Windows 8 & Surface launch - "Today is the most exciting day in Microsoft's history"
As Microsoft gears up to release the long anticipated and much hyped Windows 8 operating software, while also rolling out its Surface tablet, the eyes of the technology world are firmly on the tech giant today, the day that Dave Coplin, director of search describes as "the biggest day" in the company's history. If hype is to be believed, then Windows 8 will revolutionise the way in which businesses operate using technology, and will also alter advertising platforms and the development of digital technology, such as apps, forever. Speaking to The Drum at IAB Engage, Coplin admits to not knowing fully what to expect from the company on launch day today (26 October.) No matter as he's clearly excited about the prospects judging by his enthusiasm. "The thing that we think is really significant is that the products themselves are brilliant, they stand on their own. The magic is how similar they are together. So that consistent modern interface that you will see across phone and windows and Xbox starts to really make sense. That then extends further into the services, i.e. skyping – all of those things come to life. We think that changes the game." As to what this will mean for brands and ad agencies alike, Coplin says it will provide them with much more consistency for online campaign development. "It’s one set of ads running across multiple formats, multiple devices, multiple services," he explains. "As an advertiser that’s what you want because you don’t want to be dicking around asking ‘how’s this going to look on mobile, how’s this going to look on browser, how’s this going to be on Xbox?’ You don’t want to do that. You want to say ‘we’ve got this great campaign’. Make it happen, put it out there and integrate it, and that’s what you’re going to see happen over time." To promote the range of technology that will be released in the coming months, Microsoft plans to spend around $500m on marketing the products, which Coplin explains will focus very much on the products themselves, rather have than any sort of brand focus. Whether or not it will achieve the statement of engaging more people than the Olympics, a statement made internally at the company, he isn't certain, but to invest so much money in promoting the upcoming products clearly shows the scale of thinking. "We are going to spend more on marketing than we have spent for sometime. You’ve also got to remember that this isn’t one individual product launch. There’s a pipeline of product launches that are going to come one after another and it’s going to be incredible. I just hope that it will live up to the expectation when you see what it’s going to be." Of the work that has gone into the product launches, Coplin explains; "If you look at what Apple is doing and Google is doing, they’re doing something very similar, the difference with Microsoft is the breadth of what we do. Only Microsoft has that breadth. We still spend more on R&D than any other company on the planet, not just tech company, but any other company. That just puts us in a phenomenal position to do great stuff." He continues to state that the rolling out of the technology will put Microsoft "in a very special place" moving forward. "For me... as a technologist, my goal ironically is to make technology invisible. I don’t want to think about technology as some thing that we do on the side. Like we talk about digital marketing. That’s bullshit. This stuff is part of everything we do. If you’ve got kids, they don’t look at it as something separate, it’s just a natural part of their lives. That’s where we’re at just now, we can push technology into the background. We build a platform, our success doesn’t just come from the platform – people have to grasp it and live up to all of their potential using all that platform brings." With so much pre launch hype behind Windows 8, it remains to be seen where it takes Microsoft, but clearly it expects to climb the heady heights it previously maintained in the tech sector, no doubt eyeing Apple's coveted position at the top.