Category Archives: Microsoft

My Tour of the Microsoft Campus

The original founders of Microsoft... and a token brown guy.

The original founders of Microsoft... and a token brown guy.

Last week, I had the pleasure of touring the humungus Microsoft campus in Redmond, WA. Suren Singh of Microsft gave myself and my colleagues a personal tour of the grounds which is home to over 30,000 employees and spreads across 8 million square feet. I still can’t get my head around it. What struck me most about the impressive grounds is the university campus feel it had that got me feeling nostalgic about my days at UVic. There are plenty of soccer fields outfitted with outdoor artificial turf, immaculate landscaping that retains the pacific northwest feel, and buildings up buildings divided by business concentrations.

The highlight for me was a visit to the Microsoft museum that covered the history of the company from it’s humble start in 1975 up to present day innovations like Surface and Xbox 360. By the way, Surface is VERY cool and ironically (I learned) that it almost never came to fruition. There are endless possibilities for this technology to be used in everyday workplace and home appliances. Below are some photos from the museum, but quite honestly, they don’t do it any justice. Visit it in person if you ever get the chance. Worth the trip out to Redmond. And, thank you Suren for the hospitality!



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Filed under marketing, Microsoft

I’m a PC, The REAL Microsoft Ad Campaign Begins

Now it’s all beginning to make sense. The Gates Seinfeld ads were just a teaser to get people buzzing with its quirky humor and purposeful lack of Microsoft-related content. Negative or positive, it did. Create an environment of high awareness for the brand, then launch the real campaign as people are curious and thirsty to find out what’s next. Well, what’s next is “I’m a PC” ad campaign that embraces Apple’s negative reference to Microsoft in its campaign, and turns it around to show that PC users aren’t the sterotype depicted in the Apple campaign. Instead, they are people of all walks of life, from teachers to architects, artists to programmers, celebrities to ultimate fighters. I’m impressed. From this first set of commercials, I think the ad agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky is on to something. Regular PC users can also go to the Microsoft website and upload a video or picture of themselves, which will be profiled on the site, can be shared with others, and could be featured in future Microsoft ads as well as appear on the big screen in New York’s Time Square. It’s an audacious campaign and one that will be very hard to ignore.Check out the article in the New York Times that details the Microsoft campaign.


Filed under advertising, Apple, Branding, Business, Communications, marketing, Microsoft

Second Microsoft Ad With Gates and Seinfeld

Here is the follow up ad (long version) to the first Gates Seinfeld Microsoft ad. Techcrunch isn’t impressed, and based on the comments I’ve received regarding the first ad, not many of you will be either. I found this one very much like a Seinfeld episode, so I enjoy the humor, but I do have to say that it isn’t getting to the point fast enough. This holds true with the shorter tv ad versions that I’ve seen.


Filed under advertising, Branding, Business, Comedy, Communications, Humor, Internet, marketing, Microsoft, Selling

New Microsoft Ad Campaign with Gates and Seinfeld Launched

New Microsoft ad campaign featuring Bill Gates and Jerry Seinfeld.

New Microsoft ad campaign featuring Bill Gates and Jerry Seinfeld.

The much anticipated Micrsoft ad campaign (watch here) put together by hot ad agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky in response to the devestating Mac vs. PC campaign made its debut during the Giants-Redskins NFL game as reported by Techcrunch (and a nod to Tony for sending it my way). The campaign features founder Bill Gates and comedian Jerry Seinfeld, who was reportedly paid $10 million to be involved, in what looks like will be a series of ads that will run as a chronological short story. The debut has very little meat around Micrsoft Vista, which will likely perturb many in the tech community. Instead, it sets up a tone and conversation that hopes to have us all view Microsoft and its Vista product much differently.

Personally, I think this is a smart move. Vista has been plagued with negative press and reviews, from its massive delay in release to its lackluster debut, PC users have not taken to Vista the way Microsoft had hoped. Not even close. Having a debut ad that is “hard hitting” and dives straight into the features and benefits of Vista or slams MAC would come across as a “me-too” campaign, and would likely not overcome the stigma and feelings towards the product.

Setting a new tone, creating a new conversation, and using a completely different way of looking at it could help change the emotional barriers that consumers seem to have for the product. What do I think of the first ad? It made me chuckle and I’m very curious to see the follow up ad. So far… I like. What do you think?


Filed under advertising, Branding, Business, Communications, Humor, marketing, Microsoft, Technology

Great Offer from Microsoft and PEER 1 for Online Business Operators

Running an online business or looking to do so? Want to test the latest software applications from Microsoft on a hosted server? At PEER 1, we’ve teamed up with Microsoft to offer 50 servers (valued at $1,000 each) FREE for 30 days to approved individuals. If interested, you can apply here. This is ideal for developers and entrepreneurs to play around with MS software like Expression Tools and Visual Studio in a hosted online environment at no cost. We have a great relationship with Microsoft and are working together on various packages that would appeal to small-to-mid size online businesses and startups. Some specs on the offer are shown below:
  • 2 x Intel Xeon 5320 Quad-core CPU
  • 2 GB RAM
  • 1 x 250GB HD

Each server includes:


  • IIS 6
  • .ASP.NET 2.0
  • .NET 2.0
  • PHP 5.0
  • Silverlight
  • SQL Server Standard


  • Expression Blend
  • Expression Web
  • Expression Design


  • Visual Web Developer 2005 Express Edition
  • Visual Basic 2005 Express Edition
  • Visual C# 2005 Express Edition

Full details here.

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Filed under e-commerce, Hosting, Internet, Managed Hosting, Microsoft, PEER 1, SaaS, servers, Technology, Web 2.0

Take Advantage of the New SaaS Incubator Program for Microsoft Windows Platform

SaaS3 LogoAt my company PEER 1 ,we’ve just sent out a press release today regarding our new SaaS3 – Software as a Service Incubation and Enablement Program. This low-cost program is geared to Independent Software Vendors (ISV) with small to mid-size business growth and provides them with a secure environment to develop and test their service. You can test, deploy and manage your Web 2.0, enterprise 2.0 and SaaS applications throughout the entire product life cycle on the Microsoft Windows platform. This is a great offering. There is so much growth in SaaS, but many startups don’t have the resources to build out their IT infrastructure just to test their products. This program addresses that concern.

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Filed under Business, data center, e-commerce, Hosting, Internet, Managed Hosting, Microsoft, PEER 1, SaaS, Technology, Web 2.0

The Break Up – Disconnect Between Advertisers and their Audience

Hilarious vid my cousin sent me that talks about the disconnect between today’s advertisers and their customers. Ironically, the ad is by Microsoft. The London Olympics chiefs should have saw this before releasing their ridiculous emblem.

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Filed under advertising, Branding, Business, Communications, marketing, Marketing Research, Microsoft, Outdoor Advertising, Selling, Small Business Marketing