Microsoft used to hide behind castle walls then announce a new product.

This no longer works. To develop the market for any new product companies need to be seen as open and accessible, allowing their users, to participate in the company knowledge base.

Web logs are a new lesson in social marketing and the transparent promotion of value a company can offer. Obviously there are limits to openness; exposing intellectual property too soon is foolish.

These new methods allow viral product knowledge market growth. Market development grows via a community of interested observers. Blog are an excellent example of social aspects of communication that the web now provides. Users are free to comment and respond publicly.

This feed back is essential to fine tune product development before release. Microsoft and others have beta software elements available for interested users to test. No longer is it necessary to wait for key note addresses, or the excellent and professionally stage managed shows of Steve Jobs, their days are over.

To allow customers to keep up with developments at Microsoft, they now use a video web log ‘Channel 9′. http://channel9.msdn.com/

Other Video web logs may be found at: http://news.zdnet.com/ http://www.cnet.com/