Microsoft's attack on Chromebook is the latest Scroogled embarrassment

While the staff here at BetaNews is a fairly close knit bunch, that doesn't always mean we agree on everything. In fact, debate is a part of daily life. To that end, earlier today my colleague Brian Fagioli took it upon himself to call the latest Scroogled ad, this one against the Chromebook, the "best Scroogled ad yet".

He seems to think all of this behavior is acceptable, even amusing and honest. I suppose if you are a fan of the show Pawn Stars, then you may find it of mild interest. However, what it also turns out to be is utterly untrue.

I confess that I don't often use my Chromebook, but neither would I refer to it as a 'brick', which is exactly the word used in the ad. You need a connection for many things these days -- you wouldn't be reading this now if you didn't have internet service, even on your Windows device. However, the Google operating system still boots up and works without that, just as its rival does. The search giant has plenty of apps that work offline too, including Gmail and Docs.

Microsoft also levels the charge that you can't use Office on a Chromebook. Well, that's partially true. Yes, you can't install Office 2013 on your Google-branded notebook. But guess what? Office365.com and Office Web Apps in SkyDrive work just as well as they do on a Windows computer, and if you're out of range then write to Docs offline and copy it over later, if that's what you want. If you prefer those Microsoft services then, the truth is, you won't be getting to them from an offline Windows PC either.

As far as Scroogled ads go, I didn't even get a chuckle out of this one, though past ones, while also with disingenuous messages, did at least prove amusing. But even had this ad been the equivalent of the best sitcom on TV, the message is still completely off-base.

I get competition among businesses, and I have seen my share of mud-slinging campaigns, but this is rather low. Trust me, I use Windows most of the time -- I'm writing this from a Windows 8.1 computer. But perhaps Microsoft may wish to focus a bit on what it can do for Chromebook users, such as the aforementioned Office365.com and Skydrive, instead of wasting time and money on utter crap that will fall on deaf ears when it comes to those shopping for a budget computer.

Attention Microsoft -- monetize these customers, don't continue to alienate them with pathetic attempts at humor against your competition. Seize the opportunity, instead of tossing it away with wasted millions on something nobody is going to heed.

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