The Feature Set Trap

Rene Ritchie, on Microsoft’s new iPad vs. Windows 8 campaign:

Instead of competing with that, trying to out do Apple at that, Microsoft, like almost everyone else before them, has fallen into the feature set trap. Here’s the problem with that — it doesn’t matter what something can do, it only matters what you can do with that something.

These ads will help Microsoft convince some people to buy a Windows 8 tablet rather than an Android tablet or another kind of Windows PC. It won’t convince the hundreds of millions of iPad customers and iPad-inclined customers to do anything other than to continue buying iPads.

I’m curious what their goal is with this campaign. Do they think PowerPoint is the sort of thing that will take the air out of the iPad? Or are they going after a different market, shoring up the parts of their existing user base that really does need PowerPoint? If it’s the latter, I think this is an effective campaign.

It is a little rich, though, that they repeatedly use the absence of Microsoft apps on the iPad as knocks against the iPad. It’s Microsoft’s choice, not Apple’s, that there is no PowerPoint for iPad. Makes me wonder whether the Office team is being blocked from doing apps for iOS in order to protect Windows.

Friday, 31 May 2013