Angry Robot

Microsoft Not Racist Against Canadians Anymore

Up here in the barren, snowclogged wasteland of Canadia, if you’re not slipping on poorly cleared sidewalks or getting tasered by renegade Mounties, you’re complaining about how it’s hard out here for a nerd when all the tech companies treat you like second-class assholes: no iPhone, TiVO, Kindle; no movies or TV on the iTunes Store. Well forget you, iTunes, as Microsoft announces that on December 11th, movie rentals will come to Xbox Live, for “as little as 310 Microsoft Points for Standard Definition movies and from 460 Microsoft Points for High Definition movies.” Let me quote Steve here on the translation from funny money: “Movies will cost 310 Microsoft Points ($4.34) for older films and 440 points ($6.16) for newer releases, with high-def versions going for 460 points ($6.44) and 660 points ($9.24) respectively.” Confused yet? As a comparison, $8 is what Rogers charges to stream a slightly out of sync HD movie.

And of course, no TV shows, because everyone knows Canadians hate TV and just like to watch the whale fat congeal on the wall of our igloos as we chug maple syrup. Good times.

4 comments on "Microsoft Not Racist Against Canadians Anymore"

  1. smbm says:

    interestingly enough i watched my gf chug some maple syrup last night

  2. D says:

    I actually had some maple syrup too! Although I didn’t chug.

    I feel slightly guilty mentioning the TV show aspect as a flaw in their service, since I know anyone wanting to offer TV downloads has to negotiate with the Canadian networks, which would probably take some time. But oh well.

  3. Nadine says:

    Maple Syrup is Amazing.

    In terms of everything tech hating us I guess it’s just location, location, location. We’re beside the US, so yeah we get lots of perks from their culture simply because of proximity, but it is also because of that closeness that we have so many silly and stupid rules and regulations in place to keep us Canadian and not get influenced too much by their content. But because we are ass far away from every other country in the world we are out of sync with them, we have no idea what’s the most popular show in Japan right now or Australia or Denmark. We also don’t care. We just care what America loves.

    All our big talent leaves us for them, all the big names that are Canadian born always end up in the big U S of A, and for good reason. America is our big, obese brother and there are so many more people in that country compared to ours, more people = more profit, in all things. Fame, fortune, the highest reaches of Capitalism, all of this can be found in The United States of America.

    Will companies really want to spend money to push and promote their products in a country that has a smaller population, when they already know for a fact that due to the closeness between the two countries and Canada’s penchant for loving all these “American Cool” us sweet maple gulping Canadians will want and buy whatever is successful in America the nanosecond it crosses the border?

    And why push to have that profit all at the same time when the long forecast clearly states, “Let’s suck the Americans dry, get the Canadians all nice and ready and then suck them dry too so we can have a long and uninterrupted sucking over time.”

  4. D says:

    Well, it’s a bunch of complicated things really. One (in the case of TV and film) is not so much CanCon law but the vagaries of existing licensing deals. But the other biggie, which plays into the iPhone situation and possibly the Kindle as well, is the lack of real telecom competition. The iPhone – as those who follow it eagerly already know – is out in the UK, Germany and France, but not even an announcement has been made about its availability here, while it would be much easier to market and distribute it to us. And we all know that’s because of Rogers, and because there is no competing GSM provider they can continue demanding ridiculous data rates.

    That will change and I’m sure we’ll have our iPhone in 2008, because Apple will be making a CDMA model for the Japanese anyway, and also the spectrum auction in May could open shit up in our favour.

    Other than that, companies tend to day and date release in Canada because it’s so easy. Print some french labels and you’re set, you barely have to market it since we all watch US TV anyways. I mean, outside of these situations, everything gets released here at the same time, so that’s why the situation is remarkable.

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