Microsoft Portugal demonstrates Windows 8 simplicity with kid stunt

“Is Windows 8 really that simple?” That’s the question Microsoft Portugal is trying to answer with a YouTube video slowly making the rounds on social media (I first saw of it shared by Matt Cavanagh). The 3 minute ad asserts Windows 8 is simple with footage of an interesting stunt at a real electronics store selling Windows 8 PCs.

The premise of the stunt is that curious shoppers are asked to wait for a “small demonstration” of Windows 8 by a store expert. The expert turns out to be a kid with a foldable foot stool, much of to the surprise and amusement of guests. He proceeds to run through several live demos of Windows 8 on a touch laptop.

My first reaction is that this is a very entertaining and charismatic way of making a case at an emotional level. For the people who were actually part of the stunt, it may have been an educational experience. But for those watching this video like myself, it’s more or less a collection of gasps and smiles. Warm and fuzzy, yes. Proving a point, not really.

However this might explain why Microsoft is slow to expand its retail presence around the world as they train an army of kids for product demonstrations.

12 insightful thoughts

  1. I saw that Ben Rudolph tweeted about this the other day, and I admit I’m amused by it, but I agree with your assessment… it focuses too much on the reactions to the kid and doesn’t show enough of the actual training, so we have no idea if he’s actually a good teacher, or how easy Windows 8 really is.

  2. It’s a good video, the end has more twists than an M. Night Shyamalan movie!

    It reminds me a bit of Microsoft’s Mojave project but the message it leaves me with is “grown-ups are stupid”

  3. the kids are a cute idea but as always with Microsoft they are fundamentally just trying to explain themselves.

    There are two take away messages for me in this video:

    1) Don’t worry about the new interface. Even a kid can learn it.
    I think this is squarely aimed at business and corporate. They are definitely concerned about how much retraining they will have to do.

    Of course as we all know the reality is different. Yes, the concepts of swipe, pinch etc are easy. (after all most people these days have an iPad or a smartphone with those features). But take the constant jumping between the Metro UI and the Desktop. Or the fact that the same functions might exist on Metro UI and Desktop but control different things.

    2) Don’t worry about things such as “how much memory do I need”. Just look at this cute girl. Isn’t she adorable.
    Reality is. Because Microsoft doesn’t control the hardware Windows 8 will be running on the question the guys is asking is very legit.

    So yeah I get the emotional aspect and like it but in the end I do feel like I have been patronised.

  4. I didn’t feel patronized at all. I thought it was charming, and the punchline at the end punctures prejudices on a number of levels. Thank heavens someone, somewhere, in Microsoft knows how to do marketing. Where have you been all this time?

  5. Cute, but seriously I tried Windows 8 and for desktops it is not even remotely intuitive. Windows 8 is like some horrible Dr. Frankenstein mashup between a failed touch interface attempt and Windows 7, ends up failing at both. I do like the cleaner look though. Not sure why MS didn’t just keep the Windows Mobile brand and have it work for tablets too… What is this Windows RT nonsense? “Windows Phone” is such a poor name, sounds like an actual phone rather than an OS for phones.

  6. I find it amazing that people still haven’t figured out that to bypass the auto-switching between Metro & Desktop; Download your normal desktop viewing programs open a representative file by right clicking on it & selecting Open With – Then select Choose default program, voila no bounce to Metro. Win 8 is awesome as well as frustrating, but do your homework and it can be tamed :)

  7. No one’s saying it’s difficult to use. It’s so simple that it’s designed only for kids. Like a toy car. Should we all drive toy cars on the road?

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