Wednesday, November 17, 2010

How do you say "turn around and be positive" in Swedish?

Three years ago, I wrote about the video for Veronica Maggio's video "Dumpa Mig." If you've never seen the video (recent unofficial video link here), it is a split screen video, with action on the left and on the right. On the left side, the woman is happy, while on the right side, the same woman is distraught. As you watch the video, you realize that the action on the right is happening in reverse. By the end of the video, you realize that the left side shows a train trip to a destination, while the right side shows the return train trip from the destination. At the end of the video, both sides converge in a single moment - the moment in which Maggio's character discovers something that turns her happiness to distress.

But you don't have to find a Swedish-Italian singer to see a demonstration of a reversal technique. You can find a different execution of the same strategy (but with a much happier ending) here in North America. WinExtra (Steven Hodson) and The Next Web (Alex Wilhelm) have already shared it, with Wilhelm noting that Microsoft's execution is similar to a 2007 video called "Lost Generation", which itself acknowledges the inspiration of a 2006 political advertisement from Argentina (in English?).

But let's return to the present day, and to Microsoft's execution of the reversal strategy.

I offered the following comment on Hodson's WinExtra blog:

The advertisement effectively shows how Microsoft occupies both the enterprise and the consumer spaces. Oracle could certainly craft a similar message for the enterprise space, and Apple could certainly craft one for the consumer space. But if you temporarily ignore that small Windows Mobile market share, only Microsoft could span both the enterprise and consumer spheres of human activity.

We have this mad desire for a unified platform, although we occasionally acknowledge that different form factors require different solutions, not the same solution. And since there is little financial incentive for different companies to work together to provide that unified platform, it's appearing more and more likely that the best bet at a unified platform is to align oneself with a single silo. And as silos go, Microsoft still has the biggest silo.

Incidentally, there are two things that allow us to ignore that small Windows Mobile market share, and I've discussed both of them previously.

First, while Microsoft's mobile OS market share is low, its computer OS market share, despite impressive gains in the Mac and Linux worlds, is still nearly 90%, as I previously noted. Incidentally, I followed up on Mind Booster Noori's excellent work, and as of October 2010, the relevant Wikipedia page shows that the Windows market share has continued to decline...all the way to 88.40%. Might as well remove that Windows section from your local bookstore, right?

Second, while Windows Mobile has a small share of the smartphone market, so does Android. And so does the iPhone OS. And so does the Research in Motion platform. So if an Apple fanboi argues that Apple offers an integrated solution, ask the fanboi about the 80-plus percent of smartphone users who don't have an iPhone. If you want to know what the leading smartphone platform is, see my previous post.

Now if Microsoft could only get Veronica Maggio as its spokesperson, the world will be a better place.
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