Microsoft to spend $500 million on Windows Phone 7 marketing

Prepare for promo blitz

Microsoft to spend $500 million on Windows Phone 7 marketing
Any suspicion that Microsoft's re-entry into the smartphone market is going to be a tame affair has been kicked into touch with the news the launch is set to be backed up by a $500 million marketing spend.

That's according to post made reporter Kim-Mai Cutler on TechCrunch which claims Microsoft is willing to spend as much as it needs to in order to get back in the game with iPhone and Android.

Targeting millions with millions

As part of its big bucks strategy, Cutler estimates $400 million will be spent on pushing Windows Phone 7 in various territories around the globe in its first year.

Other sources put the figure even higher, with half a billion devoted to marketing at launch, and a further $500 million set aside to subsidise the development costs of the platform's handset manufacturers.

"This is make-or-break for them. They need to do whatever it takes to stay in the game," Jonathan Goldberg, a telecommunications analyst at Deutsche Bank, tells the site.

"It's still wide open. They don't have to take share from Android or Apple, so long as they can attract enough consumers switching from feature phones."

Tough at the top

Goldberg claims company executives have already confirmed Microsoft – along with its partners – is prepared to spend billions of dollars in total during Windows Phone 7's first year, with the firm aiming to shift 30 million units by the end of 2011.

The costs go far beyond marketing, however. Microsoft is also paying for developers to have their titles on board at launch, with 63 games set to make the cut on day one as a result.

Xbox marks the target

While both Apple and Google already have comparatively stable development ecosystems – studios working on both platforms by choice – Microsoft's attempt to win over the mobile development scene with its cheque book has been compared to its Xbox assault eight years previous.

At the time Microsoft launched its first console, both Sony and Nintendo were well established players.

Next up for Windows Phone 7 will be the revelation of carrier agreements around the globe, any launch schedule or pricing structure still firmly under wraps.

[source: TechCrunch]

With a fine eye for detail, Keith Andrew is fuelled by strong coffee, Kylie Minogue and the shapely curve of a san serif font.