Google has published a new long-form ad featuring science educator Bill Nye that pushes Chromebook as a replacement for Windows.
The irony? Few probably remember this, but Nye was the host of Microsoft’s virtual launch event for Windows Millennium Edition (Me) almost 20 years ago.
“You shouldn’t fear switching to Chromebook,” Mr. Nye says during the ad, which is set up like his earlier science/education show Bill Nye the Science Guy. “It’s a good decision. But sometimes it’s hard to let go … of a bad decision.”
Here, he is referring to Windows.
The idea is that you paid for it—in this case, a laptop running Windows—so you want to keep using it. But you should probably move on, Nye suggests. Sticking with something that isn’t working is what’s called “the sunk cost fallacy” in behavioral economics, he says. “Fear of loss can cause an irrational attachment to things familiar to us,” he adds.
“We’ve been through a lot together,” he says, leaning on a beat-up and broken-down car with the license plate “WNDWS,” causing the front bumper to fall off. “But constant updates, patches, it never ends,” he continues. “Not to mention it takes forever to start up. And it won’t be long before it freezes or worse.” As he says this, he tries to start the car, which backfires explosively.
“But when you switch to Chromebook, which starts up fast and updates automatically with no interruptions, you don’t have to worry about any of that. And if you lose it for whatever reason, all your stuff I safely backed up on the cloud.” According to Nye, Chromebooks also work offline, even with Netflix.
“Remember,” he concludes, “when we overcome our fears, we can accomplish great things. So don’t let fear win. Switch to Chromebook.”
I have to say, some of the complaints about Windows are a bit overblown, but some are, of course, accurate. And I enjoy the breezy if mostly factoid-based presentation. But whether Nye is a good spokesperson is, of course, up to the viewer.
So, I’ll just remind you again: He previously hawked Windows Me.