Robert McLaws: Windows Edition

Blogging about Windows since before Vista became a bad word

Schizophrenia, Public Relations, and Windows Roadmaps

I haven't been a real big fan of Microsoft's PR machine post-Allchin. It seems like as soon as Jim left and Windows Vista was released, the heavy-hitters at Microsoft went on vacation, and the second string PR people have been running the show ever since. For example, last week Microsoft stunned the blogosphere by continuing the Windows Vista SP1 mind games, while simultaneously acknowledging more information about Windows "Seven" than they ever have for the rumored Service Pack. And while Microsoft won't comment on the timeframe for SP1 (beyond the kind of vague answers typically reserved for Miss Cleo and her ilk), we now have a date of 2010 for the next incarnation of Windows.

Now, this is just my opinion, but I think Microsoft's schizophrenic PR strategy is causing itself more harm than good. By being more specific about "Seven" than SP1, they are prematurely shifting the focus away from Windows Vista, which is exactly why they've been stonewalling bloggers in the first place! I really just don't get it. I totally understand stonewalling us about "Seven", but to stay quiet about a Service Pack that by all accounts will be shipped before the end of 2007 (well, not all accounts... Valleywag got some harebrained idea that it's not coming out till 2009)... totally baffles me.

But I think I'm not alone when I say that, if Microsoft wants to keep this strategy of underpromising and overdelivering, then they need to be doing more outreach to get the people that drive tech conversations on board with it. And no, that's not just a selfish plug to get an interview. If Sinofsky and Co. think that the 'Steve Jobs Reveal' is the best way to go, they should make their case to their countless enthusiasts as to why. The way Allchin made the case for a Vista delay in the first place.

Or at the very least, be consistent with your strategy. If you can't apply your own rules consistently, how the hell do you guys expect bloggers to follow them?

But again, that's just my opinion. What do you guys think?



  • July 25, 2007 2:01 AM
  • Chip said:

    I totally agree with you. Microsoft has bad PR and also bad commercials.

    They fail to build the user's interest in their newest products. I don't know about other countries but, for example, Microsoft Romania published the worst commercials you have ever seen.

    They have a printed commercial for Windows Vista showing a family (son, father, mother and daughter) trying to take a picture using a classic digital camera.

    And the son is saying - "look at this looser (his dad) using a camera to take a picture. He is so outdated..."

    And then they show Windows Vista and cell phones with photo cameras and they say - "Use Vista. Vista is cool" or something like that.

    Somebody should get fired...

    July 25, 2007 4:53 AM
  • I think Microsoft wants to get businesses planning to upgrade to Vista out of NT 4 mind set and desperately waiting for the Service Pack before deciding to upgrade. Since the introduction of Windows Update and pervasiveness of the Internet particularly in the release of Windows 2000, it has begun to phase out the necessity of waiting for the first Service Pack approach before making mass deployments or putting a new OS in production. Yes, Service Packs are inevitable and what you are getting now through Windows Update in Vista today is mostly what you will be seeing in SP1 for Vista; a collection of bug fixes, security updates and likely better support for hardware like 802.11n based products for example.

    July 26, 2007 11:13 AM
  • Spencer said:

    I agree.  Simple as that.  :)

    July 26, 2007 1:09 PM
  • Matt Freestone brings up an excellent point about all the crap going on about SP1 . I've been having

    July 26, 2007 2:12 PM