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Why I hate the Windows 10 ad

A close relative recently gushed about the Windows 10 ad with the montage of adorable toddlers, especially the boy (?) pressing his face up against a window. My reaction was visceral, guttural, and not for polite company. Until then I hadn’t realized how much I hate that ad.

It wasn’t obvious to me why.

A big part of it is, of course, its exploitation of the parenting part of our lizard brains. What makes it worse is that the ad is soooo good at it. Those are some lovable damn children! I get the heart feels when they call out Fatima by name. I get the same involuntary happiness reflex in the second version of the ad when it ends on the feminine pronoun: “We just have to make sure that she has what she needs.” (That’s approximate; I can’t find the second ad online.)

I don’t like being manipulated, even when it’s towards things I believe in. When it’s in a movie or a book, I just feel cheated. When it’s in persuasive discourse, I feel abused. That’s true when a President argues for a policy by recounting a moving anecdote about someone he met (“I met a woman in Iowa recently who told me…”), and it’s true when a company plays on my instincts to get me to buy a product that I wouldn’t have bought if I’d been addressed rationally.

Almost all ads do this sort of manipulation. The Windows 10 ad does it particularly well. That’s why I particularly hate it.

But that’s not the only reason.

It is an ad totally without substance. Well, that’s not quite true. It’s full of misleading substance. It consists of a list of functionality that Windows 10 does not have. No passwords? Every screen is to be touched? Someday Windows 10 may have this sort of functionality, but by then it will be Windows 30 or so. “Why are you running a Windows 30 ad to sell Windows 10? ” But The glory of Windows 30 is not much of an inducement to buy Windows 10. So, why are you running a Windows 30 ad to sell Windows 10? Is there nothing in it worth the free upgrade?

But of course this isn’t really an ad about Windows 10. It’s an advertisement for the Windows brand. And the argument it presents is Microsoft’s dream that Windows will be as dominant an operating system twenty years from now as it was twenty years ago.“It’s going to come from all of us, not from Microsoft, Google, the Pope or even Elon Musk” The tagline might as well be “Windows: It’s going to become inevitable again. Deal with it.”

And here’s the last bit of bile I need to drain from my gall bladder. The future is not going to bright because Windows is going to be its operating system. If the future of tech is going to remain bright it will because we — all of us — have secured control of our operating systems and are building great things for one another. It’s going to come from all of us, not from Microsoft, Google, the Pope or even Elon Musk (hallowed be his name).

So take your hands off our babies’ future, Microsoft!

5 Responses to “Why I hate the Windows 10 ad”

  1. Apple would never do any of that.

  2. I haven’t seen the ads (I don’t think) and now I hate them too! Good work.

  3. And speaking of ads, The Audi site ( is still today praising their clean diesels and their benefits. You’d think they would put the web masters to work in hurry on this.

  4. Anybody else besides me and my parents that notice Windows 10 is not backwards compatible with anything? And now they are doing it to Windows 7 on recent updates forcing me to 10.

    Games that worked fine on Windows 7 when I first got it now no longer work. Doing a fresh install my Dad helped me with he got everything working including all my game controllers and sim games but after Windows 7 got an update BAM nothing would ever work again.

    Windows 10 is the same thing. I got some things to work for a while but then nothing.

    Windows 7 had no issues until 10 started being intrusive on it and MS made updates for it which I think forces crap onto Windows 7.

    Anybody who still has Windows 7 when the beta ends I caution are going to be in deep shit when MS viruses it to the point your computer won’t turn on. Be sure to back things UP!

  5. Infact when Windows 7 came out for a long time it was a fix to broken Vista.

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