The Windows 8 preview is here and apparently we can expect a second preview in June this year.
How do we feel about it? Well I can’t say I’m too impressed from what we’ve seen so far. First of all let’s cut to the chase, Microsoft is not the power house it once was and has half the market capitalisation of its eternal rival Apple (yet still dominates the PC market in terms of volume). Therefore Windows 8 is going to have to be a game changer in terms of experience and functionality for it to regain lost ground and ultimately some customer traction against Apple & Samsung is the future Smartphone/Tablet wars.
Historical elements such as the ‘Start’ button have gone and along with the tab system along the bottom, it’s very close to the remarkably well reviewed Windows Mobile OS. However I feel they have missed the point of the digital lifestyle with gaudy colours and an ‘App Jigsaw’. You don’t have to be bullish to create something new and different and that’s the trap Microsoft’s top guys have fallen into, it looks like they are trying to be different for the sake of it rather than really considering what their beleaguered yet still massive influential customers actually want.
They want a User Experience that is compelling and intuitive but most of all they want to find hidden surprises – this is what the customer wants. Yeah sure they will be content with an integrated system that allows them to switch easily from playing FIFA on their Xbox to sitting infront of a desktop to then hunching over the phone on Facebook for some good honest stalking. But they expect that as a matter of course and it shouldn’t be your driving force and listening to Windows President Steven Sinofsky and looking at the preview you get the feeling that creating an ‘integrated system’ was their goal and unfortunately that isn’t going to get the public’s juices going.
An integrated system with the same navigation and UI across their hardware is very Apple, yet Microsoft seem to have failed to hit the right note because they weren’t doing it for the right reason. They were doing it to create one look-n-feel as opposed to thinking about creating some magic and giving their customers a stify.
I expected more as the noises coming out of the Windows team and Microsoft over the last couple of years after Windows Mobile OS have been encouraging.
Their other big problem is Nokia and no matter how good your relaunch’s are, if you’re stood on the deck next to Captain Nokia on the Titanic you’re only ever going to sink. A partnership with Nokia is strategic suicide.
It’s November, therefore it’s very cold and there are thousands of Mo-Bro’s on the streets of the UK. Commuting on the tube or bus, you can spot moustaches perched on the top lip of many a young gentleman. A knowledgeable nod from one Mo-Bro to another, this simple sign is more than acknowledgement is it camaraderie.
What is it? Movember is a charity committed to funding research into the causes and cures of testicular cancer.
What’s makes it so different? There are many male orientated charities (albeit not as many as female ones), so what makes Movember any different? I believe there are 2 main differentiators,
It is focused into one month of the year.
It is very easy to publicly show you are a Mo-Bro.
Looking at each of these points we can dissect them to determine their impact. Firstly, the consumer side of Movember is focussed into one month, November, this underpins everything within the brand starting with the name: Movember. If you asked 100 brand owners if they would like 100% market coverage of their brand spread evenly throughout the year, you would get 100 answers saying ‘yes!’. This is one of the major reasons behind my ‘Mo’ love, because they have gone out of their way to singularly focus and narrow their consumer touch points and fund raising into one month of the year – that’s less than 10% of the year! A completely different strategy to the vast majority of other charities and in complete contrast their competitors (yes even charities have competitors). It could be argued that because the Movember brand is withdrawn from the consumer for 11 months of the year, they have been starved and then when given the chance to show some ‘Mo’ love people fall over themselves to be involved. It’s a clever, but more importantly a very brave, brand owner who adopts this strategy – hence my Mo love!
The second benefit is that every male can publicly demonstrate that they’re a Mo-Bro, actually some chaps struggle to grow a moustache, myself included as mine is a sparse mixture of thick blond hairs and some rather whispy bum-fluff – not a great look! Yet I walk down the street proudly showing off my lack lustre Mo. Large numbers of charities and other organisations realise the strength and value of letting their supporters publicly show their support (great examples of this are the Yellow wristband for LIVEstrong and the Poppy from The British Legion) yet the Mo for Movember is the only one that you have to grow and cultivate and it’s on your face, nobody can miss the fact you are a Mo-Bro. The beauty of the Moustache is that it harks back to older times before we had the modern instant gratification syndrome in which we all now live – because you have to wait a couple of weeks before showing off your Mo and you have to love, stroke and trim it whereas you give LIVEstrong a couple of quid and you are given a wrist band straight away.
So to summarise, I think the Movember brand and its values are a perfect storm of a great cause, creativity, unique strategy and nostalgia – and I will continue to support Movember every November.