Clearly a large part of Microsoft’s marketing strategy for Windows 7 is education and awareness of the new features in Windows 7. This is contrary to what many of us might have thought. I personally expected a much dryer campaign focusing on compatibility, stability and security.
For this, Microsoft are using video heavily with a slew of tutorials covering every aspect of ‘using’ Windows. I say ‘using’ because they don’t cover installing or any advanced topics. Instead they’re focusing on having fun, being productive and introducing new features like multi-touch in exciting and engaging ways.
Primarily they’re using two websites for this. The first is their own Windows website which you can find here. IN the features section they talk about a lot of the new and enhanced functionality in Windows 7.
They’re also using YouTube, sensibly, to promote videos on Windows 7 tools and usability. It’s interesting to note that in these videos they refer to programs in the Windows Live Essentials Suite, Movie Maker and Photo Gallery etc., as though they were already a part of Windows 7. I’d agree that this suit is essential but this could be considered misleading by some consumers.
This does raise an interesting point about Windows that is that an awful lot of people will know how to do thing they did in previous versions of Windows, but only if the way to do those things hasn’t changed significantly (such as uninstalling a program changing from XP to Vista). Most of the time though people will only stumble upon features randomly.
This can provide a sense of enduring wonder. Imagine a year in and you discover a new feature. All of a sudden Windows 7 is new again. Conversely, this could make you wonder why Microsoft never made it more obvious to you in the first place.
There’s always been a case for Microsoft bundling a user manual with Windows. The help provided with the operating system is doubtless comprehensive, but computer help hasn’t changed fundamentally in years and it’s still neither the most accessible way to learn about new features. This is why there will always be a healthy market in user guides such as my own book.
It will be interesting to see what else Microsoft will do in promoting Windows 7 in the coming weeks and months.