Microsoft’s $300 million dollar ad campaign rolls on with a second installment.

While it’s safe to assume this mini-movie will be chopped down into bits for television airings, it has to be said again that this seems like the most pointless thing ever.  It is trying to so hard to be hip and anytime you force that, it comes off as just sad.

With little to no mention of the products, or what this commercial is trying to convey, is Microsoft trying to sell more of their current products?  Getting you excited about future products?  Who knows, all I know is that I and about 99% of the blogosphere would like to see them give up already.

Categories: Opinion, Windows XP   

Windows 7While people are still sorting out whether to even switch to Vista, Microsoft is working full speed on the Windows 7 operating system. Unfortunately what little has leaked out on the operating system doesn’t look much more promising for the common user than Vista did.

Incomparability with existing peripherals, a demand for higher end hardware and a learning curve that is too much for most common users, Vista has been a rather large disaster for Microsoft. At a recent demonstration, Microsoft showed off a video of what the new interface will look like, and beyond still appearing a lot like Vista, they have come up with a whole new user interface that will radically change how everyone interacts with their computer.

Video: Multi-Touch in Windows 7

One has to wonder how they plan to make this work with existing computer monitors and laptops, or are we all expected to buy all new equipment to work with this?  What about finer graphics work like you do with Adobe Photoshop?

We are still some ways off from this system, and perhaps things will change, but the work that Microsoft is doing with Windows as of late seems to be getting more complicated and uglier by the minute, and may be the best advertising to ever happen for Apple’s Mac computers.

Normally we don’t editorialize here at StarterTech, but it would seem it is going to become impossible to ignore just how badly things are going with the Windows OS, and considering their market share, it is difficult to ignore.


Windows XPThere has been a lot of talk about what a problem Windows Vista can be for users: peripherals that aren’t compatible, not enough computing power on some systems, a steep learning curve for some users, etc.

The good news is that until June 30th, 2008, you can still buy Windows XP if you just don’t feel comfortable with going to the next operating system, and there is really no problem with that. All of us here at StarterTech consider our selves fairly tech savvy, but you will not find Vista installed on any of our computers.  We just have too many printers, hard drives and more that wouldn’t be compatible with Vista to make it worth it to us.

So, what happens after June 30th?  Microsoft will continue to sell XP in lower-end systems and portable devices, as well as still offer tech support, but there will be no sales of the OS.  However, some computer manufacturers are trying to find loop holes around this, with the most adamant being Dell.

It seems Dell has found a loophole that will allow them to sell you a computer with Windows XP on it, and include Vista on an upgrade disc in the package.  So, technically they are selling you a copy of Vista, you just have to install it yourself, and it’s your choice whether you ever do that.  They currently plan to continue doing this through 2010 when Windows 7 is set to be released.  The one caveat to this is that Microsoft has never released a new operating system on time, so no one really knows when the next system will be ready.

If you are buying a brand new computer, have no old hardware to deal with, and feel like learning a new system, then you have no reason to go ahead and move up to Vista, but for those of us around here, it looks like we will be buying Dell systems only for the next few years.


Microsoft didn’t make it exactly easy in Windows XP for the new user to figure out how to change their desktop image, and even years after release I see people with the same background they had on day one. Considering you can use just about any picture as your desktop, it’s time you changed that boring old background to something that matters to you!

And this article was actually requested by a reader, so if you have something you want covered, drop us a note!

(due to the number of images in this article, please click “Continue Reading” to see it all)

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Categories: How To, Images, Windows XP   
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