Microsoft to Australia "You’re Not Using Enough of Our Products!"

That must be what they meant when the company started the search for $10,000 by having to use Internet Explorer 8. Now I see that around two weeks ago, the company had another promotion going, to further bolster the company’s image in the land down under. (Don’t worry if you did not hear about it, it was limited to Australia.)

The company has been hiding a laptop each day, and then giving clues about where to find it.

from the istartedsomething blog

The Zune team needs to learn a lesson from the Windows team. Microsoft’s latest campaign, “Laptop Hunters” has made the 12,000 kilometers (7,500 miles) trip to the land down under and is now running an exclusive campaign for Australians, but with a twist.

Unlike the US campaign where you sit back and watch other people score cool laptops for free, Microsoft Australia in collaboration with Nova radio stations in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane are giving listeners a chance to score a Windows laptop a day.

Starting today in Melbourne (Nova 100) and Sydney (Nova 969) until Friday 12 June, and next week in Brisbane (Nova 1069) from 16 June to 20 June, clues will be provided on the breakfast shows from 8:30am and the station website to indicate where the “laptop hunter” is hiding (and presumably frozen in the cold winter breeze) in the city. Find them, tell them “I can buy great a laptop for under $1300″ and they’ll take you shopping. If you do find a laptop for under $1300 (US$1000), the laptop is yours.

Videos of the winners of today’s challenge in Melbourne and Sydney will be posted later today, and I’ll embed them here when they’re available. Sounds like a lot of fun.

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A lot of fun? Yes. A bit desperate? Definitely. The word in the halls of Redmond, Washington must be “You’ve got to spend money to make money” or something similar, as the amount of money in promotion of Microsoft products, the operating systems, Bing, Zune, Security Essentials, and upcoming Windows 7, is nothing short of stupendous. The last time I remember this much of a push was when we heard Mick and the boys singing, ‘Start Me Up!’. But, as the saying goes, those were kinder, gentler times, and there was a real interest by almost everyone in new things from Microsoft. It was a few depressing upgrade cycles, and a few less broken promises ago.

On top of that, just today is the message that the devil you know Steve Ballmer is stating that pumping up to 10% of Microsoft’s total income into Bing just might be a good idea.

from BetaNews

The Bing marketing push has been a short-term success for Microsoft in that it got people to trying out its search engine, including several of the features Windows Live Search actually already had for a year or more and just never tried…because it was Windows Live Search. But in a speech last night, the man at the top of Microsoft presented what looked like a “moral,” like at the end of a bedtime story, the message we’re all supposed to have learned…as if Bing’s success is a fait accompli. Sometimes when Steve Ballmer starts talking like Tom Osborne, you have to start worrying…and not always for Microsoft.

Evening of June 18, 2009 • Microsoft’s in the search game for the long haul with the deep pockets, and Steve Ballmer wants you to know that. In a talk before the Executives’ Club of Chicago, as cited by Dow Jones this morning, the Microsoft CEO said that “in our industry, the No. 1 mistake that people make is that they quit too early” — and that he thinks Microsoft should have gotten serious sooner about search.

Reuters, meanwhile, caught that he’s willing to invest 5-10% of the company’s operating income in search for up to five years. (Hope you weren’t bored with those Bing ads yet!) Meanwhile, The Guardian’s Jemima Kiss has a chat with Sergey Brin, who runs some other search site.

That is no small amount of money. and If that is the case, you know that Mr. Bill must have given his blessing to this, as I don’t think Darth Ballmer has that much control, not while the Microsoft master lives.

How much must Google be ‘bugging’ Microsoft for the company to try to take share away from Google’s googol of dollars?

What’s next? Will there be Microsoft branded computers? That would allow Microsoft to be like Apple, and guarantee the workings of the machines, while still allowing the rest of the market to build ‘less qualified’ products. They already make keyboards, mice, and game controllers,.. monitors and the big boxes are the next things to a complete solution.

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