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Microsoft Desperately Wants to Sit at Cool Kids’ Lunch Table

Microsoft, you’re like the corporate behemoth version of Hilary Clinton. She tries too hard to be hip and cool, when she should really stick to the boring stuff that she’s good at, like drafting national health care plans. In your case, Microsoft, you should concentrate on developing really unremarkable business software and “me too” versions of of Google products… not producing cutesy, interactive online promotions for your less-than-exciting Windows Mobile platform.

Seriously, dude. Look around for just a second. We both know your Windows device isn’t THAT interesting.

The thing is, you’re not going to fool anyone into thinking you have a sense of fun. And I’m not sure why you’d want to try. Take Microsoft Office, for example. No one buys it for fun. No, people buy it because of things like “network effects” and “compatibility.”

Jesus Crackers, throw a “synergies” and a “critical path” in there, and you might as well tag me with an elephant tranquilizer.

What’s wrong, Microsoft? A little jealous of the Mac kids playing on the other side of the fence? Sounds like they’re having a pretty good time over there, doesn’t it. I bet you want a little bit of that action for yourself.

Even though you don’t have any good toys to play with.

You keep trying, though. You keep trying to instill a personality (a light-hearted one, at that!) in your products through sheer force of marketing.

Let’s forget for a moment that the proper path to creating products with personality starts with design. You can’t even get the marketing right. With your “whimsical” efforts you shoot yourself in the (boring) foot. Case in point:

In the aforementioned Windows Mobile promotion, the visitor to the site can use various outlandish means to distract Generic Business Dude from his Windows Mobile Device. Even when you shoot tennis balls at his crotch, he’ll insist that he’s going to keep “rockin'” his Excel spreadsheet.

Rockin’ his Excel spreadsheet.

Let’s examine where you went awry, here, Microsoft. You thought that using a word like “rockin'” might bring a sense of cool to number crunching. Wrong. You know who get excited about rockin’ spreadsheets?

Investment bankers. Some of the most boring sons-of-bitches to grace this earth. It’s no fault of their own… it’s just that they never leave the office for long enough to do anything at all, let alone anything cool. All they have left to get excited about is spreadsheets and number crunching.

A little sad, isn’t it?

By portraying the average Windows Mobile user as someone who is much more interested in his spreadsheets than he is concerned about being abruptly drowned in a giant goldfish tank, you’re actually screaming out to the world that Microsoft products will appeal to folks who follow the most boring possible path in life.

On the other hand, this is all moot. What’s the point of a monopoly if you can’t produce totally irrelevant advertising? Cheers to that.

5 comments… add one
  • nickolai June 28, 2007, 4:24 pm

    The other day, in the elevator I ran into a guy who had just received a MS Zune as a “gift.” He was the most depressingly-demeanored person I’ve ever met in my life.

    But I’m sure it was just a coincidence.

  • Shithead June 28, 2007, 4:55 pm

    Ha! Ever see this video of Microsoft rebranding the iPod?


  • Great White Snark June 28, 2007, 5:08 pm

    Well done, guys. I think those two examples say it all.

    Well, I said it all, and then you said some more stuff.

  • Cindi June 28, 2007, 8:50 pm

    The only problem with this post, GWS, is that I ended up clicking over to the site, no doubt driving up some stupid little “metric” the marketing department set for itself. Oh well.

    I still want to kill this guy.

  • Great White Snark June 28, 2007, 10:42 pm

    Spending a bit too much time with spreadsheets lately, are we?

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