12 November 2010

Windows 7 and "The Cloud"

Microsoft is really trying to squeeze as much juice from the fruit of Windows 7 as they can.  Nothing wrong with that, but now they are implying falsehoods and maybe even outright lying to the consumer.  The current marketing initiative for Windows 7 is an example of why marketing is the sweet science of lying by another name.

First some history about what Windows 7 replaced; that almighty sack of fecal matter that is Windows Vista.  Windows Vista is a piece of flaming garbage for the experienced and non-experienced user alike.  [See my prior post "Vista Be Shita".  This is an older link to when the podcast was still up and running, so have a listen to hear about all the craptacular goofiness that is Windows Vista.]

Companies refused to upgrade from Windows XP, and the masses ran in terror.  Microsoft tried to fix something that wasn't broken, and the people told them to shove it sideways.  To this day I have small suspicions that Vista was made poorly on purpose.  Think about it - Windows 7 saves the day and gives people a reason to upgrade from Windows XP to something that actually works.  Glowing reviews for Windows 7 as compared to ugly smelly pox-riddled Vista, not the mature product of Windows XP!  Then I come to my senses and realize no one at Microsoft would ever come up with that plan... right?

Microsoft has this shiny new Windows 7 product that works well and people actually want; it flies off the shelves to the surprise of no one.  Windows 7 breaks all sorts of sales records in its early days on the market.  How do you keep this sales momentum rolling?

Now the lying begins.  To keep consumers buying Windows 7 as the product life cycle trudges along, Microsoft is making not so subtle references it its advertising to Windows 7 having some magical connection to "the Cloud".  Check out the video below:

Fanny Housewife is taking a lame picture of her family and "needs" Windows 7 to get her "TO THE CLOUD"!  Microsoft, please stop with this nonsense!  

Anyone using Gmail or online storage or even Hotmail for the past DECADE has been using the cloud!  The "Cloud" is just another name for off-site processing and storage of information.  My Gmail account is stored somewhere else, and the operating system or browser I have makes no real difference to accessing that data.  The protocols for accessing information elsewhere are Internet based, not based on an operating system.  Windows 7 has no special connection to the cloud, nor in itself does it offer any special advantage over using Mac, Linux, or any other operating system to employ cloud computing.

 Yes, there is a definite advantage to pairing your Windows 7 powered machine to an Xbox gaming console, and possibly using the Microsoft branded online "xxx LIVE" applications with the new Win7 mobile phones.  But that should be expected as synergies across branded products for greater productivity and ease of use from a company like Microsoft.

Microsoft, all the stuff you show people doing in the cloud has been done for years.  Granted, it was likely done by advanced users, but it has been done.  Most people will buy a Windows 7 machine and do no more than check their email, check facebook, buy a book, skype a friend or two, listen to some music, and maybe send a photo for printing at the local supermarket.  That's it in a nutshell.  That is the experience of baby boomers learning about the interweb and calling their kids for IT support when they forget to turn the screen on after hitting the power button on the big box under the desk.  These people are not going to be streaming video across different rooms in their house or care one whiff about the cloud!  The majority are going to do a few things over and over and over and call it a day.

Plus, doing the things you show people doing in the commercials is not as easy as plug-and-play.  I consider myself a intermediate user with years of PC experience and I know it always takes more to get something done than the zero-effort solution marketers love to plaster on the screen.

Microsoft, you are lying.  Stop it.  Build something that is actually better and people will love it enough to make a purchase.  Make improvements like you did to the Office Suite of programs which is miles ahead of all competitors.  The "Office Ribbon" was new and bold and shocking at first.  After using it for a bit, the ribbon made so much intuitive sense continuing to use a version of MS Office WITHOUT the ribbon is a mark of insanity.

Microsoft, again, stop lying, and do what you can to make your product better to service the REAL needs of your customers.  Don't have your marketing teams try to generate needs in consumers that are not there, and then fill those desires with products advertised on the backs of thinly veiled lies and half-truths!

Consumers bitch-slapped you once Microsoft, by calling out Windows Vista as a cesspool of toxic waste.  Don't give up all the good will you manged to regain by lying to the consumer about the capabilities and advantages of Windows 7.


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