Microsoft needs Windows 8 to do well, really well. And it’s going to spend a pretty penny to make sure businesses and consumers hear about it.

According to Forbes contributor Dave Einstein, Microsoft plans to spend between $1.5 billion and $1.8 billion on the launch of the new operating system. Einstein is dubbing it the “biggest product launch in the history of the industry” — comparing to the $200 million that Microsoft spent on Windows 95. Meanwhile, TechCrunch says get ready to see the Windows 8 logo everywhere this holiday season, with reporter Matt Burns saying the company “wants Windows 8 to be the Furby of 2012.” And The Wall Street Journal notes that the marketing blitz will likely start this weekend.

What’s at stake?

Well, for one PC shipments have been slumping, and Microsoft (and the PC makers it partners with) need the new operating system to restart the industry. A report out earlier this month from IHS indicated that worldwide shipments of personal computers are expected to decline this year, the first time that’s happened in about a decade.

Microsoft plans to launch Windows 8 on October 26th. I think we’ll be hearing a lot more about it in the coming weeks, don’t you?

Previously on GeekWire:  Analyst on Windows 8: ‘I wouldn’t want Start menu back, even if I could have it’

Like what you're reading? Subscribe to GeekWire's free newsletters to catch every headline


  • anonymous

    That $1.5B # isn’t from Forbes, it’s from someone who wrote an advertorial on their site.

  • Paul_Owen

    Thanks, John, for covering the story behind the story. I’m just a tech marketing hack, but I seriously wonder how an organization can successfully spend that much money. What would you do? This is so far out of scope with previous launches (of anything ever) the challenge is how do you put a face on it. Psy and Gangnam Style videos? Geekwire sponsorship?

    • Guest

      That’s a pretty staggering number like you say.

      But there’s been so much bloodletting in the marketing and PR disciplines over the years that this has a whiff now of desperation around it. Lacking quality people to push Windows 8, they’re resorting to carpet bombing with money instead.

      I wonder how effective that will be in the end.

      I suspect too there’s a lot of CYA going on here. If Windows 8 isn’t a success, no one wants to be in a position where everyone points and says “You didn’t get behind this enough”. I suspect the marketing org is overspending here to invest in job security.

      Because, if Windows 8 isn’t a success you can bet the streets in Redmond are going to run with blood.

      • guest

        Your comment says more about your agenda than it does theirs.

    • guest

      Successfully spending it is the easy part. Spending it successfully is what’s difficult.

  • Guest

    John, please correct this source. This article is like citing one of those pages in a paper magazine (like an iPad, only cheaper and higher-DPI) that has “ADVERTISEMENT” at the top. Please cite journalists, not NetApp marketers.

    • johnhcook

      Thanks. I rephrased the commentary above in order to make it clear that he’s a contributor to Forbes.

  • guest

    Well, they somehow managed to blow $500M launching WP7, which received generally positive reviews but was an abject market failure. So I guess spending three times that on W8 isn’t out of the question. Pretty shocking number though. That’s approximately equivalent to Apple’s entire R&D budget last year.

Job Listings on GeekWork