Over the past nine months, Microsoft has been collecting up Windows fans in the millions. There are now 5 million Windows 10 testers, just weeks ahead of the global launch on July 29th. That’s an impressive number of guinea pigs testing an operating system during its early phase of life, and Microsoft wants to say thank you. The software maker is kicking off its marketing efforts today for Windows 10, and it’s putting Windows fans at the center.
"We wanted to really focus on the fans of Windows," says Yusuf Mehdi, who heads up Microsoft’s Windows and devices marketing efforts. Mehdi used to oversee Xbox marketing, and it’s clear he’s taking some inspiration from Microsoft's Xbox fan celebrations and applying that to Windows. Instead of a flashy giant launch party in a single city that Microsoft usually opts for with Windows launches, the company is going to hold events in 13 cities around the world. Windows fans in Sydney, Tokyo, Singapore, Beijing, New Delhi, Dubai, Nairobi, Berlin, Johannesburg, Madrid, London, São Paulo, and New York City will all be able to attend to meet members of the Windows team and get hands-on opportunities with Windows 10.
Microsoft's TV campaign will focus on Windows 10 fans
Ahead of the launch, Microsoft is also kicking off its TV campaign next Monday. The TV spot "is really all about celebrating a new era of Windows and Windows fans," explains Mehdi, in an interview with The Verge. "It’s going to really focus on what life can be like if you grow up in a world of Windows 10." That growing up will include features like Windows Hello for signing in with just your eyes, and Microsoft’s new Edge browser. Part of the TV commercial will include "a more human way to do" tagline, Microsoft’s fluffy marketing speak for a more personal Windows. Microsoft will also be donating to organizations over the year as part of an "upgrade your world" campaign, with 10 global non-profits around the world and 100 local non-profits set to share a total of $10 million in cash investments.
While Windows 10 launches on July 29th, not everyone will be able to upgrade that day. Windows 10 testers will receive the bits at launch, but everyone else might have to wait as Microsoft gradually rolls it out to other machines starting on the 29th. Microsoft has created a queue system, and some will be able to get priority for the upgrade. If you buy a new computer on the 29th or later "it’s going to get priority for the upgrade," explains Mehdi. "You’ll get to jump to the top of the queue." The queue system is an essential part of Microsoft's overall goal with its Windows 10 marketing: get the new OS on 1 billion devices within three years.
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