Microsoft is playing the media game (and that’s a good thing)

One of Apple’s greatest strengths, even when they were down, is how skilfully they interact with the media, creating huge excitement for the products and mindshare way beyond their market share.

It seems Microsoft may have learn a thing or two from the company, with Microsoft dealing much more deftly with the media than previously, and has managed to increase the mind share of Windows Phone 7 tremendously, despite low sales numbers.

As one can hear in the above video, an excerpt from the Windows Phone Dev podcast featuring Brandon Watson, for Microsoft is was not just about the timing of the release of Mango, but also making sure the right influential bloggers had scoops, which would ultimately also make them look more favourably on the software.

Microsoft has also managed to extend the excitement around Mango by not revealing all the so-called 500 new features, meaning multiple articles are being written over an extended period as each new feature pop up.

I am sure the flood of official apps we have seen recently and even pushing back the release of Angry Birds to coincide with the release of Mango to the media are all also related to this.

Of course this is somewhat consumer unfriendly – we want to know everything as soon as possible in one sitting, but in terms of keeping up interest in the OS in the slow months before its release on new hardware Microsoft could not really have done it better, and for the health of the OS that is a pretty good thing.