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  (Source: Robert Scoble)

"Hello! I'm a PC and I've been made into a stereotype!" exclaims a John Hodgman look alike in Microsoft's new spots.  (Source: Microsoft)

MMA tough guy Rashad Evans is among the celebs as well as normal people to declare their love for the PC. Says Evans, "I'm a PC! YOU got a problem with that?!?" It seems pretty unlikely that Justin Long would manage more than a nervous squeak.   (Source: Microsoft)
"I'm a PC! YOU got a problem with that?!?"

Anticipation was high for the Bill Gates and Jerry Seinfeld ads when they debuted earlier this month.  After all, they paired one of comedy's greats with a father figure of the tech industry -- that should surely be enough to take on feisty Apple computers, right?  Not, so it turns out. 

First the initial ad was blasted across the internet as being nonsensical, unfunny, and generally pointless.  Said ZDNet, "Maybe I’m off base here but I think if Microsoft is trying to engage people with this ad, it has failed miserably."

Gizmodo piped in, "There's not really a whole lot of anything, including laughs, information or pimping of Vista. It's kinda like Seinfeld's really long, really rambling Superman ad for Amex he did a few years back."

The LA Times said the first ad had disturbing racial overtones and generally was in bad taste.  Their blogger remarked, "It pulls none of the emotional strings that might have helped Microsoft "reconnect" with its audience (not that I remember ever being connected to them)."

Criticism for the clips taken from the second full length ad was less vitriolic, but it was not glowing either.  The 4-5 minutes spot about Bill Gates and Seinfeld moving in with a suburban family had its funny points, but again struggled to make a clear connection to a product.

A couple days ago a frenzy of reports began circulating around the internet stating that the seemingly inevitable was about to happen -- Microsoft was pulling the plug on the Gates and Seinfeld spots.  While the gist of this statement may be true, the official word is that the ads are not canceled but merely on "hiatus" and may appear back again at any time.

The true story first began to surface when a Crispin Porter + Bogusky, the ad firm in charge of the campaign and also responsible for the latest Burger King commercials, contradicted the reports according to Gizmodo.

While the old ads may not be gone for good, Microsoft has moved on to "Phase 2", with brand new spots.  The first of these entitled "I'm a PC" aired last night on NBC's popular comedy The Office.  The ads open with a John Hodgeman lookalike saying that PC users have fallen victim to stereotyping.  It then shows off Windows users ranging from geek, like Gates and Deepak Chopra, to glamorous like Eva Longoria and Tony Parker.  Seinfeld was conspicuously absent in the new commercials.

The new ads received a much warmer reception.  As Gizmodo puts it the ads "definitely beat the crap out of those (ill-fated?) Gates/Seinfeld ads when it comes to making a point."

Another funny part comes in the second version of the spot, where, at the end, top MMA fighter Rashad Evans spits out, "I'm a PC.  You got a problem with that."

No one answers, but it seems likely that Justin Long would suddenly have not much to say if he were around.  Indeed, the line delivers the sentiment many frustrated PC owners had been feeling themselves for a long time, but were perhaps not intimidating enough to say.

Perhaps the strongest aspects of these new ads are the parts where they show a variety of everyday people stating the perhaps soon-to-become-iconic line "I'm a PC".  They also seamlessly tie together these with comments on the people’s occupations -- such as an environmental activist, a McCain campaign staffer, an Obama blogger, and even an astronaut.  And there's a bit of randomness too, with comments on the people's facial features like beards and glasses, without losing the point or sounding too inane.  It all ties together into a sort of spot that’s significantly more endearing and even a bit funny.

While Gates and Seinfeld may not be done with their strange antics, the new lifeblood of the Windows campaign seems to have been pumped.  Microsoft finally realized that it should give the people what they've been asking for all along -- a direct and witty response to the snarky "Get a Mac" commercials.

One of the new spot can be found here.  Another can be found here.



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RE: BSOD
By EntreHoras on 9/19/2008 11:35:11 AM , Rating: 5
I don't think that is the right end of that spot. It seems to me that is a spoof, not the real clip.


RE: BSOD
By bhieb on 9/19/2008 11:53:09 AM , Rating: 5
Its not the right clip here is the correct one.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D3fuphN0yFE&feature...

Typical ahole mac guy that can dish it out but can't take it so he pulls a "funny" and throws a blue screen is. Funny thing is I can't remember the last time I actually saw one.


RE: BSOD
By therealnickdanger on 9/19/2008 12:14:59 PM , Rating: 5
As I understand it, in today's world, BSODs are caused mostly by hardware faults or poor drivers... I think it's pretty rare, in general, for the Windows OS to be the source of one.


RE: BSOD
By Parhel on 9/22/2008 5:20:01 PM , Rating: 2
I get them once in a while when I'm testing out an overclock, but that's really about it.


RE: BSOD
By MonkeyPaw on 9/19/2008 12:42:39 PM , Rating: 5
The last Mac I owned (dual G5 PowerMac) also got BSODs, except that on OSX, the "B" stands for Black, as in "Black Screen of Death." It basically is a kernel panic, and the screen tells you to reboot in 3-4 different languages. For me, the crashes made no sense most of the time, as they would happen completely at random--stress or 3rd party apps were rarely involved.

Then there's another form of OSX lockup that I've heard many users refer to as the "Spinning Beach Ball of Death." In that case, the mouse cursor turns into what looks like a spinning beach ball (which is basically the equivalent to the hour glass) when the system hangs. You can move the mouse around, but that's about it. Sometimes the system recovers from the spinning beach ball, other times a hard reset is required, hence it also gets the honor of the "of death" ending as well. Do a google search on either and you'll see they're real and relatively well known in the Mac community.

In my experience, the OSX crashes seemed more random and frustrating, and it eventually drove me back to the PC, which I have found to be much more stable. Right now, my only issue on Vista is "HL2.exe has stopped responding," which Valve refuses to acknowledge as a widespread issue. :\


RE: BSOD
By Belard on 9/19/2008 1:52:15 PM , Rating: 3
There's always good ol' Guru Meditation errors... Those took you out for sure.

http://haftbar.de/wp-content/guru-meditation_error...

Rumored... a kind way of saying "take a break" while you reboot me. ;)


RE: BSOD
By LorKha on 9/19/2008 2:01:35 PM , Rating: 5
did you remember the BOMB??

that alone PWNED so many Mac users... like me...

LOL!


RE: BSOD
By fuser197 on 9/19/2008 1:53:18 PM , Rating: 3
It's been awhile since I saw a BSOD on Vista, until last week, guess who/what caused it? Nvidia.


RE: BSOD
By snownpaint on 9/19/2008 2:19:55 PM , Rating: 2
I'm a both..

I thought the Sienfield/Gates ad sucked. It was so lame and didn't touch a single thing with computers or diversity of PC users.
I was so disappointed that someone in Microsoft decided that was worth $10 million, hope they got fired, I know I would have if I made that ad on that budget.

the 1984 Apple ad, was so much better, and 1/10 of the budget, $900000 commercial, which was outrageous those days..

The "I'm a PC" is much better ad then the Steinfield/Gates ad, and I'm sure didnt cost 1/3 of the cost.

As For BSOD.. I saw one 2 days ago.. Decided to Update my GPU drivers. Reverted back all said and done.


RE: BSOD
By tehbiz on 9/19/2008 3:14:25 PM , Rating: 2
900000 wouldnt get you that spot during the superbowl anymore, let alone pay for the construction of the ad.


RE: BSOD
By twjr on 9/21/2008 5:55:49 AM , Rating: 2
I can't remember the last time when I saw a BSOD exactly. However, the only ones I ever do see are caused by one of two things. Either graphics driver faults, both ATI and Nvidia, or during stress testing when overclocking. Not Windows fault.

The candy wheel/beach ball of death I have seen on more than one occasion in the last couple of months in my computer science labs. Bloody frustrating when a mornings coding gets corrupted and not something I have happen on my home computers.


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