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Mailbag: Microsoft Ads Redux, Cloud Computing, More

Unlike Doug, readers don't seem too sad to see the Seinfeld ads go. But at least one of you thinks the new ads are a vast improvement:

The Seinfeld commercials were an abomination (I can't say what I said when I first saw them aired). I'm neither a PC apologist nor a MacManiac; I'm a user of the Wintel consortium products. Those commercials should never have made it off the storyboard, and the agency who created them should be immediately cuffed and tossed in jail for abuse of our sensibilities.

To heck with the Jerry Seinfeld TV spots. I think that Microsoft is onto something with its new 'I'm a PC' campaign that gives us quick cuts to some pretty cool people, both famous and un-famous, that all claim, "I'm a PC." This is a subtle yet powerful way to steer consumers away from the attitude that PC users are "squares," which was brilliantly depicted in the original Mac spots.

I saw this 'I'm a PC' spot a couple of times over the weekend, and was more impressed the second time I saw it than I was at first look. I think Microsoft is right to have a campaign that, unlike the Seinfeld spots and the "Seinfeld" show itself, is actually about something.

On Monday, Doug asked readers whether they've come across any sites that cover cloud computing. Here are a couple:

Here are some sites: Enamoly Elastic Computing and Enterprise Cloud Computing: Build Your Own With Cisco VFrame -- Why Wait?

Here's an interesting cloud blog: The Wisdom of Clouds.

But Ari, for one, isn't buying into this cloud computing business:

I'm surprised that you don't see cloud computing for what it is: a return to the tyranny of the mainframe/dumb-terminal paradigm, and the loss of jobs for hundreds of MCSE/MSCAs. Most, if not all, of our tech support is outsourced, and most, if not all, of our manufacturing is outsourced as well. The United States doesn't really produce anything, with the notable exception that we keep finding new and wondrous ways for us to murder each other. The latest and greatest innovation to come out of the dot-com disaster -- and now cloudware -- is that today, your cab driver is likely to be an MCSE.

Then, there is the issue of downtime. With a server and smart workstation, even a company of 15 employees would not notice a problem on the local network; when setting up the network, you run two servers in parallel topography for redundancy. When properly configured, if one server fails, regardless of the reason, the secondary server automatically switches to the primary server's role and sends a notification to your MCSE and your hardware vendor.

By contrast, a slowdown or drop-off of a cloud system places you, as an employer, in the awful situation where you now have 15 to 20 people drawing their hourly wage while sitting around and making paper airplanes or stringing paper clips together, and you don't have a backup server, so you are stuck behind the eightball and dead in the water (pardon the mixed metaphor). This is exacerbated by the fact that you have no idea how long it will take for the cloud to recondense (besides, with cloud computing, you always pray for rain and that doesn't mix well with electronic components).

And Mitchell shares his thoughts on Chrome:

I find it buggy, which is not surprising as a beta. It also tends to be jumpy when scrolling through pictures and graphics on large pages. Also have found problems with Flash and other multimedia. After using it for a day, I went back to IE 7.

Now, IE 8? Many problems, as well. Oh, well -- betas are betas.

Check in tomorrow for more reader letters! In the meantime, share your thoughts by writing a comment below or sending an e-mail to [email protected].

Posted by Doug Barney on September 24, 2008


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