I was out shopping today.
A week after the release of Windows 8, I strolled into the electronics stores in my local town. Starting with PC World, which to be fair is not my favourite store, I was horrified to see the pathetic attempt to market Windows 8.
It looked like they had spent precisely NO money on it. Not a single pound. A few tired looking laptops running Windows 8, what looked like some cheap, in-store printed signage, and no more.
To be honest, it looked more like a car boot sale with second hand junk, rather than a modern electrical retailer.
And in the “tablet” section, not a mention of Windows 8. Lots of iPad and Android devices – even an Archos – but not a single mention of Windows 8 to be seen. And of course, a lot of high quality Apple and Kindle signage.
In the local Sony Centre, even worse. No mention of Windows 8 whatsoever. Sure, a bunch of laptops on display, but no effort to build on the current Microsoft advertising campaign.
And then into the local Apple store (and no, I wasn’t expecting to find any Windows 8 devices there!).
The place was abuzz.
Big sign up apologising for the fact that the iPad Mini had sold out – again! Lots of interest in MacBook Airs and iPads of all sizes.
So come on Microsoft!
If you really want Windows 8 to be a success in the BYOD and “consumerisation of IT” marketplace, you’re going to have to get out there on the high street and (a) make devices available for people to engage with, and (b) make them appealing.
And if you don’t do that with tablets, you’ll get no success with phones either.
On a side note, my wife had a go with Windows 8 on the one “all-in-one” device that we found in PC World. She launched an app from the Start screen. And then she had no idea how to get back to the Start screen thereafter.
However, she did admit that once I’d shown her how to swipe in the Charms bar – and swipe in “running” apps from the left hand side, she had no trouble driving Windows 8.
So, it really does only take a couple of minutes for a novice to pick up the main gestures on Windows 8.
If only she could actually be able to buy a device…
But perhaps her most telling comment was this: her workplace are now allowing push email to her iPad. Which means that she really has no desire to move back to a Windows 8 device whatsoever.
And that was the thing that struck me in the Apple Store. People were buying MacBooks not because they’re better than Windows laptops, but it appeared to be as simple as the fact that the Apple Store is where people get their ‘phones and their tablets.
So why would they not buy their “PCs” there as well?