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microsoft store promo code :-Microsoft’s Susan Rice Problem: Who will defend Windows 8?
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They let word leak that they were considering Susan Rice for the Secretary of State position and then they let her dangle in the wind for weeks as opponents savaged her in the press.
Now this isn’t a political blog and Susan Rice is a real person but I can’t help but compare that example to what Microsoft has done with Windows 8.
They spent 3 years prepping this software and giving us glimpses into this code that was going to revolutionize the way we worked and played.
Ballmer told us it was the riskiest bet (he was right) and Steven Sinofsky did a great job at sharing in detail the thought that went into the development of Windows 8.
In fact, those updates were pretty revolutionary given the scope, scale and size of the software being discussed.
Then, Windows 8 was released to the world and the results were…. well very mixed.
I could quote blog after blog and UI expert after UI expert saying that the Metro UI is counter intuitive.
Head down to your local store and you can see consumers a little reluctant to dig in to this new Operating System because of the different look and feel of it all.
Research data firms like NPD have been quick to say that the PC industry isn’t doing great and Windows 8 has a lot to do with that.
OEM’s like Samsung, ASUS and Acer have been less than enthusiastic about this new Operating System.
Basically everyone (myself included) has had an opinion about Windows 8 but one thing remains baffling – Microsoft’s lack of a response.
I have had a chance to step back and think about this a lot and I have come to believe that radical and large software packages need advocates.
Not low level employees or marketing executives who are trying to do their jobs but big, loud characters.
Eric Schmidt is a large character who effectively defends Google.
Steve Jobs then and Tim Cook now are large Apple advocates.
Larry Ellison is the loudest and largest personality in Silicon Valley and Oracle’
Jeff Bezos for Amazon, Marc Benioff for Salesforce and on and on…
I believe Steven Sinofsky was that person for Windows 8 but obviously, he’s not there anymore.
I believe that Windows 8 today has no champion or advocate at Microsoft.
There have been so many substantive and harmful barbs thrown at the software and there has been a muted response from Redmond.
Whether it’s a policy choice or just confusion over there, the result is the same – Windows 8 is slowly becoming tainted as a brand name and that my friends is unfortunate.
I have written about how I think some things need to be changed in the OS but I have also been vocal about how this is NOT Vista. I think it’s a vital step in the evolution of Windows and at some point, once perfected, will be accepted as the right direction for Microsoft.
It is however not my job to make that case. It should be Microsoft’s job.
They obviously disagree about bringing the Start Menu back but they don’t have a passionate reason why. We are left to guess that they just don’t want it there.
We are also left to wonder what they think about Pokki and Start8 etc, tons of Start Menu replacements that are popular.
They obviously disagree about booting directly in to the desktop but don’t offer any technical or political explanation why. Just silence.
There hasn’t been a substantial, vocal, consumer facing explanation of what exactly Windows RT is and what it aims to achieve. Just silence.
Join the forum discussion on this post
There is now talk of a Windows Blue and no Microsoft spokesperson has come out to deny or confirm the speculation.
People have said to me “it makes no sense for Microsoft to respond to every crackpot rumor out there”.
I agree but
The Blue news comes from credible sources (not a crackpot rumor) and
It makes sense to explain this when it comes so soon after Windows 8 and may affect perception of the OS
Here’s the bottom line – when you don’t tell a story, blogs, the press and your enemies tell the story for you.
Once again I like Windows 8 and think that it’s a good yet imperfect step forward for Microsoft.
What concerns me though is that as a marketer, I am starting to see the signs that the Windows 8 brand is slowly picking up pejorative connotaions.
It’s becoming associated with confusion, chaos, FUD and confused consumers.
People are quick to point out the 60 million licenses sold statistic.
Here’s my response:
It was sold at a HEAVILY discounted price (unprecedented discounts)
Let’s see the detailed breakdown (Consumers vs Retailers vs OEM’s) and
Windows Vista sold over 350 million licenses – How’s that brand?
Windows 8 needs a champion and fast.
Someone to stand in the spotlight for Microsoft with a quick wit, charm and money to spend where necessary.
Someone to push back where that’s needed and to mea culpa on rare occasions.
The software is solid (for the most part) but here’s the thing, it’s not self evident.
You have to drill down to understand the architectural benefits, the security benefits, the benefits to developers and businesses and consumers.
That stuff doesn’t sell itself.
If Microsoft don’t get off their butts and push back, I am starting to fear that this will go the way of Windows Vista.
By that I mean that it will sell licenses but have limited emotional appeal to consumers and businesses. Then Windows 7 becomes the new XP and we all get to sit tight and wait for the next big thing.
In light of this software’s potential, that would be a tragedy.
Just like Susan Rice.