Microsoft slams Chromebooks again in new Windows 8.1 ad

Microsoft may have run a heart warming TV commercial during the Super Bowl telecast on Sunday, however, it was back to business as usual after the football match with yet another new TV ad. This one aired on the episode of "New Girl" that ran right after the NFL championship game on Fox in the U.S.

The commercial is a variation on the "Honestly" ads that Microsoft has run in the past few months, with people taking directly to the camera about the benefits of Windows-based hardware devices. In this new commercial, "Karate", Microsoft ups the ante a bit by having the "Mom" take a shot against Chromebooks, which the company has already done in a separate campaign.

In the ad, the mother said that she was surprised to find an Asus Windows 8 notebook that costs less than $300 that she could give to her kids. She adds that the notebook won't have the limitations of Chromebooks that can't install Office software and need a WiFi connection in order to use many of its features.

Source: Windows on YouTube

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29 Comments

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Microsoft should have never released a tablet operating system for a desktop computer, you are better off with Mac, Linux, Chrome or any of the other computer that has a button that says "Start".

By the way Asus just released a $180 Chromebox I read it on another site. Far superior and cheaper than WIndows.

Edited by Eric, Feb 5 2014, 12:18am :

Kids using Office for homework? Yeah I don't think so. And even if that was the case, a browser can do all that if you use GoogleDocs or Microsoft's own online Office.

If the only advantage of a Windows laptop is a fat client Office suite, Microsoft is in real trouble.

And concerning the online requirement, who doesn't have an internet connection these days? There's not much you can without one. And even then, Chrome supports html5 so it's a non-issue.

Microsoft must be really worried about Chromebooks if it's resorting to FUD ad tactics.

Microsoft should expand the ad to show the kids logging in with their own account, having access to the apps their parents allow them to at the hours their parents allow them to, showing the e-mail the parents get to show what the kids have been up to and that, no matter what the kids have done, Mum and Dad can log in with their own accounts and the PCs are still working as they should be.

That and the subtle mention that the kids haven't been able to spend hundreds of pounds on apps is a massive selling point over other tablets / laptops.

iantrem said,
Microsoft should expand the ad to show the kids logging in with their own account, having access to the apps their parents allow them to at the hours their parents allow them to, showing the e-mail the parents get to show what the kids have been up to and that, no matter what the kids have done, Mum and Dad can log in with their own accounts and the PCs are still working as they should be.

That and the subtle mention that the kids haven't been able to spend hundreds of pounds on apps is a massive selling point over other tablets / laptops.

I'm in the process of converting my kids from using their domain accounts to their Microsoft accounts for this reason. It bites that I can't enable Family Safety on a linked domain account, but the workarounds aren't too bad and Family Safety works REALLY well.

minster11 said,
Strangely my 11 year old use MS word on my surface, but my college stepdaughter don't even know about OneNote.
OneNote is one of those programs that way too few people know about.

Good luck with that attitude MS. IMHO they've become a little too insular and may need to poke their head out once in a while instead of being in denial about the competitive offerings on the market as well as the changes taking place in consumer habits.

They're not in denial. It's precisely because they acknowledge the threat that they want to respond early and nip it in the bud.

I'm not a fan of Chromebooks at all, but as far as I'm aware her kids would probably be able to “do homework, chat or play games” on it just fine. Since when is Office needed for *homework* ?!

Really? Word and Excel are used on a regular basis in my house for homework. Besides, it's free on those RT machines. So it's not like you have to pay anymore for it.

And as far as needs go, they don't really "Need" a computer at all to do homework.

uxo22 said,
Word and Excel are used on a regular basis in my house for homework.

I would never doubt that it's *possible* to use Office for that.

CSheep said,
I'm not a fan of Chromebooks at all, but as far as I'm aware her kids would probably be able to “do homework, chat or play games” on it just fine. Since when is Office needed for *homework* ?!
The issue is not whether one can or can't. It's a matter of efficiency, versatility, and, frankly, getting the most "bang for your buck" out of your hardware. Your OS is the tool with which you extract productivity and value out of your hardware. ChromeOS is a Fisher Price hammer vs Windows which would be Thor's Hammer.

The kids in the commercial seem to be about the same age as my kids. I handed down one of my old notebooks to my kids for playing games and for my oldest to do research on the web for reports. She's not quite the age where's had to hand in anything that's typed, as all of her reports have been oral presentations and her homework has to be handwritten.

That's not to say my kids couldn't actually learn how to use Office right now. If I were to install Office on their PC, the printer would be running non-stop printing who knows what.

MrHumpty said,
Obviously he's interviewed all parents about their needs.

One could also make the same argument as to whether or not office is needed to do your homework.

Unless it's a computer class, why would you "Need" a computer.

Also, I'm not going to lose points on this site by responding to your smartass comment the way I'd like to. So....Moving own.

uxo22 said,

Unless it's a computer class, why would you "Need" a computer.

Seriously?

Research
Papers
Storage/saving class work

And many other reasons. Computers are not just for if you have a class about computers. Most classes, if not all, have a use for computers these days and they are relied on heavily. This isnt the 90s, or earlier, anymore.

Sorry, my bad. Almost forgot the dependencies of this generation. When I was in school, everything was done in books and on paper and at the library. I forgot that this age never even consider those things.

You are right this isn't the 80s and 90s anymore, back then, students weren't a dependent on technology and they definitely weren't a entitled.

My bad, I'll get back over here to my "hard copy" news paper...lol

uxo22 said,
Sorry, my bad. Almost forgot the dependencies of this generation. When I was in school, everything was done in books and on paper and at the library. I forgot that this age never even consider those things.

You are right this isn't the 80s and 90s anymore, back then, students weren't a dependent on technology and they definitely weren't a entitled.

My bad, I'll get back over here to my "hard copy" news paper...lol

Seriously? Yes, we should go back to kids only finding info from the dewey decimal system in their library and microfiche. We should have them type papers with a type writer. Better yet everything should be hand written with quills and ink jars. We should outlaw calculators and only use abacuses.

P.S. I went to school back when you didn't use computers for anything but bank street writer. Trust me you're not more boss by not using tech. You were less productive.

MrHumpty said,
Seriously? Yes, we should go back to kids only finding info from the dewey decimal system in their library and microfiche. We should have them type papers with a type writer. Better yet everything should be hand written with quills and ink jars. We should outlaw calculators and only use abacuses.

P.S. I went to school back when you didn't use computers for anything but bank street writer. Trust me you're not more boss by not using tech. You were less productive.

Your last comment said a lot to me about whom/what I'm dealing with. So with that being said, you are correct, and I am done with the subject. SMH

uxo22 said,
Sorry, my bad. Almost forgot the dependencies of this generation. When I was in school, everything was done in books and on paper and at the library. I forgot that this age never even consider those things.

You are right this isn't the 80s and 90s anymore, back then, students weren't a dependent on technology and they definitely weren't a entitled.

My bad, I'll get back over here to my "hard copy" news paper...lol

No big deal. I used to go to a library and look at encyclopedias for my school work. Times change and now a PC is pretty much essential in school like a pen/pencil.

Thanks +techbeck for the civil response. I agree with you, I was just making a point on whether or not a computer "MUST" be used to get basic elementary education done, and the whole thing got blown out of proportion.

uxo22 said,
Thanks +techbeck for the civil response. I agree with you, I was just making a point on whether or not a computer "MUST" be used to get basic elementary education done, and the whole thing got blown out of proportion.

And as far as needs go, they don't really "Need" a computer at all to do homework.

That's an absolute statement .

Unless it's a computer class, why would you "Need" a computer.

Another absolute statement.

Almost forgot the dependencies of this generation.

Disparaging a generation for exploiting the increased productivity of technology.

I don't think anybody said "MUST" you were the only one working in absolutes.

Again, you may find me uncivil. But thinking kids are lucky or spoiled because they have tech that can make them more efficient in generally all aspects of education is silly. I made a smart ass statement to highlight the absurdity of your original statement. You've continued to backup my views that you, obviously, don't understand the role of tech. Hell, I've watched a speech pathologist effectively work with 3 year olds with software on both tablets and computers. She saves paper, makes the activity more engaging. She still has crayons, magnets, worksheets. But obviously, to you, she's using that tech as a crutch and would be better served with a chalkboard, chalk, and handouts simply because you got through school with just that tech.

It's not really 'slamming'... she simply said "unlike..."... it's a statement not really dissing them. lol

I love all the Honestly ads... they show real world examples and great selling points.

Also - the heartwarming ads is for Microsoft in general and empowering technology to do good. This ad is completely separate from that, it's for Windows PCs.

j2006 said,
It's not really 'slamming'... she simply said "unlike..."... it's a statement not really dissing them. lol

I love all the Honestly ads... they show real world examples and great selling points.

Also - the heartwarming ads is for Microsoft in general and empowering technology to do good. This ad is completely separate from that, it's for Windows PCs.

While I get your point, I argue on the validity of them slamming the chromebook for it's 'inability to do anything without being connected to the internet' when right after she says she likes Windows laptops because kids can chat (And then they show a Skype conversation), I thought that was funny.