Microsoft Pits Chromebooks Against Windows 8.1, And It’s Hilariously Terrible

Microsoft vs Google is a never ending battle, and Microsoft continues to make attacks. Not long ago, the company was full on with their “Scroogled campaign”, and it was just plain childish. They’ve since stopped that, but this new video is just about as bad.

Microsoft has a channel on YouTube dedicated to their presence in the classroom, and from time to time, they post “EduCasts” to highlight or explain some of their services. In the most recent one, they put Chromebooks against Windows 8.1, and the results are hilarious. The (almost) 9 minute video put the Samsung Chromebook 2 against the Acer Asprise V11. They claim they chose the Samsung Chromebook 2 because it’s the best selling model, but that is the first of many wrong statements in this video. The Acer C720 Chromebook is actually the best selling Chromebook (as of August 2014). In fact, the Samsung Chromebook 2 in any of it’s variants, doesn’t even make the top 5 in sales numbers. Now Microsoft does actually present quite a few good arguments in this video, but let’s see the other side of what they say. (Note: In this I’m looking at the facts that are wrong. If there is something not mentioned, it’s because it was a completely true statement with no misinformation.)

1:27 – Chromebooks Vs Windows In Education



To start this off, both machines start using The Khan Academy, a great app for education. Of course at school, kids will be connected to the internet, but instead of focusing on that, the video cuts the connection to showcase that the Windows app has the ability to view this all offline, while the Chromebook cannot. Why do they do that? Because they claim that 30% of all American households don’t have internet access. To Microsoft, that’s who these devices are targeted at. However, they are already wrong since only 20% of US households don’t have internet access. But really, if you were a person without internet access in your home, would you honestly be buying a laptop in the first place? Maybe, but if you did, you’d still likely be using it at a library or another public place with internet access. Next Microsoft goes into hidden costs of a Chromebook in the school, the bandwidth. Yes, it’s true, everything you do on a Chromebook will require an internet connection which does mean more bandwith use. However, that doesn’t mean a slower device as Microsoft says. It might mean a slower connection if the school’s network isn’t strong enough, but it certainly doesn’t mean a slower device. 

4:50 – Entertainment

Microsoft starts this point out with offline movies. Google Play Movies does now support offline viewing on Chromebooks, but HD downloads are not yet supported. However the next point is what I want to focus on. Music. Google Play Music is the option of choice here, and it allows you to upload your music to the service for free. In the demo, Microsoft shows that you can’t upload from a Chromebook because the Music Manager application does not work on Chrome OS. So, you can’t upload you music from a Chromebook right? Wrong. Google fixed this problem with the Google Play Music Chrome extension which does open the option to upload music from the machine into the cloud service. This is something Microsoft does not once mention in the video. 

6:37 – It’s Easy

Next, the video goes into how easy it is to do certain tasks on Chrome OS. The first of these is storage. The Windows users asks the Chromebook user how much storage he has left. To find out, the user enters a 53 character command to get a detailed view of their storage (not to mention using the word hashtag to describe the number sign). While yes that gives a good view of that, there is a much easier way. Simply open the files app and you’ll see a settings button which gives you a quick look at how much storage is left on your machine. 

7:34 – It’s Still A Computer, It’s Going To Have Issues

To show that Chromebooks still have problems, the video highlights a trackpad problem that hit the stable channel of Chrome OS a couple months ago. Except the video dramatically exaggerates the problem. What happened was an issue with the trackpad driver caused the “tap to click” function to either fail, or occur when not intended. However in this video, Microsoft says that the update disabled the mouse entirely and that users had to fix the problem without a mouse. In fact, the article the video shows on screen doesn’t even mention that the trackpad stopped working entirely. 

So what is the point of this video? It’s basically Microsoft’s attempt to show that Windows devices are better, however they make quite a few exaggerations and untrue claims in the process. Don’t let Microsoft fool you, Chromebooks are still great options, if they fit your needs. As an end note, think about this. If Microsoft’s offering are so much better, why did they need to make this video in the first place? Couldn’t they just let the users find that out on their own?