Microsoft decides that being shown up by an 11-year old will get people to buy more Windows 8

Microsoft decides that being shown up by an 11-year old will get people to buy more Windows 8
Okay, we understand that kids are cute, and so marketing companies love to use them in advertisements. Everyone loved the little asian girl that Microsoft employed a while back, but this new ad campaign feels like it misses the mark because this time Microsoft has decided that being shown up by an 11-year old will get people to buy more Windows 8 devices.

Do you see the subtle difference there? People enjoy seeing kids doing stuff and being cute, but people don't like to be made to feel dumber than an 11-year old because an operating system isn't as intuitive as you'd expect. In general, using Windows 8 is fine, but there are some common functions that are hidden by the UI, and people do get confused. But, rather than make the UI more intuitive, Microsoft wants to have an 11-year old teach you how to use the new platform. 

We understand that the point of the ad is: "It's so easy, a child could use it!" But, we think that the point that actually comes through in the ad is: "Oh you don't understand this completely new interface we've built? Here's an 11-year old kid to make you feel like even more of an idiot." We have a lot of friends and family who aren't necessarily the most tech savvy, and aren't that great at figuring out new UIs. Windows 8 is a very different UI, and a lot of functions are hard to find, like the power menu to reboot, or getting to the desktop, or even using the right-click to get to so many options. 

What do you guys think?


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85 Comments

1. natesvlogs

Posts: 40; Member since: May 15, 2012

doesn't Staple have a commercial saying that they'll teach people windows 8? This ad is terrible. Isn't Microsoft violating child labor laws?

7. androidCrap

Posts: 9; Member since: Nov 22, 2012

This is just a finger tip child's play for you to think of violation. Making your child cry in a diaper commercial is even much harder.

77. Nadr1212

Posts: 741; Member since: Sep 22, 2012

If u watched the video, u'd notice a guy wearing a "Hard Rock" sweater, and guess what? My dad works at Hard Rock!!!

80. abdane

Posts: 507; Member since: Oct 07, 2011

i like the lockscreen password :P

24. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

Pobably need to work 8 to 12 hour shift. If it work might need to hire more children in every store.

76. Nadr1212

Posts: 741; Member since: Sep 22, 2012

"Everybody loved that Asian girl"= racism

26. Glim12808

Posts: 394; Member since: Oct 26, 2011

This ad is a dig on all those bloggers and writers (zdnet, cnet, etc.) who keep saying Windows 8 is complicated to learn. So the ad is really very good because it brings home the point that it's not, that it's actually child's play easy. By the way, that's just an ad. They have actually not hired kids at the store in Portugal.

27. Glim12808

Posts: 394; Member since: Oct 26, 2011

And one more thing, Michael H missed the whole point of the ad. Maybe a kid could also teach him a thing or two.

28. MichaelHeller

Posts: 2734; Member since: May 26, 2011

I fully understand the point of the ad, I just think it was done badly. If you want to put across the point that "it's so easy, a child could use it", that's one thing. But, a lot of people are already frustrated by how MS has hidden some default features of Windows 8, and rubbing that in by having a child teach them is a silly way to do it. If you want that message, just show the kid using the product, and have the kid talking to the camera like that little asian girl did. You can show off the product, and how it works, and have a cute kid doing it, but this ad just feels a bit insulting. "Oh you don't understand this completely new interface we've built? Here's an 11-year old kid to make you feel like even more of an idiot."

32. KingKurogiii

Posts: 5713; Member since: Oct 23, 2011

i agree with you, all it really is is a slap in the face because the reality of it is that a kid is not going to walk up to you and teach you how to use W8. the only thing in this ad that would really hold up in reality is the people's confusion and hesitation towards W8.

42. Whodaboss

Posts: 176; Member since: Nov 18, 2011

Sure, there are many ways MS could show how simple Windows 8 is to use. And yes, this is just one way to so. And yes, Windows 8 is simple and easy to use. I can't for the life of me see how so called tech people find this difficult. It makes me beg and puts into question everything they write or say. Yes, tech writers should feel insulted. And they also should feel ashamed for deceiving or suggesting to the public W8 is difficult to use. Maybe this is why some feel insulted? I wonder?

49. KingKurogiii

Posts: 5713; Member since: Oct 23, 2011

do you use Windows as extensively as tech writers? because until you are then you won't understand just how much more for them that there is to learn. i'm sure anyone can get the basics down real simple but to master it and to use it as efficiently as previous versions of Windows is a different story, Windows as a productivity tool has been changed so radically that there's quite a few of us that just don't find it worth it.

72. DetroitTech

Posts: 66; Member since: Nov 02, 2011

Exactly. All I saw this kid do in the video was swipe the screen from left to right and draw a couple circles... So now he's a "Windows Expert"...Hey kid can you show me how to open the registry or where is the start button? Oh there isn't one? There was before, before you were born!!! Hey kid how can I keep the Desktop view locked in? Hey kid how can I get rid of the tiles altogether? Hey kid how can I get to the control panel and create some .mmc's. Oh so you're telling me EVERYTHING I need from now on in Windows 8 I just need to swipe and it'll just happen. Just swipe everyone. Just swipe. Yeah I get it everything you did before in Windows 7 you can do in 8 just differently. There was no need to change it. Windows is windows. Keep that swiping tile shit in RT if you want. IMHO. I know everyone does not agree. Stupid commercial. Is M$ trying to say Windows 8 is now like an iPad? Because I already have an iPad and don't need another one... I want DESKTOP. If I wanted another iPad I'd buy and iPad mini.

97. Whodaboss

Posts: 176; Member since: Nov 18, 2011

In a word yes! I use Windows everyday, 8+ hours a day! Do, I know everything about Windows? No. Am I capable of learning something I don't know, yes! I don't see Windows being changed "raically" at all. They change the start screen to show live icons versus static icons. Wow! That didn't blow my mind away. If you have a touch screen you swipe left or right or top corners to get certain menus (or use your mouse) nothing difficult there either. If you want to make it more than it is, go ahead. It's your world live in it. It's not difficult at all to me. Matter of fact it's pretty darn simple.

58. MichaelHeller

Posts: 2734; Member since: May 26, 2011

I don't think it's that tech writers find it difficult to use. I think it's that we have families and friends who aren't as tech savvy who have problems. It's not always apparent in WP8 how useful right-clicking is, especially inside a Modern UI app. If you didn't know to go into the settings (or even how to bring up the side menu), you'd never know how to reboot your machine without using your hardware power button every time. I once watched a couple guys in Best Buy trying to figure out for about 10 minutes how to get to the desktop mode in Windows 8, and couldn't figure it out until I told them. Windows 8 isn't necessarily difficult to use, but it's a very different layout. The layout may be much easier to understand on a touchscreen device, but for those using it on a non-touchscreen device, it can be harder to figure out stuff.

62. MichaelHeller

Posts: 2734; Member since: May 26, 2011

obviously didn't mean to reference Windows Phone in there. just so used to typing that.

83. rav405 unregistered

I for one didnt find Win 8 hard to use....i got used to the layout in abt 5-10mins...I picked it up quiet quickly.....and i use the good old desktop not even a laptop....

98. Whodaboss

Posts: 176; Member since: Nov 18, 2011

Thank you Michael. And I do agree with your points. All I'm trying to say it's not necessarily that difficult as well. It's just a different way of doing things. Once you show someone how to maneuver around they get it pretty quickly. Granted, not everyone will have someone to show them specifically how to work around at first, but that's still not a reason to pan this new iteration of Windows. It's like the old adage - don't throw the baby out with the bath water. IMO it's a great new OS with a short learning curve.

50. lolol

Posts: 64; Member since: Nov 14, 2012

Anyway MichealHeller its a real shame that you dont know the picture password feature and the actually dumb lines you've written about it in the article, I suggest you correct it.. I thought you guys do research before writing these things :/

61. MichaelHeller

Posts: 2734; Member since: May 26, 2011

Yeah, I fixed that. I should have looked into that before posting. I should have known better than to seem anything less than omnipotent, because obviously nobody is going to be kind about it.

68. lolol

Posts: 64; Member since: Nov 14, 2012

Glad you did :P even i was a bit angry at that.. Hope you wont make such mistakes again :)

57. 14545

Posts: 1835; Member since: Nov 22, 2011

Exactly. Hammer->Nail Head.

90. rusticguy

Posts: 2828; Member since: Aug 11, 2012

Allow them some time ... they are just trying to perfect "The Art Of Insulting And Making Billions" from Apple. Apple keeps insulting without anyone ever complaining that Apple insults (people buy samsung because they think it is apple device is one such insult being fought out in courts) :)

78. arsenaljimenez

Posts: 196; Member since: May 03, 2012

I liked it. I don't see it as a slap across the face because they asked the customers if they wanted a demonstration. I'm sure they weren't having trouble with it, but a demonstration is always welcome. It's not like they just sent the boy out to humiliate the customers, they sent him after asking them, sending a boy is just a way to show its so easy a kid can do it.

86. -box-

Posts: 3991; Member since: Jan 04, 2012

I think the subtext of the ad isn't so much "so easy a child could do it; if you can't figure it out you're lame", but rather, "this is a new approach and you may have to give it a fresh mindset, like how a child is seeing the world for the first time", and then seeing how intuitive it is. If/when the user doesn't rely on prior experience and opens up to the new interface and experience, they will probably find it much more satisfactory. This is a operating system designed to be USED, quickly and effortlessly, without crazy tweaking or modification. The typical user (over 90% of the installed base) won't need to access the desktop, or the files, or the registry, as long as they are using the OS as it was designed, not trying to cram it into their prior expectations and experiences from prior OSes. As a hardcore user and professional Microsoft-certified system builder, I find the new system exciting and a great relief, if only because I know it'll be a lot harder for my customers to mess up the computer just by USING IT. So while 7 is my favorite computer OS thus far, 8 is a close second. Even better when it's on touchscreen.

44. TROLL

Posts: 4851; Member since: Apr 13, 2012

simple initutive easy and restrictead™®©

73. DetroitTech

Posts: 66; Member since: Nov 02, 2011

You're thinking of RT. Good old Windows is still in there it's just buried beneath all the fluffy visual touchy swipey tiles. Microsoft is basically serving dessert before dinner in Windows 8.

54. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

"Isn't Microsoft violating child labor laws?" Doubtful. Kids (even younger than 11) are used in ads all the time. The ad agency dotted the I's and crossed the T's. Net-net, the ad strikes me as short-sighted. As the article notes, people don't like being shown up as being dumb. And that is what the ad is doing.

2. Aaron_R96 unregistered

He uses my Ultrabook in the advert! Good old Microsoft! I think this ad might actually work, not just due to adults wanting to avoid being 'dumber' than an 11 year old but also shows that kids can use windows 8 and its designed for all ages..

6. Zero0

Posts: 592; Member since: Jul 05, 2012

That kids can use Windows 8 is not impressive. This generation was born into a world full of technology, and understand how to use it really well. Not to mention that kids are much better at adapting to things mentally. As people get older, they get more set in their ways and don't want to change the way things are done. I'm still young, and I'm not crazy about Windows 8's new interface. Works alright on a phone or a tablet, but not a desktop.

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