I generally avoid writing about technical topics since I assume the average reader isn’t into the latest technology, but more so to avoid any conflict or concord of interest. I’m taking the liberty to go ahead with the post regardless.
This concerns the ad campaigns that Microsoft has been running for their latest OS — Windows 7 — the ones with the tag-line ‘Windows 7 was MY idea’. I didn’t think it was a particularly great advertisement idea as it bordered on trying too hard, and inflating the egos of customers — another immediate put off. But there was something I hadn’t observed until I saw it at the Market Talk blog. Paul Vigna, a Dow Jones blogger, took some time to write a non-market post and pretty much nailed it. I’m pasting a generous excerpt, but I recommend reading the entire post :
In one ad, a girl in a coffeeshop says it was her idea to make the operating system less prone to, you know, ha ha, crash. In another, a woman sitting on porch says it was her idea to make the system less prone to, you know, smile widely, allow your personal information to get ripped off.
You mean, not one person who draws a paycheck from Microsoft noticed those little issues?
I don’t want Woody, Angela and Summer designing my computer’s operating system, for crying out loud. I want professionals, engineers, people who know what they are doing. An operating system that is notorious for problems is going to get better because some college kid in a coffeehouse redesigned it?
An even bigger problem is the ads take their cue (”I’m a PC”) from a competitor’s ad that do nothing but make fun of Microsoft and point out how lousy its products are. In the Apple ads, “I’m a PC,” means “I’m a bumbling idiot that can’t tie my shoelaces, much less produce reliable software.” And Microsoft’s new ads confirm that impression by bragging about a software system designed by people who know as much as Coldplay as coding.
They are letting their competitors define them. Somebody should be fired for this campaign.
Am I nuts? What’s the matter with this company? Are they so desperate to look somehow hip and with it that they’ll actually go so far as to make their competitors’ arguments for them? They have a stranglehold on the operating system, still, and they make scads of money. Apparently, they just don’t care to protect their image the way Apple or Mercedes or any other high-end company does.
But they should. They really should. Because some day they just may need to fall back on their public profile. And they can’t let Apple define it for them.
One of the main ads in question is here — where a woman realized her PC should be safer, thus, Windows 7 was her idea. It is a major PR blunder that the ads have gone through the scanner without scrutiny.
Let’s set aside the fact that some updates in Windows 7 should have been basic minimum features far earlier. To be fair, Windows 7 is a commendable product and one that Microsoft should be proud of. But their expected surge in sales of Windows 7 is just going to eclipse some problems.
As for me, I’ll just stick to Windows XP on my personal laptop.