Warning: Vista Marketing Tsunami Looming

If your reaction to all of the hype swirling around the launch of Windows Vista this week is less "Wow!" and more "Whoa! Enough already!" then 2007 could be a long year. Microsoft plans to go all out this year, spending $500 million in 20 countries to market Vista, according to Advertising Age. (A Microsoft spokesperson refused to confirm that figure.) In the next several months, Microsoft plans to place advertising in various forms of media totaling 6.6 billion impressions--enough ads, in theory, to hit every person on the planet. "I am sure we will be inundated by Vista ads, especially on the Web," said Chris Swenson, a software market analyst at the NPD Group.

The company's media-saturation strategy may seem like overkill, but as late as December, according to a Forrester Research survey, more than 60 percent of consumers had not even heard of Vista. Evidently, Microsoft isn't looking to convince consumers that Vista is fun (as it did with the XBo'' or sexy (as it has tried to do with its Zune music player) or even fresh (as it did 12 years ago with Windows 95). "In hindsight, Windows 95 was flaky, but there was so much pent-up demand, and Windows 95 was such a big improvement [over Windows 3.1] that it really was a paradigm shift," said Gartner analyst Michael Silver. "Today, you're more likely to see that sort of excitement over a cell phone."

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Vista is ****, the new DX10 games are as well, EA has killed Crysis, EA make **** games because they are on the stock market, that destroys almost all companies that are on it.

There used to be a time that a Microsoft OS sold itself. It's quite telling to me that Microsoft feels that it has to throw so much advertising at Vista. To me, as some one who doesn't believe the horizons start and end at Redmond, it smacks of desperation a little which doesn't then give me the confidence to buy it.

Even though, to me, Vista does not represent a good value, I would much rather see Vista ads than "hi, I'm a Mac."

heh... vista is being sold by GUI... I give you example my friend comes over and tell "dude I want vista look cool and i like 3d thing and icon look bigger so on so on" and I told him, right.. so how you going to play your games ? top it off you have creative sound card and creative hasn't release a stable drivers. my suggestion just wait until vista is more driver stable.. I could install for you but don't come crying to me. I actually not really looking for to upgrade I don't see the leap I saw different between 2000 to xp but xp to vista I haven't been bought beside directx 10 is fine but is not enough I see vista as more as drm os.

Microsoft's marketing department needs to be fired apparently. Who came up with the Zune commercials? They're awful. If I had a Zune, the commercials would make me want to get rid of it. Side note: the Apple Mac vs. PC ads suck too. They're annoying and they make me want to slap both of the actors...

And as for cell phones, I think they're a scourge on social relationships. If you talk to your friends and family on the phone all day, what are you going to say to them when you see them in person? Nothing. You just sit there, or play a video game by yourself. It's the 'marketing machine' isolating us so we have to buy more crap to keep ourselves stimulated instead of interacting with other people, which is free!

Damn.. Why is Neowin always so sluggish? The connection timed out twice! How do you delete a comment?

Agreed. The Cookie commercial was the right kind of subtle/edgy piece they needed. In contrast, the big blind penis commercial was unbelievably bad.

$500M really isn't all that much...especially when spread across 20 countries? You'd be surprised how little that gets you. I wouldn't call it a Tsunami...and for those of you complaining about the price; chill out cuz this really isn't that much in advertising spend.

LOL people have no problem spending $500+ for a PS3 and accessories, or that OSX is like $130 for every X.1 version update, (does math) so thats 4x130 = $520(b4 tax) for OSX if you have had it since release (not counting the initial purchase). So that makes OSX technicly MORE then Vista Ultimate(techinicly that makes Vista only cost about $50 for every x.1 increase since XP), and seeing as most home users will be using Home Premium(full:$239, upg:$159) or Business(full:$299, upg:$199) its actually a LOT cheaper to be running Vista then OSX.

You forgot the fact that you actually get new useful features and updates to GREAT bundled applications AND you get interface improvements for that money you spend on OS X upgrades.

With Windows Vista we get more OEM grade shovelware, some minor operational improvements, and an interface improvement...that we could have paid $50 to Stardock for.

Ahem.

Meh, imho this is the first release of Windows I have not really wanted to upgrade to. Its just too damn expensive...

And they are spending all this cash on marketing? Screw that, they shouldn't spend nearly that much, instead REDUCE THE PRICE of the software.

That was FIVE years ago, when a powerful computer cost $2,000. $200/10% of the machine cost did not seem unreasonable. XP also offered a quantum leap from the old DOS/95 garbage OS days, bringing them the professional grade NT kernel, etc.

Now, powerful computers cost $500 and an OS that offers them NOTHING substantive but a little eye candy costs $400*. That is completely and ridiculously out of balance/absurd and everyone knows it!

* It's not about "needing" Ultimate. That is the version that MS is advertising, with ALL the bells and whistles. That's what's being sold to the consumer (i.e. you will never see an add for "Home Basic" re: no wow for your money). 99% of Mac OS X users don't use all the features of their ONE version either, but they buy a Mac based on what the can/might do with it, not just what they are doing with it today. The EIGHT versions of Vista are just MBA 101 marketing segmentation CRIPPLE-WARE versions of "ultimate" (aka the REAL Windows Vista) and you know it.

Its really hard to get excited about an OS period, they are so transparent that many users don't see the need for a new one until theres something vital created for the new OS. It'll start sucking when they make programs that are "vista only". MS really shot themselves in the foot by making windows XP so damned good and rock solid(lack of constant crashing).

As a lot of people said, vista will make the most sales on OEM not in retail,unless you've got a dual core then go for.

ALSO something that IGN(imagine they've got real news sometimes) has covered the fact that vista CAN'T do EAX properly and DOESN'T let hardware accel sound. Very stupid idea.

Danrarbc said,
Actually it does allow EAX and hardware accelerated sound for OpenAL apps.


Yea PROPERLY was the key word I stated, as opposed to saying not at all.

If any of you have seen the movie LA Story, I was disappointed the "WOW" advert didn't feature Sarah Jessica Parker bending over (her character has a W tattoed on each cheek) =)

For some reason I knew within seconds what the ad was for. Was it that obvious, or am I just more of an MS fanboy than I thought? Too bad I'm not in their target audience.

I assume you meant "form lines", but you just gave me this mental image of some MS fanboy snorting a line of cocaine in anticipation of Vista. lulz.

Locust85 said,
I assume you meant "form lines", but you just gave me this mental image of some MS fanboy snorting a line of cocaine in anticipation of Vista. lulz.

Well, you'd have to be on drugs if you are willing to fork out $400 for this POS right now. Many of us are waiting for the $100 non-embedded DRM version that includes everything MS originally promised, plus has a consumer/business friendly EULA... and is safe/stable (at least SP2).

lbmouse said,

Well, you'd have to be on drugs if you are willing to fork out $400 for this POS right now. Many of us are waiting for the $100 non-embedded DRM version that includes everything MS originally promised, plus has a consumer/business friendly EULA... and is safe/stable (at least SP2).

Cry me a friggin river. You absolutely do NOT need Vista Ultimate and neither do most consumers. Get Premium. Get the upgrade version, it's far cheaper. Or get an OEM version. When you wanna change computers, just call up MS. Or get smarter and go to college and get an academic discounted version. There are many ways of getting around paying $400. The problem with you people is that's all you look at. And at $400 it's still cheaper than paying for a Mac OS every year for 5 years.

And to the guy who said Vista would only sell in premade machines...yeah...that's why MS isn't going to ever die out like you probably want it to. People who build their own machines are in the vast minority.

-Spenser

stifler6478 said,

Cry me a friggin river. You absolutely do NOT need Vista Ultimate and neither do most consumers. Get Premium. Get the upgrade version, it's far cheaper. Or get an OEM version. When you wanna change computers, just call up MS. Or get smarter and go to college and get an academic discounted version. There are many ways of getting around paying $400. The problem with you people is that's all you look at. And at $400 it's still cheaper than paying for a Mac OS every year for 5 years.

And to the guy who said Vista would only sell in premade machines...yeah...that's why MS isn't going to ever die out like you probably want it to. People who build their own machines are in the vast minority.

-Spenser

you do realise that dell will officialy start offering red hat preinstalled on their machines soon ? they already do it unofficially and more so in chine , so your argument about MS dying out cos of preinstalls is slightly flawed because weather you want to admit it or not linux is advancing on MS more and more and at a fast pace who knows it could even kill MS specially if ms start charging more and more for their product , and specially when linux will probably always stay free , you seem to be also taking peoples own opinions quite personally which is rather amusing

Too bad only computer savvy people will want Linux in their box. I go to a pretty nerdy school, but even here, I only know a handful of people that run Linux on a daily basis.

SomeAzn said,
Too bad only computer savvy people will want Linux in their box. I go to a pretty nerdy school, but even here, I only know a handful of people that run Linux on a daily basis.

My entire family (including a 6 yo daughter and 65 yo father) runs Linux. There are only a handful in the family that are 'computer savvy'. You need to find a new school or at least a better distro.

Fubar said,
you do realise that dell will officialy start offering red hat preinstalled on their machines soon ? they already do it unofficially and more so in chine , so your argument about MS dying out cos of preinstalls is slightly flawed because weather you want to admit it or not linux is advancing on MS more and more and at a fast pace who knows it could even kill MS specially if ms start charging more and more for their product , and specially when linux will probably always stay free , you seem to be also taking peoples own opinions quite personally which is rather amusing :)

Yeah. Right. And the majority of the consumers in the market are going to choose Linux over Windows. You make me laugh. They're going to go with what they're familiar with, and that has been, and for the time being, will be windows. Linux is hanging on because it's good in a server-side environment, not because it's great for personal use.

You've got to rethink your logic if you think Linux or anyone else is going to magically overtake MS in this market. If it ever happens, it's not going to be for a long while. They are not advancing at a fast pace. Keep dreaming buddy.

Heck, considering 100 million copies of XP were deemed pirated after WGA was released (with only 2 million false alarms), it would seem like people are more interested in getting XP for free even though it's not even legal. And that's not to mention the 400 million that were legal copies. Linux has quite a ways to go.

-Spenser

stifler6478 said,
[

Cry me a friggin river. You absolutely do NOT need Vista Ultimate and neither do most consumers. Get Premium. Get the upgrade version, it's far cheaper. Or get an OEM version. When you wanna change computers, just call up MS. Or get smarter and go to college and get an academic discounted version. There are many ways of getting around paying $400. The problem with you people is that's all you look at. And at $400 it's still cheaper than paying for a Mac OS every year for 5 years.

-Spenser

Yes, I may not NEED Ultimate, but is it wrong to be irritated and resentful with the whole model of being sold a deliberately-crippled system?

They didn't sell people a cut-down version of 95, 98, or 2000 and dangle upsells.

And at the end of the day, there's one huge problem with Vista as a product. It's an OS. A product which, by its very nature, is supposed to sit quietly, work properly, and behave itself. It's not supposed to be hugely interesting, especially to the general public. So they have to add all sorts of artificial interest to it so they can justify charging $400.

I'd have been much happier had they acknowledged this, and instead of making a whiz-bang Vista, made an XP.1 which fixed remaining bugs, tightened stuff up, and sold for $100 in reflection of its uninteresting status.

Leesmithg is right. Instead of gouging people with ridiculous prices, why not cut the advertising since the web has been yakking about it for months anyway (free advertising) and then cut the price of the OS.

Because the people they are advertising too arent the ones reading about this on the web at sites like neowin? Infact they are likely the users that found out what vista actually is in the last 7 days due to the fact they dont follow software developments.

Easy way for M$ to sell their product easier and with less revenue spent on advertisements.

Sell it cheaper, at least 50% cheaper.

This way, some will buy it and use it, others like myself will buy it and when next xmas comes will present their daughter with a hand built PC with windows vista on it rather than xp pro sp2.

There are vista ads in every newspaper here, and a lot of news items about it too. Vista is everywhere!!! Most stores are advertising it too. Sadly, they aren't advertising office that much

Why not spend that $500 million to develop a better OS that offers something truly innovative rather than a bright and shiny new GUI.

Thats what I was going to say. Yes, Vista has some under-the-hood upgrades from XP. However, I would have liked it if MS had used some, if not all, of that 500 million they are using for advertising to get the WinFX and WinFS stuff to work.

WinFX is .NET 3.0, WPF, WCF, etc. Formerly known as Avalon, Indigo, etc.

Those all work fine, even on XP.

WinFS simply wasn't meant to be. Instead, it was chopped up, and its individual technologies will improve SQL Server, the Indexer, searching in general, etc.

Besides. One of the problems with Vista may have been that they put too many people on....More money might not help.

Why not spend that $500 million to develop a better OS that offers something truly innovative rather than a bright and shiny new GUI.

Excellent insight! Guess the answer might be since the product won't stand on it's own merits (especially at the current price point), MS is forced to launch a lame marketing juggernaut.

I love the lack of knowledge about marketing in some of these comments. If you want to sell your product, you need marketing. You can have the best OS in the world, but you aren't going to make any money on it unless people actually know about it. Besides, $500 million is just a drop in the bucket compared to how much money has been spent on Vista. Finally, you are making the assumption that more money = more features which is not true. Do you seriously think that $500 million would have completely changed the OS from what it is today, you are sorely naive.

spacer said,
Thats what I was going to say. Yes, Vista has some under-the-hood upgrades from XP. However, I would have liked it if MS had used some, if not all, of that 500 million they are using for advertising to get the WinFX and WinFS stuff to work.

WinFX is in there. WinFS... Do you even know what it was for? It was basically a database file system, which only a server will need. It'll be in Longhorn server.

GreyWolfSC said,

WinFX is in there. WinFS... Do you even know what it was for? It was basically a database file system, which only a server will need. It'll be in Longhorn server.

Not really. It was more or less an SQL Database that sat on top of NTFS (WinFS in and of itself was NOT a file system. FS stood for 'Future Storage', not 'File System')

In essence, the same functionality is achieved with the indexer. WinFS is gone, and though we may see some or all of its technologies and functionality in other software, it's not coming back. There are more advanced indexing services in Longhorn Server, for example, the ability to serve up its index to network clients, but it's not WinFS.

you could do indexing decades ago.

the thing that made winfs interesting is how it handled meta-data as self-describing.

as a non-business user i do actually care about this very much and think it would be important if they can get it through the pipes.

"Today, you're more likely to see that sort of excitement over a cell phone." - meaning an iPhone. However, unlike Windows 95, the iPhone offers NOTHING new.

Bleh. Microsoft's marketing department deserves to be shot. I can't stand the slogans they have been coming up with. "Join the Social" and "The Wow! starts now!" Both of which are horrible and hardly make sense and now I will have to see more Wow! =/! How much Wow! does the consumer need?!

Yeah... why does Apple (a much smaller company) have a bigger media presence than Microsoft. It's not money, because Microsoft has that, and it's not adverting-skill as skill can be purchased...

I want to see a parady of the "I'm a Mac" adverts. That'd shut Apple up.

mrmckeb said,
Yeah... why does Apple (a much smaller company) have a bigger media presence than Microsoft. It's not money, because Microsoft has that, and it's not adverting-skill as skill can be purchased...

I want to see a parady of the "I'm a Mac" adverts. That'd shut Apple up.


Microsoft wouldn't do that. It's not their style. They wouldn't "stoop that low."

mrmckeb said,
Yeah... why does Apple (a much smaller company) have a bigger media presence than Microsoft. It's not money, because Microsoft has that, and it's not adverting-skill as skill can be purchased...

I want to see a parady of the "I'm a Mac" adverts. That'd shut Apple up.

9/10 of the computers on this planet run windows...


There is no need to advertise, since everyone knows what windows is, and because windows dominates the computer market

there was one on bravo channel last night , they really should fire the advertising guys cos the advert sucked , was worse than the xp ad all them years ago

Note that these marketing dollars aren't being spent to convince you to buy Vista. If you buy a PC, you won't have a choice.

These marketing dollars are being spent to FIGHT APPLE since the logical thing for most PC users today is to buy a new computer when moving to Vista (thanks to some radically stupid decisions by MS these past five years).

So if end-users are going to consider buying a new computer, there is a VERY good chance someone (namely, Apple with their inaccurate but very effective ads) is going to mention the possibility of buying a Mac.

And, let's be clear, we all know that unless someone is a heavy PC game player, or a business Office user, there really isn't any "Vista" reason to stay with Microsoft anymore.

There's too much pain (re: viruses, spyware, adware) and no gain.

This whole ad campaign is in response to Apple. Period.

I'm not really sure which ads I'd glare at:

a glorified family having the time of their life in front on an inanimate object, or watching Sarcastic Fanboy Wars 2.0 on TV.

excalpius said,
Note that these marketing dollars aren't being spent to convince you to buy Vista. If you buy a PC, you won't have a choice.

These marketing dollars are being spent to FIGHT APPLE since the logical thing for most PC users today is to buy a new computer when moving to Vista (thanks to some radically stupid decisions by MS these past five years).

So if end-users are going to consider buying a new computer, there is a VERY good chance someone (namely, Apple with their inaccurate but very effective ads) is going to mention the possibility of buying a Mac.

And, let's be clear, we all know that unless someone is a heavy PC game player, or a business Office user, there really isn't any "Vista" reason to stay with Microsoft anymore.

There's too much pain (re: viruses, spyware, adware) and no gain.

This whole ad campaign is in response to Apple. Period.


Not just Apple, but Linux, as well.