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Microsoft rolls out the babies for its first Windows 10 ads

Microsoft is leveraging the power of babies in its first Windows 10 ads. The company has produced five new ads, each using footage of children from across the globe gurgling, waddling, and gnawing on their feet as a voiceover explains that they will have an easier life because "these kids will grow up with Windows 10."

"Imagine," the voiceover says, against shots of children in remote villages, ice fields, and central London, "these kids won't have to remember passwords, or obsess about security." Another ad explains that the kids will be able to log in "with a smile," but they don't explain exactly why the kids won't need to understand the concept of rudimentary online security, but they posit a future where "every screen is meant to be touched, web pages are meant to be scribbled on and shared." The ads hint at an incremental improvement process for Windows 10, suggesting that as the kids grow and "get better at things," the operating system will too — rather than releasing Windows 11 in five years' time, Microsoft intends to keep Windows 10 growing as fast as the toddlers it uses in its ads.

As Apple's ads become less focused, Microsoft is borrowing a play from its rival's book, using a high-level approach to justify why its technology will make our lives — and our kids' lives — better without bogging viewers down with the "boring" details behind the product. The ads hint at a future when all we need to do is slap child-friendly touchscreens to make computers sing to us, search for our information, or "tell a funny joke," without explicitly explaining that people who'll be upgrading to Windows 10 next week should probably still use passwords on the internet.

Even the more specific commercials cover Windows 10's innovations in broad strokes. A 16-second ad explains Cortana as "a personal assistant than knows everything about" a smiling baby in a bouncer. Microsoft could argue that it's technically accurate, but the idea of an unblinking blue eye being more aware of a child's existence than the child is itself is slightly creepy.

In the US, the ads will play across all major television networks starting Monday. They're also live in the UK, France, Japan, Australia, and Germany before rolling out to the rest of the world on July 29th.