The folks at Microsoft have just released a clever commercial for Internet Explorer 10, the latest version of the company’s once dominant web browser which has seen great competition from Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox over the past few years. The ad puts you in the perspective of a true troll — dual-screens, a windowless room, old take-out boxes, and a penchant for spewing hate anonymously — and this troll hates IE10 (and Internet Explorer on the whole) with vehemence.
Throughout the ad, you see this dude follow the news on IE10, like any good troll would. Each time Microsoft posts something good (“IE10 is now on Xbox 360” or “Gizmodo hearts IE10”) our protagonist stands firm in his belief system, that IE10 has lost relevance.
His hatred is an overstatement. If you don’t like IE, you simply don’t use it. But that doesn’t mean it’s dead in the water. NetMarketshare reports that IE8 and IE9 alone account for around 25 percent of the market as of October, a nearly 10 percent lead over Google Chrome 22, which holds 15 percent of the market. This makes sense considering that Chrome automatically updates, whereas users have to opt-in to update Microsoft’s browser.
In any case, the argument isn’t about who’s currently winning. It’s about returning to dominance, and winning over those who abandoned ship years ago for the shiny new thing. IE went from a peak of ~80 percent market share almost a decade ago to having around 50 percent of the market now.
So this commercial is more about an apology, and a promise of something great, than a showy display of the new browser. In fact, you don’t even see the new browser throughout the video (it’s unclear which browser the troll is using). IE10 remains a mystery for those who haven’t tried it out, and the company takes a humble, likable approach.
If you have ever experienced it firsthand, then you know winning over a troll can be impossible. Microsoft does this fairly easily, by appealing to the preferences and priorities of unique individuals — all unique individuals, which has been the message of Windows 8 all along. “We are for everyone, even though everyone is different.”
The troll finally sees the update that is for him, some Karaoke thing, and starts to warm up to the idea of IE10.
The tag reads:
Well played, Microsoft.