Today Microsoft released a new software suite for students. It’s aimed at secondary-school students, and offers them resources to help them complete assignments in standard subject areas like maths, science and so on. Students would probably be best advised to get an Apple computer if they want to be productive, which would stop them running the aptly named Microsoft Student suite. Even so, it looks like a decent product. Just like the Xbox 360 looks like a decent product, and probably will be.
Microsoft’s been criticised recently, though, for not knowing how to do publicity properly. The latest edition of Edge, #151, compares Sony’s savvy launch for PS3 with Microsoft’s try-hard MTV special launching XBox 360. And with Microsoft Student, we see a trend emerging.
Microsoft’s flash-based product tour for Student is terrifyingly condescending. It features a hip dude, probably about 25, who goes on about how well Student helps him prepare reports and do things with Ã¢â‚¬Å“numberage,Ã¢â‚¬Â in a voice that sounds like a simultaneous parody of both Pauly Shore and Keanu Reeves. (Keanu doesn’t need a link, since he still has a career going.) This relic from the 1990s has, for a side-kick, a girl with visible braces and an awful haircut who looks like a poster-child for unpopularity. Here’s a hint, people: the cool kidz down in the ‘hood are using Macs!
Come on, Microsoft! I’m sure today’s kids don’t need advice from Pauly Shore or Little Miss Dork. The best thing about the product tour is that people might get a few giggles out of it at Microsoft’s expense. Check it out, if you could use a few laughs.
And Microsoft… Someone, in fact probably several people, on your publicity team, need a swift and powerful kick in the ass that sends them flying out your front door and into the crisp Redmond morning. Like, jaa…