information over Internet without telling you. Finally, if you hardware changes too much it will threaten to dump you unless you pay more money.

      Apple's switch commercials work because they remind people to do the right thing. MS switch ads will have no effect because everyone already knows that they could sell out, but most people who have the good stuff just refuse to do such a thing.

  • apple vs microsoft (Score:3, Interesting)

    by gh0ul (71352) <`moc.liamg' `ta' `kocmfdj'> on Friday February 14, 2003 @03:37AM (#5300219) Homepage Journal
    Microsoft is basically afraid because Apple has openly admitted their old OS wasn't so great, and the new MacOS has everyone switching to a Mac.. I used to hate mac's but now I use one for every day tasks, even work.. Microsoft may try a switch campaign, and they will get people to do it.. but for every switch ad microsoft makes, 500 more people just bought a mac and ditched their old PC's which can't run XP.
    • Absolutely. OS X is wonderful. I never even considered owning a Mac before, but now I have an OS X machine right next to my Linux box and my (generally started only for games) Windows machine.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 14, 2003 @03:38AM (#5300226)
    What Microsoft needs is an Ellen Feiss equivalent. How are they going to get her if they ask for 3 years experience as a computer professional?
  • by Hawthorne01 (575586) on Friday February 14, 2003 @03:40AM (#5300233)
    Went to the local Apple store, and at the Genius Bar there was a man dejectedly putting a brand-new 15" TiBook back into his briefcase. The websites he visits are all optimized for Windows and the software he uses daily (he's a financial planner) comes in Windows-only (and yes, he tried Virtual PC, to no avail). He's selling his TiBook and going back to Windows. The lack of software I can almost understand, but companies that refuse to make their websites accessible and usable to anything other than WIndows IE are demonstrating either major ignorance on customer service, a blatant disregard for standards, or both.
    • by KiahZero (610862) on Friday February 14, 2003 @03:49AM (#5300281)
      It's not so much blatent disregard of standards as believing that IE is the standard. Most people, if you point out that Mozilla or Opera or any other browser does not display a page properly, will ask what's wrong with the browser. After all, the browser that came with the system shows it just fine!

      What I'd really like to know is why Microsoft even bothers to spend money on advertising for their OSs. Seriously... they have a monopoly in the desktop market that they've effectively leveraged to ensure that it stays that way for the foreseeable future. So long as all the applications that Joe Everyman needs to run, as well as all the games his kids want to play, are Windows only, what are the odds that he's going to switch to any other OS?
      • by Sauron23 (52474) on Friday February 14, 2003 @06:36AM (#5300673) Journal
        What I'd really like to know is why Microsoft even bothers to spend money on advertising for their OSs. Seriously... they have a monopoly in the desktop market that they've effectively leveraged to ensure that it stays that way for the foreseeable future.
        Mindshare and retention. If your not actively pushing your brand, logo, product your dropping off the radar. Never, ever, stop selling the product

    • by Dominic_Mazzoni (125164) on Friday February 14, 2003 @03:49AM (#5300282) Homepage
      The websites he visits are all optimized for Windows

      This is going to change fast, thanks to Safari. Whenever a page looks incorrect or doesn't function in Safari, click the little bug icon in the upper-right corner, and it pops up a dialog where you can send feedback directly to Apple's Safari team. It can optionally include a screenshot of the page.

      Trust me, if enough people report problems with the same site, Apple WILL figure out a way to fix it. Safari has already improved dramatically in the beta version from last month to the one released this week.

      Anyway, I too have been frustrated by web pages that are optimized for Windows, but thanks to Safari, and also thanks to standards-compliant browsers like Mozilla/Netscape 7, things are finally starting to change.
      • by Stu May (64028) on Friday February 14, 2003 @04:00AM (#5300318)

        Trust me, if enough people report problems with the same site, Apple WILL figure out a way to fix it.

        Am I the only one envisioning Apple doing a cost-benefit analysis of a code fix vs. sending hired goons to visit the offending website's developers?

      • I think to actually be effective in the long run, people need to make it known to webmasters that they suck.

        Safari shouldn't have to incorprate work-arounds for IE optimized web pages. The 2 times I've investigated Safari rendering problems, they've turned out to be markup errors.

      • Mother of God, NO! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by migurski (545146) <mike@@@teczno...com> on Friday February 14, 2003 @06:29AM (#5300643) Homepage
        Apple should not "fix" sites that are optimized for IE - in the vaaaast majority of cases, such sites use ass-whacked HTML, your mother's activeX controls, and were built in FrontPage.

        Apple should stick to its guns, and continue to work on STANDARDS COMPLIANCE for Safari, so that sites will work correctly in Saf/Moz/Konq/Op/etc. This will put pressure on MS to fix IE (as they have already started to do, thanks to Tantek Celik's excellent Tasman rendering engine for IE5/mac, and the standards compliance mode triggered via the presence of a legit DOCTYPE at the head of the file).

        If you find a site that is *cough* "optimized" for MSIE, do the right thing, and notify the webmaster. I have done so on countless occasions with bank sites and the like, and often I get a response and eventual compliance in the long run.

        long live standards. good night.
      • by haeger (85819) on Friday February 14, 2003 @07:53AM (#5300839)
        This is going to change fast, thanks to Safari. Whenever a page looks incorrect or doesn't function in Safari, click the little bug icon in the upper-right corner, and it pops up a dialog where you can send feedback directly to Apple's Safari team. It can optionally include a screenshot of the page.

        Now this would be a killer app for Mozilla-like browsers. Whenever something doesn't look right, You can popup a dialog with a screenshot and some text explaining that the page is "broken" in some way.

        Not many people can be bothered to take a screenshot, start a mail-client, write a letter explaining what the problem is, mail the letter and screenshot to "www.broken-site.com".

        If 90% of this is already done and all the user had to do was to provide a name and where to send the complaint, I bet we'd see a lot of changes in the web-world.

        "Would You FIX the F*CKING page already? We get 500 screenshots a day and it's wrecking havoc in our mailserver"

        Problem moved from the person doing the browsing to the person writing bad html.

        .haeger

    • by NewtonsLaw (409638) on Friday February 14, 2003 @03:54AM (#5300297)
      but companies that refuse to make their websites accessible and usable to anything other than WIndows IE are demonstrating either major ignorance on customer service, a blatant disregard for standards, or both

      The sad truth is that most companies don't design or implement their own websites -- they hire a web designer to do the job for them.

      Unfortuantely, a growing number of web designers are incompetent and/or just plain lazy when it comes to building sites that work with browsers other than IE.

      There is no excuse for building a site that won't at least provide basic navigation and information with even the simplest of browsers.

      I get real ticked off when I keep having to turn Javascript back on just so I can see some "clever" designer's pull-down menus, or have to fire up IE because a site is MS-specific.

      Even more annoying are those sites that use Active-X components so that if you're a *smart* websurfer who has disabled Active-X, you keep getting little dialog boxes and beeps advising you that the page may not display properly.

      Then there's those sites built almost entirely from Flash. The worst of these even force you to have Javascript enabled before the Flash code will load as well.

      Listen-up smarty-pants web designers. I don't want to be entertained, I don't want to be blown away by your fancy tricks -- I just want to be able to access the information and navigate without a whole lot of fuss, and without wearing the great big "kick me" sign that IE paints on your back when you're surfing unknown URLs.
      • The TRUTH of the matter is that it is not worth the money to optimize or even take the Mac into account for the vast majority of software products or websites. So 5% of the potential viewers might not be able to view your site? So what. You may or may not want to spend money to get the 5% or make their experience better. That is a business decision, not a design decision.

        I know, slashdotters will say to make everything as compatible as possible. Do a spreadsheet once in awhile. Next time someone gives you $100,000, to build a commercial site for a market that is 95% PC based, you'll have to justify spending money for Mac/Linux users as opposed to maximizing the product for the 95% you know you will be compatible with.

        • by HalfFlat (121672) on Friday February 14, 2003 @05:26AM (#5300507)
          The money argument does not hold water, because the very things that typically tie a site to a single platform are those which are the most expensive to produce.

          Extensive javascript menus, elaborate flash 'navigators', exotic ActiveX controls -- all these things take time to produce, a lot more time in fact that the simple option which would have worked anywhere.

          The problem isn't money or market-share, it's that so-called web designers are pandering to ignorant clients who want something pretty on their personal desktop rather than a useful web presence. Two groups are at fault: web-designers with no pride in their profession, and clients who are much more interested in spending their company's money on attractive interactive wallpaper than on an effective web site.

          The 5% market share argument is an old canard parrotted by web quacks who won't learn new tricks.
          • The "don't piss off more than 5% of potential customers" is actually good meatspace marketing wisdom, but the fact is, when a website is broken, it's usually broken for a whole lot more than 5% of users. In my observation, anywhere from 20% to 80% depending on the cluelessness and/or ego of the webmaster.

        • by WhiteBandit (185659) on Friday February 14, 2003 @05:31AM (#5300518) Homepage
          Heh. What the hell is so wrong with building it in basic HTML? Using basic HTML and maybe even throw in a couple of CSS will make the website look nice. It's not even that hard.

          Hell, it seems to me like you'd have to specifically *TRY* to build it so it is incompatible with other browsers. That is harder than just freaking following regular HTML rules. Granted, I'm not specifically saying you should make it compatible no matter what, but the fact that making it compatible is just so damn easy, well...

          Maybe I'm ignorant, but I don't really see how javascript or even flash "enchances" the viewing experience over straight HTML and your bmps/gifs/pngs/jpegs.
        • by zogger (617870) on Friday February 14, 2003 @06:35AM (#5300672) Homepage Journal
          ---E commerce? "selling widgets and/or widget servicing"=sales. OK, question, are you in sales or are you an "IT" guy? Here's a hint, people showing up at a site running osx are usually *not poor*, their demographics are leaning a lot towards "we spend top money and are known for brand loyalty if we are treated right".

          Admit it-I got a point? Rhetorical question, I think I made it. Basic rule of thumb in sales 101, you have to get through the noes to get to the yesses. Part of any "yes" potential is , well, having da loot. The interest on the part of the surfer was there, you got the hit, they showed up at your URL, they are doing the customer's part. That's all they can do up to that point. The next step is up to you.

          good lucksi
        • The stock market fell only 5% this year.
          The economy fell only 5% this year.
          Your mortgage interest fell only 5% this year.

          Only 5% my ass.
      • Well, I have occasionaly written simple web pages for people. I just use a text editor to code and IE to see that it works. I do it mostly as a favor to friends, sometimes I charge a very modest fee.

        I am well aware that these pages may not display correctly on all systems.

        Unfortuantely, a growing number of web designers are incompetent and/or just plain lazy when it comes to building sites that work with browsers other than IE. There is no excuse for building a site that won't at least provide basic navigation and information with even the simplest of browsers.

        I seem to fit your description pretty neatly. But I disagree on the 'no excuse' part. If I help somebody with a simple page that reaches 80% of all Internet users, why does that oblige me to figure out how to make it work for the other 20%?

        In can imagine telling a friend this. 'I could make this work for 80% of all users pretty easily. If you want it to work on 100% of systems, then I would have to study some protocols and install some alternative browsers to test it. It would probably take twice as long.' I think most of them would just say 'Don't bother. Go for the quick one, that will reach most people anyway.'

        For many providers, the goal is not to reach everyone. The goal is to reach as many as possible at the lowest possible cost per user. And then a quick implementation for the most widely used browser may very well be the best way to go.

        Tor
        • I seem to fit your description pretty neatly. But I disagree on the 'no excuse' part. If I help somebody with a simple page that reaches 80% of all Internet users, why does that oblige me to figure out how to make it work for the other 20%?

          Professionalism.

          Now, since you describe yourself as an occassional designer I would like to stress that I'm really not trying to come down hard. However, professionals certainly have no excuse for the problems mentioned so far.

          I tend to write all my pages under Mozilla, then test with IE and make alterations accordingly. I've found this works much better than writing under IE and then testing with Mozilla.

          You see, to my mind at least IE is much more standards-compliant than it usually gets credit for. However, it supports a whole load of alternative nonsense as well. If you write and test with a browser that doesn't understand the alternatives (eg. Mozilla) then you have an easier job making sure a site works on both.

          Cheers,
          Ian

        • I seem to fit your description pretty neatly. But I disagree on the 'no excuse' part. If I help somebody with a simple page that reaches 80% of all Internet users, why does that oblige me to figure out how to make it work for the other 20%?

          You seem to believe it's actually hard work to make a standards compliant web page. It's not. Any simple page will work fine on any browser.

          It's only when you go out of your way to use unnecessary non-portable stuff that suddenly it only works on a few browsers. And the worst thing is, in most cases, it's easier to do the same thing the right way.

          Of course, it may be that if you use stuff like Frontpage, that it will include MS-only stuff. I don't know, I never used it. It seems that you don't either.

        • I seem to fit your description pretty neatly. But I disagree on the 'no excuse' part. If I help somebody with a simple page that reaches 80% of all Internet users, why does that oblige me to figure out how to make it work for the other 20%?

          Because you shouldn't "figure out" how to make it work on other than ie. You should write standards compliant code and stylesheets period. IF you want to "figure out" how to deform the standard compliant code to get ie to display correctly THEN you should do the same for the other browsers.

          You said you use txted to write stuff, good but then you say you test in ie, that's bad. ie is a BROWSER, not a development tool! Want to verify your code? Use HTML Tidy, it's available on the w3c site. ie takes so many shortcuts and exceptions to the standard that it doesn't provide reliable debugging to your code (even between different revisions of the same program).

          And finally, you ask why should you waste you precious time to get the thing done correctly? I say for the sake of politeness. You're asking for attention right? Might as well follow the agreed upon procedure and say hello, present yourself, ask for permission, etc... That's in real life, on the web it equates to using standards.
    • ...and yes, he tried Virtual PC, to no avail

      Interested in this part of the statement. Did he mention why Virtual PC didn't do the trick?

      I use Virtual PC for Windows, and I can't fault it for compatibility. I have W2k instances, various Linux distros and a Solaris x86 instance going under it. Quite surprised to hear that the Mac version, which is meant to be more advanced than the PC version, failed on a simple task like viewing a website.

      Cheers,
      Ian

  • by Billly Gates (198444) on Friday February 14, 2003 @03:40AM (#5300234) Journal
    Look here! [macboy.com]

    Oh shit I am suppose to say how I switched to XP. Uh, nevermind.

  • Not a chance.... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jericho4.0 (565125) on Friday February 14, 2003 @03:40AM (#5300238)
    I think there are lots of good reasons why proffesional types could choose Windows over Mac. Price/performance, availability of software, ease of interoperability, etc.

    But the adds will never have the pure appeal of the Mac switch adds. "TCO amoritized over the year saved us $$" is not "bleep, bleep, bleep, bleep, gone!"

    I have an expensive Mac. It strikes me as slow, sometimes. I get annoyed when software comes out for the PC first. But I'm not giving it up for anything.

    • mac "slowness" (Score:5, Interesting)

      by green pizza (159161) on Friday February 14, 2003 @04:40AM (#5300420) Homepage
      I have an expensive Mac. It strikes me as slow, sometimes. I get annoyed when software comes out for the PC first. But I'm not giving it up for anything.
      I hear you about the performance issue. I've found the G4/MacOSX combo to have "baffling" performance. Many apps and many functions are zippy as can be, but yet there are still a few areas that can be slow. Resizing a window, for example, is pretty slow for all but the most lightweight applications. Apple's iCal calendar app also has a tendancy to chug pretty hard. Yet this very same machine is an absolute video monster. Final Cut Pro runs like a dream, I'm using "just" an 867 MHz machine, yet I couldn't really ask for any faster video editing performance. The app's gui is fast, scrubbing thru frames is fast, applying layers is fast. It's great! True, I don't do much compositing, so my render times are almost instant... but then, neither do most folks. (though I have heard that some folks are finding iMovie 3 to be somewhat slow) I've also found Photoshop to be extremely fast for the images I work with (never larger than 2048x2048). Others have reported zippy compile and run performance of command-line apps, though I haven't tried this out myself.

      Perhaps Apple is still in the early stages of tweaking Mac OS X... maybe they're working on the demanding areas first and will eventually touch up the more minor performance issues (window resize, for example).
  • by SchnauzerGuy (647948) on Friday February 14, 2003 @03:40AM (#5300239)
    • Microsoft, for seeking people who register Microsoft software for their "switcher" ads.
    • People who actually register Microsoft software.
  • Switch? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 14, 2003 @03:41AM (#5300244)
    When you control 95% of the OS and office-suite markets, who else do you have to convince?

    The remaining fringe is going to avoid MS no matter what.

    Are they just trying to save face against semi-influential Apple ads?
    • Thus spake Microsoft's Mike Maples, who may have since left the company, "If someone thinks we're not after Lotus and after WordPerfect and after Borland, they're confused ... My job is to get a fair share of the software applications market, and to me that's 100 percent." (Emphasis mine)

      Maples said this around 10 years ago, but that was and still is pretty much the mentality of everyone in power in the company-- even with 95% of the market, the greedy bastards still lose sleep at night at the thought of dollars going into a competitor's coffers.

      The above quote either came from Cringely's Accidental Empires, or Wallace & Erickson's Hard Drive, I can't remember right now-- I recalled it verbatim because it was so galling to read that it has stuck in my mind.

      ~Philly
  • Sure... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Wyatt Earp (1029) on Friday February 14, 2003 @03:42AM (#5300253)
    Depends how much MS will pay me.

    I've got a PC with XP sitting here, right next to my TiBook, 17" iMac, CRT iMac, G3 Powerbook, OS X Servers...

    I'm sensable, I use my PC for the same things my GameCube and PS2 are for...games.
  • This is pretty sad (Score:5, Insightful)

    by amigaluvr (644269) on Friday February 14, 2003 @03:43AM (#5300260) Journal
    I think this is sad on Microsofts part. Their copying apple with a succesful campaign but coming too late to the party. A lot of it is in the timing and I think Apple's switch has done all it can in mindshare

    The biggest part of the apple campaign is that people have left the common world of windowsk, one that people dont think of leaving because they see nothing else but MS MS MS everywhere. Then to switch to Apple or indeed anything smaller is a big task and it can be seen as an active choice

    For a switch to windows sounds like 'I used to use X but then I joined the herd' and gave in to peer pressure. Its hardly the same thing

    note: the slashdot user 'danamania' is a transexual. beware
  • by NetDrain (167337) <slashdot at theblight dot net> on Friday February 14, 2003 @03:44AM (#5300263) Homepage
    So like, I had this Mac. But I started hanging with this "other" crowd, and they were all PC users, so like, I am too now. It's been good. But now I have leprosy. Is that supposed to come with WinXP? Is it a feature or something? My name's night, and I'm a bell-jingling diseased rodent. : D /my Karma has just committed suicide.
  • by LongJohnStewartMill (645597) on Friday February 14, 2003 @03:52AM (#5300292)
    They'll probably get some confession like,
    "Well, I've been using a Macintosh Plus for about 17 years now, and I decided it was high time I got an upgrade. One meg of RAM can only take you so far..."
  • by robbyjo (315601) on Friday February 14, 2003 @03:54AM (#5300299) Homepage

    I found out that the switcher's story is recursively enumerable. Below is the grammar. Feel free to use this for your application essay.

    Hi, my name is <IDENTIFIER>. I am (a|an) <IDENTIFIER> [from <IDENTIFIER>].

    I used (Apple|Macintosh) version <FLOAT_LITERAL> for <INTEGER_LITERAL> (years|months) doing (documents | spreadsheets | databases | video editing | MP3 listening | surfing the net | <OTHER_FUN_JOBS>)+. It was all (fun | very nice | pleasant experience) at the beginning.

    But, later on I discovered that (it has only one mouse button | some software I bought wasn't supported | their hardwares are so expensive | <REASON_WHY_IT_SUCKS>)+. Since I was only (a yet another broke graduate students | an unemployed bum | a clueless luser | <REASON_WHY_I_SUCKS>)+, I found out that their solution is [completely | absolutely] unviable.

    (Enter | Here comes) Microsoft. They provide me (MS Office | MS Windows | <OTHER_MS_SOFTWARE>)+. It is really (a panacea | working like magic | <REASON_WHY_ITS_GREAT>)+. Now I can (surfing a lot faster | do my spreadsheet even better | <OTHER_PRAISES>)+. Even more, I can get added bonus, like (the great blue screen | DRM constricted media player | compulsory activation | <OTHER_STUFF>)+, which makes my computer eXPerience even better.

    Now that I switched. How about you?

  • by mikeophile (647318) on Friday February 14, 2003 @04:04AM (#5300326)
    I'm a computer tech for a large office.

    When we were using Apple computers, my job was in serious danger of being downsized. They were easy to use and almost never crashed.

    Fortunately, due to Microsoft license incentives, my company switched to PC's running Windows.

    What a relief! The stress I was suffering over job security is gone! In fact, I just got a fat raise because the bosses have seen how hard I've been working.

    Sure, I'm busier now, and I may not have the spare time to check Slashdot incessantly, but that's why they call it work, right?

    • by xtremex (130532) <cguru@@@bigfoot...com> on Friday February 14, 2003 @04:46AM (#5300431) Homepage
      I'm a computer tech for a large global enterprise.

      When we were using windows computers, my job was in serious danger of being downsized. They were easy to use and and everyone and their mother was an MCSE.

      Fortunately, due to Microsoft licenses, my company switched to PC's running Linux.
      What a relief! The stress I was suffering over job security is gone! In fact, I just got a fat raise because the bosses think that Linux is so difficult, yet I never work!

      I've learned needlepoint. And I knitted a blanket. Oh, I WISH these darn computers would CRASH already!!! I'm so bored!

  • by vandel405 (609163) on Friday February 14, 2003 @04:07AM (#5300339) Homepage Journal
    Apple, is advertising to 95% of the market. They have a large domain of possible targets. Microsoft would be targeting 3% of the market. It would seem much too small to be worth the effort.

    If MicroSoft played the AD on TV, say 1 million Apple users will see it. When Apple plays the same style add, and PAYS the SAME amount, 95 million people see it.

    This seems like a good way for microsoft to waste its cash. GO FOR IT!
  • Best of both worlds (Score:4, Interesting)

    by thryllkill (52874) on Friday February 14, 2003 @04:12AM (#5300351) Homepage Journal
    I currently have two operating computers. My desktop system is a painfully old PIII 800Mz running Win2k(it duel boots to SuSE 8 when I want to dabble and learn). But my laptop is an iBook 700mhz, and I love it.

    My reasons are: PIII)Want games, want to add hardware when I want from just about whatever source I want. The PIII is mostly a frankenstein of parts either bought or traded from friends. Unfortunatly I could not do this with a Mac.

    But...

    iBook) Want small, only 12.1 inch screen, the thing is tiny, fits in my backpack no prob. My friend's dell required him to buy a new "laptop" backpack. Want tough, magnesium caseing, rubber mounted hard drive, the thing is like a small tank in the laptop world. Want Unix, without all the trouble linux causes in laptops. Yeah I know it is very possible to have a very workable linux laptop, but I don't think it is possible to have a very workable linux laptop that works out the box, and I can send back to the company when the DVD-CDRW drive goes kaput.

    Would I own a Mac desktop, at the moment, hell no! They would need to be more competative in both the speed and the price arenas for me to even consider it.

    But my point is this, there are people out there who have weighed the differences and made the choice of both. OSX is easy, and fast, and pretty. Win2K (sorry don't know about XP) is where most of my professional experience lays so troubleshooting it easy, and it plays games, and it was hella cheap ($50 OEM version when I bought my HDD).

  • by djupedal (584558) on Friday February 14, 2003 @04:43AM (#5300424)
    The unrighteous stumble against thee that they may be justly plagued, fleeing from thy gentleness and colliding with thy justice, and falling on their own rough paths. For in truth they do not know that thou art everywhere; that no place contains thee, and that only thou art near even to those who switch and go farthest from thee.

    Let them, therefore, switch and seek thee, because even if they have abandoned thee, their Creator, thou hast not abandoned thy creatures. Let them switch back and seek thee--and lo, thou art there in their hearts, there in the hearts of those who confess and switch to thee.

    And where was I when I was seeking thee? There thou wast, before me; but I had switched, even from myself, and I could not find myself, much less thee.

    For my prayer is not for earthly things, neither gold nor silver and precious stones, nor gorgeous apparel, nor honors and power, nor fleshly pleasures, nor of bodily necessities in this life of our pilgrimage: all of these things are "added" to those who switch.
  • by lingqi (577227) on Friday February 14, 2003 @04:49AM (#5300435) Journal
    those who have recently registered MS products

    seriously - I've been at the computer thing for a while now, I have not known a SINGLE person that registered their windows. I mean, heck man - does that email list have a whole 7 recipients?

    Of course, most of the replies otherwise would be like "I went from Apple to MS because I can pirate more software and play more games."

    though - sadly, there is a bunch of people who are forced to use mycrudsoft. When the IT dept tells some apple die-hards that they are getting PC laptops or nothing at all, because they want to have "one platform" - though the powerbooks would actually cost less (seriously), last longer on flights, and preserve their values better. Sigh... maybe MS can base their campain on that: Switch - because we make you.

    fuckers. (hmm... do I sound bitter?)

  • by porkface (562081) on Friday February 14, 2003 @05:01AM (#5300457) Journal
    If I watch one of these ads with the knowledge that all of these people registered their software with Microsoft, I will have even less faith in their testimonials than I do in Apple's "Hey, you want to be on TV?" approach to choosing "switchers."
  • My theory (Score:5, Insightful)

    by inkswamp (233692) on Friday February 14, 2003 @05:10AM (#5300475)
    I think this campaign is not aimed at Mac users and convincing them to switch to Windows, but rather an attempt to stop the herd of Windows users out there from considering Macs. I bet these ads will be loaded with implied falsehoods (i.e., Word and Explorer doesn't run on Macs, can't network on Macs, etc.)
  • by IamTheRealMike (537420) <mike@plan99.net> on Friday February 14, 2003 @05:13AM (#5300482) Homepage
    Think about it - Microsoft is a monopoly, basically people have to buy their software. Yes, for geeks and highly non-demanding users stuff Windows lockin is less effective, but for the vast majority of people, they feel they have to use Windows.

    So.... what does that leave left to advertise? It must get pretty boring working in Microsofts adverts department. I expect they've got bored of spamming OSDN, that was a good wheeze for a while, but now they have to do something to make the long winter days go past right?

    Anyway, it's not like MS are actually threatened by Apple, anybody who runs the numbers can see that. It's just a side show, an entertaining game to try and give the surface appearance that there's actually competition in the markets.

  • Hmmm, (Score:4, Insightful)

    by PhilHibbs (4537) <snarks@gmail.com> on Friday February 14, 2003 @07:05AM (#5300741) Homepage Journal
    So when does it just stop being the sincerest form of flattery and just become utter, pathetic laziness?
    You could say the same about Linux GUI design, in fact, just about any Linux software design. I don't usually complain about MS bashing, in fact I usually join in, but this is just pathetic.
  • by standards (461431) on Friday February 14, 2003 @09:29AM (#5301111)
    It turns out that Microsoft had patented the Switcher ad in January 2001! The patent is known as "Marketing Device For Informing User Of The Low Quality Of Microsoft Products".

    Microsoft attempted to prevent Apple and other vendors from performing competitive marketing.

    Alas, Steve Jobs believed that there was prior art, namely in the Intellevision versus Atari marketing campaign. However, Microsoft claims that the Intellivision ads (1) do not address PCs, and (2) do not address Microsoft products. And therefore the patent IS valid.

    In order to exercise their patent, Microsoft is (1) suing the ass off of Apple, in hopes that no one else will switch, (2) exercising their right to promote their patent in PRO-Microsoft marketing, and (3) creating products that generate documents that cannot work on Microsoft products.

    . Therefore, Apple may no longer use it's switcher ads,
  • by jgalun (8930) on Friday February 14, 2003 @10:31AM (#5301537) Homepage
    I don't see why almost everyone on Slashdot is making fun of the idea of switching from the Mac to PC. I was an Amiga (2000, upgraded with a Picasso II+ and a 68060 accelerator) owner, then an iMac owner, and now a Windows user.

    Two of my friends switched in the last two years from the Mac to the PC. Both of them were hard-core Mac zealots. One of them is married to a graphic designer, and he himself is a user interface designer, so he was naturally a Mac user for a long time. The other had been a Mac user since he was 10, and was a huge believer that Macs were superior to PCs in any and every way.

    Well, eventually MacOS X came out, and my friend the user interface designer basically made the switch to the PC. Why? Because Macs are too expensive, don't provide the benefits they used to (let's face it - there's no difference between using Photoshop and Quark on the Mac vs. the PC any more), and because Apple broke all of its own great user interface rules with MacOS X.

    My friend who had used Macs since he was 10 switched to the PC because Macs were just too fucking slow. He had a super-speedy Athlon for much less than a new Mac would cost him. He's a big geek, so he runs Linux most of the time, but he uses Windows for gaming.

    And me? I like the fact that Apple puts a lot of thought into how the software works, and how the system works as a whole. I like the fact that the computers are cool looking. But, that is not worth the premium of the MUCH higher cost of Macs (I'm sorry, for what I want to do with my computer Macs are way more expensive). Additionally, I was really, really disappointed by MacOS X's interface. The MacOS had such a great interface, and now it's as lame as Windows. So why pay a premium for it?

    On the other hand, a friend of mine who was a PC-zealot (he used to mock my iMac all the time, and thought Mac users were idiots) just visited an Apple Store and has become a total convert. It's fascinating.

    Anyway, I guess the point is, it's not ridiculous for people to switch from PCs to Macs, and it's not ridiculous to switch from Macs to PCs. Seriously, different platforms have different advantages. MS showing people who went from Mac to PC is no more ridiculous than showing people going from PC to Mac.

    (When I switched from Mac to PC, I found the PC annoying at first. But then I got used to it, and now I find the Mac annoying when I first start using it again. A lot of this is what you're used to.)
  • by beef3k (551086) on Friday February 14, 2003 @10:57AM (#5301754)
    Hello Microsoft and Bill Gates!

    My name is John Jonson and I'm 17 years old. I used to have a Mac to play games on for the last 3 years, but just recently my dad sold it and bought a PC with Windows XP on it. I can only say WOW! After searching the net I found out that Windows XP can play a whole lot more games than the Mac!

    I am a very professional computer user (I can send you my highscores if you like), and I would like to be part of your campaign!

    Regards,
    John
  • by nsayer (86181) <[moc.ufk] [ta] [reyasn]> on Friday February 14, 2003 @11:18AM (#5301905) Homepage
    Apple's switch campaign used ordinary folks. Microsoft's practically requires MCSEs.

    It's only fair, of course. That's pretty much how the two operating systems stack up as well. :-)
  • by mccrew (62494) on Friday February 14, 2003 @01:52PM (#5303362)
    Somehow this seems appropriate to the discussion...

    Super Villains switch to Linux [ubergeek.tv] (warning: it's Flash)

    -Steve (not the Steve from the animation)

  • by weave (48069) on Friday February 14, 2003 @03:16PM (#5304208) Journal
    By corporate mandate, Marketing had to ditch their Macs and switch to Dells. We, the tech department, gleefully went down there one day and confiscated their G4 towers. We then hooked them up in our offices and started playing. I loved mine so much I bought an iMac for home last summer and just yesterday took delivery of my new 12" G4 PB.

    Meanwhile, Marketing's switch to dells and XP has left them miserable. Does that count? Sure was a sensible switch in my mind. Their loss, my gain! In fact I'm typing this in using Safari right now!

If a camel is a horse designed by a committee, then a consensus forecast is a camel's behind. -- Edgar R. Fiedler

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