Mobile Viral Spiral

6:00 AM -- Sometimes you just have to wonder exactly where you figure in the mobile marketing chain.

It's pretty clear that Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) and many other mobile vendors are well versed in viral marketing techniques.

Take the supposedly leaked advertising for Microsoft's rumored "Origami" tablet PC. (See Microsoft's Tablet Habit.) What better way to revitalize interest in a technology that appears to be even less appealing to users than the Segway?

While I hope I added some modicum of critical perspective to the whole affair, there's no getting around the fact that I -- and many others like me -- may well have helped to disseminate a cloaked marketing message.

It's only going to get worse.

Picture messaging, fixed/mobile convergence, and mobile video and TV, combined with constant connectivity over wired, WLAN, and cellular networks that can track your location: It all adds up to a viral marketer's wet dream.

Thank your lucky stars that it is going to take some of the same mobile vendors years of toil to pull such networks together.

And even after they do, tablet PCs are still going to be red-headed stepchildren of the mobile world. There are some things even marketing can't fix.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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