I haven't been a real big fan of Microsoft's PR machine post-Allchin. It seems like as soon as Jim left and Windows Vista was released, the heavy-hitters at Microsoft went on vacation, and the second string PR people have been running the show ever since. For example, last week Microsoft stunned the blogosphere by continuing the Windows Vista SP1 mind games, while simultaneously acknowledging more information about Windows "Seven" than they ever have for the rumored Service Pack. And while Microsoft won't comment on the timeframe for SP1 (beyond the kind of vague answers typically reserved for Miss Cleo and her ilk), we now have a date of 2010 for the next incarnation of Windows.
Now, this is just my opinion, but I think Microsoft's schizophrenic PR strategy is causing itself more harm than good. By being more specific about "Seven" than SP1, they are prematurely shifting the focus away from Windows Vista, which is exactly why they've been stonewalling bloggers in the first place! I really just don't get it. I totally understand stonewalling us about "Seven", but to stay quiet about a Service Pack that by all accounts will be shipped before the end of 2007 (well, not all accounts... Valleywag got some harebrained idea that it's not coming out till 2009)... totally baffles me.
But I think I'm not alone when I say that, if Microsoft wants to keep this strategy of underpromising and overdelivering, then they need to be doing more outreach to get the people that drive tech conversations on board with it. And no, that's not just a selfish plug to get an interview. If Sinofsky and Co. think that the 'Steve Jobs Reveal' is the best way to go, they should make their case to their countless enthusiasts as to why. The way Allchin made the case for a Vista delay in the first place.
Or at the very least, be consistent with your strategy. If you can't apply your own rules consistently, how the hell do you guys expect bloggers to follow them?
But again, that's just my opinion. What do you guys think?