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  • Writer's pictureJeff Matthews

How to Fix Microsoft: More Ads! More Meetings!

Negative perceptions of Vista are one of the most pressing problems facing Mr. Ballmer. Although money rolls in as the software ships on new computers, many corporate users have been slow to adopt Vista.

—The Wall Street Journal

Anybody catch the faulty premise contained in that paragraph?

If you said to yourself, “Well, duh! It’s the part where they say ‘Negative perceptions of Vista are one of the most pressing problems facing Mr. Ballmer’” you’d be right.

Perceptions are not the “pressing problem” with Vista. The pressing problem with Vista is that users hate it. And they’re fleeing in droves.

Has anybody at Microsoft—at least in that executive suite—watched a ‘Mac vs. PC’ ad? No?

Didn’t think so.

Just imagine that a single airplane maker had a monopoly manufacturing all the world’s airplanes for twenty years or so. And then they built a new plane that was hard to fly and crashed a lot. Fliers would find an alternative in a hurry.

That’s what Microsoft users are doing.

Microsoft’s solution to fixing Vista? More ads! We are not making that up:

Mr. Ballmer has approved a new marketing campaign for Vista that is expected to kick in this year. Meanwhile, he is determined to avoid the delays that plagued that product in the development of Windows 7, which is expected in early 2010.

And how is Microsoft planning to make sure Windows 7 is something people might actually want to use?

More meetings! We are not making that up, either:

One safeguard: he entrusted the project to Steven Sinofsky, a senior vice president with a long history of managing big software projects. Executives said Windows 7’s schedule is being managed more tightly, including frequent meetings with Mr. Ballmer and other top executives to monitor progress.

Think Dilbert, Wally and Alice sitting around a table, listening. While the pointy-haired boss talks.

Windows 7 can’t miss.

Jeff Matthews I Am Not Making This Up © 2008 NotMakingThisUp, LLC

The content contained in this blog represents the opinions of Mr. Matthews. Mr. Matthews also acts as an advisor and clients advised by Mr. Matthews may hold either long or short positions in securities of various companies discussed in the blog based upon Mr. Matthews’ recommendations. This commentary in no way constitutes investment advice. It should never be relied on in making an investment decision, ever. Nor are these comments meant to be a solicitation of business in any way: such inquiries will not be responded to. This content is intended solely for the entertainment of the reader, and the author.

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