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?