Second wave of Windows 8 client promotions coming soon

'Windows 8 hardware gets remarkably better,' exec says

BARCELONA, Spain -- Microsoft is about to embark on a second wave of Windows 8 client hardware promotions and user education, an executive said Wednesday.

"Starting soon, you'll see us do a lot more education of the business user and consumers," said Christopher Flores, director of communications for the Windows client division, in an interview at the Mobile World Congress.

Flores described the past four months, since the Windows 8 launch event in October, as a period for building "product awareness" that includes TV ads for Windows RT tablets. Those ads featured dancers clicking open and closed the Touch Cover with Windows RT tablets in time with music.

He said he wasn't at liberty to offer any specifics on the coming campaign, but reiterated and clarified some of the same themes mentioned at launch time about the value of Windows 8. Those ideas include how Windows Pro tablets and other Windows 8 tablets and convertible laptops and all-in-one computers built by other manufacturers that run on Intel x86 chips can be used with a rich array of Microsoft legacy apps like Excel that are used widely in business settings.

Flores also promised that various Windows 8 client makers will add hardware improvements throughout 2013, launching them for back-to-school and fall sales. "The future of Windows 8 hardware gets remarkably better very soon, this year," he said.

He also said developer interest in the Windows 8 platform is growing, noting that there are four times as many apps available for Windows tablets than there were in November. He would not give a specific number, saying it varies by country. (In the U.S. for Windows Store, there are about 50,000 apps, and various reports have indicated the addition of new apps slowed dramatically after the holidays.)

About 500,000 developers have signed up for Windows 8 developer training classes that can run for a half day or longer.

"Developers want to make money and know Windows is going to be big," Flores said. "We rarely make things small. We offer a combination of reach and opportunity to developers."

Microsoft's TV commercial promoting the Surface tablet.

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