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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 Illuminati Member ( 541846 ) on Monday October 14, 2002 @02:52PM (#4447266)
    Being a Marketing Director, I can tell you that there is nothing surprising (or news worthy) in this story.

    Its simple. Competitor explains why there product is better than yours. You can either
    A.) Do nothing
    B.) Fight Back

    Its like Ford saying their trucks are better than Chevy, and Chevy saying their trucks are better than Ford.

    This strategy has existed for decades and I find it not funny nor worth getting your panties in a bunch about.
  • Mac versions? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by lpret ( 570480 ) <{moc.liamtoh} {ta} {24terpl}> on Monday October 14, 2002 @02:53PM (#4447274) Homepage Journal
    Aren't there Mac versions of Office and Internet Explorer? Wait, that means they're just boasting about the "wonderful" OS. Oh well...
  • 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....
  • For years? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by PhysicsGenius ( 565228 ) <> on Monday October 14, 2002 @02:56PM (#4447303)
    MacOS hasn't even had real multitasking or (shipped with) two-button mice "for years" so I think MS has a point here.
  • 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.

  • errr (Score:2, Insightful)

    by SeanWithoutPants ( 593762 ) on Monday October 14, 2002 @02:57PM (#4447318)
    Hrmm. A freelance writer gets an article posted on Microsoft's web site and doesn't give a name. You'd think that if somebody would take the time to write such a thing the person would use the free publicity to his or her advantage.

    Just like the author of the topic said, something smells fishy.

    (obligatory beep beep beep)
  • by jfedor ( 27894 ) <> 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?

  • 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 Anonymous Coward on Monday October 14, 2002 @03:01PM (#4447373)
    It's newsworthy-- in the Slashdot sense of "news," of course-- because it's funny. Microsoft's response to the Switchers campaign is so lame and so fake that it's funny.

    Nobody has their "panties in a bunch." We're just kicking back on a Monday morning and enjoying a good joke. The fact that Microsoft made the joke-- inadvertently, at that-- just makes it that much more enjoyable.
  • Re:Mac versions? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by CyberSnyder ( 8122 ) on Monday October 14, 2002 @03:02PM (#4447404)
    I'm wondering if this is a sign that MS might be planning on dropping support for OS X?

    Just a conspiracy theory....
  • by Trinton Azaleth ( 559255 ) on Monday October 14, 2002 @03:04PM (#4447424) Homepage
    Have you ever actually learned how to write an operating system? Studied kernel architecture? I didn't think so. What do you know. I am not talking about applications silly! I am talking about the internal structure of the system. Go bash someone worth bashing. There is a lot more to Microsoft's seemingly wasteful space than you think.
  • 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.
  • by verch ( 12834 ) on Monday October 14, 2002 @03:12PM (#4447532)
    The article as a whole is as funny as any of the mac switch parodies I've seen. A thousand times funnier actually because it's real. There is one point that I don't think you can argue with however. There are many more choices for hardware, and at the risk of making a sweeping generalization, PC hardware is cheaper. This is the only reason I haven't made the switch already. I can't afford to invest $2k right now for a decent mac system, plus however much to gather the suite of software that I rely on on my PC.

    PS. Someone should mention to the MS marketing dept that they also produce Office for OSX.
  • Re:Mac versions? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by pimpinmonk ( 238443 ) on Monday October 14, 2002 @03:13PM (#4447542)
    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.
    (Just incase M$ deletes the site)

    I find it more amusing that despite AppleWorks being a little less feature-rich than Office XP, it is about $300 cheaper (as in $0 for Apple to $300 for Office).

    And of course there's the fact that M$ sells Office X for Mac, and Internet Explorer is the default browser for OS X. I can guarantee that the entire M$ advertising team that proofed that page isn't even aware of this fact.

    The point? I dunno about everyone else, but every day I'm getting closer and closer to wanting a Mac as my main PC (and by PC I mean PC, not Server ;))
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 14, 2002 @03:14PM (#4447548)
    The switcher writes:

    The key to getting hardware to work with your computer is to have the correct drivers, the software that enables your PC to communicate with your hardware. Windows XP or your computer manufacturer will pre-install most of them. If not, go to the Web site of the company that makes the peripheral you want to attach to find the most current drivers.

    This seems to defeat the entire purpose of the campaign.

    Anyone who knows what the heck she's talking about and can correctly find, download, and install drivers has good reason for being on the OS that they're on and will not fall for this homegrown "I'm happy switching" rhetoric.

    Everyone who can't do that -- 98+ percent, probably -- fall exactly into Apple's target market: people who know their computer went "bleep bleep bleep" and want to go somewhere where they won't HAVE to know how to find, download and install drivers.
  • by nordicfrost ( 118437 ) on Monday October 14, 2002 @03:16PM (#4447566)

    MS Wrote: "The key to getting hardware to work with your computer is to have the correct drivers, the software that enables your PC to communicate with your hardware."

    I'd argue that it is not only the key, but the biggest headaches of Windows. Sadly, I have used a lot of Windows in my life (and Linux). Sp when my mom bough an iBook, it was a revelation. I mean, so many digital cameras functioning on it without ANY drivers? Amazing. Also, it seems that the drivers made for OSX is more stable in the long haul than the Windows drivers.

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

    by Jucius Maximus ( 229128 ) <> on Monday October 14, 2002 @03:16PM (#4447569) 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.

  • by JoshWurzel ( 320371 ) on Monday October 14, 2002 @03:20PM (#4447609) Homepage
    Qualifiers: I switched to mac 3 years ago. Things have changed on both sides.

    "Windows XP gives me more choices and flexibility"

    -Yes, as long as your choices are Microsoft for your browser, email client, media player, and office suite. Any color as long as its white. Granted, you do have a much larger selection of peripherals to work with. The software choices I find lacking.

    "I can read my files, import e-mail addresses from my Palm* to the Microsoft Outlook® messaging and collaboration client, and keep my Web favorites"

    -Which one of these was she having trouble with on her mac?

    "I was up and running in less than one day"

    -Bah! I was up and running in 12 minutes after a quick SCSI connection to my friend's powerbook (I admit it, I wanted M$ office 8-))

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

    -Obviously not. Nothing beats a sexy, ridiculously expensive titanium powerbook.

    "My laptop came with 512 MB of RAM, a 15" screen, a DVD player, and Windows XP Home Edition preinstalled, for $450 less than a comparable iBook"

    - I'm very curious to see exactly which model this was and compare it on a spec by spec basis. Did it have firewire? Video out? Video mirroring/extended desktop? Does it weigh less than 5 pounds? Does it get 5 hours of battery life? (all of these features apply to my iBook, btw).

    "AppleWorks (previously called ClarisWorks) pales in comparison to Microsoft Office XP"

    -Gee, 90% of the features for 20% of the price...seem like a fair trade to anyone else?

    "There's no equivalent for the versatility of Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint®"

    -You mean like...Microsoft Office v.X, which is widely touted (even by the MacBU) as more feature/rich and less buggy than Office XP?

    "I wouldn't know how to function without the Track Changes and Comments features of Word"

    -I'd recommend the Track Changes and Comments features of Word. v.X.

    "Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 does more for me than Netscape Navigator ever did"

    -Did you try any of the other 5 popular browsers for Mac? Like IE 5.2, perhaps?

    "Searches are faster"

    -This I can't attack. Everyone with XP I know swears that their connection is magically faster.

    " I can name and organize my Favorites any way I want"

    -I can't do that!? I'd better tell myself that I've been delusional the past 3 years.

    "I love that we can define completely different user experiences without messing with each other's settings"

    - Two Words: OS X

    "moved to accommodate my 5 foot 3 inches instead of his 6 feet"

    -This just sounds dirty.

    "New Connection Wizard then guided me through the setup of my Internet connection for browsing the Web"

    - You mean like the setup at the beginning of the Mac OS X install? Or the internet connection assistant in the Utilities folder?

    "I started with Outlook Express for e-mail, because it's included with Windows XP"

    -Yeah, those bastards at Apple only ship three email clients with their machines (Netscape, Mail, Outlook). And what happened to choice/flexibility?

    "The key to getting hardware to work with your computer is to have the correct drivers"

    -That's funny, over here the key to getting hardware to work with my computer is making sure it has a little blue X on the box it ships in and plugging into the correct port.
  • 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.
  • Re:End Note (Score:4, Insightful)

    by j-beda ( 85386 ) on Monday October 14, 2002 @03:24PM (#4447642) Homepage
    To be fair, the use of "our" in a piece such as this often signifies "the person this piece is about". When a writer says "our hero", she usually is not claiming ownership.
  • Writer? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Shadow Wrought ( 586631 ) <shadow.wrought@g m a i l . com> on Monday October 14, 2002 @03:24PM (#4447648) Homepage Journal
    "Yes, it's true. I like the Microsoft® Windows® XP operating system enough to change my whole computing world around."

    She's a freelance writer who begins her "story" by ending a sentence with a preposition. I wonder if she writes for anyone other than M$?
  • by sfeinstein ( 442310 ) on Monday October 14, 2002 @03:25PM (#4447655) Homepage
    I'm surprised by all the "Company Blah has been doing this for years" messages. I could have sworn that the slashdot crowd was savy to Microsoft's techniques and strengths as well as weaknesses by now.

    Far from being shamed by having someone point out to MS that "someone else did it first", they'd be very proud. And rightfully so! The "embrace and extend" business strategy is pure genius and they have executed on it to a T. They have no need to innovate...their entire model is based on version 3 crushing the competition.

    Even if you don't like MS you have to grant them a significant strength in that area. Also, it leads to some good (if not original) software!

    Millions of people wouldn't use Windows and Office if they sucked. It just wouldn't make any sense. Entire industries have MS software as their foundation of doing the same degree has using phones and copiers!

    The irony here is that they can even "embrace and extend" the marketing campaigns of their competitors! Brilliance.

    I'm amazed. MS will be here long after the cockroaches.

  • 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??'s been a while since I've been able to blow off so much steam...
  • by squiggleslash ( 241428 ) on Monday October 14, 2002 @03:31PM (#4447700) Homepage Journal
    It's newsworthy in the sense that it'd be if Chevy's all-new campaign against Ford were to have the MD of GM chatting to the camera about how his granddad, Thomas Edison, and "whoever the President was at the time", would go to Yellowstone Park in their Suburbans.

    That's the amusing bit. That MS is copying Apple's campaign. It's doubly amusing because it's a well known MS-bash that, supposedly, MS copies everything Apple does anyway.

    [I dunno. Windows 1 through 3 weren't remotely Mac like. Even Win95 and up has no meta data yet. But the point has been made]

  • Re:And then like (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Krellan ( 107440 ) <> on Monday October 14, 2002 @03:35PM (#4447742) Homepage Journal

    Ouch. I have had several similar experiences, but fortunately no permanent filesystem damage (I run ext3 and find it to be reliable).

    X is the Achille's heel of Linux.

    I hear talk of other windowing architectures being developed (the guy who wrote Enlightenment is rumoured to be working on one), but have not seen them make it into any mainstream distributions yet.

    I can't tell you how many times my machine appears to have crashed, because of X. I've had to reset, because X refused to accept any keyboard or mouse input (even Ctrl-Alt-Backspace), and I didn't have a second machine handy to telnet/ssh in and kill the X process (a very good strategy for dealing with an X lockup, if you have access to a second machine nearby).

    X is as bloated and buggy as anything Microsoft puts out.

    People have been whining about X since at least 1989 []! It is the one thing holding Linux back on the desktop. KDE, Gnome, Enlightenment, every GUI depends on X. We really need to fix this!

  • by sg3000 ( 87992 ) <> on Monday October 14, 2002 @03:37PM (#4447753)
    I work in marketing too, and I think it is newsworthy because it shows that Apple's campaign is a success.

    Since one can't generally can't make a correlation between an advertising campaign and increased sales (too much of a lag and too many factors), there are a few milestones for promotions that indicate success:

    1. A coined term being adopted by the industry. In this case, "Switcher" is being used in all sorts of contexts, albeit in articles talking about Apple. But if someone in the computer industry uses the term "Switcher", most people in the know will think "Apple". I guarantee you someone in Intel's marketing department grins whenever an analyst talks soberly about "Moore's Law".

    2. Grass roots movement/fan clubs: Exhibit A is Ellen Feiss []. I doubt if anybody outside of Dell' marketing department builds fan sites for that annoying geek they're using

    3. The competition is forced to respond to you. Pepsi constantly mentions Coke, but Coke never mentions Pepsi. But Pepsi's marketing department would love to see that happen. If anything, it's free advertising, because your product is being mentioned without you having to pay for it.

    4. Finally, some sort of parody exists. I've seen a few on the web, but Apple would hit pay dirt if Saturday Night Live or someone painfully mainstream would do a parody. That would show that Apple's Switchers campaign has become a small zeitgeist, like the Mastercard "Priceless" ads.

    The Microsoft ad was so bad because it was so easily dismissed. All the talking points could be dismissed just as easily as they are brought up. Make no mistake, someone in Apple's promotions department saw that pathetic Microsoft ad and grinned from ear to ear.
  • by Overt Coward ( 19347 ) on Monday October 14, 2002 @03:38PM (#4447767) Homepage
    The newsworthy part of the story is that a market leader apparently thinks it has to produce an ill-disguised clone of a market follower's ad.

    You're right in that Microsoft had the choice of doing nothing or doing something. But doing something this stupid is to lend credence to your competition rather than building interest or confidence in your own product.

    The Ford/Chevy analogy does not work because they have reasonably equivalent market share. The better anaolgy would be if there were ads for a Yugo featuring former Ford owners, which Ford countered with an ad featuring former Yugo owners. That would have been a massively stupid move for Ford, because all they are doing is equating the two makes in peoples' minds.

    (The Yugo/Ford analogy is not intended to imply any correlation between quality of produts, just strength of market share...)
  • by CreepyNinja ( 615245 ) on Monday October 14, 2002 @03:41PM (#4447791)
    Did anyone else notice that the stock photo of the girl over on was a Royalty Free photo? So that means that Microsoft, eternal foe of free software, is more than happy to go to a photo house and only take their free images rather than actually help support the photo house by purchasing rights to a different picture...
  • 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!

  • Re:yeah right (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Jucius Maximus ( 229128 ) <> on Monday October 14, 2002 @03:45PM (#4447838) Journal
    One thing that just occured to me is that this is a signal that Apple's very own switch campaign [] is working and people are actually switching from Windows to OS X.

    Microsoft is probably feeling the effects of this or predicting that they will feel the effects or this. Otherwise, they wouldn't be launching this counter-attack.


  • 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 ) <> 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"
  • by dirk ( 87083 ) <> on Monday October 14, 2002 @03:48PM (#4447875) Homepage
    think you're missing the point. It's not the strategy that's amusing, it's the fact that it's such a poor effort. Microsoft doesn't offer one reason to use XP that doesn't also exist in Mac OS X. Microsoft Office? They have that for OS X. Multi-user? Yeah, OS X has that. Etc, etc.

    But then again, the Apple switch ads don't offer a single reason to use a Mac that WinXP doesn't have. You can burn cds and dvds, which you can do on WinXP. You can make movies, whihc you can do on WinXP. Neither sides has any really good arguements, because people wouldn't respond to the good arguements (things like the cariety of software on Windows vs Mac or the better usage of the power of a Mac vs WinXP). Neither side really will convince someone to switch, it will just hopefully make them check out both and make a decision after looking at both of them.
  • Re:Linux Switch (Score:3, Insightful)

    by cioxx ( 456323 ) on Monday October 14, 2002 @03:51PM (#4447914) Homepage
    too bad that Mozilla doesn't have close to the amount of success that IE does w/the web (including speed of loading tables, program, and support)

    That's such Bullshit.

    Phoenix 0.x [] is 40% faster than IE, even on Windows. I know because I'm typing this out in Phoenix 0.3 running on Windows 2000 as the default browser. I could never imagine myself running Moz or Opera on Windows. I simply hated them. But Phoenix came and changed all that.
  • 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 Redline ( 933 ) on Monday October 14, 2002 @04:00PM (#4448027) Homepage Journal
    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.

    Whatever. I will gush all day about the great and powerful Linux to anyone who wants to hear it. For free. On TV, on the radio, on slashdot, and in print. I will confess my love of Mozilla, KDE, and the unstoppable gcc toolchain. Especially if Linus or RMS asked me to do so.
    I am sure that the Mac fans of the world would do the same. Especially if Jobs asked them to do it.
  • by roboneal ( 18078 ) on Monday October 14, 2002 @04:02PM (#4448037) Homepage
    I have just read scores of anti-Microsoft messages, most of which could be plugged quite nicely into Apple's continuing marketing campaign. I assumed most aren't on Apple's payroll.

    Therefore, isn't it possible that there might be one person out there who tows the Microsoft party line without being on the payroll of Microsoft?

    It amazes me how my $700 PC running Win2K managed to not crash long enough to write this message.
    OK I'm done, now where's my check Bill?

  • by nougatmachine ( 445974 ) <`johndagen' `at' `'> on Monday October 14, 2002 @04:02PM (#4448042) Homepage
    Jesus H Christ. I'm not sure if this is a troll or an honest question, but does nobody read BoingBoing [] besides me? Mark Frauenfelder [], who was featured in the first run of ads (which are no longer available on Apple's web site) has been mainting BoingBoing with Cory Doctorow for quite a while now. I was reading his blog long before the switch ads started appearing. The cynicism of some people amazes me. Yes, the men and women featured in Apple's commercials are real people telling their real stories.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 14, 2002 @04:04PM (#4448073)
    I know this will get modded down as a troll, because anyone not kissing Apple's ass here gets modded down by the iDiot iModerators, but here goes:

    I was a Mac user for ten years. Then I switched to a PC with Windows 2000. It's not about choice; I'm running more or less the same programs I used to run in the Macs: Photoshop, Word, Freehand, etc. It's about performance. Now I click on "Print", and the thing actually prints (as opposed to making strange noises for 15 minutes and then printing at a depressingly slow speed).

    I buy a new printer or a new scanner, I plug it in and voilá, it works!! People who go on an on about how Macs have had plug and play since the stone age clearly never had to connect a printer whose driver was not included with MacOS.

    And then there's the games. I'm not much of a gamer, but now I see what I've been missing. They look great, they run smoothly, and there are lots of them.

    Over the years, I've spent enough money on Apple products to pay for Steve Jobs' yacht. And what I got in return were some fancy cases with a crap computer on the inside. I'm not going back, ever. Sorry, Steve, you'll have to find someone else to pay for your next boat.
  • Re:And then like (Score:5, Insightful)

    by aardvarkjoe ( 156801 ) on Monday October 14, 2002 @04:06PM (#4448099)
    The real problem is that all of the commonly used video drivers aren't as stable as they should be. (It doesn't help that most of the latest and greatest video hardware is flaky as well.) Replacing X doesn't fix the driver problems, and so isn't going to prevent lockups.

    Now, what would be nice would be a way to have a 'panic button' that restarts X or kills it and sets the video mode to a known state. The fact that a broken video driver can lock up keyboard input as well is rather annoying.

    Oh, and I don't buy that X is "the one thing holding Linux back on the desktop." You're honestly trying to argue that people who use Windows every day don't switch solely because the windowing system crashes occasionally? I can come up with a long list of reasons not to switch, but X wouldn't make the top 25 in my book. If anything, X is a plus rather than a minus, because it can be used over a network.

  • ...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. []

  • by MamasGun ( 602953 ) on Monday October 14, 2002 @04:12PM (#4448153) Journal
    Freedom from DRM.
    Freedom to use the OS however you want to.
    Freedom to tweak and change, even at code-level.
    Freedom to install the OS on any machine you want to without asking "Mother May I?"
    Freedom from bullshit licenses and other nightmares.
    Freedom from the vast majority of viruses and exploits.
    I'd say that's a REAL compelling reason.
  • by ImaLamer ( 260199 ) <john,lamar&gmail,com> on Monday October 14, 2002 @04:14PM (#4448169) Homepage Journal
    Why even bother touting Office over AppleWorks. You just don't get Office for free when you buy XP.

    All you get is "notepad", and "Write".

    It doesn't seem fair. Also, IE6 can't do more than Netscape, Netscape has it's mail, news and etc built in.(Navigator is dead btw... duh M$).

    The point is M$'s arguments are flawed all around. Multi User? They were the last to add that. When Unix was multi-user, well there was DOS, but in 3.1xxx you needed to install Windows in seperate directories for any type of multi-user environment. It's just silly!

    Windows really doesn't come with much out of the box at all. Even the things they integrate suck, that is why there are billions of shareware apps for PC's.

    Not sticking up for Apple/Mac, just saying MS sucks again.
  • 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 Gropo ( 445879 ) <> on Monday October 14, 2002 @04:16PM (#4448187) Homepage Journal
    But then again, the Apple switch ads don't offer a single reason to use a Mac that WinXP doesn't have.
    Many of the ads aren't touting
    "all the things you can do on a
    so much as they state:
    "Damn! What a
    royal pain in the ass it is to do X, Y and Z under Windows! I got a Mac and got it running with hardly any effort... Now I can concentrate on doing stuff instead of preparing to do stuff..."
    Sure, Alot of that is also platform-redundant, but I surely consider the Macintosh to be the "less tweaking required" platform overall...
  • Re:As in . . . (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Petronius ( 515525 ) on Monday October 14, 2002 @04:22PM (#4448253)
    as in... The Big Lebowski? the nihilist guy?
    my all time fave.
  • Choices: I chose to use Windows 2000, only for the OS. For applications I use non-MS stuff (Eudora/Mozilla/OpenOffice/CygWin) The best of the two worlds (Oh, and nowadays I use a Mac more than my diverse W2k Machines...I just like it more even if it is slower)

    Flexibility: How long until Microsoft actually builds a Antivirus program in the OS? Add to this a nice little subscription (ala Symantec) for the updates. This is one of the things that I think is very probably to happen with their new all-improved-but-paying security policy.

    Yeah, I know you meant it funny...but in every joke there is a hint of truth.

  • by slantyyz ( 196624 ) on Monday October 14, 2002 @04:45PM (#4448441)
    Can you prove that Apple's campaign is a success?

    There are multiple facets to success in advertising, and ultimately it comes down to Apple's marketing goals (which nobody here is talking about). If the goal is awareness and to win awards, then yes, their campaign is arguably successful.

    A lot of advertising is about reducing cognitive dissonance-- i.e., making existing customers feel better about their purchase. I think that's what the Switch campaign is all about -- and they're probably successful here.

    But the name of the campaign is "Switch", so perhaps the true acid test should be about conversion of Windows users to Mac users, can it be declared a success? I wonder how much they spend per conversion (formula: total ad dollars divided by total converts attributing switch to the campaign).

    Seeing newer, faster x86 hardware with more available software and cheaper expansion options being released monthly for the x86 platform is bound to make a few people jealous. A typical Mac user's response is "Well, Apple's new chip at the end of next year is going to kick your PC's ass!" Duh. As a former Mac user, saying that never made me feel much better about waiting 3 quarters for a faster chip that came in a machine that I couldn't afford to switch to. I upgrade my x86 hardware every year for a fraction of what Mac upgrades used to cost me.

    With the progress that the Linux world has made in usability, I just happily "switched" my notebook from Win2K to Red Hat 8. I don't know how much longer OSX users can brag about their switch campaign, because guess what? My switching cost to the Mac platform would cost me $3000 more because I have to buy new hardware. Switching to Red Hat cost me nothing but a few hours of download and installation time.
  • Re:And then like (Score:2, Insightful)

    by WWWWolf ( 2428 ) <> on Monday October 14, 2002 @04:50PM (#4448500) Homepage
    X is the Achille's heel of Linux.

    X is more like Achilles rather than his famous heel. X kills stuff in house and the garden and makes people of Troy die without even need of damn horses... and along comes some goddamn punk with a bow and arrow and makes DRI or graphics driver crash. Hmph.

    The only reason X is crashy is the trippy graphics support in the kernel level. Once you get that sorted out, maybe X will not crash that much - and before it's sorted out, I doubt the competitors will work any better.

  • by kyoko21 ( 198413 ) on Monday October 14, 2002 @05:00PM (#4448583)
    Off Topic: Maybe it's more flexible is because there are more software that you can pirate that will run on XP than on Mac OSX. At least the last time I looked, I didn't see many people making a big deal about how they got the 0day version of PhotoShop for MacOS. Just a thought though.
  • Ad campaigns (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 14, 2002 @05:02PM (#4448598)
    It's no less ridiculous than the idiotic Apple commercials.

    ARgh...when will they realize that most Ad money is thrown into the toilet, because people could give a shit about the ads?
  • by *xpenguin* ( 306001 ) on Monday October 14, 2002 @05:04PM (#4448607)
    Looks like they deleted it out of shame.
  • Freedom to install the OS on any machine you want to without asking "Mother May I?"
    Not quite. I can install it on any machine I want to, assuming that the machine is compatable with the OS hardware support. The main issue of course being that there are still seperate distros of Linux (PPC, x86, SPARC). When will we see a distro with all the nessesary code in one package, and a universal install?"

    ...I'm pretty sure he meant legally. I can, have, and still do shamelessly install whatever flavor of Windows onto whatever machines I want to. It's not permitted in the EULA though. Although Linux completely takes the fun out of this concept for me, I can take Redhat 8 Professional, (yes, the retail version - Ironically the only OS I've ever paid for) and install it on a couple of new servers and a few workstations, in a commercial environment where even I don't have the balls to use something without a license, and it's cool. Encouraged, even. Yes, you have the same option with MacOS as I do with Windows, but with Linux neither of us are getting fired or paying fines. And most Linux distributions do have a universal installer - FTP.
  • Re:yeah right (Score:3, Insightful)

    by panaceaa ( 205396 ) on Monday October 14, 2002 @05:17PM (#4448703) Homepage Journal
    Seems like Microsoft took down the page. (Here's the Google cached copy [].)

    Maybe Microsoft just created this page for Slashdot to link to. Instead of their marketing team putting in time and effort to create a real campaign, they put together some generic arguments and to see how well they fly over on Slashdot. Now they'll take the Slashdot arguments and turn them into a real campaign. Maybe I'm being paranoid, but Microsoft isn't stupid, and this thread gives them a lot of valuable information.
  • Re:yeah right (Score:3, Insightful)

    by HowardTheDolphin ( 616544 ) on Monday October 14, 2002 @05:23PM (#4448760) Homepage
    The great thing about Apple's ads are that they ARE simple and consumer oriented. They are the type of ads that DO get stuck in your head. Consumers don't care about features being rattled off, geeks like features, and the geeks are the ones that can look into it for themselves. Consumers do not want to devote their time doing reseach. Consumers like the switch ads, they speak in an easy to understand language and are done by real users that have switched from MS's overcomplicated, underperforming and out-of-date OS that they can relate to.
  • by mcc ( 14761 ) <> on Monday October 14, 2002 @05:32PM (#4448844) Homepage
    But then again, the Apple switch ads don't offer a single reason to use a Mac that WinXP doesn't have.

    And you've completely missed the exact same thing that Microsoft missed about the Switch campaign.

    The point isn't to show these people talking about all the things they can do with their macintoshes. The point is to show how happy that all these people are about all these things that they can do with their macintoshes. The point is demonstrate to all those disgruntled windows users in the Great Unwashed, using real people, that computing can actually be a pleasurable experience.

    Apple doesn't want you to pay attention to what any of those people in the Switch ads are saying. What they want you to pay attention to is the quiet, joyful glow in Ellen Feiss' eyes as she talks about how happy she is that she doesn't have to worry anymore about the computer going all, like, BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP and deleting, like, half her paper. (And it was a really *good* paper.)

    They want people to see these Switch ads and go, "Wow. These people all seem to actually enjoy using their computers. I don't enjoy using my computer at all. Maybe if I bought an apple, I'd enjoy using my computer too."

    (Of course, usually the ACTUAL effect is that people see that quiet glow and they go "Wow. Maybe if I started smoking pot, I'd be happy too". Or they start stalking Ellen Fiess. But the point is the intent of the whole thing.)

    This is why the switchy-PR thing on MS's website is such a joke. [S]he's describing how "great" her experience with WinXP has been, but the experience that she describes sounds about as fun as a trip to the DMV in which the line was short and you managed to get in and out and get everything you needed done without particularly any hassle. Meanwhile, any emotion that there is in the article feels about as real as Anne Coulter.
  • by Dr. Spork ( 142693 ) on Monday October 14, 2002 @05:44PM (#4448939)
    I'm not saying that this sort of advertising is bad or ineffective (although I happen to think it's both). What I was saying is that it's disingenuous, that the agenda is not really to make ads that are most likely to result in an increase of MS sales.

    If all Apple users switched to Windows, MS would hardly notice. Again--remember how much Apple users already pay for Microsoft products. Would they really pay that much more if they also ran Windows? So I'm saying that there is no way that Microsoft's real intention could be to draw users away from Apple. It's just not worth it! Their real intention is to give the appearance of competition, to look like fair players. Apple is a good patsy for this purpose, because everybody knows them, they still have vivid memories of the old "competitive" days, but the Apple of today poses no threat at all. They are (as I tried to write earlier but but made a typo) an amputated company, one that marches as MS whistles (they exist by permission of Microsoft). Still, it's very much in MS's interest to project the appearance that Apple is a threat to them, and making "competition" commecials is a perfect vehicle for this. We know who the real audience is! They wear robes to work.

  • by susano_otter ( 123650 ) on Monday October 14, 2002 @05:55PM (#4449019) Homepage
    Perhaps the Apple ads are intended to increase cognitive dissonance--make people feel more uncomfortable about using Windows, thus driving them to make the "Switch" for peace of mind.

    This would actually be more compatible with my own experience of advertising: that it's intended to make you more and more unhappy, until you give in and buy product foo just so you can sleep at night.

  • Re:yeah right (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 14, 2002 @05:59PM (#4449041)
    did the microsoft page get taken down because it was slashdotted. does microsoft not want the slashdot community peering at this obvious and pathetic attempt at propoganda?

    also, i think the typical mac user could not switch to a windows environment. certainly, their switch would not be as easy as a windows user coming to macintosh.

    in a lot of respects, i really think microsoft goofed by posting this. they should be happy with their monopoly - or perhaps, microsoft wants to appear more vulnerable in order not to get split up by the govt.

  • Re:And then like (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Drakonian ( 518722 ) on Monday October 14, 2002 @06:01PM (#4449063) Homepage
    I'm amazed at the amount of attention this chick gets from Slashdotters.
    1. She isn't that hot. Seriously.
    2. She is "uhhh like" 14!
    My theory is that she meets geeks emotional need for their portential partners to shun Windows.
  • Re:yeah right (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 14, 2002 @06:14PM (#4449142)
    Yeah except the reasons are wrong on all fronts. None of her arguments hold any water whatsoever as everything she claims she can do on Windows XP can also be done on a mac. (In fact she mentions IE and Office both of which are put out by Microsoft FOR mac as two reasons to switch).
    So how is this advertising more intelligent?
    Yet again microsoft copies apple (and gets it wrong)
  • by DunbarTheInept ( 764 ) on Monday October 14, 2002 @06:38PM (#4449335) Homepage
    The implementations of X have big problems, but at it's core X is a network protocol, with many implementations. It's too ubiquitous to throw it away, and besides why do you want to? What you should be pushing for is to fix the implementations, not to start over from scratch and destroy all backward compatability with previous unix gui apps. Asking people to ditch X altogether because you find xfree86 to be crash-prone is like asking to stop using HTTP protocol because you have a lot problems with Apache. One bad implementation is not enough reason to ditch the technology when other implementations of it exist.

    If you replaced Xfree86 with some other graphics engine, and that graphics engine had just as buggy drivers as xfree86, then it would crash just as much as xfree86. The fact that xfree86 use X protocol is not the reason it's crash-prone. It's the video drivers that are the problem.

    What I'd like to see would be a change where the networking code is pulled out from the rest of xfree86 and made into a seperate module that can go on living when the main body of Xfree86 segfaults. That way it could be possible to keep the network communication to the X clients open while the main part of XF86 is re-launched, and re-attached to the networking module, and thus the unexcpeted termination of the X server would not also bring down all the X clients. As far as the X clients "know", all that happened is that the network "lagged" for a while and the X server took half a minute or so to respond.

  • by kalidasa ( 577403 ) on Monday October 14, 2002 @06:49PM (#4449405) 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.

    So a laptop with 512 MB of ram, Office XP, Windows XP pro, and all the other features this thing is talking about was $450.00 cheaper than an iBook? Sorry, but that is very unlikely. If you're comparing a Windows computer to a Mac, and you're saying that Office XP is better than AppleWorks, you'd better be including the $500 for Office XP in that comparison, or you're going to get burned by legal.

  • Re:And then like (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Zeinfeld ( 263942 ) on Monday October 14, 2002 @06:55PM (#4449432) Homepage
    Oh, and I don't buy that X is "the one thing holding Linux back on the desktop." You're honestly trying to argue that people who use Windows every day don't switch solely because the windowing system crashes occasionally?

    X Windows is completely stable in my experience, albeit mainly drawn from using DEC Alpha hardware. If you are having problems with X it is almost certainly the video driver or the video card.

    There are a heck of a lot of crappy video cards that don't quite match the expectations of the drivers. That is why I have tended to buy Matrox cards to use with Linux - and older ones at that.

    Sounds to me as if Linux is getting the same problem as Windows has had, crappy third party drivers and crappy third party hardware causes crashes which are blamed on the O/S. Smartest move in XP is the dialog box that pins the blame on the driver, should end up with the bugs getting fixed.

    Of course that is not going to do anything for my expensive and completely useless 3DFX hardware :-(

  • Beaten to death (Score:2, Insightful)

    by derubergeek ( 594673 ) on Monday October 14, 2002 @08:07PM (#4449833) Homepage Journal
    Okay - I know this has already been hammered on endlessly, but - after reading the switch story - I just couldn't resist...

    My laptop came with 512 MB of RAM, a 15" screen, a DVD player, and Windows XP Home Edition preinstalled, for $450 less than a comparable iBook. My recommendation is to go straight to Windows XP Professional; the extra features for mobile users are worth it.

    First off, I noticed that she chose not to include the extra $250-$300 for XP professional upgrade in the cost...

    AppleWorks (previously called ClarisWorks) pales in comparison to Microsoft Office XP. There's no equivalent for the versatility of Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint®.

    It's also $75 and free on certain models (iMac/iBook, e.g.) - and MS Office is also available for the Mac .

    Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 does more for me than Netscape Navigator ever did

    Finally, IE is the default browser on the Mac. And, being a daily user of IE5/OSX & IE6/Win2k, I can attest to the fact that IE5 on the Mac is more feature rich (auction tracking, autofill button, font+- as examples). Of course, IE5 on the Mac doesn't pop a window up everytime I pause over an image...but I'm thinking that's a plus.

    About the only thing she forgot to put in there was And my Windows XP machine wasn't created using child labor plus it's dolphin and spotted owl friendly.

    I can just see the new XP boxes: "Contains no harmful asbestos or cyanide laced CDs. Can your OS say that?"

    Build a quality OS or crush the competition. Pick one.

  • "The author of the page -- who never identifies herself, and who could very easily be fictional or a composite sketch"

    Oh and I suppose if they gave a name and showed a more "natural" looking person, there's no way it could be fake?
  • shocking! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by autopr0n ( 534291 ) on Monday October 14, 2002 @09:22PM (#4450334) Homepage Journal
    That someone might use stock photographs as design elements on a web page!

    Sure, the 'testamonial' picture would lead you to belive that the person pictured actualy wrote the artical, but most of those pictures are just headings to pages with lots of links.
  • by dadragon ( 177695 ) on Tuesday October 15, 2002 @02:24AM (#4451781) Homepage
    I've never had to do this. The people I know who TRUELY know what they are doing have never had to do this.

    I don't fear my XP system crashing, because it doesn't.

    Dude, how many people do you know who both run XP Home and know what they're doing? I can't think of any.

    I was just at my uncle's house. His computer runs XP, he and his wife are the only ones who use it. One of the user accounts was so fscked up as to be unusable, so they switched to just using one of them. His e-mail didn't work, but that was because Sasktel changed their POP3 authentication method. And it was slow and somewhat unstable. I fixed these things quite easily, but I know what I'm doing with computers and my uncle didn't.

    My 2K server box and my XP box are sable like packed dirt (pretty stable, month long uptimes with no slowdown), while my FreeBSD box is like a rock (multi-month runtimes -- pretty much solid between releases -- with no slowdown). I know what I'm doing, so Windows and FreeBSD work. For the average home user, Windows won't work because it's too easy to fuck up. ...and I refuse to believe that I'm superior to other users.

    But that's exactly what it is. You're a better user than most of the "XP sucks" crowd. It [XP] ain't bad, but it can be fucked up just like anything else.

    Or, maybe, most users just don't know what they are doing? I think I'll buy that one.

    You just hit the nail on the head. People assume that they know everything or that they'll figure it out (which they probably can, but they'll end up installing it a few times before they do)
  • by forgoil ( 104808 ) on Tuesday October 15, 2002 @03:17AM (#4451962) Homepage
    ...but the multiuser part of Windows sucks worse than NFS in Linux. The separation of users settings works as long as it is Microsoft's software, but many 3rd party software sucks ass big time (for instance ICQ).

    Multi-user works a hell of a lot better in different unixes, even though it is very basic and cumbersom (I can't spell today) at times.
  • by djtripp ( 468558 ) <djtripp@gma[ ]com ['il.' in gap]> on Tuesday October 15, 2002 @05:27AM (#4452227) Homepage Journal
    Comparing AppleWorks to Office XP is like comparing Photoshop Elements to Photoshop Retail.
    Hmmm... They didn't say anything about MS Works. About the same price point, about same features, except AppleWorks does.
  • by lynx_user_abroad ( 323975 ) on Tuesday October 15, 2002 @09:17AM (#4452778) Homepage Journal
    Maybe other users, even the ones who THINK they know what they are doing, are just inferior to me?

    There's another possibility; perhaps they are neither inferior to you, nor superior to you, but rather just different from you.

    With two decades of programming experience I don't consider myself to be any sort of a "clueless newbie". I've worked on (and programmed for) everything from embedded controllers to goverment mainframe supercomputers. I don't have a problem understanding technology, but every time I work on an MS-Windows based system I have the same kinds of problems that some other people (apparently not you) describe having, regarding crashing apps, BSOD's, etc. I've reached the conclusion that Windows is fine for most of the people in the country, but that most of the people in the country just don't think like I do. I can't get my head around Windows; it seems to be designed for different kind of thinker. (Not that I'm complaining, I like being one of the minority who can think like I do.)

    And I have no quarrel with anyone who chooses to use Windows (although I encourage them to try other operating systems just to make sure they know about all the alternatives so they can pick the best one for themselves) but I will complain whenever and Windows user tries to make the argument that Windows must be the best because a lot of people use it. And my position leaves me strategically opposed to Microsoft, as a corporation, because they have a financial interest in getting rid of people like me.

    Go ahead a use whatever you feel like using, and don't feel like you have to defend your decision to me. But by the same token, don't hate me just because I choose to Think Different.

"Go to Heaven for the climate, Hell for the company." -- Mark Twain