Microsoft brings in new digital marketing agency for Windows and Surface

As Microsoft gets ready for the 2013 holiday shopping season, it clearly needs to sell more of its Surface tablets. A recent estimate from IDC said that Microsoft only sold 300,000 Surface units in the second quarter of 2013. It would also like to see better overall sales of Windows 8 PCs, which Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer admitted were not selling as well as expected in a recent internal company meeting.

Today, it was revealed that Microsoft has a new marketing partner for both Windows and the Surface businesses, one which it has worked with successfully in the past. Ad Age reports that Razorfish will take over the digital marketing efforts for both brands, as it already does for Microsoft's Xbox and Bing divisions.

A spokesperson for Microsoft said of the change, "The decision to switch digital online advertising agencies arose due to competitive conflicts with the previous agency." While Microsoft didn't go into details of what "competitive conflicts" there were with their previous marketing partner, it's clear that the company liked what Razorfish did with Xbox and Bing enough to add Windows and Surface to their account.

The big question: Can Razorfish come up with digital campaigns for Windows 8, and especially Surface, to convince the general public to try them out?

Source: Ad Age

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Reading these comments, someone with no actual product experience might assume;

- A Surface RT is so awful in every respect, it leaves a foul brown mark on your fingers
- Windows RT has no functionality whatsoever. What people really absolutely need are legacy WIndows desktop apps, on a 10" display, for it to function. At all.
- The iPad feels and works like some sort of futurist alien technology, not like a slab with a somewhat dated UI and a phone OS.
- Android isn't a mish-mash of various ideas on top of a JRE/Linux kernel that can turn a quad-core CPU into molten silicon in the blink of a quick round of Kandy Krush.

Choice is good. MS has good marketable product. Surface/Windows 8/RT have distinguishing features not present in their competitors. My Surface has every app I can possibly want - I just RDP my desktop! My Nexus 7 still lags. Desktop apps on a <11" screen are generally horrible. The Windows Store will grow.

No?

No marketing can help save the bad product. Keep burning money on useless marketing MS. They already got the bad impression about their product and it will be really hard for them to convince masses now. For MS lovers at neowin, I know it hurts your feeling but wait for another quarter for dismissal result of sale of surface.

The Surface can be saved. Windows 8 on the other hand, has a bad stigma and the word has spread like a California wildfire on how bad it is.

But...but... I thought everything was going so well with Windows 8 and the Surface. Every Microsoft fanboy told me so.

Bobinoff said,
Fine would be your opinion not mine. Tried the latest build of 8.1 and I am going to stick with windows 7

And not fine is your opion. But your opinion is more correct right? /guh.

Bobinoff said,
Mine and a lot of others. Biggest piece of crap software since ME

You must not have used ME much if you think that. 8 runs fine without touch. For those complaining care to provide examples of what doesn't work?

So all those other engineers and designers Microsoft employs are just sitting around doing nothing right now.....
You do realize how a product lifecycle works right?

I agree, but unfortunately you really need marketing if you want a hit. All the big companies spend millions on it for new products.

wv@gt said,
So all those other engineers and designers Microsoft employs are just sitting around doing nothing right now.....
You do realize how a product lifecycle works right?

+1

wv@gt said,
So all those other engineers and designers Microsoft employs are just sitting around doing nothing right now.....
You do realize how a product lifecycle works right?

They spent 900 million in advertising. This does not show promise in a product. This is called overestimating and usually when people overestimate they lose. I have seen other products that have spent a lot on advertising that are still regarded as epic failures. The problem is Metro looks cheap. The problem is they haven't sort out what needs to be Metro and what needs to be Desktop (namely, just the apps need to be Metro). The Start Screen is a good idea, but it still requires more function. There are a few apps on the app store that accommodate this, but I think it's just a starting off point. Apps such as Time Tile or Sticky Tiles should be implemented by Microsoft. Or other functions such as music controls, on/off toggles, website headlines, connectable tiles, and folder in folder are other ideas to explore. I don't know why they are so against Aero Glass either. There was nothing wrong with it in the first place. Not to mention, the scroll bar that overlaps with the Start Button. That is not professional at all. It's tacky and cheap. And if people want something cheap they will go get an Android tablet. There are a lot of little things wrong with Windows 8.1 and if they think they can just out advertise and people will just buy it because they saw it on television, then they are making the same mistake again. People are putting their trust in this thing they are buying and if it looks cheap and unsorted out, then they won't even bother. People will complain until they fix it. If the product does not provide what the advertisement suggested, then the customer is going to feel cheated. Also, Apple is turning their sights on enterprise.

What I was saying, is that you do realize Microsoft is working on more than marketing right now. They have teams working on new designs and ideas right now, possibly fixing the things you mention.

How about, get rid of RT and concentrate on the Pro version with a hefty price drop. No one wants the RT, you can't install anything decent on it so you might as well get a Kindle!
Reduce the price of the Pro and people might start to buy it, as the price at the moment, really isn't competitive.

bomberh said,
How about, get rid of RT and concentrate on the Pro version with a hefty price drop. No one wants the RT, you can't install anything decent on it so you might as well get a Kindle!
Reduce the price of the Pro and people might start to buy it, as the price at the moment, really isn't competitive.

Reduce it to what? Tablet cost? No way. It's not a tablet. Find a small form factor 'tablet like' laptop with Core i5, 4GB RAM, SSD, HD screen, USB 3.0, card reader, and Windows 8, for $700-$800 and I'm down. Will chuck my Pro in a heartbeat (no, not really, lol).

Yes - they should get rid of RT.

I don't get why RT has to go away. RT is just 8 for Arm and focused solely on the tablet metro interface.

Improve RT sure, I agree. Improve it by improving the metro side of Win 8 and grow the app store. If you make it competitive with iOS and Android app wise, RT is a fair contender. The 'RT' idea is to offer a windows tablet at price closer, if no the same, as the Android tablets floating around. Your not going to get something with an intel processor in it down to those prices unless its really crappy in other ways.

At the very least, we know MS is transitioning WP to be just another extension of Windows at the code level, so we may see a merging of more WP ideas with an RT tablet.

trooper11 said,
I don't get why RT has to go away. RT is just 8 for Arm and focused solely on the tablet metro interface.

Improve RT sure, I agree. Improve it by improving the metro side of Win 8 and grow the app store. If you make it competitive with iOS and Android app wise, RT is a fair contender. The 'RT' idea is to offer a windows tablet at price closer, if no the same, as the Android tablets floating around. Your not going to get something with an intel processor in it down to those prices unless its really crappy in other ways.

At the very least, we know MS is transitioning WP to be just another extension of Windows at the code level, so we may see a merging of more WP ideas with an RT tablet.

I admit, getting rid of RT is harsh. I guess what I would say is that RT is not ready, and so should really be dialed back until it is. And perhaps getting it out there now is what was needed in order to correct the issues. I hear awesome things about how 8.1 is going to make it better, but there's still drawbacks with the hardware and Surface 2 should solve that. It's just hard to vote up for a product that even manufacturers have bailed from (Asus).

I think Windows RT needs a reboot in terms of branding. Perhaps just Windows Mobile? Phone and tablets in one division, and Windows 8 in it's own? Just my thoughts really.

I agree, I don't know why I would recommend the RT to anyone! In that case go for an iPad.

The problem with the surface is not their campaign it is the device and its price tag! The two were not in sink! The should build a consumer Surface with an Atom Bay Trail SoC for $350 and a business device with a Haskall Proc for $600 that would sell!

Why does it have to be Intel? Intel has backward compatibility but if industry need to be mobile, ARM is a way to go. If Intel were strictly windows PC, all iPhone/iPad developers have to code angry bird in x86.

Johannespreekt said,
I agree, I don't know why I would recommend the RT to anyone! In that case go for an iPad.

The problem with the surface is not their campaign it is the device and its price tag! The two were not in sink! The should build a consumer Surface with an Atom Bay Trail SoC for $350 and a business device with a Haskall Proc for $600 that would sell!

Figure 8 Dash said,
Hopefully Razorfish can deliver a concise and clear message.

Yeah.

>>Ad Guy points to RT - "That little guy? I wouldn't worry about that little guy."

the NEW surface ads (no dancing) are awesome. they destroy the ipad and make it look silly. awesome. the bing and xbox ads have always been terrible so clearly, it was good while it lasted, but awful MSFT marketing is back baby!!! weee.

neonspark said,
the NEW surface ads (no dancing) are awesome. they destroy the ipad and make it look silly. awesome. the bing and xbox ads have always been terrible so clearly, it was good while it lasted, but awful MSFT marketing is back baby!!! weee.

Those original dancing ads had nothing to do with the product really, which is why they sucked. Whoever thought that having a group of people dancing was going to make a product sell millions should be fired. Was that Ballmer? Windows RT did suck though so I can understand why they had people dancing around with a tablet but not really showing how useful it was.

neonspark said,
the NEW surface ads (no dancing) are awesome. they destroy the ipad and make it look silly. awesome. the bing and xbox ads have always been terrible so clearly, it was good while it lasted, but awful MSFT marketing is back baby!!! weee.
I like the ads. But frankly, they should be able to make the surface stand on its own. Frankly, after 8.1 is released these advertisements could be much better. Windows 8 is a decent tablet os, but it feels unfinished to nearly all types of users.

Tarrant64 said,

Those original dancing ads had nothing to do with the product really, which is why they sucked. Whoever thought that having a group of people dancing was going to make a product sell millions should be fired. Was that Ballmer? Windows RT did suck though so I can understand why they had people dancing around with a tablet but not really showing how useful it was.


How the hell does RT suck when its capable of a lot more than ipads and Droid pads?? Yup you own one... Go use one with unbias eyes and maybe you won't be follower and start thinking for yourself.

neonspark said,
the NEW surface ads (no dancing) are awesome. they destroy the ipad and make it look silly. awesome. the bing and xbox ads have always been terrible so clearly, it was good while it lasted, but awful MSFT marketing is back baby!!! weee.
Actually, they don't make the iPad look silly. It makes Microsoft look desperate. People won't choose a Surface over the iPad because of a USB port or because of live tiles or multi-tasking. Microsoft needs to focus on something that will draw new users.

duk3togo said,

How the hell does RT suck when its capable of a lot more than ipads and Droid pads?? Yup you own one... Go use one with unbias eyes and maybe you won't be follower and start thinking for yourself.
RT doesn't suck. It just doesn't have the app catalogue to make it valuable. Especially with 8.1, the platform is amazing. It just needs applications to make it valuable.

duk3togo said,

How the hell does RT suck when its capable of a lot more than ipads and Droid pads?? Yup you own one... Go use one with unbias eyes and maybe you won't be follower and start thinking for yourself.

It did suck, specifically on the Surface RT. There were a lot of issues with it that really made it a subpar system compared to other things out there. I checked out the RT several times and ultimately picked up a Surface Pro for the full Windows 8 experience. I can think for myself, not everyone who has a negative opinion about a product is a follower. If you've read any of my other comments you would've seen that I do happen to look forward to 8.1 because it's supposed to address a lot of the issues with RT.

Thinking for myself implies that I have the right to give my own opinions, which I've done. Get over it.

RT could do multi-tasking somewhat well out of the box. There were still problems though with very limited availability when it came to apps. Also, there weren't many hardware options out there to use it. You couldn't purchase it separately and install it on any device, it had to be bundled with what's been proven to be relatively poor hardware. Native apps didn't work, which really made the lack of apps in the Windows Store more apparent. Flash (unfortunately) is a huge part of web and there were even problems getting around that on Windows RT (admittedly it was a problem for IOS as well).

Edited by Tarrant64, Aug 20 2013, 3:38pm :

Tarrant64 said,

It did suck, specifically on the Surface RT. There were a lot of issues with it that really made it a subpar system compared to other things out there. I checked out the RT several times and ultimately picked up a Surface Pro for the full Windows 8 experience. I can think for myself, not everyone who has a negative opinion about a product is a follower. If you've read any of my other comments you would've seen that I do happen to look forward to 8.1 because it's supposed to address a lot of the issues with RT.

Thinking for myself implies that I have the right to give my own opinions, which I've done. Get over it.

RT could do multi-tasking somewhat well out of the box. There were still problems though with very limited availability when it came to apps. Also, there weren't many hardware options out there to use it. You couldn't purchase it separately and install it on any device, it had to be bundled with what's been proven to be relatively poor hardware. Native apps didn't work, which really made the lack of apps in the Windows Store more apparent. Flash (unfortunately) is a huge part of web and there were even problems getting around that on Windows RT (admittedly it was a problem for IOS as well).

Again W8 and RT are for different markets. RT is a direct competitor for ipods and droids, while W8 is for people who want a portable desktop if you will.

If you bought a pro just for apps you over paid, since the RT is capable of using them. Some people don't care about legacy apps they just want something portable with good battery life that's where WRT comes in.

The fact that they didn't have quality apps, didn't matter since the browser was able to run most websites (Flash with a work around). I remember it doesn't have a FB app, just go thru the browser and you'll get a better experience either way and you can pin it. People went looking for WRT to be a PC while its not, its a plain ole tablet sorry to be bearer of bad news.

duk3togo said,

Again W8 and RT are for different markets. RT is a direct competitor for ipods and droids, while W8 is for people who want a portable desktop if you will.

If you bought a pro just for apps you over paid, since the RT is capable of using them. Some people don't care about legacy apps they just want something portable with good battery life that's where WRT comes in.

The fact that they didn't have quality apps, didn't matter since the browser was able to run most websites (Flash with a work around). I remember it doesn't have a FB app, just go thru the browser and you'll get a better experience either way and you can pin it. People went looking for WRT to be a PC while its not, its a plain ole tablet sorry to be bearer of bad news.

You assume I don't already know any of this and have simply restarted what I already said was a drawback. I wasn't sure what I needed and so tried out both RT and 8. I'm fully aware they are different markets - try explaining that to the general public with the current marketing being done. That was a complete flop and was confusing for many.

Now, I didn't buy the pro just for apps. It was clear after digging around what I was looking for was a laptop and I ended up with the Surface Pro. I did care about legacy apps, and battery life wasn't the issue. It was having the ability to do everything I could before with Windows 7 but in a tablet like form - that's where the Pro came in. I was hoping the RT would be able to satisfy most of what I needed but in the end the performance wasn't great and it was just too new to really have any apps out there you could appreciate RT with. It's somewhat better now, but still has a ways to go.

I'm not complaining here about not being able to use RT for something it wasn't intended to do. I'm complaining that what it was supposed to do it couldn't do very well at all, which is where it has it's disadvantages to IOS/Android devices which happen to do what limited things they can do very well. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but I'm not the typical don't know jack about RT consumer. It's like you're not reading.

Tarrant64 said,

You assume I don't already know any of this and have simply restarted what I already said was a drawback. I wasn't sure what I needed and so tried out both RT and 8. I'm fully aware they are different markets - try explaining that to the general public with the current marketing being done. That was a complete flop and was confusing for many.

Now, I didn't buy the pro just for apps. It was clear after digging around what I was looking for was a laptop and I ended up with the Surface Pro. I did care about legacy apps, and battery life wasn't the issue. It was having the ability to do everything I could before with Windows 7 but in a tablet like form - that's where the Pro came in. I was hoping the RT would be able to satisfy most of what I needed but in the end the performance wasn't great and it was just too new to really have any apps out there you could appreciate RT with. It's somewhat better now, but still has a ways to go.

I'm not complaining here about not being able to use RT for something it wasn't intended to do. I'm complaining that what it was supposed to do it couldn't do very well at all, which is where it has it's disadvantages to IOS/Android devices which happen to do what limited things they can do very well. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but I'm not the typical don't know jack about RT consumer. It's like you're not reading.

I'm the one not reading go back to your comments and reread them. It might hit you when read them as to why I mentioned, apps, flash, etc.

duk3togo said,

I'm the one not reading go back to your comments and reread them. It might hit you when read them as to why I mentioned, apps, flash, etc.

You're not reading my point. You mentioned apps, flash, etc. because I brought them up as issues. Those are just a few issues out of many (not just for me, but everyone), bottom line being it didn't do anything really well. It was a nice change for Windows, but it had many shortcomings. That's all I'm getting at. Between a full Windows 8 experience and Windows RT, RT didn't make sense because it didn't really compete well against IOS or Android. It will eventually get there with 8.1, but during release between software and hardware performance combined, it wasn't a good product. I wanted to like it, but hands on for the money it could have been a little better.

The fact that Microsoft is changing marketing strategies, has reduced prices of Windows RT, has written off a whole bunch of units, speaks to all of this. They aren't giving up on it but it was not a good start for many of the reasons I've already listed. So I stand by my opinion, RT sucks - right now.

I hope this helps. Should be just in time at least for when Surface 2 and 8.1 comes out. If you're going to switch now's the time to do it.