Gloves off: Microsoft slams Google and its Chromebook in new video

 


Microsoft has released a new video for its Scroogled campaign and it’s clear, the gloves are off when it comes to bashing Google. In the clip, posted above, Microsoft has recruited a few of the cast members from Pawn Stars to talk about the Chromebook. The clip is nothing short of throwing mud directly at Google as Rick, the lead character in Pawn Stars, refuses to buy a Chromebook off of a potential customer because it is not a real laptop.

Rick says that because the Chromebook applications are web based, when you are not connected to the web, it’s basically a brick. Further, Rick says that by having the Chromebook logo, it’s not a real laptop because it doesn’t come with Office or Windows.

Microsoft doesn’t stop there; they say that when you are connected to the web, the Chromebook will track what you do online to put ads in front of your face.

The clip is all about bashing Google and the Chromebooks. While the video is obviously heavily scripted, by utilizing the popular reality TV stars and calling out the Chromebook in a way that makes it look like a useless device that invades your privacy, Microsoft is clearly wanting to do everything in its power to stop these devices from taking off.

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Sony to offer 18 entertainment apps for PS4 in Europe and other regions on Friday

Next Story

Microsoft begins Xbox 360 downloadable Black Friday game sales today

100 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

It's still an x86 CPU. Offer her a few bucks, install a real OS on your new cheap hardware, then do something useful with it, even while offline.

Not a fan of the Chromebook but that commercial was just pathetic tasteless garbage that I would not expect coming from one of the worlds largest tech corps...certainly leaves a bad taste in my mouth and not for Google but for Microsoft

Stay classy microsoft

What an absurd campaign. Typical for losers. If they are any better. Everything is better then Windows 8 !

Edited by TheDutchDuke, Nov 27 2013, 10:02am :

The only people defending Google are the one that post here. Google did not deny the truth of the ads. Must be true then, huh. Google rarely send a come back to fight MS Scroogled campaign either.
I recalled apple vs PC ads where MS absorb all its weakness. Fast forward to Surface vs iPad and the fan are the one defending, yet Apple just stand in one corner.

Man, I gotta say: it looks like Google and Microsoft are playing with us just to set a make-believe tale that they hate each other. Like the Gallagher Brothers.

I makes absolutely NO SENSE!

I love Microsoft and I would own a Chromebook if I felt like it.

This reminds me far too much of politicians. Instead of 'trash talking' about your opponents it looks much better if you can just stand on your own strength. This type of advertisement comes across as insecure to me. It's poor for politics, and poor here.

I LOVE this. I LOVE Pawn Stars. I think this was one of the most original commercials in a long time. Microsoft definitely took the gloves off on this one, but I think they are really trying to make a stance on privacy - and one certainly against Google. Its funny how only a few years ago Microsoft was considered the "old establishment" or even the "evil empire" and Google was the young, hip, open, cool, and innovative "new age" company. Now, not that Microsoft is really that much easier to embrace - but Google has just become scary.

Ok... well I'll wade in with my 2 cents..

I just bought a Chromebook for my folks for christmas. Another cheap laptop fallen by the wayside (they've had about three now, and they never last), so its time for a new one.

Their entire use of the laptop is as follows:

* Web browsing (webmail)
* Web browsing (ebay)
* Web browsing (facebook)
* Web browsing (news)

All the laptops in the cheapest price bracket are going to be underpowered and loaded with Windows 8 - honestly my parents are not technical, and I knew that Windows 8 was going to be difficult to explain to them. I considered a tablet, but as neither of them has smartphones either, again I thought it might be a bit of a quantum leap for them.

A ChromeBook seems perfect for them on paper. And at £179 for the newest version of the Acer C7, it seemed a no brainer. I tried it out in the shop first - Chrome fired up nice and quickly, and the keyboard seemed just fine - like a cheaper version of the keyboard on my Macbook Air, but more than good enough. Not having to worry about explaining Windows Updates, or messages about antivirus, or even dealing with malware infections is a good thing.

It's an experiment that's for sure - but I'll be sure to report back in a few months time after christmas if they're loving it or hating it. My gut instinct tells me it'll be perfect for them.

I wonder why you would have to explain Windows Update to them. Also, it's not hard to learn Windows 8, maybe you think that, but old people? No. I last visited my grandfather, when I left for a while, and came back, he was playing a game on my Windows tablet. He had never held a PC/tablet/wathever before. Appearantly, he knew how to get in the All apps screen, launch a game and snap another app at the side (he was playing with that feature on the moment I returned). It's just like verything else: discovering. No worries about antivirus either: don't install one, Windows will protect itselfs.

I think that if you got them a Lumia 2520 would be better, not only could they use it for internet stuff but they could also use it for pictures and other stuff, with the ARM based Windows you don't get any virus and it updates on its own.

also most Parents know that IE means internet so when metro IE things should be easier for both you and your folks.

A large tablet like the 2520 was just too expensive and as I say - I'm pretty confident the laptop format works best for them, rather than touch screen / tablet device. A touch cover would have only added to the cost.

I'm pretty confident that the ChromeBook will be a great device for them. I'll be sure to write up a forum post either way into spring if they're loving or hating it though.

Chicane-UK said,
A large tablet like the 2520 was just too expensive and as I say - I'm pretty confident the laptop format works best for them, rather than touch screen / tablet device. A touch cover would have only added to the cost.

I'm pretty confident that the ChromeBook will be a great device for them. I'll be sure to write up a forum post either way into spring if they're loving or hating it though.

I hope you have success with the Chromebook, but if you don't go check out Windows 8.1 notebooks deals and new models.

When Windows 8.1 released it reduced the cost of many notebook models and new models at the lower prices are also becoming available.

There are several low end notebooks with slightly faster CPUs and Touch Screens now available in the same price range as the C7 Chromebook.

(Windows 8.1 works well for new users, and updates and your other concerns are completely automated.)

MS conveniently left out that Chromebooks do not get malware. Which is a BIG plus for lots of people. Not having to worry about virus' and spyware and having to have AV and malware protection installed.

After windows 8 they built-in antivirus in windows, so you won't need malware protection. if you really exposed to that much viruses you should get windows RT,

trojan_market said,
After windows 8 they built-in antivirus in windows, so you won't need malware protection. if you really exposed to that much viruses you should get windows RT,

You still need malware protection. Otherwise, they wouldnt of built in Windows Defender. But this isnt about Win8.

Don't really need any sort of anti-malware when you're not allowed to install any third party software. Of course that doesn't exclude any sort of vulnerabilities in the built-in stuff of course, nothing is 100% bulletproof.

techbeck said,
You still need malware protection. Otherwise, they wouldnt of built in Windows Defender..

Windows Defender IS the built-in antivirus, so your point is oddly circular...

I think you missed the part a while back where they renamed Microsoft Security Essentials to Windows Defender in Windows 8.

trojan_market said,
After windows 8 they built-in antivirus in windows, so you won't need malware protection. if you really exposed to that much viruses you should get windows RT,

The antivirus protection is minimal at best. It is the barebones basics and can't keep up with the constantly evolving threats. Granted it still manages to do a decent job.

shinji257 said,

The antivirus protection is minimal at best. It is the barebones basics and can't keep up with the constantly evolving threats. Granted it still manages to do a decent job.


Good thing MS doesnt advertise/promote it as a full AV or Security Suit replacement and even still suggests people to get a proper one.

techbeck said,
MS conveniently left out that Chromebooks do not get malware. Which is a BIG plus for lots of people. Not having to worry about virus' and spyware and having to have AV and malware protection installed.

WinRT Apps don't get malware and in theory can't be malware.

So even on x86/x64 versions of Windows, a user that uses the Modern/Store IE10/11 and sticks to WinRT/Store Apps, they won't get malware either.

On Windows RT/ARM, it is far more impossible to get malware than on ChromeOS.

With native browser code and various Chrome related vulnerabilities, malware could have been crafted using previous known exploits on ChromeOS.

(There is always the potential of malware, even with WinRT and its far more robust isolation model; however, with automated testing and Store certification requirements, these changes go down to virtually impossible. A good real world example would be WP that has had 0 viruses/malware, as it uses a similar isolation security and certification model to WinRT.)

Mobius Enigma said,

WinRT Apps don't get malware and in theory can't be malware.

So even on x86/x64 versions of Windows, a user that uses the Modern/Store IE10/11 and sticks to WinRT/Store Apps, they won't get malware either.

On Windows RT/ARM, it is far more impossible to get malware than on ChromeOS.

With native browser code and various Chrome related vulnerabilities, malware could have been crafted using previous known exploits on ChromeOS.

(There is always the potential of malware, even with WinRT and its far more robust isolation model; however, with automated testing and Store certification requirements, these changes go down to virtually impossible. A good real world example would be WP that has had 0 viruses/malware, as it uses a similar isolation security and certification model to WinRT.)

In theory but they could still get infections via IE exploits.

shinji257 said,

In theory but they could still get infections via IE exploits.

Yep, but where would the injections go to is the key point in that argument. They can't go or do anything - 'isolation'.

IE9/10/11 are already safer than Chrome and when running as an 'App' in the Modern UI, IE takes on the additional App security role model - which is far beyond the base sandboxing design of the desktop version of IE.


Shadowzz said,

Good thing MS doesnt advertise/promote it as a full AV or Security Suit replacement and even still suggests people to get a proper one.

Because of Antiviruses companies deal. They push them to do that. smart people know that antiviruses that slow down your system are no good, They are viruses themselves. I never had issue with virus after Windows 2000. most of the time I either had a very light antivirus or just windows defender which is built-in to windows now. I Repeat, I never caught viruses. ever. and I am a heavy user, I use many softwares and I browse the web all the time.

shinji257 said,

The antivirus protection is minimal at best. It is the barebones basics and can't keep up with the constantly evolving threats. Granted it still manages to do a decent job.


I really don't know how people manage to get viruses after Windows Vista. If you talking about Win 9x Era, yes you could get virus just by connecting to a network. but windows is probably one of the safest platform right now. and again if you really concerned you should try Windows RT. is probably as safe as chrome book but much more usable.

trojan_market said,

I really don't know how people manage to get viruses after Windows Vista. If you talking about Win 9x Era, yes you could get virus just by connecting to a network. but windows is probably one of the safest platform right now. and again if you really concerned you should try Windows RT. is probably as safe as chrome book but much more usable.

I never said I got an infection. Really my last major infection was back on Windows 3.1 and that was because protection was non-existant.

xendrome said,
Good to see the Pawn Stars guys selling out to another corporate company....

And today the guy was advertising a razor like the ones my father used in the '60s.....
He will soon learn the problem with overexposure....

Yup, misleading and that is what MS wants. Mislead the ones who cannot think/research for themselves and who are dumb enough to fall for this. The ad was full of miss/wrong info.

techbeck said,
Yup, misleading and that is what MS wants. Mislead the ones who cannot think/research for themselves and who are dumb enough to fall for this. The ad was full of miss/wrong info.
If that's true, Google can sue Microsoft for this, they don't, I wonder why? Perhaps because they can't sue someone if he/it is not telling a lie.

"Microsoft is clearly wanting to do everything in its power to stop these devices from taking off."
no need. they have been "taking off" since 2011 and have yet to break 1% marketshare lol. love it and I really fell bad for everybody who got scammed by the chromebooks.

meh, didnt even watch the video. Crap "stars" in the video and crap marketing. Chromebooks will never be the dominant PC, but they have their place. It is not meant to work online and that is the point. Hell, Google even advertises it as such. Sounds like MS and the Pawn "Stars" do not know what they are talking about.

And real PC/laptopss run office? That is just like saying tablets are not PCs or anything running linux is not a PC. Get real MS. Not a real PC/laptop because it doesnt have Windows? Again, what is linux and MAC users using then?

I dislike MS more and more as a company when they do stuff like this.

Edited by techbeck, Nov 26 2013, 7:04pm :

techbeck said,
And real PC/laptopss run office? That is just like saying tablets are not PCs or anything running linux is not a PC. Get real MS. Not a real PC/laptop because it doesnt have Windows? Again, what is linux and MAC users using then?

Office for OSX, Libre, OpenOffice, Kingsoft, etc. Still a valid point, if you're offline and need to access your documents you're boned.

Max Norris said,
With some pretty significant limitations sure. There's some fine print there...

Not the point. You can also use APPS offline as well and dont have to worry about malware.

This ad from MS is full of crap (not a brick) and misleading info. Anyone not buying a Chromebook based off this ad, or bought one without understanding the product, is an idiot.

techbeck said,

Not the point. You can also use APPS offline as well and dont have to worry about malware.

This ad from MS is full of crap (not a brick) and misleading info. Anyone not buying a Chromebook based off this ad, or bought one without understanding the product, is an idiot.


Wow a few apps can be semi-used in offline mode. Great.
Point is a PC can be used with no internet access what so ever. From first boot until it dies, without any broken features unless you actually wish to use internet features.

Also Malware, looking at Google's trackrecord with Android the one and only reason that it is malware-less is simply because just 3 people worldwide use it. The moment it gets any traction, just look at Android to see what will happen.

Shadowzz said,

Wow a few apps can be semi-used in offline mode. Great.
Point is a PC can be used with no internet access what so ever. From first boot until it dies, without any broken features unless you actually wish to use internet features.

Also Malware, looking at Google's trackrecord with Android the one and only reason that it is malware-less is simply because just 3 people worldwide use it. The moment it gets any traction, just look at Android to see what will happen.

For the most part ChromeBooks only support Chrome extensions (and not all of them even then due to restrictions). Therefore malware and infections are a non issue. In addition the main OS partition is protected against modification through a firmware level digital signature verification to ensure that it isn't tampered with. When the user isn't logged in the profile is encrypted and inaccessible to anyone else via a built in TPM (Trusted Platform Module) chip.

With that in mind and a little effort it is possible to run Windows on the Intel based Chromebooks.

Shadowzz said,

Wow a few apps can be semi-used in offline mode. Great.
Point is a PC can be used with no internet access what so ever. From first boot until it dies, without any broken features unless you actually wish to use internet features.

Still doesnt negate the fact that MS is wrong. But that isnt surprising.


Also Malware, looking at Google's trackrecord with Android the one and only reason that it is malware-less is simply because just 3 people worldwide use it. The moment it gets any traction, just look at Android to see what will happen.

Do a little research and get back to me. Hint: Read shinji257's comment.

Hah, I don't want written 'facts' about security features. Chrome is somehow magically able to vend of any drive-by's or infected files? Or even chrome extensions (play store isn't well known for keeping malware out of its service)

I want real scenario, the moment it gets a proper market share so its worthwhile for malware writers to even invest in. Again, look at Android.

And an encrypted profile when the user is logged off, or rather as in most cases then, the device is disabled... such a strong argument. I can do that to all my files on Windows basically, and it somehow won't help me jack squat from malware.

There's ways to secure Windows, Linux or even OSX with the same or very similar (and more), still won't keep you save from malware. Yeah it helps, but when it comes to security, I'm not going to trust Google. Chrome and Android are swiss cheeses, why would ChromeOS be any better?

shinji257 said,

For the most part ChromeBooks only support Chrome extensions (and not all of them even then due to restrictions). Therefore malware and infections are a non issue. In addition the main OS partition is protected against modification through a firmware level digital signature verification to ensure that it isn't tampered with. When the user isn't logged in the profile is encrypted and inaccessible to anyone else via a built in TPM (Trusted Platform Module) chip.

With that in mind and a little effort it is possible to run Windows on the Intel based Chromebooks.

Oranges are tasty, therefore the dirt they grow in is tasty...

When it comes to OS designs and security, the base things you mention do help, but don't apply beyond their specific functionality. Encrypted profiles, files, TPM, are things that Windows has offered for years, yet it never stopped malware. It only secures the user's files from other people.

As for ChromeOS, security and malware protection is NOT guaranteed, no matter what Google was initially claiming. If you look at the OS model and its browser model, any Chrome type flaw could expose the entire system to malware. This increases considerably with native browser code and extensions.

This is troubling, with Chrome leading as the most vulnerable browser on any platform for the past 2-3 years. Yes IE9/IE10 have had less vulnerabilities and been exploited far less. Go hit up any security site that tracks software fixes and malware threats to that software.

A sandboxing principal for a browser does not make a good OS platform model for security. If you want a near 'bulletproof' security model for an OS platform, look no further than WP or WinRT. They provide true isolation models and neither one has had a single incident of malware or even potential malware - ever.

MS needs to advertise how ****ty Metro apps are on the surface, how they made a loss on surface RT 1st gen, desperately flogging its stock of RT, how Bing is a failure compared to Google, how the app gap exists for Metro and Windows Mobile, how poorly windows 8/8.1 was received and how they have clueless managerial leadership. Its just too easy to take cheap shots.

- Kaboose - said,
how they made a loss on surface RT 1st gen

They didn't make a loss. They just didn't make as much as they thought they would. They still made a profit on them.

how Bing is a failure compared to Google

Bing is a gigantic success compared to these Chromebooks.

****ty new apps...

Compare some heavy desktop Win32API apps from the first 5 years to todays best and greatest.....

Now just keep in mind Modern/Metro is just about a year old.

I don't have a problem with chromebooks so much as of in themselves. my problem with them is the price some of the OEMs are trying to sell them for is ridiculous

Brando212 said,
I don't have a problem with chromebooks so much as of in themselves. my problem with them is the price some of the OEMs are trying to sell them for is ridiculous

Especially with the recent deals and November notebook/netbook/tablet releases with Windows 8.1 that are cheaper or in the same price range as a Chromebooks, with most also having a bit better hardware and offering touch screens.

If I wanted a Linux based OS, I'd use a proper distro, not some raped, beyond recognition web app launcher.

P.S. I know, chromebooks are cheap, but this is one case I can't justify buying one in any way.

eddman said,
If I wanted a Linux based OS, I'd use a proper distro, not some raped, beyond recognition web app launcher.

P.S. I know, chromebooks are cheap, but this is one case I can't justify buying one in any way.

It's amazing how all you "smart" tech people don't get what the Chromebook is meant for.

Didn't Google, a few years back, make a big deal about how they were banning PCs claiming they were insecure and blaming PCs for China hacking their systems?

WhatTheSchmidt said,
Didn't Google, a few years back, make a big deal about how they were banning PCs claiming they were insecure and blaming PCs for China hacking their systems?

Yep, but they got quiet when Android started leading the world in malware.

Mobius Enigma said,

Yep, but they got quiet when Android started leading the world in malware.


Got some figures to back up that claim?

Mobius Enigma said,

Yep, but they got quiet when Android started leading the world in malware.

It's cute how you think Android leads the world in malware.

Although I also believe chromebooks are piece of crap, this video was disgusting. MS should focus on its own affairs and get a good relation with google to get its apps for WP ecosystem not making it worst.

You are correct..."MS should focus on its own affairs..." They haven't been doing so well the last couple of years, what with the Windows-8 and Surface debacles. Yes, they do work in very limited situations; but not nearly as universally as Windows-7 on a full sized laptop or desktop.

I am surprised Chromebooks are selling at all. They remind me of the New Internet Computer (2000), but in a laptop form. Thumbs way up to Microsoft for using Pawns Stars (my favorite show) to do this video!

Lone Wanderer Chicken said,
I am surprised Chromebooks are selling at all. They remind me of the New Internet Computer (2000), but in a laptop form. Thumbs way up to Microsoft for using Pawns Stars (my favorite show) to do this video!

I havent seen a Chromebook in the wild yet. But I know schools buy them because they are cheap and can use Google Docs to supplement office needs. But I do think its like Netbooks 2.0 =).

Lone Wanderer Chicken said,
Thumbs way up to Microsoft for using Pawns Stars (my favorite show) to do this video!

Thumbs down for the poor job of a script they gave Rick. Do they even watch the show? Where's the expert in laptops that should be saying all the techical stuff while Rick lays back while grinning and thinking his tactic to rip off the customer?

Ninja edit: to be clear, up to 0:29 it was a perfect ad, then they just overdid it and it's where the expert should have come in.

Lone Wanderer Chicken said,
I am surprised Chromebooks are selling at all. They remind me of the New Internet Computer (2000), but in a laptop form. Thumbs way up to Microsoft for using Pawns Stars (my favorite show) to do this video!
They make sense in a theoretical sense. They are basically computers where it doesn't matter if it's yours. Schools gave them a try etc. No setup etc. If someone forgets their computer at home, grab a spare in the closet and log in and it's like it's your computer again.

I think that is neat and all. But being confined to what google has exposed is limiting. Granted the machines are cheaper. But your the hardware you are buying has been limited out of the box by the interface you get to use to exploit that asset. It's like buying an M3 that's been limited to running on bicycle wheels and is governed at 25mph. You got it for tons cheaper, but you better not want it to do more than it was allowed to.

Chromebooks were a solution looking for a problem. You're much better off spending that money on a low end Windows based laptop. Sure, you're paying $100 more or so. But, you can do everything windows allows. And you get good local storage etc. etc. In the end you use these devices for 3-4 years. Saving $100-200 over that time period shouldn't be that big of a deal, but in the days where people think $0.99 is too much for an app it's what you get.

Desert Courier Chicken said,
I am surprised Chromebooks are selling at all. They remind me of the New Internet Computer (2000), but in a laptop form. Thumbs way up to Microsoft for using Pawns Stars (my favorite show) to do this video!

They are great for schools. A LOT of schools use them because they're easy to manage, are cheap, and you don't have to re-image them. Not to mention the battery life. How many inexpensive laptops do you see that got 8 hours of battery life?

Lord Method Man said,
Microsoft should just let these things fail on their own, not bring attention to them.

Exactly. Parts of this video, if seen in isolation from the rest of the video, could pass as a Chromebook advertisement. Just doesn't make sense.

Lord Method Man said,
Microsoft should just let these things fail on their own, not bring attention to them.

Why? They need attention more than ever!

Agreed. Most people who want to run a Linux OS on their laptop already have a favorite distro that they're using on their regular laptop, their applications are actually on their hard drive, and they don't have Google monitoring their usage. Not sure who Google thought would buy the Chromebook, but buying a laptop that equates to nothing but a suped up web browser doesn't really make sense to me.

Gerowen said,
Agreed. Most people who want to run a Linux OS on their laptop already have a favorite distro that they're using on their regular laptop, their applications are actually on their hard drive, and they don't have Google monitoring their usage. Not sure who Google thought would buy the Chromebook, but buying a laptop that equates to nothing but a suped up web browser doesn't really make sense to me.

ChromeBooks actually make good linux laptops once you make the required changes and Google won't necessarily be tracking you.

So, it's Microsoft's version of the "get a mac" commercials? It's lame.... but at least it doesn't have Justin Long

Maxime Tremblay said,
So a real PC does have to run Windows and Office ? Who knew ! ;-)
No, a real pc is capable of doing so, Chromebooks... are not.

Isn't this the complete opposite of their initial xbox one PR? I mean isn't "always connected" the future and us luddites forced them to do things the old way because we weren't visionary enough to embrace the future?

Asmodai said,
Isn't this the complete opposite of their initial xbox one PR? I mean isn't "always connected" the future and us luddites forced them to do things the old way because we weren't visionary enough to embrace the future?

Is Microsoft selling the Xbox as a portable device now? If not, then it isn't a contradiction.

Mobius Enigma said,

Is Microsoft selling the Xbox as a portable device now? If not, then it isn't a contradiction.


So by that logic a desktop running Chrome OS instead of a laptop would be visionary?
Personally I think the whole "always connected" thing is equally undesirable on laptops, desktops, and consoles.
I would never buy a Chromebook nor would I have even considred an Xbox One before they decided to drop the "phone home" requirement.
I don't think if it's portable or not makes a significant difference personally but maybe that's just me.
I just thought their messaging seemed inconsistent.

The Article
Microsoft is clearly wanting to do everything in its power to stop these devices from taking off.

It's probably safe to assume it wasn't going to take off long before these commercials.

Agreed. Windows isn't exactly losing market share, so I don't know why they would make it seem like Chromebooks are a threat. Even if people do buy one, they'll probably quickly learn for themselves that it's not that pleasant of an experience.

They should be focusing on bashing Android and the mobile market which they badly need to make progress in.