Microsoft Betting A Billion It Can Convince You To Try Kinect, Windows Phone 7

Microsoft is dipping into its vault of marketing cash and heading off on a nearly $1 billion shopping spree to promote its two upcoming technical epiphanies, the hands-free Xbox 360 Kinect controller and the iDroidBerry challenger Windows Phone 7.

All Things Digital reports the company is making like Matt Damon in Rounders and going all in on the marketing campaigns, funneling $500 million into Kinect and $400 million on Windows Phone 7.

You can expect Microsoft commercials on Glee and Dancing with the Stars, and the company will take over YouTube’s homepage in addition to throwing a mega Times Square shindig.

Microsoft is wasting its money on you if you’ve already heard of the products and decided either way on whether or not you’re in.

Where do you stand on the new Microsoft offerings, and do you think the sledgehammer ad campaigns will turn you off or intrigue you?

Microsoft’s Billion Dollar Media Bailout Plan [All Things Digital via Joystiq]


Edit Your Comment

  1. grucifer says:

    Looking to finally get into the smartphone market on Nov 3rd (AT&T contract is up then) and am currently looking at the Droid 2, but if this Windows Phone 7 looks any good I maybe interested in picking one up.

    I’d put the chances of that happening, at this point, at 15%.

  2. Mcshonky says:

    MSFT, see ya, wouldn’t want to be ya………

    Late to the party and bringing light beer and fat free snacks..


    Short MSFT.

    • skylar.sutton says:

      Nicely said – I concur, too little too late.

    • eb0nyknight says:

      I felt the same way when playing happily on my PS1 when MS introduced this thing called the “X”box. I was laughing heartily at the impending fail.

      11 years later, couldn’t imagine life without my 360.


  3. LTS! says:

    I’ve never been swayed by advertising and it’s not about to start now.

    • NeverLetMeDown says:

      I’m sure you like to think so.

    • raydee wandered off on a tangent and got lost says:

      I would like to think the same thing, but movie trailers will often have a large impact on whether or not I want to see a particular movie; there are several movies I was interested in seeing, then decided not to after watching the trailer, and several movies I had never heard of that I decided to watch upon seeing the trailer.

  4. NeverLetMeDown says:

    The reviews on Window Phone 7 are, honestly, a lot better than I expected them to be. Looks like Microsoft has produced an OS that’s really competitive. Dunno if they’ll get critical mass on apps, but it’s certainly a credible option.

    As for Kinect, I think the marketing makes sense. I want to be able to try it, to see if I really like it, or if it’s more of a gimmick (Wii controls, for example, aren’t that exciting to me). Having lots of demo booths makes a lot of sense.

    • c_c says:

      Is it really that surprising considering that the Zune HD (which is kindof a predecessor to WP7) was a critical success, and thatWindows 7 is an excellent OS?

  5. minjche says:

    I don’t see any added value from WP7 that would sway me away from an iDroidBerry (I’m a fan of all three).

    Considering the Kin debacle, I’d avoid being a WP7 early adopter like the plague.

  6. savvy9999 says:

    Well, advertising/TV/print/etc execs should be happy some MSFT money is being injected into that sector…

  7. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    If they advertise as much as NBC has been advertising “The Event” you can bet I will never buy the product.

    • Epsilon748 says:

      But The Event is…. decent I guess. It’s not Lost, but it occupies me for an hour. (And since I don’t have cable, it’s pretty much the only thing the TV is on for all week). I wouldn’t be too hurt if I missed it though..

  8. cynical_reincarnation says:

    Im about to get a smartphone. I dont see why I would want to get a windows phone over something thats been out and proven already.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      The Microsoft name isn’t exactly a shining example, either. People are familiar with Microsoft products, and it hasn’t always been a good association. If I were Microsoft, I would have stayed far away from using the “Windows” name on a product that I was dependent upon to break into an already saturated market.

    • Kam K. says:

      I have a Windows phone. I’ve vowed never to buy another phone with Windows on it again. I’m getting an Android phone this week.

  9. ScottFromNY says:

    Had a chance to play with the Kinect in Manhattan. Guess what? It’s pretty lame and not worth the asking price.

    • hoi-polloi says:

      At this point, the majority of the games for the Kinect are a bunch of dance, sport, boarding, and party games. The novelty will soon wear off if that’s what they’re bringing to the table. For many of us, that’s already the case with the Wii. I know the Wii library expanded, but that took some time. Also, controls for many games aren’t really immersive. The Kinect better address both of those issues fast.

      I’ve seen one planned fighting game. I worry that the motions will be dumbed down to make the game accessible. I’m generally fit, but I can’t do a high kick to connect with someone’s head or do a leg sweep. If it’s not immersive and convincing, it’s going to feel really lame. I also wonder how they’re going to pull off action games and shooters. This and the PS3 Move have the potential to turn into into more seldom-used peripherals like my friend’s Sega CD or 32X. (Yes, he bought both new.)

    • MonkeyMonk says:

      Ditto. My experience with Kinect was less than promising. It seems like a lame attempt my Microsoft to chase after the Wii market. Too little, too late. And if they promote the Kinect at the expense of the 360’s core gamers there going to accomplish nothing more than spending half a billion to damage their already damaged brand.

  10. tinmanx says:

    With that much money they should just give them away. Each phone and kinect kit can’t possibly cost them more than a hundred or 2 to make. Take 100 million out for some “minor” advertisement and in under a month there’ll be millions of these things everywhere.

    • Newto-Rah says:

      Unfortunately then you devalue the product itself. People will think of it as “the phone that’s free” and won’t want to spend 400-600$ on one. It’ll be the phone that’s so cheap, they could give it away.

      Would you really want to be seen with one? Especially if you paid for it.

      • tinmanx says:

        Not if you make it into a contest of some sort, run it for a month and let the momentum roll. There’s not much to devalue right now since it’s new and almost everyone already has an iPhone and a Wii, the main thing now is to get people to use it, talk about it and built a following.

        I don’t know anything about marketing, just figure it would be nice to get a free phone. :)

      • Preyfar says:

        That’d why you’d do ’em by events. Small little promotional events, give a few here, few there.

    • Pooterfish says:

      Isn’t that how IE killed Netscape in the browser wars?

      Geez, I’m old enough to remember when you had to pay for a browser.

  11. captadam says:

    I won’t be buying one (just bought an HTC Droid Incredible, and I’m liking it quite a bit), but it’s good to have another option in the marketplace.

  12. Boatski says:

    Kinect? Meh, no thanks. If it were free, I’d use it. Same goes for Windows Phone 7, if it were free I’d try it. There’s no way I’m buying it though.

  13. Pooterfish says:

    They probably could help themselves by naming it something other than “Windows Phone 7.”

    Everything MS does only reinforces the perception that they really are John Hodgman.

  14. PlatoFunFactory says:

    I just googled Kinect and now I’m just confused why MIcrosoft is running a Wii Fit commercial on their website. It seems odd that they’d–wait, what? Oh, never mind.

  15. Joe-TFW says:

    Neither have looked even remotely appealing. Tying the gaming features of Windows Phone 7 to Xbox Live is enough to make me skip it, regardless of how well it runs.

  16. Straspey says:

    “You can expect Microsoft commercials on Glee and Dancing with the Stars…”

    Since I’m a Cablevision subscriber in NY City, I can expect nothing.

    I’m wondering if Microsoft is aware of the 3 million people who are currently blacked out from those stations and who will not see any of their billion-dollar ad campaign ?

  17. pot_roast says:

    Windows Phone 7? Nah. No interest. But the Kinect looks pretty nice and I’m looking forward to trying it. In fact, the Kinect is what I might finally get an xbox 360 for, since the games look a lot better than what we have on the Wii.

  18. lettucefactory says:

    Wait, Windows Phone 7 is what they’re really calling it? I thought that was just the placeholder name. Ouch.

    No amount of advertising will convince me to replace the perfectly functional iPhone I already have, since I’m not made of money. But if I *needed* to buy a new phone because I’d run over the iPhone with my car, I’d consider giving this one a shot.

    Same with Kinect. I have a Wii that works and not a ton of disposable income, why would I buy a Kinect? But if my Wii was melted in a fire and I wanted to use the insurance money to buy a new console, sure, I’d look at Kinect.

    I don’t necessarily think these products will be bad because they’re Microsoft. But it doesn’t really matter if I’ve already bought their equivalents, you know?

  19. Rick says:

    M$ has really never built a piece of software from the ground up, once but it flopped. They have to buy other people great software and ruin it. Even M$ own employees don’t use a WinMo phone, they use either iPhones or android phones.

  20. mandy_Reeves says:

    is it gonna have flash??? If so then sign me the heck up!

  21. Preyfar says:

    Or, for $1,000,000,000… they could give a way a thousand Kinects in each state, invite people out to live performances of the device, see it in action, give people a chance to walk away with one. And they could use those events (at Best Buys, Walmarts, etc.) for advertising, word of mouth, help get the product out there and…

    I mean, Microsoft isn’t paying the $150 per Kinect.That wouldn’t run $15,000,000 (with overhead) and it’d get huge word out, product in hands, demos, performances. And damn. $985,000,000 left to spend on other advertisements.

    Maybe I’m wrong.

    Or maybe they could film a commercial where Seinfeld and Bill Gates are shopping for shoes, and happen to walk into a Gamestop, and…

    • QOTSA says:

      Actually, I worked a promo for xbox kinect. They are already doing those sorts of things. At the time, they had partnered with Justin Bieber (shudder), so they at least have one captive audience.

  22. Moniker says:

    So is it hands free or is it a controller?

  23. Nick says:

    Microsoft provides the most frustrating experience of any product I use. I will never buy anything made by Microsoft.

    • dolemite says:

      Really? You must use some wonky 3rd party programs that aren’t up-to-date on drivers or something. I have XP at work and Vista/7 at home, and suffer almost no problems, at all, ever.

  24. MaytagRepairman says:

    I need to replace my current phone. The main speaker doesn’t work any more so I can’t use the speaker phone and it has to ring on vibrate.

    I already have a ZuneHD so I plan on getting it. I am looking forward to the games hub. I just hope I can adequately minimize the social networking features. I think facebook and twitter are fads. It makes me a sad panda that everybody making a phone thinks they have to support them.

  25. MonkeyMonk says:

    Is using the word “Windows” on their phone really a positive marketing move? I don’t know a single person who actually *likes* Windows (in fact it aggravates most of them) just that it’s a necessary evil if you want to use a computer.

    Personally if I had a choice between a “Windows” phone or non-Windows phone my immediate reaction would be to consider the Windows product last.

  26. dush says:

    kinect looks like junk and windows phone 7 isn’t on verizon so i don’t care.

    • grucifer says:

      Yea, I just noticed this. I’m ditching AT&T so there’s no way I’m considering a MP7 phone.

      Droid 2 here I come!

  27. menty666 says:

    Well, I just dumped a Windows Mobile phone in favor of an Android one, so I’m in a contract for 2 years anyway.

    Given the ring of death problems and a slew of anti-consumer junk with the online gaming platform I’m not really jumping to try out an xbox again either.

    Maybe I’ll finally upgrade from this Vista junk on my laptop to Win 7, or better yet, maybe linux. Though probably not because the only thing I hate more than Apple’s OS happens to be linux, so maybe they’ll still get some money there.

    • BurtReynolds says:

      My Windows Mobile phone is finally off contract in December and I don’t think I could be fooled into going down that road again. Windows Phone 7 would have to be awfully great, with superior hardware, and great support from third-party programs. To be honest, I only “need” a few.

      As of right now I’ll probably be going Android with an Evo 4G, T-Mobile G2, or something from Verizon if I decide to stay with them. Now that T-Mo has apparently added a free hotspot to the G2, I might be switching for some HSPA+ action.

    • dolemite says:

      RROD is long gone now, as long as you buy an xbox from the last year or so. It’s failure rate is something like 4% now, vs 10% for Wii and PS3.

  28. Geekybiker says:

    WP7 is looking really good. The phone spec is high end. The UI is blazingly fast. There are very few android phones that approach its smoothness. The games that are set to come out for it have graphics far beyond any other phone OS. The one downside is the relative lack of apps at launch. They have all the biggies line up for sure, but the specialty apps while take awhile to get there. MSFT is in this for the long haul though, and it’ll get there even if its not until the next OS version. I think It’ll steal quite a few customers from android. People looking for an iphone alternative, but with its tight integration. Its a far harder sell vs the iphone though. Similar models for business. It’ll come down to UI preference and games vs lots of apps.

  29. Red Cat Linux says:

    Right. Cause this worked with the Zune.

  30. giax says:

    I’m just happy with my husband’s old iPhone – I even got it upgraded to his newer older iPhone.
    And if I decide to get a gaming device, it will be an iPad.

  31. banmojo says:

    Well, I for one will be trying out both the windows jesus phone and the xbox motion thingy. If I likey, I may buyee; I’m guessing upfront I will hate both systems. My null hypothesis is fail-fail :^))

  32. ozark81 says:

    Why not take the cash for the Kinect ads and apply it to the price of the Kinect to drop the cost so it is more enticing to purchase.

  33. TacomaRogue says:

    A couple years ago (around 2005) I had a Pocket PC 2003 with Windows Mobile and I absolutely loved it, but managed to break the phone after 6 months and ATT&T was phasing it ous so I ended up with a Blackjack…
    If for some reason my current Android based phone up and dies on me, I will consider the Windows Phone 7.

    As for the Kinect, it looks like a lot of fun, and Mr. Rogue is looking into buying a new XBox after the receint death of his old one so I may toss it in so we can play something together (because I’m horrible at traditional video games).

  34. sopmodm14 says:

    i’m having too much fun with the ps3 move to bother with kinect

    unless they throw in the xbox console or something, lol

  35. Saltpork says:

    If Windows Phone 7 comes from a manufacturer at a decent price & allows me to shop around as I see fit for service, I will get one.

    If not, I won’t.

  36. Levk says:

    Nah I wont buy

  37. anduin says:

    I’m sorry but unlike the Playstation Move which has already seen integration into core titles that are not party/dance games, this will be a gimmick and nothing else. There is no way this is going to be a hot item this Christmas season though I’m sure it will sell a respectable amount based on the amount of exposure and marketing the item is already getting. Those who own a Wii with the motion plus/balance board are probably not looking for something that is untested and honestly doesn’t have enough software to sniff at, at this point.

    I’ve had a chance to try their “hardcore” titles and they were terrible, on rails type of games. YOu just flail around without really accomplishing anything meaningful.