Not too long ago we talked about how Microsoft’s new direction was helping it transform into something very different: a company that we can actually call cool. Microsoft has always been a major player in the tech world with very deep pockets, but most of their products have generally been considered functional, not cool.
The generation that grew up with the “nerdy” Microsoft of the 80s and 90s is moving over as a younger generation has come in with fresh eyes seeing things like the Xbox and now Microsoft’s unique Live Tile phones and Windows 8. They see the sleek design of the Surface line as well, and to them, this is a lot “cooler” than what we are seeing with other companies, almost rivaling trendy brands like Apple even.
In fact a new Reuters poll of 850 tech savvy people from ages 18-29 indicates that 50% of the respondents consider Microsoft to be a cool company. Apple is still ranked higher at 60% and Android at 70%, but the point is that Microsoft’s recent moves have gotten people talking and despite criticisms about Windows 8, the overall direction of Microsoft is considered to be trendy and exciting.
Josh Johnson, a 24-year old media arts student and poll participant, said that what makes Windows 8 and Phone 8 cool is that it is “more costomizable and not as rigid as an Apple iPhone, where you have to buy all the products from Apple. I know Apple is the cool hip brand right now, but if Microsoft keeps coming out with new tech I’m sure it’ll be back soon”.
Of course the word “cool” is a subjective thing. What one person thinks is sleek and trendy isn’t necessarily what the next person envisions as cool. The point here though is that people are thinking of Microsoft as a fun company with trendy designs, a unique approach and a thirst for innovation, not a boring, plain corporate giant that nerdily churns out version after version of “boring” Windows.
The groundwork has been laid, now Microsoft just needs to run with it. The company hasn’t yet seen runaway success with the Surface or Windows 8/RT, but they are now seeing stronger success with Windows Phone 8 than they did with Windows Phone 7. Microsoft’s new vision is clearly different and may take a few years to pan out, but it seems like they are heading in the right direction.
Did you ever think anyone would consider Microsoft to be a “cool” company, or perhaps you always thought the products coming out of Microsoft were cool? Let us know what you think in the comment section below.
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