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Confessions of a Mac to PC Convert

October 15, 2002

The fascists at Microsoft are at it again. In a blurb they've already tried to destroy, written and organised by someone in Redmond who is more fanatical and more stupid than the rest (and that's quite an accomplishment), Microsoft tried to prove that the now-famous switchers can in fact run in the opposite direction.

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and the clumsy Microsoft blunder if anything proves Apple is onto a good thing. No one cares much about that annoying geek screeching about Dell, but the Apple switchers have their own fan clubs, and the entire campaign has caused quite a stir in the media - so much so, it turns out, that the klutzy buffoons in Redmond were hard put.

What they found was someone who'd been in their employ for many a year - and still using a Mac natch. They tied her hands or whatever they do under these circumstances, and through careful tutoring got her to say what she supposedly said.

Not that it matters of course. Microsoft usually don't even bother sticking to the truth, so they could have just lied about the whole thing and fabricated the entire story, and not just the juicy parts. And ironically, if they had, they wouldn't have egg all over their faces again.

But the whole idea was so dumb from the beginning. For starters, no one switches to Microsoft Windows XP from anything. A lot of people run to the Mac, but people run away from Bill Gates, not to him. The fact that Microsoft put so much weight on finding one person willing to testify on their behalf, and had to cajole one of their own employees to do so, shows just how desperate they are.

For the great follow-up - uncovered by the AP and Slash Dot - it turns out that the supposed inverse switcher was given the assignment of finding just one true inverse switcher, couldn't, and substituted herself - sort of. All the work she did for the ad was done on a Mac. The stupid MS Word document she put online contained not only her real name, her email address, her recently registered domain (VALMALGAL.COM), but also the version number of her copy of MS Word. Which in this case was 10 (ten). And only the Mac has version numbers that high for MS Word. Which is how the AP found her. So the copy about switching was just made up. It was advertising bullshit, no more and no less.

So much for the rush to Windows XP and the existence of even one inverse switcher.

Media people are used to this by now. So-called grass roots movements that want to stifle free speech and public opinion turn out to be secretly financed by Microsoft, with memberships culled from the gravestones of the neighbourhood graveyard. Ads testifying to how much people like Microsoft Windows are so clumsily written that they lack all credibility. It is truly the Year of the Fascist in Redmond.

But this one takes the cake, and the egg dripping from the faces of the fascists is there largely because of the fastidious work of the Slash Dotters. It was this group that again hung Microsoft out to dry, ferreted out the original stock photos from Bill Gates's own Getty Images that are used to give credence to these otherwise anonymous testimonials, and generally caused such a stir that the major news agencies such as Yahoo immediately picked it up. Hats off to Rob Malda, Jeff Bates, and all the rest on the Slash Dot staff and all the contributors for again giving it to the bad guys in the interests of truth and free speech.

  • You can see the original Microsoft ad here.
  • You can follow the Slash Dot thread on the subject here.
  • You can read the original MS Word X article by downloading here.
  • You can see the 'inverse switcher' beside the original stock photo below.

One last point of interest: it turns out the original photo was processed on a Mac, and the article itself was written on a Mac. This is how the Associated Press was able to trace the lady. So much for switching inversely.

'Yes, it's true,' insists the supposed (and anonymous) inverse switcher who, it turns out, is a Microsoft employee. Microsoft has since withdrawn the ad.

Getty Images PhotoDisc royalty-free photo AA046139 'Portrait of a Woman Holding a Coffee Cup' by Caroline Woodham

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