Poor Windows. I am not one of the countless Apple fanboy drones who incessantly bashes Windows. I actually like parts of it. Vista, although I initially had a bad experience with it, has grown into a pretty good operating system. My wife has it on her laptop, and it works well enough for her. No big problems in the past year; we haven’t even had a single blue screen of death on it.
That said, there is one area in which Apple simply gives Microsoft a pants-down spanking day after day after day. Of course, I’m talking about marketing. In 20 years, Microsoft has never been able to put together a successful ad campaign. Some of their attempts are down-right embarrassing. For example, take this re-post of the current CEO, Steve Ballmer, attempting to move Windows 1.0 with all the grace of a snake oil salesman:
Lately, of course, we’ve watched with wide eyes and gaping jaws the odd efforts of Bill Gates and Jerry Seinfeld, who did two commercials without ever mentioning the product name. That was quickly shelved, and Microsoft moved on to a defensive “I’m a PC” campaign to counter Apple’s wildly successful “I’m a Mac” ads. I thought this effort from Microsoft was okay, but it felt weird having the industry giant having to stoop down to swat the Apple gnat. It was almost as though they were admitting that the little upstart was causing a problem.
The $300 million that Microsoft famously dedicated toward marketing this year just makes this debacle even more painful to watch. It’s as though every time they stand up to speak, the Apple bully in the back of the room fires a laser-guided spitball right into the back of their heads. And destroys them.
In Apple’s latest ad, they do more to mock Microsoft in 30 seconds than should be allowed by law. It makes the whole notion of Microsoft’s $300 million effort look … well, sad. That’s a shame. Microsoft is a good company and they’ve changed the world in a lot of ways. Sadly, marketing is not one of them.