Posts Tagged ‘Firefox’

More Microsoft Ad Campaign Missteps

Monday, June 22nd, 2009

Oh Microsoft.  You have so much money.  Why is it all of your ad campaigns make you look like a grumpy old dinosaur, a complete dick or a bad politician?


Of course this all started with the ill-fated Seinfeld campaign which made the mistake of putting Bill Gates in front of a camera for comedic effect.  The commercials made me wonder, “Why would I trust these guys’ opinions about computers? They seem really out of touch.”

Then there was the “I’m a PC” campaign which banked on the underwhelming selling point of “Look! Macs might be cool but some people also use PCs.”

Then there was the mildly misleading “Laptop Hunters” campaign to show that PCs are cheaper than Macs.  And that, given $1000 and a script, a paid actor would choose an inferior PC over a Mac.  You can read about it here and here and (my personal favorite) here, where a filmmaker chooses to edit video on a PC.  Interesting choice.  And as always, all of these ads were made on Macs.

But you were just getting warmed up!



Wednesday, September 3rd, 2008

I’m sure you’ve heard by now.  Google released a new web browser.  Chrome.

My first reaction to this is one of dismay.  Another freaking web browser?  What do I need that for?  I’m still having to check for bugs in IE6 — a browser that should’ve died years ago.

My second is one of anger at Google.  I like Firefox.  I think Mozilla has a good heart in addition to having a great browser.  If Chrome is going to steal market share, it’s most likely going to steal from Firefox — not IE.  Most of the people who use IE are either enterprise (and can’t download another browser) or not tech-savvy (don’t know how to download another browser).  If they haven’t downloaded a browser besides IE6 (like Firefox, Safari, Opera, etc — they have plenty of choices and they’ve had plenty of time), it’s unlikely they’d download Chrome.

So great.  Google steals from FF’s market share.  And Google paid up on their Mozilla contract till 2011 to keep their bases covered, but if Chrome catches on, I bet you Google will kill that contract.  Leaving Mozilla broke with about half of it’s market share poached.


What’s even better is Google’s terms of service with Chrome.  Check this out:

By submitting, posting or displaying the content you give Google a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive license to reproduce, adapt, modify, translate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute any content which you submit, post or display on or through, the services. This license is for the sole purpose of enabling Google to display, distribute and promote the services and may be revoked for certain services as defined in the additional terms of those services.

What?  I know I’m no lawyer, but what that says to me is if ANYONE displays a website in Chrome (ANY website), then Google then has the right to distribute that website, in part or in whole, worldwide.  What?  How can they claim to have that right?  If you’re looking at this site in Chrome now, does that mean Google thinks it’s their right to adapt, modify, publish, display, ‘publicly perform’, etc?

My favorite little logical twist is that technically, if you ‘submit’ your credit card # via Chrome, since you’ve agreed to their terms of service, they then have a right to ‘distribute’ it.  Now that’s a business model.  Stealing credit card numbers on a massive scale and then moving to Switzerland.

AND the real kicker is this: Chrome is distributed under the BSD license — which is a particularly open open-source contract.  You could logically say that if you submit your credit card number via Chrome that then EVERYONE owns it.  Resulting in something less like Switzerland and more like the end of Fight Club.

But really, what the BSD license means is that, if you don’t like Google’s terms for Chrome you can download the code in its entirety, take out their logo, recompile it under your own terms and use it however you want.

So, kids.  It’s time to get those compilers chugging.  Who wants to to follow Google’s rules when they can so easily walk right around them.

Google looks more and more like Microsoft every day.  Throw a few class actions lawsuits at them and the two would be virtually indistinguishable.