Microsoft Scroogled Campaign Turns To 'Pawn Stars'

A Microsoft Scroogled campaign dishes the turkey on the Google Chromebook with the help of the reality television service "Pawn Stars" that highlights people carrying their out-of-the-ordinary and personal possessions into a Las Vegas Pawn shop for appraisals.

In Microsoft's online video, a woman walks into the pawn shop with a Google Chromebook. Calling it a laptop, she seems to have little use for it and tries to trade it in for enough cash to get to Hollywood.

Designed for Web-only applications, the Google Chromebook turns into a "brick" when not connected, the pawn shop owners tell the woman. "A traditional PC utilizes traditional applications like Office and iTunes that work even when you're offline," he explains.

The video reminds me a bit of the old Apple and Microsoft war, the most recent moves from the Mac vs. PC operating system and features to tablets. The Chromebook reminds me of the terminals hooked to a corporate mainframe, where the screen and device render worthless unless connected to the cloud.

Chromebooks are not flying off the shelf, but sales are picking up. Forbes notes earlier this year that the education market seems most attracted to the device. Apparently, schools love the easy remote management, the low cost, and the security of a stateless device that doesn’t require maintenance or upgrades.

The National Survey on Mobile Technology for K-12 Education research suggests that most in this market segment prefer iPads. Some 81% of respondents had adopted or planned to adopt an iPad -- up from 73.5% in 2012, compared with 31% and 14%, respectively, when considering adopting Google's Chromebook.

This holiday season, consumers will see a touchscreen Chromebook from Acer that retails for one cent less than $300. It features built-in 802.11n WiFi, a missing feature in most of the early devices, HDMI output, built-in webcam, and up to 7.5 hours of battery life. The features might even make Microsoft's latest Scroogle video obsolete.

And to all Search Marketing Daily readers, have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving. Happy holidays.

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