blog Oh dear. Chalk this one up to a bit of Microsoft mid-October marketing madness.
The big M has started advertising for full-time students at Australian universities to spruik its products for it on campuses all around Australia. It doesn’t look like the students will get paid for telling their friends about how great Microsoft is, but they’ll get a free Windows 7 PC, Xbox 360 and Samsung Windows 7 phone, among other goodies.
The nauseating ads Microsoft has posted on Seek, supported by “ideation and project management agency” the Spaceship, calls for “top minds from around Australia” to help their fellow students “understand how relevant Microsoft software and devices can be to them”. The recruited students will support “university marketing activities” such as orientation and open days “in high traffic areas across campus”. And they’ll file weekly reports on their activities.
Now, to be honest, at Delimiter we are actually quite big fans of Microsoft. The company’s current batch of enterprise products are becoming extremely dominant (and rightly so, given their quality), Windows Phone 7 Mango is great, we run our working day on Windows 7 and Office, and our nights are currently dominated by Gears of War 3 on our Xbox 360. When we speak to chief information officers these days, its clear that Microsoft is no longer the big bad company it used to be in the past. It’s a more relaxed, more helpful and better company these days, and focused strongly on customers.
However … the idea that when we were at uni, our friends would be constantly spruiking Microsoft products to us as “visionaries” and “ambassadors” for Microsoft is puke-inducing. If you think we’re exaggerating, click here and read the ad for yourself. Yuck.
We can only hope that a bunch of guerrilla Linux fans and grumpy computer science coders spoil the fun for the “Microsoft Windows U Crew” by blanketing the entire thing in penguin merchandise. Linus would be proud.