The year-long initiative celebrating Windows 10 will also celebrate ‘people and organisations making a difference around the world’, making it clear not only how massively Microsoft will promote Windows 10 but how important the new OS is to the long-term survival of the company - and how it is ‘the best Windows ever.’
Microsoft points to 5 million ‘Windows Insiders’ having helped shape the various versions of Windows 10 up to the launch version. They will be the first to receive the Windows 10 upgrade, with 13 cities around the world set to host Windows 10 fan celebrations that Insiders are invited to join - with ‘hands-on opportunities, experiential demos, entertainment and opportunities to meet the Windows team.’
The cities are Sydney, Tokyo, Singapore, Beijing, New Delhi, Dubai, Nairobi, Berlin, Johannesburg, Madrid, London, Sao Paolo and New York.
Yusuf Mehdi, Microsoft’s corporate VP of Windows and Devices marketing said: “Windows 10 was built to empower people to do great things. We are thrilled to celebrate the launch of Windows 10 with our fans. We'll mark the launch of Windows 10 by celebrating the people and organisations that upgrade the world every day -- and by helping them do more in their communities."
This initiative will be called ‘Upgrade your world’ - more details below.
Over 110 Microsoft Stores in the US, Canada and Puerto Rico will also celebrate the launch, although that’s surely to have been expected.
Microsoft will make the select store celebrations more fun by including ‘pop-up demo experiences, prizes, giveaways and more’, and promise to have its version of the Genius Bar, dubbed the ‘Answer Bar’ and free in-store workshops help people have a great Windows 10 experience.
Those ‘thousands of retailers worldwide’ Microsoft mentioned above will have services to help people upgrade to Windows 10, they’ll help with data migration to move from old PCs to new PCs, and they’ll have PCs loaded with Windows 10 so people can try it out for themselves.
As also mentioned above will be a new global advertising campaign. We presume there will be no incomprehensible Bill Gates or Jerry Seinfeld goofily bending shoes in half as we saw in Windows Vista ads from years gone by, where ironically Bill Gates was a '10', but instead a celebration (there’s that word again) of the ‘newest generation’ and an invitation ‘to join a new era with us’.
Apple has been inviting people to join the iEra for some years now - will Microsoft’s effort be as successful? We’ll have to wait and see, but in 7 days in the US on 20 July, and then 29 July globally, Microsoft promises ‘the first wave of TV and digital ads will highlight how Windows 10 delivers a more human way to do -- brought to life with features like Windows Hello and Microsoft Edge.’
Microsoft does give the caveat in its media release that ‘Windows Hello requires specialised hardware, including fingerprint reader, illuminated infrared sensor or other biometric sensors’ - the magic of software sadly doesn’t extend into creating physical hardware, only the virtual variety, but hey - you can’t have everything - and this will hopefully help new Windows-10 powered PC and tablet sales get a much desired boost.
The aforementioned ‘Upgrade your world’ initiative will be year long and will be Microsoft vision ‘to help people achieve more through technology.’
The company says it ‘will partner with 10 global and 100 national nonprofits in the year-long initiative to help them upgrade the world. A total $10 million cash investment will be made in support of their missions and to promote awareness of their causes.’
There are 9 global non-profits in the program: CARE, Code.org, Keep a Child Alive, Malala Fund, Pencils of Promise, Save the Children, Special Olympics, The Global Poverty Project, and The Nature Conservancy.
Microsoft says it will ‘work with these organisations on projects and initiatives to upgrade the world, through a combination of technology, cash investments, and development of shared campaigns to raise awareness,’ and wants people around the world ‘to nominate a 10th global nonprofit to participate.’
Using the hashtag #Upgradeyourworld, Microsoft is also encourage people ‘to participate by sharing how they are doing big and small things to make an impact in their community and beyond.’
But that’s not all. The company says it will ‘join its partners and fans in September to select 10 nonprofits in each of 10 countries - Australia, China, France, Germany, India, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, the UK and the US - to also receive cash investments and technology to help them upgrade the world in their local communities.’
Microsoft is even giving its employees around the world - or at least, presumably those who weren’t sacked in the great Nokia culling last week - ‘an extra day off to volunteer in their community at any time within the next year.’
Thousands of those employees will volunteer to upgrade their communities on July 29 in honor of the Windows 10 launch.