Laptop Hunters: Real People Find Windows PCs A Better Fit For Their Lives

Laptop Hunters: Real People Find Windows PCs A Better Fit For Their Lives

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Today we’re introducing the next chapter in the ongoing Windows Brand Campaign - an exciting new series of ads called Laptop Hunters. These new ads trace real people as they go on a hunt for a new laptop. For many people looking to buy a new computer today, it is likely that if they make purchase it will be a laptop. Laptop sales increased more than 20% last year.

The Laptop Hunters are not told they are taking part in an ad campaign by Microsoft. Instead, they think they are participating in market research. Each participant set their own budget for a laptop to meet their own unique needs. We then provide the participant with cash and sent them out to find and purchase a laptop – all in a single day. We followed them with a camera crew throughout the course of their hunt and recorded their experiences. Everything is completely unscripted. Once the participant finds and purchases their perfect laptop – we inform them out in the parking lot that it’s actually Microsoft and this was part of our Windows brand campaign. The participant can of course decline to be part of the ad series if they so wish.

In the ad making its debut today, we’re introduced to Lauren who is on the hunt for a new laptop under $1,000, a budget she set herself. She is out to find a laptop that has “speed”, a comfortable keyboard and a 17” screen. Here is Lauren’s hunt:

Laptop Hunters #1 - Lauren

Lauren’s hunt is a good example of real people finding Windows PCs a better fit for their whole lives with the right value.

We define the right value as simply benefits + cost. Windows PCs offer more “bang for the buck”. Competitors offer laptops that often cost quite a bit more, even though they have less powerful hardware, and can’t offer technologies such as Blu-ray, HDMI, eSATA, and 3G wireless broadband connectivity. When buying a laptop, after all, purchasing a laptop is an investment right?

The current state of the economy is forcing people to cut costs and save as much as they can, which means that people are looking for laptops with the most value at the lowest cost possible. According to NPD data as of February 2009, 74% of people looking at buying a new computer rated price as their most important purchasing factor.

Windows PCs have the benefits people want at the price point they like. They also offer choice and flexibility. If a person is a gamer, they can get a gaming PC for example.

In the coming weeks, you can expect to see more from Laptop Hunters as we follow real people on the hunt for a laptop.

Be sure to check out the Laptop Hunters website on too!

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  • janet
    1 Posts

    hey anyone know how to sing up for laptop hunters

    and if you do send me a email

    my email address is

  • Well the marketing is certainly improving ,its nice to see the real people real "live"s type of marketing replace the old PC nerd sterotype.

    Laptop sales really have increased a lot, compared to desktops which really isn't suprizing given how reliable and cost effective laptops have become, for the average user it almost doesn't make sense to have a desktop although as people move to HDTV's that be used as PC monitors desktops may gain back some popularity.

    Speaking of PC marketing this article is an interesting read:

    Makes you wonder what you Microsoft guys are thinking up for the Windows 7 launch, ... Bill gates 7 day 7 continent... Windows 7 Launch Tour...

    Or if your really daring and Bill doesn't want to travel anymore then let the faces of tomorrow launch your product:

    You get the idea, I'm sure the Windows 7 in 7 days thing could be a great marketing ploy, if used correctly.  7 free laptops in 7 days, 7 continents in 7 days.  Should be interesting to see what you all come up with.

  • webDev_Indy, no problem about the duplicate post. I fixed it.

  • thomas25, thanks for reporting. I believe I resolved the issue. My sincerest apologies.

  • last time, i have a lot of spam in my guestbook.

    it cames from your blog. it is the following member .

    i think nobody needs this kind of advertisment. Please close this member.

    Thank You


  • Sorry for the triple posting!!! The site was going crazy. Please cut down to single post if possbile! Thanks! :)

    - Preferrably - Posted on:  March 30, 2009 at 11:52AM  

  • This is a marketing campaign guys. It's simply a way to push Microsoft branding. Why read so deep into it? I have grumps about Vista too, but I'm not worried about ads. I recommend Windows, Linux and Mac, but it depends on who I'm talking to and what their needs are for the recommendation.

    My wife and I wanted to buy a laptop for my 9-year-old daughter (yes, she's spoiled, but my wife shares the computer). We had to keep the budget tight. Like less than $500 tight. If we would have purchased a Mac, it would be used and not very powerful.

    We happened to find a notebook pc at Walmart for $350. Brand new it came with 160GB HDD, 3GB DDR3 RAM, ATI Athlon 64 CPU, 128MB ATI Radeon GPU, DVD R/W, and Windows Home Basic.

    Sure, this isn't a super-powered computer, but it does cover the basics for my daughter's and wife's needs. It runs Vista and can use the Aero theme with no hiccups. My daughter can play offline games that are appropriate to her, but can't play the newest games (which is fine with me - saves me money). She can play her flash-based games online and email her friends and myself. She can even do Powerpoint presentations and Word processing.

    Yes; I could put Linux on there. Yes; I could have gotten a slightly cheaper netbook with Linux built in. Yes; I could have gotten a netbook with WinXp... but Why? The computer works great for the target consumer.

    Most that are posting here are techies. Your needs are much different than the intended target audience of these ads. I think MS could do better ads to prove the same point, but the point is none-the-less a valid one to make.

    There are groups who want style, the are groups that want quality, the are groups that want price. Then there are the people who want a mix of everything. PC's provide a wide range for any of those demographics. Once you get up above the $1000 range, you can start comparing Apples to Windows and base your purchase on which system more suits your NEEDS and WANTS the best.

    Hey Microsoft! Follow me around for my next purchase. I want a multi-touch laptop pc with room for at least 4GB RAM (not necessarily built in), Decent GPU, Large Hard Drive, DVD R/W, and at least Dual-Core (Core 2+) CPU. I'll let you record my next purchase if you pay for it. :)

  • I like netbooks for consumers who don't need to do too much. They cost $300-400 and provide consumers with email, office, and *sometimes* DVD playback. For professionals, this might not work, but for a stereotypical stay-at-home-mom, netbooks are a perfect fit. Although Linux is competing well against XP in this market, the XP machines are also doing well and I imagine most people pay the extra $50 for the XP netbook.

    I bought my daughter a brand new laptop from Walmart for $350. It has a 15" screen, 160GB HDD, 3GB DDR3 RAM, 16x DVD R/W. and Windows Vista Home Basic. She isn't going to do much other music, movies, web, and word processing. This is perfect for a minimal price. I would have had to spend much, much more for an Apple computer with similar features, especially if I wanted a new computer.

    Apple has some great machines and there are many reasons why they are great to have. The problem is the price and that is what I see these ads marketing for. The value you get for the price you pay is much better in the PC market.

    Hey Microsoft! I'm in the market for a new multi-touch laptop with capabilities for web development software, photo editing, movie editing, and office work. My budget is $1000-1400. You wanna follow me with a camera and pay for my computer?

  • dovella
    303 Posts

    Hey Brandon

    Lauren fan club on facebook

    check it out :D

    Enjoy for fun ;)

  • chitbill
    20 Posts

    way way too late to be writing. Way too late. Ok I wonder about timing, Why should the 4 1/2 year-old PC girl and Lauren care about you biggie upcoming OS? And to totally rant, Win7 is way better because you can touch the screen, except you can do that now, you could do it a year ago, using a computer from the company Lauren used.

    Apple was better because the charismatic little guy was fighting the power, but now they are one, complete with minions who rant on in newdgroups like this one, apparently...I might buy apple for someone who gets off on Prada shoes or signature purses, I'll just never buy one for me. I'll never buy software that says I need to buy Hardware for the privilege of owning the software ("must be sold with a new PC/Hardware" etc), I think that covers both companies.

     Listen, Buy a generic violent circa 2004 video game and show it runs faster on your latest, and people might listen. O and get a piano and play four or so random notes, they seem to love that too as a reason to buy.

  • My 2 cents, give her $350 and see what she can buy?  Can you say a net book with windows xp, I don't think Steve B would like that commercial.  Right now my OS of choice is Windows 7, it's more tolerable than Vista.  It still has major short comings when it comes to  being able to customize the UI.  Not according to Microsoft of course,  but then again Microsoft is touting that it's customizable because you can change colors.  Sort of like the Uncle who try's to make it look like he's taking his thumb apart and he thinks thats magic. Me I just want the old Houdini back that Windows xp had,  that's when I'll say it magic, till then it's just a commercial, "oh that's right that's what we're walking about..."    

  • scronide
    21 Posts

    "Everything is completely unscripted."

    Could be true but, at the very least, it's misleading. Consider the fact that Lauren enters the Apple store:

    ...only to leave in apparently less time than it takes a man to walk past the entrance:

    It might not be in a script, but it's not what a "real" person would do when they're looking to buy a notebook computer.

    A competitor got in hot water recently with misleading adverts, and rightly so, but at least in those ads they put the actual product front-and-center.

    "I'm a PC and I got just what I wanted."

    Unscripted line from someone participating in market research? Do you expect real people to buy that?

    You know, this stuff annoys me because I'm happily using Windows 7 on one of my desktops, suffer Vista Home Basic bundled with one of these cheap notebooks you're touting and manage fine developng on XP at work.

    If you can't think of something good to say about Windows without misdirection, if you can't impress people by simply showing it in action, then Microsoft has a serious problem. You may as well pull the dinosaur heads out of the storeroom and try the Office strategy of insulting your customers directly again.

  • To Laurens credit she got a pretty nice PC for only $699.99, If you gave me $1000 to spend on a PC it would have spent at least $850-$1000...just because it wasn't my money!

    I think that works in the ads favour.

  • lollht
    44 Posts

    Finally, some supergenius at Microsoft Marketing figures out how to put a cute girl in a commercial.  Remember with Vista, how you had that cutie posting video tips here, but instead put some aging, irrelevant comedian on tv?  I'm proud of you, MS Marketing dept.

  • dovella
    303 Posts


    Hey Guy :D this is your BMW

    Apple computer = TOYS

    If I have a high budget i watch carefully the quality and performance of components, rather than look after the brand of my PC .

    watch carefully ,  

    and many stupid  people believe that the design is synonymous of quality.

    before speaking, learn to know and recognize the hardware

  • the ad itself is a bit misleading IMHO, but the slot machine banner ads are fun to play with at least.

    and what on earth is a mac store? ; )

    Honestly, focus more on your product as YOUR product and why this product is a good value... price alone won't do it I think, especially when you're focusing around the hardware (which isn't your product), to which you have no control over how it's sold.

    If you're just trying to have fun though... then cool

  • chitbill
    20 Posts

    "We define the right value as simply benefits + cost. Windows PCs offer more “bang for the buck”. "

    Zdnet and minions are grumbling today(?) about the ads, I read in google news.

     I was at a well-known chain store helping a woman buy a notebook. She ignored whatever I said (everyone does) and bought the white Sony (everyone does). My point is that every single notebook powered on and working had a version of windows, and it was very easy to see the number ("Windows Experience Index") that told  a customer how good that particular notebook was. Greatest thing since sliced whatever (The number, not the notebooks).

      Notebooks will have Windows for some time, so you won't convince me to throw away one to get windows 7. You might get me excited if you proved it's Faster, um, faster, and maybe faster.

  • scronide
    21 Posts

    (Correction: Lauren, not Laura.)

  • scronide
    21 Posts

    Of course Laura is a real person, but she also happens to be an actress. I think that is an important note that is missing here: she is an actress that was paid to do this.

    It's interesting that the "Windows" team is focusing on cost and hardware. Two things out of their hands. In a comparison with their competitors, you'd think they'd want to concentrate on highlighting the benefits of Windows 7 over other operating systems.

  • Interesting.

    I need a new laptop. Can I be part of this campaign? Seriously, my laptop died last month, and I'm trying to work a new one into the budget.

    I took a look at the MacBook, but with a base price of $999 for the basic model, plus tax and AppleCare, now we're over $1250. I can get an Acer netbook at Wal-mart for under $300. I know, Apple people will tell you that TCO on a Mac is better, but sometimes you have to look at initial cash more closely.

  • dovella
    303 Posts

    I love this Adv :D


  • Hi Tommyinoz,

    It is true that Windows Vista was not optimized for running on netbook's, meaning that you might have to tweak your Vista configuration to make it run well on a netbook.

    However Windows 7 was clearly designed/optimized to work on netbooks, and based on the performance of Window 7 beta on my 5 year old desktop, I am sure it will run well on netbook's when it is eventually released.

  • Nice advert, there are certainly many great machines out there for under $1000, heck there are great Windows machines under $700, and it you use coupons/rebates and get to the big stores (BestBuy, Frys, Staples, OfficeDepot, OfficeMax) first thing on the weekend when the weekly deals are available you may get a great deal for under $600/500!

    I more exciting advert would be to see what laptop you could get for under $500 and do it on BlackFriday!

    That thought aside with so many Windows PCs from different manufacturers everyone can really afford a laptop these days. My brother in law recently bought a Vista based laptop from Dell for $800, the same spec in a Mac would have cost at least $1600-$2000.  Microsoft may have a monopoly in software, but it sure makes the hardware cheaper, which is clearly good for consumers.

    For me I am using my old custom built windows desktop, running Windows 7 beta, my PC is getting on in age now but Windows 7 is great for surfing and Office work on this machine.  However I know that when the beta runs out I am going to start looking for a laptop.  They're just so portable, and affordable, who wouldn't want a Laptop running the Windows 7, I do :-).

    Besides which my kids keep kicking me off my desktop to play!

  • Tommyinoz
    46 Posts

    It's a shame Vista is too bloated and inefficient for netbook computers.

  • bjmerri
    2 Posts

    "my mac is still better."  Very subjective comment.

    For the every day user that is checking their Yahoo mail, checking out the latest sale on, and watching their Finding Nemo DVD, I really can't see where they get their ROI on the mac.

    Same as I wouldn't get ROI on the BMW for my 10 mile commute to work and puttering around town for groceries and to church on Sunday.  The cart pusher at the grocery store be so impressed, but I'll live with it.

  • Quikboy
    30 Posts

    @craigw9292: I don't think that's what the point of this ad is. I think the point is that Windows is on a wide range of laptops, so if you want some cheap or expensive, you've got a lot of choices. There are definitely thrifty people out there, that want a fine balance between cost and quality. In this case, she wanted something $1,000 or less.

    The one at the Apple store that came even close to that, had a rather small screen, while the HP one had a bigger screen for a smaller price. Obviously, she found this a better deal.

    Is a Kia better than a BMW? Maybe it is if you want something affordable, and good enough. 'Better' is someone's opinion, and people have different opinions on what exactly is better.

    Mac hardware is nice, but I've seen articles pointing out hardware flaws in computers, including Macs, so it's not always better and longer-lasting. I have a Sony Vaio, and I can just as well say they're a bit expensive upfront, but they are great quality and last a long time. Or you can have someone with a cheap computer say that too. I think you're too narrow-minded that not everybody is exactly like you.

  • craigw9292, I think what is important here is we're showing you a real customer's experience (and choice) in going out and looking to buy a new laptop.

  • So what you're saying is, your product is now better because the economy sucks and not because you actually bothered to make a better product?

    Here is $10k, go buy a car within that budget ... so now a Kia is better than a BMW?

    What is sad is Windows 7 is actually a good product - but my mac is still better, the hardware is better and yes it costs more but it also lasts longer! much longer. So is it really more expensive?