Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) is about two weeks away from releasing the new Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 operating systems and the Surface tablet onto store shelves, which means it is crunch time to start the marketing process to try to generate buzz and attention to these new services, software and devices.
For Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), this is an important product launch on several levels, all surrounding the fact that Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) has not had a viable mobile operating system for either tablets or smartphones while those markets have exploded in popularity over the last several years. With the Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS and the Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android operating system taking on dominant positions in the marketplace, this might be the last opportunity for Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) to introduce an alternative OS for smartphones before loyalty sets in.
And it seems that Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) understands the importance of this, because there is a report out that says the company is spending up to $1.8 billion on a massive marketing campaign starting this weekend to promote Windows and the Surface tablet to promote sales in time for the holiday shopping season. It is possible that Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) may take such measures to promote the new OS simply because of the dramatic changes in features and layout from recent Windows versions like 7 and Vista. When there are such big changes, the company may have to pay a lot of attention to consumers and enterprise customers to help them feel more comfortable about this new technology.
If you are an investor in Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) stock – like billionaire fund manager David Einhorn of Greenlight Capital – what would be your expectation if you knew the company was spending nearly $2 billion on marketing? What number would make Windows 8 and the Surface a success?