Microsoft Video Site Tackles Windows Perception Problem

Attempting to take a new and, it hopes, more successful approach to launching an update to the Windows operating system, Microsoft has created a Web site that displays videos of its engineers telling the world why Windows 7 is better than Vista and XP.

Microsoft Senior Community Manager Stephen Rose asserted the new “Talking About Windows” site is not really a marketing effort but, instead, an honest attempt by the software giant to explain some of the decisions made during the creation of Windows 7 and to provide a forum for users to voice their opinions.

“It’s not really a marketing piece,” Rose said, acknowledging that many people were less than enamored with Vista. “A marketing piece’s idea is to sell product. This is a perception piece. We are looking to change perception.”

The effort, jointly created by agencies Wunderman, Zaaz, M80 and Radarworks, also includes several humorous videos advertising Windows 7. Two have been released so far. “The last frame says, ‘Join the conversation,'” said Rose. “That’s what we want people to do… We think that we’ve really accurately listened to the concerns and needs of IT pros.”

Rose said Microsoft will review but not delete any user comments sent to the site, unless they are profane or otherwise inappropriate. “It doesn’t hold weight if we delete posts,” he pointed out.

He admitted the open dialogue approach is somewhat unusual for Microsoft. “Our guys are going in and responding back to those questions from people,” Rose said. “It’s an open and honest dialog. This is something very, very different for Microsoft… You see posts about the Mac OS, UNIX and Linux. Our key is to have an open and honest dialog between ourselves and IT pros looking to make a decision.”

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