This Microsoft Ad Cracked Me Up

Look at it. Just look at it.

It’s that time of the year where tech companies are in a last-minute scramble to write quality internet ad copy in a desperate attempt to make you buy more gadgets for your friends and family.

Sometimes these ads are polished, and other times they’re this thing from Microsoft.

Get it all! With a Windows 10 PC with SSD. Because SSD’s are now the hot NEW THING you need to get it ALL. Not processors. Not RAM. Not Graphics Cards.

Only the storage matters geez don’t you know that?

Wait, are you telling me you bought an inferior other PC without the high speed storage that only a Solid State Drive can provide? Then you didn’t get it all. Sure, you might have wanted a fast processor or a video card or maybe some RAM or USB ports… but you will only have it all with an SSD!

I mean after all, most PCs don’t even come with SSD’s, they’re almost impossible to…oh what’s that? SSD’s are basically ubiquitous as operating system storage devices at this point?

Oh. My mistake.

Now to be fair to Microsoft, $430 for a laptop that contains Windows 10 and an SSD might be a good deal. Depending on what else is inside the system. But you’ll note in the bottom right corner: color and feature availability varies.


SSD’s are one of the features that can vary, it turns out, and clicking through reveals this bit of business.

Find your SSD PC! We’re only going to tell you the price of this Dell model, because they’re the ones that actually paid us to participate fully in this co-marketing deal. Or wait. Maybe…maybe Office Depot paid for this prominent placement?

Don’t want a Dell? Then you have to click through to yet another page to see how much it is, at some other retailer.

How many deals had to be signed just to put this one page together?

Note that the second computer, the Acer Swift that’s available at Walmart, has a little deficiency. It has eMMC memory for storage. That’s technically an SSD, but depending on how fast that memory is, it might provide a significantly slower experience than some of the other machines on the same page.

Not all SSD’s are created equal.

And they aren’t always the end-all-be-all feature of a PC.

The first three computers contain only 4 gigabytes of RAM, which I’d say is an absolute bare minimum at this point for the lightest of productivity and web tasks…and even then, it might be too little. I’m running one Chrome tab (with this article in it), the Steam client, and the Spotify client right now, and my Windows 10 Laptop SSD PC(tm) is currently using 5.3 Gigabytes of memory, with some additional memory reserved just in case.

My SSD, on the other hand, isn’t doing anything. It’s the C drive in this picture.

I’d be pushing against the limits of the memory on some of those cheaper machines, while their storage sat there essentially unused.

Who is this ad for? Who is out there thinking: “I need a PC! I want to get it ALL! If only I knew where I could get one, and what I would need to have in it if I really wanted it all!”

If you’re savvy enough to know what an SSD is, you probably won’t want the Dell model they’re advertising here. And if you’re not, this ad is a bit misleading. Sure, that Dell isn’t necessarily overpriced for what it contains, but it’s not going to provide a computing experience that lets you “get it ALL.”

I’ve always preferred the marketing strategy of going by use case.

I know I’m frustrated by Apple’s marketing a lot, but there’s a reason that so many of their stage presentations and TV ads focus on specific usage features and not on their increasingly mediocre specs for the money.

Universally, regardless of technological awareness, showing the potential customer what a product can do is a quicker way to build understanding and entice a potential purchase.

Telling beginners that an SSD is the one thing you need to get it all is bad.

They’re not pointless, but they’re simply one cog in the machine. I’ve never seen them featured so prominently as THE must-have feature, and I hope none of my distant relatives tell me they bought an “SSD PC” for themselves this Christmas.



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