Recently, Microsoft and new-found partner Salesforce have joined forces to bring us a nifty vision of what both companies believe is the future of mobile productivity. Every few years an extremely talented production team within Microsoft meets with the company’s marketing teams, designers, and engineers to develop some truly inspiring pieces of visionary work. In the early 90’s Microsoft produced a vision of what the future of Smart Homes could be. While a bit cringe-worthy in presentation, the company’s ideas were not too far from today’s reality. More recently, the Microsoft vision pieces outline a future of tech speckled with far out hardware and parallax visuals of information, people, and places floating all over the place.
Microsoft’s more recent videos are seemingly designed to show an elegant future where the company helps people move information from one product to another. Men and women are often moving schedules and charts from impossibly thin glass tablets and phones to any other glass surface nearby in their offices or homes. Children are often found video conferencing from classrooms or kitchen areas on two-way glass displays and each piece of tech in the videos is voice or touch-operated. Microsoft has been crafting its vision pieces for over twenty years, and while the underlying theories were sound, the tech in the videos have typically been a bit too science fiction to take seriously.
However, today’s Microsoft and Salesforce collaboration video is in every respect the spirit of the old visionary pieces. Rich with nondescript up-tempo music and various parallax effects, the video manages to showcase a relatively ‘present’ vision of a mobile sales force. What sets this apart from Microsoft’s previous offerings is that the tech in the video is all readily available. Instead of impossibly thin glass tablets, Microsoft has swapped in the Surface. Standing in for polished two-way glass conference whiteboards is now a Surface Hub. And while I would love a glass table full of touch-friendly charts and graphs to accompany my desktop usage, a more realistic three-screen approach with the Surface at the center will do for now.
Hopefully, we will see more videos like these and this caliber of holistic approach from Microsoft during keynotes, conferences, online and on TV spots. I believe this is how you sell your products and you vision of the future.