Thursday, June 2, 2011

So I was wrong

Apparently the folks at Microsoft are smarter than I am.

After ranting that I thought they were missing a significant portion of the market by developing marketing focused only on PCs, they go and to this...

Yesterday they previewed a few features of what they're currently calling Windows 8 blowing my argument out of the water.

It appears to be a pretty slick OS that's capable of running on either a keyboard and mouse or touchscreen PC as well as a tablet. The obvious advantage of this is that it should make moving and using documents, files, images and other resources from device to device easy and seamless.

Microsoft's designers have done a good job of taking what people like about app-based interfaces and improved upon them. The tile design system (inspired by their Windows mobile design) lets you preview information on the start screen and allows you to customize the number and size of the apps on the screen.

Obviously it runs all the Office applications and is designed to take advantage of the upgraded features in Internet Explorer 10.

The one problem? There's no launch date yet. Right now Microsoft is only saying Windows 8 will be released sometime in 2012. That's an eternity in technology time and what looks cool and new now, might just be old news by the time it hits the market (can you say Chevy Volt?). 

Lets just hope we won't be bored of it by the time it's ready.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

How to change your image fast

It seems Lexus is doing its best to give its new $400,000 LFA some street cred.

Last week they loaned one to Toyota Nascar drivers Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch with results that would make any PR flack smile. Busch got ticketed for speeding, clocked at 128 MPH while Hamlin posted this picture and statement on twitter:

Now, did Toyota give Kyle Busch instructions to get a huge speeding ticket?

I doubt it.

But they know Busch has a reputation for being a little, shall we say, careless. And that lack of judgement earned Lexus millions of dollars of media exposure over the weekend in newspapers, on the web and Fox' Coca Cola 600 broadcast.

Lexus, a brand long known for comfort and engineering excellence, is chasing Audi and BMW when it comes to perceived performance.

A few more "accidents" like this and they may just find themselves in the conversation.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Mission accomplished

It seems that the mouse is no match for a Seal.

Last Friday, Disney announced that they were withdrawing their application to trademark the term Seal Team 6 for use on Christmas ornaments, video games and every other category on their list.

Disney didn't pull back after getting hammered by the late night comics and bloggers like me. According to the Wall Street Journal, it was the threat of a legal challenge by the U.S. Navy that forced their retreat.

Disney can still make a TV show or movie about the team and its daring raid on the bin Laden compound. They'll just have to pay the Navy for the right to the name, as CBS does for NCIS.

Unfortunately they've already paid a high price in the court of public opinion.