Daniel Eran Dilger in San Francisco
Random header image... Refresh for more!

Microsoft’s ‘I’m a PC’ Campaign Keeps Getting Stranger (With Videos)

Ballmer PC
Daniel Eran Dilger
If subliminally advertising Apple’s Macs through implied comparisons wasn’t bad enough, Microsoft’s subsequent ads make the case of Apple’s Get a Mac message even harder in an expanded series of “I’m a PC” ads: “I am Not Alone,” “Stereotype,” and “Our CEO is a Raging Nutcase.”

Microsoft $300 Million Ads
Microsoft’s Mojave Attempts to Wet Vista’s Desert
Microsoft’s Mojave Experiment Exposes Serious Vista Problems
Paul Thurrott calls Apple “the Bad Guys” of Microsoft’s $300 Million Ads
Gates, Seinfeld and the $300 Million Ad to Nowhere
Microsoft’s $300 million ad campaign tumbles with new PC ads
Microsoft’s “Windows vs Walls” Ad Tries to Think Different, Fails
Microsoft’s “I’m a PC” Millions Actually Promoting the Mac
Microsoft’s ‘I’m a PC’ Campaign Keeps Getting Stranger (With Videos)
I’m a PC too… touché
.
I Am Not Alone: Of Course You’re Not.

Do generic PC users feel alone in the world? Proactively worried about this possibility, Microsoft has rushed to assure users that there are a billion others just like them. In fact, everyone on earth with a PC has a PC. Of course, we already knew that before Microsoft decided to blow $300 million to say the obvious.

The new “I am not alone” ad edits down the series of characters presented in the first “I’m a PC” ad to the point where they appear to just be chanting “PC” “PC” “PC.” Then, at the end, it jawdroppingly juxtaposes Deepak Chopra saying “we’re all a PC, inseparably one” with a fighter holding down his opponent yelling angrily, “you got a problem with that?,” leaving a weirdly intense Borg message of conformity.

Apparently, you’re either with us or against us, and if you’re against us, Microsoft will be coming after you to assimilate you into the Borg hive. Strange, bizarre, unsettling, and above all, a pointless commercial message.

Stereotype: Right Back At Ya.

A third ad “stereotype,” takes issue with John Hodgeman’s PC character, with a variety of “PCs” complaining that their suit isn’t tweed and their office is really an outdoors setting. This one is slightly better in terms of actually trying to attack the Get a Mac ads, but Microsoft is again really only defensively drawing attention to Apple’s original campaign and inviting users to think about Macs, hardly an effective strategy.

I mean really, does Microsoft think that advertising the “PC” will encourage new sales of computers, or cause people to have a less favorable view of Macs? The only mention of Windows is a tiny logo at the end that isn’t clearly visible or even immediately identifiable because Microsoft changes the logo more often than it introduces a new version of Windows.

Also, while the Sean character complains, “I’ve been made into stereotype!”, that word really just refers to a general perception. Apple didn’t invent the idea that PCs were buttoned up business types that flock together in a monoculture herd and view creativity and diversity as flaws; that’s what corporate America and Windows Enthusiasts has been saying all along.

In reality, they’re the ones who have been stereotyping, calling Macs ‘not ready for business,’ despite the fact the Microsoft Excel first appeared on the Macintosh and that Apple pursued a decade long lead in graphical computing ahead of Windows, and that Apple helped pioneer mobile business computing, and laser printing, and trackpads, and easy to use networking, and wireless networking, and Gigabit Ethernet with auto-configuration, and plenty of other features that businesses now take for granted.

Office Wars 3 – How Microsoft Got Its Office Monopoly
Two Decades of Portable Macs: 1989 – 2009
Steve Jobs and 20 Years of Apple Servers

Having Microsoft insist that it is the victim of an unfair stereotype is a bit rich coming from a big empty monopoly that was so devoid of creative ideas that it had to steal some advertising concepts from Apple, and then use Apple’s computers to complete the campaign.

Steve Ballmer: The WTF CEO LOL.

If the “I’m a PC” ads it had professionally produced were a questionable use of $300 million, the company’s CEO managed to erode the company’s brand value and any remaining hint of charm, class, sophistication, or intelligence that might be associated with it, apparently for free.

The Thrower of Chairs demonstrated his personal vision for winning friends and influencing people in a short clip where he states his preference for using generic computers and his appreciation for a company that can’t fire him no matter what he says or does.

Did you like this article? Let me know. Comment here, in the Forum, or email me with your ideas.

Like reading RoughlyDrafted? Share articles with your friends, link from your blog, and subscribe to my podcast (oh wait, I have to fix that first). It’s also cool to submit my articles to Digg, Reddit, or Slashdot where more people will see them. Consider making a small donation supporting this site. Thanks!

53 comments

1 Microsoft’s “Windows vs Walls” Ad Tries to Think Different, Fails — RoughlyDrafted Magazine { 09.22.08 at 12:57 am }

[...] Tries to Think Different, Fails Microsoft’s “I’m a PC” Millions Actually Promoting the Mac Microsoft’s ‘I’m a PC’ Campaign Keeps Getting Stranger (With Videos) . The difference is that rather than being a cleverly worded and thought provoking tribute to [...]

2 boyd1080 { 09.22.08 at 1:02 am }

so, did anyone else notice that in the videos, there is an email address for anyone who is a microsoft employee.. or something?

like:
jeff@microsoft.com

at youtube quality, it is hard to make out, but what is the point? for us to respond like; Yeah dude, I am a PC too, and I also work in a server farm!!!…?

well, whatever.

[yes, its "sean@windows.com" and if you mail it you get an auto reply that is part of the campaign talking about PCs in the mountains and in shark cages, etc.]

3 nelsonart { 09.22.08 at 1:11 am }

They should end one of those bits with that video of Steve Ballmer screaming “Developers, developers, developers……….” with “I’m ON PCp.” Poke fun at themselves. Call it the monKEY NOTE. He already burned the calories…save $300 million and go with what works.

One is a tried and true hit on youtube and they could use a Mac to spiffy it up for prime time.

4 Netudo { 09.22.08 at 1:37 am }

Is the last video a real TV Ad?
What do they plan to accomplish?
I’m amused and confused at the same time.

5 sparkplug { 09.22.08 at 1:39 am }

For one of their commercials, why don’t they show the Borg collective and have ‘Seven of Nine’ (wearing her Spandex outfit!) say: “I’m a PC and your resistance if flippin’ futile!”

6 Brau { 09.22.08 at 1:53 am }

What gets me is that they seem to be so bereft of any human understanding. There’s a saying in sports: Initiate. Don’t retaliate. Act, don’t react. These ads are very clearly reactive to anyone who views them.

Also, one simply can’t say “I’m ubiquitous and everywhere … I’m unique”. Being unique means not being the norm. Everyone knows Macs are different and PCs are all the same once you lift the lid.

In addition, they are using incredibly stereotypical advertising techniques, showing astronauts, missionaries, and school teachers. It all leads to an obvious over exaggeration that is further removed from the common person.

All-in-all it’s a big waste of money because most people will buy a new PC and end up with Vista anyway, even if MS didn’t advertise. Steve Jobs must be happy to see MS wasting so many R&D dollars on a useless campaign.

7 harrywolf { 09.22.08 at 3:34 am }

Microsoft are bereft of any kind of intelligence or leadership.
Ballmer and Gates should be fired for their amazing stupidity.
Is this what happened to Apple under Sculley and Amelio?
Ballmer is an idiot, and thats being kind.

These ads are utter tripe.

8 Jon T { 09.22.08 at 4:49 am }

“Steve Jobs must be happy to see MS wasting so many R&D dollars on a useless campaign.”

Do you really believe that MS spends it’s R&D $ well? Absolutely not, it’s a bigger hole than its marketing and Zune and all the other bunkum put together. In fact, better it does spend it on R&D, it just produces results that confuse them to hell and gone…

9 nikki { 09.22.08 at 4:58 am }

Guys, don’t lump Amelio with Sculley and Gassée.

Gil Amelio is the one who started to undo the damage, and he is the one who brought back Steve Jobs.

10 Janus { 09.22.08 at 5:15 am }

All I can think of is that old Lily Tomlin SNL ad for Ma Bell:

“We don’t care, we don’t have to. We’re the phone company”

11 PerGrenerfors { 09.22.08 at 5:42 am }

If MS knew what’s best for them they should work to keep their CEO away form cameras at all times.

12 PerGrenerfors { 09.22.08 at 5:46 am }

The ones who really should have put this ad on TV is the FOSS crowd. They have been made into a stereotype and thinking of hardware support it’s easy to understand that they feel alone at times.

13 Berend Schotanus { 09.22.08 at 5:57 am }

It smells like there is thick fat panic in Redmont. If they see what we see (OEM’s are trying to go away from Windows) they understand their revenue machine is at risk. They don’t know what to do, I’m afraid we don’t have any advice for them either.

14 smac1314 { 09.22.08 at 6:42 am }

I wonder why the Wall Street analysts don’t show as much concern for the mental health of the Microsoft CEO as they do the physical well-being of Apple’s. :-)

15 Moeskido { 09.22.08 at 7:20 am }

If that last clip is part of a genuine ad, then it’s a public service. MS is generously showing the general public what the tech community have known all along; that Ballmer’s a shallow, screaming imbecile.

16 Realtosh { 09.22.08 at 9:07 am }

Who knows, Microsoft may be spending $300M large to reach maybe a few dozen or perhaps several hundred important decision makers who influence the purchase of millions of PCs.

Maybe, the business market is about to tip. And Microsoft may be working very hard behind the scenes to keep Apple’s success in the home and school from infecting the previously impenetrable business sector.

Apple’s getting the small businesses (attorneys, dentists, etc) to switch. There may be something brewing in the background that Steve knows about, and Bill found out about. Microsoft may be acting proactively to try to repel massive defections in the corporate business world.

Somethings brewing, but none of us knows what it is yet.

My absolute favorite headline would be:
IBM starts selling Macs, dumps PC.

That would be a game changer. IBM sold off their PC division, so they’re the only major PC vendor who is not tied down to a PC division, which is now part of Lenovo. IBM still sell lots of PCs with all of the services that they sell to businesses. IBM would be the ideal partner to break open the business market for Apple.

It would be an even better match than Dell, who has been asking for Mac OS X for Dell PCs for years.

IBM would just start selling Apples, instead of Lenovos. In this way, they’d stick it to Microsoft who screwed them over with DOS and Windows, when it was IBM that gave Microsoft the opportunity to be part of the original PC world.

This could be the margin squeezing product transition that Apple execs have referred to earlier this year. IBM could guarantee Apple an additional, let’s say, 5 million Macs sold exclusively to business, in exchange for preferred bulk pricing for IBM. This pricing would 1) allow the IBM switch-over to be happen and 2) allow IBM to break open the business market for Macs by selling Apple machines.

Once many businesses start using Macs by the thousands and millions, and the world doesn’t come apart, it would be game over for Microsoft.

17 lehenbauer { 09.22.08 at 9:22 am }

Daniel, I find the majority of your articles to be spot on, and I enjoy reading them. I disagree in this case, though, that the ads are pointless or a waste.

For two years or more, PCs have been mocked by Apple in a series of widely viewed, acclaimed commercials. This has had an affect on PC users, who are beginning to winder if they’re a bit wrong or even stupid for using PCs.

These commercials serve to reassure those people. The commercials communicate “You’re not stupid, you’re OK. Look at all these cool people who use PCs. Hip black people! People with cool accents. See? You’re one of the cool kids after all!” If the commercials make PC users feel better about using PCs, then they will have been effective. (The test will be if they buy another PC next time. Feeling better about Windows will help them do that.)

And the Ballmer clip is not a genuine ad, it’s tone-deaf Ballmer having some fun and also poking fun at himself. Again, in my opinion. But the I-love-this-company bit is an homage to a video of him with sweat-stained armpits, screaming “woo woo woo I love this company” that has been widely viewed and derided, and here he is repeating that. I have a certain grudging respect for that.

18 Quevar { 09.22.08 at 10:05 am }

The Linux community should come out with their own version of the “I’m a PC” commercial showing that all of these PCs can run all sorts of different operating systems. Something like:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UK5nSVZZrJw&fmt=18

19 Dorotea { 09.22.08 at 10:13 am }

The message I get from the original ad (shown above) is one of community. The ad nearly works.

But the “we’re all a PC, inseparably one” breaks it for me. This is way too borgish. While I may be politically “PC”, I think of myself as unique….I don’t want to be part of the collective.

20 qka { 09.22.08 at 10:20 am }

You have to wonder about all those PC kids in the African school, etc. – how much of that was paid for out of the “charity” of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation?

21 chuckb { 09.22.08 at 10:59 am }

I agree with the posts that this is too Borg-like to be cool. The ads can’t quite decide if they’re going for cool or a sort of Coca-Cola like “we are the world” feel good. The ads aren’t cool and there is just no way to get any warm fuzzy feeling about Microsoft, so the we are the world bit also flops.

It may not be fair, but there is just nothing exciting about Windows. When something like 30% of Vista “sales” are immediately downgraded to XP, then your company has a serious problem, and a problem that has nothing to do with Apple’s ads.

Microsoft is already rushing to put out something they call Windows 7, and it looks like Vista will be something that will be as forgotten as “Windows ME” or the wonderful “Bob” product (you may have to look that one up, it didn’t last long).

As others have pointed out, when Microsoft tries to be cool, they do NOT use the Windows “brand” and their obsession with starting every product name with “Microsoft” (Microsof Windows, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, etc) suddenly goes away. For example, the product references for the “cool stuff” are XBox and Zune, no mention of Microsoft or Windows. In those product lines, the Microsoft and Windows brands are tainted, and the company knows it.

The ultimate test is whether the ads work. Ironically, Microsoft is so strong that they are reporting record sales and profits, still totally dominate the business world and maintain near monopoly control of the business desktop and office software. However, they are losing the home, education and other markets to Apple. If Apple’s marketshare stops rising, the ads are working, otherwise not.

I don’t think these ads will stop what Apple is doing.

22 geoffrobinson { 09.22.08 at 11:06 am }

A certain percentage of small companies using Apple will become large companies (down the road). Hopefully, using Apple as well. Or at the very least they may have a heterogeneous architectures.

And, to be honest, for all the complaints about walls, Apple seems more standards/interopability-based than Windows by a country mile.

23 daGUY { 09.22.08 at 11:14 am }

@Realtosh: “IBM would just start selling Apples, instead of Lenovos…IBM could guarantee Apple an additional, let’s say, 5 million Macs sold exclusively to business, in exchange for preferred bulk pricing for IBM. This pricing would 1) allow the IBM switch-over to be happen and 2) allow IBM to break open the business market for Macs by selling Apple machines.”

This argument makes no sense to me. You’re saying that businesses would be more likely to buy Macs if they came from IBM rather than Apple? What’s the difference? It’s still the same computer. If a business has a list of 10 reasons why they prefer a PC over a Mac, having IBM sell Macs isn’t going to change any of those reasons.

“This could be the margin squeezing product transition that Apple execs have referred to earlier this year.”

The “product transition” was for THIS quarter, which ends in about a week. The product transition was the new lower-cost iPod touch.

24 Phildikian { 09.22.08 at 11:23 am }

@lehenbauer

If Windows users need a commercial to tell them they’re “not stupid” then god help us all when people turn to the T.V. to assure them of their self worth.

Apple’s commercials poke fun at “PC’s” but not the people using them. The Apple spots show different areas where people may feel frustration because of using Windows, then contrasts that with how the Mac is different than Windows – which is a completely different message than “you’re stupid if you use a PC”.

The fact that these Microsoft spots are reactive is very evident. It shows how much Microsoft (or their ad agency) doesn’t even “get” the Mac ads as they are reacting to a completely wrong message. Microsoft’s “there’s a billion of us” message is supposed to make people feel good that they use a default OS and directly contradicts their “at one time people thought the earth was flat” ad – where the ‘majority’ are shown to be rarely right about anything.

Their advertising shows just how lost Microsoft is as a company. They can’t focus on creating really good software – so they can’t focus on telling people what they do really well.

25 tundraboy { 09.22.08 at 12:15 pm }

@daGUY “You’re saying that businesses would be more likely to buy Macs if they came from IBM rather than Apple? ”

IBM is as much an IT consulting company as a hardware manufacturer. So yes, if IBM builds a complete enterprise package built around Macs, then businesses would be more likely to buy Macs from IBM than from Apple.

Yes, I like that idea. But it’s still too early for it. Have to wait until the cohorts of Mac-using college students graduate and start moving into corporate America.

26 Realtosh { 09.22.08 at 12:40 pm }

@ daGUY

IBM does huge contracts with large corporations to provide their entire IT infrastructure and/or including their business services software.

IBM would simply replace the 1000′s of Lenovos in each contract with an equal number of Macs. As long as their business service software works on Mac clients, then they could use Mac clients instead of Lenovo PC clients. IBM has been trying to get away from exclusive Windows support, by making all or most of their services available on Linux and/or Mac. This would just be part of the progression of getting away from Windows, and the huge licensing fees involved in deploying Windows.

If IBM uses Mac clients, they would make a profit on reselling Apple hardware, but then wouldn’t have to pay millions of dollars to Microsoft, or Apple for that matter, for using Mac client and server software because the cost of the software is already bundled with the hardware.

On the other hand, currently IBM must pay Lenovo for the hardware which they resell, but then also have to pay $millions of dollars to Microsoft for use of Windows clients licenses, Windows server licenses, and Windows server access licenses for the clients. It gets ugly. There is a huge cost savings in stopping the Microsoft licensing fees alone.

IBM is selling services. The cost of the hardware and the cost of OS, server, and office software licenses are added on top of their services. IBM can deploy the same IBM business solutions software stack for much less just but not using Windows. That leaves them with Linux and Mac as two great options. IBM has already indicated that they are porting all of their services software to Linux, and want to make their software able to work with Mac clients.

It would be a small step beyond that to bundle 1000′s of Mac instead of 1000′s of Lenovos.

Remember that IBM has been selling off their Lenovo stock as quickly as their sale contract allows. Lenovo had the right to keep using the IBM brand on their computers for x number of years, but stopped doing prior to the end of the legally permissible timeframe. The point here is that the 2 companies are moving apart.

This is an opening for Steve Jobs to create a game-changing move.

Once IBM is using Macs in their services business, no one can ever say that Macs are not business PCs. That would be a radical game-changer. That alone could cause a tipping point for Mac adoption in business.

No excuse would ever work to make Mac seem to be second class business computers. The response would always be, “Look IBM uses Macs. If they’re good enough for IBM, they’re good enough for us.”

At that point, as long as the price is acceptable, then you can have a sale. They don’t need to be the bare bone lowest prices either. Anyone who has ever had to buy a PC from Dell, they add on a lot of extra costs to the base price.

So as long as the Mac hardware cost is in the ballpark, the huge saving in avoid Windows licensing costs will drop the overall cost of the underlying hardware tremendously.

27 Realtosh { 09.22.08 at 12:45 pm }

@ daGUY

The margins were attributed to at least three different factors, only one of which was the iPod touch. Plus the Apple execs advised that the lower margins would continue going forward. Plus, if I remember correctly the guidance for margins in 2009 was lower than even later this year. So I wouldn’t discount the possibility of their being other assaults by Apple to create a tipping point that would add further pressure on margins to create opportunities that would otherwise not materialize.

28 Realtosh { 09.22.08 at 1:06 pm }

@ tundraboy

Thanks for your support. In s few short lines you showed exactly how IBM would sell lots of Macs.

As far as being too early. That’s not necessarily the case at all. All that you need is for the IBM services software stack to work on Macs. That’s it. Nothing more, nothing less. That’s the beauty of it.

You don’t have to worry about college students or anything like that.

All you need is a change in IBM sales policy. They would prepare their enterprise package as usual. The package would just include 1,000′s of Macs instead of Lenovos. If there is any push back on the use of Macs, IBM could provide the client a Windows contract rider that would allow the Macs to be used as Windows clients, but with the additional cost of $millions of dollars in Windows licensing fees as an add-on real cost.

You’d be surprised at how many businesses will not insist on spending $millions of extra dollars just for the pleasure of saying that the computers have Windows.

Remember that Windows provides very little of the actual value in the services products that IBM sells. It would be very easy to remove Windows and most people won’t ever care. All you’re subtracting is the extra licensing cost.

Also note that future Macs will come with Exchange compatibility, just like the iPhone 3G. IBM would also build in their groupware into the services software stack.

Alternatives to Microsoft Office are popping up everywhere. Obviously, the software stack would include any of a number of productivity software solutions from IBM and/or Apple.

29 mmbossman { 09.22.08 at 1:29 pm }

No one has pointed out yet (in this article, anyway) the continuing narcissistic need for Bill Gates to be thought of as cool. What better way for the common man to change his perception of Bill than to have Pharrell refer to him as “B.G.”? Hot damn, a cute nickname! They must “kick it” together all the time! Successful rapper/producer hanging out with the former richest man on earth… sounds like a horrible sitcom. Although not quite as horrible as Seinfeld/Gates.

Sorry Bill, but no matter how many celebrities you pay to fellate your ego, I won’t ever believe that you’re anything more than a nerd. And that’s totally fine. But be proud of who you are.

Hopefully some day Bill will realize that he doesn’t have to be thought of as “cool” to be happy. But after seeing the amount of attempted image polishing in these past few ads, I doubt it will be soon.

30 Realtosh { 09.22.08 at 1:42 pm }

IBM will move away from Lenovo and Microsoft.

IBM’s relationship with Lenovo hasn’t seemed so smooth. Once all of their Lenovo stock is sold off, they are not tied to any particular manufacturer. They’d be just as free to use Apple as Dell or HP.

Ironically Apple may be the best strategical match for IBM for a host of reasons. First, HP is a huge competitor to their services business. Dell has also gotten into business services for growth. IBM would not need to worry about Apple getting into business services. It is so far afield from their current businesses.

Add to that that IBM wants to get away from Microsoft fees and dependence on Microsoft products as quickly as possible. Realistically that means that IBM can go with Mac or Linux.

Let’s look at the options. Linux on HP or Dell. They are competitors in services. Linux on plain jane boxes made by some third rate manufacturer. Sounds tempting. Remember IBM got out of the PC hardware business, because it made more sense for them to concentrate somewhere else where they can add more value like services. So what’s left?

Going with Macs from Apple doesn’t sound so implausible after all does it. Not only would using reliable and cool Apple hardware be a differentiator, but it would be a good strategic fit.

The only realistic alternatives would be using Linux on Apple hardware or generic hardware. Apple hardware would be a better differentiator. Apple would insist on including MacOS X across the line.

Apple and IBM could even negotiate an exclusivity contract. No other major business services company could deploy Macs. At the end of this period, Apple could license Mac OS X to a few select large PC manufacturers, but only for certain configurations and only for inclusion in bulk corporate services contracts. To get a Mac or a Mac OS X-based computer should mean something. It would have to maintain a certain level of expectation in terms of quality and configuration. Mac OS wouldn’t go into subpar machines.

I’m not entirely convinced of the Mac OS X licensing, but it may come up in the future as a natural consequence of Apple’s growth in the business sector. It could be the last nail in the coffin of a crippled Microsoft. Again this is just speculation. We are not there yet.

What makes much more sense is that IBM and Apple getting together to provide business services packages. The only thing necessary is for Steve to pick up the phone and put it together.

hey used to work together. IBM inside used to mean the PowerPC processors. Now it would be their business services stack.

This would be a game changer.

31 nelsonart { 09.22.08 at 2:02 pm }

Apple defected from IBM to Intel. In a very embarrassing and public manner. Steve Jobs hammered IBM’s PPC on many fronts: Too slow, too unreliable, slow to ramp up in speed, not enough innovation for laptops or whatever other small gizmo Apple had planned.

I’d expect Palin to defect to Obama’s camp before IBM joins sides with Apple again.

32 pa { 09.22.08 at 2:28 pm }

@ lehenbauer,

You would have a point about Ballmer poking fun at himself if there were an instance in which he showed a bit of humility. In every occasion he comes across more as an obnoxious car salesman than a CEO of a quarter a trillion dollar company. He is exhibit “A” for anyone who doesn’t believe luck.

I am sorry if I offended any obnoxious car salesmen. Perhaps I should have compared him to those fellows who try to get folks to get in to see a freak show. Sorry again, I didn’t mean to offend them either.

33 Realtosh { 09.22.08 at 2:41 pm }

@ nelsonart 31

ROTFLOL
Thanks for the comment.

Yeah, I meant to talk about the rough break-up. That’s why I mentioned the PPC.

I still think there is a good strategic match for both IBM and Apple in that match-up.

IBM might be upset with the public break-up with Apple, but they hate Microsoft. IBM invited Microsoft to their mansion party, and Microsoft not only overstayed their welcome but took title to the mansion.

The split with Apple was in an area, into which IBM was not putting as much effort. IBM was upset at the break-up but deep down they understood why. They had been ignoring that business. There was a new girl in town. Making all those processors for the game consoles was consuming the focus of IBM’s microprocessor division.

There were many interviews with folks from IBM at the time. They were upset, but they understood, and some even commented that Intel might be a better fit.

As far as Microsoft, there’s been unresolved hostility since the original IBM PC, since the clones started, since the O/S 2 backstab, and since IBM was forced out of the PC business altogether.

For Microsoft, there’s quite a lot of bad blood at IBM. Mark my words. IBM will go to either Mac or Linux. It will happen. It’s only a matter of time.

It’s up to Steve to put it together.

Again, thanks for the comment. Gave me a good chuckle.

34 hylas { 09.22.08 at 3:07 pm }

I have to chime in here because the PowerPC is near and dear to my black little heart.
IBM and Apple aren’t terribly stupid. Tell me, what’s better, an OS (OSs/OS X, AIX) that run on EVERYTHING or run with the pack and hope for the best with all those eggs in one basket?
It seems to me it’s platforms (hardware) that run our worlds and an adaptive OS is one hell of a hat trick.
Write once – compile anywhere (?)
I think this is where SteveO has always been going.
IBM understands UNIX almost as well as your former (a shell of itself today) AT&T (that’s the all caps version) did.

35 WebManWalking { 09.22.08 at 4:15 pm }

@Steve Ballmer:

“Not only are we going to New Hampshire, Tom Harkin, we’re going to South Carolina and Oklahoma and Arizona and North Dakota and New Mexico, and we’re going to California and Texas and New York … And we’re going to South Dakota and Oregon and Washington and Michigan, and then we’re going to Washington, D.C., to take back the White House!” — Howard Dean, 01/19/2004

Sometimes overenthusiasm is perceived by the public as overcompensation, as if you’re trying to convince yourself of something you don’t really believe.

Speaking as a competitor blackbelt, I love it when my opponent comes bellowing with psych-up to the bow-in. It sounds so … hollow and pathetic.

36 SamLowry { 09.22.08 at 6:24 pm }

IBM is no dancing monkey but a company looking out for opportunities. Going with linux already. PPC? They know they messed it up. years ago, different department.
offering service for Mac deployments would be an opportunity, in particular when exclusive… and it goes very well with the fact that IBM has extended its guinea pig porgramme to give service staff the choice to use MacBook (Pro?)s instead of thinkpads.

for AAPL, it could be really huge.
one more thing… ibMac ?

37 Tod { 09.22.08 at 8:40 pm }

@realtosh in re IBM selling macs: Wow, what a neat idea! I for one also think it could go somewhere (having worked at ROLM when IBM bought us then sold us to Siemens, who destroyed us).

@all those of you who keep harping on the Borg-like aspect of these ads: I wonder just how many people living on Main Street USA even correlate the ads with the Borg (or even know what it meas to be called Borg). I have an older relative whose political emails to me sure harken back to the Borg but she has no idea what the borg is/are, so it’s a waste trying to explain it to people in her demographic (who also seem to be prime Windows users – she certainly is).
Do you have your own blog? I’d be interested in reading more than what you post in the comment sections.

38 Tod { 09.22.08 at 8:42 pm }

Sorry, I misplaced my cursor in the above. The last paragraph was meant to be part of my comment to realtosh.

@realtosh: Do you have your own blog? I’d be interested in reading more than what you post in the comment sections.

39 TobiasTate { 09.22.08 at 9:47 pm }

My jaw dropped when I saw Deepak Chopra say “We’re all PCs.” Isn’t this guy supposed to be a spiritual guru?!! I mean, to use such reductionist language to describe himself AND other human beings (without their permission), it does nothing but harm his reputation as a spiritual teacher. Whatever Microsoft paid him for his appearance, the damage he’s done to his credibility is a much higher price to pay.

My particular comment is not about a Mac versus PC argument. It’s more about an alleged wise man publicly limiting his concept of self to a box of circuits.

40 Realtosh { 09.22.08 at 10:00 pm }

@ Tod

Thanks for vote of confidence. I’ve though about it.

I’ve been following Dan since way before the Digg incident. Those guys at Digg left a bad taste in my mouth; the way they crucified Dan. All we wanted was to read Dan’s insightful comments.

Maybe some day. I seem to write very long winded comments, almost like Dan’s articles. For now you’ll have to look for my comments here on Dan’s blog.

41 Tod { 09.22.08 at 10:25 pm }

@real…
Yes, I’ve read quite a few of your comments and while I don’t always agree with them, they are well-written, and that’s a good thing.

Could you contact me off list? I want to bounce an idea off you. No hurry.

42 Microsoft’s “I’m a PC” Millions Actually Promoting the Mac — RoughlyDrafted Magazine { 09.22.08 at 10:56 pm }

[...] Tries to Think Different, Fails Microsoft’s “I’m a PC” Millions Actually Promoting the Mac Microsoft’s ‘I’m a PC’ Campaign Keeps Getting Stranger (With Videos) I’m a PC too… touché . Compare Apple’s Ads Brand advertising can have a number of [...]

43 Microsoft’s ‘I’m a PC’ Ads Created On Macs — RoughlyDrafted Magazine { 09.22.08 at 10:57 pm }

[...] Tries to Think Different, Fails Microsoft’s “I’m a PC” Millions Actually Promoting the Mac Microsoft’s ‘I’m a PC’ Campaign Keeps Getting Stranger (With Videos) I’m a PC too… touché . Flickr user LuisDS found that metadata on the creative copy of the [...]

44 tundraboy { 09.23.08 at 12:08 am }

@Deepak Chopra: The guy is the one of the biggest charlatans around. He spouts this pseudo-scientific, pseud0-spiritual, pseudo-mystical babble that can mean anything to anyone. “Not a human doing, not a human thinking, but a human being.” WTF? That can mean anything you want it to mean. I don’t know why anyone would want to be associated with this latter day Werner Erhard slash Maharishi slash L. Ron Hubbard incarnate.

45 nelsonart { 09.23.08 at 1:20 am }

tundra,

I agree. That soft use of meaningless words drives me nuts. He was thoroughly owned on Bill Maher’s show some time ago. I enjoyed the back and forth. Bill, of course, is a rabid atheist. Deepak was left looking silly and dejected.

46 lowededwookie { 09.23.08 at 6:13 am }

There is one thing I took away from the “Stereotype” ad. Microsoft promotes criminal behaviour.

24 seconds in Microsoft decides to use a tagger as a promoter of Windows.

Clap clap there M$.

47 Partners in Grime { 09.23.08 at 10:57 pm }

I’d bet Ballmer smells like bacon.

48 Tod { 09.23.08 at 11:21 pm }

@PiC: As one who enjoys cooking with bacon, you’re giving bacon a bad rap. :-) I rather think he smells like a football lineman’s jock strap after a hot and humid Sunday afternoon.

49 bellview { 09.25.08 at 2:23 am }

Ballmer and Vista are two of the best things to ever happen to Apple. Microsoft has no core product anybody wants or a leader with any focus or vision, just a greedy fragmented psycho. It’s beautiful, I might cry. Maybe Apple will make a real desktop dent during this window of opportunity. I want to see Microsoft’s growth flatline so bad. I hate that arrogant pseudo-technical monolith.

50 arnozigoto { 10.01.08 at 4:44 am }

For the sake of everyone, please, put a restraining order on Ballmer…

51 Microsoft to attack Mac pricing in new series of TV ads — RoughlyDrafted Magazine { 03.27.09 at 4:15 am }

[...] a PC“ ads that tried to defuse Apple’s Get a Mac spots by claiming that generic PCs were empowered to do anything, except of course, producing the ads themselves, as it was embarrassingly revealed that those ads [...]

52 Microsoft to attack Mac pricing in new series of TV ads « Recent Reads { 03.27.09 at 6:59 am }

[...] PC” ads that tried to defuse Apple’s Get a Mac spots by claiming that generic PCs were empowered to do anything, except of course, producing the ads themselves, as it was embarrassingly revealed that those ads [...]

53 Microsoft’s Lauren ad faked say bloggers — RoughlyDrafted Magazine { 04.05.09 at 12:37 am }

[...] Gates-inspired PC character with a real person: a Microsoft employee named Sean who acted out his virtual victimization as a generic PC with the line ”I’m a PC and I’ve been made into a [...]

You must log in to post a comment.