Microsoft

Microsoft should not even try to be the next Apple

Debra Littlejohn Shinder suggests that Microsoft should not try to emulate Apple, but, instead, set its own path beyond Apple.

It's been less than two weeks since the death of Steve Jobs, and some pundits are already asking what will happen to his company without his iron fist on the helm. A quick web search shows that dozens of publications, from Forbes to the Huffington Post, have published articles titled "Can Apple Survive without Steve Jobs?" or some variation thereof.

I think the company will, indeed, survive. Whether it will continue to be as wildly successful as it's been under Jobs for the last several years, whether it will be able to hold on to its status as an object of cult-like reverence without its charismatic leader, whether it will devolve into "just another tech company," turning out ho-hum products without Jobs to provide the vision and crack the whip -- that's anybody's guess.

End of an era

Even most of us who aren't fans of Apple or Jobs mourn what his death represents -- the beginning of the end of an era, the first passing among the members of a very special club that includes Steve Wozniak, Bill Gates, Paul Allen, and perhaps others such as Steve Ballmer, Larry Ellison, and Michael Dell.

I know I've left people out; this list isn't meant to be comprehensive. You know who I'm talking about: the pioneers of the personal computing age. Many of them were born in the 1950s. Jobs and Gates were both born the same year I was, so the realization that they've begun to shuffle off this mortal coil hits home pretty personally.

At the same time that they're reflecting on those aspects, though, Apple's competitors likely can't help seeing this as a potential opportunity. If the company falters without Jobs, what company will move in to take its place at the top of the technology heap? Does Microsoft want to be the next Apple?

Who wouldn't -- if that means a ranking of number one in market capitalization, along with the second-highest brand rating in the world (AAA, second only to Google's AAA+) and includes being a darling of most of the media?

But if that means emulating Apple in other ways, I wish Microsoft wouldn't try.

You can't emulate innovation

Imitation might be the sincerest form of flattery, but don't forget the other old saying: flattery will get you nowhere. It's obvious that Apple has done something very right, to come from the brink of bankruptcy in 1997 (before being bailed out by Microsoft) to the position it occupies in today's business world. Naturally other companies, including Microsoft, want to copy the formula.

The problem is that success is an art, not a science. The same strategy that works beautifully for one person or one company can result in dismal failure for another. Just ask any chess player who has lost a game playing the same gambit used by a grandmaster to sail to victory.

Frankly, I don't think Microsoft can get away with the attitude or actions that Apple has. Think about Apple's anti-Vista ad campaign. If Microsoft had come back with the same sort of commercials, denigrating OS X in the same way, few people would have thought it was funny. They would have been accused of negative advertising and mudslinging. Likewise, if Microsoft raided someone's home to look for one of their prototypes that a careless employee lost, the company would be (justifiably) castigated by its customers.

It is characteristic of any group that follows a charismatic leader to discount or not even be able to see his (or his company's) flaws. Steve Jobs was extremely talented in the arts of presentation and persuasion.

I once heard it said of best-selling author Stephen King that he could "regurgitate the contents of the New York City telephone directory onto paper and make it compelling enough to make the New York Times list."

The other Steve had a similar capability when it came to selling Apple's products, services, and ideas. (I'm not saying Apple didn't have some compelling products; I'm just saying that once you really dig in to the feature set and functionalities, some of them aren't quite as "magical and revolutionary" as Jobs made them seem.)

Now that Steve Jobs is gone, even Apple might not be able to get away with what it routinely has in the past. Microsoft, lacking a cult figure to begin with, doesn't have a chance of pulling it off. So don't even think about getting all arrogant and elitist on us, please.

Don't copy the wrong things

Maybe I wouldn't worry about that happening if I hadn't lately been watching Microsoft copy so many of the little things that Apple has done -- and instead of taking the basic ideas and improving on them, doing them the same (infuriating) way Apple did them.

The App Store is a case in point. A "place" where users can easily find and download applications is a great idea. The way Apple implemented it isn't. The lock-down that requires you to buy from them and nowhere else is both a control-freak maneuver and an insult to the intelligence of customers ("you're too stupid to be trusted to install apps that aren't spoon-fed to you by us"). The 30% of profits that developers have to pay to sell their apps through the App Store is akin to a confiscatory tax.

Unfortunately, according to most rumors Microsoft plans to do the same (at least for Metro style apps, and it's highly likely that the plan is to eventually phase out the "classic" kind). This is just one of the "little" ways in which Microsoft has been copying all the wrong things (in my opinion) from Apple lately.

Another way in which Microsoft seems to be (although half-heartedly, thank goodness) trying to emulate Apple is in the latter's well-known penchant for secrecy surrounding its upcoming products, events, and plans. We've seen that with the refusal to provide a road map for the TMG and UAG products, leading customers and consultants who support those products to worry and wonder what their futures might be.

We've seen it with the lack of agenda details or speaker information for the BUILD conference last month, leaving some developers mystified as to whether it would be worth the $1,599 entry fee. In the latter case, this didn't seem to hurt sales; the conference sold out.

However, I don't think the new trend toward secrecy is doing the company's reputation any good. As Mary Jo Foley pointed out in a recent blog post, there now appears to be a policy of not commenting or clarifying information (or misinformation) that's being disseminated about Windows 8 -- and that's causing a lot of FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt).

The aura of secrecy is another of those things that Apple was able to get away with because Jobs was a master magician who could build suspense. For most entities, though, it just makes people mad.

Learn from the good, let go of the bad

Is Microsoft's customer base and relationship with the media so different from Apple's that none of the latter's strategies and tactics can be adapted effectively? I wouldn't say that. I think there are definitely lessons that Microsoft could learn from Steve Jobs and Apple. In fact, I think some of the most important things are covered in Guy Kawasaki's article, "What I Learned from Steve Jobs," that was published on CNET a few days after Jobs' death.

In particular, I find item numbers 1 and 2 interesting ("Experts are clueless" and "Customers cannot tell you what they need."). I think Microsoft spends a lot of time listening to the "experts" (Gartner, Forrester, et al.).

It's certainly tempting to put a lot of stock into what the research companies say when they're telling you what you want to hear, such as Gartner's prediction in April of this year that Windows Phone will outsell the iPhone by 2015). But it's important to remember that such predictions fluctuate wildly.

In October 2010, it was reported that Gartner was saying Microsoft's share of the mobile market would decline to 3.9% by 2014. Sure, Gartner said the change was based on Microsoft's partnership with Nokia, but that just underlines the fact that there will always be "new developments" that can render an expert's opinion, at any given point in time, completely wrong.

And while Gartner claims that their "hit rate with predictions remains very high," I've not been able to find any hard statistics showing what that percentage is. (Note that I'm using Gartner only as an example here; the same is true of other similar firms. No one can predict the future accurately; just ask anybody who's ever lost a bundle in the stock market or at the horse races.)

I've often given Microsoft kudos for listening to their customers, but Kawasaki's second point just might be the differentiating factor that explains why Apple has surged ahead of Microsoft, both in market cap and in public opinion. I think it's true that today's consumers don't know what they need (or want) until you show it to them. What they think they want is based on mostly minor changes to what they already have. Apple made a big splash by giving them something (the iPhone) that they had never even considered.

Taking a chance

In the past, Microsoft has mostly played it safe. Windows Mobile was a tiny version of the Windows desktop. Windows 7, while dramatically more functional and prettier, is still very similar in basic concept and usage to Windows 95.

Microsoft -- especially Microsoft Research -- does come up with innovative, outside-the-box ideas. The Courier tablet was one, and when the company killed it (or appeared to), that seemed to confirm the growing public opinion that the company had gotten old and stodgy and was becoming not the next Apple, but the next IBM.

With the design of Windows Phone 7 and now Windows 8, though, we're seeing a change in that "safety first" philosophy. We're seeing something that's really different. So far, Microsoft has gotten both praise and damnation for that. The question is whether the public at large will embrace that change or reject it.

The same kids who swoon over the latest tight, low-rider, hip-hugger jeans and midriff-baring tank top when it's worn by a pop star will absolutely hate it when it's worn by their own moms. Has Windows become so much a part of the family that customers won't be able to accept it in a radical new outfit? I think they can make it work -- if they do it right. And to me, that means carving out their own new road. If they just try to follow in Apple's tracks, they may find themselves stuck in those ruts.

Also read:

About

Debra Littlejohn Shinder, MCSE, MVP is a technology consultant, trainer, and writer who has authored a number of books on computer operating systems, networking, and security. Deb is a tech editor, developmental editor, and contributor to over 20 add...

42 comments
TuneUp Utilities
TuneUp Utilities

Debra, I completely agree with you. Apple has carved out their identity in the market as notoriously hip, unique and innovative. It would be wise of Windows to create their own path rather than emulating this one. However, do you think there may be another ???Apple??? that is currently unknown, waiting in the wings to shake up the industry?

neldeeb
neldeeb

Since when did MS not (try to) follow (blindly & stupidly) follow Apple tracks? The problem with MS is its company culture and employment criterea. Both cannot lead to neither innovation, nore to successful imulation. The only way MS can have any chance of success in the future is to simply get rid of the majority of its employees, and put all of its resaurces (i.e. only money) into finding a Steve Jobs to lead it. And since the decisions to do that has to be taken by its current leaders, pethetic ones, MS HAS NO HOPE.

davidjbell
davidjbell

Let me bring a European view as a retired IT manager now doing IT support for a local charity. Apple is unique and no one should try to copy it but learn from what it has done well. Apple has always been innovative although the main momentum came from Xerox and I was fortunate in working for Xerox when the Altos were going down the production line in El Segundo and Star workstations were being used in the drawing office. We had one of the resulting Lisas back at my next company in the UK as Steve spotted the future. Apple oozes quality and home-user vision. Microsoft has never been an innovative company; it has virtually always bought in innovation and that won't change as the bigger the company the less it will innovate. That doesn't necessarily matter but what the customer wants is quality i.e. it does what it says on the tin and you can plan ahead in your organisation. I understand the problem of lack of future announcements as I've also been in the same position with new computer products I launched and had to keep secret. Forget the 'Gartners'. This is a very US-centric thing to have industry analysts who measure what everyone is doing and play it back to them for a fee. The result is a convergence to the average. Microsoft should listen more to it's customers; currently it only appears to listen to it's corporate customers. Whilst these are important what about the zillions of PCs in peoples homes and how does MS find out what these people want/need? Quality is all and Apple have been very good at that. MS have been getting better but there are still many areas for bug-fixes and improvement. Have you ever tried to set-up networking with Win 7 PCs using shared resources on a peer-to-peer network? It's a lot worse than XP but MS were obviously trying to make it better but failed. I could go on and others will have their own favourites. Where do I provide my feedback? There are forums I use but MS staff replies often suggest a workround rather than saying 'I'll get that fixed at the next Release or in Win 8'. If I perceive they are really trying to fix existing weakness rather than bloating the next Windows with yet more 'features' then I will see them moving towards Apples' quality branding and they will achieve their own status as a quality company in their own right. Constantly launching new Windows versions every 2 years to maintain revenue streams via upgrade sales is not the way forward. Provide fewer more stable platforms and charge more for the OEM licences would make me happier.

blarman
blarman

Microsoft's visionary moments have been gone a long time. Jobs provided vision not only for a company, but for an entire industry. I don't see anyone at Microsoft with that type of clear vision. Microsoft's mantra has been to copy, buy, or to try to force things on the industry. Apple's course was to offer up groundbreaking alternatives to the status quo, and it worked for them. I think that the best thing Microsoft could do is simply to stop being so heavy-handed. Stop forcing the change and allow the users (and administrators) to select how they are going to use their computer. Stop assuming that Microsoft knows best, because - simply put - they don't.

cg
cg

Hi Been a pc guy since 1984. Bought a mac to understand my apple clients. Approx 6 months in and do not see the wow... This writer has hit the mark... Miss the little stuff, a backspace key, a current window, a single click to open an app. Yep there is workarounds - but nothing superior as advertised. maybe a talking computer is the future.

rpollard
rpollard

I agree with most of what you said but a couple of things. 1) Microsoft didn't rescue Apple. Apple didn't need rescuing since they had billions in cash in the bank at that time, 2) You negative connotations of a "cult" society seem to be a bit accusatory. You need to look at the many reasons people are so loyal to Apple and their products. Not just assume that they are blind, mindless cult members that have been hypnotized into the Apple cult society. By referring to them as cults, that is what you're implying, whether you meant to or not. I know, you, like many other "non cult" MS followers see people that are as loyal to a brand as being weird but there are many reasons why they are. Figure them out and maybe it won't seem so weird anymore.

Specklesdad
Specklesdad

As long as Apple continues to price there computers, Ipads, Iphones, ect. out of the price of middle, & low income people there will always be a market for Microsoft. Even the used market for Apple goods are over priced, and to repair one that is out of warranty is more than most lower-middle, & low income people can afford.

jmbrasfield
jmbrasfield

"A place where users can easily find and download applications is a great idea. The way Apple implemented it isn't. The lock-down that requires you to buy from them and nowhere else is both a control-freak maneuver and an insult to the intelligence of customers (you're too stupid to be trusted to install apps that aren't spoon-fed to you by us)." The problem with this statement is the fact that it is a TRUE statement. The average user (80% of them) is just that, too stupid to be trusted to install apps. As a tech to these users, I rebuild or reinstall OS's on phones all the time, because the users have downloaded and installed something "cool" and f**ked up their phones AGAIN. Let me emphasis the term AGAIN. They are repeat offenders and I charge them them through their asses to fix, AGAIN, what they have screwed up. Droids are the worst, but followed very closely by jailbroke iOS's. I'm sorry, but yes Debra, the vast majority of these users are too stupid to be trusted. They prove it to me every day, many times a day, and then whine about what I charge them to fix it. Get over it, you are too stupid to be trusted.

cxoglenn
cxoglenn

Re: Microsoft's negative critique of mobile competitors How ridiculous. The obvious marketing tactics employed by dinosaur companies thrashing about to find toeholds in emerging markets no longer alarms me. Microsoft will survive with an installed base and a $450 billion ecosystem, but they missed the window on mobile and other markets. Expensive acquisitions, patent litigation and angry competitive rhetoric will not bring them the mobile market. Neither will Windows 8. Power is in perception. In order to survive in new markets they have been forced to cannibalize others. Negative campaign tactics will alienate potential users. Techies are not stupid. They see beyond the typical smoke and mirrors approaches and they are given to cheering for the little guy and the new. Users want to hear the "Gospel", good news, cool, and personalization. They just want something that they can put in their hands and that simply works. The entire global computing community is already rebelling against being eternally tethered to the Microsoft Office Suite that continues to grossly overcharge for a few tweaks in each succeeding version. The company has become fat, slow and lazy. Hey Microsoft, wake up! Change your image. You were the cool, you were the darling; but that was twenty years ago. Now you are seen as the rich, angry, selfish king using questionable tactics to stave-off the hordes with pitchforks at the gate. Give users something to love or give up. I see why Microsoft is having such trouble. When the head of Microsoft Mobile is given to characterizing the elegance of the iPhone ecosystem or the very attractive Android open-system as cluttered and confusing, he is galvanizing millions of potential customers to adopt Android or iPhone. Tech is unlike other markets. When you become slow to market or seemingly irrelevant, you are dying or dead. Carping about some competitor's shortcomings is not the best strategy. I am sad to see Microsoft disintegrating, although they have never been a significant innovator. Extend and pretend is a loser - ask Wall Street. Power is in perception and the avante garde (techies, fan boys, kids)now perceives microsoft as an ailing dinosaur. Think IBM and Sun Micro - although IBM has been able to morph into a cloud services company.

pohsibkcir
pohsibkcir

It is about time ZDNet stop trying to compare Apple and Microsoft, or to instigate the comparison. All it produces are a series of vanity remarks about things which aren't comparible. I no longer hold any respect for you people, when you cannot do anything but cause animosity to flair. It's not controversial, it's trash talk. Something usually found on NFL fields of play and in Politics. Let Steven Jobs rest in peace. Whenever Tech Journalists run out of things to say, they always try to create controversy by making comparitives that do not exist. What used to be a positive and useful environment for their members, CNet/TechRepublic/ZDNet has become a rumor mill with deceptive motives. You people have taken a once great idea and trashed it beyond any marketable value. By appealing to the lowest common denominator ... You have proven yourselves untrustworthy, unreliable, and unbelievable.. You've bought into your own hype and shall forever be known from this day forward as Paris Hilton's Poodle Skirt. Bad analogy ... At least Paris Hilton is great eye candy. Even vultures have their value, but you guys are what is left behind after the bones have been licked clean.

deadlycreature
deadlycreature

Wow, It's really amazing. Steven Sinofsky really has the media running scared. Even though the article doesn???t mention him by name, it seems his moment with Windows 8 is generating press (for better or worse), and it hasn???t even been released yet. Yes, end of an era, now time for some new talent??? Steven Sinofsky is the real deal!

Rndmacts
Rndmacts

Apple currently is riding a high but unfortunately we are now going to see what the company is capable of without Steve Jobs who was the ultimate snake oil salesman. Apple would be nothing now if Microsoft hadn't bailed it out in 1997. Apple didn't invent a lot of the technology, it repackaged it and made it attractive but now that there is competition the warts are starting to show. I like Microsoft's store as it is now, it is user friendly and from the fact that Microsoft actually released a pre-beta of Windows 8 for developers, I would surmise that it is friendlier to them as well. The Apple ads were just pure mud throwing with a lot of inaccuracies, but we all know that you can't respond to this kind of advertising because it will do no good, I personally lost all respect for Apple over them and sold my Mac and vowed never to own another product by Apple. There is no need for Microsoft to emulate anything Apple did or does, they have been a very successful company since the 80's and as much as people want to gripe about the quality they are still the largest OS manufacturer in the world and it would take a humongous fail for that to change. It is very funny that most of the products that Apple is famous for, Apple TV, iPod, iPad and iPhone are devices that Bill Gates was describing in the early 80's, many of them were brought to market by Microsoft but unfortunately hardware of the times wasn't powerful and miniaturized enough to make them viable. Microsoft just needs to keep following the path they have been on to maintain their position.

sboverie
sboverie

The article was more about Apple and the late Jobs with parts talking about what MS should do with Win 8. It is weird to compare the visions of Jobs with what is going on with MS without doing more than commenting on a future upgrade that has not gone into beta yet. The question, what should MS do to propel themselves as a technology leader, is also strange in that MS does have the majority of the market share for OS. What MS should do is make a new OS that is not backward compatible with anything other than open standard files. A new OS that has the ability to to learn and protect itself from outside attacks and stupid user mistakes. I want HAL 9000 without the homocidal tendancies and not have to constantly praise it (you're doing great, Hal).

amj2010
amj2010

As proven a million times we don't know what they are thinking about: Stockmarket shares, innovation or what... Tell us MS!

nustada
nustada

The boldest and best thing microsoft could do is switch to open source, and make some sort of independent developer kickback program. Stop focusing on fiddling with the UI. Make things more "skinable" though for those who want or need change.

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

If you were asked to provide one clear innovative strategy idea that would propel Microsoft forward as a technology leader, what would it be? I am talking a bold and world-changing idea and not just a better mouse trap.

adornoe
adornoe

That is, if your statement about "MS HAS NO HOPE" is to be believed. But, Microsoft has a lot more going for it than Apple or Google, as far as products and services are concerned. Microsoft has been doing a lot more in the R&D areas than Apple, and Apple is still dependent upon its iPods and iPhones and iPads and Macs; 4 products, which are rapidly becoming stale. Meanwhile, Microsoft, with is many products and services, for the consumer and enterprise environments, continues to chug along, even beating Apple in the profits area. So, perhaps your predictions about "no hope" is targeting the wrong company?

vezycash
vezycash

here is the most important thing you said "Microsoft should listen more to it's customers; currently it only appears to listen to it's corporate customers. Whilst these are important what about the zillions of PCs in peoples homes and how does MS find out what these people want/need?" Microsoft might have more fans than apple does but if the star ignores the fan, the love turns to? Yes hate, disdain, indifference. They are just locked up in their own world and have missed tons of things because of this. They'll keep missing things until they have a listening culture.

vezycash
vezycash

Fine microsoft did not put in billions into apple (just 150 million) but they put in something much more valuable. Trust - microsoft lent its credibility at the time to Apple by investing and holding its stock. This gave millions of customers that almighty Microsoft saw something that they didn't - well thank Jobs for that smart move.

vezycash
vezycash

Anti-trust department would not allow microsoft to make its own pc "however low priced". For the tablet market, you can expect Apple to keep leading at least for 2 years. Why? Hp touch pad, Playbook, galaxy tab... over priced more than the over priced apple products! not only that, they even have little or no apps developed for their platform. The success of the mobile windows 8 strategy lies not in the software itself but in the availability of low priced hardware. There seems not to be any deal between microsoft and a smaller manufacturer somewhere in china to pursue this strategy aggressively.

vezycash
vezycash

i like your hard comments - simply the truth. but here's a question, should those 90% dumb users f**k up users who are smart enough to know what they want? I know you're smart, but you and I were once dumb. (no offence) if microsoft makes their stuff *too safe* would it not mean that the amount of smart users would decline rapidly?

ScarF
ScarF

Nothing new in what you say, while Microsoft is barely coming from behind into this art of negative advertisement. This may be extrapolated to many other examples: for starters, PC vs Mac marketing campaign created by Apple.

xangpow
xangpow

I for one dont read too many "Microsoft vs Apple" or one browser vs another browser articles anymore because in the end people will use what they want. I once told someone that if a "friend" is trying to push something on you you might want to ask "why". It could be that they are insecure about thier choice so they need someone else using what they use to make themselves feel better about thier choice. I myself like Microsoft for an OS, IE for a browser, Bing for a search engine, Coca Cola for a soft drink, imports for car, domestic for trucks, I like the prequels of the Star Wars movies, and I think the Texas Rangers will win the World Series. Will everyone agree with my choices, nope. Do I care if anyone disagress, nope. Now if you want to have a civil, adult, mature disscusion about the choices I will do that. But if all you want to do is go around saying "Your a poopy head because you dont like **** !!!" Then I am not going to listen to you, go back to grade school for that type of nonsense.

vezycash
vezycash

you've got a lot of things right especially about microsoft envying apple's market. The ipad would have lost to microsoft if not because the micro boys decided to go into the expensive market with the 'surface table thing'. Since microsoft is not too kin about or great in marketing, branding and sugar coating words, it should go back to its roots - develop for the masses, deal with the virus problems as they come or better yet, include an dummy friendly way to quickly reinstate its products back to their original state without requiring a masters degree in computer science (i believe this is already a feature in win 8). this is all that matters.

AnsuGisalas
AnsuGisalas

A lot of people knew the earth was round, and Columbus "repackaged" that idea. Do we care who of his contemporaries also would have sailed across the ocean, if they'd have felt like it? Hell no. Ad victorem spolias, that's Latin and means "The repackager gets the credit" Jest aside, "repackaging" usually means taking something now idle, and putting it to use at its full potential. No mean feat. There are thousands of technologies out there, right now, that are not living up to their potentials. If we had thousands of repackagers to work those technologies, the world economy would be back on track in a year!

rpollard
rpollard

Can you say Terminator...

vezycash
vezycash

Microsoft clearly has hard income flowing in on a yearly basis - yet its stock price pales in comparism to Apple and google why? communication, share buyers have simply lost faith in Microsoft. As for Bing, tools that facilitate user or geeky collaboration would push the search engine to a more favorable position against Google. Trust me, web owners are tired of Google's ranking storms. for windows 8, the app store model is okay by me but I feel the company turns a blind eye to data it collects. The metro app stuff would not be too popular if apps can't be transferred and installed on another machine. Microsoft should note that if developers want to be treated like shit, they'll go develop for apple. It needs better, favourable publicity

ScarF
ScarF

to do this, I would have to be on the MS's payroll. Beyond this, it is coffee talk.

Spexi
Spexi

Simple We moving our customers focus by using FUD (Food/Feed) in our primary release. An idea appeared for someone during a dinner party :) In doing this the second newest release will probably receive even more positive credit from users, more than it had and got until this date....... Something that also could serve as a "springboard" in attract users from older versions in take the final decision in heading over to the store and buy a OS which no longer seems that hideous as before. Besides, it is the best OS the company ever created as they heard from all the news they got from media. By make Windows8 horrible for the majority of all desktop users Windows 7 will shine in better light, now plenty of good reviews I thought of this yesterday and believe there may lay some explanation. Meaning, that's what MS been working for ever since Windows 7 came out. Of course, they would never giving up their flagship that easily a couple of years later just for something that doesn't collaborate 100% and absolutely not on workstations. If a few users likes windows 8, so be it but the goal is clearly pointed out for Tablet's & touch this time and that's the challenge they have decided to take. Windows 7 get the revenge it want's. These guy's are unbelievable :D

adornoe
adornoe

WP7 can use the same marketing strategy that's being used to sell the XBox/Kinect combo. Those commercials made the XBox/Kinect the number one gaming system around. So, why not advertising which "hypes" the virtues of WP7? Take a well-known celebrity, like Justin Bieber, and make WP7 hip with the young people. And, use a more mature celebrity, or a business "celebrity", and WP7 could be just as "hip" with the older generation and with the business sector. In essence, one smartphone, to serve all generations, on a personal level and on the enterprise level, with something for all, while being cutting edge.

wizard57m-cnet
wizard57m-cnet

Sometimes, Mark, I wonder which one I'm at. Plus the "cross-posting" by the various bloggers adds to the perception! With the exceptionally large increase in the number of "spammer" posts of late, actual on-topic discussions could almost be declared an "endangered species"!

vezycash
vezycash

here is the problem, a lot of people are undecided, do not know what they want or do not know why they want what they want and that is where Ms is loosing. If its getting bad press, millions of people in this category would jump ship in a heart beat. The only thing keeping them from doing this most of the time is high cost of apple devices (which apple managed to correct for iphone, ipad) Not only that, software support is for apple is not as good as Microsoft but in the apple's mobile stuff (software support is better than the rest) I guess, i jumped off point - millions of people actually take note of this "microsoft vs apple" stories and those people can easily be mislead because they really do not know what they want.

hippiekarl
hippiekarl

I'd ascribed the popularity of X Box (Live, 360, with or without Kinect) to its platform-exclusive 'Halo' game franchise, and retail bundles of X Box and whatever COD title was current at the time of purchase. Most X Box owners with a Kinect unit accessorized themselves with it when it came out, as they already had the MS (instead of Sony) console. Both companies' units (PS Move and X Box Kinect) have such cool 'motion-capture controlled' games--for little kids especially--that whichever console a customer already had (the majority already being X Box due, I thought, to 'Halo's popularity) was the one for which they bought their motion-capture unit. But it was the ads, after all? I quit 'watching TV' a number of years ago (just after the time of the vicious-but-funny 'anti-Vista' ads; I remember seeing them); this is the type of misconception to which I'm prone now that I don't view 'TV programming'.

reggaethecat
reggaethecat

So basically all Microsoft's woes are down to not marketing their products correctly? Nothing to do with years of bad user experiences, cost, bugs, corporate arrogance, perceived irrelevance, bloat?

nustada
nustada

Your comment made me physically ill.

vezycash
vezycash

not all but marketing has got a huge part to play. In one book about its history, proper marketing launched the brand into spotlight but as soon as they got to the top, marketing went out of the window. Take a look at all official ipad videos - you get the feeling that these engineers were not really enineers as they spoke the language everyday users could understand. In contrast, take a look at the videos from windows 8 blogs and you'll see geeks speaking in geek speak. Normal users would not be able to follow or appreciate what they have done. Marketing as well has made all most mac users claim that there are no viruses for mac - no antivirus needed. Marketing is also what has made someone brag to me that he has an Itunes account... Hope you get the point.

adornoe
adornoe

But, there is no cure for your type of disorder, so forget getting any help. ;)

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