Microsoft's drip-drip-drip Windows communications strategy dubbed a washout
Interview spree by Windows' CFO brings little new information to the table -- and that's a big problem for everyone in the ecosystem, argues analyst
Computerworld - Microsoft today announced it had sold 100 million copies of Windows 8, its first statement on sales milestones since January.
In a blog post and interviews with several influential bloggers and media outlets such as the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, Tami Reller, the CFO and head of marketing for the Windows division, went on a mini publicity spree, touting that sales figure, promising changes later this year with an update code-named "Blue," and reasserted the company's dedication to the sluggish Windows RT market.
But except for the 100-million milestone -- which was on par with sales of Windows 7 six months after its October 2009 launch -- Reller provided no new information, said Patrick Moorhead, principal analyst with Moor Insights & Strategy.
And that's a big problem.
"I think this is a terrible communications strategy," said Moorhead of the less-information-is-better approach Microsoft has taken the last several years, and that in his eyes, it continues to adhere to. While secrecy and news management can be used to advantage by some firms -- Apple was at the top of Moorhead's list there -- he argued that Microsoft's attempt to duplicate the strategy has created all kinds of problems, perceived and real.
"Only Apple can play Apple. I don't think Microsoft makes a very good Apple," Moorhead said.
"Microsoft relies on a large ecosystem that's very diverse," he said, contrasting it with the smaller universe of Apple developers and resellers, the Cupertino Calif. company's lock on its own hardware, and Apple's almost-exclusive play in the consumer space. By comparison, Microsoft has a huge audience of developers, hundreds of OEM partners, and both enterprise and consumer customers to inform. "Microsoft has to generate confidence in that ecosystem to get everyone excited, and to do that it has to keep that ecosystem informed. But [Reller's statements] just seems more of the same."
Many of the points that Reller made in the Microsoft-hosted blog post and in interviews were repeats of what other executives have already said.
While Reller used the "Blue" moniker -- saying that it would appear "later this year" -- and noted that the update would "respond to the customer feedback that we've been closely listening to," code for an assumed restoration of the Start button and perhaps a boot-to-desktop option -- neither was news: Soon-to-depart CFO Peter Klein had already covered both in an earnings call three weeks ago.
Ditto with Reller's references to "the next generation of tablets," and comments about future smaller tablets; her message that PCs are changing, and tablets are only part of the computing continuum; and that users are more satisfied with Windows 8 using a mouse and keyboard than published reports indicate.
- Microsoft's Bing goes ad-free for all U.S. schools
- Apple kicks off public OS X beta testing
- Russian leaker resurfaces, claims Microsoft will issue second Windows update this year
- Windows' new normal shows software-as-a-service ambitions
- Microsoft extends Windows 8.1 Update migration deadline for business
- Microsoft puts the squeeze on Windows to shoehorn it into 16GB devices
- Google quashes 31 vulnerabilities, restores Metro mode 'steppers' with Chrome 34
- Microsoft drags customers 'kicking and screaming' into its world of faster updates
- Windows 8.1 Update deep-dive review: An OS that makes more sense
- Microsoft suspends Windows 8.1 Update release to businesses
- Silicon Valley's 19 Coolest Places to Work
- Is Windows 8 Development Worth the Trouble?
- 8 Books Every IT Leader Should Read This Year
- 10 Hot Hadoop Startups to Watch
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- Infographic: Converged Infrastructure Benefits This Infographic quantifies the savings organizations are realizing from increased deployment speed, higher availability, and lower annual costs.
- CIOs Deliver Productivity Breakthroughs with Intelligent Digital Signage Retailers have long recognized the influence that digital signage provides over a shopper's point-of-purchase decision making process.
- Going Paperless? Here's What You Need to Think About As makers of some of the world's most popular PDF solutions, we often consult with businesses & governmental agencies that have the goal...
- The Big Data Opportunity for HR and Finance If CEOs, CFOs, CIOs, and CHROs want to drive their businesses forward, they will need to quickly recognize the enormous value of big...
- Top 4 Digital Signage Fails Join RMG Networks for a look at four of the most common reasons digital signage fails in corporate businesses. Learn about strategies to...
- Building Tomorrow's Infrastructure Listen to this podcast to discover how Crider Foods worked with PC Connection to update their IT infrastructure, while maintaining compliance and control. All Windows White Papers | Webcasts