Microsoft Really Doesn’t Want You To Buy A Chromebook

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About a week after posting its first anti-Chromebook “Scroogled” video, which features the cast of “Pawn Stars,” Microsoft is now back with a second video. But instead of revisiting the humorous approach of the first one, the company has brought back its regular man-on-the-street routine for the second.

In this video, Microsoft Evangelist Ben Rudolph is tasked with walking the streets of Venice, Calif., to ask people if they would rather have a Chromebook or a Windows laptop. No surprise — nobody wants the Chromebook. Obviously, everybody he asks either needs Photoshop, Illustrator or a Microsoft Office app. None of these run on a Chromebook (assuming you leave out Microsoft’s Office Web Apps. “If that doesn’t have the capability to run Microsoft Office, it’s kind of useless to me,” one lady tells Rudolph.

As in the first ad, Microsoft also plays up the fact that ChromeOS is meant to be online most of the time, conveniently forgetting that there are plenty of offline ChromeOS apps available by now.

Instead of a cheap Chromebook, the ad tells viewers, they should rather buy an Asus T100, 10.1-inch Windows 8 machine with a detachable touchscreen. “This one is the same price, about $300 bucks,” Rudolph says. Actually, try more like $400. And running Photoshop and Illustrator on it won’t bring you much joy either. The people on the street are obviously wowed that they can detach the screen and turn it into a tablet, though people haven’t exactly been lining up to buy convertible laptops so far.

Given that Chromebooks make up about 1 percent of the PC market, Microsoft is mostly increasing mainstream awareness of these devices with its ads, as The Verge’s Tom Warren pointed out earlier today. Despite this low market share, Microsoft clearly sees Chromebooks as a threat, though, and chances are we’ll see a few more of these videos over time.