Why do we stick by Google and Apple but not Microsoft?

Apple’s Ads

I image that you have probably seen the Apple ads which are based around the two characters: Mac man and PC man. They have been released in various different countries with different actors playing PC and Mac.

The campaign which was known as the ‘Get a Mac campaign‘ was broadcast in North-America, the UK and in Japan, as well as on the web. In the USA Mac was played by Justin Long, whilst PC was played by John Hodgman. In the UK, comedy duo David Mitchell (PC) and Robert Webb (Mac) took the role.

Not sure what I am on about? Check out the video below:

If you enjoyed that you can find a whole host of similar ads in this Get A Mac Ad Campaign Collection YouTube video.

The UK Get a Mac campaign

Robert Webb and David Mitchell as Mac and PC

Apple have now removed the ads from their site, but they can still be found all over the internet. If you do a YouTube search for ‘Get A Mac’ or ‘Mac vs PC’ you get hundreds of results.

The interesting thing is, Mac only own about 7% of the computing market at the moment, that’s only around 2% up on four years ago.

Windows however owns more than 90% of the computing market, meaning that most of us have a Microsoft PC.

So why is is then that if you scroll down past almost any of the Mac vs PC ads on YouTube you see that the ratio of likes to dislikes is usually around 5:1. This means that if 1,000 people like the ad, just 200 dislike it. So despite most of us choosing to use a PC, we seem to support Apple, rather than Microsoft.

The Battle of the Giants

The computing industry was once dominated by the Apple-Microsoft rivalry, however in the last 5 years, Google has become a serious contender, making it a three way battle. Google is not only a more viable contender because of its new chrome operating system, but also because its search and other services are so popular.

Google has the most websites within the top 100 most visited online of any company in the world. Google.com, Google.co.in, Google.de, Google.com.hk, Google.co.jp and Google.co.uk all ranking among the top 25 most visited sites on the net. Google hold 6 of the 25 most visited sites, whilst Microsoft have just one (MSN.com) and Apple don’t have any.

Microsoft’s Ads

Microsoft have recently tried to mimic Apple’s hugely successful ads, but in order to attack Google. Google is one of Microsoft’s biggest competitors, if not its biggest, so after being ‘slagged off’ in Apple’s ads, it would appear that Microsoft hoped to produce the same effect, but this time with Google in the loosing position.

Below I have included one of their ads, entitled Googlighting.

UPDATE: Seems like Microsoft realised the ad didn’t quite work… it’s been taken down from their official YouTube channel, however there are a few others still hosting it if you search around.

Now I don’t know about you, but I don’t really like that ad. I think it looks like more of a pathetic dig at Google, rather than a cleverly designed way to boost one companies brand, whilst demoting the competitions – as Apple’s ads did.

It turns out I am not the only one who didn’t find that ad all that amusing, the ad is published on Microsoft’s own YouTube Channel, and yet has received just 5,117 likes, but a staggering 12,734 dislikes. That is a 5:13 ratio against Microsoft’s ad.

So we will stand by Apple when they attack Microsoft, but when Microsoft try to attack Google, we stand by Google. Why? Is it because we see Apple and Google as two trendy, current companies, and Microsoft as an outdated one, which we are loyal to out of convenience not choice? I like Windows 7, but I don’t like Bing, Google has to win for me. iPad vs a Windows tablet, iPhone vs Windows phone, I think I would prefer the iDevice.

Google’s Ads

I thought I should give Google’s ads a mention too. Google hasn’t yet (to the best of my knowledge) made any ads aimed at attacking the competition. Google show very few ads on television, and largely rely on their online dominance to help them promote their products.

Something I have found about both Google and Apple’s ads is that they often appear to be very well thought out, and the more modern ones are often extremely well recorded/directed and are very clean. Microsoft’s ads aren’t quite so chic, so is that where their downfall lies?

Who Do You Stick By?

Personally, I would rather say that I am a Googlite, or loyal to Apple, than say I am loyal to Microsoft.

UPDATE: I’m not so sure that I am loyal to Google or Apple anymore – and haven’t developed any more a loyalty to any other competitor either. Use the service which provides the best solution to your needs at the time.

Even though I am annoyed at Google, as it hit Technology Bloggers in the Penguin update quite badly, and as far as I am aware (and I have asked in the Webmaster Central forums) we, as a blog have done nothing wrong. In fact we have been doing what Google want, creating great, original content, look at some of the articles Jonny is producing to see awesome, original content, all our writers do, but he is really outstanding at the moment.

“We want people doing white hat search engine optimization (or even no search engine optimization at all) to be free to focus on creating amazing, compelling web sites.” – Google Webmasters Central Blog

I am sure we will soon recover, and will continue to strive to be an outstanding blog. Despite being (unfairly) hit, I am still loyal to Google, I believe that in the most part it is a very good, ethical company.

UPDATE: I am not quite so loyal to Google anymore, and am less convinced that it is all that ethical. A new philosophy: choose the best device/search engine/browser etc. for the time, loyalty doesn’t seem to pay dividends in the world of technology.

What about you though? Who do you stick by? Anyone, or everyone?

How and why has the tablet industry grown so rapidly?

In 2011, it is estimated that 65 million tablet computers were sold globally. The population of the United Kingdom is currently around 62/63 million strong, meaning that last year alone, more tablets were sold than there are people in the UK. That is a pretty big figure!

Incredible growth

The tablet industry is a technology phenomenon, with regard to its growth rate. The concept for tablet PC’s has been around for a while now, however they have only been seriously released on the market, in force, in the last two years. Apple’s iPad launched in early 2010 (April in the USA, and May internationally) and since then the market has quite literally exploded.

Okay, there were tablets before the iPad, and concepts have been around since the 1950’s, however the tablet industry really ignited two years ago tomorrow, (the 3rd of April 2010) and it is a technology that already has over 60 million users! To put those numbers into perspective, it took Radio 38 years to get 50 million users, television 13 years, and the internet 4. Tablets reached 50 million users in just over a year. See what I mean about rapid growth?

After the initial launch of major tablets, hundreds of firms started to produce their own tablet, submitting their creation to the global market. Why? Well, future trends predict that we are likely to move away from our desktops and laptops and use evermore our tablets and smartphones.


The technology research firm Gartner Inc., predict industry sales to grow to more than 300 million by 2015. 300 million tablets means huge amounts of money being spent by consumers on tablet, and for big firms like Sony, Microsoft, Apple and Samsung, that means huge profits. The industry is now so big, and with such immense growth forecasts, that it is a no-brainer for most tech firms, to enter this lucrative market.

Why tablets?

But why do people prefer tablets to desktops? Well there are a number of reasons. I like bullet points, so here we go 😉One of the many tablets on the market

  • Tablets are very portable – you can take them almost anywhere, and with the likes of Wi-Fi, cloud computing and advances in wireless charging, there will soon be no need to have a permanent workstation
  • Tablets can do so much! – Most tablets have the ability to do what most PCs can do, so why do we need our PCs any more?
  • Apps – one thing tablets have that your regular computer doesn’t is apps. Apps are revolutionary and are changing the way we live our lives, as there does seem to be an app for just about everything!
  • Price – for what they can do, and the speed they can do it at, tablets are extremely competitively priced, especially compared to their PC counterparts, and with tablets, their is no monitor, mouse, keyboard etc. it is all built in
  • Convenience – tablets often run faster than computers, and can be accessed almost anywhere, making them one of the most convenient devices around, probably why they are becoming a massive hit with businesses around the world
  • Choice – there are so many firms with a tablet released, you really are spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing!
  • Social media on the go – tablets and smartphones can provide you with access to social media when you are out and about, and given that most of us use social media, this is a huge positive

The future

Personally, in the future, I believe the device most of us will move to is the phablet. Phablet, what is that? Phone-Tablet. Smartphones revolutionised the way we communicate when out and about, as did tablets. In the future I think we are more likely to see the two come together. Basically tablets getting a little smaller, and smartphones getting a little more advanced.

Why do I think this? Well the smartphone industry and the tablet industry are two tech which are seeing major growth. Everyone wants a tablet, everyone wants a smartphone. In essence, most tablets and smartphones do very similar things, just in different ways. In the future I believe that the two will come together, share their features, and create the phablet!

Your thoughts

What about you though? What do you think about the tablet industry and its growth? Is is sustainable, or just a fad? Will we move away from our high tech craze, or does the future lie with phablets?

Two good registry and PC cleaning tools

To keep your computer clean, inside and out, is often a challenge! I’m not talking about the dust and dirt that tends to accumulate in your computer’s case, but the nasty stuff that tends to cause your computer to become slower, little by little as you use it regularly.

I’m sure this is a problem you are familiar with, you bought a computer and the first thing you notice how fast it is. Everything runs without a hitch and programs are snappy like the beat of a well versed drum.

However 6 months later you start noticing a few things. It first starts out with programs needing to take a couple of extra moments to open, surfing the web starts to become a chore as things feel like they come to a crawl at moments. Even something such as turning on your computer seems to take forever and ever and ever. “This cannot be right!” you have probably thought to yourself, and you are correct!

Much like a motor car, a computer needs their fair amount of touch, love, & care. The problem is, if you are not sure exactly what to do, then you could end up playing around and damaging your computer. This is why, unless you are a PC expert, you should stick to using programs to help you do the fiddling!

The first thing you notice once you start searching for a good, safe, & efficient computer cleaner software is that there are a ton of them, more than you or I could ever count! Being the computer savvy person I am, it’s with the most honorable intent that I present to you the software that I personally feel does the best job. Some PC cleaning software can be dangerous, if it is not well made, or designed to damage your system, you could get negative effects. Check the software has lots of good reviews, if from a trusted source and experts like it, before you go downloading it onto your PC.

My favorite PC cleaner is CCleaner, which I think is an amazing little program. With a quick and simple Google search it is bound to come up – easily available on internet, if you’re unsure as to where to download it, always try to get it from the official website.

A screenshot of the CCleaner interfaceThis program is super handy because it clears out the majority of junk and trash you have incidentally stored and have hidden away in places you wouldn’t have imagined! When you launch the program you’re going to be presented with a handy onscreen menu; you should select ‘analyze’ and then ‘run cleaner’. Once completed you’ll notice that a whole lot of space on your computer has been freed and a sense of speed has been restored to your machine.

The second program that I would like to recommend is Glary Registry Repair which is a dandy little tool that I highly recommend, because I have seen it perform some truly glorious work.

Mostly everyone has heard of a computer registry, and that at times their registry becomes out of sync due to the programs that they have installed and uninstalled over time making incremental changes as it goes along.

A screenshot of the Glary Registry Repair interfaceGlary Registry Repair attempts to help you spot and fix the errors in your registry, so that your computer can run faster.

There are many different programs that you can use to speed up your computer and clean your registry. These are my personal favorites, however feel free to choose your own.

The Pocket Boom – Review

A week or so ago, a company approached Technology Bloggers and asked if I would be willing to review some of their products. I thought that this could be some fun, so I emailed them back saying: why not! They then send me a Pocket Boom to test and then review – this article is that review.

Please note, the opinions in this article are mine, and are completely honest – I am not being paid to write a review for them.

What is the Pocket Boom?

The Pocket Boom is a device that can turn pretty much any surface into a speaker. You just plug in your music – be it from your iPod, computer, tablet, stereo or whatever (anything that has a 3.5mm headphone jack) and place the vibrating speaker onto a surface, and it will vibrate the surface to turn it into a speaker.

The Pocket Boom

The Pocket Boom with its vibrator head and headphone jack out

What Surfaces Does the Pocket Boom Work on?

The clever technology in the vibrating head on the device is able to vibrate any surface and turn it into a speaker. However, on some surfaces, it vibrates it so little that the vibrating head is louder than the surface. Surfaces that I have found to be bad speakers include:

  • Brick walls
  • Solid wood – some thin wood works well
  • Clothing – some clothing does work, but not very well
  • Other solid objects with little capacity to vibrate

Surfaces that I have found to work really well include:

  • Cardboard – and other paper products
  • Thin wood – notice boards, some tables and chairs all work well
  • Metal – due to its ability to vibrate, metal is one of the best materials I have tried, filing cabinets, kitchen hood extractor fans, hole punches, beds, and much more!
  • Thin plastic – tubs, especially DVD (and Blu-Ray, Wii, PS3, Xbox etc.) cases and even washing baskets!

Does it Actually Work?

You may be wondering if it actually works, it seems too good to be true. Can the Pocket Boom really: turn anything into a speaker, turn anything into an amplifier; and turn anything into an equaliser?

My answer is simple. Yes.

You can be sceptical, but I have one and it does. As I mentioned above, some surfaces it really surprises you by how well it actually transforms that object into a speaker, whilst with others you can be left somewhat disappoint with the sound level – but never the less it does turn it into a speaker.

The Pocket Boom with all leads stowed away

The Pocket Boom with all leads stowed away (Compact)

From my personal use of the speaker, I would say that I think it works amazingly well on around 15% of objects, well on 70% of objects, and rather disappointingly on the other 15% of objects. So around 85% of objects to hand should be able to be converted into a good speaker pretty easily!

Check out this video to see it in action 🙂

Is it Easy to Use?

Clearly a lot of work has gone into designing the Pocket Boom, it has some great ideas behind it. The ergonomics need some tweaking before the product is 100% perfect.

The 3.5mm headphone jack lead that comes out to plug into your device is way too short to be practically used with most devices. That is a major flaw, but this has been fixed, as included in the box is an extender lead, so you can get an extra 40cm (ish) of reach.

The Pocket Boom and accompanying items

The items that come with the Pocket Boom

Inserting the batteries is really easy, literally slide back a cover, put them in and slide the cover back on. Dead simple.

The enclosed instructions do tell you how to pull out the speaker wire, so that you can place the vibrating speaker head on a surface, however I found them very hard to follow. I found a video on YouTube about how to do it though, and that cleared things right up, just pull the wire out whilst rotating it round at the same time – effectively pulling and unwinding.

The Pocket Boom's Instructions

The instructions that come with the Pocket Boom

One thing that I am still a bit puzzled about is the suction pad system. The speaker head has an adhesive suction pad on it so that you can stick it to surfaces easily. It does get dirty, and I have found that covering it with sellotape and then slowly removing the tape cleans it up and it becomes sticky again. In the pack some extra adhesive are provided, however I can’t seem to find any instructions as to how to change the pad. Hopefully when I need to it will be pretty easy.

What is the Battery Life Like?

I have so far been very pleasantly surprised by the life of the battery. Considering this is a device that is designed to effectively replace most speakers, it uses very little power. Normal speakers can be power hungry, however the Pocket Boom takes just two AAA batteries.

I have had my Pocket Boom vibrating and turning objects into speakers for around three hours now, and despite it being powered by just two AAA batteries, it is still working just as well now as it was when I started using it. The Pocket Boom would appear to be a great saver of energy, considering that two speakers would be unlikely to last that long, producing the kind of sound levels that the Pocket Boom can.

 How Good is the Sound Quality?

Okay, so it is portable, can turn almost anything into a good speaker, uses less power, therefore its weakness must be in its sound quality right? Wrong.

Personally I am very impressed with the quality of the sound the Pocket Boom can produce. I have used it on many surfaces, and found that everyone produces a slightly different quality, pitch and intensity of sound. Some produce music with much deeper bass levels, whilst others just produce really loud music! Some substances I would like it to go louder, but the volume level is always reasonable.

Depending on the song you are playing, the sound produced will vary. Sometimes you need to turn the volume down slightly, as the speaker head vibrates too much and doesn’t sound that great, but turning down the volume easily fixes this.

The Environment…

One thing I have noticed about the Pocket Boom is that it works better in quieter environments. Also, the size of the room seems to affect how well it produces sound, as it can really affect the acoustics. I have personally found that it works far better in small rooms than it does in bigger ones. If there is also a lot of noise, it doesn’t work as well, but for most environments it works really well.

I currently have it plugged into my PC, using the machine (metal) as the speaker, and it works really well. The environment is relatively quiet, and the volume of my PC is only on 20%, yet the sound is much louder than if it were through headphones!

Is the Pocket Boom Value for Money?

When I reviewed the Kymera Magic Wand I bought, I concluded that it was a great novelty product, but not really value for money at £50.

I think the Pocket Boom also has some novelty element to it, which you get when you first use it. I ran around testing it on everything I could! That has slightly worn off now, but the product is very practical and does work. As I said, I am using it as a speaker for my PC, and it is working very well.

The Pocket Boom retails at £20 (£19.99) which I think is a very reasonable price. I think that the novelty factor of the boom is probably worth £5 to £10, but after that you have an extremely practical product, which you find uses for in your every day life.

If you prefer to listen to high quality music, amplifiers and professional loudspeakers are probably for you, the Pocket Boom is not the best of speakers, but it is a bit of fun.

If however you are someone who just likes to casually listen to music, and the occasional bit of fun (as you find a new surface to try out!) then the Pocket Boom is a must have gadget!

The Pocket Boom and its packaging

The Pocket Boom in its packaging

As I said at the beginning of the article, this product has been sent to us to review. This company is called GearZap. Our thanks to GapZear for providing us with the pocket boom 🙂