Posted by Barry Silverstein on May 8, 2013 06:47 PM
The technology world is an unforgiving battleground for brands that fail to catch hold. Windows 8, Microsoft's highly touted operating system seems to be one of those brands that didn't quite take off as expected.
Even as Microsoft pursues a re-branding based around the new Windows design, the word on the street is that Windows 8 will be getting an "update" later this year. Read that as an attempt to fix problems that have been frustrating both consumers and device manufacturers. Tami Reller, head of Microsoft's Windows division, was blunt in telling the Associated Press, "Are there things that we can do to improve the experience? Absolutely. There is a learning curve and we can work to address that."Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on April 29, 2013 12:43 PM
When there are more than a billion people already using your products, it doesn’t seem like a natural time for a rebrand. But Microsoft is apparently sick of being portrayed as an old fuddy duddy to Apple’s hip, young counterpart.
After all, “the consensus among analysts seems to be that Microsoft is a company in transition, experiencing growing pains and pockets of great promise as it moves from dominance in a world centered on Windows and PCs to becoming a company that delivers services and devices,” the Seattle Times reports.
That transition means some big changes for the way the company presents itself. According to Windows Phone design studio general manager Albert Shum and Wolff Olins creative director Todd Simmons, Microsoft is planning to rebrand Bing, Skype, Yammer and Xbox, Gizbot reports.
After all, Microsoft refreshed the visual identity for Windows and Office last year, and the company in the midst of a big plan to align all of its products across design and marketing.Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on February 25, 2013 10:02 AM
As promised, a slew of new ad campaigns made their red carpet debut during the Oscars telecast Sunday night on ABC and in local markets. Below, check out new campaigns for Samsung Mobile (starring director Tim Burton and a unicorn), Kristen Chenoweth for Royal Caribbean, Jennifer Aniston for Aveeno, Naomi Watts for Pantene and more. Then tell us which (if any) you think deserve best in show—and which marketers should have saved a million dollars or so.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 20, 2013 12:08 PM
After 16 years, Microsoft is kissing Hotmail goodbye and putting its Internet-mail energy behind the brand-new Outlook.com.
The 300 million folks who use Hotmail—which Microsoft acquired back in 1997 when it was just a year old—will be able to keep their current email addresses, but the brand is disappearing and all of those users will be switched over to the new site by summer’s end.
CNN reports that Microsoft plans to put some big advertising dollars into the new site. That push began Tuesday with the release of two commercials that both highlight how sweet a consumer’s life can be if he or she is using Outlook. This is a shift from Microsoft’s Scroogled campaign, which has aimed to get the 425 million Gmail users around the globe to feel irritated at Google and make the switch to Outlook. Scroogled worked effectively for Microsoft when it initially used it to help expose consumers to the plusses of its Bing search engine compared to Google’s. Continue reading...
social media watch
Posted by Sheila Shayon on January 16, 2013 11:44 AM
Will Facebook’s newly unveiled social graph feature soon bring the company profit and additional relevance?
Mixed reactions are meeting Graph Search, which CEO Mark Zuckerberg called "one of the coolest things we've done in a while" in announcing the feature on Tuesday.
Graph Search enables search using natural language and replaces links to answers with direct results. Sample searches include “Movies my friends in San Francisco like,” “Photos my friends took in the 1990s,” and “Languages my friends from college speak.”
"This is a beta product," Zuckerberg said at the company's rollout event in Menlo Park, Calif. "We focused on a few use cases that we think are good. Even as an early product, Graph Search is a completely new way for people to get information on Facebook."Continue reading...
Posted by Andrew Chan on December 13, 2012 12:13 PM
2012 was a momentous year for Microsoft, building its devices and services foundation for the year to come. The company introduced the world to Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8, its family of Surface PCs, a new version of Microsoft Office and “Halo 4,” Microsoft celebrates "a steady rhythm of advancements across its most popular products for individuals and businesses" throughout 2012. See more in the video below and slideshow, and don't miss Bing's top searches of 2012.Continue reading...
tech in the spotlight
Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 10, 2012 06:18 PM
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is an excitable guy and if there is one thing that excites more than anything else (as far as we know), it is his employer. Ballmer threw his energy behind a letter to stockholders that was released on Monday, informing the investment community that Microsoft was in the midst of a changing world and now considers itself a devices and services company.
In other words, Microsoft is following in the footsteps of Apple. Don’t worry, Microsoft, as the master brand, will still be producing great software, but the company wants to push its device products, such as the soon-to-be-released Surface tablet. But, as Ballmer says in his letter, the company will be putting extra emphasis on "new form factors that have increasingly natural ways to use them including touch, gestures and speech."Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on September 28, 2012 11:21 AM
Apple CEO Tim Cook has apologized for the iOS 6 Maps kerfuffle, following the brand's eviction of Google Maps and proprietary (but glitchy) maps function — one of the key features consumers demand from their smartphones. Google, meanwhile, just upgraded its maps app with high-resolution aerial views.
A contrite Apple posted the apology online (read the full text below) in a mea culpa that the Financial Times calls "a rare moment of contrition from the world's most valuable company," and — unexpectedly — suggested installing rivals' map apps "while we're improving Maps." Cook's personal apology for "mapgate" also raised comparisons to how Steve Jobs handled the iPhone 4 "antennagate," for which the company — but not Jobs personally — apologized.Continue reading...