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Firm extols the virtues of a Vista upgrade with $300 million campaign

Microsoft strikes back

Microsoft has committed itself to spending $300 million on a new advertising campaign to push the benefits of Windows Vista.

In the face of increasing antipathy from some quarters towards its new operating system, it would seem that the software giant has initiated its fight back. Adverts that feature a tall ship at sea with the slogan “At one point, everyone thought the earth was flat” have been spotted on Microsoft’s homepage. Clicking on the advert leads to a webpage entitled “Windows Vista: Look how far we’ve come”.

Likening Vista sceptics to the religiously narrow-minded, protesting at the concept of progress is consistent with previous Microsoft campaigns – users who remained sceptical about Office 2003 were portrayed as dinosaurs.

The campaign is, however, a new direction for Microsoft and seems to open with an apology: “We know a few of you were disappointed by your early encounter. Printers didn’t work. Games felt sluggish. You told us—loudly at times—that the latest Windows wasn’t always living up to your high expectations for a Microsoft product.”

The site then goes on to list the virtues of Vista, outlines plans for the withdrawal of XP and includes a much-maligned 100 reasons to upgrade.

However, its not just consumers who are sceptical about Vista, much of the business sector is sticking to XP – the new Sony VAIO business range includes full downgrade rights – and US federal agencies have banned the use of Vista citing compatibility problems.

With $300 million behind the project, Microsoft is certainly investing the money in trying to change these views.

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