Microsoft have long understood that if you can make your platform into ‘the standard’, then sales and notoriety follow. That’s how they won the desktop war.
They also understood that if you can get your program in front of people, and it’s too difficult for them to switch, then market share is your reward. That’s why (until the EU intervened) Internet Explorer was tied into the Windows operating system, and why Bill Gates tied his 1998 deal with Steve Jobs to Internet Explorer appearing on the Macintosh desktop. And it’s also why my MBA project management textbook includes a free trial for MS Project.
Perhaps that’s why Microsoft feel they don’t have to try so hard at actually making the case for their products. The manufacturer’s description for MS Project on Amazon tells us that the program is ‘poised for the ascent’.
And the product description for the ‘perfect partner’, MS Visio, tells us that ‘Visio Standard 2010 offers modern and intuitive diagramming tools to transform complex ideas into aha moments and get everyone on the same page with less time and effort.’ A terrifying fusion of bombast, jargon and cliché, all in one rather tasteless package.
Unkind critics of the Redmond outfit will no doubt suggest that they’ve summed up the Microsoft brand right there. A bit glib, of course, but possibly worth an aha moment. Even if not everyone is on the same page.