Microsoft India has invited five advertising agencies - and a suspected sixth one too - for Microsoft's most sensational product slated for a worldwide launch on October 25 - Windows XP desk operating system. The agencies in the fray, according to industry sources, are Euro RSCG, McCann-Erickson, Lowe Lintas & Partners, Contract Advertising and TBWAAnthem. The size of the business is valued between Rs 5 crore to Rs 7 crore.
Apparently, the company is to take a decision on the agency next week. So far, the agencies have made one round of presentation; hopefully, there won't be any more. The reason, cites an industry source, is that "the launch is round the corner and there will be very little time on hand to plan a mega event to launch Windows XP if the agency selection process itself takes more time." Planning the event is an important part of the brief given out to the agencies apart from some other specifications. On the basis of this brief, five agencies made a creative-cum-strategy-cum-media presentation through last week.
All the agencies in the running appear gung-ho about the account. For one, Sherry Bedi, senior account executive, Euro RSCG, likes to believe her agency will, without a doubt, clinch the business. "Nobody knows Microsoft in India as we do," she says in a confident tone. Currently, Euro RSCG handles the entire Microsoft business in India that includes Windows, SQL, Office XP, e-commerce and Biztalk. Another reason for her confidence is that "the agency has received a positive response from the Office XP campaign".
Globally McCann-Erickson happens to be one of Microsoft's empanelled agencies. In India, however, Microsoft has remained elusive for the agency. However, a year and a half ago, it did have some part of Microsoft's advertising business, which it had to give up to Euro RSCG. For now, like the rest of the agencies in the running, McCann is hoping the account will swing in its favour.
Windows XP is especially coveted because of the prestige involved. "The product is simply spectacular. To explain how advanced Windows XP is, I can only say that the difference in scale is the same between the Windows 3.1 series and Windows 95. It is not just an incremental advance but a significant leap," says Sanjay Nayak, senior vice-president and general manager, McCann-Erickson, Delhi.
Indeed, the company's expectation from the product is summed up in this statement of Bill Gates, chairman and chief software architect at Microsoft (as quoted by one of the press releases on the Microsoft web site), "Simply put, Windows XP is the best operating system Microsoft has ever built. The performance improvements and advanced features of Windows XP are the culmination of more than 15 years of research, development and customer feedback. For customers, computer manufacturers and industry partners, Windows XP truly underscores the excitement and potential of the digital decade ahead."
Windows XP will be available in two editions. Windows XP Home Edition and Windows XP Professional. While Windows XP Home Edition is designed for individuals or families at home and includes experiences for digital media, home networking and communications, Windows XP Professional is the operating system for businesses. Windows XP Professional adds remote access, security, performance, manageability and multilingual features to help users improve productivity and connectivity and work even smarter.
Both editions of Windows XP will be available at retail on October 25, in upgrade and standard versions. What agencyfaqs! has gathered from industry sources is that Windows XP will cost about 15-20 per cent more than Windows 2000. Windows 2000 is available at Rs 9,200 plus a 4 per cent tax.
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