Someone at Microsoft Australia has launched the most inept marketing campaign for Internet Explorer ever conceived.
Download Internet Explorer 8 and follow clues to find a webpage that can only be seen with IE8, winning you $10,000 if you're the first to find it.
Why is this completely foolish?
- The marketing page advertising the promotion can only be viewed fully in IE8, but Microsoft's own list of sites to display with Compatibility View forces IE8 into Compatibility View, so the page thinks you're on IE7 and tells you to upgrade.
- IE8 was Microsoft's most significant push for supporting web standards in a real way, while this marketing gimmick is all about browser sniffing and browser-specific code.
- The browser sniffing is primitive enough that it fails to only work on IE8 anyway; you can trick the pages into displaying on other browsers.
- If you're using Chrome or other competing browsers, the ad insults you.
The IE team worked so hard to develop some relationship with the design community and to push through standards support for IE8. Marketing like this wipes out the good rapport they've worked so hard to build.
Whatever managers approved this over at Microsoft Australia should have their positions in the marketing department reconsidered.
For a more reasonable promotion that started last week, Microsoft is donating to Feeding America for each download of IE8 through the "Browser for the Better" site.