April 17, 2005 9:50 PM PDT

Microsoft plans massive Windows ad campaign

Even though Windows XP has been on the market for more than three years, Microsoft is hoping a new advertising campaign will "start something" when it comes to enthusiasm for the operating system.

The campaign, which will last for 15 months, is designed to showcase all the things Windows can do. At the same time, the company is gearing up to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Windows' debut.

"As we enter the third decade of Windows, the 'Start Something' campaign celebrates how people can follow their dreams and pursue what they are passionate about--from creating an in-home music studio to starting a new business or becoming the family photographer," Senior Vice President Will Poole said in a statement late Sunday.

The campaign, which will launch in 11 countries with online, print and television ads, will try to play up Windows as the start to many things. The ads will have messages like "Start something curious," "Start discovering lost cities" and "Start feeding your brain." In all, Microsoft said there are 51 TV spots, 39 print ads and 250 online advertisements.

The new campaign harks back 10 years to the high-profile, worldwide launch of Windows 95, which used the Rolling Stones song "Start me up" as its theme.

Given its time frame, the "Start Something" campaign will serve as a run-up to the debut of Longhorn, the next version of Windows, which is set to go on sale by next year's holiday shopping season. Jim Allchin, the head of the Windows unit, said in an interview last week to expect a massive ad push for Longhorn as well.

A beta, or test version, of Longhorn is slated for this summer. Developers will get an updated preview version of Longhorn at next week's Windows Hardware Engineering Conference (WinHEC) in Seattle.

The new ad campaign also comes as rival Apple Computer prepares to launch its next operating system--Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger--which goes on sale April 29.


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Celebrating 20 years of copying, stealing, and buying out other ideas; stronghanded tactics, illegal monopoly, countless lawsuits due to unethical/illegal behavior,more viruses and bugs then probably every other OS COMBINED.

Posted by pcLoadLetter (395 comments )
Reply Link Flag
uh huh
no doubt they have more bugs than every other OS combined. Now, moron, lets take into account they have an installed base great than 10x every other OS combined. You could have made an arguement, but instead you put a kick me sticker on your forehead.
Posted by mortis9 (370 comments )
Link Flag
Yipee indeed.
Most those of us, who have been home computer users since before Windows came along, probably do have reason to celebrate.

Personally, prior to Windows, I could get stuff done with DOS, but nowhere near as much, nowhere near as easily.

BUT - why talk about the last 20 years & compare Windows with "other" OS's ? For most of the 20 years DOS was the OS & Windows was an application that sat on top of THAT OS - DOH !

I'd also point out that M$ didn't actually write the viruses. SO if you don't like viruses, perhaps you should blame someone else.

Bugs - if you'd ever written any complex software, you would know that trying to write just a few thousand lines of code bug-free is impossible. So, to deliver software that contains more functionality than many OS's, there WILL be (more) bugs, BFD. (Although, as a design note, perhaps M$ might learn something from that & (as they appear they MAY be doing) break down the OS into separate macro components, to reduce code-level complexity).

As for the rest of the things you mentioned "copying, stealing, and buying out other ideas; stronghanded tactics, illegal monopoly, countless lawsuits due to unethical/illegal behavior" - that's just normal operating procedure for American industry, isn't it - ever heard of Enron, Worldcom, Martha Stewart, etc.
Posted by (409 comments )
Link Flag
A MS Snow Job....
Sure, WIndows definitely needs an ad push. It's been taking such
a beating in the press that even Ol' Bill might be ready to
confess he made mistakes. And I suppose there is a need to try
to establish Windows credibility as a basis for selling Longhorn/
Shorthorn/Airhorn/whatever when it finally does manage to get
released (in one form or another).

So let MS have their day while it lasts. It just eats up MS dollars
that could better be used elsewhere..
Posted by Earl Benser (4310 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Start FUDing
Start Something.....

-More viruses then ever before!

-More patches to break your system then even before!

-More IE vulnerabilities then ever before!

-More vulnerabilities from the most bizarre places then even before. (Word pad for god sake!! Word pad!)

-More anti-competitive behavior!

-More nagging from the OS to do this or that (I will reboot my god damn system when I feel good and ready and stop bugging me every 5 freaking minutes you stupid OS and stop telling me to make a freaking .NET account. I don't want one. I don't need one. Leave me along you stupid POS.)

-More apps you have to buy to secure your system. You thought all you needed to start your computing experience was just Windows right? Not so. Gotta get yourself AV software. That'll set you back about $50 + subscriptions. Then you need and actually firewall that isn't a POS. (Hmm should I spend another 2 paragraphs documenting the numerous occasions where MS's built in firewall has FUBARed several of my relative's PC? In terms of connection setups. Naaa.)

The only thing being started is the MS FUD machine. I use Windows because its the most widely used OS out there, plays well with other windows systems, and has one of the most robust lists of applications out there but I'm not going to ignore the fact that MS full of **** when it comes to what Windows is. XP needs so much babying its beyond insane. Ive pissed off a number of neighbors, relatives, and coworkers because starting this year I told them I will no longer help them with their PC woes. Go hire the geek squad. Its amazing how much ******** moaning and complaining Ive heard. You know what keeps MS going? What keeps them afloat? The generosity of geeks. People willing to fix the great masses of the worlds computers for free or for a plate of cookies or some other cheap crap. We are the ones that have been supporting MS for free. I liken it to a crack habit. Well guess what. Im done pimping MS for free and trust me everyone Ive kept addicted to MS is now going to withdrawal symptoms. I expect the vast majority will get a Mac Mini down the road if for no other reason then its costing them an arm and a leg to get support for their computer now.
If the rest of the people out there would do the same or charge an arm or a leg for support you would see Windows for the average consumer tank big time. (Enterprise is here for the long haul. Its just NOT going anywhere.)
This start something campaign is BS. It doesnt change the fact that we the geeks of the world keep MS afloat to a certain extent and as soon as we realize we arent doing the market any favors by continuing to propagate this crap the better.
Posted by Jonathan (832 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Take it easy
Look on the other side, if they were making usable, bugfree software I'd lose my job... (sure I use linux but I repair windows for a living)

Many people would lose their jobs if Windows would be all that is advertised.

That's my 2 cents on the matter so now off to figure out why this wireless card doesn't work with SP2.....
Posted by (92 comments )
Link Flag
Einstein's Philosophy At Work!
At the world reflects on the works of the foremost scientist of the modern era - Albert Einstein, one sees yet another possibility of "mass attracting mass" if the proposed Microsoft's marketing strategies achieving the intended success and can be placed within the context of Einstein's theory which states that "mass attracts mass... it's what makes gas and dust form stars and debris form planets.

This said, I believe this campaign is the pre-launch for "Longhorn/Shorthorn/Airhorn/whatever... when it finally does manage to get released". Lest we forget what is Einstein's relative world: "matter "warps" the time and space around it. So, the sun's mass dents and distorts the space-time fabric, curving the planet's trajectory". Is it OS/2 Warp or Windows?... where are the "IBM's" half of the original operating system Source-Codes and more application functionalities that are needed to get some tasks at hand completed? Wake up and starting thinking outside the "Box"!!!

Posted by (187 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Who's Theory?
Mass attracts mass, better known as universal gravitation, was discovered by Isaac Newton long before Einstein was born. Einstein, by the way, always hated when people tried to apply his PHYSICS theories to social phenomena where any percieved connection is purely coincidental.
Posted by Michael Grogan (308 comments )
Link Flag
M$ is finally going to school?
M$ is finally breaking down their code into smaller blocks? Gee when I studied programming 15 years ago one of the first things I learned about standard programming practices was to write sub-routines for everything action and test every one independently to ensure it was bug free. Another lesson was one entry point and one exit point for every routine and program. If M$ had ever learned either of these simple lessons they would never have written the bug-ridden mess of spaghetti that is Windows today!
Posted by Michael Grogan (308 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Waste of money
Microsoft, please put your marketing money into software security
engineering. No matter how do you advertise it, an operating
system with security holes like a swiss cheese is always going to be
a swiss cheese.
Posted by (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Same Old -hit
Posted by Thomas, David (1947 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Now that's ...
the most intelligent argument a heard all night.
Posted by orfeu_niko (104 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Looking at the bigger picture.....
Foolish enough to still own stock in this incorrigible company ??

You need look no further for a major reason why the share price has flat-lined for the past three years.
Posted by djugan (40 comments )
Reply Link Flag
What everyone wants for Christmas in 2007. Hope this drives the market up for them. Meow.
Posted by sanenazok (3449 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Microsoft ad was made on Macintosh
At <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2005/Apr05/" target="_newWindow">http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2005/Apr05/</a>
04-18StartSomethingPR.asp you can download one of the high-
res image "start something" ads. Open it in Photoshop to see the
metadata and you'll find that the image was created using Adobe
Photoshop CS for Macintosh! Isn't it amazing that Microsoft can't
even use their own tools?
Posted by chabig83 (535 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Most companies do not make their own ads. That is what advertising companies do.
Posted by Andrew J Glina (1673 comments )
Link Flag
Plans? It's already started with this article
Ok so we all know that CNET gets quite a load of $ for these types of artcles. So the ads won't start they'll just intensify. I wouldn't be surprised if Microsoft would start a SPAM campaign telling us that their products are secure, nice, easy, compatible etc. The end justifies the means right? And like it or not Microsoft owns you (*points to the ppl using IE on windows to view this site*).
Posted by (92 comments )
Reply Link Flag

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