Why Isn’t Windows In The Movies?

    December 6, 2006

From Idigit Design’s list of 50 things that only ever happen in the movies:

9. No-one, but no-one uses Microsoft Windows – everyone uses unique operating systems. All of these computer systems, however mundane, are full of animated graphics and enormous download bars in the middle of the screen

That’s a really good point. Why do you only rarely see Windows in movies? It can’t be Microsoft’s fault, can it? They wouldn’t be so stupid as to charge licensing fees for their image in films, losing a great source of product placement?

No, more likely (I hope) the movie studios want to get some of that Microsoft money, so they won’t use Windows unless MS ponies up for the product placement. Every time they do it, it distracts from the realism of the film, with fake-looking and dated operating systems, filled with UI decisions that make no sense (like giant progress bars, passwords displayed on the screen).

The solution? If Microsoft wants free product placement, it needs to create a small group that provides assets to movie studios, working for free as consultants to films to ensure their computer systems look real. The group could create futuristic versions of Windows for future films, easy-to-work-with mockups of every previous version of Windows for all contemporary films, and advise filmmakers when their decisions will clash with the audiences expectations of an operating system.

I find it ridiculous when I see horribly fake products in movies and on TV. On Veronica Mars, Veronica may use a Mac (Apple is really good about getting their products out there, as is Dell), but the search engine she prominently uses is “Planet Zowie”. Really? This girl is supposed to be incredibly smart, but she uses Planet Zowie, and not any one of the major search engines? I hope she knows what she’s doing

Read and enjoy the rest of the top movie cliches, and visit moviecliches.com for a complete listing of every movie cliche out there.


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Nathan Weinberg writes the popular InsideGoogle blog, offering the latest news and insights about Google and search engines.

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