Microsoft Doesn't Get Marketing, Again

In an attempt to be innovative on the mapping front Microsoft has created bird's eye view 3D images of numerous cities. Just like many websites that try to monetize to early, Microsoft has already placed test billboard images on top of buildings in the beta launch of their product.

By Microsoft placing the billboards in their images they change the focus of what people talk about from the quality of the product to the stupid billboards. If they have no users the billboards do not matter, and what is the point of going to that much effort to gather the data if you are going to put fake billboards on it right out of the gate?

Published: November 7, 2006 by Aaron Wall in marketing


November 9, 2006 - 5:47pm

Another great innovation from MS! Well maybe not if you read this blog - oh well nice try Bill!

But while I agree that MS are playing catchup to G - and that this new offering seems a bit cranky at first site - you need to look to the technology and the future. This is a good move by MS in that they are leveraging thier technical know how by blending - search, MS flyby sims, gaming and adverts. That could be very potent combination which other companies will find hard to copy. Looking to the future I could see them developing more cities, worldwide - lots of eyeballs, developing virtual worlds and placing ads in online games. They could be some very big money spinners for MS - which could give them considerable edge in this emerging marketplace.

November 10, 2006 - 3:04am

It looks to me like a new chapter in internet marketing which we may call
3D virtual spam :-)

November 7, 2006 - 6:03pm

Agreed. With something new like this they need to wait until they have a userbase before sticking ads all over it.

November 7, 2006 - 6:33pm

I disagree. If users are turned off by those ads, then there are fewer and fewer sites they can go to and feel comfortable these days. These ads don't look obtrusive, and they're yet another unique feature of this offering which gives people something else to talk about -- giving them more free pub.

November 7, 2006 - 6:34pm

Microsoft, just get dumber and dumber. Far too late to launch this service, there's already a leader. If only they'd get thier core products in order first, they'd be a lot better off.

November 7, 2006 - 6:34pm

Good concept, bad execution.

November 7, 2006 - 8:31pm

And yet, if they hadn't put the fake billboards in, you wouldn't have been talking about this at all. Yea, stupid.

November 7, 2006 - 8:34pm

Bozo are you here from the Microsoft marketing department?

What matters is not that I talk about them...what matters is if they get branded as having a worthwhile service. If people talking about them say their launch is less than stellar and they should spend more time on branding and features then that isn't going to get them many customers.

Aim for bucket #1 again there bozo.

November 7, 2006 - 8:38pm

I believe Microsoft was first on the satellite side with their Terraserver site. But, Google came up with a better interface and delivery system in Google Earth.

Google is Just like Thomas Edison in this case. Edison didn't invent the light bulb. He made it easy and inexpensive to produce. More importantly he had a better way to bring it to market.

November 7, 2006 - 9:08pm

microsoft should just stick to OS from now on they have just not had any luck

November 8, 2006 - 12:00am

Very interesting to reference Terraserver, which came online right around the time Google got started. Terraserver came with a huge "WOW" factor. Today it's a site where you can buy "imagery products". Pretty neat.

Google Earth, on the other hand, rocks. One of our primary applications is to help kids learn geography and explore the world. It's simply more interesting, fun, and useful and comes from a different philosophy and view of the world (no pun intended).

Like so many, I run a MS-heavy development shop but I'm amazed to see MS continue to come out with "new" technologies and products that don't impress and don't work very well. I know they've been doing that for a long time but I can't help but be amazed from time to time. Like now.

November 8, 2006 - 2:17am

All microsoft cares about is the money obviously and they are making it way too obvious. I'd think Micorsoft would be working hard right now to gain some of the userbase it lost and have people come back to all it's variety of products but monetizing way too early is more likely to hurt them than do any good.

November 8, 2006 - 3:10am

It's amazing - the extent to which consumers (i.e., people) seem always to be an afterthought at MS. They badly need a marketing person integrated into their search product development.

I still can't get over the choice of "" as the new url for search and "Windows Live" as the brand name. Maybe the single dumbest move I've seen on the marketing front in years...other than fake blogs for manufacturers.

Shiva Modi
November 8, 2006 - 8:56am

After years of being in the market, Microsoft still doesnt realize that it is the overall usefullness of a product that drives the virtual world towards it, not some gimmick feature that doesnt serve their purpose.

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