Jazzed-up Microsoft is cooler than before: Reuters/Ipsos

Thu Feb 21, 2013 1:09am EST
 

By Gerry Shih

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Microsoft Corp is cooler than you might think.

A Reuters/Ipsos poll found that just under half of 853 respondents between the age of 18 and 29 thought Microsoft is cooler now than it was a year or two ago.

The software maker, often derided in Silicon Valley for failing to dream up products that captivate a new generation of social media and mobile savvy consumers, managed to pip Facebook Inc in the survey - only 42 percent of young adults thought the world's largest social network is cooler now than in the past. Twitter scored 47 percent, below Microsoft's 50 percent.

Part of Microsoft's lift appears to stem from a well-coordinated marketing blitz around its all-new Surface tablets, which have revamped the familiar Windows interace with a tile-based, mobile app-friendly look and feel. Its Xbox gaming console and "Kinect" accessory, which can respond to gestures and voice commands, has in the past year also burnished its image around younger consumers.

Josh Johnson, a 24-year-old media arts student at the University of South Carolina and self-professed gaming aficionado, said he has been impressed with Microsoft's consumer-oriented push with Windows 8.

"It's more customizable, and not as rigid as an Apple phone, where you have to buy all the products from Apple," Johnson said. "If you want a ringtone, you don't have to pay iTunes."

He added: "I know Apple is the cool, hip brand right now, but if Microsoft keeps coming out with new tech I'm sure it'll be back soon."

Apple Inc, despite falling out of favor with many Wall Street investors, still scored well in the Reuters/Ipsos poll, the first in a series that aims to measure brand perception and usage over time for major consumer tech brands.   Continued...

 
New Surface tablet computers with keyboards are displayed at its unveiling by Microsoft in Los Angeles, California, June 18, 2012. REUTERS/David McNew