Microsoft Scroogled. Windows Laptop vs. Google Chromebook featuring Rick Harrison from Pawn Stars
In this Microsoft “Scroogled” commercial Rick Harrison explains to a girl in his pawnshop trying to sell her Chromebook, that the Google Chromebook is “not a real laptop”. This ad is different from most ads in that instead of describing the benefits of a product (ie; Microsoft Windows) it instead only discredits or “talks down” (bashes) the competing product. Rick Harrison and his father (Old Man) Richard Harrison play themselves. The name of the actress that plays the girl trying to pawn the Chromebook is Jocelin Donahue.
What the commercial says:
(Girl selling the Chromebook): Hi, I’m looking to trade in this gift for a ticket to Hollywood
(Rick Harrison): What makes you think it’s worth that much?
(Girl): It’s a laptop.
(Rick Harrison): You see this thingy (points to Chromebook Logo)? That means it’s not a real laptop. It doesn’t have Windows, or Office. Without WiFi it doesn’t do much at all. And when you are online, Google tracks what you do so they can sell ads.
(Girl): Not going to Hollywood, am I?
(“Old Man” Harrison): Not with a Google Chromebook. You might get to Reno.
(Announcer): Don’t get scroogled with Google Chromebook. Get a Windows laptop starting at $249
Phrases and claims made in this commercial and what they really mean:
- What Rick Harrison said: That [Chromebook logo] means it’s not a real laptop
- What some people might think that means: A Chromebook is not a real laptop
- What it really means: The generally accepted definition of “laptop” is: a computer that is portable and suitable for use while traveling. Based on this definition, the Google Chromebook is as much a laptop as any “Windows laptop”. The Chromebook is made by many of the same manufacturers that sell Windows laptops and the Chromebook has all of the same components: large screen, keyboard, RAM, internal/permanent storage, the ability to run programs and WiFi/internet access. Most people would agree that a Chromebook is a “real laptop” computer.
- What Rick Harrison said: It [a Chromebook] doesn’t have Windows, or Office
- What some people might think that means: I can’t run programs or write documents or spreadsheets or share documents with friends or coworkers
- What it really means: It is true that a Chromebook does not have Microsoft Windows or run Microsoft Office. Microsoft Windows is not required unless you specifically need to run a Microsoft Windows only version of a program. Think of Apple Macintosh computers and laptops, Android Smartphones, iPhones, iPads, Linux computers – none of these devices use Microsoft Windows either, but all are perfectly functional devices with satisfied owners. It is also true that a Chromebook does not run Microsoft Office, however it does run Google’s version of “Office” called Google Docs which does virtually all the same things that most people use Microsoft Office to do.
- What Rick Harrison said: Without WiFi it doesn’t do much at all
- What some people might think that means: I can only use a Chromebook if I have a WiFi internet connection / without an internet connection a Chromebook does nothing
- What it really means: The Chromebook is a “web app” computer, meaning that it is primarily designed to be used while connected to the internet via WiFi, but this does not mean that while not connected to WiFi it “doesn’t do much at all” as Rick Harrison states. By using apps specifically designed for use while offline, the Chromebook operates just fine while not connected to WiFi. Things like email (Gmail), Angry Birds, reading/writing/editing documents in Google Docs, Reading Kindle Books, and hundreds if not thousands of other things. To see the full list of what programs and apps work offline while not connected to WiFi, see the Google Chrome Offline Apps List. Most people that understand what a Chromebook can do would disagree with Rick Harrion’s claim that a Chromebook “doesn’t do much at all” and others would go so far as to call Rick Harrison [and Microsoft] liars with regards to Chrome-books not working while connected to WiFi or the internet.
- What Rick Harrison says: ..when you are online, Google tracks what you do so they can sell ads
- What some people might think that means: Any time I use a Chromebook, Google tracks me
- What it really means: While using some Google apps, such as Gmail or Google Search (and others) Google does do tracking for advertising purposes. However what Rick Harrison did not mention is that if you use a Windows laptop and do a Google Search, visit virtually any website, use Gmail, etc, you are tracked in the exact same way. Rick Harrison also failed to mention that Microsoft also does similar tracking for advertising purposes, for example while reading, writing or sending email at Microsoft’s Outlook.com, Hotmail.com, or while visiting MSN.com.
- What the commercial says: (Rick Harrison): What makes you think it’s worth that much? / (Old Man Harrison) ..with a Google Chromebook. You might get to Reno.
- What some people might think that means: A Chromebook has no value, no resale value, or is worthless
- What it really means: Chromebooks in general, retail for between $200 and $300. With a low retail price, the resale value will also be very low. However the resale value of Chromebook is generally not significantly different than the resale value of Windows laptop with an equal retail cost. Any $200 laptop, whether a Windows laptop or a Chromebook laptop will have a very low resale or pawn value.
This commercial makes several claims, all of which many people would agree are either exaggerations, disingenuous, or plain lies. Many people also find the immature way that Microsoft knocks the competition, instead of touting the benefits of it’s own products is a new low in advertising, and is a desperate, last-gasp of a dying company grabbing at straws and trying to hold on to the glory that it once had as it slowly, and uncontrollably slips from it’s grasp.