Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Microsoft's Commercials about Nothing

I loved the Seinfeld show. It was the last "subscription TV" I had for several years, until "The Office" showed up. It was touted as a show about nothing.

Microsoft has now engaged Jerry Seinfeld to help get the word out about Microsoft, especially Windows Vista edition. The new TV ads just started last week, and feature Jerry running into Bill Gates at the mall, where Bill is buying shoes at a discount store. Obviously a lot of jokes could, and have been, made at this point. "Bill can't sell Vista, so he has to buy cheap shoes", or "Bill failed at software because he really was not even smart enough to buy shoes, so now Jerry Seinfeld has to help him", or "Windows: an operating system about nothing". All in good fun, except when said by a Mac or Linux user :)

But the commercials are doing what they should do: drive a buzz. People have seen them, and remember them. Even my wife, who is a technophobe, recognized the people and commercials and could talk about them. So while there is a lot of criticism, maybe we should all wait. I started watching Seinfeld because I saw his routine on a morning talk show, the Pat Sajak show, before his series started. When it did start, it was panned and criticized, and moved all over the schedule. Finally it took hold and became a juggernaut; the show about nothing that everybody discussed on Friday morning.

Based on that, I am taking a wait and see approach. Let's observe where this goes, and if like Seinfeld the show, it actually is about something, and people talk about Windows, and Vista, and whatever else they actually promote, when they get around to doing that.

But personal note to Bill: I did not really like the shoes, so next time leave the Conquistadors on the shelf, OK?

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