Newsletter #488 Preview: Microsoft’s Unfortunate Attempts at Online Marketing

April 5th, 2009

Fourteen years ago, when Microsoft unleashed Windows 95 upon the world and cemented its position as the developer of the number one PC operating system on the planet, they presented a set of smart TV ads featuring The Rolling Stones.

But that was then and this is now, and things haven’t gone so well for the former 800-pound gorilla.

First, they attempted to sell the failed Windows Vista by running spots depicting a silly survey where some apparently ignorant people where shown a relabeled version of Vista on souped up PCs, to demonstrate it really wasn’t so bad after all. Well in plain fact, that’s probably true. But it didn’t revolutionize PC computing either, and its tremendous resource needs and early incompatibilities made it a difficult sell in the upgrade segment.

In any case, not achieving miracles, Microsoft hoped that the star of a popular 1990’s TV show about nothing would somehow — with Bill Gates in tow — do something to help Vista gain some traction. But as most of you know, that campaign failed after just two spots, and Microsoft decided to somehow satirize Apple’s Mac versus PC spots instead.

Story continued in this week’s Tech Night Owl Newsletter.

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One Response to “Newsletter #488 Preview: Microsoft’s Unfortunate Attempts at Online Marketing”

  1. Andrew says:

    I look at Vista much the same way as Cheetah (10.0) or Puma (10.1) in that it wasn’t ready to run on the hardware of the time. Of course, Apple made no secret of that.

    Vista SP1 is much like Jaguar or Panther in that modern hardware is fully able to run it quite well, and fully patched on a suitable system, it can be fast and fluid in its operation.

    Looking ahead to 7, Microsoft finally has its OS at the same in relation to the hardware it runs on as Apple is with Leopard. Of course, Snow Leopard is about to unlock a whole lot of potential in our existing systems and 7 has nothing like that in store.

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