Microsoft Office 2010: How To Blow a Product Launch

Posted by Michael Pinto on May 12, 2010 in Tech |

The Office 2010 site as seen on a Mac

My belief at this point in time is that Google is what Microsoft use to — an out of control monopoly that must be stopped. So despite the fact that I’m an Apple fanboy at heart I’ve been rooting for Microsoft to get serious about the cloud for a few years now. And frankly I’m also still using Microsoft Outlook as my main email client — so when I heard that Microsoft was rolling out Office 2010 I had to check it out right away. And if you look at the above screen, what I came across was a total failure.

Windows Media Player download

Above: Did I have the latest version of Windows Media Player installed — hell yeah!

Now if you read the dialog box in Safari (I was at home and wanted to read the news on my Mac) you’ll notice that the site is asking for WMP which is geek for Windows Media Player. But the sad thing about this dialog box is that I’ve got the latest version of both Windows Media Player and Silverlight running on my copy of Safari. Now I’ll grant you that Safari or even the Macintosh isn’t the dominant platform — however if Microsoft is serious about going up against Google this is the audience that they’ll have to win over. In other words a corporate user who’s running Windows 7 doesn’t need to be won over, the folks they need to win are the ones who are now using Gmail.

The broken Office 2010 page — you can't join the conversation.

Above: The broken Office 2010 page — not only can’t you join the conversation but you can’t even hear it.

By not making this promo site standards compliant Microsoft is playing a game of defense trying to hold on to old customers who are peeling away. However what they should be doing is winning over new customers, and with this site that potential market can’t even see what they have to offer even if it’s better.

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