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Microsoft Businesses Apple

Microsoft Tries a "Switch" Campaign 1224

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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  • 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 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 banky ( 9941 ) <gregg.neurobashing@com> 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 Dejohn ( 164452 ) on Monday October 14, 2002 @03:01PM (#4447387) Homepage
    Microsoft has had this report potsted on their Exchange website for a while. http://www.microsoft.com/exchange/techinfo/outlook /FerrisOutlook.asp.

    Some research company with "evidence" suggests that you're less vulnerable to getting hit by email viruses if you use Outlook rather than anything else. This report is shoddy, even for Microsoft. I'm amazed they would even post this!
  • by fleppir ( 563959 ) <arnic@hi.SLACKWAREis minus distro> on Monday October 14, 2002 @03:07PM (#4447453) Homepage Journal

    I just experienced how separate user accounts are in XP. Just today I wanted to change the resolution of my screen without cluttering my desktop. I would have thought one could just switch users, change the resolution for that user and switch back to the other user without that user's desktop experiencing 'desktop-re-arrangement'.

    No-siree, the hardware profile is global you folks. And how about installing programs? They are installed GLOBALLY!

    That having been said, the up-time of XP is phenomenal. My wife had her box at work running for several weeks and nary a bsod.
  • by breadbot ( 147896 ) on Monday October 14, 2002 @03:08PM (#4447475) Homepage
    Seriously, there is one XP feature that really itches my back right where I like it: multiple-users-logged-in-simultaneously. Does OS X also offer anything like it? Instead of logging my wife off our PC, I switch users (one keystroke: windows-L), click on my own login icon, type my password, and wait about five seconds for my desktop to come up, complete with an unclosed session -- usually something like emacs, PuTTY, WinCVS, Outlook, IE :p

    I know, of course that OS X allows multiple users, and its support for multimedia is much better, but does it allow them simultaneously?

  • 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.
  • by Schart ( 587279 ) <psiphi AT mac DOT com> on Monday October 14, 2002 @03:38PM (#4447768)
    For instance, you don't see commercials where MacDonalds even mentions Burger King or their other competitors

    I too have no training in marketing (but I think I have your paltry 10,000 hours beaten soundly ;) and, of course, exceptions and rules go hand in hand so this is probably nit-picking, but what about the ones that go something like:

    Twice as much beef as the Big Mac!

    I can think of MANY ads in MANY market categories where The Competition is quite intentionally mentioned but it's probably not worth the bandwidth or time.

    Also, I am an Apple user, and I just think it's funny (and Bullshit).
  • Re:Linux Switch (Score:4, Informative)

    by cioxx ( 456323 ) on Monday October 14, 2002 @03:45PM (#4447827) Homepage
    Here's the real comedy: Linux doesn't actually offer any of those things! Enjoy your positive moderation from outrightly lying.

    The moderation is on target. You sir, are mistaken.

    Red Hat 8 has separate account creation for each user right from the control center. And guess what? It's all GUI point-and-click. It's more intuitive and useful than WindowsXP scheme.

    You lose. Play again.
  • by burgburgburg ( 574866 ) <splisken06@nOspAm.email.com> on Monday October 14, 2002 @03:45PM (#4447836)
    For those who didn't get the reference (like almost everyone who replied), go here [apple.com].
  • by taniwha ( 70410 ) on Monday October 14, 2002 @03:47PM (#4447854) Homepage Journal
    Look at the article 'she' shows an example of a file open box .... obviously her real name is 'Don Funk' and quick google search shows 'her' email address is 'donfu@microsoft.com'
  • Link not working (Score:5, Informative)

    by Srin Tuar ( 147269 ) <zeroday26@yahoo.com> on Monday October 14, 2002 @04:21PM (#4448236)

    If the linked to site doesnt work for you (it doesnt for me under mozilla 1.0), get the image directly from here [gettyimages.com]

    Compare it to MS's image [microsoft.com]

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 14, 2002 @04:21PM (#4448239)
    Not according to contacts at Chiat Day in Las Angeles. They sifted through real emails, contacted people, flew 'em to LA, and parked 'em in front of a camera.

    No conspiracies here folks.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 14, 2002 @04:24PM (#4448272)

    "Royalty free" doesn't mean "free". You still have to purchase the image. The image shown in the link is a comping image for creating, well, comps to test whether a design idea works before actually purchasing the image.

    "Royalty-free pricing is based solely on the size of the product you need, not the specific use. You don't have to pay any additional fees on a use-by-use. Once you purchase a royalty-free product, you may use it multiple times for multiple projects without paying additional fees." <-- from their faq [gettyimages.com]

    The actual purchased images come in larger sizes than the comping image, and without the watermark.

  • by nuclearmoose ( 583409 ) on Monday October 14, 2002 @04:35PM (#4448357) Homepage
    Check out some of Microsoft's other "Insider" stories: href=http://www.microsoft.com/insider/reference/en cartareferencelbrary2003_researchpaper.asp [microsoft.com]
    This kid is probably one of the best 13 year old writers I've ever seen! Encarta must save him so much time that he doesn't have to go to school anymore. He can continue with his modeling/freelance writer career. [gettyimages.com]
    Hey, there's a new encyclopedia - it's called "Google"!

    And what about these people?
    http://www.microsoft.com/insider/printhelp/ [microsoft.com]
    They're all smiling 'cause their #!@%ing XP printer driver finally installed. (sorry, couldn't find this in the stock photo archive. I'm sure it's there though)

    This girl is obviously smiling because her Windows PC didn't crash and lose her History paper last night: href=http://www.microsoft.com/insider/homeoffice/ [microsoft.com] Stock Photo [gettyimages.com]

    Now here's a good one: http://www.microsoft.com/insider/productivity/ [microsoft.com]
    Stock Photo [gettyimages.com]
    Here dad is helping figure out what "fatal error in krnl32.dll means". Say, isn't that a mac they're using?

    What the hell are these two looking at? http://www.microsoft.com/insider/finance/ [microsoft.com]

    Ah well, I think the whole site is just one big stock art catalog. Once again Microsoft doesn't create anything original...

  • by Lifewolf ( 41986 ) on Monday October 14, 2002 @04:49PM (#4448491)
    Seperate accounts for each user? Didn't Unix had that since the late '60s?

    Yes, but marketing/sales people don't know this, and it's fun to watch.

    The university for which I work has a support contract with a big Apple-approved sales & support company. I'm not part of desktop support, so I don't know the details on the company or the contract, but in the Summer of 1999 two of their reps came in to update IT folks on the latest Mac offerings.

    The first rep had a sales title and was upfront about not having any technical skills. She was fine, but we were all eager to talk with the second rep, who the sales lady played up all morning. He bore the title of "Systems Engineer" and, according to the sales lady, formerly worked for Apple on core portions of the Mac operating system. Even better, he'd just been visiting at Apple, and he'd learned inside information on Mac OS X.

    I'm sure you can see where I'm headed with this. After all the buildup, the guy wound up looking like an idiot. He might have been a good sales person, but he should never have been paraded out as a brilliant systems engineer.

    Some of his more interesting contentions:

    • His shiny, new G3 was faster than any PC. Not equivalently clocked, uni-processor desktop or something along those lines, but any.
    • Apple was revolutionizing the computer industry and university computer science programs by being the first to release the source code to a Unix operating system for free.
    • Apple was the only company to provide Apache for free with their operating system. For any other OS you have to purchase Apache separately for $10,000 or more.
    • Apple was blazing new ground with technologies that allow a lab of computers to boot from a central server. Never before have computers been able to pull their very operating system across the network. Also, for the first time, client machines in computer labs could function without local hard drives.
    • Steven Spielberg cast his vote in favor of QuickTime as the best streaming format with his QuickTime-exclusive release of the trailer for his new Star Wars film, "The Menace."

    Please note that I'm not bashing Apple here. Apple does a lot of neat things, and Mac OS X is quite nifty. This was just another case of a glorified sales guy who took bad notes at a (semi-)technical sales briefing. Now, Microsoft paid this same sort of person to write an "I switched!" web page. As another Slashdot topic says, "It's funny. Laugh."

  • by damiam ( 409504 ) on Monday October 14, 2002 @04:53PM (#4448522)
    No it doesn't. Scroll down.
  • by jamie ( 78724 ) <jamie@slashdot.org> on Monday October 14, 2002 @04:53PM (#4448524) Journal
    Your URL for the 13-year-old "best homework project ever" didn't work for me; here's one that does...

    Microsoft testimonial [microsoft.com]
    stock photo [gettyimages.com]

  • by untulis ( 30874 ) on Monday October 14, 2002 @05:17PM (#4448704) Homepage
    Since MS took the page down, take a look at Google's cache here []
  • Re:hahaha! (Score:2, Informative)

    by damiam ( 409504 ) on Monday October 14, 2002 @05:18PM (#4448711)
    A PowerMac with dual 867Mhz G4, 4x72gb Ultra160 SCSI drives, a gig of RAM, Superdrive, and dual 17" flat-screen studio displays comes out to about $8000. A fair comparison would be really difficult without more information. However, I'll wager that your machine wasn't particuarly cheap either.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 14, 2002 @05:19PM (#4448719)
    There are some pretty nice Linux women here [stileproject.com].
  • by Myopic ( 18616 ) on Monday October 14, 2002 @05:19PM (#4448720)
    I don't know if this has been posted elsewhere, but here [] is google's cache of that page. I had to frob the url but it works.

  • GoogleCache! (Score:2, Informative)

    by civik ( 244978 ) on Monday October 14, 2002 @05:33PM (#4448854)
    Gotta love it!

    Original Microsoft page in all it's glory:
    here it is [slashdot.org]
  • by DanLake ( 543142 ) <slashdot&lakepage,com> on Monday October 14, 2002 @05:36PM (#4448867)
    The Microsoft "Switch" page that was removed earlier today can be found in the Google cache at: Article at Google Cache [] The picture of the woman is not the author of the article, but just a clip art from: Girl Clipart For Sale [gettyimages.com] That fact was posted in one of the Slashdot comments. ~Dan Lake
  • by BrodieBruce ( 575127 ) on Monday October 14, 2002 @05:40PM (#4448916) Journal www.microsoft.com/insider/opsystems/windowsxp_setu p.asp+Windows+XP+gives+me+more+choices+and+flexibi lity&hl=en&ie=UTF-8
  • by goon america ( 536413 ) on Monday October 14, 2002 @06:59PM (#4449457) Homepage Journal
    MacOS installs have never had license codes, serial numbers, or any of that. Technically you're not supposed to install the same copy in more than one place, but Apple has never added even rudimentary copy protection to its OS's, or sued anybody over such behavior.

    Now Final Cut Pro on the other hand...

  • by Aqua OS X ( 458522 ) on Monday October 14, 2002 @08:02PM (#4449808)
    What a horrid little article.

    Wow, that was bad. I personally loved when that fictional woman was bragging about Office having more features then Appleworks. Well, all I have to say is "duh." AppleWorks was designed to be a simple office productivity suite, not the huge beast that is MS Office.

    Moreover, did Microsoft forget that they sell Microsoft Office for MacOS? And did they also forget that the Mac versions of Office (at least 98, 2001, and Office X) have typically had cooler features and a better interface then their Windows counter parts?

    And, hey don't get me started on all of the free Open Source Productivity suites that have tons of features and read DOC and XLS files for free. I think Microsoft forgot about those as well.

    Other things that Microsoft seems to have forgotten about include:
    Microsoft develops a version of Internet Explorer for Mac OS complete with tons of Mac specific features.
    Mozilla(netscape) has more features, and -actually- does more then IE has ever done.
    Every browser on the face of the earth comes with a history and organizable favorites, bookmarks, etc
    A lowend iBook will remain functional a hell of a lot longer then a lowend notebook running windows.
    Wizards are horrible little things that should rot in a firry pit of hell. Users should never 'need' to look for a wizard for simple setup procedure. They are a crutch for poor interface design.

    God I hate Windows.
  • Re:yeah right (Score:5, Informative)

    by DavidRavenMoon ( 515513 ) on Monday October 14, 2002 @09:42PM (#4450459) Homepage
    I'm not saying that MS products are better than Apple products--just that the advertising is MUCH more intelligent.

    I'll agree the Apple ads are kind of dumb, they have no substance, but look at what MS had up:

    More Software Flexibility

    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.

    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.

    They didn't mention that both MS Office and Internet Explorer are available for the Mac, and in fact IE is the only browser that comes preinstalled. Also almost every review of Office v.X said it was better than the Windows version. Same is true of IE for Mac.

    I wont even get into that Mozilla is every bit as fast as IE. ;)

    This "switch ad" was just bogus. I guess that's why they pulled it! I'd wager someone at MS wrote the story and the photo of the woman was is just a stock photo. This is the kind of thing they pulled sending letters to newspapers and congressmen!

    She also wrote:

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

    Can't get much better than a PowerBook G4 if you ask me! Besides the fact that most best selling writers use Apple laptops.

    MS ads are not more intelligent, they are less fluffy, but also less factual.

    And Sara, we know OS X is better than XP! It does show more copying on MS' part... got to get that X in the name! :P

  • by Traicovn ( 226034 ) on Monday October 14, 2002 @10:02PM (#4450569) Homepage
    I like the fact that if you look even closer at the link to the fourth image down, you'll notice that that actually ISN'T a blue screen of death. It's either an old dos edit terminal, but upon closer inspection, I think it actually may be Word Perfect 5.1... I guarantee you it's not Microsoft Works Suite 2003.. :)
  • Re:yeah right (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 14, 2002 @10:03PM (#4450578)
    The AP already picked up this story [sfgate.com], and tracked down the marketing company hired to create this fake ad. The woman, Valerie G. Mallinson of Shoreline, Wash works for a public relations firm, Wes Rataushk & Associates Inc. Microsoft hired Rataushk to produce fake testimonials when their own research turned up no usable customers. Yahoo peoplefinder lists: Steve and Valerie Mallinson, (206) 367-1953, 2203 N 106th St, Seattle, WA 98133, if you want to call and ask her about the ad in question.

    At 5foot3 and 200 lbs, I'm sure Valerie is not the woman in the stock photo.
  • by penguin_punk ( 66721 ) on Monday October 14, 2002 @11:21PM (#4451020) Journal
    I'm finally having fun browsing the MS site!!

    btw, here's another Mac shot [microsoft.com]
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 15, 2002 @03:52AM (#4452047)
    When you take that into account, it's no suprise slashdotters are obsessing over her. She's mildly attractive, and she's an airhead. She's everything that a geek WON'T get in a woman.
  • by tempfile ( 528337 ) on Tuesday October 15, 2002 @04:04PM (#4455931)
    No, NT has all the facilities for perfect user separation, ranging from private registry areas over home directories to group policies. It's the 3rd party software that's to blame here, and not Windows.

Thus spake the master programmer: "When a program is being tested, it is too late to make design changes." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"