Google isn’t holding back with its latest Chromebook commercial. The minute-long ad blasts you with Windows and macOS error messages, virus warnings, and blue screens of death all in an effort to demonstrate the simplicity of Chrome OS. Google’s message is that its Chromebooks come with virus protection, automatic updates, all-day battery life, and a variety of Android apps. It’s Google’s first clear shot at both Windows and Mac laptops, and it comes nearly five years after Microsoft launched its own attacks at Chromebooks.
Most of Google’s criticisms of Windows and macOS would have made more sense years ago, though, as both Microsoft and Apple have addressed many of the infamous problems Google has chosen to highlight. Windows 10 ships with built-in virus protection, automatic updates, and many laptops now offer “all-day” battery life. The strength of Chrome OS is its pure simplicity, and that’s not necessarily demonstrated well in an ad designed to highlight old error messages.
Google’s Chromebook ad timing comes just as laptop makers head into back-to-school season. It’s a chance for Google and others to convince students and teachers to purchase new machines for a new school year. Microsoft is launching its new Surface Go this week which is clearly aimed at students, and Apple has already kicked off its free Beats headphones promotion for select MacBooks.
Google has a strong lead in the US education market thanks to its Chromebooks, and its latest ad suggests it’s ready to battle for even more market share. Chrome OS might not be ready to take on the iPad just yet, but Google keeps proving Chromebooks are ready to go head-to-head with Windows laptops and Macs.