Why would it be a mistake since Microsoft makes their money from Windows and Office? The general public didn't know anything about Chromebooks previously.
If Google has bought TV advertising time, I haven't seen any results of it. So, here we are with ridiculous advertising berating Chromebooks (You're not going to get to Hollywood with that!) simply because they don't have Microsoft products on them.
It might start people thinking. (I know it's a long shot but it could happen.) I tried to give away a computer with Ubuntu on it. The person I was asking said that people "needed" Windows. When I asked further, they didn't play games. I'm just not sure what's so necessary about Windows, if you're doing e-mail, writing a document of some sort, or browsing the web. A five year old machine running a Linux-based distribution should be able to do that just fine--without Windows.
Microsoft has been diminished in so many ways. While Windows 7 signalled an upswing in software quality, finally, they haven't had much success since then. Windows 8.1 should be the operating system all current Windows users (with capable machines) should be using, but I don't see that happening so quickly. Their tablets' prices had to be cut drastically, and the company initiated some acerbic advertising against Apple to help them. It's not necessarily witless but I can't see that it's helping. Having Nokia in their pocket has stemmed their losses in Windows Phone operating system, as Samsung and HTC recoil.
If schools would accept Linux-based operating systems, instead of Windows, Microsoft might lose its grip forever. Competition is always a good thing, though Monopoly should only be a game. Now that Microsoft has informed us about Google Chromebooks, they might have people asking "Why, Windows?"
|Sales to Stores|
Apparently, quite a few Chromebooks are making their ways into stores, even if they aren't making it into people's hands. When I saw the article on MacRumors, i had to take a look at the comments because the fanatics can often be so ridiculous, and so they were: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1689854
One person actually made sense about recommending a computer for the person who mostly does web browsing and e-mail. It is difficult to recommend a US$1000 computer for that when a US$300 Chromebook will work nearly as well for those things, and you don't have to worry about Windows malware, either. Is the US$999 MacBook Air a well-designed computer, similarly priced to computers based on Intel's Ultrabook classification? Absolutely. It even has a slight graphics hardware boost over them. Could a high school or university student simply wanting to do work do well with a Chromebook? Absolutely.
Update 2014.02.07: I saw another Microsoft advertisement targeting Chromebooks, though they didn't show one this time, which is smarter for them. They discussed how you couldn't load MS Office. Seriously, though, that's a plus to me. By now, we should have intermediate (non-proprietary) file formats that don't require Microsoft at all. There was an Open Document Format, as I recall, but can it be forced to be the standard output, so that it can used in schools and offices without having to jump through hoops?
A lot of the reason people are using Microsoft products in schools is because Microsoft gave the schools so many free licenses to "freeze out" any other software supplier. It's a good deal, but isn't it underhanded, and shouldn't it be against the law? If it's a gift, should there be strings attached?