When a person of influence endorses your product, your marketing department reaches for the sky.
Or, more likely, for the Skyy.
So, wherever you are, you will surely be hearing the ululations of vodka-fueled pleasure emanating from Redmond on hearing that Oprah has declared the new Surface one of her “Favorite Things” of the year.
Oprah likened the Surface to a Toyota Prius, because it is such a perfect hybrid of tablet and PC.
No, wait, she actually said: “The Surface, Microsoft’s first tablet, feels like a Mercedes-Benz to me, people!
Would this be because it comes in many colors? Not at all.
Instead she continued: “The full-size keyboard built right into the cover makes work easy, the very smart kickstand makes watching a movie or Skyping a friend a delight, the less than a pound-and-a-half weight makes a great alternative to a laptop, and the many other features make it fun for work and play.”
Perhaps some of you might be concerned about the Mercedes comparison. Is she suggesting that the Mercedes is an alternative to, well, a car? Or is it merely because a Mercedes is “fun for work and play”?
I have a different concern. It’s that Oprah’s influence might not be quite what it used to be.
It is undoubtedly excellent that the Surface is placed here alongside the Tom Ford Beauty Lipstick, the Bonded Teak Series Knife Set and, especially, the Wagging Tail Custom Portrait Cards.
But, ever since Oprah decided to create her own TV network, somehow she has begun to disappear from view. Indeed, presidential candidates seem keener to appear on “The View,” rather than curry favor with La Winfrey.
This reflects nothing more than the fickleness of humankind.
Which is one reason why I feel sure that the Surface will do very well. Microsoft has made something that doesn’t immediately look like something else — say, an iPad.
The Surface appeals to those who want something new, so that they can be seen with it.
And, personally, I’m rather fond of those little tiles. Even though these might actually have been copied — at least if you believe the plaintiffs at SurfCast who are now suing Microsoft.
It’s nice that Oprah has given it her regal nod.
But just wait till Miley Cyrus puts it in the next video she makes with porn star Jessie Andrews. That’s when you’ll really know that Surface is cool.