By Ian Sherr and Suzanne Vranica
Microsoft Corp. plans this weekend to start the marketing blitz for Windows 8, the software company’s dramatic overhaul of its flagship product to catch up to the rise of mobile devices such as Apple Inc.’s iPad.
According to people briefed on the marketing efforts, Microsoft’s ads beginning this weekend will coincide with pre-orders of some computers and tablet devices powered by Windows 8. Those devices are slated to go on sale widely on Oct. 26.
It’s no small push. People with knowledge of the marketing efforts said Microsoft and its hardware allies will have blankets of ads with a cumulative price tag of hundreds of millions of dollars.
A Microsoft spokeswoman declined to comment.
The stakes are the highest in years for any launch of Windows, which powers roughly nine out of every 10 computers in the world. This is the first time Microsoft’s mainstream PC operating system comes with an entirely new interface that can work with a touchscreen as well as traditional keyboards and mice.
Microsoft officials and its computer-making allies have said they need to generate enthusiasm among consumers about Windows 8’s touch-friendly features, as well as explaining the benefits of devices in new sizes and configurations.
(Published October 11, 2012, in The Wall Street Journal.)