Many years ago, I was actually a fan of Microsoft.
There, I’ve said it. I’ve been holding it in all this time. I feel much better now.
Yes, as a writer who loves technology, I used to anxiously await each new release of Microsoft Word for Mac. I enjoyed exploring the labyrinth of buttons and menus. The more, the merrier. I couldn’t give Microsoft my money fast enough.
But it gets even worse: I was a stockholder too. I rooted for them to succeed.
So it’s not like I slam Microsoft out of some genetic hatred. I do it because I find them absolutely perplexing. I like smart companies — and Microsoft, once a symbol of smarts, now so often plays the fool.
I wonder how a company with practically limitless resources can go MIA when revolutionary changes are afoot. I wonder how a CEO can keep his job when all those lapses take place under his watch. I also wonder what they’re thinking when they approve many of their ads — the latest example being the one above.
It appears to be an encore performance of their I’m a PC campaign, which was a timid comeback to Apple’s Mac vs. PC campaign. Where I come from, encores happen when enthusiastic audiences demand more. This campaign’s end was met more with relief than disappointment.
More perplexing, though, is the content of this ad. It’s hard to believe that creative directors, strategists and finally, the brain trust at Microsoft, would ever approve such a silly “let’s build a PC store in your house” idea.
The coup de grâce comes when our hero experiences her grand revelation: “So there is no tower anymore? Wow!”
Yikes. Who’s going to break it to her that we now have smartphones and microwave ovens? Way to make your customers look smart, Microsoft.
Then again, maybe this explains why Microsoft was so willing to overpay ($8.5 billion) for Skype this week. “We can actually make audio and video calls on our computers? Wow!”