I’m at the MVP nation Windows 8 conference on the Microsoft Campus in Redmond and we’re having quite a grand old time (more about that later). Yesterday evening on my Alaska Air flight from California to Seattle, I spent most of the two and a half hours switching between two tablets.
On my tray, I had an Ipad and a Windows 8 tablet and I was going back and forth between the two.
A sweet older lady next to me looked really puzzled because she had never seen Windows 8 before (ironically, she had an Ipad).
After trying to ignore the multi-tablet swiping stranger next to her for 10 minutes, she finally leaned over and asked “Excuse me for asking but what is that?”.
I chuckled and replied “It’s a new Microsoft tablet – Windows 8”. She then asked the 800 pound question right away:
“What does it do that my Ipad doesn’t?”.
This is a TRUE story.
This is the question. I would guess that she was between 55 and 60 and that was the first question out of her mouth.
Answering this question is going to be what will determine the success and relevance of Windows 8 on tablets. When an older person asks you about an Apple-Windows 8 comparison, she doesn’t care about integration with Windows Server 8.
She doesn’t care about a Windows Store or Windows to Go. She really doesnt care about a Metro interface or WinRT.
What she was looking for was a simple answer that would turn on a lightbulb and illuminate the difference between both tablets.
Since I am not employed by Microsoft, it’s not my job to evangelize this tablet so I told her that there were several new features we were just finding out about and it would work better with the Windows she was used to.
She shrugged and went back to her Ipad.
To the Microsoft sales and marketing team – this is going to be the central challenge – Articulating Windows 8 value to the consumer in a brief, honest and concise manner.
Let’s stay tuned.