It’s the newest hot opportunity for hip, happening, super-coolios to make fun of Microsoft. And who doesn’t love that? One of the best jabs at the software giant is the video montage of the recent launch events titled: “The Surface vs. iPad: Microsoft’s Getting Rusty at Stealing from Apple”. The Apple event is the cool, flashy, “wow” experience you would expect, and the Microsoft event is the nerdy, boring, khaki pants and blue shirt gathering that anyone who has seen an old “Mac vs. PC” ad would predict.
As a former high school teacher and now a mother of a ten-year old, I have had a lot of practice in handing out tips for how to deal with being made fun of. The number one tactic – make fun of yourself first. Professional comedians across the country will back me up on this.
And that might just be what Microsoft has done differently this time. In a recent interview, one Microsoft spokesperson proudly said, ““iPads are fine if you’re the type who likes to sit in trendy bars, sipping so-called ‘lattes’ and eating ‘paninis’ – whatever they might be – while yapping on about ‘chillwave’ music to another idiot in tight trousers. However if you resent those people, don’t care about clothes and like word processing, spread sheets and making checklists of real ale pubs, this machine is for you. It’s militantly unexciting.”
In other words, iPads are for “cool” people, and the Surface is for, well… the rest of us. And as it turns out, the rest of us is a pretty big market.
This could be brilliant. It’s certainly bold.
And, I have to admit that I am intrigued. I just broke down and finally bought an iPad a few weeks ago (well, OK, it was a gift, but anyway…) I am still figuring out just how this new toy can work for me. I do a lot of working (i.e. writing and formatting documents and proposals, creating PowerPoint presentations, filling out expense reports in Excel, you get the idea…) and so far that’s not a great experience on the iPad. I don’t watch movies on planes, I work. I don’t play games, I, uh, work. Wow, maybe I am not cool. Or at least not cool enough to run my iPad out of battery before my daughter does playing “Cut the Rope”.
And the Surface was made for work. As one recent article put it, “It isn’t compatible with Windows, it is Windows”. It is uniquely designed with the “productivity” worker in mind, and to be managed by IT departments. This is a BIG deal.
So, is it shameful to say that the “Surface” might be just what I am looking for? Hmmm, maybe not if Microsoft makes being “uncool” exactly the opposite by proudly claiming, “We love who we are.”
Must go think about this new marketing tactic. It might just be the first Evolutionary thing Microsoft has done in years…