I had two hilarious encounters with the new Microsoft Surface advertising this weekend. One is just funny. The other is telling.
Here’s the ad:
Funny item #1:
Multiple people asked me if, at 13 seconds in, I had a little cameo:
No, that’s not me. I know people think we all look alike though.
Funny, but not so funny (for MS), item #2:
We’re watching the Flordia State v. Miami football game (I hate both teams, not sure why I was watching it). The commercial (“Movement”) comes on…
After it’s over:
“We should have gotten that keyboard for Christine’s iPad instead of the one we got.”
(Christine’s our daughter, we got her one of the Logitech iPad keyboards).
Listen, my wife has been around a lot of technology for a long time. She’s always just put up with it (and me). She calls it as she sees it.
She thought it was a good commercial. She had no idea what it was for. She seriously thought it was for an iPad accessory.
This is not her fault.
This is Microsoft’s fault.
Windows 8, Windows RT, and Surface are massively confusing. This is a mess for Microsoft.
I mostly like Windows 8. But the lack of cohesion in the UI can be frustrating – and I’ve been using it on my primary machine since dev preview. Simple things are non-intuitive – like switching immersive UI screens between monitors, printing a PDF, &c. Not to mention Desktop IE10 vs Immersive IE10 – the switches can be jarring. And to call the product “Surface” when they already have a table product named “Surface” And what are immersive apps – metro, immersive, Windows 8 apps, Windows RunTime apps. WinRT is the “new Windows API” but WindowsRT is an ARM based OS as well. The product has some really nice components, but if only it could be held together better.
Yeah, I really feel like Apple’s OS delineation makes more sense. One OS uses touch input, the other uses “traditional” mouse input. While the line between the two might be a bit blurry (i.e. touch keyboard on iOS, trackpad gestures on OS X), you’re never confused about what applications are able to run on each platform, and the UI is (mostly) consistent.
And I have to agree the ad is “cool” and “likable” but you have no idea what a surface gets you. or what Windows RT is. I can see how it can be easily mistaken as an iPad accessory ad.
Not really microsofts fault. People call phones iphones always, even if they’re any form of android mess, or wp7, or ANYTHING else.
for ordinary people, there is, apparently, only apple naming things. so any tablet is an ipad. everyone (including ordinary people) know that there are many more companies out there producing many more products, but somehow, in the end, always just apple exists in their mindset for NAMING things.
this culture of “one product == the whole product category” is totally wrong, and i hate it. but it’s the way people think. microsoft can’t change that. google can’t. no one can.
the only way to do that is to revolutionize in some way.
think of whatsapp. that app, from any technical point, is nothing new. but it was sold as “sms for free”. and now it’s the best thing ever for ordinary people. even while it’s just another chat app, and fb chat and msn and all delivered that since years, on phones, too (and, unlike whatsapp, on tablets and desktops, too).
but it revolutionized in some way something for the consumers, and now nothing else can replace it in their mindset.
same for ipad.
The difference is that Apple recognizes that customers are confused by myriad products in the same category, so they just sell one product in each.
Funny thing about #2: I was sitting in a bar watching the FSU vs Miami game with the FSU alumni when the ad aired. (BTW, I’ll forgive you for hating FSU;)) My wife, who is not a techie, saw the ad and said it was a great ad. She knew what it was for and even commented on the kickstand and said it was a great idea.
That said, the marketing of the differences between Windows 8 and Windows RT is awful. I hadn’t even thought of throwing the Surface in there. MS does need to address this. I thought that Windows Mobile would be a possibility but that’s been done and has baggage. I thought Windows WT (Windows Tablet) would have been good, although the WT would be redundant – “Windows Windows Tablet”. There has to be something better than Windows RT.
Hopefully MS can figure it out, because I like Windows 8 and want to see it do well.
I think your thinking is off actually. It just means that people don’t know the difference between a Samsung Lumia 900 and an Apple Galaxy S3. They just buy what is sold to them. That commercial just sold your wife on a Surface, but hopefully you have enough sense to just buy her one so that she can run all her IPad Quicken Software on it.
The tablet and the UI in the commercial doesn’t look like an iPad at all.
Surface pre-order sold out everywhere! Buddy, don’t you think this is a good mess?
Did you notice the girl dressed in brown in the fountain scene has a bad case of under arm stain. Pretty ugly, couldn’t they afford deoderant.