History & Marketing Strategies of Microsoft Windows

From server computers to personal computers, mobile devices to video gaming consoles, Microsoft Windows have been exploring extensive platforms. While Windows 10 has been the latest version to be used in personal computers, smartphones, tablets as well as embedded devices, Server Computers use Windows Server 2019. Xbox One’s 8th generation version makes use of Xbox OS which is a Windows-based system. 

Company Name – Windows
Founder – Bill Gates 

From the developing support of Microsoft, Windows or Microsoft Windows with 138 language support is graphical operating system group marketed mainly for personal computing.

Windows Embedded and Windows NT are part of Active Windows such as Windows Server and Windows CE while Defunct Windows comprise of Windows Mobile, Windows Phone and Windows 9X. Satya Nadella is the current CEO of Microsoft Windows. 

How It All Started 

It was 1981 when Microsoft started building the foundation of Windows with a program named Interface Manager and in November of 1983, “Windows” got its name. Two years later, Windows released its first version 1.0 as the extension of MS-DOS and the shell was known as MS-DOS Executive which consisted of Control Panel, Calendar, Calculator, Clipboard Viewer, Cardlife, Paint, Terminal, Notepad, Clock etc. 

In 1987, Windows 2.0 was released before version 2.03 changed OS into overlapping windows rather than tiled windows. In Windows/286 and 386 versions, the Windows 2.1 came to the market and it was built for multi-tasking various DOS programs. 

 

Launching 

It was 1990 when Windows 3.0 was launched with improved design, VxDs and virtual memory for sharing arbitrary devices within multitasked DOS applications in protected mode. In 1992, Windows 3.1 with facelift and in 1993 Version 3.11 was released for workgroups. Windows 3.2 was released with only Chinese version in 1994 but was sold soon after. 

In the following year, Windows 95 for 32-bit apps, preemptive multitasking and long file names was released before going through redesigning and coming up with Windows Explorer, Taskbar and Start Menu. In 1998, Windows 98 and in 1999, Windows 98 Second Edition came to market with integration for Driver Model, USB composite device, Internet Explorer 4, hibernation and more. As last DOS-based Windows versions, in 2000, Windows Millennium Edition was launched with enhanced visual interface. 

From 1993 to 1996, Windows NT 3.1, 3.5, 3.51 AND 4.0 were launched respectively followed by Windows 2000 in 2000. To unify consumer-oriented 9X series, on 25th October in 2001, Windows XP was released and after lengthy development, on 30th November in 2007, Windows Vista was launched. Windows 7, one of the most popular versions till date and Windows Server 20008 R2 came to market in 2009. Metro-design language and optimization for touchscreen devices made way for Windows 8 and 8.1 in 2012 and finally on 30th September in 2014, Windows 10 was launched. 

 

Windows’s marketing strategy and reasons behind its success

  • As the most competitive advantage of marketing against Apple, Microsoft has made Windows compatible with any PC, laptop or mobile device without any hardware binding unlike the Apple operating system that only works on Apple devices
  • The product line of Windows is designed to suit the requirement of all customers and is easily available to users while being affordable, thanks to well-determined TCO by Microsoft. 
  • Exclusive showrooms and various e-commerce websites help in spreading the product distribution of Windows. Besides, Microsoft has created the Insider Program where millions of developers and techies from across the globe can get technical training free of cost. Amsterdam, London, Hong Kong, Sydney and Washington D.C are primarily selected cities where Microsoft Ignite will take place to enlighten visitors about Windows 10 evolution and more. 

 

Windows’s Campaigns 

In the Windows 1.0 advertisement, then CEO of Microsoft, Steve Ballmer was seen being too much excited about the clock. It was 1995, when the “Start Me Up” campaign was started for Windows 95 where the Rolling Stones used their music by giving license to Windows. 

 “Where Do You Want To Go Today?” advertising campaign in 1996 for Windows 95/98 was a mishmash of the software compatible with Windows and although utilitarian, the advertisement was a huge success as it used all the nostalgic factors in it namely the paperclip Clippy, pixelated graphics, Encarta and puzzle software. 

With the introduction of the “Ms. Dewey” campaign for Windows Live Search in 2006, a sensuous librarian was seen hosting a flash-animated website and whenever there was a query from any viewer, she would give sassy replies. In the same year, McCann World group was hired for campaigning for Windows Vista with the tagline “The ‘Wow’ Starts Now” which was a subtle advertising to create hype about Vista by comparing its launch with milestones like moon landing. The “Clearification” was another Vista campaign where webisodes were launched by Demetri Martin, a comedian. 

 The year 2008 was an icebreaking milestone for Windows when Bill Gates and Jerry Seinfeld came together in an advertisement to show a plethora of Windows products among which Windows 7 was significant. Windows 7 campaign of “I’m a PC” was undoubtedly the most engaging series where in every advertisement, the famous Microsoft employee Sean Siler showed how every PC owners behave like a nerd and how everyone including athletes and celebrities is a PC. 

The countdown to Windows 8 launch became one of the most viewed video on the YouTube page of Microsoft and on 25th October in 2012, on one of the largest Start Screen at Times square, the Windows 8 launching took over more than 39 digital boards while also offering hands-on experiences for the visitors. Dubbed as Windows’ “open and inclusive spirit”, the Windows 8 campaign was spread across televisions, print media, and sponsorships for events like MTV European Music Awards, UEFA Champions League and La Voz as well as online sources. Music was taken from upcoming artists to depict a journey of rediscovering.    

Windows 10 campaign with the theme of delivering more human method to do went on air on 19th July in 2015 in US, UK, Australia, Japan, Germany and France. The advertisements emphasized on how the new generation would be dependent on technologies namely touch screens, voice recognition, digital pens supported by Windows 10. 

 

Conclusion 

From server computers to personal computers, mobile devices to video gaming consoles, Microsoft Windows have been exploring extensive platforms. While Windows 10 has been the latest version to be used in personal computers, smartphones, tablets as well as embedded devices, Server Computers use Windows Server 2019. Xbox One’s 8th generation version makes use of Xbox OS which is a Windows-based system. 

What started as unsupported version 1.0 in the end of 1985 for MS-DOS, soon overtook Mac OS which made Apple call Microsoft Windows’ venture against GUI as unfair encroachment. Although Windows settled the issue with flying colors by being the most popular operating system for PCs, it lost popularity on Smartphone due to ever-growing sale of Android mobiles.

 

 

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