Preliminary ads broke on Thursday for Microsoft’s multimillion-dollar global launch of the Windows XP operating system.

Several print ads have been rolled out, with outdoor ads and TV spots (using the campaign’s theme song, ‘Ray of Light’ by Madonna) debuting on October 15. The official launch is October 25.

Microsoft is spending $200m during the four-month launch period. However, the initial overall marketing budget of $1 billion from the software giant and its partners – including Intel and Dell Computer – has been reduced slightly in light of the economic slowdown.

In addition, the campaign’s initial tagline ‘Prepare to Fly’ has been hastily replaced with ‘Yes You Can’ following the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. The push is being handled by McCann-Erickson Worldwide in San Francisco.

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