Is Microsoft digging its own grave with Windows 8?

Anna Scantlin
Contributing Editor from  Kansas City, MO
| December 7, 2012


Whether it’s Windows Phone 8, or Windows 8 in general, the software released from Microsoft doesn’t seem to be getting the best press regarding their new product lately. From a backfired campaign to being called out as “… a Christmas gift you would give to somebody you hate,” Windows 8 seems to have caught a bad case of the winter blues this season. Will all this negative feedback ultimately mean that Microsoft will see a decrease in sales this season?

A couple of days ago, reports went out about the #DroidRage campaign that Microsoft started, encouraging readers to Tweet about their Android issues and mishaps. The incentive was that Microsoft would reward the best stories with a Windows Phone. It was a bold move, as there’s a much bigger market for Android users than there are Windows Phone users currently, and while it may have been an interesting idea for a business tactic, it probably wasn’t the best. The Android fans backfired with #WindowsRage – to which no prize was awarded for these stories of misfortune. These Tweeters are such avid fans of Android they didn’t need bribery to tell Microsoft exactly why they’re Android fans. Microsoft picked a fight with the wrong crowd.

I’m a firm believer that negative marketing is never the right kind of marketing. When you release a new product, I want to see what the finer points of the product are. I’m not interesting in hearing what you think “X” company is doing wrong, and why “X” company should not have your business. I want to know what your product can do and how your product is better than the rest. If you can’t do that, then you probably don’t have a better product. Although I happen to like the way Windows Phone 8 looks and functions, I’m awfully turned off by their negative approach to advertising.

This somewhat rings a bell to a story that I remember coming across earlier this year when Microsoft challenged any phone that could complete a task faster than a Windows Phone 7 would win a $1000 limited edition laptop; those who “got smoked” by the device would have the option to trade in their current device for a Windows Phone. One blogger won the challenge, but was later told that he actually lost “just because”. This caused quite a bit of an uproar in the tech community, and after taking quite a beating with PR hits, Microsoft awarded the contestant with the prizes he earned. It seems that Microsoft has quite a competitive side, but they don’t seem to contemplate the risks they’re taking should they discover that they might not be the best thing since sliced bread.

Although I’ve never used a Windows Phone 8 for myself, this negative attention they’re getting for themselves makes me believe that they are, in fact, digging their own grave when it comes to prospective customers. I still would like to try a Windows Phone 8 device so that I can try it out for myself, but with many people basing their purchases off of the reviews of others I imagine not everybody will still want to try it out. I seem to find more negativity of the software than positive. The most positive thing I can remember reading about the software was that some of the stock apps are good. If I were a consumer new in this type of market, I probably wouldn’t touch these devices with a thirty-nine and a half foot pole.

What kind of feedback are you seeing regarding Windows 8? Whether it’s Windows Phone 8, or Windows 8 in general, have you found that the software is being too harshly judged? Let me know what you think!