If Microsoft were to produce the type of ads we are seeing now for its various products for Windows 8 coming this fall. Windows 8 will likely be in trouble. Now I am not saying Windows 8 will not sell in spite of poor marketing, but marketing is definitely no longer an aspect Microsoft can overlook. While I do not doubt that Microsoft recognizes this (see the latest marketing reorg as an example), but is it doing enough?
I recently wrote that Microsoft needs to up its marketing game in order to ensure Windows 8’s success and compete effectively in the new computing era that has arrived not too long ago. Now I, for one, love to be right about things. However, I would rather be wrong than right sometimes. Learning more about Microsoft’s marketing is one of those things. Two days ago, I read on The Next Web that Microsoft has released the following ad touting its latest internet browser – Internet Explore 9 (IE9):
While I doubt any non-partisan people serious about technology would argue that IE9 is not a better browser than any of Microsoft’s previous browser war entries (e.g., IE6/7/8), does the marketing of IE9 have to suck? Unfortunately, this is not a one-off, as quite a few recent Microsoft ads have taken this “We-are-funny-please-like-us” tone (if not, at least like us more than the next guy):
Now perhaps these are the type of ads that are more likely to go viral and attract clicks, views, and social engagement, but they are terrible as far as brand building goes, and brand building is what Microsoft needs right now for consumers to buy into the idea that the company is a reliable and trustworthy backer of a major digital ecosystem. It must remove doubts from tech pundits and analysts alike that Windows and the Metro UI could serve as the foundation a full-fledged digital ecosystem of the future. Strategically important Microsoft products could start losing (if they have not started already) their monopolistic grip on their respective market soon, and the time to start better marketing is now.
Sidenote: Speaking of Internet Explorer, I have been using Windows 8 Consumer Preview on and off for the past two weeks, and the way IE10 Metro and IE10 Desktop work together (or not work together) is maddening and completely breaking the user experience and “no compromise” promise of Steven Sinofski. There are things that Microsoft can control and there are things that Microsoft cannot, but that’s a topic for another post (probably as part of a feature when I blog about Aero and Metro).