Mario Sundar

LinkedIn's 2nd PR hire. These are my thoughts on products, public relations, and startups.

Can $500 million buy Microsoft buzz?

Took the weekend off from my blog, celebrating my birthday with my community of friends. Had a nice party with close friends last Saturday, some of whom had come from LA & Fresno (that was nice, guys) and my good friend, Damon, was kind enough to host at his place (thanks, buddy!).

The blogging community was represented by Noah and Gabe. Jeremiah, couldn’t make it but I know we’ll party sometime soon. Also, hope to meet Karl and Anand at future events. So now, back to marketing and serious blogging:


$500 million, trust and buzz

The Money: As can be expected, Microsoft has pumped $500 million in marketing towards the launch of their new operating system and Office suite. And, here are initial results (via Niall Kennedy’s blog):

The level of consumer excitement around the launch of Windows Vista was nowhere near the experience of 200+ people lining up for the latest copy of Mac OS X (Tiger) two years ago. I expected at least some Windows fans battling it out to be the first person to buy Vista at midnight but there was little excitement and no line in sight.

What’s worse is that Microsoft has magically been able to generate tons of negative buzz (via Presentation Zen, which analyzes the trust issue from a design standpoint)

The Trust: Now don’t get me wrong — given Microsoft ubiquitousness in today’s world, I’ve no doubt that they’ll make a gazillion dollars out of this launch when business picks up. However, how many users are purchasing Vista because they love it and are passionate about it vs. those who are stuck with it? And, how many users trust them?

Fact check: Users don’t trust Microsoft (via Digital Trends)–

Forrester Research’s 2005 Technology Brand Scorecard evaluated “brand trust”. Microsoft was the only company cited as having a negative brand potential, as measured by its respondents aspiring to use its products mine current users at risk of defection. These households know they run Microsoft software but would be just as happy to leave it behind—if they could.

Among the top ranking companies in the same scorecard – Apple!

Is the era of Apple beginning?

Speaking of beginnings, today’s my actual birthday (1/31) so I’d like to thank all my blog friends for continuing to converse and share thoughts through this medium. I look forward to an important era in my blogging life!

Filed under: Facebook

12 Responses

  1. Happy B-day brutha! I wish you a year of good health

    I perceive MS Vista as the XP Media Center Edition 2007. Interesting perhaps for some, but more novel than revolutionary in a useful manner.

    I think most people probably see the same. If there are significant enhancements worth upgrading for, they sure aren’t very well known or publicized. XP was great for a variety of reasons including making networking easier, and managing/creating media among other things.

    Summary: No significant reason to upgrade as early adopter. price will be better a year later, software/driver kinks will be resolved. But even then……why buy?

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  2. Hi Mario,

    Happy Bday! Thanks for not trashing my house!

    Microsoft: I don’t think they’ve done enough to overcome the negative perceptions that started in the 1980’s. In addition, Microsoft products just aren’t as “sexy” and “hip” as Apple products are right now (Apple has a great design team).If I remember correctly, I also remember reading that Vista requires 1gb of RAM? This could also delay purchases until people see the need to buy a new computer.

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  3. And check Seth Godin out about Vista:

    http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2007/01/wow.html

    P.S. I can’t make it tonight because I am still waiting for the info for me to do my job;-)

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  4. Mario Sundar says:

    Thanks, Mario!

    I think XP is not even revolutionary, rather evolutionary. Moreover, the cool factor of the interface is an obvious rip-off of the Mac — so I’m not impressed.

    I may have mentioned this before, instead of upgrading, I’ve decided to purchase a Mac. They’ve won me over.

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  5. Mario Sundar says:

    Damon!

    Thanks, buddy! As always, I can’t but agree w/ your thoughts on vista and the mac.

    As for the evening party, I figured you were stuck at work. No worries. See ya soon.

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  6. Hi Mario,

    Perhaps you will be lucky enough to have MS send you a free laptop? ;-)

    I still use MS products because I am familiar with them. But I do think Apple does convey a much “cooler” image than MS does these days…I have an Ipod & I’ve bought friends/family Ipods as well.

    If someone wanted MS & wanted to check Vista out, I would probably just recommend buying it through the channels that exist already (Dell.com., etc.).

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  7. Mario Sundar says:

    Well, wouldn’t that be great– so we can create a furore over blogger ethics.

    Apple’s super-cool and I realize that I use my home computer for music, multi-media, dvd, and the web and guess who rules the digital entertainment world?

    Also, I think this conversion to Mac has been slowly brewing inside of me, after reading influentials like Om & Guy talk about it on fanatical terms and then listening to every Steve Jobs keynote helped as well :)

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  8. Don’t make me jealous now…I want a Mac too someday., but I gotta wait because I bought the best widescreen HP laptop money could buy 6 mo. ago along with a super 3yr warranty.

    It’ll be a great transition…only 30 mo. to go :(

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  9. Mario Sundar says:

    Ha ha… Don’t worry, I’ll rub it in w/ my fanatical posts once I move over to the Mac side. I’m just waiting for the 2/20 Apple conference, where I hope Jobs will release the new OS.

    Anyways, a wide screen HP doesn’t sound too bad either. Vista? I suppose?

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  10. Mack Collier says:

    Happy (late) Birthday Mario! There’s a big reason why the buzz over Vista isn’t working: No one knows WHY they should buy the OS! Now if Microsoft could have told us EXACTLY why we NEED to upgrade to Vista, and THEN had the buzz, then Vista would have been a hit.

    So far I have yet to hear anyone tell me what Vista will do that XP can’t. The only thing I’ve heard is that I would probably need a new PC to run it.

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  11. Mario Sundar says:

    Thanks, Mack!

    I totally agree w/ you. The marketing machinery — that is Microsoft, doesn’t seem to understand that it’s all about translating the features to what the consumer can understand and appreciate; much like Apple does. Apple’s SO GOOD at that.

    Here’s Chris Pirillo who also shares our thoughts: http://chris.pirillo.com/2007/02/01/microsoft-give-me-a-million-dollars-to-market-windows-vista-for-you/.

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  12. [...] blog Okdork.com, shared a blogosphere chat with him, and finally had a chance to meet him at my bday party last [...]

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