As a former Microsoft employee it’s fascinating to see the great vibes around the company lately. Knowing that I worked there at the time the company introduced Windows Vista and turned the pretty successful MSN Messenger into the not so successful Windows Live Messenger it’s fair to say these are definitely better days.
I don’t need to tell you but just look at it. Windows 10 is getting all the praise, finally the Windows the world wanted? And that free for most people. The new Office is around the corner and it’s great to see the productivity pack is getting bigger – partially by Microsoft developments like Sway and also thanks to some truly great acquisitions like Acompli (which turned into a great Outlook app) or Sunrise & Wunderlist. Small acquisitions but with immediate impact. One might argue that Microsoft missed the boat on mobile (you did indeed) but nevertheless you own productivity on all mobile platforms, including iOS – heck you even made it back to the Apple stage! And last but not least the Surface & Surface Book. Now that Apple introduced the keyboard & stylus for the iPad the whole world recognises that Microsoft was right with the Surface all along. And by introducing the Surface Book you just stepped up your game while others are catching up. And then we haven’t even mentioned the HoloLens for instance. Exciting times.
In terms of advertising all of that is great news, a great product is the best start for outstanding advertising. And yet that’s exactly the problem. Microsoft’s advertising isn’t all that great. On the contrary. And that’s a shame. Think about it, you (finally) get people excited about your product and then when you start promoting them it’s actually quite impossible to find that same excitement in the advertising. So what about the less techie audience – most people actually as you are well aware – what about them? The first time they’ll hear about the Surface Book is through your advertising. And there’s a good chance they won’t care about what you are saying because boring.
Both the Windows 10 as well as the more recent Surface Book ads lack excitement, inspiration, insight, … and funny thing is people wished it were different. So dear Satya, now is a good time to fix that part of the business as well. It looks like all the pieces of the puzzle are falling into place, but you’re shipping it in shitty boxes. I don’t know who runs your advertising, but it’s time to find someone else to take over. And make your ads stand out as much as your products these days. The company deserves it.
My 2 cents.