Microsoft: Graffiti artists wanted for Windows 8 digital ads

Microsoft: Graffiti artists wanted for Windows 8 digital ads

Summary: At Advertising Week 2012, Microsoft will be talking up the ad potential of Windows 8 and Skype.

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It's Advertising Week 2012 in New York the week of October 1. Given the countdown is on to the Windows 8 launch on October 25, it's not too surprising the Softies will be attending this event in force and talking up Windows 8 as an advertiser's dream.

graffittiwin82

Microsoft has been strategically placing graffiti-inspired Surface tablet ads on walls in various cities around the U.S. for the past few weeks. It looks like Microsoft plans to carry over the graffiti theme to the digital advertising side with Windows 8, as well, according to the Microsoft Advertising page for Advertising week.

"With the advent of Windows 8, Microsoft introduces a new advertising canvas. We are kicking the old way of digital advertising to the curb with something fresh, modern, and revolutionary. And we are looking for digital graffiti artists."

graffittiwin8

The Softies are also promising attendees of its Advertising Week activities a "sneak preview of the 'never been done before' engagement opportunities for brands to connect with consumers through Windows 8." Microsoft made the Microsoft Advertising software development kit (SDK) for Windows 8 generally available earlier this week. This is what will allow advertisers to take advantage of "Windows 8 Ads in Apps," according to a Microsoft blog post.

There's another Microsoft Advertising session slated for next week on how marketers can get their ads in Skype -- something Microsoft began rolling out (in the form of conversation ads on Skype Audio) earlier this year. Big data's importance in advertising will be another emphasis from the Microsoft team next week, as well.

Meanwhile -- from the "you learn something new every day" department -- I just found out that Qi Lu, President of Microsoft's Online Services Division -- home of Bing, MSN and Microsoft's online advertising -- has been head of the company's Global Foundation Services for about a year.

I noticed the addition of Global Foundation Services (GFS) to Lu's list of responsibilities via a new bio for him the site for adWeek 2012, which kicks off next week (October 1). Lu's bio on Microsoft's own Web site makes no mention of him overseeing GFS.

Lu's bio on the Advertising Week page reads:

"Dr. Qi Lu is the president of Microsoft's Online Services Division and leads Microsoft's online efforts, across search (Bing), portal (MSN), mobile, and the broader advertising platforms and services. In addition, he oversees the Global Foundation Services organization, which is Microsoft's global infrastructure, networking, and data center operations."

I asked Microsoft when Lu picked up responsibilites for GFS and was told this happened a year ago.

In 2011, Microsoft lost Kevin Timmons, who helped build the GFS datacenters, to CyrusOne (via a brief dalliance with Apple). Lu was made head of GFS while Timmons was still at Microsoft.

GFS is the unit charged with powering Microsoft's cloud services. All of them -- Xbox Live, Windows Azure, Windows Live, Office 365, MSN, Zune, Hotmail/Outlook.com, and Microsoft's own internal datacenters, too. In other words, GFS runs Microsoft's worldwide network of datacenters.

Topics: Big Data, Data Centers, Microsoft, Unified Comms, Windows

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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23 comments
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  • no win8 advertising

    Windows 8 and Skype huh. Skype, maybe, since its free. But nobody better be advertising on my metro home screen when I paid big bucks for the OS. I can see it now dozens of blinking colored squares "you are the 1000000 visitor click the tile for a prize" and stuff like that.
    deathjazz68
    • The article says "Windows 8 Ads in Apps".....

      ...not on the Start Screen. I would agree with you there. But if there are free apps that you download, I would expect ads within some of those apps.
      toph36
    • deathjazz68 did they call Loverock Davidson...you know he's full

      of Graffiti among other things
      Over and Out
    • Too late

      Too late; there already are ads in some core apps that come with the operating system.

      For example in the weather app: http://twitpic.com/axsgq1/full
      Han CNX
  • I am not a talented artist

    But I could do Apple's graffiti advertising. Just draw a grid of 20 squares and you are done.

    iYawn.

    Kudos to Microsoft for showing the world how it can be done better.
    toddbottom3
    • Ha

      Kudos to Microsoft for showing the world how it can be done better.

      the hard part is being first with something good, something MS has never been able to do.
      After they sat there and watched in denial for years and then came up with the only design left they could think of, mandated by an apple agreement.
      Apple has more than squares its detailed icons. Metro is the one with mostly single colored squares and, ok, rectangles, I'll give you that.
      deathjazz68
      • Why be the first?

        When you can come back later and be even better?

        And you obviously have no fucking idea what you are talking about because the Metro design is not from default of Apple. The had been introducing in previous products like Windows Media and Zune, not to mention that the whole design principal is based on Swiss design which is BEFORE apple and is very high level simple/clean design.

        Apple's icons are one of the past. They are simply app identifiers. They don't show any recent information about the app. You can't change their size, etc.

        Apple wasn't the first to create a grid of icons. So how is Apple first in that respect?

        Maybe if you stopped following your iMaps, your brain wouldn't be so lost in confusion.
        spaulagain2
        • So just because

          Someone doesn't worship ay te alter of Microsoft, they "obviously have no fucking idea what you are talking about ". The Metro UI was butt-ugly, is butt-ugly, and always will be butt-ugly. Icons, or "Stupid tiles" they're all the same thing. Microsoft would rather your computer, be in constant contact with their servers, so they can have "real-time telemetry" on every aspect of your life.
          Troll Hunter J
          • Troll Hunter J that is a plausiable statement

            "Microsoft would rather your computer, be in constant contact with their servers, so they can have "real-time telemetry" on every aspect of your life."

            You can sell a whole bunch of advertising if your in a persons face on any type gaget he owns (Tablets,pnone,PC, laptop etc) its so wonderfull to think that ALL trusted companies like Microsoft see into every aspect of your thinking ........ you have to wonder how long it will take "big brother" to start monitoring your throne habbits.
            Over and Out
        • Why be first?

          The idea that Metro is based on "Swiss design principles" is absurd. These design principles apply to typography, not GUI design, and any GUI can incorporate type with "Swiss design."

          Application icons are supposed to be visual representations of VERBS, so a printer icon should show an image of a document being printed.

          Metro's approach - essentially a lurid rectangle with text saying something like "Print document," is a step backward, towards something slightly worse than a command line interface: command line interfaces can be extremely elegant and can facilitate scripting, but their Verbs are not easily recognised or remembered; Metro text boxes don't help with scripting and they're no help when it comes to visual recognition of the Verb that you want. (On the home screen, some Metro icons include simple silhouettes, but these aren't shown in list views.)

          "Apple's icons are one of the past. They are simply app identifiers. They don't show any recent information about the app."

          App icons should not change, because Verbs don't change. This is why Apple were right to keep App icons static, and why Apple's App icons are not passé.

          In contrast, Apple document icons represent NOUNS, and Nouns do change. An Apple Noun/Document icon is an image between 16x16 pixels to 512x512 pixels of the text/Spreadsheet/PDF/photo/video document; this allows the document contents can be instantly recognised from the icon. Icons of films can be clicked and the film will play in the icon. Similarly, audio icons will play when clicked.

          In short, Apple icons fit a carefully designed visual language - not a "grid of rectangles" - whereas MS's icons fit no systematic visual language that I can see.

          Metro rectangles are confused: an Application icon should not contain data about temperatures, etc., because this information does not represent information about the Verb associated with the icon.

          "Apple wasn't the first to create a grid of icons. So how is Apple first in that respect?"

          Is this the usual, tedious Microsoftie claim that Bill Gates and Steve Jobs saw the Xerox Parc Star GUI in the late 1970s?

          If so, how did Jobs have a fully working Mac, designed on object oriented principles, Apple's own OO programming language (Object Pascal, designed with Nicolas Wirth) and Adobe's OO display language (postscript) just 5-6 years after the Xerox Parc demonstration, while Microsoft didn't have anything comparable for 16-17 years after the same demonstration?

          Apple was first in applying the Windows-Icons-Pointer paradigm to home computers, that cost an order of magnitude less than PARC's $20-30k business workstations. (I.m not sure that Xerox even put the Star into production.) Windows took 11 years longer.
          StandardPerson
          • Look well, bro (or sister)

            "Metro's approach - essentially a lurid rectangle with text saying something like "Print document," is a step backward, towards something slightly worse than a command line interface"
            If you look well at those lurid rectangles, I am sure you will find icons there, since they mean so much to you. Do you realize tiles are basically icons resting on rectangles? Do you realize tiles are like a combination of icons and real-time info?
            Do you realize that Microsoft simply beat your beloved Apple to the idea of combining icons with live updates? I look at my phone (Windows Phone) and I see a telephone receiver - an icon! - on one of the tiles on my home screen, same idea with my laptop - Windows 8 Release Preview - so what are you talking about?

            "Metro text boxes don't help with scripting and they're no help when it comes to visual recognition of the Verb that you want."
            Dude, what visual recognition do you need? You are beginning to sound like consultants that take up a fairly simple concept and then make it sound complicated to earn their pay.

            "Metro rectangles are confused: an Application icon should not contain data about temperatures, etc., because this information does not represent information about the Verb associated with the icon."
            Next thing you are going to say is a Facebook app does not need to show number of updates or notification. And where did you get this idea of verbs from? How do verbs bother a normal phone user? You will probably say it is the way industrial design of icons or interfaces go but what if Microsoft decides to create their own or completely new design standards? Ever heard of revolution or innovation or new approach?

            "(On the home screen, some Metro icons include simple silhouettes, but these aren't shown in list views.)"
            That sounds like coming from a person that's not used a windows phone or windows 8 OS. I invite you come check out my phone and laptop when you have the time to spare and see how wrong you are.
            davidtayo
          • Look weller..

            "Next thing you are going to say is a Facebook app does not need to show number of updates or notification."

            A Facebook App does *not* "need" info like the number of updates and notifications should go in a notification manager, not on an App. You *can* put this sort of data on tiles/icons, but it doesn't really make (visual) grammatical sense,

            "And where did you get this idea of verbs from?"

            From the very first designers who wrote books about GUIs in the 1980s. This sort of thing was once considered carefully, so that users would be presented with a consistent, graphical-linguistic interface that was trivial to learn.

            "How do verbs bother a normal phone user? You will probably say it is the way industrial design of icons or interfaces go but what if Microsoft decides to create their own or completely new design standards?"

            If Microsoft have designed a new, coherent design then where are the design documents? Developers, at very least, should have had these in their hands for ages, yet I haven't seen them.

            Metro looks more like an engineers hack, rather than something that began with consistent, rational principles and then was engineered to meet the specs.
            StandardPerson
          • I did some academic work on UI

            For dashboards, As communications used to be my field of study, and I can tell you you're exactly right.

            The first layer of human comprehension for computer interfaces is iconography. Text comprehension comes in a cognitive "second pass."

            We are all hard wired to be more literate with symbols. Yet another one of the things they got wrong.
            Mac_PC_FenceSitter
    • You still need these:

      1) Rounded corners
      2) Gradients to simulate a sheen on a curved surface
      Joe_Raby
  • Thoughts

    It's pretty clear what these ads are not. They're not going to be intrusive pop-ups you'll see using Windows 8. They'll be tied to specific applications. Makes a lot of sense if Microsoft is going to have an app store with potentially free but ad supported applications. Right?

    I wonder what a "grafitti" themed ad looks like. Don't say it looks like grafitti. I wonder if this SDK and the related creation of ads will spawn a new profession?
    dvanderwerken
  • Graffiti for Windows 8?

    Yeah, that's about right.
    Vesicant
  • Metro

    Will they advertise on Metro stations?
    Rikkrdo
  • So Microsoft is now Tagging.... ;)

    I may have seen these all ready... It was the empty buildings around town ;(
    daikon
  • windows 8

    is a lie it does not run a lot of games and programs but microsoft say it does and it does not it crashs back to the desktop or restart the computer or locks up on 5 of my computers and they are new so i am saying windows 8 is doa it sucks
    ttx19
  • A wannabe advertising company

    "With the advent of Windows 8, Microsoft introduces a new advertising canvas. We are kicking the old way of digital advertising to the curb with something fresh, modern, and revolutionary"

    Translation: our previous attempts failed (but hey, we are here for the long run) so we are bringing here W8. W8 is like fairy dust; it will:
    - bring back MS to a dominant position in mobile
    - create a new paradigm in UI
    - merge the 3 screens, one OS
    - become a player in BYOD
    - derail Google advertising platform.

    in the meantime, a few weeks away from launch, thousands of people are expressing their dislike of Windows 8. And hundreds of paid shills aggressively deny that paid shills exists.

    It will be fun to watch. I will throw an Adornoe, here my prediction:

    It will be a Vista reload. we see the same path. Aggressively people denying that anything is wrong. There is a momentum that must be build. Paramount is to neutralize any negative comment about W8.
    theo_durcan