This just in from the "World's Greatest Idea, maybe,
yada yada yada" department.

"If a book about failures doesn't sell, is it a
success?" Perhaps not, but Microsoft hopes that a new
$300 million ad campaign about the flailing Windows
Vista will somehow turn it into a success with the
help of comedian Jerry Seinfeld. The campaign will
be one of the largest in Microsoft's history, and is
expected to begin on September 4.


The move comes almost two years after the operating
system was first launched to the public. Since then,
there has been an unending stream [of] reports about
users and businesses downgrading from Vista back
to Windows XP, spurred by any number of issues from
sluggishness to numerous driver issues. Manufacturers
like Dell and Lenovo have even offered to downgrade
customers to XP for free thanks to user demand.


The new ad campaign will be part of Microsoft's general
"Vista really is better than you think!" push that
began earlier this year. Microsoft first started
advertising the "real Vista story," and then soon
followed up with the now somewhat-infamous Mojave
Experiment, the Pepsi Challenge of the Windows
world, where users learned that Vista isn't so bad
after all. The question remains, whether the new
advertising push will end up being too little, too
late. Had a similar campaign been launched soon after
Vista's release (and of course, if Vista's launch
was a little more smooth for some users), perhaps the
company wouldn't be scrambling right now to fight back
against the little guy in order to resurrect sales.

In the meantime, Apple will continue to pummel
Vista with its own somewhat-annoying, but apparently
effective "Get a Mac" campaign. Will Seinfeld be
able to out-funny John Hodgman and Justin Long? We
await the results of this new front on the platform
war with bated breath.

I'm not sure how much I care. I do like the
Apple commercials, though the "Choose-a-Vista" (2007)
could equally apply to Linux as well, in spades;
Apple would just have to create a *much* larger wheel. ;-)

Fortunately, Novell apparently has already created a number
of spoofs:

(I hope the sex appeal doesn't obscure the larger message,
but she is a cutie...)

Meanwhile, Acer is launching a subnotebook:

Acer Aspire One - Mini Notebook With Linpus Linux Lite

The new Intel Atom N270 chip based with 8.9-inch,
1024 x 600 pixel laptop with 262,000-colour LED-backlit
display runs either the Linpus Linux Lite operating
system or Microsoft’s Windows XP Home software and
packs 802.11b/g WiFi, up to 1GB of memory, an 8GB
SSD (Linux version) or 2.5-inch 80GB (XP version),
SD card slot, and optional 6-cell battery, which can
give around 6 hours of usage. Graphics are provided
by a Mobile Intel 945GSE Express chipset. It also has
three USB ports, an Ehternet port, and an external
monitor port, and one nice extra feature is the 5-in-1
card reader. The One contains two Mini PCI slots, one
for the Wi-Fi and a second to take upcoming optional
HSDPA or WiMax modules. The HSDPA unit runs at up
to 3.6Mb/s, but Acer said it will be upgradeable to
7.2Mb/s and 2Mb/s HSUPA soon. Also, it’s seems got
the same touchpad as seen on the HP 2133.

The Acer One’s dimensions are 249 x 170 x 29mm
(9.8 x 6.7 x 1.14 inches) and the weight is 995g
(2.19 lbs) assuming you have the SSD and a 3-cell
battery. It’ll be made available - later this month -
in a choice of blue or white, with pink, red and black
models following down the line. The price is expected
to be $450-$600.

The name "Linpus" looks like a marketeer's nightmare
(leading to jokes like The "Yellow Screen Of Death"
among some, perhaps?) but that's easily replaced --
with Windows XP, if one really wants. Me, I'd easily
throw Gentoo on it, though I'd want the 80 GB version. ;-)

Note that Linpus is #84 on Distrowatch's list, and is from Taiwan.
It's going to take me a day to download the LiveCD -- and this
time, it's not *my* bandwidth slowing things down. ;-)

I don't know if Acer is trying to compete with OLPC (and at
$379 they're not quite cheap enough) but I do like the form

Stay tuned.

"Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of
elderberries!" - Monty Python and the Holy Grail
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