it's been nearly two years since Microsoft started pushing a staunchly anti-Google message through its "Scroogled" campaign — since then, Google's biggest products like Gmail, Google Search, Android, Chrome, and Google Docs have all come under fire as being inferior and less secure than Microsoft's offerings. (Not to mention these clever mugs and t-shirts.) Now, Microsoft has yet another target: the humble Chromebook. In a new video on the Scroogled website, Microsoft calls in Rick Harrison from reality TV show Pawn Stars to appraise a seller's Chromebook. Her suggestion that the computer is worth anything elicites a hearty chuckle from Harrison, who then goes on to say "when you're not connected, it's pretty much a brick."
He then notes that a "traditional" PC uses built-in applications — like Microsoft Office, of course. Apparently, unless a computer has Windows and Office, it's not a "real" laptop in Microsoft's mind — hardly a surprising viewpoint, but one pretty far from the truth at this point. There's little doubt that Chrome OS is dependent on the internet, something Google hasn't exactly hidden since introducing the computers, but there's finally enough offline support for core services like Gmail, Calendar, Drive and Docs, and offline music, photos and books.
"When you're not connected, it's pretty much a brick."
Given the fact that market penetration for Chrome OS is minimal, certainly compared to the Windows juggernaut, Chromebooks are a particularly odd target for Microsoft's wrath — The Wall Street Journal notes that IDC claimed Chromebooks have less than one percent marketshare. That probably works in Microsoft's favor, as the company won't have to worry about insulting a large population of potential switchers.) But, as the video wraps up, Harrison tells his bewildered would-be Chromebook seller that using a computer such as that just makes it even easier for Google to track your personal data — just another way to get Scroogled. Our advice? Don't waste your time listening to a reality TV star when deciding what kind of computer to buy.