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Entries in apple (5)


Microsoft: This is Pathetic

I tweeted the other day how amazing it was (ironically) that Microsoft decided to update their Messenger application for Mac and included audio and video chat. They are years late to the game considering that most Mac users have switched to other all-you-can-eat messaging programs or simply use iChat and Skype. I've always been a creature or habit when it comes to what software I use, so I continue to use Microsoft Messenger in addition to iChat, Skype, and as of recently GChat.

As soon as I download the application however, all my photos disappear from the Messenger. Then I realize I'm unable to see my own photos, or my friends profile photos while I'm chatting. I tried fixing this by reinstalling the application and deleting all the previously saved preferences from old versions. Nada. 

When you download something from a company like Microsoft and it doesn't work like it should, it is normal to assume the problem is yours. "I must have installed something wrong" or "My computer is having problems". Considering that the Messenger is such a basic program that has been around for years, I found very hard to believe that Microsoft could not get this new version right on such simple features like displaying your photo. 

Well, apparently they couldn't get it right. I was so frustrated that decided to search around for answers and very quickly found a document called "Known Issues" with the new Microsoft Messenger 8. This issues and document are officially released by Microsoft on their Downloads site, and they state that the photos are not working, some of the emoticons are not working, and the ability to send and receive files is not working. 

SERIOUSLY? They added one stupid new feature and broke everything else? And instead of fixing it first they decided to release this anyways? They waited years for a new version of Messenger, what was the rush now? How can they fuck up with something so simple?

I give up on this company. I used to be a big supporter, even after switching to Mac years ago I continued to buy Microsoft products and software, but this is too much. Their operating system already sucks, their Hotmail service is SPAM Heaven, their Office applications are obsolete, and their TV commercials make me want to vomit. I still love my XBOX 360, but I wonder how long that will last. 

So Microsoft, good luck getting your groove back and winning back loyal customers like me, because you are going to need it. That plus some creative people and good engineers. 


Microsoft is Retarded

Seriously. If Windows 7 was the idea of all these idiots, why the hell would I buy it? They should have gotten Steve Jobs on the commercial and say that Windows 7 is his idea. That might work. 

Microsoft continues to be out of touch with the customers. They have annoying, ineffective and plain stupid marketing campaigns to compliment their lackluster lineup of products. 

And something else. If I remember correctly we had Windows 3.0, 3.1, 3.11 etc. Then Windows 95 came out. Then Windows 98 came out. Then? Windows XP (if we don't count Windows 2000 as it as Enterprise Edition). Then the magnificient Windows Vista. So shouldn't this be WINDOWS EIGHT instead of Windows 7? Do these people even know how to count?

PLEASE. Bring Bill Gates back. Spend money on research & development and not in stupid marketing. THINK. BE SMART. I don't want to hate Microsoft but you people are making it impossible not to. Thanks. 


iPhone Killer or Hype?

Everyone has been trying, but nobody can really beat the iPhone in what the iPhone does. I'm not talking about Blackberry because the purpose is different, but LG, Samsung, Palm, HTC and the other ones who have been trying to develop a iPhone-like phone. 

The Droid is the new phone from Verizon Wireless that comes out in November. Not sure who is manufacturing, although the Droid official website says that Droid is a trademark of LucasFilm Ltd. Is this a Star Wars phone or what the hell is going on?

But my point here is that the first Droid commercials started airing on television and they are very clever. They look like an iPhone or Apple commercial at first, but you can easily see that the theme here is not iPhone but iDon't. "iDon't have a real keyboard" and "iDon't allow open development" and a few other things, followed by the punchline "Everything iDon't... Droid Does". 

Can this be a legitimate iPhone contender? There are no pictures or information about the Droid yet, but I think their marketing campaign is off to a good start. Check out the commercial below and let me know what you think. If you find any info about the Droid please share as well. 


Where is the Innovation?

On Monday I was one of many who were looking forward to Apple's conference and expecting to hear something completely unexpected and groundbreaking. It has happened so many times before, and even though Steve Jobs is not the one making the announcements, everyone is tuned in. 

For a while now, these announcements have been average at best. Apple continues to improve their products, but what used to be recognized for being years ahead of the competition now it just seems to be keeping up with the rest. You like it and buy it because it's an Apple, but not because it has something that others don't have.

Let me summarize: "The fastest, most powerful iPhone yet." What kind of bullshit tagline is that? It's the third one. It's not like they have been around for decades. Even a coffee maker that comes out this year should be faster and more powerful than one that came out a year ago. What used to be an announcement that would knock your socks off is just another attempt for you to replace your existing iPhone 3G for one that is "slightly better". Don't get me wrong, both the speed and the camera are issues that are important and that they have resolved, but is that all they can innovate in an entire year? Plus, they didn't need to make it worse by releasing a commercial that states how the iPhone has NOT changed, even though it has. I think that a lot of people who buy iPhone's care about how the stupid thing looks, so if the iPhone looks "so 2008", why spend the money to upgrade? Nobody will notice the difference, and most people don't use most of the features and they download stupid apps. No need to bring David Fincher in to direct that stupid commercial. 

Then the MacBooks. I had no idea why they made such a big deal of discontinuing the smaller version of their "Pro" line when they switched to Intel. I had replaced my 12" PowerBook with a 15" MacBook Pro. Then, they released the new MacBook that looks exactly like the MacBook Pro. It was a matter of time until they added the "Pro" to those as well. It's basically the same computer they made me buy six months ago, only that is called "Pro" now so basically mine sucks. Oh, the new ones are "high performance" and feature "precision engineering". When did Apple started replacing facts and features with stupid taglines? I thought they had a smart way of combining both before, but now they are just forgetting what's important. 

Either way, as much as the change of name and marketing may bother me, that is not really where the problem is. The problem is that Mac notebooks are falling behind PC notebooks in functionality. The OSX is still the best, and hopefully 10.6 will not be a disappointment, but why don't the new MacBook Pro's offer a 3G modem? Is the new SD slot enough of a reason for someone to upgrade? 

The most interesting upgrade has to do with the new prices. I think Microsoft will have to re-do some of those commercials for "Laptop Hunters" in which they show how these idiots at BestBuy don't buy the Mac because its way too expensive. Not anymore. The new Mac's are probably the best computers in the market and at the best price, but truth is that Apple is falling behind and its focusing on fancy announcements and marketing taglines instead of the breakthrough innovation that everyone expects. Come June 19, I will think that people standing in line to get a new iPhone are stupid. Yet, Apple may get away with it one last time. I just hope they prepare something better for the next one, because they will not pull it off and stay ahead of the new Palm and Blackberry products by just adding another letter to the name. 



Hope in Rebranding

Every now and then we see how a Global brand starts its rebranding process. A new image, new logo, new slogan. Millions of dollars destined to change people's perception about the company. In some cases, it's done to become appealing for a new audience and demographic group. Sometimes a company needs to reconstruct a damaged image, or find a way to compete against a market leader. Whatever the reason is, the process takes a lot of time, resources, and the guarantee of a positive outlook is anything but certain. 

What amazes me is that as important as marketing and branding have been to build certain brands, the majority of the success is usually attributed to the product. A clear example of that is Microsoft and the numerous attempts of rebranding itself and testing new products with innovative and unusual marketing campaigns. None of them seem to be working, and the main reason is that the products that they have released in the past few years have not been as great as its competitors, or up quality standards of products that Microsoft developed in the past. 

Another important example is the rebranding of Pepsi. It has been said many times how the new Pepsi brand is considered a "copy" of the Obama campaign, or at least that it was "inspired by" it. Not only because they look the same but also their approach and message of HOPE, CHANGE, etc. I'm not sure if that is working for them, but what I find interesting is that Pepsi has changed it's logo and image eleven times in the past hundred years. Coca Cola on the other hand continues with the same classic look since 1885. Even though the numbers change in each market, the general perception is that Coca Cola is the absolute leader when it comes to soft drinks.

Now, in this case when we compare Coke and Pepsi, its very hard to be objective about which one has a better product. It's not as easy as Mac and PC. So marketing does play an important role. The problem is that there is no formula for success when it comes to marketing campaigns. The Pepsi Challenge seemed like an innovative and fun concept, and it was for a while, but that did not stop Pepsi with their constant rebranding. 

The fact that they are inspiring the new brand in Obama gives them "hope", as long as they get similar results. I have to admit that I notice their ads and product a lot more than I used to. However, I still do not buy it unless it is the only choice available. 

Click here to see the different Pepsi logos over the years.