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Microsoft's 'I'm A PC' man leaves the company

updated 11:30 am EDT, Fri November 5, 2010

Microsoft 'I'm A PC' worker Siler leaves the firm

Microsoft faced an unintentional but symbolic loss on Friday as Sean Siler, one of the key stars the "I'm A PC" ads, was confirmed to be leaving the company. In an e-mail sent out to co-workers, the IPv6 lead noted a "family situation" required that he move to the East coast and that Microsoft couldn't offer him a job in the area. He characterized the exit as amicable and saw the anti-Apple campaign as a defining moment, according to a Post-Intelligencer copy of the message.

"I was cutting grass in the summer of 1987 when my friend told me that DOS 3.3 just came in at our local computer store," he said in explaining why he first joined. "I barely got the lawnmower in the garage before we took off. On the way there, I told myself that I had to work for Microsoft one day. Any company that could get me that wound up was the place I wanted to work. [...] I have a lot of memories from my time at Microsoft, but the 'I'm a PC' commercial is the highlight. I really feel proud that I was able to be a visible part of the company's fight against Apple."

The ads were a direct reaction to Apple's "I'm A Mac" segments and their treatment of Windows, which made John Hodgman's character a lovable but flawed personification of the problems with Windows and its work-first stereotype. The response ads tried to destroy the stereotype by making Siler, dressed like a clone of Hodgman, just one of a much more diverse pool of users. The worker was picked in part because of how well he fit Hodgman's image.

The effectiveness of the "I'm A PC" ads has been debated but not significant. Apple has largely continued slight but steady gains and just this summer may have tied or passed Acer for US market share. Apple has grown faster than the industry average for much of the past two years or more, according to NPD figures.

Much of the ad campaign's work was also made somewhat redundant with the launch of Windows 7, which reduced the need for Microsoft to go on the defensive.

By Electronista Staff


  1. msuper69

    Professional Poster

    Joined: Jan 2000


    Simply pathetic

    and lame.

  1. MacnnReader

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2010



    your comment

  1. malax

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2006



    They never did "get it." The Apple ads were about the actually PC's personified, not pretending that PC users called themselves PCs. I've never said "I'm a Mac," and seeing those people in the ads saying "I'm a PC" was cringe-inducing.

    Here's a better ad campaign for them:
    We're Microsoft. We don't make PCs; we make the stuff that make PCs frustrating.

  1. Grendelmon

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Dec 2007



    Microsoft: Innovating customer challenges.

  1. Foe Hammer

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2005


    Microsoft Can't Offer Him A Job In His New Locale?

    Are you kidding me? Yeah, sounds like they wanted to keep him real bad. ( I mean come on - the guy based his career path around his excitement over DOS 3.3 )

    MS probably blames him for the failure of that ad campaign.

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