Thursday, September 21, 2006

Is Microsoft a consumer company?

When the Zune competitor to the iPod was recently announced, and photos were given to the press, I briefly tried to find information about Zune on the Microsoft site. All I found was the press release. Perhaps there was more there, but it should have been obvious. This is a company trying to market to consumers?

Then I noticed an item on Gizmodo, including a YouTube video, about Ellen DeGeneres discussing the Zune on her show. And then she gave one away to everyone in the audience. Looking at the audience, this is a very different audience than one thinks of for a music player: at least 3/4 women who appear to be all over 30, perhaps mostly over 40. And Gizmodo said they couldn't get a version into their own hands. Perhaps Microsoft knows more about its target demographic than I'm giving credit. Perhaps it's going after a different demographic than Apple. Or perhaps . . . this is a company that doesn't know how to market to consumers in today's market. They've done great with X Box but . . . who's paying attention over there?

And what seems like a non-sequitur, Ford's missing the small stuff too. Autobloggreen reports that, "There are sprinklers running watering the lawn at a local Ford manufacturing facility almost daily, rain or shine (including a couple of particularly rainy days earlier this week)." And they've attempted to create a face as an environmentally oriented company, with a renovation of their Rouge River plant by the high priest of green architecture.

Not suggested that Zune=Sprinklers, therefore Microsoft=Ford, therefore Microsoft will go bankrupt too but, it's these sort of details that indicate a lack of cohesion within the organization and a loss of attention at the top.

And speaking of which, I continue to be amazed that Dell can sell virtually everything online when their website continues to be so frustrating. Don't they ever look at Apple's site? My main example: it's impossible to find decent, reasonably sized pictures of a Dell laptop on which you're about to drop $2k plus. Why is that??
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