The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

Microsoft Are Microgood …

Microsoft used to be the joke of technology.

Or maybe the ‘beige of technology’ is a better description.

Creating products for mainstream mediocrity.

To be fair, that perception was driven more because of their marketing than their technology … but it’s fair to say they were certainly lacking that slick sheen that turned other tech companies into Rock Stars.

But a change has been happening in Seattle over the past few years.

OK, less on the marketing side and more on the tech … but a change all the same.

Where other companies are trying to hype up small degrees of change, Microsoft have been trying to push a genuine innovation agenda. But not innovation just for the sake of innovation, but stuff that has a real purpose as demonstrated by their new controller for X-Box.

Now you may argue making a controller that helps those suffering from physical difficulties is a small market, but on a global scale I would imagine it adds up – especially when there is no real viable alternative out there. [Or one that I know of]

But that’s not the point here … it’s that they did it.

Even more than that, they did it with real understanding of the audience they’re catering to.

They spent time and money on producing a product that offers a genuine solution to people often ignored.

[You can see how this affected their process by going here]

For all the talk tech companies give about wanting to ‘help humanity move forward’, few do.

Or should I say, few do if it requires doing something that has a more ‘niche’ appeal.

Yes, I know some are doing stuff that we don’t know about, but to make a physical product specifically for this audience is a big deal … especially in this commercially obsessed World.

So well done Microsoft, this is brilliant.

Brilliant for millions of people who want to play but have been ignored.

Brilliant for showing the power of design to solve problems … again.

Brilliant at showing you use technology to evolve humans rather than devolve them.

Brilliant at being more innovative than your competitors.

Brilliant at making me feel more towards you than I have in years.

As I’ve said for years, products have done more to grow brand value than advertising.

Don’t get me wrong, advertising is hugely powerful and important, but it all starts from doing something good, not something average.

That used to be obvious. Sadly, I don’t think it is anymore.

26 Comments so far
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i can deal with agreeing with one of your fucking posts every 10 years but 2. in a fucking row. with links to shit that is fucking interesting? i dont know or care what youve done with the real campbell but i like you better.

Comment by andy@cynic

The typo in the title proves it’s the same Campbell.

Comment by John

good fucking point. it could have been northern casanova but the smart fuck doesnt come here anymore. most effective planning shit hes ever done.

Comment by andy@cynic

Oh bugger. Going to change it now.

Comment by Rob

I’m still here

Comment by Northern

you fucking idiot.

Comment by andy@cynic


Comment by John

you better not being trying to be some wanker hipster doddsy and just pointing out that word is literally a fucking word.

Comment by andy@cynic

It’s a Microsoft thing.

Comment by John

John FTW. Or Rob’s bad spelling.

Comment by DH


Comment by Rob

I was complimenting your article while making a Microsoft pun and mocking hipsters #positivity

Comment by John

come on baz and auntie, lets see you get your collective fucking panties in a twist that youre being out smarted by microsoft. must be like real madrid being beaten by fucking forest.

Comment by andy@cynic

I can recognize good product design from a competitor without resorting to insults or petty jealousy. But don’t think they are the only technology company adopting this sort of thinking, we all are in different ways. But this is very good and to be applauded. Over to Baz. ; )

Comment by George

With that answer, I can tell you that you have a career in politics just waiting for you … ha.

Comment by Rob

corporate fucking toady

Comment by andy@cynic

All this good work by Microsoft undermined by Rob’s mentally disadvantaged spelling.

Comment by DH

Spelling and maths. What a credit to Nottingham education.
Only joking Robert.

Comment by George

Now I’ve changed it, I’m going to claim I have no idea what you mean. [Unfortunately, my school reports prove they know EXACTLY what you mean]

Comment by Rob

I needed this inspiration. Thank you Robert, especially for posting a link to the thinking behind the application.

Comment by Lee Hill

Good isn’t it. I bloody love what they did and how they did it.

Comment by Rob

Excellent points, compared with what what Apple seem to doing, this is brilliant, useful, basic gold.
Unfortunately for you lot, I’m serving a notice period with less and less to do, so I’m going to have the pass the time loitering on this blog. Omnicom doesn’t allow YouPorn in office hours.
Now that’s a point, why haven’t Microsoft design a mobile phone for optimum wanking?

Comment by Northern

i take it you resigned the moment you discovered omnicom dont allow youporn. what the fuck is going on.

Comment by andy@cynic

It was actually the moment digital and data became the answer rather than the tool. Not to mention a proprietary planning process as bad as disruption.
Off to work for a non global creative agency that actually does decent PR too and I get to work on my beloved Yorkshire Tea. Don’t know the YouPorn policy yet though

Comment by Northern

Congratulations but you’ll still be doing more work in your notice period than Rob does in a normal year.

Comment by DH

Call me when they launch a robot wank hand.

Comment by Billy Whizz

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