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I have dozens of reasons :-)
So Microsoft expects a grassroot fanbase to promote their new Windows 7 product among family and friends in every house around the world. And this will be a natural thing because everybody really wants to do this. It simply makes a lot of sense. sarcasm
Of course, people are not that spontaneous and they need a little bit of "guidance", because the last thing you want is a well-intended Windows 7 party ending up in a fight or in tears, or god-forbid, the laptop burning up in flames. So Microsoft wants to help here, by giving us advice to make this event, euhm, successful ?
So pick a few sales people, unsuit them and dress casual, stuff them in a comfortable environment (a kitchen ?), give them a few lines, make sure you have at least one african-american or asian person, let everyone talk, from time to time engage the viewer by sending him a message and look directly in the camera, smile and look like you care. Remember, make the viewer feel right at home ! And then you get this:
If I lived in that house, two things could have happened. The big escape or a real blood-bath :-)
Fact is that it feels very unnatural and I wonder what person on this planet would not see that. This commercial could come right out of a Verhoeven movie where things are made out of plastic, people are superficial and you expect aliens, lots of them. I counted four in this shot.
Is this Microsoft's vision of the world ? Is this the outcome of a marketing study ? If only I could have been a fly in that Redmond meeting-room.
Research has shown that our users are easy to influence when they feel at home. If we give them a message and look directly into the camera they will do as we say concisely.
Good ! Will this work on Linux and MacOSX users ?
Only if we don't blink when we talk to them.
Really ? Let's do this ! (throwing chair through room)
What were they thinking ? Maybe I need to apply reverse psychology. Maybe Microsoft wants to be alienated ? Maybe it's easier to push software through management if everyone else looks like anti-Microsoft. Maybe Microsoft wants to find out who in the blogosphere is critical of them. Which journalists they can no longer trust and which ones stay loyal, because as every respectable company they classify journalists by level of affinity.
There must be some logical explanation for this. I don't want to fall back on conspiracies.