The rebirth of Windows comes on October 26th. We’ve talked about it nonstop for a very long time now. We’ve praised the merits of the new changes. We’ve criticized parts of the OS which we didn’t feel worked quite right for traditional desktop use.
Windows 8 is the most talked about version of Windows in the IT world, ever. Bold statement, but I’m rather certain no version of Windows has ever sparked so much controversy and heated talk by techies everywhere. People were likely excited for Windows 95 and other versions— but Windows 8’s launch is noticeably different.
No matter how much we point out its positive merits, or even negative merits, we need to remember one thing: the average consumer is a very different type of user than the vast majority of people frequenting sites like Windows 8 Update.
They aren’t looking at it from that same tech prospective, they just want it to work and work well. They also want to know why it is worth considering over alternatives like Android or iOS on their tablets.
Most techies are willing to look for that answer and come to their own conclusion. These average consumers want to be told and shown the value instantly, they don’t want to search for it. This is why the launch of Windows 8 is so crucial. Timing and marketing are key.
What is Microsoft doing to prepare for Windows 8?
Thankfully, quite a bit. By creating tons of pop-up and temporary Windows Store locations they can go hands-on with consumers and let them play around with this very different version of Windows. Hands-on is extremely important, but targeted ads and other methods of reaching the customer is just as crucial.
Microsoft clearly recognizes this and is making the Windows 8 advertising campaign their largest move in their company’s history. A massive $1.5-$1.8 billion is reserved for spending on advertising here.
The new blitz is expected to start any day now and will be more than just Microsoft. Vendors will also be splashing advertising and hands-on demos anywhere and everywhere.
How is the advertising being handled? We don’t really know the details yet. I’d wager though that most of the efforts will be targeted at new users buying all-in-ones, tablets and touch-laptops.
There might be a little bit of advertising effort brought towards non-touch devices— but Microsoft knows that in order for Windows 8 to truly succeed with the non-techie, they must first convince them that they need touch-based elements not just on that fancy phone or tablet, but on all computerized devices.
I really don’t normally care about advertising campaigns, but I am truly excited and looking forward to what we see here. Windows 8 is solid. There are still haters, but the desktop is indeed better here and the start screen can add value for certain types of users as well.
Unfortunately, being a good product doesn’t equate to success.
Apple has built an empire largely on aesthetics and marketing. You may or may not agree with that, but the truth is that Apple desktops have continued to increase in sales despite the fact that the actual processing power has traditionally been weaker than Windows variants and several times more expensive at that.
One of the reasons why some people (not all) like Apple stuff is because it is pretty and because Apple marketing executives tell them it is awesome. Do they built reliable and capable hardware? Yes, I think so. But the key is that they are pretty and they are well advertised, case closed.
Can Microsoft do the same with this new campaign? We shall see.