I wanted to be a Mac but I’m not. I’m a PC


I’ve been trying to figure out how to write this post for the last 48 hours and Michael Arrington just helped me nail it with his post Huh. Those Mac Ads Aren’t As Funny Any More. In particular this part:


Those Microsoft commercials aren’t particularly engaging, and they don’t make me want to go out and buy a copy of Vista. But what they do is show lots of fascinating people saying that they use PCs. They highlight the fact that many people may be somewhat offended by the idea that they can’t be interesting or cool if they don’t use a Mac.

Suddenly, Apple looks a little elitist. I mean, they were elitist before, but in a way that made you want to be a part of the club. Now, they just seem a little snobby.

If that’s what Microsoft and their pushing clients to the edge advertising agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky were aiming for, it’s brilliant.


The earlier posts of mine demonstrate how much I like the new campaign but Michael calling out the Mac as snobby was a seminal point for me. I’ve been a “PC” for over 20 years now since my Dad bought us a 286 machine that ran Windows. I must have had 20+ PCs since then but last year I lapsed. I actually spent my own money on a Macbook Pro. Why? A few reasons – it could run Vista (very well in fact) and I quite fancied the sleek hardware as my new machine. I just thought it was time I tried a Mac and maybe with the ability to run the great looking OSX and Vista I could have my cake and eat it – sleek hardware and the OS I needed plus the ability to dabble in the Mac world.

I actually used it for a few days as my work machine switching between OSX at home and Vista at work. After a week I went back to my Sony Vaio TZ. The reasons at the time were that the TZ has way better battery life, runs much cooler and is a lot lighter. You’ll notice they’re all hardware things – not Vista drawing me back. In reality it’s both. The Mac still sits on my coffee table and I use it regularly for one thing – web browsing. It must be the worlds most expensive web browser.

This post isn’t designed to say that the Windows is better than OSX or that my Vaio is better than the MBP. It’s a statement of realisation that I’m a PC – I always will be. Through 20 years of familiarity and of course the company. The realisation just hit me. I grew up with the PC and whilst the Mac has a cool, elite allure and maybe I longed to be part of that “club” it’s just not me. It’s like putting on a Commes de Garcons suit every day. Sure it may make me feel good and even look a bit cooler but I’m not comfortable in it. It’s not who I am.

This post may not make any sense to anyone but me but this advertising campaign I think is genius. It liberates the the PC users who were maybe wondering if they were the odd ones out and encourages them to celebrate their differences and their connections. You may say it’s sad that we need an ad campaign to help us do that but to be honest, I don’t care.

Who was I kidding? I’m comfortable being a PC.

Comments (8)
  1. I can understand to a point why Microsoft have switched to this style but I still believe that the original Bill and Jerry show had a lot more potential. I wrote as such in my post on Mashable earlier tonight (http://mashable.com/2008/09/19/microsoft-should-never-have-listened-to-tech-bloggers/)

    For me this is more of a failure in advertising than this current batch

  2. Sharon says:

    Makes sense to me 🙂 I share the hardware combo of MBP and Vaio T (X, older than than Z). The MBP is my perfect demo machine – decent spec without being butt ugly and weighing a ton. But only thanks to Parallels and Bootcamp. The Vaio is my perfect travel machine – lightweight, best battery life. It’s due for replacement next year and will probably be swapped out for the same but newer model. The MBAir looks cute and the backlit keyboard would be a help in conferences, but it just doesn’t have the same level of features or battery life as the Vaio T range.

  3. This line from your quote is suspiciously like what I’ve seen written by someone else, elsewhere: "Suddenly, Apple looks a little elitist. I mean, they were elitist before, but in a way that made you want to be a part of the club. Now, they just seem a little snobby."

    I’m not suggesting plagiarism. Rather, it’s fairly clear that this is part of Microsoft’s press release or PR program supporting their ad campaign.

    I use both a PC and a Mac, and I log onto a Windows Remote Desktop from my Mac. Bill Gates’s company has done the world a lot of good, and deserves a better reputation than it has often had.

    Nonetheless, the fact that MS now wants to run an anti-Mac campaign is not a sign that ‘the truth will now be known’, rather, it’s a pointer to the growth of Apple’s share of the marketplace over the last three years, and an indication that MS is suddenly having to take its old rival much more seriously than it used to. Most potential customers are neither ‘Mac’ nor ‘PC’. Their primary computer interaction will be with the internet, followed either by games (which generally entirely replace the OS with their own interface) or by email. But a large number of potential customers will also be coming from the world of the iPod and the iPhone. They (especially iPhone users) like the idea of being elitist (ie, which to them translates as having the very best), and they may be looking to accessorise themselves with more Apple products.  This is not lost on Microsoft.

  4. Eddy Winters says:

    Interesting take on the new ad’s from Seth Godin:


  5. david coxon says:

    I think i must have a multiple personality disorder. I am both a mac and a pc. I’m an it manager, so i guess i’m a little soilt in that i have both mac and pc on my desk top and in my laptop bag.

    Its software and not operating systems that we use most of the time, so as long as i can get photoshop and office and the browser of my choice i’m pretty happy (granted it takes a while to get into automatically using the right short cut keys when you switch operating systems).

    Don’t get me wrong, both systems have there pros and cons and as steve says these are partially aesthetic and partially hardware, and there are still a few things bug me, like i can’t buy sage, visio or access for my mac.

    While both os’s are very stable these days, you see few kernal panics or blue screens on either these days. In fact the main differences that i find as an IT manager is that because mac manufacture all there own hardware i can take a hard drive from one machine and swop it straight into another, any other mac and get on with what i was doing, unlike pc’s that are much more fussy over having exactly the same hardware and software etc etc etc.  On the other hand active directory, domains and group policies really come into there own when you step up to the enterprise.

    To finish i’m gonna have to say that Macs and Pc’s actually play quite nicely these days, its maybe only there owners that are making a decision to be one or the other.

    Ow and one last think about advertising i really hate that the new iphone ad says that you can get work email and work addresses and work everything on your iphone – i think its really down to your company policy and IT manager just what you can get on your personal phone.

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