Microsoft Gets It…Right?

I hate Microsoft. I really do. Oh, and you Apple-heads can shut up too because I’m not that much of a fan of the Cult Of Jobs either.

Anyway, if you’ve read this blog for any amount of time, you’ll know about my aforementioned disdain for Microsoft. From their sophomoric attempts to ingratiate themselves with their market to that abysmal advertising abortion starring Jerry Seinfeld, Microsoft have time and again given me cause to stand up…and run for the bathroom before I projectile vomit all over my (LINUX POWERED) computer in a physical manifestation of my disgust at having been subjected to their inanity.

That said, I think they may be on to something with this new campaign. Presenting the browser you loved to hate, the new IE campaign from Microsoft.

So it looks like Microsoft have tried to shoot for the humour angle…and self-deprecating humour at that. Maybe they’ve finally figured out, if the whole world thinks you’re a joke, you may as well laugh along with them.

My only issue is the slight residual taste of arrogance in the used of  “loveD“. To my mind, that’s a little premature. Rather let the market decide if they still hate you or not. It would have been cooler if they were all about a full-on conversion campaign and then got folks to give up their favourite browsers for a week in favour of IE – and shot it documentary style. Maybe they’ll do that for phase 2?

Microsoft Catches A Break..

Maybe Steve Jobs lost a bet. Maybe he decided to cut Microsoft some slack. Maybe he just realised there’s no need for it anymore. Whatever, the reason, I have to say I didn’t see this one coming.

Seriously.

It’s the end of the “I’m a Mac” campaign.

The guy on your right? He's the reason Steve Ballmer doesn't sleep.

Yup, that’s right. It’s the end of what has probably been the singularly most disruptive TVC campaign Microsoft has ever had the misfortune of being subjected to. Commercial after commercial, this campaign has done the advertising equivalent of giving Microsoft a vicious wedgie at every turn.

Despite the heavy investment by MS in CP+B and their 3 most recent campaigns (Jerry Seinfeld, I’m a PC and Laptop Shopper – all of which were damp squibs), Mac has stuck to a formula that can’t be beaten: telling the truth of the product experience.

Anyway, here’s a selection of my favourite “I’m a Mac” moments…

And somewhere, somewhere close, Steve Ballmer is pulling his underwear out of his butt and dreading what comes next…

Super Ad…

After all the hype around Super Bowl advertising, it was really great to actually find one ad that didn’t rely on the obvious (READ: tits and ass with a dash of frathouse humour) to make its sell.

Witness, if you will, the subtle stylings of Google:

Sheer class.

In fact, Google even makes random honeyz look hawt:

I'm Feeling Lucky

Phwoooar.

Try that with BING.

And if you listen closely children, you can hear the sound Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer sobbing inconsolably into their pillows….

Broken Promises…

And Apple sticks it to Microsoft once again.

It’s like watching a priest touch Tyson (the boxer, not the model – although that would also be interesting) inappropriately…and then getting junkpunched for his trouble. It’s inevitable there will be bloodshed, but you just have to watch to see how it all goes down.

Wow.

Anyway, have a great weekend…unless you’re a politician…in which case I hope you die. Nothing fancy. Just die…and burn in hell. Thanks.

It’s Gonna Be A Party Y’all…

Or not…

Yeah. Probably not. Anyway, with the advent of Windows 7, Microsoft wants you to throw your own little launch party and they’ve even created this (demographically-correct) video (no, it’s only “viral” when it spreads) to show you how it’s done.

Yeah. Whatever. Ixnay on the condescension-ay… And am I the only one who would have loved for the black guy to junk-punch the spectacles-wearing guy? Twice? I’m sure they’re both Republicans.

Anyway…

DON’T THESE GUYS GET IT!? You can’t “create” a vibe where there isn’t one. That means that unless Windows users are specifically asking MS for tips on how to throw such a party, there’s no reason to go this route. Of course, as MS has proved time and again, they don’t know about talking to their people sincerely.

Lucikly for MS, the buzz around Windows 7 as a product has been pretty decent, so maybe the real power-users (who I’m betting look nothing like the vapid bunch in the video) will help their lame-ass marketing stunts by backing it up with excellent word-of-mouth marketing. And then maybe MS can fire whatever schmuck is giving them this ridiculous advice.

Of course, all this hangs off the final release of Windows 7 living up to all its promises…

C’mon Steve…make it happen…

I’ve Got A Hunch…

A while ago, I blogged about the new search engines on the block –  and of course the launch of BING (aka But It’s Not Google!). Bing’s positioning is one of being a decision engine. If by that, they mean it gives you pages of options and you decide which link to click, then yes: that is a valid claim. But if they mean the site actively helps you to make a decision, then they’re way off the mark. After all, Bing is just Google without the credibility…

Enter Hunch.

Hunch is a REAL decision-engine. It actually asks you questions pertaining to your decision. “Do you want X to do Y or Z?” “Are you more an A-type of person or a “B-type of person?” And from your answers it delivers suggestions that are relevant to your query.

Hunch has been built by a team of really clever folks from Ivy League schools, whose collective experience includes co-founding Flickr, working for the US Department of Defence, the International Space Station and so on.

Personally, I like Hunch. I played with it a while back to find the perfect OS for my netbook – and I was impressed even though it’s still early days. It’s a lesson that Microsoft could do with learning. We don’t need another [Google/Vark/Yahoo]. We need/want new toys!

So the big question: will it kill Bing? Check out Hunch and decide for yourself.

The Evolution Of Appreciation…

So Google has launched their new Chrome OS. I’m not going to dive into the details of what it can and cannot do  – or that Google essentially “owns” the web.

Instead, here’s an observation: have you noticed that by and large when Google makes an announcement (no matter how small), the entire world sits up and takes note? Google has real fans –  people who actually look forward to the next step in Google’s evolution. Now,  juxtapose that with the wave of cynicism that meets every new Microsoft release.

How does Google do it? I think it has something to do with keeping promises, surpassing expectations and delivering results…at all times.

Nah. It couldn’t be that easy, could it?