We knew the Vista launch hype was going to be big, but Ina Fried explains just how big at CNET:
Aiming to re-create the excitement that accompanied the launch of Windows 95, Microsoft is gearing up for a massive campaign to launch Windows Vista.
Chairman Bill Gates has tasked the Windows marketing team with repeating its achievements with the decade-ago launch, such as convincing scores of people to line up at retail stores to purchase the operating system. The marketing budget won’t be finalized until the end of Microsoft’s fiscal year in June, but “regardless of that, we’re still being held to that goal,” said Dave Block, a senior product manager for Vista.
Speaking to a crowd of hardware developers at the Intel Developer Forum here, Block noted that there is a team at the company’s Redmond, Wash., headquarters focused entirely on generating buzz for the OS, planning such things as having a Vista PC make Oprah Winfrey’s influential “favorite things” list.
“Can we get a cool new PC in front of Oprah?” Block asked. “Can we do stuff like that? I think we can.”
More by following the link, but here’s the interesting part. Since Vista comes in so many different flavors, one of the goals is a “50 percent run rate for Windows Vista premium in the first 24 months.” Premium in this context is not specifically Vista Home Premium, but any of the upscale versions of Vista for home or business.
It would be easier to judge the likelihood of all this if we knew the exact pricing (including volume pricing) for the different Vista flavors and the exact hardware requirements for the advanced features like the Aero UI. Just try telling Oprah about all the cheapie machines that either can’t run all the spiffy new UI features or can, but require that the customer fork over some additional loot for an instant upgrade once they get the PC home, out of the box, and connected to the Internet.
In that regard, the article also has some details on the upcoming “Vista-capable” program including this stunner:
… some machines will be able to run Vista and thus be eligible to be sold over the next few months as “Vista-capable.” But because they lack the necessary graphics driver software, they will never be able to be sold pre-loaded with Vista, nor do they qualify for Microsoft’s basic or premium Vista logos.
That ought to build consumer confidence!