WINning XPerience



Even before Windows XP hit the Indian market, customers were anxiously
waiting for the new product. And at the launch event held simultaneously in
three cities in India, Microsoft unveiled the results of an IDC survey.
According to this survey, 82 percent of business users were eagerly awaiting the
launch of Windows XP, and 20 percent of these were expected to adopt Windows XP
immediately.

So it was not much of a surprise that India was selected as one of the venues
for the global launch of what was touted as Microsoft´s first .Net product–Windows
XP. The software supports nine Indian languages–Hindi, Marathi, Sanskrit,
Konkani, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Gujarati, and Punjabi.

CREATING WAVES
Microsoft kicked off the consumer launch with its partners like Compaq,
Intel, AMD, NIIT, Wipro, HCL and Sony. Organized at high footfall venues like
Ansal´s Plaza in New Delhi and Nehru Center in Mumbai, the event created quite
a flutter. At IT.com in Bangalore, Microsoft’s stall had over one lakh
visitors, thanks to the XP hype.

A colorful XPerience

The three events put together got over a lakh and a half customer footfalls.
These were followed by events at Chennai, Pune, Hyderabad and Kolkata. In all 15
launch events were executed, within a fortnight after the launch on October 25,
2001.

Microsoft also undertook a lot of retail activity for XP. It distributed a
lakh and half demo CDs at 70 locations across the country.

CHANNEL GEARED UP
The channel launch of XP took place in September 2001 with training
workshops organized for 3,000 partners in seven cities across the country. At
these workshops partners got a chance to have a hands-on XPerience on the new
OS.

Says Karthik Padmanabhan, Marketing Manager, Microsoft India, “The
launch was rated among the top five Indian launches of the year by a leading
business magazine.” Others in the league were the premier of Lagaan and the
Fiat Palio launch.

Sales of Windows XP through the channel have shown some remarkable results
for Microsoft in India. Comparing the sales from the first quarter after the
launch of Windows 2000 with Windows XP, Padmanabhan said, “XP has outsold
Windows 2000 by two times.”

BUILDING MOMENTUM
Microsoft had built momentum for the launch much before the actual event. It
put up a special launch web site two months before the launch and was also
successful in creating a community around XP. Community members could download
the XP logo from the web site, which on reproduction at the retail outlets won
them a free evaluation copy of Windows XP. Microsoft distributed over 1,500
copies of the 30-day trial version as part of the promotion leading to the
launch.

It also undertook focussed corporate shows called the XPremier shows with 450
corporate houses across the country, to keep the excitement high for its
enterprise accounts. 150 of these shows happened within the first month after
the launch.

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