Apple has one thing going for it over Microsoft, in that it is considered “cool”, right? Actually it seems that this isn’t the case among today’s teenagers and even perhaps many young adults. According to Forbes, kids are becoming more interested in devices like the Galaxy S3 and Note 2 over the iPhone.

Even for the iPad, many kids are now considering Microsoft’s Surface the cooler alternative.

In 2011, Samsung phoens weren’t coveted much among younger folks at all, but now it is said that about 22% of teens are interested in Samsung products. There is also a rise in interest when it comes to Microsoft.

Now, Microsoft isn’t cool. It never has been. I like Microsoft quite a bit and am heavily invested in many of their products– including the Xbox 360. But even during the height of its empire back in the mid-90s, people never really thought of Windows and Microsoft products as cool, they thought of them as aggressively priced products that met their needs reasonably enough.

Many of today’s adults will likely NEVER consider Microsoft all that cool, but today’s teens are from a different era. They didn’t much, if any, of the 90s and they were too young to see gigantic failures made by Microsoft in the early-00s (such as Vista).

All they see is that everyone from Apple to Google is rocking icons and OS designs that look “similar” while Microsoft is doing live tiles and trying a vastly different approach with its products. They also see that Microsoft is the massive monster behind the Xbox 360.

If there was ever a time to change Microsoft’s fate, 2013 would be it. While today’s adults in the enterprise and consumer world aren’t buying into Windows 8, this could be a different game for younger folks.

Microsoft needs to hit advertising hard towards marketing to the 14-21-year old market. These people often are more willing to accept change and more willing to blow tons of money into consuming the latest and greatest devices, since they often don’t have to worry about many bills, raising a family or paying the mortgage.

Today’s Teens are Tomorrows Adults

As we get older, we become less receptive of change. We start to think back to the olden days as “awesome”– even if our memories are sometimes clouded by nostalgia. We become less accepting of new music, new trends, etc.

Okay, not all of us 25+ year old are that way. There are many elderly folks rocking Windows 8 hardware, even. But on the whole, targeting a younger audience is wise because they are your company’s future.

Additionally, today’s youth has much stronger buying power. They often have part-time jobs and yet have very few responsibilities when it comes to paying for things. This leaves more money to buy devices like the Surface.

I’m not saying Microsoft should abandon focus on the enterprise and “adult” world, they just need to understand that the youth market is equally important. What do you think, could Microsoft eventually be considered the “cool” option for today’s teens and tomorrow’s adults?

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  • Grandpa Geek

    I am a senior citizen who built his own Z-100 (Heath Kit)
    computer back in the late 1970’s. I have a degree in computer science and was one of those geeks who walked around the college campus with a box of IBM punch cards.

    I have always built (DIY) my own computers from scratch. I recall back in the late 1960’s
    and early 1970’s when I had my first real job with a secretary who handled my dictation using Dictaphone dictation equipment.

    I have watched the amazing development of computer technology and always adapted to the new standards, including the new Windows 8 software and recently purchased the Surface RT.

    I remember when Corporations and even small companies adapting computers to the desk. The recall the employees who rejected / resisted the desk top computer in the work place. Those same individuals did not own a “home” computer and their only exposure was in the work place. Those who resisted learning the computer were
    eventually gone because of poor performance reviews. It wasn’t they were a bad employee they just refused “change” and embrace technology.

    Today, I work with the neighborhood kids. I teach them to build their own computers,
    install the operating system (Windows) and select the appropriate software to meet their education needs, which includes, but not limited to, MS Office. I believe Windows and Office still holds the dominance in the business world. It is a wonderful thing to see the expression on these young faces when the computer boots up for the first time.

    Parents of these youngsters’ have been great and I am referred to as “Grandpa Geek”. We all need to embrace change, otherwise we are stagnant. We need to instruct our young adults to adapt and provide them with the tools to succeed.

    Microsoft has a great opportunity to focus on the “youth” of today because these same kids are going to be the future developers, designers, and retail customers of tomorrow.
    However, it is tragic Microsoft never listens to the end users.

    • Andrew_Grush

      VERY well said. I totally agree that Microsoft needs to focus on today’s youth as well. Unfortunately, I also tend to agree with your opinion that Microsoft doesn’t often seem to listen to the end users.

      Thanks for commenting! 🙂

      • mike greenway

        Don’t you think that Win8.1 and the new Xbox polices indicate that MS is better at listening?

  • TheTeckGuy

    I think more people are realising that all this hardware can do what Apple do and more and now there becoming more user friendly it will help things. I know alot of my friends all have Apple product and always prase what they can do with them, then when I say you can do that with Windows etc they seem really shocked that anything other than an Apple product can do the same. Can Microsoft be the New Age Apple! Probably not but they could be close in some aspecs and if they keep to not locking things down too much I think people will realise they are not so happy with a closed ecosystem Apple blatently force down people throats! Saying that though alot of people are stuck with Apple now as they have bought so much on iTunes that it would make them pig sick to loose it all, I know a mate was considering the Nokia 920 untill he worked out how much he spent on iTunes he desided to stick with his iPad/iPhone for the forseable future! Cant say I blame him!