Are the gloves finally coming off?

MacvPCSouthPark_270x176My buddy John Baker sent an interesting article out the other day about how we are address concerns in the marketplace around Windows Vista and what are some thoughts about the Apple Ads.  I thought these where two interesting statements that Brad Brooks, Corporate Vice President, Windows Consumer Product Marketing, made at the Worldwide Partner Conference in Houston:

"You thought the sleeping giant was still sleeping, well we woke it up and it's time to take our message forward," Brooks said. "We've faced these challenges before, and we're going to solve them again. There's a conversation going on in the marketplace today and it's just plain awful. We've got to get back on the front foot."

and I think this next one really indicates we have dropped the gloves:

"We've got a pretty noisy competitor out there," Brooks said of Apple whose "I'm a Mac... and I'm a PC," commercials criticize Windows Vista. "You know it. I know it. It's caused some impact. We're going to start countering it. They tell us it's the iWay or the highway. We think that's a sad message. Software out there is made to be compatible with your whole life."

As I have posted before: Finally someone gets it about the PC vs. Mac commercials you know those commercials drive me nuts.  I am glad to hear that we are going to counter some of the messaging out there.  I also like the article because it is not just about taking the gloves off, but also about us taking accountability for Windows Vista.

Take a look at the full article here and let me know what you think:

Microsoft Admits Windows Vista Mistakes, Criticizes Apple Ads

Comments (8)

  1. Larry says:

    Microsoft needs to target younger audiences.  When DEC gave away computers to Universities, they were not just being nice.  They knew students would go into the working World asking, “Where’s my VAX?”  If Microsoft wins the Technical Battle, but loses the Image Battle, it still won’t matter that Apple products are expensive crap.  It’s hard for a giant to feel an attack, but Microsoft should first of all…WAKEUP!  Then they should attack Apple on all fronts by emphasizing Microsoft’s best assets like gaming and multimedia capability.  They should upgrade comparable products like Zune to compete with the iTouch, and yes, create an xPhone that doesn’t require a 2K, 2 year relationship with AT&T.  Get new products, like Surface, into the face of the consumer, not just in few yuppie bars.  Give youth programs, like DigiGirlz, some front page time on instead of boring pictures of Steve (sorry Steve, it’s a marketing thing).  And please, take all the energy being used to acquire a worthless, grandfather site like Yahoo and channel it into Microsoft’s #1 asset…innovation.

  2. Matt Hester says:

    Larry, Excellent Comments, and I agree we need to win the image battle, and I hope that is where gloves are going to be targeted.  I remember talking with a mother on my kid’s soccer team and how excited she was with her new iPhone, and that she could surf the web, check email…etc.  My first thought was, did this person ever use a modern cell phone (or Windows mobile) prior to the iPhone?  The answer was simple; she did not know the prior devices could do that.  They were not marketed that way and even with windows Vista, we did not market the value (among other things).  I agree our technology is cool, and innovative we just need to tell people about them.  I hope our marketing efforts can take the charge and match the innovations we have as a company.  Only time will tell.  Especially your example of DigiGirlz (kudos to you for even knowing about the program, did you have a child involved?) , and other community involvement stuff is not used.  Think about the great work with Imagine Cup that is being done.  How many people know about it?  Although, I do see some of the technical advantages for the Yahoo acquisition, I am on the fence for that, but you bring up a good point.  Maybe we should by an Airline company to save on TE.  

  3. Larry says:

    We need Southpark lookalikes saying, “Dude, the new iPhones suck.” Running Apple bugs up the flagpole should be considered fair play at this point.

    Good example on the Windows mobile phone.  Microsoft should stop assuming everyone is a techy able to keep up with new products.  Like you implied, target the soccer Moms and other people who just want to use technology, not download the SDK.

    Microsoft innovations come out with little fanfare because either Microsoft, or everyone else, is used to it.  Apple will throw a huge, love fest party just to introduce an MP3 player.  Apple’s product placement in movies is getting nauseous.  Is Microsoft Marketing asleep?  If they had put Surface in movies 2 years ago, they would be everywhere today, and it would be so much fun to watch a movie with a teeny little iPhone next to one, lol.  

  4. Keith Combs says:

    I think you’ll see that Microsoft Marketing is now awake.  I look forward to some results.

    But it’s also time to revisit some of the products that we have that are actually quite good, but have a bit of a bad rap.  I certainly don’t think Windows Vista deserves the reputation it has.  After all, it does have incredible security, management capabilities as well as cool stuff like high definition recording.

    Keep the faith.  More good stuff is coming.

  5. Larry says:

    Vista should have never been released as an upgrade for old equipment.  Even though Microsoft published a hardware compatibility list, many people just took it home and installed it on unsupported equipment…I know I did, lol,  In my case, I was able to upgrade hardware and drivers to make it work, but most people became frustrated and, nowadays, everyone must pin blame on something or someone else.  Vista is a great OS!  Give it to a kid and a week later they will show you tricks you’ve never seen.  I know that because I have 4 examples in my house.

    Unfortunately, Vista was the first release that arrived after the US added new auditing laws, like Sarbanes-Oxley.  (I think the intent of these laws was to legislate America out of business)  Any new technology is now restricted.  Better, faster, cheaper is less important than ‘being approved’ by bean counters still drying their diplomas.  (You might sense the bitterness here, lol)  Unlike prior OS releases when people stared across the cubes envying others with the new software, nowadays, no one gets new software until the magic audit fairies approve it.  So, I think one of the reasons people are not seeing the advantages of Vista is because Corporate America is dragging its feet.  Ok, it’s been a long winded explanation to make another marketing point.  Because businesses are in slow moving audit fear, Microsoft needs to more actively target direct consumers in order to get their products to move faster into the office environment.

  6. Jason says:

    I work for a large corporation and all of our IT staff, myself included, have one opinion on Vista: we will NOT switch! The NT platform was great and stable, why go and screw it up? Why also totally change the GUI and scare all of the average-Joe users, many of which here ONLY see a PC at work and not at home?

  7. Matt Hester says:

    Thanks for the comments Jason, while I disagree.  I think there would be some people that would agree with you about NT (Although I am not one of them), and probably a lot more that will disagree with you.  I think Windows Vista and the changes that we have made under the covers are truly significant and powerful.  When I compare security and stability of Windows Vista to NT, there is no comparision, Vista is better.  What I would have liked to scene is a better job by us (Microsoft) at articulating these improvements.  Additionally I would have liked better hardware guidance run Vista, again I take the blame for this one.  I also think the GUI when you compare Vista to NT is so much better to find and use things.  NT to me, now is the scarier of the two.

  8. Dave says:

    Ok, so Microsoft admits it made a mistake.

    What are they going to do for the people who invested in this mistake? (all us Vista users who feel used/abused)

    Nothing I bet.


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