Windows 8: Tami Reller goes on tour

By Kip Kniskern | Posted February 4, 2013 20 comments

t_rellerA bunch of news sites popped up today posting interviews with Windows Chief Marketing Officer and CFO Tami Reller, one of the two women who took Steven Sinofsky’s place to run Windows at Microsoft.  While Reller didn’t release much in the way of news (and you would think they could have rolled out a new number for her to pitch: she just repeated the Windows sales numbers from January, where Microsoft had sold 60 million Windows 8 units, to OEMs and through updates, although she did say that OEM revenue for Windows 8 is the same as it was for Windows 7 in the same period, even though overall unit sales were down ), at least Microsoft made her available as they try to keep up interest in Windows 8.

This is a tough time of the year for any sales, as consumers pay off their debt from the holidays, and it’s well before any summer or back to school activities.  For Windows 8, with the tech press frothing at the mouth to prove that it’s failing, the timing is particularly crucial.  Next week’s launch of Microsoft Surface Pro should at least help to generate interest in Surface and Windows 8, at a time when sales and interest around tech products are at their lowest ebb.

But it won’t just be Surface to carry the load through the slow season, even though Reller told Todd Bishop that “(i)n so many ways, Surface is really launching in February” .  As Reller told PC World, Microsoft is working with partners to bring many more Windows 8 devices to market:

“Partners are working hard to bring stunning innovation to market across a broad spectrum of tablets, convertibles, touch laptops & Ultrabooks, and all-in-one PCs,” Reller said. “Watch for some great new products on shelf this spring!”

Reller pointed out that the launch of Windows 8 is not only about what has happened in the last 90 days, but as she told GeekWire’s Todd Bishop, it’s about the upcoming selling seasons:

We look at this and we say, this is a solid start. It absolutely is a solid start. More to come, and it’s going to come in the next two selling seasons, for sure, but a solid start.

 

 

 

Reller talked to reporters about the downturn in PC sales, working with OEMs, Microsoft’s evolving relationship with Intel, and even the state of the current “built in” Windows 8 apps, to Mary Jo Foley:

Yes, Microsoft knows that Mail/Calendar/People and Xbox Music on Windows 8 and Windows RT need real work, and not just a few minor updates. Reller didn’t share any kind of time table as to when these apps will be updated in a significant way. But it was encouraging to hear that Microsoft is committed to making these “first-party”/built-in apps best-of-breed. Happily, the team isn’t pretending these apps are good enough.

The biggest news of Reller’s tour may not be what she said, which wasn’t much new, but that Microsoft is beginning to figure out a path forward after the abrupt, and at least partially forced departure of Sinofsky.  Will Steve Ballmer play an increasing role in becoming the “face” of the company?  Will Reller and Julie Larson-Green get more exposure as Microsoft tries to find a way to connect with consumers?  And with Sinofsky gone and apparently still obsessing over “snark”, will Microsoft, for perhaps the first time in years, learn to work with and not actively against the tech press?

Posted February 4th, 2013 at 10:56 am
Category: News
Tags: Surface, Tami Reller, Windows 8
  • http://alexsimkin.tumblr.com/ Alex Simkin

    I’m glad that Microsoft has recognised the terrible state of the built-in apps, but it’s a little late. They should have been up to web service standard (Outlook.com in an app is the ideal Mail app for me) in time for October 26th, and if not that early then before Christmas. Currently the only thing good about the apps is their live tiles… the apps are never launched though, at least for me.

    • http://www.jeffkibuule.com Jeff Kibuule

      Live Tiles are enough to change the way you use a PC such that even Windows 7 will be unacceptable to you. With just the press of the Windows button, you can check the weather, number of emails, latest news, sports scores, stock prices, messages from friends, etc… it’s rather addictive.

      • http://alexsimkin.tumblr.com/ Alex Simkin

        True, but it would be nice to be able to click those tiles and do something other than the simplest of tasks.

      • http://twitter.com/AlexMedia Alex van Herwijnen

        I’m sorry, but I’m not really convinced. I just don’t see the added value of Live Tiles. All I find them to be is annoying, because they are nearly always in motion.

        Plus, websites like Netvibes have allowed me to create ‘personal dashboards’ for years. I can see my inbox, what my friends are up to, stocks, sports, basically I can add anything I like. It’s roaming, always up to date, and it works on any platform – not just Windows 8.

        • guest

          Yeah, nobody uses notifications screens. Terrible idea. /sarcasm

          Don’t confuse the current implementation, which is a function of fairly limited developer imagination so far, with the concept’s inherent promise.

      • frankwick

        No one is disputing how cool live tiles are. The problem with 1st party apps is how useless they are. The apps on WindowsPhone are so much more enjoyable than those on Win8. They need to add features, clean up the UI, and bring some consistency to these apps.

  • http://doctorwhofan98.wordpress.com/ doctorwhofan98

    I’m glad that Microsoft has recognised the terrible state of the built-in apps, but it’s a little late. They should have been up to web service standard (Outlook.com in an app is the ideal Mail app for me) in time for October 26th, and if not that early then before Christmas. Currently the only thing good about the apps is their live tiles… the apps are never launched though, at least for me.

    • http://www.jeffkibuule.com Jeff Kibuule

      Live Tiles are enough to change the way you use a PC such that even Windows 7 will be unacceptable to you. With just the press of the Windows button, you can check the weather, number of emails, latest news, sports scores, stock prices, messages from friends, etc… it’s rather addictive.

      • http://doctorwhofan98.wordpress.com/ doctorwhofan98

        True, but it would be nice to be able to click those tiles and do something other than the simplest of tasks.

      • http://twitter.com/AlexMedia Alex van Herwijnen

        I’m sorry, but I’m not really convinced. I just don’t see the added value of Live Tiles. All I find them to be is annoying, because they are nearly always in motion.

        Plus, websites like Netvibes have allowed me to create ‘personal dashboards’ for years. I can see my inbox, what my friends are up to, stocks, sports, basically I can add anything I like. It’s roaming, always up to date, and it works on any platform – not just Windows 8.

        • guest

          Yeah, nobody uses notifications screens. Terrible idea. /sarcasm

          Don’t confuse the current implementation, which is a function of fairly limited developer imagination so far, with the concept’s inherent promise.

      • frankwick

        No one is disputing how cool live tiles are. The problem with 1st party apps is how useless they are. The apps on WindowsPhone are so much more enjoyable than those on Win8. They need to add features, clean up the UI, and bring some consistency to these apps.

  • http://twitter.com/surilamin surilamin

    I wish Reller would stop giving interviews and start getting some actual work done. Results typically speak for themselves. No need to make amends with the tech press, I rather liked a silent Microsoft.

  • http://twitter.com/surilamin surilamin

    I wish Reller would stop giving interviews and start getting some actual work done. Results typically speak for themselves. No need to make amends with the tech press, I rather liked a silent Microsoft.

  • frankwick
  • frankwick
  • Rikikrik

    Yes yes we all know that there is always something that must be fixed or made better, so stop complaining. Have you ever looked in the mirror and thought to yourself what would my friends, relatives or lover like to improve on you??? No, because they take you as you are. So I am enjoying my apps now, and whatever comes in the future I am sure I will enjoy them too, no matter how limited they may be.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Rikkirik-Contrera/100003341041631 Rikkirik Contrera

    Yes yes we all know that there is always something that must be fixed or made better, so stop complaining. Have you ever looked in the mirror and thought to yourself what would my friends, relatives or lover like to improve on you??? No, because they take you as you are. So I am enjoying my apps now, and whatever comes in the future I am sure I will enjoy them too, no matter how limited they may be.