Turns out that Microsoft's hoping to get some influential people on board with Windows Phone, and it's choosing a unique strategy to do so. It's partnered with Klout, a service that uses social media analytics to weigh the influence you have on your social network, to give away 500 free devices -- along with VIP passes to one of five Windows Phone launch parties across the country -- to those who qualify through Klout Perks. The winners appear to be determined by their Klout score and if they live in the same city as one of the five shindigs. But it's clear that the Windows giant wants to be heard, and it might just work: according to Klout's official blog, "top influencers are trusted by their audience to share their real opinions and more and more brands are recognizing this power." In short, Redmond's banking on the possibility that some mightily influential people will have great things to say about its product. After all, word of mouth is a powerful marketing tool. Head to the source link to find out how to learn if you're one of the lucky 500.

FCC Fridays: October 21, 2011