Technology

Microsoft struggles to break out of its professional image to beat Zoom

When you’re fighting a verb, it’s hard to have the last word. For 18 months, people have been doing “Zooming” while Microsoft would prefer that they do “Teamsing”.

It’s not that Teams went wrong, of course. When integrated with Microsoft products at work, a lot of people feel compelled to use it.

Yet people refer to Zoom calls just as many still refer to tablets as iPads. It’s boring for a company the size and weight of Microsoft.

Teams sold for pros

When Redmond launched Teams to the world, its initial communication focused on professional use, for serious and important people with a deep need for security. Today, however, Microsoft wants Teams to be as fun as Zoom, as human and as frivolous. So she launched a new ad which, unfortunately, uses sadness as inspiration.

For the Olympics, many were eager to visit Tokyo and cheer on their favorite fencer, swimmer or weightlifter. The Covid-19 canceled these plans.

So Microsoft thought it would be an entertaining consolation to invite some of these people to jump on a Teams call and see Tokyo as its people live it.

An image that sticks to your skin

If you are a product that was launched for professional use, it can be difficult to persuade users to your entertaining side. So many of them have experienced Teams on the job that, without one truly differentiating feature of the product, any closeness will likely be a bit remote.

Conversely, Zoom, who has managed to collect – perhaps unjustifiably – all the love, is now busy getting more involved in the business world. As recently as this week, the company bought out call center software publisher Five9 in an effort to provide businesses with tools to better communicate with their customers.

Microsoft may try to spend its money to persuade you that, as this ad says, “Where there is a Team, there is a way.” I’m afraid, however, that he has to do a lot, a lot more for Teams to be truly loved.

Source: .com

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