Saturday, June 14, 2008

Microsoft not branding web sites

I'm starting to notice an odd trend. Teams within Microsoft are creating their own web sites - but without branding them or clearly advertising them as Microsoft property.

I first noticed this when Microsoft advertised their Windows Vista AppReadiness site during a Springboard Live! Virtual Roundtable. The AppReadiness site is devoid of any Microsoft logos, common-look-and-feel or any Microsoft copyright information. The only clue is the Vista subject material and the fact that Microsoft sends you there. Very odd.

Here is another interesting example... It appears that Microsoft Windows Sysinternals Team has decided to try a new distribution method for their Sysinternals tools. This new web site has all of the individual Sysinternal executables available for download and immediate execution (no installation required). Although extremely useful (check it out), it looks just like an FTP listing with absolutely no branding, logos, etc. One would think it was a pirate site if not for the readme that claims otherwise. I'm surprised that they wouldn't have a quick instant Microsoft template for whipping up a common-look-and-feel and that they wouldn't use it.

I am thankful that these sites exist, I just find it a little odd.


Curtis said...

Hi Gordon,

I can't speak for the other sites you mentioned but for Sysinternals, there just isn't a really good way to put any marketing or branding on the page. This is simply a file share exposed to the web - not a web site where I can control the look and feel. It's basic, simple, and useful... which meets the needs of the users of this service.

I'm glad you like our utilities and thanks for blogging about us.

Curtis - Program Manager Sysinternals

Gordon Martin said...

Hi Curtis,

Thanks for the post. As a techie, I understand the approach you've taken. A quick and dirty file share that gets the files out there to where they are needed. In fact, I have used that share quite often when I'm in random locations and need your tools.

But I am surprised that Microsoft allows this and other unbranded pages. I'm surprised there isn't some corporate common look & feel group that lords over all of this. Let's face it, it wouldn't be hard to make a page with a proper corporate identity that has links to the various tools. I mean, I was using pages like this 17 years ago.

But this was just an observation - keep up the great work.