Fresh details of Microsoft’s massive new advertising campaign are coming forth, and there is an important form factor that is set to be left out: the tablet. Yes, it appears that Microsoft has completely tossed in the towel on Windows 7 slates.
Is this a retreat? Not as much as you might think. As Windows 7 is not designed for touch in any more than a cosmetic sense, to push it on a form factor that it is hardly suited for would be at best quixotic. At worse, it could be harmful to the company’s future tablet projects.
And those projects are coming on fast. In short order, expected in little more than a year from now, Microsoft will likely have unleashed Windows 8, and a slew of new tablet hardware on the world. At that point, the Windows 7 issues are over. So the company can afford to let touch slide, this year and for the last time, as it has plans for 2012.
That does cede the market to Apple and Google (ha) for now, but what else can Redmond do? Push poorly developed Windows 7 tablets and hope for a miracle? That is hardly a winning strategy.
Instead, Microsoft is focusing on two main goals with its ad campaign: selling more Windows 7 licences, and upselling people to Office 2010. This is not a surprise. Both products have been well received by the larger technology community and generate high profit margins for their creator. In fact, Microsoft claims that it wants to sell several hundred million more copies of Windows 7. And that in the one year before Windows 8.
Two demographics are being targeted: ‘home honchos,’ adults who use technology for ‘personal organization,’ and ‘media moderates,’ also adults, who use their computers for entertainment. If you are either of those, and I bet you are, expect some tailored ads to pester you between now and the end of the year to pick up a new Windows 7 machine.