On Saturday, June 15, 2013 we noted a conversation on Google +. Someone complained about Microsoft’s recent presentations at the E3 Conference just concluded in Los Angeles. As a side note, from all we’ve read about Microsoft since June, 2012, we’ve concluded someone in Microsoft’s product marketing team, at a high level, decided it’s very important to adopt and maintain a highly polarizing, contentious position in the PC, cloud, and, now, what we’ve come to call the “small smart device” markets. Perhaps, subliminally, all of this contention will prod the market to endow Microsoft with the same rebellious disrupter profile Steve Jobs used so effectively for his product marketing plans for Apple.
One party in this conversation was clearly angry. He reported Microsoft used a PC to project the new Xbox games debuted at E3. The objection? The games will never look as good on an Xbox as they did at the conference. Someone agreed and used an expletive to add some spice to the comment.
We call all of this “device burn.” Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) get “device burn” when they use one hardware platform to promote and present solutions for a different hardware platform. Perhaps it requires a special sensitivity to anticipate the kind of market response Microsoft actually generated with this approach (if the participants in the conversation are correct). But product marketers working on big revenue generating opportunities like Xbox can’t afford to be insensitive and should have planned for this reaction. The technical chatter on Google + might be indicative of a small cut of the market for Xbox, but it is nevertheless a highly influential one.
If your business has a solution for mobile devices, it makes sense to use a mobile device platform to present the features of the solution. Hardware devices can attract a base of fans (even the Radio Shack TRS 80 had a cadre of die hard champions, and never forget the Amiga). Better to anticipate the type of chauvinistic reaction these Xbox fans had when you think about your next public announcement than make the same mistake twice.
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