Did Microsoft Just Pull a Don Draper?

Over the weekend I posted about the Angry Birds icon appearance on the Windows Phone 7 website. It turned out that the developer of Angry Birds (Rovio Mobile) has yet to commit to building a Windows Phone 7 version of their popular game. At the time I thought nothing of this, then after watching the latest episode of AMC’s Mad Men (Season 4 Episode 12) and seeing this post by John Gruber where he stated:

(I’ll bet five bucks that it’s the same story with that Tap Tap Revenge icon, too.)

All of a sudden with Don Draper fresh in my mind it hit me – this is something Draper would do. As Peggy Olsen said in this last episode of Mad Men (I am paraphrasing big time here) “If you don’t like what people are saying, change the conversation” which isn’t this exactly what Microsoft did by posting apps that have not fully committed to developing for their new Windows Phone 7 platform?

This seems like a classic marketing move to me, they (Microsoft) didn’t have some of the popular app developers from the iOS/Android world lined up so instead they just faked it. Instead of trying to persuade Rovio to get on board Microsoft just decided to pretend like these guys were already on board.

In doing this Microsoft shifted the pressure from Windows Phone 7 to the developers – a dick move to be sure, but it might just pay of in spades for them. Think about it from Rovio Mobile’s point of view, they were not convinced that they should develop for Windows Phone 7 and then this happens and a ton of people start talking to them about how they want to see Angry Birds on Windows Phone 7. That amount of pressure would probably convince a lot of developers to go ahead with plans to make a Windows Phone 7 version.

Now I am not saying that Rovio will make Angry Birds for Windows Phone 7, nor am I saying that they should. After this weekend though, I would guess, that the pressure to make a Windows Phone 7 version is at the very least 100x greater than it was before this all happened.

Originally posted for members on: October 11, 2010
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