With the official launch of Windows 8 just a couple of weeks away (26th October), Microsoft is understandably gearing up for a giant advertising campaign to get the upgrade juices flowing. However this is no ordinary promotion, with Forbes reporting it as to be costing the software giant somewhere between $1.5 and $1.8 billion (£1 billion).
This makes it not only Microsoft’s most expensive marketing budget ever, but the biggest the industry has ever seen too. Comparatively, the budget for Windows 95’s advertising, was just $200 million (£125 million). It’s even bigger than the GDP of many small countries, including Belize and The Gambia.
Analysing the use of such a sum we can conclude a few things. Firstly, Microsoft is keen for its next-gen operating system to take off in a big way. It’s pushing in a new direction with Windows 8, moving into a more tablet friendly space and a more closed system similar to the way app stores operate for smart phones at the moment. Windows 8 is a seminal release, one that Microsoft is likely hoping to build off in the future; the sheer scale of the marketing budget backs up that future thinking.
However, it’s not all positive reasons that over $1.5 billion is being sunk into promotion for the OS. Plenty of games developers, including head of Valve, Gabe Newell and developer of Minecraft, Makus Persson – among others – have voiced their disapproval of Windows 8, suggesting it would be the death knell of PC gaming as we know it.
Kitguru Says: Whatever the reasons, Microsoft is pouring cash into the launch of this O/S. Whether it will make a difference though, remains to be seen.