I haven’t seen it yet, but ZDNet’s Ed Bott has – the teaser image below on Microsoft’s home page that, when you click on it, takes you to a section on the website called Windows Vista: Look how far we’ve come.
I’ve been using Vista in one edition or another since April 2007 and did some of the early beta testing. Largely, I’m pleased with it, even in the face of some pretty bad experiences last year, resolved thanks to Dell a few months ago.
Yet lots of people have nothing good to say about Windows Vista. Anecdotally, I hear horror stories usually accompanied by good-news stories about how Windows XP is better (plus of course the usual recommendations to get a Mac).
My wife’s a good example, recounting views she’s read online about how awful Vista is and offering opinions like “Over my dead body will Vista be on my PC!” (she’s an XP diehard).
And how do you keep up your positive outlook when you add into the picture facts that some vendors will sell you a brand new PC with XP, not Vista, if you wish? Hardly a vote of confidence.
So what is the ‘good news about Vista’ section on Microsoft’s website hoping to achieve?
Ed Bott reckons it’s part of a multi-million-dollar advertising campaign Microsoft is starting to improve perceptions about the company itself as well as those surrounding Windows Vista.
He comments on some of the text in that section and adds what I think is the most pertinent view:
[...] The real hard work begins with the messages that immediately follow this one. Microsoft has to identify the real benefits in Windows Vista and communicate them clearly and crisply. That’s not going to be any easy task.
Hmm, I’d agree with that. I don’t think an ad campaign alone is going to do the trick, though, so I’d be very surprised if this were the only traditional communication activity Microsoft is planning.
Microsoft also needs to get into the hearts of users, not only the fans of Vista but also those who use it and say they don’t like it. I could see micro-campaigns market per market, identifying influencers and reaching out to them.
What social media is designed for, in fact.