Category: Microsoft

Of Microsoft and Marketing, Or Why the Vista “Wow!” Campaign is Actually a “Doh!”

In light of Microsoft Vista’s tardy, ho-hum arrival–and its incomprehensible, off-strategy “Wow!” marketing campaign–let’s revisit, and hopefully debunk, a commonly held myth about Microsoft, namely, that the company has “bad” technology, but compensates with it’s “good/great” marketing.

Even a cursory trip through Microsoft’s marketing past can serve as convincing testimony that Microsoft’s marketing is often ineffective, and often as strange as the company’s top executives can be at times.

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Could Microsoft or Apple Be the Future of EMI?

Like all good media dinosaurs EMI Records is in no hurry to meet the future. The status quo is just too familiar and comfortable; better hang onto it as long as you can. Last week EMI postponed the future just a little bit longer by refusing a $4.1 billion takeover bid by WMG and breaking off discussions with online music services over the possibility of selling DRM-free downloads.

You would think a company that’s rapidly losing market share and issuing profit warnings every month would be taking drastic steps to turn things around, but that’s clearly not the case with EMI. As a card carrying member of the “big four” EMI is one of the last of a dying breed. I’m pretty sure there’s something in The Endangered Species Act that prevents the company from actually going bankrupt.

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Why I Hate (Most) Consumer Products

For my inaugural ‘Loper report, which I’ve delayed almost as long as Vista, I thought I should tee off on something that really gets my goat. And that is: how companies come up with their positively idiotic names for products. You know what I’m talking about. Those names that sound like they were picked from an eye chart at random.

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Whatever Happened To The Origami?

Last spring the tech blogosphere was buzzing about the impending release of a new Microsoft product code-named Origami. Like most products with code-names, details on the Origami were sketchy at first. Some speculated that it would be an iPod killer, while others thought it would be a more general purpose mobile entertainment device. The buzz was fueled by the appearance of mysterious video prior to the actual product announcement. The whole thing had a certain orchestrated quality about it.

Origami Day came and went and all we got out of it was a new acronym. Turns out the Origami is a UMPC (that’s short for Ultra Mobile PC). Essentially the Origami is a Microsoft reference specification that third party OEM’s can use to produce portable PC devices. UMPC’s are smaller than a notebook computer, but larger than a Pocket PC. And according to the Microsoft site, UMPC’s can do EVERYTHING.

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Whatever Happened To The Zune?

When Microsoft announced the Zune last July, we had pretty low expectations for the digital media player. So much about the Zune just didn’t seem right:

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