After watching the new Microsoft “I’m a PC” commercials, my first thought was “I want Seinfeld back!” Then after the initial reaction subsided, I realized who should be doing the commercials, Steve Ballmer.
Ballmer is known for doing various Microsoft commercials in the past, commercials with a clear message and lots of energy. This is what Microsoft needs to go back to, focusing on what their software can do rather than who uses their software. While this doesn’t apply to everybody, I certainly don’t make my choice of operating systems or any other software just because it is perceived as cool by some people. As long as I can collaborate with you on something, I don’t care what operating system you are running.
While I will admit their public image could use some work, if you are going to try to sell something, sell it based on what it has and can do. Show people that despite the negative press your product receive early on, things are good now and they can do almost anything with it. Show them that not only can it do what the competition does, but it can perform other functions as well. At the end of the day, I want something functional rather than something pretty, so it should be sold to me as such.
It is not going to be easy for Microsoft to overcome the smug attitude of Apple fanboys, so they should compete with functionality rather than argue that we are as cool or cooler than you are. Fanboys by their nature will cling to something no matter what, so you should try to target those that can be converted and tell existing customers about what you can do so they don’t think that the grass might be greener on the other side. If there is one person that can demonstrate how valuable Vista can be, it is Steve Ballmer.
Below I have posted Ballmer’s Windows XP commercial which demonstrates a clear selling point and what functionality it has rather than focusing on who uses it.