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The Keyword to Microsoft’s Search Success

Too many people are wasting too much energy writing about the name for Microsoft’s new search engine—assuming there is going to be one, rather than made-over Windows Live Search. Kumo, Crapo, Frapo, Wacko—who cares? Microsoft could rebrand search Bill Gates, Steve Ballmer, Bozo the Clown or the Muffin Man. Right now, the name shouldn’t matter to anyone, nor will it make much difference against Google’s dominance. Microsoft must fundamentally change how search works.
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Microsoft Finally Finds a Lifestyle It Can Sell

The most successful companies share several attributes in common. Among the most important: They sell a lifestyle. Apple has effectively done this with multiple products, which is unusual. There are separate, yet related, iPod, iPhone and Mac lifestyles. But many buyers pay a premium price to join the Mac club.

There are plenty of other examples. The Harley Davidson lifestyle is the graying, middle-aged guy, dressed in leather and riding his hog or the stereotypical Hell’s Angels type. Pepsi sells a lifestyle, too. In my youth, it was the “Pepsi Generation.” Now it’s the active, youth sports lifestyle around Mtn. Dew, among other Pepsico products.
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Antitrust Primer: Google and Microsoft

Have you wondered why Microsoft quietly accepted yet another two years of government oversight? Simply put, Microsoft doesn’t want to end up with the problems looming over Google.

There has been much buzz over the last couple weeks about the US Justice Department looking closely at Google. The rumors used the “A” and “M” words, antitrust and monopoly, to describe how trustbusters view Google’s search dominance. Today’s Wall Street Journal claims that the Obama Administration has put together an antitrust watchlist, on which there is Google’s name.
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Officethemovie: The Confessional

Yesterday, a seemingly official Microsoft Twitter accounted fooled popular blogs and mainstream news sites to write that Microsoft would introduce a new Zune platform in June. But the account wasn’t from Microsoft.

Allegedly, David Z from Haklab set up the account. I e-mailed Haklab today asking:

I love guerrilla marketing, and know how to recognize it, which is why I didn’t get sucked into the vortex like other bloggers and journalists. But it’s confession time. Who are you really, and what are your objectives? Not that I’m sure I will believe you. But try me. I want to blog on the problem of Twitter and shoddy journalism. You’re the case study.

This afternoon, I got a response. David claims to have exploited a Microsoft mistake—that the Twitter feed from Microsoft’s Office 2010: The Movie Website went to an unclaimed account. So he registered the Twitter account, @officethemovie. My suspicion: There was a typo on the page, and the account should have read: @office2010movie, as it does now.
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The Problem With Real-Time Journalism

Yesterday’s “@officethemovie” pwning is about the worst example yet of new news media gone wrong. In the quest for clicks—and the feeble ad rates they pay—bloggers and old-time journalists rushed to write about a new Zune platform coming in June. Apple is rumored to be unveiling the new iPhone the same month. Additionally, the E3 gaming expo starts June 2. I guess it all was just too tantalizing for people to check their facts. The source wasn’t Microsoft. But most blogs and news sites reported that it was.
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‘I’m a PC,’ Says My Daughter

Today is moving day for my teenage daughter. She will be switching from a Mac to a PC running Windows 7 Release Candidate. My PC buying experience for her could have been a Microsoft “Laptop Hunters” commercial.

My daughter, who online goes by “Morripopp,” had been using the higher-end aluminum MacBook. I knew she would be giving it up. On Wednesday, April 29, I told Apple that Thursday would be my last day as Microsoft Watch editor; I was joining the ranks of unemployed journalists. On Friday, I got the expected but dreaded e-mail: Apple wanted the MacBook loaner back by May 6.
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The New Journalism

I had the below IM conversation with Nate Mook of Betanews after posting about PR blogging on my work blog. All times are Pacific (-8 GMT):

Joe says: (3:54:02 PM)
I couldn’t resist: http://www.microsoft-watch.com/content/developer/net_35_sp1_changes_your_expression.html
Nate says: (3:57:30 PM)
Saw that
Nate says: (3:57:31 PM)
Good post
Nate says: (3:57:40 PM)
I’ve been thinking the same thing recently
Joe says: (3:57:47 PM)
I’m really bugged about this.
Joe says: (3:57:52 PM)
Ah, good for you.
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CES 2008 was Great

I had a great time at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, thanks to the October move to San Diego and a little scheduling assistance from Microsoft PR agency Edeleman. From Washington, DC, CES would have been a week commitment. From San Diego, Las Vegas is an hour flight. Edelman booked five Microsoft meetings for Tuesday. I snagged another private Microsoft meeting and one regular briefing with HP. I had a jam-packed schedule consolidated so that I could fly in and out on the same day.
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