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Microsoft Launches New Campaign

January 22, 2001

SEATTLE (AP) _ Microsoft Corp., which dominates the operating system market for personal computers, will launch a $200 million advertising campaign Monday to compete more directly with Oracle, IBM and Sun Microsystems in selling software to businesses.

``Businesses today need to be fast, nimble and responsive to compete and respond to customer needs, yet a lot of the technology for business is big, slow and expensive,″ Steve Ballmer, Microsoft president and CEO, said in a statement.

Microsoft lags behind Sun Microsystems and Oracle when it comes to providing software for industry _ an estimated $90 billion market annually.

The advertising campaign targets heads of businesses, said Mike Delman, Microsoft’s general manager for advertising.

One of Microsoft’s new commercials features the server of a company whose Web site just went online, bringing scores of new customers. The server is so reliable, the advertisement implies, that the employees of the company are off celebrating _ and not worrying about technology. A single balloon from the festivities floats by the server in the empty room.

Advertisements in magazines and billboards will begin in February.

Print and outdoor advertisements will promote software such as its Windows 2000 business operating system, while the television advertisements merely touts the ``agility″ of Microsoft products.

Microsoft will spend $500 million in advertising in the next 12 months, Delman said. The company will stress its Microsoft Network online service and XBox, a video game console to be launched in the fall.

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