Interesting comparison between Google and Microsoft product launches

We've seen two new-product demoes in the last week or so, one from Microsoft, one from Google. They make an interesting comparison.

The most recent was when Google demoed the new Google Glasses at Google I/O 2012 in the Moscone centre. There may have been hyped excitement in advance of this but none that reached my remote outpost: in fact it was sprung on the audience as a surprise.

Insanely, Google decided to demo the new Glasses by taking a live video feed via Google Hangout.

From a skydiver. In a squirrel-suit.

Four skydivers, all feeding Glasses video simultaneously into a Google Hangout.


Landing on the roof in downtown San Francisco, amongst skyscrapers.

Handing over to four guys on bikes, feeding Glasses video realtime.

Handing over to abseilers feeding Glasses video realtime.

Handing over to...

Sergey Brin says "This can go wrong in 500 different ways". And look what happened... worked.

Revealing how they got it to work only ups the complexity of what they pulled off.

Contrast that with the recent Microsoft product demo. After enough advance hooplah to suggest that Microsoft was about to launch Jesus 2.0, we got yet another tablet (just what the world needs) whose most exciting features are that it has a little stand and a keyboard and runs the world's most bloated operating system. And when the official launch demo tried something as ambitious as clicking on a webpage...

... the Microsoft guy's first reaction is bluff, concealment and deception.

Interesting contrast in cultures and competencies. Just sayin'.

[Update: On the other hand the launch of Google Events didn't dazzle either. But that's screwed product design, not demo execution :) ]

One postscript: I was in San Francisco. I saw the zeppelin the Google skydivers jumped from. I was at the ISACA Insights World Congress a few blocks away. It was less exciting.


Proper planning...

The google story is a great example of how proper planning delivers an amazing experience. It looks seamless, exciting and spontaneous but involved laws being changed and notices to airmen.

Great story.

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