Monday, 29 September 2008

Mr. Gates' s MS ads

The Bill Gates- Seinfield “connecting” ads: Focusing on the consumer goes beyond trying to connect with amusing ads.

Ok, maybe we came to the party really late …. But we finally managed to see one of these ads and enjoyed it.

We beign with a disclaimer: We admire Mr. Gates. We really respect him and what he has managed to do. We respect what his foundation is setting out to do. We would love to have had his professional life. But we don’t agree with everything he has done.

What I don’t enjoy is this: Mr. Gates is trying to connect to people and playing up the role of “connectivity” that his software brings to the world.

But to most common users, his software has been one of the most frustrating “essentials” of life. If Mr. Gates was truly connected, he would have not found it hard to hear the millions of people who moan about why windows takes 5 minutes to boot up.

He would have heard us complain about why it costs so much for me to own a product of which I use so little. Why has no MS never really educated me about the millions of features embedded in the product- for which I pay but never use.

Mr. Gates, there are two key sentiments in our world today. Our need to be connected. You go that right. But the second equally important sentiment- we need to feel empowered. Our need to be heard. To believe that we actually make a difference to the world. That we matter to our friends. And to large corporations like yours. You have largely ignored that need.

You have continued to build bigger and more expensive mouse traps.

Great brands engage, educate and entertain Mr. Gates. Your company should try to hear its millions and millions of consumers. Tell us you are trying to understand us. Tell us why your product is as it is. What is it trying to solve? What will the next relaease do for me- common man me.

Lets come back to another cliché. Consumers are at the heart of the business. Has your company got that right?

Supply chain/ financing arrangements/ distribution/ sales team….all this is secondary. The principal idea behind a business is “who is your customer? And what is the value you are proposing to him?” Then lets worry about how to fund the business/ investing in R&D/ supply chain.

MS has a problem. It created a great product. But then it stopped creating great products. Windows, bigger and brighter windows, even bigger and even brighter windows..etc.

All I want is my computer to be up and running when I press the start key. It takes 5 minutes. It has always taken 5 minutes.

In the world of operating systems, if I am to believe MS, nothing has changed. Even worse, I believe now that MS has ensured that nothing can change.

Why do I like Apple? Apple took a music player and made it cool and enjoyable to use. Then they took a video player and did the same. Finally, they took a phone and did the same. I have never used an Apple PC, so I can’t speak about that.

But Apple tells me that things are changing. Continuously and for the better.

MS tells me, things should not change. We will not let things change for you. Ever.

MS has not bought me anything new. MS does not listen to me. With its new ads, Gates and MS try to be entertaining, but nothing more. Tks for the funny ad Mr. Gates, but hope you get the next Windows release right.

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