This was destination of a non-working hardlink from "misleading", so I decided to add something here. I would say, however, that Microsoft's advertising isn't (usually) misleading. It is often more or less accurate.

I take two examples here, both of these ads appeared in Finland - probably elsewhere, too.

One was a newspaper ad for Windows 98. Quite clever ad; It displayed a tube of pain drug, with text "Windows 98" on the side. So, Windows 98 relieves the headaches caused by previous versions of Windows, which was true because Win98 sucked less that Win95. Of course, the ad blatantly says old Windowses cause headache, but hey...

Another was a TV commercial, it was about Windows 2000 if my memory serves right. I never got what was the commercial's intended point. A tractor drove towards a rotten shed, collided to the wall and got stuck. Yeah, that describes Win2K pretty well, but I think that wasn't the point, right?

2001-11-28: Some people had noticed that Windows XP advertising continues this tradition of extremely subtle self-irony - WinXP ads have huge fields of bright green artificial grass... astroturf, anyone?

Update, 2001-03-17: Recently Microsoft stated that GPLed software is "against the American Way" or something similiar. However, I remember clearly that at one point Microsoft advertised "Microsoft at Work" things, and the advertisement, as one reporter in some local magazine pointed out, was "neo-Socialistic" in style. Pot. kettle. black. =)

I wouldn't describe Microsoft advertising as misleading. Just really bad, and yes, typically unrelated to Microsoft.

I'm no anti-MS trollish Linux zealot, though I am a fan of free UNIX-like operating systems, and do loathe most every "product" to come out of Redmond. I don't spell Microsoft with a dollar sign, and while I sometimes refer to Windows as Windoze or WinDOS, I have no problem with its general existance, just so long as I don't use it. But Microsoft's ads just don't make sense.

I don't remember any older MS ads. I think I can very vaguely remember seeing Office and Windows ads in magazines in the mid 1990s, but it's all a blur to me; I don't remember any content. But they generally made more sense than the ones today.

The ones currently being played on television in the United States are scary. Especially the ones for MSN. Like that one with an Asian family and their daughter's boyfriend, assuming that's who he was. For those of you who haven't seen it, it's kind of hard to explain. There's this little Asian hut stereotype and odd Eastern-sounding music. This girl brings a guy to her family, and they seem to disapprove of him. So then the guy goes to the computer, and checks his stock quotes on MSN, and the elderly Asian man (presumably father) lets out a loud scream of approval. I don't get it.

Then there are those MTV's-Real-World-style DotComGuy-ish ads they used to play, where they had a bunch of people who've probably never used a computer in their life share a house with MSN... Umm, nice try, but it's not funny.

And the Windows 2000 commercials with the relatively-monotone voice talking about Windows having no emotion, with a static picture of a server room.

I think advertising in general has declined, not just Microsoft's. Advertising has declined with the intelligence of your average American. All advertising is stupid these days.

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