We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
80,258 News Articles

Microsoft gets crazy with its first Windows 8 TV ad

Microsoft's first Windows 8 TV commercial is lively and attention-getting, but it does little to explain much about Windows 8.

Microsoft aired its first Windows 8 commercial on Sunday, and boy, is it caffeinated.

I caught the Windows 8 ad during late afternoon football on Fox, and now it's on YouTube as well. Instead of calmly and carefully explaining the operating system, which is drastically different from its promos for previous versions of Windows, Microsoft opted for loud and crazy.

The ad begins with a countdown from ten that gets stuck on the number eight, as a punk rock track ("Only Want You" by Eagles of Death Metal) kicks in. All the while, the video cuts between esoteric images (including a laptop exploding and a cartoon dog freaking out), footage of the operating system, more images of the number eight, and shots of people using Windows 8 or doing completely unrelated things. All this happens in 30 seconds.

I'm hoping this is just an early effort by Microsoft to grab people's attention, and that the company switches gears soon, because getting people to understand Windows 8 will be crucial.

Windows 8 is unlike any past version of Windows. It replaces the familiar pop-up Start menu with a new Start screen full of tablet-friendly apps. The software is opening the door for new types of hardware, including laptop-tablet convertibles, touchscreen laptops, and all-in-one PCs with multitouch displays.

Windows 8 also has some neat tricks that other tablet operating systems don't, such as side-by-side app-snapping and a universal search feature that can sniff out content within apps, and it still allows people to access the desktop they've always known.

All of these changes will take some explaining. Microsoft needs to tell users how they'd benefit from a laptop-tablet hybrid, or why the features of Windows 8 are better than those of an iPad or Android tablet. Confusion and fear are the the worst possible outcomes for Microsoft. If people don't know what to make of Windows 8, they'll cower away and stick with their existing PCs.

Microsoft will reportedly spend $1.5 billion on Windows 8 marketing, according to Forbes, so this commercial won't be the last effort to introduce the new operating system to the masses. As October 26 approaches, Microsoft should slow down, take a breath, and explain to the non-techie public why Windows 8 makes sense.


IDG UK Sites

Best Christmas 2014 UK tech deals, Boxing Day 2014 UK tech deals & January sales 2015 UK tech...

IDG UK Sites

Apple's 2014 highlights: the most significant Apple news of 2014

IDG UK Sites

2015 creative trends: 20 leading designers & artists reveal the biggest influences & changes coming)......

IDG UK Sites

Ultimate iOS 8 Tips: 35 awesome and advanced tips for using iOS 8 on iPhone and iPad