The Fry effect

Whoever it was at Microsoft who popped a Windows 7 mobile in a jiffy bag and sent it to Stephen Fry deserves a promotion.

It was a risky strategy because, let's be honest, Fry is seen as Mr Apple, but it paid off handsomely at the launch as the national treasure came out in support of the product.

On Twitter, one of his favorite ways of communicating, Fry deflected criticisms that he was a traitor by endorsing diversification in the smart phone market. I saw these tweets flying by but in case you missed them Microsoft's PR very kindly pulled them together and sent them out to journalists.

"When Microsoft sent me one of these (Windows Phone 7). I've got a few of them.  My first feeling was that it was fun to play with. And I know it's childish but isn't that how you think of cars and many of the other things we spend our lives doing," Fry said.

"You have to be stony hearted to not welcome a new player," he added. "I want biodiversity, the more players there are the more it drives creativity and innovation, the more thrilling the space becomes."

What this all means is that Microsoft can bask in the Fry halo with this key launch, but it also means that in offices all over the world marketers are putting the company's latest product in a jiffy bag and sending it to Mr Fry. An endorsement from him is clearly worth the time and trouble.

This was first published in October 2010

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