back to article World goes mad as Bill and Jerry eat churros

Microsoft has debuted the first commercial starring its $10m Vista pitchman, Jerry Seinfeld. The ad shows the funnyman spotting Bill Gates shopping at a discount shoe store, whereupon churros, foot sizes, wearing clothes in the shower, and chewy computers are discussed – anything but Windows Vista, it seems. Reactions …


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  1. Andrew Moore


    Unfunny piled on top of unfunny. This sucks as much as Vista

  2. Glenn Gilbert

    "Mojave Experiment" website doesn't work

    Asked me to install a thing called "Silverlight" Well, as a well trained internet surfer I never install anything that's unsolicited and clicked to view the "Non Silverlight" website (I guess that means a "normal" website as opposed to a "Silverlight site"). Sat watching spinning wheels for a minute and gave up.

    Nicely sums up Vista. Sit around watching not a lot happening, see things being done for no good reason other than technical, as opposed to functional, zeal. Welcome to modernity.

    Personally I can't see the point of the advert. It's neither funny nor ironic. I actually found it quite boring. Compare that with the pithy "Get a Mac" ads which are entertaining enough to watch out of choice.

  3. Francis Vaughan

    Will be interesting

    I think what people may be missing is that this is the first in a series. It has set the scene - Bill and Jerry are now mates. Whilst the series is unlikely to have the drama of a well known series of adverts for coffee, it is playing the same long game.

    Having never been a fan of either Bill or Jerry, it leaves me a little cold. However by recruiting Jerry to the job and producing a series of ads, that no doubt will build upon themselves, MS have pulled off a coup that suddenly leaves the Apple ads looking very cheap. One of the world's richest men, one of America's most recognised comedians, in a setting, and use of humour, that places them alongside ordinary folk. That, versus tweedeldummy and smart arse nerd of the Apple ads. I suspect Apple will be pulling them soon.

  4. Steven Raith
    Thumb Down

    I saw that ad, and thought of this...

    From Futurama:


    Leela: That was [a] terrible [advertisement], people won't even know what we do.

    Bender: *I* don't even know what we do. Nah, just kidding, heh...

    ...what are we like, a bus or something?

    Leela: Did you approve that awful ad, Fry?

    Fry: Yes I did, Leels, and I'll tell you why: because it grows the brand.

    Leela: Oh Lord!


    I really can't put it any better myself, so here's a link to the above in MP3 format:

    Simply because you have to get the various tones of voice to describe the situation properly.

    Sienfeld probably saw the paycheck on offer and just went with it for that alone. It grows his brand...

    Steven R

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Halo


    A clever piece of Advertising. I look forward to the follow ons.

  6. Solomon Grundy
    Thumb Up


    I absolutely despise Jerry Seinfeld. I'd do him physical harm if I ever saw him in the shoe store.

    However, I did like that commercial. I actually laughed out loud several times. I hope there are more of them coming. They need something other than those really, really weird 'Forefront' ads - you know the ones that talk about killing green leafy monsters; and make absolutely know sense at all? This was much better.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    It's creepy and meaningless

    I find it nauseating is David Lynch somehow involved in this.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Not half bad

    Speaking as a Mac using, iPod loving and iPhone toting fanboi, I think this advert has set a pleasant and human touch for Microsoft. It has a gentle humour and a friendliness which may not resonate with the self-esteeming, high-brow, chattering class of geeks, but I believe it has something that many geeks simply cannot grasp (warmth, happiness, friendliness, quiet satisfaction, joy at the little things in life), hence why geeks think the ads suck (they want specs, performance graphs, 3D graphics and put-downs (because everybody knows that a good put-down is funny)).

    Don't get me wrong, I think that Microsoft hasn't got the criminal record it deserves, but this advert isn't half bad and I think it could work for the evil empire.

  9. Mathew White
    Gates Horns

    Better ideas?

    I can't help think that their money could have been better spent.

    For example, think about how many kittens you could hire (more meaow for your molah) for $10million.

    A sea of kittens!

    Or maybe $10million worth of custard pies being thrown at Sir Bill by disgruntled vista users.

  10. Simpson

    It's a commercial about nothing

    And that's a quote.

  11. Winston Smith

    Side-effects may include nausea, sleeplessness, and General Protection Fault

    This reminds me of the ads we see in the US for prescription medications that deal with *ahem* personal issues - the ones that say "ask your doctor if Hypochondrixol is right for you" without ever saying what the drug is actually supposed to _do_ for you. That's because it legally allows the manufacturers to not mention the nasty side-effects, either.

    It seems like the same advertising model. If M$ instead made an ad (like Mojave, maybe - I haven't seen that) describing what Vista actually does (the purported benefits over other OSs, including their own XP), then they would somehow get forced into defending themselves publicly when someone points out the very obvious defects in the product. They avoid the direct criticism by not saying anything specific enough to criticize.

    @Francis- I'm not a Mac fan either, but I don't see this cheapening the Mac ads by comparison. The Mac ads are short, smart, and always _funny_. I generally watch each new one once (but only once) as it comes out instead of TiVoing past it. This indicates to me that Apple has found a good ad model for the DVR age, in that it gets attention from eyes that would otherwise be averted. Jerry's ads might accomplish the same for M$, but will they actually convince anyone that Vista is worth using? (Not me - I mean someone who isn't already a devoted penguin-head.)

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    It's seinfeld (never been very funny imho) and gates (insert string of derogatory comments here). I was good for a minor chuckle in a couple of places. However unless this spot and it's successors see prime airtime then M$ has once again been behind another pointless venture where it spent a ton of cash for no apparent reason. The Apple ads are still far more humorous and memorable than this is.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I was asked...

    by a lady earlier this week, if its normal for a laptop to take 40 minutes from hitting the power button to being usable. She only uses her dual core superduper 1000 pound laptop once a week, to pick up email and do her household accounts and it takes 40 minutes to boot. It is busy installing and rebooting before it lets her use it. I hadn't used my Vista laptop in a week and a half so I timed it thinking it would show that her laptop was faulty. She was right. Just over 40 minutes of system updates, including three reboots that I wasn't asked for. Try explaining that "Mojave" does that and see if people still like it.

  14. Ian Ferguson
    Paris Hilton


    My reaction: What? Eh?

    I sincerely hope this is the first in a series of adverts that builds the brand. It made no sense to me. Less than no sense. Shoes? Churros? What is it advertising? I reeeeeeally don't understand.

    This MUST be the start of some very clever series, that peaks in an unmissable demonstration of how utterly brilliant Vista is.

  15. Herby

    Jerry Seinfeld??

    Am I the only one who sees some irony here? Go back and take a look at ALL of the episodes of the Seinfeld show. Back in the corner of Jerry's apartment is (wait for this!) a Mac! You can pretty much tell when the episode was made by the model. Early shows had an SE or an SE/30 (you really can't tell), and they it went more upscale from there. I remember a powerbook in a base among others. To me it goes without saying that the producers (Seinfeld was one of them!) approved of this product placement and even made money from it.

    Remember: He didn't switch when W95 came out, or any later version. This reinforces the notion he IS a paid shill!

  16. yeah, right.

    wrong store?

    They seem to be advertising for either the shoe store, or the shoe. But it sure as hell doesn't say anything about Microsoft or Vista. Of course, by not mentioning it in the commercial, they've guaranteed that people DO mention it in discussions, so there may be method to their apparent madness.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    can't wait

    So, this is the ad that improves microsoft's image, by proving that they haven't got a clue how to spend their ad dollars, and got sold not just one aimless ad, but a whole series? Let's see, make fun of the guy who's supposed to be smarter than the rest of us, don't say anything about computers or software. What image are they trying to stick in our minds?

    Aren't there supposed to be *three* stooges?

    Posted anonymously, because I have to make a living in Redmond WA.

  18. Thomas

    It had better be leading somewhere...

    ... because my main reaction to the advert was to seriously consider writing a will or something; the sight of these two 50-something year old men (particularly Jerry, who doesn't seem accustomed to dressing his new, slightly larger self) has made me really appreciate how quickly you get old.

    Especially given the relatively unfunny material from Jerry versus his 90s stuff, are Microsoft trying to associate themselves with the idea of being past their prime but not really willing to admit it?

  19. Antti Roppola

    Non elitist

    Yes, as per the comment Francis made. This is the first in a series of ads to show that Windows is what you should use if you want to relate with other ordinary computer using people rather than smug and superior geeks that scare you. I would not be assuming that Bill is on a dud just yet...

  20. Anonymous Coward

    The Woah! starts now

    I can't believe some people are waiting for Windows 7 because they think it is going to be better than Windows Vista.

    In reality, it may as well be what Windows Mohave is to Windows Vista, as it will be based on the same kernel.

    Windows Vista is New Coke.

    The ad reminded me of Homer's new and improved Mr. Plow advertisement:

    Lisa: Was that your advert?

    Homer: I don't know...

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bottom Wigglers

    that will make a good nickname for the Window's mob.

    Whoever authored that ad, not only just threw imagination out of the window, they did quite a good job to further reinforce that negative advertising does exist :)

    Still the numpties will still buy windows, a few may possibly try and eat the cd it comes on now.

  22. Cyfaill

    Shoe store?

    I think that this was a very unusual shoe store ad, I have never heard of shoe circus, Of course I tend to buy quality shoes like Clarks or similar quality. Not really familiar with the two celebrities although I know that one of them is on television. Then when they left the store... Saturn rings? Soft and chewy?, I thought that onion rings were supposed to be crisp on the outside. Microsoft? is that a new kind of tiny onion ring sold in this cheap priced shoe store with tight shoes?

    What do computers have that come into all of this... after 12 years of using Linux I had almost forgotten that there once was cheap software produced by this Microsoft company. Perhaps they have decided to try and sell soft and chewy onion rings out of a shoe store now... I wish them luck, don't think I would have an interest in that though :)

    Oh I tried the link... funny thing, all of my flash works fine all over the web... but this is the first time I have seen a lockup advising me to get something called silverlight? Whats that?

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    When do I laugh?

    An innocuous ad but unfunny nevertheless.

  24. todd

    there was 1 amusing joke ---

    The photo on Gates shoe-membership card is his mugshot from his arrest in 1977. k, I got a LOL out of that.

    (( see 4 yrself @ ))

  25. Syd

    @Glenn Gilbert

    I think you need to upgrade your OS to Vista ;)

  26. Mr Blonde
    Paris Hilton

    The wind blowing through the hole in the back

    "Backward compatibility is important," [Ben] Green says. Windows 7 will have the same security model as Vista to minimize disruption.

    - Paris shivers as she knows such winds

  27. Ian
    Jobs Halo

    Adverts aren't revenue

    ``Whilst the series is unlikely to have the drama of a well known series of adverts for coffee''

    Which got canned because they weren't, in fact, selling coffee (Nescafe, as it happens: that you used the generic name shows why they failed). For those of us d'un certain age, Cinzano adverts with Leonard Rossiter and Joan Collins. --- Alan Parker may think they're great, but they didn't actually shift much in the way of Cinzao.

    There comes a point where spending the ad budget on meeting your heroes becomes an end in itself. As Microsoft have just shown.

    Steve. Because he's not spending the ad budget meeting Larry Sanders.

  28. tranquil

    This may be the caffeine making me over-analyse, but...

    I think the ad makes a strange amount of sense; Bill Gates was popular as the geek done good, the guy with bad glasses and no dress sense who changed computing (whether that's true or not, that was the perception).

    He became less popular when everyone had been using Windows and Office for so long that they forgot the improvement on what came before (once again, down to perception, maybe MS weren't so innovative, but that's irrelevant if MS is where you saw it first).

    I think what they're trying to do is make people thing of him as anything other than the heard of a large faceless corporation, who everyone moans about, and he's so associated with Microsoft, even in his new slimmed-down role, they start to look better a result.

    Although, @Matthew White, a sea of kittens? that'd be awesome. You could sell me anthrax with that.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Better ideas?

    > Or maybe $10million worth of custard pies being thrown at Sir Bill by disgruntled vista users.

    Great! I'd buy a Vista licence just to see that. They couldn't make me use it, could they?

  30. Alexis Vallance
    Thumb Down

    Utter pants


    The most nonsensical piece of unfunny crap I think I've ever seen.

    I have no idea what just happened.

    And why put Gates in it??? Surely putting the living, breathing stereotype of everything that's wrong with computing is the last thing they should be doing.

    MS are running around in circles without a clue how to get out the mire they've got themselves in. Pants ads like this aren't gonna help.

  31. phat shantz

    The Spinner and the Programmer

    The BSOD was showing on the screen,

    Showing with all his might:

    He did his very best to make

    The Core Dump less a fright --

    And this was odd, because it was

    The O/S who took to flight.

    "If seven spinners with seven meg$

    Spun us for half a year.

    Do you suppose," the spinner said,

    "They could transform Vista dear?"

    "I doubt it," said the programmer,

    And shed a bitter tear.

    "The time has come," the spinner said,

    "To spin on many things:

    Of speed -- and glut -- and resource hogs --

    Of Tuesday Patchy Things --

    And why the O/S stinks so bad --

    And whether IP Pings.

    "I weep for you," the Spinner said:

    "I deeply sympathize."

    With blogs and spots designed to keep

    Customers of largest size.

    Offering schtick on nothingness

    Before their bleary eyes.

    "O users," said the spinner,

    "You've had a pleasant run!

    Shall we upgrade you one more time?"

    But answers came there none --

    And this was scarcely odd, because

    The O/S wouldn't run.

    [with apologies to Lewis Carroll]

  32. Jonti

    Jerry's Cruise

    OK, can I run this past you folks ... just to check we're singing from the same hymn-sheet here, y'understand.

    Jerry is walking in the Mall, and spots Bill trying to buy shoes from a discount store. He pops in to help and massages Bill's ego while kneeling before him, suggesting he buys Conquistador (heh!) footwear and calling him a ten. Jerry tries to flirt, talking about Bill taking a shower with his clothes on.

    Bill doesn't get it, but anyway they leave the Mall together, with Jerry talking about how computers should give oral satisfaction by being all moist and chewy. He begs Bill to give some sort of sign that he understands the innuendo, to which Bill responds by wiggling his arse.

    At which point Jerry exhults "I knew it!". Delicious indeed.

    Joke's on Bill, it seems.

  33. aL
    Thumb Up

    reg may know tech (sort of)

    you you dont know marketing.. .:) ads have NOTHING to do with the products. its all about image. they dont have any anchorage in reality. its all about conveying an "feeling" about the company name first and a product name second.

    one thing microsoft knows how to do is bounce back when sufficently challanged.. i think there are more commecials comming that are really aimed at joe-sicks-pack-regular-non-techie-user. and for that demographic, this commecial is exelent.

  34. Robert St-John

    Maybe would of been better

    with a 80's retro look, with bill and jerry off to the desert to dig up all the Atari ET games to make room to bury vista

  35. John Doe
    Gates Horns

    It reminds me...

    ...of those OS/2 WARP commercials running in mid 90'ties. One could not see what it was about those "Solutions for a small planet".

  36. Yfrwlf

    That was...

    ..completely boring and stupid. Though I do wish a bunch of the Linux supporting companies could get together and promote something for Linux, just so the name is heard. =P

  37. Stewart Haywood
    Paris Hilton


    Why on earth would Seinfeld pick Bill to promote his next show? It doesn't make sense.

    I would have picked Paris, if only for the view while helping her try shoes on.

  38. Lewis Mettler

    vaporware is being sold

    Since when did selling vaporware work?

    Maybe when consumers do not like the current products you have little choice. Besides you do not have to sell anything if consumers are forced to buy it anyway.

  39. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects

    World goes mad as Bill and Jerry eat churros

    I thought it was an article about Tom and Jerry Ice cream and wondered what it had to do with M$.

    So churros are shoes not crisps/Mexican snacks or ice creams?

  40. Christopher Martin
    Gates Halo

    To whom are they selling?

    As far as I'm aware, most Windows users are those whose PCs came with it preinstalled, those who have to use it at their office or school, and gamers who have no other choice. Mac has their clever "I'm a PC" ad campaign because they're trying to push kit on end users, particularly to get the new-laptop-for-college-freshman sale. But will Seinfeld really help Microsoft reach PC manufacturers and sysadmins?

  41. Richard Milner

    Well I just don't know.

    I pray that no-one in a position of serious technical power and responsibility decides what OS to buy by watching a TV advert.

    Who is it aimed at? Presumably the users who converted to Mac because they thought it was cool. Why would hardcore Mac OSX or Linux users change? They know they've got a better OS already.

    90% of Windows home users have Windows because that is what the salesman pushed when they went into PC World. This advert doesn't address them.

    Is it just all a warm and fuzzy feeling generator? Does anyone with a brain get warm and fuzzy about software?

  42. sleepy

    Thefirst step

    Microsoft is opening a dialogue with consumers - trying to start a relationship, and this ad marks the first step. It's a long road, and the consumer PC may barely exist by the time they reach their goal.

    What Apple has done, and it takes decades, is to earn the trust of its customers, so they will step into the unknown with Apple. And Apple's consumer customers will be the first to leave the personal computer behind.

  43. Owen Edwards


    I liked the use of his arrest photo for the membership card though.

  44. Gordon Fecyk

    Mojave does better than Seinfeld does

    Apple gets away with lies, damned lies and statistics in their Mac vs PC ads because the majority of viewers aren't holding them accountable for it. Microsoft doesn't have that luxury; everyone holds them accountable for everything even if it isn't their creation.

    As for Mojave, no really, Vista isn't the evil creation that you all make it out to be. I go into further detail on Mojave attacks that perception head-on. Seinfeld doesn't do anything useful.

  45. James Gibbons
    Thumb Down

    The club card

    Interesting that the club card uses the old police DUI photo from when Bill was young and impulsive.

    To borrow a little from recent political events: Vista is still a pig with lipstick in my opinion.

  46. Deryk Barker

    The unspeakable in full pursuit...

    It's perfect: the unfunny "comedian" advertising the non-functional "operating system".

  47. Solomon Grundy

    @Mathew White

    I think you've nailed it! No matter the problem, if you just throw kittens at it, it'll go away.

    It's a far better, and fuzzier, solution that just throwing money at a problem.

  48. Craig
    Paris Hilton

    Pieing Gates

    Wouldn't be the first time Gates got a kisser full of custard...

    (hope that's the right link)

    Though probably worth noting most of the people taking part in the experiment -

    A) Most likely don't do much more than poke around the internet, possibly using a little light word processing and some e-mail.

    B) Again most likely wouldn't know a crash if you bent them over their desk and inserted it.

    Paris because -

    She has been bent over many times, probably over many pieces of furniture.

    Like anyone dealing with Microsoft she knows how a good shafting feels.

  49. Nomen Publicus
    Thumb Down

    Product v. Brand?

    The Apple ads say, "Look you've put up with crap for years, why not try this Apple product instead." and adds a joke.

    The Microsoft ad says, "Bill Gates buys crap shoes and allows himself to be picked up by a comic with a declining reputation." There isn't a joke.

    I don't think Apple will be panicking just yet.

    There is an old marketing joke, "If you have a good product, show the product, if you have a good brand, show the brand, if you have neither, show a picture of the boss!"

  50. Rupert Stubbs

    it's charming, but Microsoft isnt

    I agree with those who think it's human, charming and gently funny. The problem is that Microsoft is none of these things. The point about brand advertising is that you can only change people's perceptions if you present them with an underlying truth about your brand. Apple's portrayal of MS seems closer to the reality than Jerry's...

  51. combatwombat

    Money better spent elsewhere

    Or they could have hired the OSDL, Canonical, Novell, and RedHat to write them a real operating system.

  52. Chris G

    If it wasn't for the join in his neck

    You could almost believe Bill Gates was human, but Jerry Seinfeld? nah! obviously a figment of some deranged imagination, a construct from a demented mind that doesn't realise it has no comprehension of funny. 7/10 for the ad and back in the scrap heap for the Seinfeld android. Recycle the parts for something useful.

  53. sc

    Not funny

    So now we have to like Bill because he interacts with someone many people find funny in an "ordinary people" situation? And then conclude that the company he represents is lovable too? And that therefore their latest operating system must be bought immediately to replace old XP?

    This commercial was so unfunny (shower with your shoes on? eat a computer?) and meaningless... they must have thought that just putting JS in the clip would make it fantastic, but it seems you need a little more than that.

  54. Anonymous Coward

    Re: Huh

    "I absolutely despise Jerry Seinfeld. I'd do him physical harm if I ever saw him in the shoe store."

    You need psychiatric help Solomon Grundy.

  55. Leo Maxwell
    Gates Halo

    I knew things were bad but...

    Bill Gates shopping at shoe circus?

    I know MS are having problems, but poor Bill having to make economies in the shoe department?

    Next, he'll be turning the heating off on Tuesdays to keep the electricity bill down!

  56. David Barr

    Advert Works

    When people choose between Windows and OS X (or Ubuntu these days as it's pretty competent), they're choosing between a large number of factors. It's not a simple decision along the lines of "This one does the same as the other, exactly the same, but it's a quid cheaper". Mac have run ads for years on the "feel" and "style" of Macs. This is Microsoft trying to get people to change their opinion that Windows is made by big bad Microsoft, and that Windows is a Bill Gates product and Bill Gates is a big dirty nerd with nothing in common with them - so how could he make an OS that would suit them?

  57. Dick Pountain

    Lost Plot

    I disagree AC, it's creepy and meaningful. The meaning is that they have finally completely lost the plot. And those aren't real churros, they're just sticks of dough...

  58. Jason Ward
    Paris Hilton

    Passingly funny

    But does nothing to enhance either M$ or Vista.

    Paris because she needs no advertising.

  59. Lager And Crisps
    Gates Horns

    ...lost in translation?

    Do people in the USA go for this type of thing?

    In the words of America's only contribution to the English speaking world (Homer Simpson)...doh!

  60. JohnNeed

    Bill's Shoe Circus Club Card

    Did anyone notice that the picture on Bill Gate's shoe club card was from his mug shot?

  61. Woenk


    Does not feel at all like an ad.

    All very subtle, not trying to get too funny, but interesting to put the geeks into the shoebusiness. Surely not meant for computer geeks as target audience.

    Quite something new for Microsoft, looks like they try to step down from their godlike appearance and try to reach the common folks.

    Will be interesting to see how it evolves.

  62. Ron Eve
    Paris Hilton


    Can't see the kids on the block getting this. There's no obvious product, unless they think it's for the shoe store and it's not particularly funny. Very little pace. Yes it may be appealing to an older generation but why? And how?

    I'm afraid that Bill has absolutely no innate sense of humour or comic timing either. I was rather reminded of Pinocchio...

    Paris - at least she showed that even an air-head can have a good sense of humour. (Maybe BG should have used the same team).

  63. Tim J

    Not funny

    "Are you a Shoe Circus Clown Club member?" was the only amusing line.

    They're not going to show this stuff in the UK, guaranteed - it just won't wash this side of the pond.

  64. Chris

    I like it

    Seems I'm in the minority... I'll get me coat!!

    Mine's the er.. chewy one!

  65. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Curbed my enthusiasm

    When I viewed it, I thought it was like watching "curb my enthusiasm", that show done post Seinfeld with Larry David, co-creator of Seinfeld and the 'real life' George. Liked Seinfeld the show, but never found Jerry funny or watchable. What made Seinfeld the show work was those around Jerry, not Jerry IMHO. Maybe the ads should have featured Kramer or another cast member, Jerry is a bit boring.

  66. Steven Swenson


    I wonder how many people they didn't show on the Mojave Experiment site (which, by the way, wouldn't even show anything other than a plain white screen with noscript enabled) who didn't like neither Vista nor Mojave.

  67. Nordrick Framelhammer

    Is that it?

    With all the millions that Macro$lut has to throw around (once they replace the chairs that were inevitably broken by Blamer when he heard about Google's browser) this is all they could come up with?

    It is complete crap. The head of the agency should be forced to use Vista on a Pentium 166 with 256Mb memory and no swapfile.

  68. Gary F

    Francis Vaughan

    You stated "I suspect Apple will be pulling them soon"

    Wow Nostradamus, any more earth shattering predictions?

    Will November follow October maybe?

    The Mac adverts will be pulled soon just because they have been a long running (and successful) campaign which has now naturally come near to the end of its run.

    It definitely won't be forced to end its run by this dog turd of an advert.

    If you are that much of a fanboy that you even have to desperately defend this crap, then I truly pity you.

    I wouldn't be letting you choose which movie to watch at the cinema, or let you anywhere near the TV remote control if you really found this crap enjoyable.

    Desperate, contrived, forced, and ultimately embarrassingly unfunny.

  69. Anonymous Coward


    I liked it, but it reminded me of a bizarre dream I had once after a night of chemical relaxation, and having eaten half a jar of sweet-hot pickles. It didn't particularly make me want to buy MS products though.

  70. bygjohn
    Gates Horns

    Is it just me....

    ... Or is that toe-curlingly awful? Really amateurish and embarrassing to watch. Maybe it loses something on the way over the pond? And it doesn't actually say anything so it's vacuous as well as unfunny. They spent money on this? Erk.

  71. Anonymous Coward

    Computers make you stupid.

    I'm no pedant but.....

    Solomon Grundy - "make absolutely know sense at all?"

    I once saw in a university magazine the editor using "no" instead of "know", but that just about takes the biscuit.

    How about all those people who dont know the difference between "lose" and "loose" to.

    I blame the spell-checkers

  72. Webster Phreaky
    Jobs Horns

    Jesus Christ Bill !! Do a commercial showing Mac Endless Spinning Beach Ball ...

    and G3 / G4 iBooks DEAD before and just after the end of the warranty even after the Feds made Apple extend the warranty to 3 years, or PowerBook and MacBook melting from over-heating or LCD suddenly going blank or full of vertical lines, and G4 PowerMacs with their long sorted history of bugs, G5's that were louder than a Packers football game, iMacs with shorting power supplies and LCD problems .....

    Oh my god, think of all the commercials just about BUGGY OS X updates!!

    .... hell, with the long history of buggy shitty flaky Macs, iPuds and iPhonies, or OS X releases - Microsoft could have fodder for a hundred 60 second commercials!! The truth at last in full public view!

    Come on Bill, go for the throat like that A-hole Stevie Gods has!

  73. Anonymous Coward

    @ AC

    Of course it's creepy and meaningless.

    It's meant to appeal to existing and potential Mac owners, not normal people.

    I'd best be leaving now.

  74. Eric Dennis
    Gates Horns


    I saw it for the first time last night. I didn't get whatever the joke was supposed to be. I was like- "They are paying 10 million for this? WTF" The only thing about the commercial that even hinted at Windows was the Windows symbol at the end. If the point is to tout what Vista does right or give anyone a compelling reason to buy a new PC or Laptop to try it, it wasn't present in this ad. Hopefully subsequent ads will have more meat and potatoes in them. This commercial was seriously anorexic.

  75. Tom

    "Mojave Experiment"

    When I was in University I had a job doing that type of "consumer study". If there were hints that you might get some free stuff a lot of people would say they liked anything. Even the test version of a new Diet Pepsi (tasted like lighter fluid). I can still hear them after the camera was cut... so where are my valuable free samples?

    They should have spent the money optimizing the windows code and dropping the crap no one wants (except Hollywood / MPAA). That would help more then trying to polish a turd with their stupid ads.

  76. Jesse Dorland
    Paris Hilton

    Billy's answer with his Ass!

    I wonder what parents will say when their children ask "mommy why Bill Gates is shaking the left side of his ass?".

    Paris, because she doesn't her ass wiggle like Microsoft.

  77. Kevin Bailey

    The advert sums up Microsoft

    The advert:

    1. It's probably trying to do something clever which has been suggested by overpaid advertising twonks trying desparately to justify $300 million dollars

    2. And it fails spectacularly to even do the basics.

    3. And doing nothing would have been better than producing this advert,

    MS software:

    1. Thousands of overpaid MS twonks trying desparately to justify their positions (and share options) at the MS gravy boat by producing something clever.

    2. And the resulting operating system can't even do the basics such as copy/delete files or run programs.

    3. Not producing Vista and just staying with XP as it is would have been better for MS.

    And by the way - before anyone thinks that XP is any good - I've been looking after servers for months from a new Dell/Ubuntu laptop. Recently, I've had to work with XP PC's and I can't believe how crap they are in comparison.

    I really feel that because Ubuntu is so superior to any MS OS that there must be a tipping point coming.

  78. xwindowsjunkie

    What the___________?

    There are people who don't like Seinfeld. I'm one of them. So the ad is almost a total waste of time for me. What I find hilarious is that the picture used on the "platinum" card is the booking picture when young Billy Gates got busted for DUI in Arizona.

    Otherwise its total crap. It could have been an episode of "Seinfeld" the TV show. And yes I didn't like that either.

  79. Martin Owens


    It kind of reminds me of the main problem with Microsoft, like a lot of western governments they've gotten into the habbit of telling people/cusomters/voters that everything is jam butties, fantastic, so amazing that we don't know what anyone is talking about.

    It reeks of such a high disconnect or untruthful attitude and I suspect that is one of the things these ads are meant to help with.

    It would be _better_ if Bill Gates just came on and apologised for Vista, xp, and a whole bunch of other stuff. At least it would be a start.

  80. Walter
    Paris Hilton


    "We're sorry, this browser, operating system or microprocessor is not currently supported by the Microsoft Silverlight 2 Beta 2 plug-in. You can still experience The Mojave Experiment on our non-Silverlight site."

    It feels almost like the "No silverlight for YOU!" popup tries to insult your computer to get you to upgrade to Vista by buying a new machine.

    Paris, because nothing actually insults her.

  81. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I don't know...

    I think perhaps Microsoft was wise just to associate themselves with Seinfeld, without hyping anything. As the article points out, Gates *is* Microsoft. Seinfeld is rather popular for reasons that elude my feeble grasp. Whatever the reason, he's popular with millions of folks.

    Associating the two is likely to result in a favorable link in peoples' minds, especially since they're not saying things like "Vista isn't the dog's breakfast you think it is". It isn't useful to remind people about that. But just to have "Microsoft" befriended by Seinfeld - well, warm, fuzzy feelings and no nasty reminder that your printer never worked with Vista.

  82. Doug
    Gates Horns

    lies, damned lies and MICROS~1 propaganda ..

    "Apple gets away with lies, damned lies and statistics in their Mac vs PC ads because the majority of viewers aren't holding them accountable for it .."

    You're talking absolute b****x bill, now you're wanted over on slashdot someone is dissing MICROS~1 ..

    As for Seinfeld, I just don't get 'Seinfeld', an actor pretending to be a stand up comic. At least unlike billg he's only pretending to be a dufus. It's ain't ironic if you're a real dufus ..

  83. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Stupid and pointless

    A waste of perfectly good electrons.

  84. Simon Tappin

    Well it's done it's job!

    Tis simple they don't mention Vista or anything to do with MS products and bang everyone starts discussing why is Seinfield and Gatesy not discussing Vista. $10 million well spent in terms advertising me thinks...

  85. Jim Hill

    Mojave, Seinfeld appeal to ignorance

    These allow people to do nothing more than look at the pretty face (and I really do like the frosted-glass effect) and kick the tires. The product interviews very well.

    But the considered verdict on Vista is in: the market, at best, doesn't really care. Many of those who have spent the time on a real examination, far from just not particularly wanting it, have flatly rejected it.

    Seems what's behind that frosted glass isn't so appealing.

  86. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    It's a starter for 10 (not 10 out of 10)

    It's a starter add. The only thing it will say to people is that Microsoft are confirming that (they think) Windows is the future.

    To be able to see what this add does you have to think like an ordinary human - not an IT literate one! Most ordinary people don't care what version of Windows is on their computer as long as it works. If people don't know any better then they will not change.

    This add therefore doesn't really do much apart from set the scene. More to come in the future..... However M$ can afford to play a long game with this add campaign - they still have the money and the user base that is not going to go away too quickly (even though it should!).

  87. Kenny Millar

    Moribind Vista - The System for the 90's

    Microsoft Windows is dying. (That'll save you looking up 'moribund').

    Vista is everything that Mac OS X was 5 years ago, except you don't need a mortgage and a share in an aircon company to run Mac OS X.

  88. Charles Manning

    Magnum Jupiter Brain

    Jupiter --> gas giant

    So Bill is full of hot air and vapourware?

    Or perhaps the ad is really about cloud computing.

  89. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    'Hi, I'm a Mac...'

    Ultimately the idea of making a software 'soft & chewy...' is in this context, like saying one wants to make a software like Mac OSX. Bill Gates did seem a bit unlikeable though, I've seen him behave with much more charm on other spots. A bit like the 'Hi, I'm a Mac...' ads, in some ways, or?

  90. Anonymous Coward

    Shoes and phallic symbols

    What kind of message does this commercial send out? Cheap shoes, cheap laughs, cheap ass CEOs that keep buying cheap shoes and a comedian that encourages the aforementioned CEO to chew a cock-like substance.

    Moist and chewy...

    Yeah, there's an agency that needs to be fired. like, now.

  91. Stephen Huyssoon

    Just a simple message

    The commercial simply said that Microsoft will be part of a delicious future. The bulk of the time spent was intended to be entertaining so as to prepare the viewer for the message, given at the end.

  92. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    I don't know if they bothered to notice...

    But most sub-25's would most probably not know who Seinfeld or Gates were, or at the very least what they looked like. So... they'd be wondering "what was that all about?"

    A dead penguin, because its brain exploded trying to work out why they paid money for that...

  93. Joseph Haig

    What I saw

    Bill Gates goes shopping for something he is going to be using almost constantly all day and which, if he buys the wrong thing, will make him extremely uncomfortable. Instead of listening to the advice of a trained professional he does what he is told by some joker who happens to be walking down the street.

    Actually, maybe this is a perfect advert for Vista.

  94. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    That advert is poor. Really poor. And I like Seinfeld.

    I have seen people on US discussion boards claim it is a roaring success as it gets people talking about the brand. However, a short of Bill Gates shitting in a bucket with a Microsoft logo on it would have achieved the same amount of 'buzz' in the 'blogosphere'.

    The only winners here are the advertising agency, who I would imagine are rolling around in that huge pile of loot chuckling to themselves at this very moment.

  95. Pete James

    Combat greenhouse gases. Destroy greenhouses!

    It's, erm, an advert. A bit of a forgettable one though, which is the worst insult you can level at a commercial. What troubles me is the continued use of Bill Gates. He's supposed to have left the building now. Gates may have been the public face of Microsoft but the company really needs to move on and look forwards. Bit like some of their products I'm sure some folk would say. Funny? Not all that much really. It's okay.

    Now, if you want to watch an ad that really describes the company bang-on, try looking on YouTube for the ones done about Novell. So simple, so eloquent. As in, "we have no imagination so we'll rip off the Apple ads, and we have nothing to say except a debatable point about who was around first. Which is irrelevant bollocks but it'll waste thirty seconds of your life. Oh, and we'll put a woman in as well so we don't look all teknikal" Pathetic, although I imagine the more fascist, intolerant unixy fanboi types out there will probably howl with laughter at them.

  96. Jim

    Trying to hard

    It's cutesy, The problem I perceive is I would take it as a commercial for Windows 7 not Vista. If they keep building up who-ha a lot of people are going to be disappointed when they find out it’s the same old hash. My suggestion to Microsoft is instead of spending $$$ on trying to get people to love Vista, actually address what people don’t like about Vista. Then roll it out in a service pack. I see four major problems with Vista, UI, UAC, DRM and hardware compatibility. Allow more freedom with the UI, unlock it so users and third party companies can actually customize it. UAC and DRM allow users easier control over it including turning it off if they so desire. Work with hardware vendors to improve drivers. These were the major issues in the Beta’s of Vista and Microsoft still has not figured it out. Stop trying to coerce people to love Vista, just fix the problems and people will want to use it…

  97. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Should have got Paris produce this.

    Such a joke.

    I would fail a Uni Student for turning in an add like that. What rubbish. It didn't make sense and it just felt awkward all the way through. It's just some random sketch with a couple of losers. I don't like Seinfeld much but I feel sorry for him now because he's now stuck with this contract. This just ads to the list of things that prove M$ really don't know what they are doing. The only way they get anywhere is through brute force and they didn't even do that as I was expecting here.

    - Paris - She would have done better

  98. DiskJunky


    maybe I'm just sad but I didn't get that commercial. It doesn't make any sense

  99. alan

    Just wanted to say....

    thats not funny. its just a bit wank.

    i dont honestly beleive that micro$hite have any intention of making computers delicious, or indeed better in any way ever.

    Bill - do yourself a favour and fuck off, let micro$shite FAIL by itself

  100. Rich

    A struggling company

    Seinfeld is about as funny as these moist lens wipes im about to use for my glasses. Microsoft have simply fueled the next spait of ads from Apple.

  101. Martin

    RE: Computers make you stupid.


    I'm no pedant but.....

    Solomon Grundy - "make absolutely know sense at all?"

    I once saw in a university magazine the editor using "no" instead of "know", but that just about takes the biscuit.

    How about all those people who dont know the difference between "lose" and "loose" to.


    OK - That last "to" had to be an 'o' short deliberately, right?

    Otherwise it's just to funny!!

  102. Joseph Haig


    Is it a coincidence (koinsidens?) that this article has just appeared:

  103. Daniel

    so what the ad says is ..

    ... "Vista. An irrelevant waste of space."

  104. Peyton

    For those seeking intent

    Maybe the commercial's intent was simply to get people talking. This article is at 103 comments as of my posting... seems to be working...

  105. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Dull and lacklustre

    The title nearly says it all. Although I did like the video on youtube with the alternate ending. It is perhaps a more accurate impression of what we can expect from Microsoft.

  106. IR

    The ad, explained

    Here's what the ad means:

    Bill has bought from the same shoe store for years (i.e. used Windows) because he is comfortable with it. In this instance, the shop assistant is giving him bad advice (like the employees of PC World) so he isn't getting the shows that fit him (OS). Jerry steps in and finds a better fitting pair of shoes (er, Vista?), proving that the store still sells good shoes but that the assistant is crap. So basically, PC stores sold Vista on unsuitable machines, so it seemed crap when it wasn't.

    Okay, this premise does seem a bit silly, since MS were at fault for getting Vista on unsuitable machines, but on the right machine it does work really well. Maybe MS should get in on the overpriced-but-works market.

    It will work well in the US, since the Apple ads here feature an old balding fat guy as the PC, and a sharp fashionable young guy as the Mac (more of a contrast than the UK ads). In comparison, Gates comes across as an ordinary guy buying shoes on his own in a discount shoe store, and people can relate to that (they voted for Bush for that reason). 80% of people don't care about being cool, they just want something they can use.

  107. Martin Usher
    Black Helicopters

    It obviously worked....

    ...because people are talking about it.

    There is a message in there which may have escaped everyone because we're just too damn technical on this site. Apparently Vista isn't a heap of crap because it doesn't do what we need it to do (and it does a load of stuff we don't need) but rather its because we're not doing our work the right way. This is classic marketing-speak. It works.

    We've got a similar thing going on in the US at the moment. We've got this election thing and one of the participants represents a party that's been in power for years with total control over the whole Federal government. In order to sell its new candidates its actually marketing a message of "change". The neat (or rather, terrifying) thing is that they may even get away with it.

  108. Eduard Coli
    Gates Horns

    Funny photo

    If you churn around on Google the photo that Bill has on his discount card looks a lot like his jail picture.

    Odd that.

  109. Snert Lee


    They don't mention Vista because they don't want their advertising investment to expire if (and when) they suddenly start talking about Win7 or anything else.

    It's really surprising that they've let the Mac vs PC ad run so long unopposed. I'm sure the phrase "let's not dignify that with a response" was bandied about. Maybe the recent pokes about vendor lock-in made MS realize they didn't have that much dignity.

  110. Anonymous Coward

    just a regular guy

    I can hear the advertising execs: "people will see that Bill puts his shoes on one at a time just like the rest of us." The zero-ness of advertising amazes me.

    Mines the one without the advertising slogans.

  111. Treacle
    Thumb Down

    That was an MS spot?

    I actually thought the ad was about "Conquistador" shoes, or something else, until my pal pointed out the MS logo at the end.

    What are they trying to sell again? Cake? Bill Gates' new line of shoes? A new method to get tight shoes to fit? Churros? A new "comedy" program by Mr. Seinfield?

    Somebody should fire the entire MS ad department and hire me.

    Wait, that's a bad idea too...

  112. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    @ Herby (the 'hawk-eye' LOL)

    "Am I the only one who sees some irony here? Go back and take a look at ALL of the episodes of the Seinfeld show. Back in the corner of Jerry's apartment is (wait for this!) a Mac!"

    You are correct. I was wondering when someone other than myself was going to mention this long(est?)-running product placement. They even had a Twentieth Anniversary Mac in there for a while.

    So Jerry is a smart business guy. So what. Power to him, I say.

  113. R Cox

    It is good to be rich

    I talk to my students about advertising. I say sometimes it about creating brand awareness in market category. I say sometimes it is about creating a need for a product. And sometimes it is simply about spending money so the world know you are a company that is so successful you have money to waste on a pointless bit of advertising. The MS commercial is the later. It is the ultimate payback from a geek. No matter how cooler you are than me, no matter how much better your products area, no matter how much more popular you are, I am the one with so much cash I can blow a wad on something that is fundamentally useless. It is like the extravagant sweet sixteen parties for ultra rich teenagers. A swan song and finger to those that would criticize the innate perfection of money.

  114. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They paid 10 Mil for that tripe?

    OK, for $5 million I'd stab BOTH Seinfeld and Gates in the forehead with a pair three inch stilettos. I despise advertising, but sadly it's a fact of life. But if you're going to waste my time with a commercial, at least give it a point.

    I have to agree with Mr. Grundy; bodily needs to be done to everybody involved with the making if that time waster.

  115. Rich Turner
    Paris Hilton

    The goal with this first advert ...

    ... was to get people talking. Seems it worked! :)

    More to follow.

    (Paris because she REALLY knows how to get people talking! ;))

  116. Gulfie
    IT Angle

    I prefer the alternate ending...

    ... watch it here:

    In any event yes I can see this is a scene setting ad but... that bit where Bill and the shoe fitter nod at each other is just tow-curlingly awful. I wonder what the yanks make of it? Definitely NOT an international commercial...

  117. Tim

    I'll tell you what I think:

    After seeing that add, I so want to learn to use Linux, I want to learn Linux back to front so I can custom build my own OS.

    The only thing I've heard about Vista that makes me want to try it out is the speech recognition and I'm not prepared to risk it, its probably crap. Calling India is a better speech recognition system, cheaper and more effective, unless they are running Vista in India.

    Actually, that ad proves that BG missed his calling as a deadpan comedian, but then so does the microsoft fiasco.

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