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Hat Tip to Microsoft's PR Team
By: Mike Bush
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For years, they were the dominant technology company. No one could imagine Microsoft being vulnerable to anything. Windows was so dominant that Microsoft basically had a right to print money.

Then the PC and the Operating System became a little less important. Smartphones and tablets and cloud computing slowly chipped away at Microsoft’s market share. And more importantly, it wasn’t Microsoft making those products. The words “smartphone” and ”tablet” are now synonymous with Apple products. And most people hear “cloud computing" and immediately think “Google Docs.”

However, as the company has lost its luster, a strange thing started to happen. Microsoft became the underdog, and their PR team has done a fantastic job of embracing the role and leading the rollout of new and innovative products. They’ve also become more creative in how they operate. It’s a testament to Microsoft’s PR folks realizing that because they’re not currently known as the leader, they’re able to take new chances.

To wit:

Let’s say you have a tech reporter who is known to 1) Use Google Docs and 2) Do so, typically, from an Apple product. How do you get this thought leader, who has referred to Microsoft as “The Borg” (for you non Trekkie readers, it’s a Star Trek reference having to do with a race of half-man, half-machine aliens. They all think with one conscience, and there is no disseminating from the common opinion [/nerdy reference]) to take notice of what you’re doing that’s new and innovative?

You work with him and as have him commit to only using Microsoft Products for a Month. And that’s just what the MicroFlacks did. Could it have failed? Absolutely. In fact, I’d bet most of Dan Lyons’ readers expected to log on to The Daily Beast and see him tear the company to shreds.

But he didn’t. In fact, because Microsoft is no longer the 800lb gorilla in the room, they were able to do something outside of the box, and it paid off with a series of articles explaining that “Hey, wait a minute, this isn’t bad at all.”

And yesterday, Microsoft launched Surface, a new tablet. It’s being positioned to compete with Ultrabooks (super-thin laptops), and from an initial look, it’s got the potential to do quite well.

So, kudos to Microsoft’s PR Team. They've been on a roll as of late.

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About the Author
Mike Bush is a PR and Marketing freelancer with more than a dozen years of experience in the field. Find him on and connect Twitter @mikebush or at www.mikebush.nyc. 
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