Microsoft is no stranger to paid endorsements. They will happily hand over truckloads of money to any celebrity who will take it, and pretend to like their products. This time, it's the Pawn Stars. In a slight twist, the ad is not promoting any particular Microsoft product, but slams the Google Chromebook, and Google in general.

The ad starts with a woman seeking to pawn a Chromebook she got as a gift from her mom. This actually strikes me as quite realistic. The Chromebook is exactly the sort of thing that a non-techie might buy for someone who needs a laptop. If you receive such a gift, my advice is to try and unload it for whatever you can get out of it. 

She tells Rick that she wants to sell it for enough to buy a ticket to Hollywood. After Rick has a hearty laugh at her expense, he goes into explanation mode, replete with a PowerPoint-style overlay. He explains all the reasons why the Chromebook is not a real laptop. This is where the ad goes off the rails, and Microsoft starts tripping over their own  two left feet:

"See this thingy?" he asks, pointing to the Chrome logo on the Chromebook. "That means it's not a 'real' laptop. It doesn't have Windows, or Office." 

There is more to the ad, but this is the main thrust. Microsoft could not get more myopic if they tried. I have said it many times before, and Microsoft keeps confirming it: When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. For Microsoft, everything looks like a traditional PC running Windows and Office. Outside of that, you don't have a "real" laptop. This kind of thinking will be the death of Microsoft. It can't come soon enough. Seldom has a corporate death been so well deserved. 

David Johnson