I’ve covered before the “laptop hunters” advertisements but I may have no better example of the power of these things and why FUD must be countered in order to give users an informed choice that is best for them.

Im sure regular readers will agree, I very rarely mention Apple.  Thats not because I am against proprtietary per say, its simply because the wife treats the Mac like a holy relic and I very rarely get a chance to play on it.  The one thing I never do (even as a reasonably experience user in many platforms) is call a system “trash” if you notice I will refer to Vista as having “issues” simply because even Vista has enough functionality to not deserve the title “trash”.  Its a sweeping statement that in end means nothing (and can be misleading) if the person saying it is not qualified to do so.

So firstly lets look at a new advert thats popped up on the Net, much to the delight of many of our Microsoft faithful.

http://www.itsbetterwithwindows.com/

I’m sure most people see it for what it is, an advert.  The attractive mother, sunny days, happy children and good times for all is the way it tries to deliver the Microsoft experience on the Netbook.  Until now I would have believed the power of advertising had no effect on the masses since its pretty obvious the advert is designed to sell you something with an idealistic lifestyle being represented.

The following user (who I wont identify yet in the hope they come here first and justify their comments) seems (IMO) to have completely bought into the laptop hunter ethos.  I’m sure they are not alone.  This to me highlights how dangerous adverts can be to some.  Lets have a look at the conversation:

User: loves the tmobile wing! fuck #apple, im a #microsoft techie

Goblin: and thats something good because…? I didn’t know Blockbuster staff were #Microsoft Certified these days.😉

This user hit an annoyance of mine immediately.  Claiming some sort of expertise.  What I have said repeatedly (and as a result some of the people named here before have now corrected) is claiming some sort of technical superiority on a product or range.  It is up to OTHER people if you are a “techie” or not.

So the conversation went on:

User: its good to be a #microsoft nerd because #apple is over rated and designed for asthetics and not functionability

Goblin: Thats a joke right? Have you used a #MAC ? If you are into functionality and not aesthetics why not use Linux then? theres plenty of distro’s that will satisfy your “tech” thirst. Gentoo? you don’t have to use KDE or Gnome you know. I’d love to hear your comments on why Apple is overrated…I think you’ve bought into the “Laptop Hunter” ads. Oh dear. In all seriousness, Id love you to visit my site and state your case with an appropriate article. Zune? remember – 01/01/2009 ?

So now we move to the realm of insult.  Now keep in mind I just want to know why our budding David Braben is claiming OSX trash.

User: You are a pompous asshole. This is an unwinnable debate and my occupation and major are irrelevant. #asshole

and I’d say thats a true comment, UNTIL you start casting judgement in areas where you are not qualified to do so.  Just like I couldn’t call the Vista code “trash” you certainly can’t draw the same inference on OSX UNLESS you have the relevant credentials.  So after my comments again asking for clarity on his opinion, we get this:

User: thats where your wrong. I’m forced to use OSx in school & on a friends computer. Ive wasted more than $1k on ipods which all broke

and there is the qualification.  I appreciate that people are entitled to their own opinion, but if you are going to post in a public forum with sweeping remarks, expect to be challenged, if you dont like it there is always PM.

I wont be hard on this user (and I don’t believe they have a hidden agenda) as I think it represents how powerful advertising and large proprietary firms marketing can be.  You have a section of people who praise a product, yet don’t really have a good reason for doing so.  In respect of these alleged broken Ipods, Microsoft have had issues with broken Xbox360’s have they not?  Does that make them trash?  Zune had a failure on new years eve.  Does that make Zune trash?  You just have to look at the sales figures of Zune to see what people really want to buy, and I dont believe its Microsoft’s offering.  Even though you allegedly had bad luck with your Apple experience, Im sure you’d agree that its not what everyone had, otherwise there would be a massive public outcry towards Apple and they wouldn’t have recieved the great profit figures that they had last quarter and if Apple were as bad as that, Microsoft would’nt need to make reference to them in their adverts would they?

I have no particular love or hate for Apple, but just like I challenged the Linux advocate who posted misleading text, the same must be done for all platforms in the spirit of fairness.

In respect of the conversation, Ill hold back on the link until we see if we get a proper justification.

Goblin – bytes4free@googlemail.com