(Dean and Gordon have been busy doing administrivia so they let me guest blog today.)
Microsoft’s new ad campaign is all about how Microsoft connects with real people. Bill Gates and Jerry Seinfield act out a mini-reality series about how they need to get in touch with real people. TechCrunch is not buying it, and I can see why.
Microsoft wants to show they understand real people. But like most big companies, they only understand the CIO, the CTO, and the head of IT because that is who they sell to. They have long forgotten what helps me and my fellow workers.
Microsoft is not alone in this. Most companies forget what it’s like to be a worker bee. This is because the executives that make the decisions are removed from what their employees do.
I, for one, am drowning in email and PowerPoint and Word documents and meetings. I have no time to do my real job. I waste countless hours of my day looking for that document that Steve sent me… last week I think… is this the right version? No, this isn’t it. Maybe he didn’t email it. Maybe he stuck it on the share drive. I’m sure it’s on his machine somewhere, but Steve is in a meeting. I can’t find him… maybe Don has a copy?
Where’s the Microsoft product to help me, a real person, solve these mundane real-world problems? I need to re-find the things I have, share with my co-workers and managers without interupring my work, find the expert I need, work offline for a little bit, and focus on getting things done.
Once upon a time Microsoft did actually sell to the indivdual knowledge workers, and their software was leading edge. I bought a copy of Excel because it was better than Lotus 123. Many of us switched to Word because pasting images and slides into documents was cool. Multiple undo was a killer feature for real-world folks like me who
ocasianally sometimes misspell stuff.
Microsoft are confessing they are a bit out of touch with these new ads. The reason for this is because long ago they stopped focusing on the end user, and started focusing on their (much more lucrative) OEM and Enterprise licensing customers. But the needs of enterprise customers rarely intersect with the needs of average consumers.
What sort of Xbox games would Microsoft make if it sold them to the local PTA?