Remember 1995, when everyone didn't have a PC, tablet or smart phone? It was a time when people were getting excited about the summer launch of Windows 95. Many people bought Windows 95 because other people were buying it, and one guy even purchased a copy just to be part of the craze — he didn't even own a PC. Yet this seems to be the way that Microsoft and its partners still think advertising works.
This week the U.S. Senate brought Apple executives before one of its publicly held sub-committee hearings. The topic was Apple using Ireland and other techniques to avoid paying U.S. taxes on products and services sold off-shore. Among all the Congressional hubris that took place, one big fallacy remains: Corporations do not pay taxes, we do.
For every dollar or tens of dollars taxed and regulated onto companies, whether it be Apple, Coke or Bob's Deli, we pay those costs. In reality, companies pay zero taxes, as they simply pass those costs down the line to the consumers of their products. Thus, we pay every dime of every regulation and tax bestowed onto corporations, every – single – dime.
Unless you've been living under a rock the past few months, it has been virtually impossible to escape Microsoft's Surface ad campaign. TV, the web, and probably soon, radio and direct mail Surface SPAM will be entering your life. The Redmond software giant is using a massive portion of it's $1.5 billion advertising budget to promote Surface. However, advertising budgets do not equal sales, something that Microsoft does not seem to understand. Surface sales continue to fail even the lowest of expectations.
Microsoft launched the Surface under a campaign known as "The Surface Movement" containing youth oriented Dubstep music, with young and attractive business professionals, all dancing with Surface tablets. This ad campaign failed miserably, so Microsoft is trying a new approach. This week the campaign shifted to an all out attack on Apple's iPad. Two ads have been released so far, but they are attempting to use Apple's ad format in an effort to discredit the iPad as limited and dated when compared to Surface. The main issue with these ads is they approach the viewer as if it were 1990, assuming the public is truly ignorant about what make tablets work.
Apple's former Senior VP of iOS, Scott Forstall has been missing in action ever since his abrupt ousting by CEO Tim Cook in October 2012. Forstall does has a Twitter page up, with an impressive 60,988 followers, but has yet to post a single tweet. Forstall is following one account, and it's Conan O'Brien. Ironic, since O'Brien was also treated with little respect upon being ushered out the door by NBC.
Google announced a slew of new services at its I/O developers conference today. Many of these services are new from Google, but they are not new to the market place. The company showed their continued march to integrating as much as possible into Google+, clearly taking aim at converting Facebook users to Google+ users. But the overall results of Google's announcements were very Microsoftian, being late to the table with little to differentiate their products from others already in the market with well established solutions. The show seemed more tailored towards Google fanboys, and the fact they should give up Pandora or Facebook simply because Google now offers their own also ran products.
Photoshop is the best image editor on the market. It is being used in a vast number of professions, from medical imaging to 3D graphics. Will that change with Adobe’s Creative Cloud, which has change the way users purchase Photoshop? Under Creative Cloud, users no longer purchase the software, but rent it for $240 a year. For many users, this price is just too expensive.
Users who can’t afford, or don't want to spend $240 a year for Photoshop are now looking for alternatives. This is a difficult task as there are really no feature-to-feature competitors to Photoshop. Yet most people looking for an alternative do not use all of the features of Photoshop. The following is a list of possible alternatives for some users and how it can replace Photoshop.
Adobe has been changing the way their customers can buy their software lately. During the past decade, users of Adobe's software were stretching out their upgrade cycles, choosing to forego every single update, as the costs didn't justify, and the new features were not that compelling. Many were upgrading only when a major OS or hardware change required them to do so. When Creative Suite 6 came out, Adobe told its customers that they would only be able to upgrade from one version back instead of 3 or 4. This meant users could not upgrade every other version, doubling the cost for many.
The two indisputable smart phone leaders are Apple and Samsung. Other players such as HTC, Nokia, Motorola and LG are just slivers on the market share pie chart. Marketing 101 stipulates that when in a two-horse race, if you are the leader you never mention the number two contender. If you are in second place, then you always compare yourself to the leader. After watching this ad, it is clear that Samsung thinks they are second in the pecking order.
In Samsung’s effort to become the next Apple, the South Korean company been on a feverish pace to launch a myriad of smartphones. Often these high end handsets contain what the company calls “innovative” features to go along with a heavy dose of hype. But in its race to dominate the smartphone industry, Samsung may be rapidly diluting itself, claiming too much, while delivering far too little.
Google is a powerhouse within the realm of Internet services. From Adsense to YouTube, Google's services drives an amazing amount of web traffic through their front door. The biggest draw to these services is that they are free, because they are augmented with ads. Google makes money by selling their users to ad companies, much like free broadcast TV.