It was recently announced (today, I think) that sales of Microsoft’s new Vista operating system aren’t meeting expectations.

One of the biggest mistakes they’ve made is not having the “ahh” feature or explanation available.  I’m not a techie (my computer is four years old and I’ve still only used 25% of the harddrive space) and I can’t figure out why I need Vista.

When I ask my tech-loving, computer geek friends to explain the advantages of Vista, they can’t.  They mention the improved file browsing (now with MORE GRAPHICS!) and the fact that it looks more like the Mac OS.  One blog mentions an improved Media Center.  But improved how?  No one will say.

New car models generate big sales (and buzz) when they do something different that can be explained in a few words.  The Hummer H3 had good initial sales because it was “a smaller Hummer with better gas mileage.”

New George Foreman grills have “dishwasher-safe removable plates.”

Macs are “less susceptible to viruses” than their counterparts.

But what is Vista?  Why is it better than XP?

Until Microsoft tells me, I won’t be buying it.

FUNERAL SERVICE LESSON:  If you don’t tell potential clients why you’re different or better than the competition, you’ll lose business.

And don’t just say “we’re the best.”  Anyone can say that.  Tell me why you’re the best, Sparky.  If you’ve got the most technilogically-advanced chapel (video screens, THX surround sound, etc.) in the area, you’d better tell me.  Or I’m going somewhere else.

Probably somewhere cheaper.  Because when consumers can’t tell the difference in the services offered, they choose the lowest cost alternative.