Trevin Chow from the Live ID team highlights the issues that we believe could result in a very slow uptake of Windows Live services; unawareness and confusion:
After talking to about 25 customers, it was abundantly clear that customers have no idea at all what Windows Live is, or how it relates to Windows or MSN. This explained why there was so little traffic to our booth — of the people that stopped by, they almost did it by accident. Those that did see us on the TechEd floorplan, probably avoided[sic] our booth because they thought they knew what products/services we represented (and were most likely wrong). Frankly, we have no one to blame but ourselves for this mess. Clearly our marketing and external communication failed somewhere. I'm confident we can recover though, it will just take much longer than anyone ever expected. And quite honestly, at the end of the day, it doesn't matter if consumers don't "get" what Windows Live is, as long as they like, and use, the services and products we ship.
I could understand these results if they had been taken in a random shopping center, but at a developers conference run by Microsoft, with a Keynote that featured Windows Live in part? Definitely not a good sign.
On a related tangent, we've heard that the main marketing campaign for Windows Live won't be starting until Q3 2006, despite some people seeing adverts for Windows Live Messenger beta on MTV. If you see any offline promotional material let us know; we'd be interested to hear what they are doing.