It was a slow news week in the world of technology as far as I was concerned, but there were still a few stories that caught my eye.
Microsoft has a slight image problem. To many, especially those who are tech-savvy, it is a stodgy, unhip company.
Its latest operating system, Vista, hasn’t exactly resulted in happy, smiling consumers.
So what’s the solution? Jerry Seinfeld.
According to a Reuters source, Seinfeld is the star of a $300m marketing campaign Microsoft is set to launch that is “aimed at burnishing the image of its computer operating system“.
Reuters’ Steve Gorman explains:
“…an immediate goal of the commercials is to counter public perceptions that Windows Vista, Microsoft’s latest PC operating system, is clunky and hard to use compared with rival products from Apple Inc.”
While marketing is often key to consumer perception, there’s only so much marketing can do and I question whether Microsoft’s campaign will do anything to change the perceptions consumers have about Vista
After all, if consumers aren’t satisfied (or thrilled) with your product, it’s probably harder to convince them to be than it is to build a better produce.
According to Reuters’ source, Seinfeld is earning a cool $10m for his work.
Will Microsoft get the last laugh? It’s always possible but somehow I suspect we’ll be laughing at – not with – Microsoft and without a doubt, no matter what the outcome, Seinfeld will be laughing all the way to the bank.
Of course, if Microsoft had listened to Julia Allison, it would have known that it doesn’t need a celebrity. It has plenty of evangelists ready to become “internet famous” so that they can promote Vista for Bill and Ballmer
A year ago, Google executives were calling the then-still-unnamed online video joint venture between NBC Universal and News Corp. names.
Last month, the now-named Hulu streamed 105m videos and 3.2m unique visitors, according to Nielsen VideoCensus. Not bad for something five months old.
Of course, Hulu’s success probably doesn’t come as a surprise to those who never forgot that content is king. Hulu’s library of professional television and movie video content has attracted not only viewers but advertising dollars.
The latter, of course, is something that Google’s YouTube has struggled with.
Now that Hulu has proven that it has an appealing platform and viable model, it’s looking to bring in more viewers. It will be launching a $50m marketing campaign designed to expose Hulu to new viewers.
That shows confidence and frankly I think such confidence is well-placed.
Widgets could be coming to your television set if Intel and Yahoo have their way.
The two companies have teamed up on a project that would bring the mini-applications that internet users have become familiar with to television sets.
According to the AP’s Jordan Robertson, Intel and Yahoo’s project “would let people to do things like check their stock prices or peruse their photos all while watching TV.“
He goes on:
“In a screen shot provided by the companies, a baseball game airs on the main part of the screen while various programs, like a personalized Flickr photo gallery and a menu of on-demand movie rentals, run in a strip along the bottom of the screen.”
Frankly, I can’t help but think that when I sit down to watch a baseball game (and fall asleep), the last thing I want to do is concurrently browse Flickr, peruse a list of on-demand movie rentals, view how my portfolio is doing, check my email and read the latest tweets on Twitter.
Of course, I don’t have ADHD and the Intel/Yahoo project seems to be geared towards those who do, so what do I know?
Disappointing news for those expecting to make big bucks from government grants, online surveys, data entry and mystery shopping.
Two brothers who used the internet to sell guides related to “work-at-home” opportunities have settled charges brought against them by the US Federal Trade Commission, which alleged, of course, that these “opportunities” were essentially bogus.
That’s right. If you’ve received an email informing you that a life of riches can be yours without leaving your bedroom and with only a computer, you probably will need to start executing Plan B.
The money to be made from online scams isn’t bogus, however, as evidenced by the $4.9m judgment against Eric G. Louie and Calvin G. Louie pending their surrender of frozen assets and the forced sale of a Lamborghini and Ferrari that they owned.
The lesson – don’t let the internet make you stupid.
Most people selling “secrets” about how to make money make their money selling the “secrets” – not implementing them.