Microsoft Office 2007 is also available now. Microsoft will spend $500 million advertising and promoting Vista according to AdAge. "This will be the company's "most aggressive launch ever," resulting in an injection, across 20 countries, of an estimated $500 million into agency and media-owner coffers -- which seems excessive for a product that will walk out of the stores on more or less every PC sold from here on in."
The marketing expenditure makes more sense when put into context. The New York Times says;
Over 5,000 software and hardware products are ready to run on Vista, and Microsoft has more than 500,000 industry partners worldwide, including resellers, retailers and consultants as well as hardware and software companies. Millions of developers write programs that run on Windows.
For every dollar Microsoft makes on Windows Vista, the rest of the industry will collect $18 of revenue, estimates IDC, a technology research firm. Indeed, those that build products and services on top of and around Microsoft’s technology constitute an industry ecosystem that business professors have studied. And Microsoft’s long investment in nurturing that network of mutual support, they say, is a major reason that Windows holds more than 90 percent of the market for PC operating systems.
In the United States, the IDC report concluded, “this ecosystem should sell about $70 billion in products and services revolving around Windows Vista” in 2007. The introduction of Windows Vista, IDC projected, is expected to generate 157,000 jobs in the United States.
Ryan Stewart at ZDnet says "I'm excited about Windows Vista" He says " the most exciting thing about Vista is undoubtedly Windows Presentation Foundation." and "Vista opens the doors to a brand new development model in which design and experience take center stage and Vista becomes a blank canvas that makes possible 3D interfaces and rich internet enabled applications."
Wow! The new Vista advertising campaign will be themed around Wow! Every commercial ends with: "Every so often you experience something so new, so delightfully unexpected, there's only one word for it...Wow!"
Microsoft is setting the bar very high with a Wow advertising campaign. The Wow factor has kinda of subsided for many techies since they have been using Vista in beta for a long time. Partners, developers, and beta testers have had access to Vista for at least a year. Literally tens of thousands of people have already used Vista before the official launch day...today. Compare this to the iPhone launch where no one knew it was coming, no one had even seen pictures of the phone. It was a surprise and it generated lots of excitement. Cool, but you can't do it that way with an operating system.
PC manufacturers need lots of advance notice so they can set up their production lines. Application software companies need advance copies of the OS so they can port their applications to run on Vista. Software developers and System Integrators need to be trained. It is a huge project that involves thousands of people.
Is $500 million too much to spend promoting Vista? Probably not when you think about all the products, people, and companies involved in making it a success.