Friday, September 04, 2009

Microsoft to sponsor thousands of Tupperware-style house parties to launch Windows 7--bad idea, or terrible idea?

Why I think this will fail: There’s a fundamental values disconnect between the channel they’re using to promote this product, and the product itself.

  • First of all, when you think of a PC operating system, the venue you’re most comfortable in getting a demo from is one where you’re surrounded by people who are technologically adept, in as controlled a setting as possible. That’s why Apple’s “Genius Bars” are so brilliant--when you're kicking the tires on something complex, you want to be able to ask any question or address any problem and get that sucker solved, quickly and with confidence.
  • Secondly, PCs--even laptops--are not a community-sharable product. The pic they have on the site below says it all—honestly, have you EVER had a bunch of your friends sit around your laptop the way the happily multicultural folks in the stock photo on MS’s page do? No. Laptops are optimized for ONE, awkward for two, and completely useless for more than three. I don’t even want to point out that viewing angles on laptops alone make that scene implausible. 
  • Thirdly, you should only use untethered and untrained consumer evangelists when you have a product that’s very simple to use and that can be sold using passion and emotion rather than bullet points. Tupperware, cosmetics, lingerie, yes. Computer software? Sorry. At least not Microsoft software, which is features-heavy, far from dummyproof, and not particularly focused on the kind of “surprise and delight” cues that make this kind of selling viable.
And oh yes--about that incentive they're offering: "Every host has the chance to win a PC"? If you didn't have a PC, you wouldn't be hosting demos of PC software. And if you do have one, is winning another one really that much of an incentive? Hmm...well, maybe if it's a Mac.

But hey, just my humble opinion. Good luck with that, Microsoft.

Posted via email from originalspin's posterous


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