Microsoft has already made it known that they have extremely high hopes for Windows 8. The company has compared the launch of its newest operating system to the launch of Windows 95. It's going to change everything, or so they hope. That's why Microsoft is putting an unprecedented amount of money into this holiday season's marketing campaign.
According to Forbes, Microsoft will be spending anywhere between $1.5 and $1.8 billion this year on marketing Windows 8. Let that number sink in for a minute. This is going to be the biggest software product launch in the history of computing. The last big marketing push from Microsoft came in 95 for the often referenced Windows 95 when the company spent $200 million pushing the OS. Adjusted for inflation, it would only be about $300 million today, a far cry from the insane $1.5 billion being spent now.
So what will Microsoft be spending all this money on? Nobody has a clue. Beyond a few leaked ads, nobody has seen any of the marketing efforts that Microsoft will supposedly be putting into motion this holiday season. TechCrunch figures that Microsoft will be out evangelizing the new Windows and the interface formerly known as Metro. The new UI is definitely what Microsoft needs to spend the most money as it has only confused and befuddled people up to this point.
It's also not known if Microsoft will be spending all this money just on Windows 8, or if the marketing dollars will be pumped into Windows Phone 8 and Surface as well. With that kind of money, I think we can assume that to be the case. Microsoft doesn't have to just sell an operating system this year. They have to sell a lifestyle that's defined by Windows 8. Apple has perfected this approach to marketing with its iOS devices, but now it's Microsoft chance to convince people that their lives would be legitimately improved with Windows 8.
Will they succeed? It's hard to say at this point. The only real noise we're hearing in regards to Windows 8 are from those already entrenched in the tech world with strong opinions regarding the Redmond giant. The response from the general public will be crucial as Microsoft heads into the holidays.