Analyst ask if Windows 8 ads should be more educational

imageThere is a lot of of concern that Windows users will be intimidated by the new UI features in Windows 8 and chose not to upgrade. With current ads, like the one above, concentrating on lifestyle, analysts Forrester’s Frank Gillett think that strategy could backfire when consumers are confronted by a more complex interface than they ads depict.

"They’re going to have to do much more to explain it," he said. So far, Microsoft’s "marketing seems to be in denial that they’re moving everyone’s cheese in a dramatic way. Why can’t they say something like "Be patient with us, we’re taking you to a better place’ ? It should have more of that tone."

"I find Microsoft executives remarkably dismissive about this," he continued. When asked during Microsoft’s earnings call Oct. 18 if there is confusion about the "adjustment that users will have to make," Chief Financial Officer Peter Klein said, "Not a lot. I hear the feedback, and as a user we’ve sort of gotten used to it very quickly."

“They don’t want to really talk about it, but I’m not the only one out there saying this looks like it could be a trainwreck if they’re not careful."

But on Microsoft’s corporate blog,CP&B Chief Creative Officer Rob Reilly wrote, "We focused on the experiences that new Windows 8 will give all of us. And we didn’t get too literal. It’s not about landing features and scenarios. It’s about themes like sharing and staying connected, working together and sharing together and expressing yourself."

Rob Enderle of Enderle Group agreed with this approach.

"The marketing requirement is substantially above anything they’ve done before, and I’d argue substantially above anything that Apple’s done," he said. "They’re going to have to get consumers to see the differences as trendy and cool, not something they have to get over."

"You can’t address [the learning curve] in a 30-second TV ad or print ad,” said NPD Group analyst Steve Baker. “The best place to address that is in the store or with online tutorials. And Microsoft is definitely being more aggressive about helping to merchandise products and [having] more presence in stores helping people." He noted the cool ads are what will  drive consumers into stores in the first instance.

"The new technology and the new possibilities and the new approach I think outweigh any of the confusion it ultimately brings with it," said Robert Passikoff, president of Brand Keys. "If you want to do something new, you have to stop doing something old."

What do our readers think? Should ads have an educational element, so consumers will have some familiarity with the OS already when they are confronted with it in the real world, or should Microsoft spend their $1.5 billion on making Windows 8 look cool? Let us know below.


  • Njoi Fontes

    oh not this nonsense again. For the last time Windows 8 is very easy to use and even a 5 year old can use it. It literaly takes 2 minutes to explain the diferences. It goes something like this :
    – The start menu has been replaced by the start screen which shows live tiles instead of static icons with constantly updated information.

    – while on the start menu use the right side to search for anything or check settings which will be contextual to any app that you have currently open.

    – drag from the top down to close an app or drag to left or right side of screen to pin the app there and have the option to have two apps opened or the desktop and an app
    – drag to the left to see which apps are currently oppened and switch between them
    See that was not so hard was it? Basically if you are still getting used to it just press the Windows key to go back to the start screen and use the edges of the screen when in doubt

  • patmore_douglas

    ‘With current ads, like the one above, concentrating on lifestyle, analysts Forrester’s Frank Gillett think that strategy could backfire when consumers are confronted by a more complex interface than they ads depict.’

    How on earth is Windows 8’s new UI more complex than Windows 7’s? You click on a Live tile to open an app, and you hit the Windows button on key to go back to the start screen. That comprises the fundamental operation of Windows 8. Most people can be taught how to operate Windows 8 within an hour.

    Many people seem to think if they repeat the notion that Windows 8 has a steep learning curve, that it will somehow become true. Windows 8 is dramatically simpler than previous versions of Windows, and all this talk about a steep learning curve, is simply rubbish. Also, why isn’t there also a lot of trepidation over the learning required to operate an iPad for Mac users, as there is for Windows users learning Windows 8? People pull their hair out over every little thing MS does.

  • Bugbog

    Waah, Waah! No one is listening to us old fogey analysts! We’re not outdated! Waah, Waah!!

  • guesttt999

    If only these analysts get out of their rut and actually use Windows 8, may be they can make some sensible analysis. It’s the simplest Windows yet! There is ONLY ONE basic principal with Windows 8 to get started:
    For touch screens: use the 4 edges
    For mouse and keyboard: use the 4 corners and the start button

  • Gavin Tom

    lol windows 8 is so intuitive and great, I will never go back to 7 ever. Loving my surface and windows 8 on my home machine, just can’t wait until I have my w8 phone. Really though, it is a real joy to use.

  • jimski27

    I really think these analysts are insuling consumers, underestimating their ability to adapt to something new. Hell, I’m 56 and it took me less than an hour to make the jump from XP to W8 (never used Vista or W8). Still learning new tricks but that’s no different than anything. Takes more than a day to become an expert at anything.

  • the person

    you know I’ve been asking the same thing of analysts…instead of pushing biased hit pieces.