From a PR perspective, Microsoft is really up against it these days. You may have heard, they've got this new operating system coming out -- Vista I guess it's called. Well apparently it's taken 5 some-odd years to put the thing together. They're very proud of it. And yet... umm, how to put this nicely? Nobody cares. Microsoft isn't having any trouble garnering news coverage about it, but story after news story is lukewarm at best. The worst part? XP works just fine, thanks.
So then, Microsoft has to start touting the particular features of the new OS, right? Well, again, unfortunately, it's nothing special. Walt Mossberg says the other thing everybody else is thinking -- it's nice, but it's no Mac.
It is true, nearly all of Microsoft's "good ideas" are stolen from Apple. In The New York Times, reviewer David Pogue wrote, "You get the feeling that Microsoft's managers put Mac OS X on an easel and told the programmers, 'Copy that.'"
Meanwhile, my laid-off dot-com hero OddTodd summed up Vista's PR problem perfectly a few weeks ago:
"So tonight some nerd told me that Microsoft Vista is having problems. Like there's weird security flaws and lots of software doesn't run on it and all that. Is it me or has the Vista launch been like super weird. Like, is Vista actually out? Or out in beta still sorta? I don't know anyone who has it or wants it or even knows why they might want it later. I got nothing against Microsoft but between wacked-whatever Vista, who-cares Soapbox, not-as-good-as-google Live Search, dusted X-Box, only-for-showoff-scrotums Tablet, and the thanks-but-no-thanks Zune... something feels bizarrely off over at Microsoft."
Then there's the whole "buying a Wikipedia editor" thing. And these blogger bribing allegations. I guess if you see a few PR jobs open at Microsoft.com soon, you'll know why!