After all these years of head scratching I think I've finally figured out why time and time again Microsoft proves that they can be a brilliant innovator and provider of technology solutions on one day, and then turn around and do something completely stupid and unexplainable. Gather around one and all, for this holiday season things are no different and the truth is out. Microsoft only has ONE brain, and it cannot multi-task — Rather, it is carried around, from division to division, floor to floor and lucky is the one who gets to keep it for the day. For to have the BRAIN means you have the MSForce v2.345 (Super-Ultimate Edition) at your disposal.
Case in point today, Windows 7 Family Pack. For those not familiar with this offer, this offer let you upgrade as many as 3 PC's from either XP or Vista to Windows 7 Home Premium for a total price of $149.99. This saved you over $210 compared to buying the copies individually. In Microsoft's defense (ahem), when they launched this promotion back in October they did say this offer would only continue while supplies last. Excuse me? What did you just ask, yes you in the front row! How can supply run out of something you could make infinite copies of? That's a very good question.
But you see, this week, the OS division in Microsoft don't have the brain. This makes no sense. The offer (see below) is still available in the UK, but here in the US on December 7th, less than 3 weeks before Christmas, Microsoft the scrooge says Bah Humbug to you and your family. This decision rivals the creative idiocy of the marketing team who (clearly also didn't have the brain) when they thought up the whole Windows Launch Party campaign.
As an example of when the Zune division clearly “has the brain”, look no further than the recently released Zune HD. This device looks, feels and operates like something you might expect Jobs to pull out of a crayola crayon box in front of a throng of Apple disciples. But lo and behold, it says Hello from Seatle down its slender side. (For an Apple-biased tear down of the Zune HD, check out this sorry piece of journalism. Hey, before the Apple fanpeeps flame me, at least I posted it!)
Of course “The Brain” isn't due back with the Zune crew until well into the new year, as instead of answering direct questions about whether this will morph into a gaming platform or (gasp) a phone device, Microsoft seems to be content to let this Zune HD just hang out there….why, after all, should they stoop down to Apple's level and actually listen to what the customer wants, and then give it to them. That would just make too much sense and align too much with Ulwick's guidance in What Customers Want. That would just be too much to ask the Microserf Monolith to do…after all, what would the Windows Mobile team say if the Zune team basically re-invented the phone OS play with the Zune. That might “hurt” the Windows brand. Heaven forbid. The irony is, killing the Windows Mobile brand now would be “such a good thing”…but I digress!
So who has The Brain today? Hmmm. Probably the Bing! team. Think they must have put some kind of long term “hold” or reservation on The Brain as lots of good things have been coming from that team. But, now you know why, that hasn't been the case from the other divisions.
Yes, Today You Can Do NO Wrong “Bing! Team”. But Tomorrow, You Might Want To Think About Taking The Day Off….Or At Least Staying Away From The Press. After All, You Should Bask In The Glory Of Decisions Made Today For As Long As Possible. But if at all possible…can we get The Brain back to the OS team? They really need to start thinking things through….build momentum people. Keep the flywheel moving. It's easy….hint: just DO NOTHING. Leave the promo's. Leave Windows 7 out there. Take the rest of the year off! You deserve it, and quite frankly, need to STEP AWAY FROM THE OS.
You've finally got it right. Stop messing it up…..here, I'll even throw in some French for you. Ne touche pas Windows 7!