By David Worthington | Thursday, September 3, 2009 at 8:32 pm
People are not lining up outside of storefronts at midnight to buy Windows anymore, but that won’t stop Microsoft from creating the impression that the masses are fawning over Windows 7. The company is asking people to host house parties when the OS launches on Oct. 22. The Potemkin village has become the Potemkin house party.
Microsoft has adopted a PR technique that many large corporations and interests groups use to advance their positions in the absence of any significant public support: astroturfing. Astroturfing is a PR technique that is used to manufacture the impression of grassroots behavior. There are many examples of it being utilized to affect public policy.
Taking a handful of launch parties, and making it seem as if they are a widespread phenomenon would be astroturfing. I would not be surprised if that is what Microsoft has in mind. Many reporters will fall for it.