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ANALYSIS: Windows opens to the world

Microsoft chooses to ignore the B2B market in latest Windows Vista campaign

Microsoft's newest operating system - Windows Vista - the first major release since it introduced Windows XP in 2001, was rolled out on 30 January to 70 countries, accompanied by the fanfare of a £250 million marketing campaign. However, what you may not have noticed is that that the software giant had already launched Vista to the business community in November 2006 - a launch that went by somewhat unnoticed. It seems B2B marketing activity has been largely ignored, which for a product that is according to the company, "the most significant product launch in Microsoft's history," a rather unusual strategy.

For a flagship product that has spent five years in development at a reported cost of £6 billion, has involved millions of beta testers, and is predicted to run on 100 million computers by the end of this year, you'd expect a launch campaign to match its millionary proportions. And you probably wouldn't be disappointed.