Microsoft uses YouTube to promote their products
Microsoft competes with Google in many areas but has still chosen to create a video channel on YouTube to promote Microsoft products. While this seems odd, it could be an effort to reach potential customers in enemy territory.
What most websites report about the move is that Microsoft left the comment function enabled which in turn invited many comments on YouTube that criticize the company.
I have not seen any statistics on how many YouTube users are really reading the comments but it seems that the videos posted create a heated discussion. The 8000 views / 128 comments ratio is probably one of the best on YouTube when compared to other videos that have been available for less than a week.
What I don't like is that most sites that report about this PR move are concentrating on the comments and mention the content of the videos only briefly. You can call me crazy but the videos that I watched are well done and viewers without prior knowledge will immediately like the product.
I personally think that this is a great move by Microsoft for several reasons. The videos become popular on YouTube, that's without question with all the coverage from blogs and websites. Most viewers will probably ignore the comments and just view the video.
Microsoft's biggest problem could be that YouTube users who find the videos are already informed which is reflected in the comments. Besides the obvious Microsoft bashing that happens wherever someone mentions that name or an operating system that begins with Windows.. Take a look for yourself, it only takes several minutes.
Microsoft started to use YouTube even more in recent years. The company has an official channel on YouTube now, and also plenty of channels for core company products such as Windows, Xbox, Office, or Microsoft Surface. These are all linked from the main channel, so use it as an entry point.
Another positive side effect of promoting videos on YouTube is that Google pays the bill, as hosting is free.
A most cunning MS plan and my wishes for a truly happy 2008!