Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) has done more harm than good in revitalizing PC sales. In fact, Windows 8 sales are off to a worse start than the nightmare known as Windows Vista. Between the lack of affordable touch-enabled devices and the radical change in the user interface, there are plenty of reasons behind the poor reception. However, there's one major reason that remains largely unaddressed: marketing.
Whenever a company introduces a product that's a strong divergence from its past, it's really important that the marketing message explains the differences and why users would want to embrace it. Microsoft's advertising message with Windows 8 hasn't exactly been clear with consumers ... until now:
The sooner potential users can understand the value that Windows 8 adds to the computing experience, the better chances PC sales can find some footing. In a 30-second ad, Microsoft successfully conveyed what makes Windows 8 different from previous versions and why that's a good thing for users. It also showed the versatility of a Windows 8 hybrid laptop that doubles as a tablet in a pinch.
As Microsoft CFO Peter Klein put it, transitioning to Windows 8 has been "complicated." For the first time ever, touch and mobility are now the central focus of the PC experience, which has naturally been met with resistance among millions of Windows users. Before Microsoft can really get the Windows 8 ball rolling, it must win over the hearts of those unwilling to change. In this context, it becomes clear how important clear-cut marketing is to Microsoft's ambitions. This ad is living proof that Microsoft is making progress toward that goal.
Granted, it's going to take more than a single 30-second ad to change the negative perceptions surrounding Windows 8. But little by little, Mr. Softy may be able to improve its marketing effectiveness.