Microsoft’s anti-Google Scroogled campaign is showing no signs of slowing down. Its latest target is Google’s Chromebook. Microsoft has enlisted the stars of the successful reality TV series Pawn Stars to lampoon what it wants you to perceive as the Chromebook’s limitations (“It’s not a real laptop!”).
If you’re not familiar with Pawn Stars, it’s a Las Vegas-based reality show on the History Channel where people take their old stuff in the hopes to earn some cash. In Microsoft’s latest ad, a woman wants to sell her Chromebook so she can go to Hollywood. No luck there, of course, as the seller quickly informs her that it’s actually just a “brick.”
“A traditional PC,” he informs her, “utilizes built-in applications like Office or iTunes that work even when you’re offline.” Neither Office nor iTunes aren’t exactly “built-in,” of course – and there are plenty of Chrome apps that run offline – but it’s a Scroogled video we’re talking about, so the facts don’t always matter.
“See this thingy,” Pawn Stars lead Rick Harris says, pointing at the Chrome logo on the laptop. “That means it’s not a real laptop. It doesn’t have Windows [so Macs aren't real laptops, either?] or Office. Without Wi-Fi, it doesn’t do much at all – and when you are online, Google tracks everything you do so they can sell ads. That’s how you get Scroogled.”
As in all of its Scroogled videos, Microsoft argues that Google tracks your every move online to sell you ads. That’s nothing new. The Chromebook, which most people probably aren’t all that familiar with, is an odd target for one of these videos, given that they haven’t exactly made a huge dent in the market (except maybe in education). Still, as far as Scroogled videos go, this one is at least somewhat funny, even if it’s got a few too many factual errors to be taken seriously.