We were hoping to catch up with Microsoft's "Lauren," a regular gal who Microsoft surprised with $US1,000 to buy a laptop...in a national commercial. And it ends up she's an LA-based, SAG-eligible actress. UPDATE
Tracked down by TechFlash, "Lauren" (who is really Lauren De Long) says on her site "[she]booked what she thought was a "Market and Research" job regarding laptops. But that's not all she booked...actually Lauren found out they were shooting a national commercial! Tears, laughter and excitement greeted this new development."
The Wall Street Journal reported that the Microsoft test group had been assembled from "recruited prospective computer shoppers." Shoppers are distinctly different from people looking for jobs. Regardless-
Reading through De Long's resume, you find that her "special skills" include Cheerleading, Ear Prompter, Hula Hoop, and Stage Combat. So wait, she's an actress AND a cheerleader AND a stage combatant, but she's STILL not cool enough to use a Mac? No way. We just don't buy it.
We were unable to reach Lauren De Long, but we did leave her a message mentioning one of our readers' offers to give her a free 17-inch Apple PowerBook. When site TechFlash called, apparently De Long said she had signed an NDA restricting her from speaking about her experiences with the HP laptop.
UPDATE: Lauren De Long just returned our call. She said, "Thanks for tracking me down and everything...I'm humbled and honoured by all the attention, but I'm trying to gracefully turn down any interviews." She then confirmed that an NDA sealed her from talking about anything pertaining to the commercial (which means that our own Mitch is out of luck—Lauren can't do any sort of Mac vs. HP value comparison). But we have good news, Mitch. A number of our readers wrote in letting us know that they'd be happy to take the laptop off your hands! [Lauren's Site and Lauren's Bio via TechFlash]