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Microsoft, Seinfeld, Vista and the ’90sJay Lyman, August 21, 2008 @ 6:00 pm ET
Microsoft is drawing on the humor of Jerry Seinfeld to more effectively counter those ‘I’m a Mac’ ads — not that there’s anything wrong with that. Seinfeld is a funny guy and Microsoft needs something to promote its latest OS. But Jerry Seinfeld? I fear that by drawing on this star of the ’90s, Microsoft may be showing its longing to return to a time when buying a computer meant buying Windows. Ahh … memories.
Hopefully for Microsoft, the Seinfeld spokesman strategy will be more effective than Mojave, which I think actually demonstrated how refreshing and rewarding it can be to try a new OS, particularly Linux.
Microsoft and Mr. Seinfeld have their work cut out for them. The new strategy comes at a time when many Vista users are switching back to Windows XP.
So can Jerry Seinfeld help Microsoft make Vista a little more fun and a little more popular? I’ve seen Mr. Seinfeld recently on late-night doing funny new material, but there is always that immediate flash back to Jerry, George, Elaine and Kramer, a return to the 1990s when ‘Seinfeld’ the TV show ruled the ratings, a time when Windows was at perhaps the peak of its desktop dominance with Windows 95 and 98. That dominance carried through to Windows XP, largely unencumbered by competition from Apple’s Mac, Linux or anything else. However, we live in today, and I think Jerry Seinfeld harkens us back to different times (better times if you’re Microsoft). Now with Mac gaining more significant market share and Linux creeping into the desktop market with momentum in some segments such as netbooks, Microsoft lives in a different world. Maybe the company thought it could transport us back to the days of Windows 95 and Windows 98, but regardless of new software or new material, Seinfeld may just remind people of old times and the old Microsoft.
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