Saturday, November 30, 2013

Microsoft attacks Google Chromebooks with new Scroogled video advertisement

Taking a fresh shot at Google, Microsoft has now released an ad that targets the Chromebook, Google's Chrome OS-based cloud-focused notebooks, as a part of its anti-Google 'Scroogled' campaign.

The new Scroogled ad features stars from American reality TV show, Pawn Stars, and features the setting of a pawn shop where people trade things and check their value. The ad features a woman walking into a pawn shop in the hope of trading a Chromebook gifted to her by her mother for a ticket to Hollywood. The dealer confronts her by asking what makes her think that it's worth that much to which she responds that it was a laptop. Following her response, the ad shifts to an aside with the shop dealer breaking into laughter and talking about the Chromebook, calling it a relatively new kind of device that runs just web based applications. "When you're not connected, it's pretty much a brick," he exclaims. He then talks about how a traditional PC utilises built-in applications like 'Office and iTunes' that work even when you're offline.

The scene shifts back to the shop where the dealer tells the woman that the Chromebook logo implies that the device is 'not a real laptop' and that it doesn't have Windows or Office. He goes on, saying that it doesn't do much at all without Wi-Fi, and that when you do get online, "Google tracks what you do so that they can sell ads," bringing the focus back to user privacy, which has been the central point of the Scroogled campaign.

"That's how you get Scroogled," the dealer says, following which another dealer, who's standing next to him asks what the term exactly meant. The first dealer then replies that Google is always trying to find more ways to make money off of people's personal information and that the Chromebook hardware makes it even easier for them. He reiterates in another aside that he can't buy something which is not what it appears to be, and that he doesn't want to get Scroogled.

Microsoft has also put a dedicated web destination on its Scroogled website where it has listed the problems plaguing Chromebook devices.

Chromebooks have been touted as no-frills low cost notebooks that relies on a cloud based set-up for applications and data storage, and is deeply integrated with Google's services. Unlike Windows-based devices, it doesn't come with a large number of native applications, out of the box.

The ad comes days after Microsoft started offering anti-Google merchandise for sale on its online store, saying that the Scroogled gear was a new way for people to express themselves and their misgivings about Google.

Microsoft started the Scroogled campaign in April through which it started attacking Google with a series of ad campaigns. The ads, which have appeared online, on television and in print, depict Google as a duplicitous company more interested in increasing profits and power than protecting people's privacy and providing unbiased search results.

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