Prior to the release of Windows XP in 2001, Windows started production on codename “Longhorn”, which would soon be known as Windows Vista, which would not be released until January 2007, the longest gap between Windows operating systems, and cost Microsoft approximately $6 billion.

Due to low customer interest and unenthusiastic reviews from critics, Windows Vista was seen as a disappointment and a massive failure for Microsoft. Overall, Windows XP was an excellent SO and Vista was a large step backwards for Microsoft.

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Vista hogged system performance, was slower than XP, drained Windows 7 Case Study f 7 Page 3 laptop battery life, and the worst aspect of Vista was the user Account Control, a security system developed for the SO. The ILIAC was very effective at preventing mallard infection, however many users found the constant prompts on every move they made tedious enough to turn the system completely off, therefore, making the ILIAC obsolete and the realization that the feature was essentially useless.

In 2008, a study conducted by Changeable revealed that only 8 percent of corporate customers were satisfied with Vista, and by the end of March 2009, Vista accounted or only 23.

42 percent of computer operating system market share, compared to Asp’s 62. 85 percent. Microsoft faced a steep uphill battle to redeem its brand perception with the release of an all new operating system for Windows. Windows 7 Overall Launch Strategy Microsoft needed to launch Windows 7, Vista’s predecessor, with extreme care In order to avoid being perceived as desperate or out of touch with Its target market. According to the New York Times, Microsoft regularly asks PC users for feedback and Bogus, came to a conclusion that the idea of consumers being portrayed as intrinsic parts of the development process could potentially become an effective marketing point for Windows 7 (Elliott, 2009). A new marketing campaign was created with the theme of “I’m a PC and Windows 7 was my idea.

” Many of Microsoft’s advertisements also use a slogan “1 billion = 7″, which suggests that the 1 billion users of PC’s helped bring about the new Microsoft Windows 7. Our customers co- create the product with us,” said David Webster, general manager for brand and marketing strategy at Microsoft. “We’re using the customers’ voices to tell our story. ” (Elliott, 2009). In Windows 7 Case Study Page 4 of 7 January 2009, Microsoft released a beta version of Windows 7 to the first 2. 5 million people to download it.

Critics’ reviews of the new Microsoft SO were very positive, especially compared to the scathing reviews of Vista. The website popcorn. Com was overall very positive in their review of Windows 7. All of this helps make Windows 7 the least distracting, least intrusive Microsoft SO in a very long time” (popcorn. Com).

Microsoft also faced a difficult marketing challenge after Windows Vista. Through most of the 21st Century, Microsoft’s number one competition, Apple Inc. , experienced tremendous and historic growth, all at the expense of Microsoft. Apple’s Mac SO, ran exclusively on Macintosh Computers, developed by Apple. Apple also saw the launch of pod in 2001 and phone in 2007, both products would revolutionize not only the technology world, but culture as a whole around the world.

Both pod and phone introduced current Microsoft customers to the Apple world of products and pod would become considerably more successful than Microsoft’s MPH player, called Zone, which would eventually cease production in 2011. While Microsoft struggled, Apple gladly stepped in as the premier tech giant in the world. The brand became one of the world’s most admired and valuable brands, helped out by its brand image of cool, extremely user friendly, and high quality products. Apple’s marketing campaign “Mac vs..

PC” was an instrumental part of this transition of power.

The commercial showed actor/comedian Justine Long as a Mac, a young man dressed in casual clothes, while the PC, portrayed by comedian John Hoagland, as a middle aged man representing a PC. While there were many versions of these advertisements, the overall theme of the ads was that PC’s were awkward, defective, incompetent, outdated, and harder to use, while the Mac was much more capable, liable, easier to use, and Just cooler. The advertisement Windows 7 Case Study Page 5 of 7 proved extremely effective, Apple’s market share increased from five percent at the end of 2006 to 11 percent by the end of 2008.

Morgan Stanley reported that, in 2009, 15 percent of college students were using Mac, while 40 percent of prospective customers said their next computer purchase would be a Mac. Microsoft, upon the eventual launch of Windows 7, needed to counter Apple’s marketing strategy with one of their own that would help prospective customers see the benefits of Windows ND using a PC.

The marketing agency, Crispin Porter and Bogus, created a marketing campaign entitled “Laptop Hunters”.

The commercials were seen through a hand held camera, and a narrator would introduce a prospective laptop customer looking for a specific set of features such as a big screen, fast processor, and battery “you find it, you keep it. ” The search included various PC’s and even a Mac, though the Mac was dismissed for being “too expensive” or “too cool”. The hunter eventually settled on a PC and the narrator congratulates him for purchasing the PC. Both the I’m a PC” and “Laptop Hunters” campaign were very well received by prospective customers.

A Barehanded survey showed that among the 18-34 year old demographic, The value perception of Apple decreased significantly from 70 to 12.

4, while Microsoft rebounded from zero to a somewhat more respectable 46. 2. This data from the survey shows that Microsoft’s attempt to paint Apple as overpriced had proven effective with prospective and current customers. Conclusion Microsoft’s Windows 7 proved to certainly put Microsoft back on track to become relevant once more in the tech world. Windows 7 was everything that Vista should eave Windows 7 Case Study Page 6 of 7 been and more.

In February 2014, Windows 7 accounted for 47. 52 percent of market share compared to 28. 98 percent with Windows XP (Paul, 2014). However, Vista had damaged the company’s reputation long enough to allow Apple to become the premier power in the war of tech giants. Apple continues to enjoy great success and high customer perception while Microsoft has a lot of work to do in order to rise back to the top.