I have read headlines and seen videos in the last week that I never would have expected. First off, on the heels of their Microsoft 10 press event, I find this video from Microsoft where they take a stab at reinventing the whiteboard. It had enough of a cool factor that it ended up on PSFK, my go-to source for trendy things before they're trendy in tech.

Then, as I dig more into Microsoft that day, I learned about HoloLens. If I had paid enough attention to the Internet that day, I would've have learned about it earlier from the press coverage.

But then again, I didn't have anything in my recent memory that gave me reason to believe paying attention to Microsoft announcements was worth my time (or the real estate space on my second computer monitor).

But HoloLens was announced. It's cool - not totally practical yet - but really cool. The Verge did a good write up here describing seven potential use cases for HoloLens in the future.

Then the kicker came today. On Twitter, I read this headline (also from The Verge):

The best Gmail app for the iPhone is now made by Microsoft

I also saw a similar headline from Business Insider that affirmed this bold statement.

After reading both articles, I downloaded the new Outlook app from Microsoft. While I have only used it for ten minutes at the time of writing this article, I have to admit - it's a great email client for iPhone. These claims are bold but not far fetched.

So...Is Microsoft Cool?

I won't say yes or no at this point. But it seems like they're trying to head that direction. And it's a good strategy.

In the past, they've tried to literally buy their way into marketshare. The NFL analysts every Sunday have Surface Pro tablets. There are a ton of ads. Microsoft sponsors updates and features on several other programs. Their logo is everywhere. But advertising and product placement can't buy loyalty. Only a cool factor can.

It looks like they are now trying to actually provide products that have their own market advantage. Like they're not trying to buy their way into people's hearts. Or mimic Apple (as much).

I'll probably spend more time actually paying attention to what Microsoft has to say in the near future. These past couple of weeks could be all hype that doesn't turn into anything substantial.

Or it could.

What do you think? Is Microsoft starting to creep into "cool" territory?