I can see why Microsoft is having to explain their new ad -- the one where Jerry Seinfeld runs into Bill Gates at a discount shoe store. I've already seen it several times many times (they seem to be blanketing the airwaves), and I still don't get the point.
I also don't get why anyone thinks this ad is going to give me warm, fuzzy feelings about Microsoft. Especially not with my latest Microsoft experience.
A couple weeks ago I got a call for help from my brother, a relatively new computer user with a new PC running Vista. He was trying to do something simple: Add a footer to his resume so it would say "page 2 of 2" on the second page. No big deal, right?
Well, apparently not if you have Vista.
It took me several minutes to figure out why my brother couldn't find the footer/header command on the drop-down "view" menu. It was because the menu bar wasn't there. I guess the geniuses at Microsoft decided that MS Word no longer needs a menu bar...which makes it a little more challenging to complete simple tasks.
So I asked my brother to try the keystroke command. No dice. Next, I googled "Vista" and "menu bar" and found a thriving cottage industry online offering software to restore your menu bar in Vista (for a small fee, of course).
My solution? I finally had my brother email mehis resume, so I could add a footer to his resume on my Mac, and send it back. That worked.
Seriously, what were the folks at Microsoft thinking?
I recently attended a WordCamp session (Wordpress, not MS Word) featuring Kathy Sierra, a programming instructor, game developer and blogger. In her presentation, Sierra pointed out that the faster people can get over the "I suck at it" threshold when learning new software (or anything else, for that matter), the happier they'll be with your products and your company.
So I have to ask: Why is Microsoft making people relearn how to use their software, which means forcing them to go through the "I suck at it" phase all over again. Doesn't seem like a good model for success to me.
Seriously, if they remove the menu bar from the Mac version of MS Office, I'll migrating. And I won't come back.
Keywords: advertising, Microsoft, Vista, Kathy Sierra, Wordcamp, Bill Gates, Jerry Seinfeld