Marketing: the answer to any mediocre product

· by Steve · Read in about 2 min · (298 Words)

The inimitable Mr Ballmer has just issued another one of his startling revelations - that the answer to customer apathy about Vista is a bigger marketing budget. Apparently $500m is just not enough yet to persuade people that Vista is the best thing since sliced, toasted and even magical crustless bread.

“We’re going to have to invest more than we ever have in consumer excitement,” said the chair wielding Olympian.

I can only imagine that in order to generate said ‘consumer excitement’ they’re going to use the money to fly customers to Vegas for weekends of wanton debauchery, with the Vista logo emblazoned on every craps table, roulette wheel, and sparkly costume. Because honestly, I don’t think the problem is that people don’t know enough about Vista - quite the opposite. I think they know exactly what it is, and having made a rational judgement, aren’t that excited about it, because of the very nature of the product - it’s an underachieving 5-year money pit with a must-have feature list of exactly zero. You can dress that up however you like but it isn’t going away. I wouldn’t use the term ‘polishing a turd’ here, because it’s not that Vista is a bad product, it’s just not inspiring. It’s a like putting a party hat on that boring bloke from accounts.

In my opinion Ballmer would be better to put that money towards developing products that people can get excited about, and perhaps which actually live up to a development cycle that borders on vampiric torpor, rather than trying to create some kind of vaporous atmosphere of success & desirability with it. But, it’ll probably work, there are a lot of dumb people out there 😕

*yeah, I know it’s more Microsoft bashing, so sue me. Actually, don’t.