Lessons from Apple & Microsoft

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The New York Times had a great piece last week about Apple’s advertising success, compared to Microsoft. Among the blog responses to this article, I found this to be a great read. As Ad Contrarian says, ‘you don’t always have to make good advertising to be successful’. Sigh. So true.


The crucial reason for Microsoft’s success is that most people ‘had‘ to use a Microsoft product – they had no choice. With Apple, people ‘want‘ to use it. Therein lies the rub. Look around, especially in India and there’s no getting away from a MS product. And since people didn’t know any better, a Mac is so alien bereft of any of the emotional attachments that is so common outside India. That’s true even with so-called iPhone killers.

My bro bought the Nokia 5800 and was so taken up by it’s touch screen, music player and camera. I checked out the touch screen and it was nowhere near the quality of the iPhone/iPod Touch. I was pretty surprised to find music complete with album art on the handset. I then realized it comes pre-loaded with ‘Comes with Music’ thingy of Nokia. Try explaining to my bro (and millions like him) that the iTunes-iPhone is the simplest, seamless way of managing music and it will fall in deaf ears. My feeble attempt at conveying iPhone’s superiority was a total flop. The accelerometer was shown as evidence of this being as good as the iPhone. I checked out the zoom function of the snaps and it’s cumbersome compared to the pinch & zoom of the iPhone. But thanks to it’s pricing, lack of real knowledge of what an iPhone can & cannot do and total lack of ’emotion’ with the Apple brand name, the Mac does not have that cult status in India. I just have to make do with feeling good about reading about it on the web. Double sigh.

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