28 December 2011

Microsoft: 2012

This’ll be a long one – the last of the year.  Let’s get all the disclaimers, caveats, and transparencies out of the way:

  • Back in the Middle-Ages (around 1998) I did a bit of freelance copywriting/consulting for Microsoft.  It had something to do with this, and whatever I did has vanished into the ethereal unity.
  • I’ve applauded and bashed Microsoft in various posts over the last five years. Here’s one.  Here’s another one.  There are more.
  • imageAn “in-law” relative works for Microsoft.
  • I never received my shiny, new, free laptop.
  • I recently installed Windows 7 on my desktop and like it.
  • I recently purchased a Windows 7 Phone and like it.

From CNET:

Microsoft: Five things to look for in 2012
by Jay Greene
image… Microsoft is prepping the big kahuna of its product arsenal, Windows 8. The company hasn't set a date, though most analysts expect the flagship operating system to debut before the end of the year, and perhaps in time for back-to-school shopping. From that product, much else from Redmond flows.

I’ve had a lot (probably too much) to say about smartphones & tablets & Baby Boomers.  Some of the too much:

imageThe Slippery Finger Dance

The Obligatory iPad Post

The Obligatory Follow-Up iPad (and Smartphone and QR Codes) Post

Baby Boomers & Smartphones
The real issue: Marketers assuming that if you're over fifty you're automatically a member of one and only one age demographic - all with the same needs and wants.

So for now, forget about online advertising and marketing and let’s talk about selling smartphones and tablets.

Most Boomers in business have been using Microsoft products for twenty-five years.  Some stuck with Apple, especially in the advertising/media biz because Macs were better at all the graphic stuff – or was for years. 

But in offices around the world?  Windows and Office rules. 

Baby Boomers want to keep on working.  They also want to have fun.  Repeating for the umpteenth time:

imageThe computer/internet ethos for most Baby Boomers is that they pick and choose what technology they want to use, buy, or install. Some are all over Skype, video and music uploading and downloading, research, education, travel planning, shopping—while eschewing blogging, communities, and web page design. Or it’s the other way around. Or variations thereof. When it comes to new technology, most Baby Boomers learn only about what interests them, what they believe will be useful. They don’t feel the need to know everything there is to know about technology, computers, and the web.

… It will be the Baby Boomers who will be the first to pick and choose, to ignore or be seduced by leading-edge technology marketing. There’s a simple reason for this. We have the money to buy this stuff. Experts say we’ll continue to have the money for at least the next twenty years. Write us off at your own peril.

We’re not Luddites.

In 2012, Microsoft wants to make more than a dent in the symbiotic smartphone, tablet, and computer markets.  It can be done.  Their smartphone OS (Mango at the moment) is top notch, and a compatible tablet is coming (Windows 8). 

And we won’t be retiring.  We’ll be working, millions starting our own businesses

imageThis is perfect positioning for the new Microsoft offerings: Fun and productive technology for Baby Boomers.

Unfortunately, NostraChuckus’ Crystal Ball of Common Sense is a bit hazy, not projecting any clear images depicting the marketing department at Microsoft having or not having a clue about any of this. 

And even if they did, would they know what to do about it?  How to do it?