An Obvious Lesson for Microsoft and it's OEM Partners?

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How to Sell Things

I would never claim to be a sales and marketing expert. So maybe I'm mistaken, but I though there was a tried and true method for selling things to people:

  1. Show them the product
  2. Convince them of why they should want the product
  3. Tell them where they can get it
  4. Finally, say what it will cost them

While I'm sure there may be other ways to do it, I think this is how the home shopping network and infomercials keep the money rolling in. So if I take a leap of faith, and assume that the aforementioned method is reasonably correct, then why do Microsoft and their partners seem to be doing something completely different?

Exhibit A...

Microsoft Surface

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Back in June Microsoft announced the Microsoft Surface, their official entry into the new tablet market. They showed off a very attractive, and fairly innovative device that was identifiably different from the competition. I sat, eyes glued to my laptop screen, as I watched their presentation.

  • Attractive design...check!
  • Cool and compelling features....check!
  • Microsoft presentation glitch....check :p
  • My android tablet getting closer to the trashcan....double check!

With my credit card at the ready, I waited for those magic words that never came, "The surface will be available on ??? for a price of ???; and you can preorder right now by going to ???" Microsoft, that ain't right.

OEMs and Windows 8

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With all of the announcements coming out of IFA 2012 from companies like HP, Samsung, Sony and Asus, the one thing I never heard was price. Even with dates for availability, the only quotes I read from hardware partners was, "launching with Windows 8". Fortunately Microsoft did say when windows 8 will be available. But is it too much to ask for someone to say, "PC X will be in stores October 26th"? Microsoft, that ain't right.

Windows Phone

Who has two thumbs and would have preordered a Lumia 920 today? THIS GUY!

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I'm a T-Mobile customer(U.S.), and in all likelihood the first flagship WP8 device is not going to be on my network. What's worse, I still have over a year left on my contract. However, today I was convinced to bite the bullet and switch, so that I could enjoy the magical device Nokia just announced. I said I was convinced, but that may change. Why? Because no price, date or carrier was announced.

As more devices are announced. I may find something acceptable (if not magical) on my own network, that will hold me over until the end of my contract. For a company like Nokia, who is struggling a bit, grabbing hold of those people willing to make the switch matters. They even have a hash tag for it. Worse yet, next week the new iPhone will be announced; and it's a safe bet that Apple will tell you when you can get it and how much it will cost. With no announced date, price or carrier for the new Lumia, potential customers are lost to competing products who will gladly take their fist full of money...now. Microsoft, that ain't right.

Final Thought

I wonder if I'm a sane man in a crazy Microsoft world, or a crazy man looking too harshly at Microsoft's ingenious Marketing plan. All I know is I have a fist full of money, a crappy android tablet (XOOM), and an old Centrino Duo laptop that's needs replacing. Someone's going to get my money. I guess I'll be good kid and wait till the end of October, but I'm quite sure that there are others who will not.