Apr 11

Windows 7 Channel: visit to a ghost town

Call me a renegade, but sometimes I like to sit down at the computer and visit places where few dare to venture.

Yesterday, I followed a link to the Windows 7 YouTube Channel. I didn’t see tumbleweeds blowing through or vultures gathering in the sky — but I didn’t see much evidence of life either.

The number of views on the videos there seemed almost absurdly small. Especially for a monolith owning 90% of the global PC category. 4,000 here, 20,000 there. Heck, a kid in my neighborhood got more than 300,000 views for his Bar Mitzvah video.

The lack of traffic here seemed puzzling until I started looking at the videos. Let’s just say they’re not exactly show-stoppers. Hard to imagine any of them going viral.

The ad that follows, You spoke, we listened, is for Windows 7 Pro. It’s been up since March 22nd, having gathered only 10,000 views. The “we did it because you asked for it” approach is as old as the hills, and entices viewers accordingly.

The biggest crowd-pleaser seems to be the next one, but it’s only drawn about 30,000 in a month. (Technically, it’s an Asus ad subsidized by Microsoft.) It seems to have generated about as much excitement as the idea of Windows 7 powering a tablet.

After that, things really go downhill. Behind the Design of Windows Phone 7 has attracted 3,800 views in two months.

Another Windows 7 Pro video, What do you want from your PC? — one of the most mediocre videos I’ve endured in some time — has 2,900 views in a full year. You’d think they’d do a little cleanup around here once in a while.

Dig deep enough in the dust and you can find a few videos with decent numbers. An ad unveiled at a Microsoft developers conference has about 172,000 views, but then it too has been mellowing for a year. (Side note: this ad depicts a series of people, all staring at their phones to do their thing — even though last year’s Windows 7 Phone campaign ridiculed people who were glued to their phones.)

How does this compare to the action over at the Apple Channel?

There’s a long list of videos well up in the hundreds of thousands, and one over a million. Only down at the bottom of their list, when they get into app-specific videos, do the numbers even begin to resemble Microsoft’s.

Of course, it isn’t exactly a shocker that videos about Windows 7 would generate less interest than those about Apple’s i-things. And that’s Microsoft’s problem.

Until they start making products that capture people’s imagination, or start making ads that do the same, the Window 7 Channel will remain a very lonely place.

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  • Doug W

    Seems that you are now getting desperate for blog posts. In a word, who cares about how big a Youtube channel is. It doesnt mean anything. Fact is, that Windows 7 is the dominant OS and most people already know how to use them and most people except the fanboys, see the computer as a tool not something holy. Its just a computer.

  • ken segall

    @Doug W:
    Guess you’re right. Since Microsoft has the “dominant OS” and computers are just “tools,” why waste all that time and effort innovating or engaging with customers?

  • You might be increasing their views significantly by just posting them here!