Microsoft: Would you like Firefox with your new PC?

Windows Vista computersWhat would you expect to see in a press release from Microsoft? You’d think in a document distributed to thousands of journalists they would want to promote their own products and technologies such as Internet Explorer and Silverlight right? Benefits of integration comes to mind – how they work better together and all that jazz. On the other hand, how about Firefox, Flash and everything non-Microsoft on your brand new spankin’ Vista computer instead?

In an amusing press release published today, “holiday gift giving in July” as they call it, “for the love of God, please buy some damn Vista PCs” as I interpret it, Microsoft featured a select few premium laptop offerings from some of the usual suspects like Dell, ASUS, HP, Sony and Toshiba – all great laptops by the way – in an obvious effort to boost Vista PC sales. It looked all quite normal until you took a closer look at the laptops, more specifically what’s on the screen.

Microsoft press release PC with loads of third party software

Internet Explorer competitor, Firefox. Tick. XPS competitor, Acrobat. Tick. Windows Media Player competitor, Quicktime. Tick. Windows Media competitor, DivX. Tick. Silverlight competitor, Flash. Tick. Expression Design competitor, Photoshop. Tick. Expression Web competitor, Dreamweaver. Tick. Fortunately, Live Messenger, Outlook and Calculator still got some lovin’.

I know I’m picky. I also know this particular PR person probably took a screenshot of their own desktop for convenience and quickly pasted it in Photoshop. But I think this is the case why Microsoft will never beat Apple at the marketing game, they’re always an arm’s length away from perfection. I mean how much harder would it have been to grab a Vista screenshot from the official Microsoft PressPass archive, and took the time to crop it accurately in Photoshop – not sticking outside the laptop’s display bevel? Not very.

23 insightful thoughts

  1. On the flipside, since Microsoft is always such a huge antitrust target, maybe they were trying to show off eth rich ecostystem of products for Windows ;).

  2. I wouldn’t call QuickTime a Windows Media Player competitor. iTunes is more appropriate for that billing. QuickTime is more like a Windows Media competitor, since it’s essentially a delivery vehicle for video content rather than media organization. That is quite a sloppy screenshot, though. It looks vertically squeezed a bit too, the icons are all short and fat.

  3. You made me laugh with this article, thanks for that 🙂
    But … All this is not coming with the computers, isn’t it?
    Only Photoshop is worthy more than 500 dollars!
    A lot of trials, shareware and freeware?
    I don’t think so…
    My HP Compaq nx6320 came with Norton Antivirus, and a suscription only for 60 days. So in a couple of weeks you are invited to crack my computer, because I can’t afford the suscription, and I won’t install AVG in MY computer. I preffer my computer to explode instead of installing AVG.
    This is the longest post ever written by me at this blog. I’m going to cry…

  4. Why Adobe Flash installer is located on the desktop? Because Vista has several problems with adobe flash. Each time when U do the disk C cleanup the Adobe flash is removed.

  5. While it might make more sense for Microsoft to show off their own products, it’s nice to see they’re promoting (intentionaly or not) other products in the Windows ecosystem.

  6. i think it’s a great idea. you’ve created this ecosystem for applications and hardware devices to “flourish” and you should advertise that.

    think of how cool those ads can be… surely Apple never forgets to plug Photoshop in their ads on the website for applications included with your brand new Mac.

  7. I think Microsoft should give up Internet Explorer….
    Although I’m using it right now…
    because Firefox is a cross platform browser…

    Reduce headache from the web developer

  8. You’ve usually got good stuff on this site, but this just feels like something nitpicky and irrelevant. :X

  9. I’d hate to be the guy that messed that up (if it wasn’t intentional)…and the clock clearly isn’t circular…

  10. I do think it’s relevant … but it could be worst … it could be an OSX screen :p

  11. That is some hideous selection of icons; there’s absolutely no consistancy of anything. My desktop icons selection all have that sharp look that we get from the Microsoft Office 2007 icons. I don’t know if anyone else cares, but this makes the PR person look really bad when it comes to detail. The whole competitor promotion doesn’t really bother me, it’s just the inability to produce something to actually attract users, and not remind them of how annoying their computer use is with all of their pre-installed crapware.

  12. Of course, the irony is, I go to their site to look at it, and so when I click on the pictures to get a better look, what does it boot up to open the .tif?

    Why Apple QuickTime of course. This is in Firefox, too.

  13. All that and they didn’t even bother putting some interesting looking gadgets on the Sidebar.

  14. Uh, the last time I checked, Microsoft is not a dictatorship, actually the Company’s that develop those (third-party) applications are Microsoft Partners and there is a reason why its compatible with Windows, particular, Vista, to give consumers choice. As Robert notes, thats why the Windows ecosystem is more superior to OS X and Linux. Actually, Linux can only dream of having some of those apps on its desktop.

    If you check certain parts of Apples website or read magazines such as Macworld or Layers you will see advertisements with Apple displays showing Microsoft Office in the Dock, even Internet Explorer 5 even though MS discontinued it a few years ago.

  15. If you look closely, IE is still there in the taskbar. Also, all the browser windows happen to be IE windows.

  16. the whole thing looks pretty dodgy. i mean everything within the OS is squished and out of proportion.
    This reminds me of that Canon printer ad Long posted month(s)? ago where a user was editing photos on a computer using Canon software which clearly was running Windows blinds instead of realVista (and to make things worse the Canon software adapted the Mac OS X gui!) Though this coming from the motherland itself it is a duvious submission indeed.

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