Ballmer: Vista needs a bigger marketing budget

Ballmer: Vista needs a bigger marketing budget

Summary: Microsoft's chief executive claims more money must be spent on marketing to boost sales of Windows Vista

TOPICS: Tech Industry

Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer believes the software giant needs to spend more on marketing in order to sell more copies of Vista, and has hinted that a sizeable increase in its marketing budget is on the horizon.

It has been estimated that over $500m (£250m) has been spent on marketing Vista since its release.

Speaking at a Microsoft strategic update conference in the US on Monday, Ballmer told attendees that the company will have to begin re-engaging consumers in the face of renewed competition.

"We're going to have to invest more than we ever have in consumer excitement," said Ballmer.

The Microsoft chief executive told attendees to expect more to be done to "highlight Windows", and said the task will "require more investment".

According to Ballmer, Windows is the company's biggest growth opportunity, which could, according to an analyst, be because large companies still prefer XP to Vista.

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Matthew Oostveen, software analyst at research firm IDC, said that Ballmer's announcement does not come as a great surprise given "the public's reception to Windows Vista was lukewarm at best".

"While the year of Linux on the desktop never eventuated, threats to Microsoft's desktop dominance came from the surge in Apple, which was buoyed by its iPod sales," said Ootsven.

Microsoft's Ballmer also hinted at progress on Vista's successor — Windows 7 — but would not discuss any details at the conference, saying: "I'm not really going to talk about that now, but we're very hard at work on the next version and I'm enthused about what we're doing."

CNET's Ina Fried contributed to this report.

Topic: Tech Industry

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  • Vista needs a louder trumpet

    Fine, if all Microsoft has are trumpets. In his interview he said that Vista was doing exceedingly well in consumer markets and that it was hard to find a PC that didn't have Vista installed.
    That's what monopoply power can exert. I could tell him also that it's impossible to buy a laptop without Vista. We used to rail at the Soviet Union for their "you are free to choose any car you like as long as it's a Lada".
    That's the state of choice and freedom as it exists today where we are free to choose any PC we like as long as it has Vista installed.
  • What Vista needs is a REASON to upgrade, not more Hype

    What Vista really needs is ONE good reason for people to upgrade. It needs to be faster (it's not), more stable (it's not), or support some new hardware, peripheral or program (it does not), or at least support the same peripherals that XP does (it does not). In fact, I have just listed four good reasons NOT to upgrade to Vista, and those are all based only on my own experience with it!

    What it doesn't need is more empty hype. But, if that's the only gun you've got, then I guess you have to shoot it.
  • More Ballmer bullshit please

    Introducing the Ford Cortina Vista edition, the latest and greatest from Microsoft.
  • More marketing dollars needed

    "We're going to have to invest more than we ever have in consumer excitement," said Ballmer.

    That would be because the product itself is generating inverse excitement- many folks are doing their best to avoid Vista.

    So use the pure propaganda approach.

    Here is a wild thought for the future- make a product people like and want?
  • What a waste of money

    At least Bill Gates spends his money on worthy causes.
    The thing is, if you produce a rubbish product you will get rubbish returns on investment. Microsoft has come out with some classic duffers in their time but Vista has got to be the worst.

    Rather than throw millions more at the Ad-men, why not spend it on the product before it's release and get it right. I know its too much to hope for.

    Too late for Vista, the damage is done, so what of Windows 7, I fear that if this is to be released early it will be a reincarnation of Vista with a new front end/desktop and name, with some of the glitches and bugs fixed, but by then maybe the compatability gremlin and the Drivers fairy will be on board as well, so the system has a chance of working out of the box.

    Maybe they could try spending the money towards a Green System, where they produce a system which doesn't require vast swathes of hardware and software to be scrapped just to be able to use the operating system.
  • What Vista needs is to be substantially better than XP

    ( The Microsoft chief executive told attendees to expect more to be done to "highlight Windows", and said the task will "require more investment". )

    Steve Ballmer is amazing, how could vista possibly need anymore publicity? already any person wishing to buy a new PC can't escape it, its been reviewed by every tech magazine, TV show, Blog etc.. what did all these people miss that Steve now wishes to 'highlight'?

    If businesses are reluctant to upgrade, could it be that they don't see much benefit in doing so? Could it be what most independent observers have been saying all along, that Vista isn't much better than XP?

    Why not spend that money on making Vista Faster, solve the compatibility issues and other improvements. maybe cut the price too!
  • consumer excitement.....

    One would think that a company, being in business over 25 years, would learn to produce what the consumer wants. Oh no, they try to re-invent the the operating system and force the customer to upgrade. Mark this down to incompetence, arrogance, or ignorance. The only companies that are glad for VISTA are MAC, SUN, NOVELL, and all the Linux distros.