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Microsoft gets even meaner about Scroogley Chromebooks

In its latest attempt to help you understand why Google's Chromebooks are terrible, Microsoft talks to real people. Yes, on Venice Beach.

2 min read
Ben says this Chromebook is full of worms. Microsoft/YouTube Screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

You might by now have gotten used to the idea that very few tech products are worth buying.

The idea will have come to you from Microsoft's relentless pursuit of the tech world's lack of excellence.

Redmond has gained particular joy from attacking Google, which it sees as a company that's less lovable and more Strangelovable.

In recent weeks, its Scroogled campaign began to attack the Chromebook, not the most aggressively marketed product Google has ever produced.

First, it presented the nice men from "Pawn Stars," who described the Chromebook as a "brick."

Now it's sent its very great Ben the PC Guy out onto the streets to persuade real people who aren't actresses playing actresses badly -- as occurred in the "Pawn Stars" skit.

Ben wanders along California's Venice Beach ready to trash the Chromebook as the product of an evil culture. He wants to prove that it could never, ever be all the laptop you'll ever need, as Google claims.

I fear this shoot may have lasted many days, as real, normal people aren't easy to find on Venice Beach.

Still, he locates some who use Photoshop and Illustrator. Oh, you can't install those on the Chromebook, Ben patiently explains.

Then there is the woman who uses Excel, Word, and PowerPoint. Stunningly, those can't be installed either. Equally stunningly, they're all Microsoft products.

One teen tells Ben she has a friend who owns one of these Scroogley machines. "But she doesn't really use it."

Why? "She can't do anything on it really."

Yes, the Chromebook is the ultimate anti-laptop. It actively prevents you from doing things. It's a lapbottom.

The corollary of all this Google denigration is that Windows 8 laptops give you everything you need in a laptop. It's just hard to explain that to people -- principally because Microsoft hasn't yet been able to inspire consumers to truly reassess its wares.

Ben, though, is a marvel of perseverance. Once he was Ben the Windows Phone Guy, marauding across the land, talking people away from iPhone and Galaxies and toward Windows phones. Now he's been giving the task of bashing Google far and near.

He will fight and fight and fight until all of America understands why Microsoft products are always the best.

In the movie version, he will be played by Jason Statham.