Can it possibly be true? Microsoft is cool again?

Could it be possible that Microsoft has become cool again? A BetaNews poll seemed to indicate Windows 8 was popular and there have been recent reports that the Surface tablet is "cool" to teens. Now there is this -- a poll conducted by Reuters indicates that young people may actually think the computer company from Redmond, Wash. is cool again.

Reuters reports that "just under half of 853 respondents between the ages of 18 and 29 thought Microsoft is cooler now than it was a year or two ago". If this this is representative of the larger sentiment then it ties in very neatly with recent Apple problems.

Behind the Revolution

It is probably not hard to speculate on factors that could be behind this turn-around. After all, the company has changed almost everything over the course of the past year. Logos and websites are more modern looking, Windows Phone 8 has launched, advertising has become more upbeat compared to...well, anything the company used to do since the Rolling Stones and "Start me up".

The biggest things of all are likely the continued improvements being made to Xbox and the recent release of the Surface tablets. Tablets are viewed by many as the future and the Surface, along with Windows 8 or RT, has made a splash, thanks in large part to the energetic, and endlessly running TV ads.

A Bite out of the Apple

I previously alluded to Apple's mounting problems -- those add up. Stock prices dropping, court dates and a seemingly mounting disgust with the way the company does business. It is certainly not the end-of-times for the company, but it will need an enormous turn-around to get back to where it was only recently.

As example, my children both at one time wanted Apple products. However, when it came time to buy our daughter a smartphone she decided Android was the way to go. Our son wanted an iPad in the worst way, but now begs daily for Nexus 7. Their friends seem to show similar inclinations of late. For the record, both kids fall under the age of the Reuters survey.

Of course neither of those things are any better for Microsoft than they are for Apple. But my wife recently chose Windows Phone 8 after mulling the Apple-Google question. Again, not within the survey ages -- sorry Hon.

What Next?

While this certainly is heartening to Microsoft -- 50 percent is a good number, it is not yet all roses. The number does best Twitter results by three percent, but the company still came up somewhat short of the real rivals. Roughly 60 percent of those polled still think Apple is cooler and the number for Google's Android products is even higher, at 70 percent.

Microsoft clearly still has work to do. Chief may be getting the Windows Stores -- both computer and phone -- stocked with apps. The company also better hope that the next Xbox, regardless of what it will be called, makes a big splash. If Microsoft can accomplish these two things then it may truly be cool again -- perhaps for the first time since circa 1995.

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