Microsoft announces ‘People Ready’ software vision, supported by global marketing campaign

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New York—Microsoft Corp. CEO Steve Ballmer unveiled what the company is calling its “People Ready” software vision in an address to about 500 business customers at Microsoft and the Executive Council of New York’s Executive Business Forum Thursday.

Ballmer said Microsoft is aligning its global sales and marketing organization and its worldwide partner network to focus on the People Ready concept, which is being supported by a $500 million global marketing and sales campaign to communicate the company’s software value for business.

That campaign broke Thursday with an eight-page insert in The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times. TV advertising breaks next Thursday during the NCAA basketball tournament.

The campaign will also include out-of-home and digital ads, including rich media advertising and paid search. The $500 million price tag does not include any advertising for upcoming product launches such as the much anticipated Vista, which will be supported with a separate budget.

Microsoft products being introduced or upgraded over the next 12 months, including Vista product, Microsoft Office 2007 (including Outlook 2007 and PowerPoint 2007), Office Communicator Mobile and Microsoft Exchange 12, are all part of the People Ready vision of empowering business users and individuals.

“Businesses are based on people,” Ballmer said. “Software empowers people.” Ballmer said innovations and investments over the next 12 months will be centered around enabling unified communications and collaboration, content management, business intelligence, search, mobility, customer management, work flow and infrastructure.

—Carol Krol
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