Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Google and Apple didn't derail Windows 7

The timing couldn't have been a coincidence ... but it won't work.

On Monday, Google announced a massive push (worldwide) for Google apps.  Yesterday, Apple announced all-new MacBooks and iMacs.

Tomorrow is the official release date on Microsoft's latest operating system, Windows 7.

The 'buzz', which has been around in tech circles for almost a year, is now hitting the (so-called) mainstream media ... and we all know what that means.

I asked some 'regular people' yesterday (IE: non-techies) if they knew what Google Apps or Windows 7 were.  The answer (without getting into some very funny 'Jay-walking' type stuff) was a resounding NO.

On the other hand both Facebook and Twitter were a YES (with over 75% saying they had Facebook accounts and visit them at least twice a week).

Keeping in mind that this was a very limited and completely non-scientific survey, it still points to an important factor. 

People are busy.  They're trying to hedge against the economy, and, in many cases, just trying to make a living. 

If it's not in they're face, they're going to miss it.  (Kinda like marketing YOUR blog? :).

Here in the US, the Windows 7 buzz is already building.  Major news networks are set to cover it .... or already are.


Well, it may not get the same ratings as Jon and Kate ... (ugh!) ... but NOT covering the Windows 7 launch would almost be like not covering a Space Shuttle landing.

Windows still owns the PC desktop, both by home and enterprise users, by a very large margin.  Despite Apple's gains and stellar earnings this week, they're still less than 10 percent of the market.  To most people, Google is where they go to find something.

One of the best pieces I've seen this morning so far comes from CBS News (keeping in mind that CBS owns CNET, one of the oldest and strongest technology news brands).  The piece (for regular people :) can be found here.

It's no secret that I love Windows 7.  It's the closest thing to plug and play ever, and despite numerous claims by blog authors to the contrary, it's a HUGE improvement over XP or Vista.

It's what the public doesn't see (yet) that's the most interesting.  The new war between Google, Apple and Microsoft.  It has now morphed to almost every front and 'could' redefine all of this over the next 5 or ten YEARS.

Google's mobile operating system, Android, is hitting Verizon, the largest mobile carrier in the US, and you'll be hearing a lot more about Verizon's 'Droid'. Google Voice, Apps, Gmail and many other products are viable 'players'.

Apple continues on the 'style' streak.  There's just no disputing that Apple computers look cool (and even make you look cool).  A fashion statement that works.  There's also no disputing that when (or if) the masses adopt smartphones, currently the iPhone wins.  Period. Apple's iTunes still dominates the podcast and music scene despite numerous challenges.

Windows 7 was critical to Microsoft.  They did it right on a variety of fronts.  In fact, it's going to be a lot easier to get Grandma on the Internet soon .... without those daily phone calls "Can you come over ... something went wrong". 

No joke .....

I don't remember one piece even mentioning this demographic.  While traditional marketers are all over it (and A LOT of scams), tech is ignoring one of the largest spending groups, at least here in the US.

That may change .... and it may change soon.

Regardless.  Ask someone this Friday is if they know what Windows 7 is.  More importantly, if they plan to get it.  My guess is YES and YES.