After yesterday’s preparatory hoopla, news reports indicate that today’s actual appearance of Windows Vista on store shelves wasn’t greeted by consumers with much enthusiasm. Some showed up at midnight sales events to see the sports stars or for the free food, others because of separate hardware sales, and a few to actually buy preloaded Vista systems or even boxed copies of Vista. It makes no real difference of course, since Vista is as inevitable as death and taxes. Very shortly consumers will be hard pressed to buy a new PC without Vista and the cash registers will keep ringing in Redmond regardless of any first day languor.
This lack of excitement is likely why the first day punditry was mostly devoted to Microsoft’s $500 million Vista Marketing blitz. Yesterday, I was unaccountably pacific at the prospect, but that was before Microsoft unleashed their stable of clueless viral marketers:
DUDE! MAKE THEM STOP! SERIOUSLY, THESE ARE EMBARASSINGLY BAD. I HAVE NO CHOICE BUT TO USE MY CAPS LOCK KEY TO CONVEY JUST HOW MUCH OF A WASTE OF MONEY THIS WAS.
They’ve even resuscitated the useless and annoying Clearification.com. Avant garde thinking in the ad world undoubtedly eschews actually showing the product, much more what it does, but it’s hard to believe that this kind of thing does anything more than befuddle consumers.
Update 1/31: Ashlee Vance weighs in on the Second Life initiative in inimitable Register style.