Alternate Reality

Microsoft’s Windows 8 Strategy: Conquer the Amish

Documents leaked to the Web reveal Microsoft’s secret weapon in its plan to avoid complete irrelevance: Winning the hearts and minds of the technologically illiterate.

By (@tynanwrites)

June 30, 2010

The story you're about to read is not (entirely) true. It is, however, more accurate than most things on network television.

A secret Microsoft presentation on what to expect from Windows 8 has been leaked to the Internet, and it reveals a stunning reversal of strategy for the beleaguered software giant.

Instead of appealing to its traditional constituency of 400-pound geeks still living in their mothers’ basements, Redmond is taking a bold new tack: Reaching out to people who’ve been completely insulated from technology for centuries.

A Powerpoint presentation which first appeared on an Italian Web site reveals the Amish are clearly the targets of Microsoft’s upcoming Win8 strategy. Here’s a slide showing Windows 8’s “auto detection” technology, which automatically turns the PC on when user “Amish” sits down….

…and shuts down when user “Amish” leaves.

It’s an intriguing approach, analysts agree.

“The Pennsylvania Dutch may be the only population that has never been exposed to claims about new versions of Windows,” notes Microsoft analyst Al Sayanything. “They might actually believe what Microsoft says.”

Take, for example, Microsoft’s claims that Windows 8 will be more secure, more reliable, faster, and start up and shut down instantly, he adds.

“We’ve been hearing these things for so long it’s laughable,” he notes. “But to the Amish, these claims are brand new. I think Microsoft has a real shot at getting them to bite at least once.”

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  • Be prepared for an Amish backlash in the comments, just after the deaf complain about eSarcasm's radio show.

    There actually IS room for computers that are vastly easier to use – the whole “Facebook login” debacle from a few months ago illustrates this. Of course, if Microsoft wants to reach these people, Windows may not be the best starting point.

  • Believe it or not. The Amish are moving into the 20th century. Actually just finished building an interesting computer for one of them. No keyboard or mouse. Touchscreen controls. Maybe there might be something to this?????

    • kcilgdyoll

      Yes they are moving into the 20th century and that is not the first computer owned by an Amishman! What is it when you do all kinds of things to CREATE an image or appearance and are not concerned about what actually is? What is it when you have your identity in the way you dress? What is it when you PROCLAIM you are free from modern conveniences, but you use them every day? What is it when your group gets together and your level of acceptance is equal to your ability to mimic this appearance and image? What is it when you can literally HATE your neighbor but be totally accepted within the CULture because you comply with ALL the dress codes and ‘the way you do things’? How can you say you do not use the internet, but pay someone to maintain a web site in HIS name, and all he does is sell your products to the public? How can it be wrong for you, but not for him? Behind AMISH is a vast field of deception that is fooling NO ONE BUT THE AMISH. Behind AMISH is a vast field of ‘IF NO ONE IS LOOKING, THEN IT’S Ok’. Behind Amish is something that is described in chapter 41 of a book called Job. I know! I spent 48 years under that curse and I thank God that I am FREE.

      • so you won't be buying Windows 8, then?

        • kcilgdyoll

          don't know…………… my beard may not be long enough to activate Windows 8