Microsoft has no intentions of letting its Windows Phone 7 suffer the same premature fate as its Kin smartphones, and to ensure that doesn't happen, the Redmond software juggernaut will spend $400 million just on marketing the launch of its new device, says Jonathan Goldberg, a telecommunications analyst at Deutsche Bank.
"This is make-or-break for them. They need to do whatever it takes to stay in the game," says Goldberg. "It's still wide open. They don't have to take share from Android or Apple, so long as they can attract consumers switching from feature phones."
That $400 million figure is just the beginning. Goldberg claims to have heard from Microsoft's execs that it will spend "billions" of dollars in the first year on marketing and development.
"We have a long-term view and Microsoft has been in this position before in other businesses where we've had to take a long-term view," says Microsoft senior product manager Greg Sullivan, who stopped short of commenting on Goldberg's estimates. "The mobile phone market is growing by leaps and bounds, but it's still in the early stages."